MS Connection Blog

Share

Making Peace with My New Normal

Blog Summary

Coming to terms with having a chronic, incurable illness like MS doesn’t happen immediately. It takes some time to reorient yourself to a different reality – to be able to accept that things have changed. Acceptance of a new normal, of peacefully coexisting with the new limits an illness has placed upon your life, is not instantaneous.

For me, the road to the uneasy peace I’ve tried to make with my course of relapsing-remitting MS has not traveled in a straight line. Despite all the reading and researching I’ve done, despite how much my awareness of the disease has been raised, I still have my blind spots. There are times when I am in denial about what living with MS means...

Drive-By Criticism: Handicapped Parking & Relapsing-Remitting MS

Blog Summary

I pulled into one of the several, empty handicapped parking spaces after seeing that none of the unmarked spaces were available. This particular lot was, by my estimation, the best place to park on the university campus for me to preserve my dearth of energy. I would be teaching two classes located on the opposite ends of the campus. I’d have a 10-minute break in between – a break that would not long enough for me to get from one building to the other in time. Once inside the second building, I would have to strip off layers of clothing due to the intense heat and humidity inside the room, which trigger my MS-related heat sensitivity. Following the three-plus hours of instruction, I would walk back across campus to my car and gird myself for a more than one-hour commute home in gridlock city traffic...

COVID-19: Is It Safe for Me to Go Back to School?

Blog Summary

As the steep incline in the number of U.S. COVID-19 cases wallpapers cable news, officials at the big city-university where I teach are, like many higher ed administrators, trying to figure out how to safely resume in-person instruction in the fall. Participating in Zoom faculty meetings, I’ve heard plans about how socially-distanced and face-mask-clad faculty, staff and students could make this work, as officials create COVID-19 testing guidelines...  

Hands on Experience

Blog Summary

My fingers seem to be tingling. A lot...

Memories and the Name Game

Blog Summary

When my three kids were little, we often whiled away long car rides by playing something called The Name Game. It worked like this: Someone would say the first and last name of either a real person or a fictional character everyone in the car knew, which meant we had a lot of Star Wars and Harry Potter references.

Mindfully Tuning out the Tyranny of the Active

Blog Summary

Have you ever seen social media accounts of people who are super-busy, who seem to be moving, networking and taking pics of every glorious moment of every day? As I scroll through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, I often wonder when our culture decided that being perpetually on-the-go and always clutching a long to-do list are quintessentially American values. It doesn’t seem to matter what form this flurry of activity takes. It can be anything from a gym workout, a 20-mile bike ride on a lovely trail, a hiking or kayaking excursion amid vivid scenery, images taken from the stands at a children’s event or game, attending a Pinterest-perfect party, or visiting the new, artisanal, farm-to-table restaurant during its opening week. The pressure is on to keep yourself busy, busy, busy...

Five Ways MS Has Changed the Past Five Years

Blog Summary

There was no celebrating on the fifth anniversary of my diagnosis of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Instead, I did some reflecting. After the reflecting was over, I made a list of the five ways—one for each year of the disease—MS changed the ways in which I move through and deal with the world...

Finding Solace Between Two Covers

Blog Summary

Sometimes I just need to relate.   I need to see my experiences, my struggles confirmed instead of negated and misunderstood. I need to remind myself that I am not alone in my fatigue, in bouts of cognitive fuzziness, in my hair-pulling frustration...

My Grade School Science Project

Blog Summary

I’m in fifth grade.   I have a Dorothy Hamill haircut. I’m wearing a brown corduroy skirt and a white turtleneck sweater with red and blue stripes. My left arm is resting across my stomach while my right hand holds the index card from which I’m reading...

When MS Changes the Marital Equation

Blog Summary

For decades, we have considered ourselves partners.   We divvied up decision making and household chores the best we could. After our three children were born—including a set of twins—we took pride in our co-parenting efforts. Although the 50-50 quality of our 26-year-old marriage was tested when the kids were young and I opted to teach college part-time and work as a writer from a home office, we continued to earnestly pursue the goal of domestic equity...

Black Holes

Blog Summary

It looked like a glow-in-the-dark doughnut.   When the first image of a black hole 55 light-years away from Earth was made public by astronomers this spring, it was heralded across the globe. Astronomers, the New York Times reported, had “captured an image of the unobservable: a black hole, a cosmic abyss so deep and dense that not even light can escape it.” The writer described the image as “a smoke ring framing a one-way portal to eternity..."