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Not Pre-Existing

Blog Summary

I can still remember the very last time I called to schedule a blood donation. Donating blood was something I used to do regularly—it was a way I could give back.
 
But, this particular call was the first time I tried to donate after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. And that day, I learned a brand new phrase: “permanent deferral.” It’s an odd phrase, really, and full of a harsh finality...

The Road Ahead

Blog Summary

“Don’t spend a lot of time imagining the worst-case scenario. It rarely goes down as you imagine it will, and if by some fluke it does, you will have lived it twice.” - Michael J. Fox   It’s a punch in the gut to hear “your disease is progressing...”

If That Day Comes

Blog Summary

Life is tough. You get thrown curve ball after curve ball, and when you first start to play the game, you might get a black eye, a broken bone or knocked down. You get so frustrated because you just can't play like everyone else. Then one day, you dodge the ball. You catch it and throw it right back. Even if you do it your own way, you manage to play...

MS vs. Airport Assistance

Blog Summary

After our last holiday to Nashville, Tennessee, I had to do something about how I navigate the airport. I could not be ill on this holiday. Not like last time.   I had never heard of “airport assistance” until I came across it on an MS group on social media...

The Adequation Complex

Blog Summary

“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...  

Rise Up

Blog Summary

Resilience is the capacity to recover from difficulties and finding your strength within. Where do I begin? I’m 39 years old and have been through my share of difficulties. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that no matter what happens, you have to get back up and fight all the curve balls that this life throws you...

How a Shirt Can Make All the Difference

Blog Summary

So, this is one of those blogs you may or may not completely agree with.   Now, don’t get me wrong—I know a shirt or pair of sneakers won’t exactly cure your MS, but it can certainly make a difference...

When Fatherhood Meets MS

Blog Summary

It bothers me. I want to do more. Be part of more. See more. And I think, for any father, the “more” is what truly matters. It’s being there for them and, as a result, your children knowing that you are there for them… always...

“Because She’s Sick”

Blog Summary

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:...

MS & Movement

Blog Summary

One of the things I love about attending the Annual Meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers is how many studies focus on pinpointing problems in the daily lives of people with MS and how to find solutions. This is the point of rehabilitation–to restore or maintain function as much as possible. One problem that is being investigated is sedentary behavior, also called “sitting time.” Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and colleagues around the country administered a physical activity questionnaire to more than 6,000 people with MS...

Thinking About Emotional Wellness

Blog Summary

Last week, I attended the American Academy of Neurology meeting in Los Angeles. There were several studies presented on aspects of emotional health, and it got me thinking about how important it is to remember that our emotional health can affect many aspects of living with MS. Research has shown that anxiety and depression can occur as MS symptoms, not just as reactions to having the disease. One poster presentation I saw was by Canadian researchers, who generally do a pretty good job tracking people with MS because of their unified health systems and electronic records. They reported that anxiety (and diabetes) could have a negative impact on a person’s cognition. The researchers commented that it’s possible that treating diabetes or anxiety could improve cognitive problems for people with MS.