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3 Mindset Hacks to Reduce Your Anxiety

Blog Summary

Invisible illness comes with many ups and downs along the journey. When you’re first diagnosed and suddenly find yourself living in a hospital, it can come as a bit of a shock. You may have to have tests you’ve only ever seen on Grey’s Anatomy, or even start on a medication that involves something you’re not used to. For me it was my first injectable treatment—I just couldn’t get on with it. I remember having panic attack after panic attack.
 
When I was first diagnosed 6 years ago, I was petrified of needles. Blood tests, I found, were always really difficult for me. I’d be sitting in the waiting room, palms sweating, heart beating like crazy, I couldn't breathe. Constantly thinking to myself, “I can’t do this...”

How My Superpower Fights Multiple Sclerosis

Blog Summary

From the moment of my diagnosis, I was determined not to let MS defeat me. Although I was terrified of what MS would mean for my future, I slowly gathered my armor; (information), made my battle plan (improved diet, exercise, sleep and stress management strategies) and planted my feet for a fight. Lines were drawn between me and my immune system, both sides gaining and losing ground. While I hoped for a truce, I diligently worked on fortifying myself from the inside out, but MS was persistent. Through the years, I learned to acknowledge and trust in attributes that I never knew I had. I came to understand that these qualities were secret weapons to help me in my fight toward wellness.

The Bittersweet World of Viewing Your MRI Scans

Blog Summary

MRIs are a crucial and taxing part of having MS – as the patient, it is our right to be able to obtain and view our scans once they are complete. But what if viewing them ourselves is not entirely the best idea? I had a scan done in July 2019 – I received my results from my neurologist over the phone; they weren’t pretty. I was curious to know more and to understand better why things were progressing and when this all began to occur. What I got was a document to turn into the hospital to obtain July’s scan, but that was it. I had nothing to compare it to, but at least I had a jumping point...

Five Ways MS Has Changed the Past Five Years

Blog Summary

There was no celebrating on the fifth anniversary of my diagnosis of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Instead, I did some reflecting. After the reflecting was over, I made a list of the five ways—one for each year of the disease—MS changed the ways in which I move through and deal with the world...

Mish Mosh Life

Blog Summary

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...

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...

Emerging Therapies: From the Lab to the Clinic

Blog Summary

One of my takeaways from the 2018 ECTRIMS meeting this week is that there are thousands of researchers around the world working hard to figure out what’s going on in MS—from the very basic biology around what causes the damage to research around options for recovering functions. Some of this applied research is discussed in a blog my colleague Kathy wrote, focusing on the impacts of diet on MS. I was especially interested in seeing how basic research around what drives brain repair mechanisms is unearthing more and more targets that present new opportunities for finding key molecules or therapies that will promote nervous system repair...

5 Minutes

Blog Summary

The day before, a professional triathlete gave me this advice: “You must keep moving. You cannot stop.” I had just completed 11.9 miles of the Pikes Peak Ascent (PPA), a half marathon that ranges from an elevation of 6,300 feet in Manitou Springs, CO to the 14,115 feet summit of Pikes Peak, and reached the Cirque Aid Station. The freezing point temperature I had expected and planned for by this altitude was instead about 70 Fahrenheit. I had been ahead of schedule, but now I risked exceeding the maximum allowed time of 6.5 hours. And I really needed to stop...

The Endless Possibilities

Blog Summary

The beginning of the New Year brings endless, powerful emotions. Emotions that make you want to become your best self and conquer all of the things that have tried to stop you in the past.   2018 does not just come with new goals for my nutrition, fitness, life experiences, or career; I am going to make 2018 my year where I finally feel more in control of my MS. I know, this is an incredibly bold statement to make, as relapsing remitting MS is an extremely unpredictable disease. But through close monitoring, adhering to my medication and constantly striving to become my healthiest self, I will become stronger than MS!...

ECTRIMS 2016: Bone Marrow Transplantation (HSCT)

Blog Summary

It’s nighttime here in London, England after the first full day of ECTRIMS – the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS. This meeting is the world’s largest gathering of MS researchers in the world, with more than 8,000 clinical and research professionals from across the globe, including many Society-funded researchers and fellows, meeting to share their cutting-edge research findings, to network and collaborate.   It was a jam-packed day of science!  For this blog, I want to share my impressions of a staged debate that was focused on the topic of hematopoietic (bone marrow) stem cell transplantation – HSCT for short...

DDR, Anyone?

Blog Summary

Have you ever tried your hand – or your feet – at the video dance game Dance Dance Revolution, or DDR? I played a few times when my kids went through their DDR phase a few years ago. It was lots of fun, and a great challenge, trying to keep up with the game’s fast-paced, ever-changing dance moves. It required every ounce of concentration I could muster. And, let me tell you, it wasn’t a pretty sight! I haven’t tried (or even thought about) DDR in years. But my curiosity was piqued when I read this article  about how DDR is helping some people with multiple sclerosis work on their balance, coordination, physical fitness and cognition. Researchers at The Ohio State University have mounted a study in which people with relapsing-remitting MS practice DDR a few times a week. One woman quoted in the news report said she’d seen improvement in her symptoms and her overall quality of life since taking part in the study.