Sometimes, MS is one of those diseases that is nearly impossible to hide. Whether we walk with a gimp or we use a wheelchair, it’s hard to act like it isn’t there. On the hard days, all I hear is “are you alright?” “do you need assistance?” or “what’s wrong with you?” On the hard days, I just want to disappear. On the easy days, I am just like everyone else–my disease is invisible, and I am unstoppable. This is awesome, right? Maybe to me and the people who know me, but to the people completely outside of my circle, I am just seeking attention because I don’t have a “real” illness.
Each and every one of us works hard to function at our best–whether it be for a wedding or just walking down the block. We don’t want MS getting in the way. We train, we practice, and we gather up all of the courage we have to make that goal a reality and when it happens, it’s truly an amazing feeling! But what feeling is more powerful–the feeling of finally having what feels like an MS-free day, or the feeling of discouragement when someone accuses you of not really being sick?...
When it comes to managing MS, one of the biggest things to keep in mind is nutrition. Everyone’s experience with MS is different—what works for me may not work for you. But as a CNS with a specialization in fitness nutrition and someone who lives with MS, I get a lot of questions about nutrition!
Sometimes it’s tricky to know what foods to eat—and avoid. I can offer some insight on general tips and what’s helped me manage my MS symptoms. Because MS is an autoimmune disease, and inflammation comes with the package, a goal you should always keep in mind is keeping inflammation as low as possible...
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...
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 buzzing throughout my arms, hands, legs and feet had not let up for 3 full days. My annual checkup with my neurologist was just a day away, so I figured, what better timing? I practically danced into the office and was so excited to get some answers about this newfound pain.
Enter the man of the hour, and come to find out, it’s… all… in my head? Excuse me?...
“One of the most important things to someone with a chronic illness is to be treated as an equal. Having MS does not make me any different than someone who does not.”
This was something I used to tell myself every single day since my diagnosis—it got me through the hard times and inspired me to live my highest quality of life. But as I get older and the 4 year anniversary of my diagnosis approaches, I find myself questioning if this is really the case...
Have you ever experienced someone else’s ignorance or intolerance about your MS? Have you ever had someone make you feel different or isolated from the rest of the world? Well you are not! You have MS but MS does not have you; never let someone feel like less than you are.
This is my wake-up call and message to those who feel this disease defines who we are:...
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.
The beginning of the New Year brings endless, powerful emotions. Emotions that make you want to become your best self and conquer all of the things that have tried to stop you in the past.
2018 does not just come with new goals for my nutrition, fitness, life experiences, or career; I am going to make 2018 my year where I finally feel more in control of my MS. I know, this is an incredibly bold statement to make, as relapsing remitting MS is an extremely unpredictable disease. But through close monitoring, adhering to my medication and constantly striving to become my healthiest self, I will become stronger than MS!...
You’re so dramatic. You try too hard. How do you stay so upbeat all the time? Why are you always so negative? You’re crazy.
These are all phrases that I have come to accept as things people will continue to say to me for the rest of my life. They all contradict one another, right? It takes you on a bit of a roller coaster when you start to think about how these could all be said to the same person, and usually within a short period of time.