I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS back in 2014 when the left side of my body lost all mobility, and I was experiencing consistent diplopia in both eyes. After a solid week of Solu Medrol steroids administered via IV, months of pushing forward, and the discovery of nutrition and exercise, I got most of my mobility back. Fast foward 4½ years later, I have been blessed to be relapse-free ever since… until now.
For the last month or so, I have been experiencing new symptoms; more consistent chronic pain, numbness in my hands I didn’t notice until I realized I was using boiling water to wash the dishes, and something a bit scarier. I haven’t been able to formulate complete sentences without tripping over my words for weeks. As someone who works in corporate professionally and just barely gets by thanks to my words, this has been earth shattering...
The world is so full of awesome beauty products, exercise inspiration, healthy eating plans and more… but what about those days where we wake up and just can’t even take one single second to care?
I don’t know about you, but the days where I can barely get out of bed and down the stairs, I sure as heck don’t plan on doing a full-on home spa day, let alone spending hours on end in the kitchen. There are some days I wake up ready to take on the world–I have a productive day at work, I throw some eyeliner on, and I even hit the gym! But then, after my gym session, I am exhausted. This doesn’t happen every day, but it happens frequently enough. I get home, I sit down, and I am not moving from that spot for the rest of the night; buh-bye healthy meal for the night. Bring on the grilled cheese sandwich with tomato!...
It’s really tricky to find a perfect balance between inspiring and educating others about MS, and feeling that it defines me.
One of my favorite things in this whole world is being that beacon of light for those who are still searching—searching for answers; searching for support; searching for some ray of positive hope. I thrive on being that ray of hope to those who are newly diagnosed or veterans of the disease because there is never too much positive energy. There are times, however, where it becomes truly exhausting to be known as “that girl with MS” or have people only ever talk to me about my disease and nothing more...
For the longest time, I never prioritized the quality of care I was receiving because I thought the scope of my care was just the norm. It wasn’t until I connected with the MS community on social media that I realized I could be doing so much more for myself than I already was!
I realized something needed to change when I had brought up the pain I was experiencing and was told it was all in my head. I don’t know about you, but that automatically took me out of my safe zone...
Sometimes, MS is one of those diseases that is nearly impossible to hide. Whether we walk with a gimp or we use a wheelchair, it’s hard to act like it isn’t there. On the hard days, all I hear is “are you alright?” “do you need assistance?” or “what’s wrong with you?” On the hard days, I just want to disappear. On the easy days, I am just like everyone else–my disease is invisible, and I am unstoppable. This is awesome, right? Maybe to me and the people who know me, but to the people completely outside of my circle, I am just seeking attention because I don’t have a “real” illness.
Each and every one of us works hard to function at our best–whether it be for a wedding or just walking down the block. We don’t want MS getting in the way. We train, we practice, and we gather up all of the courage we have to make that goal a reality and when it happens, it’s truly an amazing feeling! But what feeling is more powerful–the feeling of finally having what feels like an MS-free day, or the feeling of discouragement when someone accuses you of not really being sick?...
When it comes to managing MS, one of the biggest things to keep in mind is nutrition. Everyone’s experience with MS is different—what works for me may not work for you. But as a CNS with a specialization in fitness nutrition and someone who lives with MS, I get a lot of questions about nutrition!
Sometimes it’s tricky to know what foods to eat—and avoid. I can offer some insight on general tips and what’s helped me manage my MS symptoms. Because MS is an autoimmune disease, and inflammation comes with the package, a goal you should always keep in mind is keeping inflammation as low as possible...
Everything was just a tad off focus– like I couldn’t get my eyes to look forward no matter how hard I tried. I asked my mom for advice, not thinking anything of it. She figured it was allergies, gave me an Allegra and sent me on my way after I convinced her I didn’t need to see a doctor; I felt better after that. My eyes returned to normal, life went on. I left for college two days later.
Turns out, I wasn’t fine and things did not go back to normal. About a week into my sophomore year, I woke up one morning and had no control over my left arm. I found this out when I went to put my contact lenses in the morning of my first day of work, at my first real job, and my hand shot right past my face. I thought it was weird, but assumed I was just tired or having a “me moment.” So, off to work I went...
Is anyone else getting tired of other people telling you how to manage your MS?
“Eat this, not that.”“I read this book that told me you should be doing this.”“But an expert said you should be living THIS way.”
The buzzing throughout my arms, hands, legs and feet had not let up for 3 full days. My annual checkup with my neurologist was just a day away, so I figured, what better timing? I practically danced into the office and was so excited to get some answers about this newfound pain.
Enter the man of the hour, and come to find out, it’s… all… in my head? Excuse me?...
“One of the most important things to someone with a chronic illness is to be treated as an equal. Having MS does not make me any different than someone who does not.”
This was something I used to tell myself every single day since my diagnosis—it got me through the hard times and inspired me to live my highest quality of life. But as I get older and the 4 year anniversary of my diagnosis approaches, I find myself questioning if this is really the case...