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Take Care of Yourself and Each Other

Blog Summary

No question about it – these are challenging times for everybody. But it’s particularly tough for those of us that have other health concerns, like MS. What, exactly, are we supposed to do? Stay home and opt out of all human contact? Isn’t that also unhealthy?

The good news is that there are a surprising number of online resources available to get us through this crisis, and many of them are from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society itself.  Below are some of my favorites:..

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...

Drag and Drop: Running with Foot Drop & AFOs

Blog Summary

Drag and drop is a function that makes our computing lives easier. But what if that function is part of your everyday physical life? In other words, your foot drags and drops, and you fall if you’re not quick enough to catch yourself. This condition is called “foot drop,” and it’s a common symptom of MS that compromises mobility.  It triggers fear of falling and has potential to cause serious injury. Fortunately, there are devices that can help mitigate foot drop and keep a person upright even during exercises like running. One of these is the ankle-foot orthosis (AFO). And for those living with MS, like the resilient people we talked to below, the AFO helped them continue their passion for exercise...

Back to Square One

Blog Summary

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”    Anyone who has seen the classic Godfather trilogy remembers this iconic line from Michael Corleone in the final chapter of the saga. Unfortunately, this was the one good line in a pretty disappointing movie. Or, at least we can all agree that the third one wasn’t as good as the first two. Another thing we certainly can agree on is that 2020 feels like we are all in a bad movie. And, as a person living with multiple sclerosis in this bad movie, I can totally relate to Michael Corleone’s line...

What I Wasn’t Told

Blog Summary

When I was diagnosed with MS, I was told a lot of things about how I should treat my condition from a medical standpoint—I was told what MS is. I researched MS and realized that my life was going to change.   But there were a lot of things that I wasn't told. They weren't intentionally hidden from me; because I honestly don't think these things are relevant from a medical standpoint. How MS would change me over the following 13 years couldn't have been anticipated by a doctor or internet story...

Man Up vs. Open Up

Blog Summary

As a young boy growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, I heard this phase a lot. You have to “man up” and don’t show your feelings or emotions. Showing your emotions/feelings was a sign of a weak man. This all changed when I had to come around and man up about my multiple sclerosis diagnosis with my children and wife of seven years. You see, I was a single parent for a long time, so I thought I had to be a tough disciplinarian, without showing my feelings or emotions. Remember, this was part of my DNA...

Constant Reminder

Blog Summary

Day and night, on good days and bad, it’s always there. Watching. Waiting.   I’m talking, of course, about my multiple sclerosis DMT injection...

Answering Your COVID-19 Questions: Part 2

Blog Summary

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is working with experts across the world to learn more about COVID-19 and how it impacts people living with multiple sclerosis. The latest findings include MS therapies being studied as possible COVID-19 treatments, the role of inflammation in severe cases and the risk of complications from COVID-19...

MS vs. Menzies

Blog Summary

Menzies. That time of the month. Aunt Flo’s visit, whatever you want to call it. For some reason, talking about this seems to be a taboo subject.   It affects half of the population every month, so why do we not talk about it more?..

Being Chronically Ill Does Not Mean Giving up Life’s Joys

Blog Summary

There comes a point with every type of situation in life (especially when you have a chronic illness) where unsolicited advice becomes more harmful than helpful. As I get older, I’ve learned to ask others if they would actually like to hear my opinion on their situation. I was a certified nutritionist for two years in my spare time, specializing in fitness nutrition. I am educated and aware of how to feed my body to feel my best; that doesn’t mean I’m going to eliminate the foods that don’t necessarily make me feel tip-top all the time. I openly share my journey on social media, and I love the opportunities and connections that decision has brought me – however, it also comes with a price...

Fearlessness

Blog Summary

My second solo trip to my hometown was during the peak of summer from April to May in India. One day, I went to visit my aunt. I sat on a sofa and after a chit-chat, my eyes were on the stairs in front of me that had no railing. In the past, I was scared to climb those stairs because of my MS symptoms. But that day I did not have the same fear, and when my aunt went inside, I started climbing up...