In the dark days following my diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, I found light with the help of family, friends and a newfound strength. My MS diagnosis even spurred me to follow my dreams—I finally finished my novel and signed with my literary agent last December.
Overall, my path post-diagnosis has been a positive one...
“You can do it, dad!”
Those words reverberate through my head and pulse through my veins every time I ride at Bike MS.
I was lucky to attend this year’s annual meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers, held in late May in New Orleans. There were a lot of interesting talks, and you can read about highlights here, browse slide presentations here and summaries (abstracts) here.
One presentation that really hit home for me was a talk about habits by Gabe Byars, an occupational therapist from the Salt Lake Community College in Utah. Habits are behaviors we do without having to think too much about them -- like walking into the house and always putting our keys in the same spot. Gabe said that habits make up about 43 percent of our daily actions. That sounds like a lot of time -- maybe that is where the saying “we are creatures of habit” comes from...
They are a part of our everyday life, from the dollar cup of coffee to the chasm that separates our salary and our take home money in our paychecks. After finding out I had MS, the last thing I needed to hear was that I had to pay another tax. However, this one was different...
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.
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...
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...
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 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...
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...