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Thankful for the Normal

Blog Summary

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.”...

The Power of “I Am”

Blog Summary

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

Blog Summary

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?”...  

Never Say Never

Blog Summary

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...

The Reluctant Athlete

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In the months that it took for me to get my diagnosis, I became increasingly desperate for one. The 10 months that bridged November 2015 to September 2016 were a source of frustration and confusion. Why wasn't my leg working? Would I ever get feeling back in my left leg? Will I have to use a cane for my entire life? What is wrong with me? While steroid treatment and plasmapheresis treatment brought relief, I was still in search of a final answer. At the end of August, I got my answer. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The next chapter of my life officially began.   Since my diagnosis, I've been on a program of an aggressive course of treatment that has so far been very successful. I've chronicled the importance of rest and the amazing support that Kate has provided in this crucial part of our fight with MS. Conversations with my neurologist surfaced another important piece to this fight: exercise.

Through It All

Blog Summary

I wrote a poem when I was graduating from college with my bachelor’s degree. The struggle I had to endure to reach my goal to graduate was rough. I was diagnosed with relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis in 2006. No doubt, I have had my struggles with the disease. But having MS has taught me how strong I really am. I'm a very goal-oriented person, and if I had let the unpredictable days with this diagnosis stop me from achieving, I wouldn't be true to myself...

Changing Your Perception

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A few weeks ago, I went to a class called “Forget Your Fear & Trust Your Truth – A Personal Growth Workshop” held at Happier Valley Comedy in Hadley, MA by Pam Victor, and it empowered me to unleash my potential and stop holding myself back. Three hours at this workshop learning improvisation fundamentals has changed my perspective on life and MS. When we first got to the class, we were asked to choose an intention card, and I chose one that said, “Take risks.” I was taking this class because I wanted to challenge myself and to live outside of the safety bubble I had created. After we all introduced ourselves and stated our intentions, we split up into pairs and played our first improvisation game called 1, 2, 3. All we had to do was take turns saying 1, 2 and 3 and if either one of us messed up at all, we both had to raise our arms in the air and shout, “Yay!”..

Diet Matters… and It Matters Now

Blog Summary

Greetings from ECTRIMS, the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS. This is a lion of a meeting–the world’s largest gathering of researchers dedicated to MS. One thing I have noticed is how close MS researchers are getting to the real concerns of people affected by this disease. People with MS have been asking for years about diet–is there a diet that works for MS? Does what you eat matter? The work I’ve seen thus far is beginning to answer these questions (links to the scientific summaries, or abstracts, are provided below)...

Imaginary Pain

Blog Summary

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?...

Driving My MS

Blog Summary

In early 2009, I decided to buy a new car.  The previous few years had been a whirlwind of events, including the birth of our first child, big career changes, finishing grad school – all sandwiched in with being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis...