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Coping with an MS Diagnosis

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“You have multiple sclerosis.” The neuroradiologist was calm as he revealed my diagnosis. But I was stunned...

Yes You Can

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How can I describe my mother? She is smart, funny and kind, and is devoted to her faith and her family. More importantly, everyone loves her. What do people comment most about her when they meet her? Her smile.   In 1984, my mom was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis at the age of 38. Before her diagnosis, my mother was active. She worked in the school. She had many friends. With this, our family was devastated, relationships were challenged and family roles shifted. In my heart, I lost my mother.

Putting the Frosting on a Diagnosis

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When I was diagnosed with MS, I had four children under the age of six. Yep, 4 under the age of 6.    When I began experiencing numbness and tingling in my limbs, I was convinced I had a pinched nerve. I only went to the doctor because my HMO required a referral to see a specialist...

Fighting MS with Everything You Have

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MS saved my life. It helped me find balance. It helped me find my calling. When I was diagnosed in 2014 with relapsing-remitting MS, I experienced double vision, vertigo, and bone-crushing fatigue while my arm had a mind of its own...

Just Keep Going

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I grew up playing sports, but running was never my “thing.” ​ What I loved was the competition that came with athletics. During the summer, my friends and I would play football until dark when our parents yelled down the street “come home!” As I got older, I would play racquetball for hours, engrossed in the sheer intensity of the game...

Nutrition and MS

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When it comes to managing MS, one of the biggest things to keep in mind is nutrition. Everyone’s experience with MS is different—what works for me may not work for you. But as a CNS with a specialization in fitness nutrition and someone who lives with MS, I get a lot of questions about nutrition! Sometimes it’s tricky to know what foods to eat—and avoid. I can offer some insight on general tips and what’s helped me manage my MS symptoms. Because MS is an autoimmune disease, and inflammation comes with the package, a goal you should always keep in mind is keeping inflammation as low as possible...

Made Strong by Dance

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I will never forget the day I knew something was seriously wrong. I was in a funk dance fitness class dancing. It was a fast paced, heart pumping, dance fitness class. I started out fine, following the warm up routine as usual. As I was learning the choreography, the right side of my body, specifically my legs, suddenly felt very heavy and weren’t moving. My head felt light...

Lessons Learned as a Doctor Turned Patient

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As a family doctor and self-proclaimed health nut, I thought I’d never get sick. Although I saw patients every day with unexpected illness, with the right combination of a vegetarian diet + obsessive hand-washing + exercise + adequate sleep, I thought I would live to be 100. I knew the secret ingredients, the formula, for avoiding chronic disease.And then, nine years ago, I woke up dizzy. I thought I was getting a cold that would pass in a few days. But instead of a sore throat and cough, I developed double vision and taste changes...

Thankful for the Normal

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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.”...

Finding the Silver Lining

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Six summers ago, I was a broke artist living in her first NYC apartment. I was smoking, living on crackers and coffee, and refused to pay for an air conditioner and the bill that would come with it.   I lived on the 3rd floor, and it was hot—so, so terribly hot. Although I never liked the heat, it was different this time: I would sleep with bags of frozen peas because my body was so uncomfortable. Every movement felt like my limbs were on fire and being attacked by pins and needles, but I ignored it. I told myself it was due to not eating properly and that I wasn’t getting enough sleep. Then one day I tried to look at my toes, and I felt like I got zapped with lightning. I ignored that, too. I ignored all the weird things that happened because I kept telling myself it was a pinched nerve...

Information Overload

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Is anyone else getting tired of other people telling you how to manage your MS? “Eat this, not that.”“I read this book that told me you should be doing this.”“But an expert said you should be living THIS way.”