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Seeing the World through Different Eyes

Blog Summary

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...

MS: The Third Wheel in Our Marriage

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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...

Lessons Learned as a Doctor Turned Patient

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As a family doctor and self-proclaimed health nut, I thought I’d never get sick. Although I saw patients every day with unexpected illness, with the right combination of a vegetarian diet + obsessive hand-washing + exercise + adequate sleep, I thought I would live to be 100. I knew the secret ingredients, the formula, for avoiding chronic disease.And then, nine years ago, I woke up dizzy. I thought I was getting a cold that would pass in a few days. But instead of a sore throat and cough, I developed double vision and taste changes...

Thankful for the Normal

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On Monday, my husband Mike had his bi-annual appointment with his neurologist—it was the follow up appointment after his yearly MRI. I’ve lost track of how many times we have sat in that office. Enough times now that I notice a couple new pieces of art on the walls and recent school pictures of grandkids on the doctor’s desk. The first appointment with the neurologist was a day after Mike was released from the hospital after a series of issues that began over Christmas 2014 that subsequently led to diagnosis in January 2015. A three-hour MRI at the ER on a Wednesday morning, then holding my husband’s hand and trying to hold myself together. When the ER doctor came back and said, “I don’t believe in beating around the bush with this kind of thing, you have multiple sclerosis.”...

Finding the Silver Lining

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Six summers ago, I was a broke artist living in her first NYC apartment. I was smoking, living on crackers and coffee, and refused to pay for an air conditioner and the bill that would come with it.   I lived on the 3rd floor, and it was hot—so, so terribly hot. Although I never liked the heat, it was different this time: I would sleep with bags of frozen peas because my body was so uncomfortable. Every movement felt like my limbs were on fire and being attacked by pins and needles, but I ignored it. I told myself it was due to not eating properly and that I wasn’t getting enough sleep. Then one day I tried to look at my toes, and I felt like I got zapped with lightning. I ignored that, too. I ignored all the weird things that happened because I kept telling myself it was a pinched nerve...

Information Overload

Blog Summary

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 Power of “I Am”

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It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own negative thoughts, especially with the number of symptoms we have. Do you ever say something to yourself like, “I am so exhausted today” or “I feel like trash” at least a million times a day?   Believe it or not, this is just making a bad situation worse. How?...

Run a Myelin My Shoes

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We are “Run a Myelin My Shoes” (RAMMS), a team of 96 people from 25 U.S. states and 16 nations. 49 of us live with multiple sclerosis (MS); 47 are our support heroes. On October 21, 2018 we came together from every continent across the globe to participate in the Detroit Marathon. This is our story. “If you had one shot Or one opportunity To seize everything you ever wanted In one moment Would you capture it? Or just let it slip?”...  

Cleats for a Cause

Blog Summary

While some symptoms of MS are visible, often times, they’re not. Symptoms like fatigue, numbness, tingling and mood changes can bring a chorus of, “But you don’t look sick” comments your way. Many celebrities, musicians, actors, athletes and politicians have decided to use their platforms to shine a light on what it means to live with MS...

Never Say Never

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You know the saying, “never say never?” Well, I continually remind myself of this since my diagnosis 13 years ago. First it was, “I will never marry someone in the military or shorter than me.” And then I did both. I have told myself multiple times, “I will never do a marathon,” and I have done Challenge Walk MS (50 miles in 3 days!) twice and recently ran in a marathon relay. It’s so easy to say no to things, especially if the challenge seems too daunting because there is a fear that MS may prevent you from accomplishing something. This fear, in turn, overshadows the possibility that you really can do it...

A Letter to My Body Five Years Later

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Three games of volleyball a night is getting a lot tougher than it used to be. I’m not sure if it’s because of my age (40 is just around the corner) or my chronic illness—even five years into my diagnosis, it’s still tough to tell the difference sometimes.   The end of this year marks my fifth anniversary since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I try to think back on those early days and where I thought I’d be at this point. Of course, I’d hoped to be fitter, stronger, more confident in my knowledge of my disease...