To Shower or not to Shower-that is the MS Question

Another multiple sclerosis dilemma


Don’t be gross.  It was a wedding; of course I was going to shower.

And no, it wasn’t MY wedding.  Seems in order for me to have a wedding I would have to find a groom somewhere.  And that just sounds really, really exhausting.

But yes, for my friend’s wedding I would shower.

And put on makeup.

And attempt to do something with my hair.

The question became, when would I do all that?

For most people, this would be a question quickly answered, maybe not even questioned at all.

But for people whose brains don’t always work the way we expect them to, issues like this can be overwhelming.

Serena and Joel, aka Bootsie (if you have read my book, MS Madness! you may remember Serena’s boyfriend Bootsie,) were tying the nautical, marital knot.  (Had to throw nautical in as the groom is a fisherman.)


The wedding was being held at a very busy hall and thus, could only be decorated on the morning of the 2PM wedding.  My friend Lynn and I agreed to help the maid of honor and her friend get the hall ready.

We were due at the hall at 9:30 and the church was over a 30 minute drive away from where Lynn, the hall and I all lived.

(We East Coast people measure traveling distance by time, not miles.)


Since decorating a hall can be sweaty and messy, my plan was to help decorate for two hours and then go home to shower and attempt to make myself pretty.

The day before the wedding the bride asked if Lynn or I could load up our car with decorating stuff and guest favors.  Being an eager beaver, I agreed before Lynn had a chance to.

It was after the bride and groom had loaded my car that I remembered that my trunk leaks when it rains.  There was no rain predicted that night but with my luck there would be an unexpected deluge and wedding items would get soaked and float away.

I called Lynn and we loaded up her car which was a good thing as we had time to talk before the big day.  And as we talked, she reminded me of the huge festival taking place between where we lived and the church which would likely add at least an hour to our travel time due to heavy traffic.


“So I’m thinking I’ll just get ready before we decorate and then go home to quickly change and freshen up,” she said.  “That way there will be plenty of time to get to the church.”

That was not my plan.  I was going to decorate and then shower and then put on makeup and then style my hair.

But now I was worried about the time too.  If Lynn, who as a working mom has for the last several years gotten up early and quickly gotten herself and her daughters out the door every school morning before 7:30 didn’t think she had enough time to get ready after decorating, then how could I possibly have enough time?


MS makes me move much slower than I used to.  And since makeup is not a daily thing in my life, I need a lot of time put it on, with time to wash off the makeup mistakes I make in the process.    Maybe I should get ready before decorating?  But then it might be hard to get myself together again.  My makeup could wind up all melty and gross looking and my hair would likely be useless.

This became a big question.

I analyzed my options over and over.

I asked Lynn what to do. Maybe I should do what she was going to do?  She’s pretty smart and always looks nice so she must know what she’s talking about.

I asked my mom what to do.

I called other friends to ask them what to do.

I tried to look up what to do on the internet.  I couldn’t find anything.

All of this was silly of course.   It wasn’t my wedding so really, how much did it matter what I looked like?


It’s just that the brain fog that comes with multiple sclerosis can make even simple decisions hard to decide.

And combine that with a big event like a wedding and then throw in a troublesome event like a huge congested festival and it can be very hard to figure out.

So after tossing and turning I decided I would just get ready twice.  I would get ready before decorating and then if I couldn’t fix what fell apart then I would just get ready again.

And so, in the morning, I showered, put on cosmetics, and sprayed hairspray, lots of hairspray.


Which was actually a huge issue because as we waited for someone to unlock the doors to the hall, I was followed by a huge bee who really, really liked my hairspray.  My hair wasn’t even sprayed into a beehive but it didn’t matter, that bee was in love with my hair.

I survived.  And so did the bee.  I couldn’t kill him as I have heard bees are our friends and we need to protect them.  Plus, I am too wimpy to kill a bee.

We helped decorate and then Lynn and I each went home to get dressed.

And to re-do makeup.

And to redo hair.


And to add more and more hairspray.

And to worry about the ozone layer due to all the hairspray.

And somehow, I made it to the church on time.

When MS makes decisions hard to decide I sometimes find myself chilling out about the little things.

Less stress is good. In the end, I tend to get a little bit of an “aw, who cares? Life’s too short,” attitude.

Unfortunately, I only wind up thinking that after hours and hours of pondering.  One of these days I may just get the order right.

In the meantime, I just need to be glad for the big things.

Like, hey, my friend got married which is way, way more important than whether my eye liner was smudged or if I had lipstick on my teeth.

Especially since the one picture I took with the bride just happened to be under the handicapped sign.

serena wedding1

(So you’re not confused, the bride is the one in white.  I am the one unwittingly posing under the sign! Perhaps the sign says it all?)

                               Congratulations to Joel and Serena!

serena wedding3

22 thoughts on “To Shower or not to Shower-that is the MS Question

  1. Awesome blog entry! And every MSer will completely get it. And yeah, here where I live? We measure traveling distance by time and not miles as well. And I’m in Illinois, just outside of St. Louis!

    • Thank you so much Tina, I really appreciate it!!! That is funny about the time/miles issue- I always thought that was a New England thing!

  2. so glad you enjoyed the wedding. your blog was hilarious especially the photo of you under the disabled sign. hope this beautiful September weather is making you feel better. I know it is good for me.

    • Thank you so much Kelly! And yes, this weather is absolutely perfect!!! Loving it and so glad it was such a nice day for my friend’s wedding. Hope things are fantastic with you!

  3. Loved It! Especially the picture of you and the bride looking beautiful and happy. Funny I didn’t notice when the picture was on FB earlier that you were under the handicap sign. That is why I leave the official humor to you Yvonne ! I laughed out loud when you pointed that out at the end of the blog post 🙂

    • Funny thing Leann-I didn’t notice it either!! It was a friend in one of my MS FB groups who pointed it out. One of those classic, unplanned moments!! How are you friend?

  4. handicap sign over your head or not it was a cute photo…. and so happy that everyone seemed to have a good time, but I have to say I am so glad that it’s over..Whoever would have thought that I would be friends with you since the 2nd grade and end up marrying one of our classmates?

  5. Yvonne you did well. You looked as radiant as the bride, even under that handicapped sign LOL. As for make up anything goes now as I hear the smudged look is “in” so just continue being you and looking like you and the next bride we’ll see stressing out will be you and then let someone else worry about decorating and dressing. Job well done even after the amount of thought, effort and worry put forth!

  6. That showering thing is great. I, sometimes, have that question from day to day. It really “poops” me out taking a shower, dressing, & doing hair. I feel like I’ve run a marathon after what “used to ” be a simple morning chore. My standard statement is “used to~~died!”

  7. I know heck we have been through 9 years of fights, temporary separations, losses of loved ones, sicknesses, health scares etc and we are still together… You have been my friend since 2nd grade and you always look great to me.

  8. It makes me happy the wedding happened on my son’s birthday. It ticks me off to know exactly what you mean. I put off taking a shower until my hair gives me away, or my best friend recommends it. Being blind w/o my glasses, having no balance, and vertigo, dizziness, weakness, living alone, and having fallen several times before, sometimes with serious injury resulting, I do put it off. But I like to be clean. Every time I survive a shower, and get dressed without falling down, I feel so much better, but it’s like dragging a horse to water. A few years ago, my brother was getting married for the second time. Knowing my (lack of) finances, and my love of flowers, they decided the best gift from me would be in-season wild flowers, for the tables and decorations. My boyfriend and I spent all that day filling up his rig with fresh wildflowers, found within a 50 mile radius. I got bit by bugs, scratched by wild rose bushes, shot at by a farmer, fell down a bank, fell up a bank, bandaged my wounds, took a cheater shower, after arranging all the bouquets, threw on a dress and got there just in time- to see that my Other Brother was having arrangements delivered by a florist— Just In Case– Nancy Failed another Mission!! !! While my new sis-in-law said she liked my flowers better, they were the one’s used on the kiddy tables, and off to the side, and I was too tired to even dance with my own Brother. HINT: If you have someone in your close family, who you don’t want to put out with having to be a bridesmaid, with the fittings, shoes, hair, la-de-da, and expense of all that, but want to make them feel included, maybe have them do something that comes easy for them- like I can do calligraphy, and could have done the placecards over the weeks prior to the wedding, and yeah, I do like to go out and pick what many people call weeds and arrange them, for my own table, but not for 28 tables, and entryways, etc. I was a Wreck. I won’t show you a pic of me from the wedding, but there is a sign, written all over my face, Total Fatigue and Stress Here!! Actually, I looked like I was the last “man standing” at the Bachelor Party the night before, even though I went to bed super earl

    • Wow Nancy, that is quite the story. And all I had to do was help decorate and fight off a bee! I’m sorry you had to go through all of that but I bet your flowers were amazing and gorgeous and that you were amazing and gorgeous too! Thank you for sharing that with us and my very best to you!

  9. Well I have to give a lot of credit to my sister in-law Amanda for working wonders with hair and makeup.. I had been running around for the 2 days before and hardly sleeping so she had her work cut out for her….. Yeah he does clean up good, and as everyone saw when he took off the garter the man has some moves.

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