MS Connection Blog

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Yes You Can

Blog Summary

How can I describe my mother? She is smart, funny and kind, and is devoted to her faith and her family. More importantly, everyone loves her. What do people comment most about her when they meet her? Her smile.
 
In 1984, my mom was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis at the age of 38. Before her diagnosis, my mother was active. She worked in the school. She had many friends. With this, our family was devastated, relationships were challenged and family roles shifted. In my heart, I lost my mother.

Taking My Own Advice

Blog Summary

In my job as a school counselor, I meet with high school students every day who struggle to balance the demands of their lives. I listen intently and guide them through strategies to use to help find contentment. But as I switch hats from my day job to my job as a mom to two young boys and a wife to a husband with MS, I often seem to forget to take my own advice.   Since my husband’s journey with MS began in 2015, I’ve struggled to balance. I worry about everyone all the time and forget to worry about myself...

Perspective… and Biscuits

Blog Summary

Here are a few facts: MS takes up a bigger piece of our lives than we would like. It has given us a different perspective. But it will not take our sense of humor. Recently, my husband and I got yet another denial letter from our insurance saying they won’t cover the sleep medication that is finally working for my husband. I know he is not alone in the battle for sleep; the tossing and turning, the burning, the pain, the inability to stay asleep, and then, weighing all of that against the feeling of being hung over the next morning with every other sleep aid he’s tried...

How My Mom Being Diagnosed With MS Made Me a Better Person

Blog Summary

Writing this blog post has been so hard for me. Trying to think of all the positives of taking care of someone with MS when you’re 17 is not an easy feat. So I won't lie to you: It's not easy. It's not easy at all. It's not easy going from child to caretaker, it's not. Having to constantly take care of someone takes a huge toll on you. Now, I'm not the most experienced at being a caretaker or even at life, but I wanted to share with you some of the best tips that I have in being a caretaker and how to avoid not letting yourself have a life...

MS: The Third Wheel in Our Marriage

Blog Summary

As I helped my husband, Norm, out of bed, I couldn’t help but think to myself: how did we get here?   It’s hard to even remember the people we were when we first meet in 2006. They seem like completely different people from a completely different time. A time when motorcycles, weekends filled with friends and family and simplicity moved our world...

Dear Me

Blog Summary

Dear Me, of three years, nine months, and 15 days ago: Your life just changed. Changed from six weeks ago before this all started. Changed from 5 a.m. this morning when Mike woke up, left side completely numb and decided to drive himself to the ER so you could get the kids off to school. Changed from an hour ago when you were sitting alone, nervously waiting for him to be out of the MRI...

Life as We Know It

Blog Summary

I recently walked our two boys to town to get pizza, and I ran into another mother from the neighborhood. She was alone and bringing pizza home for her kids because she and her husband were going out for a much-needed date night.     "It's so important to make time to do that, you know?" she said to me, looking for relatability as I tried to wrestle a handful of napkins from my three-year-old before he tore them into confetti in the restaurant...

You Are Not Alone: MS and Incontinence

Blog Summary

Because MS affects the central nervous system, it’s difficult to predict what symptoms each person will have. MS can cause complications with vision, muscle control, balance and other basic functions. One of the most common, and to be honest, often embarrassing symptoms is incontinence...

A Journey of Hope

Blog Summary

It was a beautiful summer day. I was riding my bike and my wife, Kathy, was walking. When we met back at our starting point, she said to me, “I’m walking like I had a stroke.” I put the bike aside, stood behind her and asked her to show me what she meant. For the next six and a half years, we pursued an answer for Kathy’s “drop foot” and other worsening symptoms. Countless doctor visits, tests, and poking and prodding. Sometimes we were presented with what it wasn’t, and other times with what it could be. But, nothing ever definitive...

Appreciating Myself and All That I Am

Blog Summary

I don’t know if anyone else experienced this, but after my diagnosis, I felt like half a person. I felt like everyone around me could see that I was “incomplete” because of the way I walked, slurred my speech or lost my ability to write my name. Bouncing back from this initial shock wasn’t easy. Through my journey with MS, I’ve struggled to accept that I will not be able to do certain things all the time. Sometimes my friends want to go hiking on the weekend and my body just says “No!” There are days where I want to accomplish so many things and I have to face the reality that I’m celebrating the fact that I even got out of bed that day. This is reality.

Bedside Thoughts

Blog Summary

I write this from my wife’s bedside in an acute respiratory rehabilitation unit in a South Florida hospital. We are beginning our 7th week of hospitalization. You may ask yourself, “What does the journey of this couple have to do with MS?” The answer is: everything. The purpose of this blog is more than a source of therapy for a spouse caregiver and greater than the need to rant about the inequities of life. The sole purpose of this article is to shine a very bright light on the difference between MS-related fatigue that may accompany an exacerbation and the ever so subtle presence of coronary disease and how it may present itself in women...