MS Connection Blog

Share

Packing List Essentials For an Adventure

Blog Summary

As my trip to Europe with my mom and step-dad draws nearer, I’ve started to think about what I’m going to bring along. For me, one of the most stressful parts of planning a vacation is figuring out what to pack. What if I pack too much? What if I forget something? What if the weather is crazy? Having a packing list can help you remember what to bring, especially if you have MS induced memory loss. To fight back against this symptom, I have a couple of suggestions.

Grinning Towards the Horizon

Blog Summary

The other day I wondered, where does the phrase “grin and bear it” come from? I had varied success in tracing its origin, but it appears to be derived William Hickey’s “Memoirs,” published in 1775, as an expression used by sailors attempting to survive a long spell of bad weather...

The Adventure of a Lifetime

Blog Summary

Let me start by saying that I don't have multiple sclerosis. I cannot profess to know first-hand the everyday struggles of living with the disease. Nonetheless, MS has become a major part of my life over the last 12 years ever since my mom met Tim. Twelve summers ago, my mom, Janet, met the man she would eventually marry. They were both single, in their early 40s and raising teenagers—a stressful time all around...

Not Alone

Blog Summary

I’ve tried many times to write about my story with multiple sclerosis, but every time, I can’t do it. Quite honestly, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know where to begin—MS is such an individual illness, where no two cases are exactly the same, so what works for me may not work for anyone else. But maybe that’s just been my excuse. The thing is, it’s not easy to talk about. Even when I think I’m fine, when someone asks about it, I often realize I’m not (tears and awkwardness ensue)...

My Journey to Motherhood

Blog Summary

My fairytale journey into motherhood began in fall 2005 when I gave my husband the greatest birthday present ever—a healthy baby boy. My son’s birth was picture perfect, like a scene from a Disney movie. But unlike Disney movies, real life is messy. It’s not only filled with joy and excitement, but disappointment, heartache, and many unexpected twists and turns. Nevertheless, becoming a mother was one of the greatest events of my entire life. Like most young moms, I had a newfound appreciation for my mom and her infinite wisdom that guided me through those difficult first months as a parent. Although challenging and exhausting, it was an awesome experience... 

You Can Always Do Something

Blog Summary

As I stood in the granite halls of the Maine State House near the end of my two terms as a representative, I felt an immense sense of pride and gratitude for my experience in public office. After serving as city clerk in my hometown for 40 years, two terms in the city council and two terms as Mayor, I knew some doors were closing, but also knew my journey in public service wouldn’t end here. In my life, I have the honor of meeting people who have opened my eyes to new perspectives I never thought possible. They have each left a mark on my journey with MS and have shaped me to keep fighting for what’s right...

Advances in MS Progression and Nervous System Repair at the AAN

Blog Summary

I’ve just returned from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) meeting in Boston, where thousands of the country’s leading neurologists shared their most recent research findings. I wanted to share the exciting advances being made towards a better understanding and treatment of progressive MS and new research that is getting us closer to the repair of the nervous system and restoration of lost function...

New Rehab Techniques in Motion at the AAN Meeting

Blog Summary

I recently joined the MS Society’s research team and in this new role, I am really excited to attend my first annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Boston. I am a scientist in the field of neuroscience and rehabilitation, and while this meeting has not traditionally focused on rehabilitation, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the number of studies being presented that explore rehabilitation approaches and symptom management. This research area speaks to questions around how to improve a person’s wellbeing and quality of life, and it’s very close to my heart.   Here are just a few studies that caught my eye...

My First 270 Days

Blog Summary

As I sat home with that broken foot and yet another pair of crutches, I came to the hideous realization that even after my foot healed, I needed to use a cane. My doctors had been warning me for years about the risks I took by walking without assistance, but I had stubbornly refused to accept that I needed help. My fear of serious injury became terrifyingly real, and my MS became present in my day-to-day life in a way it never had before. I was suffocated by my disease. I was bewildered by its oppression on my daily routine and its control of my thoughts. And, for the first time, I was blinded by the burden of my potential demise from MS. A lifetime of lies caught up with me as I was forced to accept the reality that MS was part of not just my life, but the life of everyone with whom I interacted. I could think of nothing more abhorrent. I had no choice but to tell the truth...

MS’ 9,585 Days

Blog Summary

MS used to have me. For a quarter of a century, I went to extraordinary lengths to hide my MS from everyone but my very closest family and friends. I thought that by hiding my MS and lying about the source of my ever changing ailments, I was in control of it. I did not make my peace with MS and come to a gradual and gentle acceptance of my illness. I didn’t even make the choice to tell people when the disease backed me into a corner.  I thought my world was going to fall apart if I shared my diagnosis. I was sure I would lose my identity, that my strength would evaporate along with my self-esteem, and that people would no longer see me. They would see only a diseased, weak, helpless individual. So I lied...

Bounce Back

Blog Summary

“Lauren, once it’s gone, we’re not at a place medically where we can get it back.”   The “it” was the functioning of my right hand. The ability to feel the grip of the violin bow; the ability to control the micro movements needed to make the bow dance across the strings; even the ability to simply pick up a pencil from the stand without accidentally launching it across the symphony...