How to be a Soccer Mom While Living With MS

Guest post written by a MuckFest MS Dallas Mucker, Nikki V.

It’s soccer season again. For the last 16 years, every year my car becomes “soccer season ready.” 16 years ago it meant I had to make sure my car had chairs to sit in, a sweater in case it got cold, umbrellas, toys for the younger children, and sunscreen. These items kept my family and me ready for soccer games and tournaments. But things changed nine years ago when I received my MS diagnosis.

I was 32 years old. I had a 15-year-old, a 10-year-old, and a 5-year-old, and all three played “the beautiful game.” I raised all three girls in the Texas heat, so soccer matches in Oklahoma and South Texas were a regular occurrence. My oldest daughter was upset the first time I had to watch her game from an air-conditioned car (it was a tournament.) I had watched two games already but my body was just not having it for one more hour. She was angry, but I understood. While my vehicle was “soccer ready”, my mind, and my body, were not.

It has been almost 10 years since my diagnosis. All three of my daughters still play soccer. Over the last 10 years I have changed my “soccer ready” routine. The following is my list of important Dos and Don’ts.

DO bring these items when it’s hot outside and a game is on:

  • A comfortable chair (preferably with mesh backing)
  • An umbrella
  • Frogg Togg or other water-cooling device
  • A cooler with water and ice
  • A hat
  • Sunglasses

Do NOT:

  • Fight to try and see how long you can stay in the sun.
  • Hesitate to ask if you can share someone’s shade.
  • Feel bad when you are so hot that you have to go sit in the car.
  • Forget water or your other cooling devices.

These extra items have allowed me to watch many soccer games with all my girls. MS was and continues to affect my life, but I refuse to let this diagnosis affect being a part of such an important event in my daughters’ lives.

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