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It’s OK Things Aren’t OK

Blog Summary

It’s that time of year again: The time when lists of people’s proud accomplishments scroll past on your social media feed. I don’t mind it. This year, in fact, I considered joining in to mention my book deal, which still feels surreal all these months later.   But every time I thought about posting, I remembered this time last year when I was ending the year without reaching my writing goals – and with a disease that had recently progressed. I was adjusting to new multiple sclerosis medication, slammed with side effects and fatigue, and scared for the future...

The Wheelchair

Blog Summary

It first started with a limp while carrying my one-year-old daughter on a hike to Calf Creek Falls in southern Utah in 2000. After years of searching for an answer as to why my walking and fatigue were getting steadily worse, in 2015, I received a diagnosis of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). Wow, finally I had an answer. Today, I am no longer able to walk on my own, and I utilize a wheelchair much of the time.   My progression is most likely very familiar to many with PPMS. It started with that limp, then went on to needing one cane, then two canes, then a walker, then a rollator, and finally, the wheelchair. Ah, the wheelchair. That’s what I most want to talk about. For years I resisted it even as my ability to enjoy the things I love to do and people I like to see faded into a past life. My wife would say, “Steve, use a wheelchair if you need to. It would make things so much easier.” But pride got in the way. Finally, I gave in. And what a difference it has made...

The Importance of Preventive Care

Blog Summary

MS had really taken a toll on my new patient. Or so I thought… She came to see me one afternoon in my family medicine clinic. Her son pushed her into my exam room, and I moved my stool to make way for her wheelchair. One of her arms was rigid, useless. Her speech was slurred, and she reported terrible back pain. As an MS patient myself, I was disturbed to see her, knowing that my fate could be similar...

On the Chopping Block

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Imagine whipping up a gourmet, cheeto-crusted turkey entrée dish in 30 minutes… in front of superstar chefs Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli and Marc Murphy.   While most of us will only experience this scenario in our dreams, Chef Chris Holland found himself in this position once again when he returned to the Food Network’s Chopped kitchen and won for the third time...

Got Chi?

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I never saw it coming. Not in a million years. Acupuncture? Needles all over my body? There was no amount of money you could pay me to do that...  

Mish Mosh Life

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I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS back in 2014 when the left side of my body lost all mobility, and I was experiencing consistent diplopia in both eyes. After a solid week of Solu Medrol steroids administered via IV, months of pushing forward, and the discovery of nutrition and exercise, I got most of my mobility back. Fast foward 4½ years later, I have been blessed to be relapse-free ever since… until now. For the last month or so, I have been experiencing new symptoms; more consistent chronic pain, numbness in my hands I didn’t notice until I realized I was using boiling water to wash the dishes, and something a bit scarier. I haven’t been able to formulate complete sentences without tripping over my words for weeks. As someone who works in corporate professionally and just barely gets by thanks to my words, this has been earth shattering...

The Little Things

Blog Summary

If there were an award for the worst runner in the world, I would win it.   That’s what was going through my mind the other day as I huffed and puffed my way back to my house after a less-than-mediocre jog. I’ve never been a great runner—it’s never come naturally to me—and yet it’s gotten harder in recent months...

MS and Self Care

Blog Summary

The world is so full of awesome beauty products, exercise inspiration, healthy eating plans and more… but what about those days where we wake up and just can’t even take one single second to care? I don’t know about you, but the days where I can barely get out of bed and down the stairs, I sure as heck don’t plan on doing a full-on home spa day, let alone spending hours on end in the kitchen. There are some days I wake up ready to take on the world–I have a productive day at work, I throw some eyeliner on, and I even hit the gym! But then, after my gym session, I am exhausted. This doesn’t happen every day, but it happens frequently enough. I get home, I sit down, and I am not moving from that spot for the rest of the night; buh-bye healthy meal for the night. Bring on the grilled cheese sandwich with tomato!...

Getting Back in the Saddle

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I fell in love with horses as soon as I could sit on one at the age of three. Our next-door neighbor had been diagnosed with ALS, and while he was still able to sit up in a wheelchair, he was taking riding lessons at a therapeutic horsemanship program. It was through these neighbors that I found out that this very special riding program needed volunteers, which of course I was more than ready and willing to start doing. At the age of eighteen after years of volunteering, I was approached by the facility to become a certified instructor. I was honored, but very hesitant, but I accepted and began training for the certification program. Teaching came to me naturally, and I loved it!...

One Step at a Time

Blog Summary

When I got diagnosed with MS at the age of 17, I was overcome with so many questions and emotions. I found myself at a fork in the road: I could either let the diagnosis stop me in my tracks and control my life, or I could take it head on with determination, faith and courage, and not let it stop me from living the life I desired. ​ MS can often feel like a daunting obstacle we face daily, but at the end of the day we will conquer it… one moment, one day at a time...