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Self-Advocacy

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Are you kidding me? Another $749 out-of-pocket… just for lab tests?

It was another unexpected medical bill, even more irritating than usual because I had called the lab before the test was done to clarify the cost. The lab had assured me I would pay no more than $200, even if my insurance company failed to pick up the tab...

Mish Mosh Life

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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 Little Things

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If there were an award for the worst runner in the world, I would win it.   That’s what was going through my mind the other day as I huffed and puffed my way back to my house after a less-than-mediocre jog. I’ve never been a great runner—it’s never come naturally to me—and yet it’s gotten harder in recent months...

MS and Self Care

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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!...

Impressions from ECTRIMS 2019

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It’s so inspiring to walk through hallways packed with thousands of researchers whose sole focus is MS. That’s what ECTRIMS (European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS) meetings are like. This year’s meeting in Stockholm a few weeks ago involved almost 10,000 of us!   I’ve been attending ECTRIMS for many years, and I’m always encouraged by what I see and hear...

Getting Back in the Saddle

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I fell in love with horses as soon as I could sit on one at the age of three. Our next-door neighbor had been diagnosed with ALS, and while he was still able to sit up in a wheelchair, he was taking riding lessons at a therapeutic horsemanship program. It was through these neighbors that I found out that this very special riding program needed volunteers, which of course I was more than ready and willing to start doing. At the age of eighteen after years of volunteering, I was approached by the facility to become a certified instructor. I was honored, but very hesitant, but I accepted and began training for the certification program. Teaching came to me naturally, and I loved it!...

Don't Shed on Me!

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The students in my disability law class were expecting to have a guest speaker that evening. But they were surprised and delighted when not only did two guests enter the classroom, one of them was of the canine persuasion.   I believe the best way to teach the law is for students to see it in action. And that evening, they learned about an organization called “Canine Companions for Independence,” a nonprofit group that trains dogs to assist people with disabilities. As the students observed, Eliza the service dog, was able to help her owner, a wheelchair user, in a variety of ways. Among other things, she retrieved coins and other small objects, opened the door and even pulled her owner’s wheelchair...

One Step at a Time

Blog Summary

When I got diagnosed with MS at the age of 17, I was overcome with so many questions and emotions. I found myself at a fork in the road: I could either let the diagnosis stop me in my tracks and control my life, or I could take it head on with determination, faith and courage, and not let it stop me from living the life I desired. ​ MS can often feel like a daunting obstacle we face daily, but at the end of the day we will conquer it… one moment, one day at a time...

The Balancing Act

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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...

A Back to School Prayer for Families

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May I have enough energy this year—parents need so much energy to navigate the demands of the school year, without pesky MS fatigue slowing them down.   So, may my fatigue not keep me from my children’s school activities, sporting events and dance recitals. May the hot weather not keep me from game days, or track and field days. May my medical appointments not conflict with those activities or events...

Did I Ever Tell You About Lucy?

Blog Summary

I think it’s time I tell you about the secret that helps keeps me going.   She’s my one constant that I can count on. Just seeing her can change my whole day from bad to good, in an instant...