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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...

Helping Others to Understand

Blog Summary

“I’m exhausted.”   “Oh, me too! I know exactly how you feel! I went to bed really late and haven’t had my coffee yet!”...

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...

Life as We Know It

Blog Summary

I recently walked our two boys to town to get pizza, and I ran into another mother from the neighborhood. She was alone and bringing pizza home for her kids because she and her husband were going out for a much-needed date night.     "It's so important to make time to do that, you know?" she said to me, looking for relatability as I tried to wrestle a handful of napkins from my three-year-old before he tore them into confetti in the restaurant...

Is This MS?

Blog Summary

There was one thing to always look forward to on sick days when I was a child, other than staying home from school. It was watching The Price is Right. A box of Kleenex, some cough medicine, plain toast and that beloved game show were sick day staples. I’m not even sure why I enjoyed the show so much as a kid—I had no real sense of money and the numbers that the contestants shouted out just seemed arbitrary. I’d still play along, though...

You Are Not Alone: MS and Incontinence

Blog Summary

Because MS affects the central nervous system, it’s difficult to predict what symptoms each person will have. MS can cause complications with vision, muscle control, balance and other basic functions. One of the most common, and to be honest, often embarrassing symptoms is incontinence...

MS & Movement

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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...

Mom Duty: Fatigue Edition

Blog Summary

The story is always the same.   Mom goes away for the weekend—either for a getaway with friends, or maybe to attend a conference. The trip itself is great. Mom comes home and all is well. She is just fine, thanks. Even rejuvenated...

Family Vacation

Blog Summary

Growing up, I sometimes got a little bummed that I was born five days before Christmas. It felt like my birthday, compared to my brothers, was rushed and forgotten. I was never in school around my friends because it was already winter break. Often, we’d be on the road driving to see family on my big day. Then there’s the inevitable “combo” birthday presents wrapped in Santa Claus paper while “Jingle Bells” plays in the background. Having “Happy Birthday” sung to me kind of felt like an afterthought...

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.

The Heart of Service

Blog Summary

I often divide my life with MS into two parts: BC (Before Chair) and AD (After Disability). I was diagnosed with MS in 1988, the beginning of BC. At the time, I think I was in denial. I dealt with problems as they came up, and I pushed it to the back of my mind. It wasn’t until 1993 when I had a particularly bad exacerbation that AD began. That’s when I went into a wheelchair...