A Story about Shoes

This is a story about shoes. My favorite shoes. They were deeply impractical, very high heels. But they were full of good memories — parties and weddings and the feeling of being all dressed up with somewhere to go.

The truth is, I hadn’t worn these shoes in years. They were dusty and creaky when I found them in my closet recently, behind some sweaters, where shoes have no business being. That’s where I threw them, almost four years ago, when I was diagnosed with MS.

I remember very clearly the tears that were in my eyes when I banished the fabulous but precarious shoes to the back of the closet. My frustration and sadness ran much deeper than footwear. It didn’t feel like putting shoes away; it felt like putting away the version of myself that I’d known for forty years. I didn’t know who the next version of me was going to be exactly, but she was going to be facing some serious physical and emotional challenges, and it didn’t look like she was going to have very much fun. And she definitely wasn't going out in those shoes.

In the months following my diagnosis, I said goodbye to many things. Some were physical, but most of the physical goodbyes were really just symbols of all the ways that I thought I needed to change my world before it was changed for me. I was just a couple of months into being a person with multiple sclerosis, and speaking frankly, the future looked grim. I didn’t want to think about ways that MS was going to change me or impact my life, so when I saw a bump coming, I cleared the road. Better to stop wearing the shoes than to risk falling in them.

Now let’s fast forward four years. I’d like to say that my balance has improved and the shoes and I have been happily reunited, but that is most certainly not the case. I still have no business tottering around in four inch heels. But when I found them in my closet, I wasn’t sad or disappointed. This time I just gave the shoes away.

I’ve learned that there’s no need for me to create some kind of artificial buffer between myself and this disease. Yes, there have been changes in my life over the past four years, and some of them have definitely been the result of physical symptoms. There’s no way to hide from that. But who I am at my core has not changed. There isn’t a “Katie Before MS” and a “Katie After MS.” I wasn’t defined by my athletic abilities or my fancy shoes before this happened, and I’m not defined by my lack of those things now.

Having stopped trying to protect myself from the “what ifs” of MS, I’m free to try harder instead of turning away from challenges. The fear of failing isn’t a reason not to try. For me, trying harder might mean taking a longer walk every morning, even if it’s scary to feel my legs growing weaker on the way home. Or it might just mean engaging in more open and honest conversation about my needs and my future. I’m trying to let my actions be guided by actual limitations, not my ideas about what those limitations might be.

I know I don’t have this all figured out. My perspective has been in constant evolution for the past four years, and I can only assume that it will continue to change in the years to come. For now, I’m claiming a balance between realism and highest hopes, and I’m more comfortable with the idea that MS is a part of my life, but not the whole of it.
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Katie Jennings, Blogger

Katie Jennings keeps busy juggling a son, a husband, a job, an old house, a bossy cat and unpredictable Vermont weather. She was diagnosed with progressive relapsing MS in December 2012. She blogs about all of it at http://steadyshegoes.com.

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  • Kim Southworth   Sep 22, 2016 11:30 AM
    Great experience and so encouraging!
  • MARIA WIEAND   Sep 22, 2016 11:31 AM
    I can relate to this, I moved to Florida two (2) years ago, diagnosed sixteen (16) years ago and hadn't worm my heels since then, but believe it or not it took me until I moved to toss the high heel babies out. Funny thing is I can't even wear a wedge anymore I seem to slide off those too! LOL
  • Kaye   Sep 22, 2016 11:33 AM
    I have had RRMS for 33 years. I loved high heals. My favorite were a pair of aligater . My Aunt worked at a shoe store. I got her discount or I never could have afforded them. I had a purse that matched. Giving those shoes up ar age 35 was real hard. But I finally realized that safety trumps beauty. That is one of those things people don't realize unless they know MS. Sorry you had to give up your heals.
  • Janis Silver   Sep 22, 2016 11:44 AM
    My daughter was diagnosed at age 35. It has been 3 years since. You are an inspiration!!!! Xo
  • Grapes   Sep 22, 2016 11:59 AM
    Thanks for sharing. I was diagnosed 10 years ago and still wear my high heels. I will wear them until I cannot appreciate them. Stay encouraged because flats are very stylish.
  • Linda L Halvorson   Sep 22, 2016 12:05 PM
    You're much further at 4 years than I was or sometimes am after 40 years. I wore ballet slippers at my wedding 28 years ago. (The bride wore tennis shoes didn't make sense.) Now i wear two different sized shoes cover my lower leg orthotic. Dress black or white New Balance.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I wish I had such sharings when I was diagnosed at 23.
  • David Jackson   Sep 22, 2016 12:54 PM
    I was diagosed with MS 44 years ago. My beautiful wife was diagosed with MS 25 years ago, two years after I met her. She is a performance poet. She wrote a great sexual poem 23 years ago. No she doesn't read about red pumps anymore, or as she wrote, "blood red ***** me heals to die for, BUT she is the most beautiful woman in the world. Shoes don't make a women beautiful, but their heart does.

    PS: yep, she was "hot" in them and still burning in my heart.
  • Daniel G Tavera   Sep 22, 2016 1:48 PM
    The best way to get better is to leave the hard part behind...so lets throw MS behind like no other pair of shoes have been before
  • mrsfuz58  Sep 22, 2016 2:59 PM
    Oh, how I miss my high heels and platform shoes! I love what you have written and understand completely! Now, I look for cool sneakers and low-heeled shoes!
  • SmartyPants   Sep 22, 2016 11:28 PM
    You have risen above all the tragedy that MS can bring. You have met your challenges and I enjoyed your story
  • katrinafrommena  Sep 23, 2016 8:20 AM
    I really love that you addressed the heels. I had the same feeling a year ago when I could not wear my heels because of balance issues. They have been looking at me in my closet every day. I look at them and think of all the walking I did in those shoes and how great they made me feel. I know I will never wear 4-5 inch heels in this lifetime again. This article help give me the courage to let my heels go. They deserve to be worn and shown off. Not in a closet to be looked at. They are being to new homes. I really love my yoga pants so they can be my new heels. They are also way more comfortable. Life is better when I am comfortable.
  • Elizabeth hanson   Sep 23, 2016 1:58 PM
    Katie, you are inspiring. I was diagnosed in December of last year and am still trying to get my head around this. You have such a great attitude. I finished reading your piece and thought to myself, "if she can walk a little longer in the morning, so can I!"
  • Samantha   Sep 25, 2016 2:52 PM
    I was diagnosed in Dec 2015 with PPMS, however before that I was renowned for my high high heels! In my fortieth year (2013) I physically took my party shoes in to the tattooist and actually said, " can you tattoo these so that when I'm older and unable to wear them on my feet I will still be wearing them" !!! WTF Un beknownst to me, 2 years later MS came a calling and me and heels unfortunately were no longer compatible :( but sod it, I'm trying to find funky flats now, harder said than done xx
  • Michelle   Sep 25, 2016 3:07 PM
    Thanks so much for sharing what is and has been an ongoing obsession of mine since I was diagnosed 15 years ago. I, too, am a highly functioning woman; lawyer, Mom, friend, daughter but the shoe thing is still duch a kiss for me; obviously a metaphor and connected to my self-esteem. I'm going to try to follow your example and gain enough strength to free myself of this petty burden. All the best to you!
  • Karen   Sep 25, 2016 3:08 PM
    I also have MS and have such a hard time finding shoes that won't slip off my feet. Does anyone have info on your fav shoes that help u stayed balanced.
  • Sheena Gregory   Sep 25, 2016 3:10 PM
    I have PPMS,17 years now and my balance is rubbish and walking causes me a lot of pain, but I still possess a pair of bright red 5 in heels which I wear when sitting in my wheelchair I also posses over 100 pairs of nice trendy flat shoes, just because we can't walk in heels anymore does not mean we have to wear ugly shoes, My favourites at the moment are a pair of flat Christian Louboutins I feel glam again
  • Billy McNamara   Sep 25, 2016 3:19 PM
    Similar relationship with my 'former' shoes and of the feelings when I gave them away! I now dream of finding z-coil ( ugly) combat or cowboy looking boots ( only styles they make) for added stability for ankles as well as overall balance!
  • Billy McNamara   Sep 25, 2016 3:19 PM
    Similar relationship with my 'former' shoes and of the feelings when I gave them away! I now dream of finding z-coil ( ugly) combat or cowboy looking boots ( only styles they make) for added stability for ankles as well as overall balance!
  • tania   Sep 25, 2016 3:26 PM
    Thanks Katie. This could have been a page from my journal.

    I have yet to get to the point of giving the shoes away, unless to my daughters...I still have to remind myself to be "practical" but I still enjoy shoes.
    I HAVE learned to fall better and that takes a lot of the fear away.
    The past 13 years have been challenging but have made me stronger.
    Looking forward to reading more of your experiences!
  • Cheryl   Sep 25, 2016 3:36 PM
    I was never able to wear high heels, in my 20's or younger. I always had a high arch on my feet. I was always comfortable in my "sneakers". On October 24, 2014, I was on my way to Physical Therapy for chronic plantar fasciitis, and suddenly I couldn't feel my foot anymore. I had foot drop. One year later, on October 25, 2015, I was told I had MS. I wear a brace, but only with my "sneakers". When I go out with my girlfriends, to a wedding, funeral, or on vacation to the beach, I stress out on what to wear on my feet, in order not to trip, or the need to look "cute", and comfortable. If I wear sandals or dress shoes, they have to have a strap on the back, or the shoe will flop off my foot and I will fall on my face. Even thought I still can't walk in them fully, I am taking Physical therapy for the foot drop. Maybe one day I will be able to enjoy my favorite summer shoes again. Thank you, Katie for your experiences that many of us are going through.
  • Kerry Roach   Sep 25, 2016 3:57 PM
    Great Ray thank you for sharing
    It's been 14 years for me I'm living life again every day's a new day I say after 10 years you get tired of talking about it 🙌🏽re-learned so many things so I'm grateful for Me hope get better as well
  • Valerie J   Sep 25, 2016 4:04 PM
    Thank you for sharing your story...I was diagnosed in 94 and have had my up and downs, but am happy to say I've been very good for quite some time. I miss high heels to a lot..and that is something that I really wish hadn't been a result of MS .:but I'm pretty healthy and flats are cute too!!! God Bless You!
  • georgina macfadyen   Sep 25, 2016 4:08 PM
    hi Katie my name is gina macfadyen I live in crawley west sussex England , I was told in 2015 I had ms I am 50 tears old now ,I live with my partner john and my 19 year old daughter, I have just got used to it ,its my life ,I did break down when the doctor tod me thanks xx gina
  • Ana   Sep 25, 2016 4:16 PM
    Very touching story.....I can so relate to this....🌹🌹🌹🌹
  • Carol   Sep 25, 2016 4:41 PM
    Love this!! Diagnosed 4 years ago with RRMS. I still have a few shoes like that. On a really good day maybe I'll put them on for a bit. Lol
    You're right. We aren't defined by shoes, athleticism. I once thought I was a cross fitter , adventure runner, the women in her forties who hung with the younger athletes. That was who "I" thought I was. I'm just me. Just a human being. That's all we ever need to be!
    Ps. Those shoes aren't really good for us anyway AND no one young old MS no MS are comfortable in them lol
  • Cynthia Fairfield   Sep 25, 2016 5:07 PM
    I am going to Europe soon and will use a wheelchair to save energy. It just occurred to me that I can wear heels for that. Full circle?
  • Juliet   Sep 25, 2016 6:05 PM
    Recently dx with MS .. your story inspired me to never look back at woman I was but to look forward to the amazing brave woman I need to be. Thank you.
  • Colleen   Sep 25, 2016 6:15 PM
    I miss my shoes too! Thanks for sharing .... seems like a small thing but as with lots of ms things, nice to know someone else knows. Thank you!
  • aimee   Sep 25, 2016 6:51 PM
    Thank you. This meant everything today.
  • Gloria   Sep 25, 2016 9:35 PM
    I was diagnosed with MS 3 years ago I'm going to be 60 next month, I fall at least ounce every 2 weeks and I wear gym shoes. I use to wear 3" heels and fell at least once a month I thought I was just clumsy.
  • Sarah Donovan   Sep 25, 2016 9:49 PM
    Thank you for you thoughts, I too, once wore the High Heels. I was diagnosed in July 2012. Your courage is uplifting. For my 64 birthday last December, my incredible husband, Jerry, bought me beautiful Red Cowboy Boots. When I feel the need, to be that one time me...I put them on. Now that our weather has gotten cooler, I am wearing them, as soon as I can., and I will strut my stuff...as long as I am able.
  • Gina   Sep 25, 2016 10:25 PM
    Hi Katie - Good share. I can relate. I was diagnosed at age 39 and I am now 58 and doing fine! 😊 Like you, I have adjusted but I am still me! Have a great day! 😁
  • Cindy Steele   Sep 25, 2016 11:23 PM
    Made me cry, I miss my heels. But your right my shoes don't define me.
  • Rae Garcia   Sep 26, 2016 12:19 AM
    I've been diagnosed with MS a little over 2 years. I just wanted you to know I have a closet full of different shoes. Sadly I'm only comfortable wearing on pair of sneakers and only one type of slippers. Reason for only one pair of sneakers is that the pair that I feel most comfortable is those sneakers that hardly have any sole to them. I have a problem with my drop foot and too much sole is a no go. My slippers have to be, the isotoner ballerina style with a leather sole. Anything rubbery I can't walk right. I wish I could do the shoes that are in my closet. Maybe someday if they come up with a cure. Just maybe.
  • Lilly Bennett   Sep 26, 2016 1:00 AM
    I was diagnosed at 15 I am now 27.
    I don't know how to cope.
    I wish I was more positive.
    I wish I had good things to say.

    I applaud those who are strong..

    I will always hate MS.
  • Ann Holland   Sep 26, 2016 10:43 AM
    I have RRMS since being diagnosed in 2008. I had to give up my heels also and it hurt! I loved to dress and be in heels but after my dx it became impossible. Thank you for your story. My MS is no fun and has robbed me of a lot.
  • Debta Webber   Sep 26, 2016 11:35 AM
    Your story hit me right in my heart. This was my daughter when she was diagnosed with MS at age 25; 8 years ago. She can't wear high heels either, but you know what? She looks so darn cute in flats be they boots or Maryjanes. Her cute dresses and frilly skirts don't need those 4" heels. Like you, she has reached that place where MS doesn't define her. She defines her MS. Yes, it was an emotional roller coaster, but she has won. Thank you for sharing.
  • Dianne   Sep 26, 2016 12:18 PM
    This is a well written, heart-felt article. Thank you for putting your thoughts out there for all to read. My darling neice was diagnosed with MS about a year ago and all who love her also struggle with her diagnosis. It set an 'almost perfect' life and career all 'teeter-totter', but the busy, young woman she was, is still there...just a little slower, but always with her radiant smile and determination.
  • Karen   Sep 26, 2016 12:49 PM
    Here is sit in my little "alone in this MS world," and I find I'm not alone at all. I thought I was weird because the one thing that I TRULY missed were my 5-6" heels. My posture hasn't been the same. I mean, how trivial! I'm facing a life-long battle to even function normally, and I miss my heels. Seriously, how foolish am I? It's nice to see that I'm as human as everyone else. I saw a blog once where the person put the shoes on even though they could no longer walk in them. They'd sit looking down at their heels, and they'd enjoy the "feels" from the special feelings from wearing them. I'm terribly saddened that I can't wear them anymore, but I'm grateful for the things I haven't lost!
  • Lauren Jones   Sep 26, 2016 3:42 PM
    Love this :)
    Very encouraging!
  • Christine   Sep 26, 2016 5:52 PM
    Thank you for sharing! I've always loved shoes.
    Though I can have balance problems, I have not given up my heels.
    Actually...I now have a beautiful collection! And I walk proudly in them.
    Will I fall? Maybe. But I'll look fabulous while doing it!
  • Karen   Sep 26, 2016 11:28 PM
    I use to fall over in my shoes too. I was diagnosed when I was 38 couldn't feel anything in my feet and up the left side. I wasted a lot of time looking comfortable but a year ago 15 years later I had a realisation that I could still look good and bought a pair of flat Maher boots over the knee tucked my jeans in put on lipstick and now making up for lost time. My free spirit has taken over finally and is telling me to get on and enjoy life whatever the shoes.
  • Janet Campbell   Sep 27, 2016 4:24 AM
    Aah this so resonates. Whilst I had very few other symptoms for the first few years after diagnosis, my feet were almost immediately affected. I too held onto my favourite (some almost new, a couple of pairs unworn) shoes for years. Finally, as I became involved with several charities, I was able to donate them to an organisation that helps disadvantaged women to find work, including giving them clothes & shoes for interviews & the workplace. My beloved shoes did good. It's ok, I'm still walking... Not great, but ok. And those shoes helped others a lot.
    I just wish that I could find a pair of gorgeous red shoes that I could still wear. Sigh. Oh well, upright & onwards!
  • Amy Kolquist   Sep 29, 2016 8:40 PM
    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. My husband was diagnosed with MS roughly 20 years ago and continues to adjust to the disease on a daily basis. I am the one who had to give up my high heels so my knees will still function, but both of us are touched and moved by your inspiration!
  • Natasha   Oct 3, 2016 1:15 PM
    Katie I feel your pain. I faced the same hurdle of giving up my heels after I got diagnosed of MS.
  • Melissa Harris   Oct 10, 2016 7:49 AM
    Thank you for your story, It's hard for me to part with my boots! Last year before my husband's Christmas party my best friend made me buy Flats!!! I was so mad when she brought it up although I knew she was right. I've Got 5 pair Ugg heeled boots that I absolutely love but my balance is so bad it's not a smart idea to wear them. And deep down I knew I was going to have to find a new pair of shoes that I could walk in and not trip over my own two feet let alone have to worry about balancing them but I was mad because someone else noticed it enough to call me outAnd make me Buy "Sensible boots" I found a cute pair but they're not my heels I feel like part of me died! I went through this with my shoes in the summer as well, I even went as far as to put on my Sketcher 2 inch heel Wedges while I was doing my hair in the bathroom thinking I'll get comfortable again but it never happened, I would walk in my bedroom change my shoes and go about my day. I kept thinking I was being vain butt you've made me realize it's just being honest with yourself and perfectly normal for someone With multiple sclerosis or even people that are aging and not balanced as well as they used to be. Someone needs to design some comfortable flats that are stylish for people like us. Thank you for sharing your story
  • Lauren B   Oct 10, 2016 4:59 PM
    I can relate in so many ways. I donated dozens of high heels in my mid-twenties after I was diagnosed at age 23. I cried bagging the shoes but knew I had more important things to think about than wearing high heels. Now when I wear a 1" wedge, I feel unstoppable. Keep moving forward and keep feeling good!
  • Michelle Glass Caha   Oct 10, 2016 7:26 PM
    Dear Katie - thank you so much for your blog! When I was diagnosed (1997), I went through very similar experiences...having to say goodbye to all my heels (I was a marketing exec), and cut down to part time, and eventually going on disability - it was all very upsetting and sad for me. I guess I needed to mourn losing these things...I thank God I wasn't alone. My husband was a huge part of my acceptance of MS. And, like you, I wasn't known for my physical strength or prowess. My balance is horrible, and I get tired so much and so easily. I miss my strength and endurance. I want my stamina and my energy back, and there are days it hurts a lot. But, I've gotten to a place of acceptance and deep gratitude. It wasn't and isn't easy. There are good and bad days, but the point is there are DAYS! I've changed a lot over the years, and will continue to grow and change...this is good! I just recently began going to the gym and working with a trainer...this is HUGE for me, and I'm getting a bit better! A little at a time. My husband was diagnosed with cancer last year, and has finished chemo and radiation- neither helped his cancer. But I know I am here to help and be strong for him, like he was for me. It's a lot we've been given, but we're very lucky in a lot of ways. We remind each other as much as we can.

    Anyway, I wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, and I loved the story of the shoes - it hit home for me and brought a smile to my lips.
  • Nancy   Oct 11, 2016 2:19 PM
    I feel like I wrote that high heel blog!
    I'm slowly giving away my "pre- MS" shoes! But I surely get how hard it is. I got diagnosed in 2013. I was a nurse for 30 years. Had to move, lost energy, have pain, can't see well. These blogs give me hope that good things will happen and God has the wheel. I liked your story. Thank you, and be well.
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    betterdays  Oct 25, 2016 11:12 AM
    Hi Katie, I love this blog. And thanks to all the ladies for sharing your stories. Blogs like this make you realize you're not alone. Sometimes I look around and wonder "does anybody else in the room have trouble with balance, walking? Because even though I don't look like it, my legs are about to give out on me." Literally!! I still have one pair of red pumps. Sometimes when Im digging through my closet, I'll pull them out, put them on. turn on the music, and strut around the house in them for my kids and hubby. I stumble and fall on the couch. The kids get a kick out of it because I can still shake my butt a bit in them. I'm quickly reminded that it's not safe to wear them past the front door though. But its fun for a little while.
  • Nicole Grant   Oct 25, 2016 12:20 PM
    Thanks so much for this post! I have a RRMS for 3 years now and it has been difficult for me not be able to wear my babies (heels) because I don't feel as polished or sexy when I'm dressed…but I'm learning to be content and comfortable where I'm at…in the skin I'm in. MS is just a small part of me and I too am claiming a balance between realism and highest hopes…without losing the glamour! 😉
  • Joan   Oct 25, 2016 3:19 PM
    Hi Katie,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I was diagnosed in 1972 when there were no treatments. Went through a divorce, raised two daughters, put them through college and Best Of All was able to walk them down the isle. Things do get better, stay STRONG, you may have MS but MS does not have YOU. God Bless. Joan
  • Crystal   Oct 25, 2016 4:28 PM
    I found out in 2013 it's still hard for me to bleave but iam trying to learn to adjust
  • Dan Liporto   Oct 25, 2016 9:57 PM
    Being a man, I can't exactly get into "mourning" over the necessary changes in shoe styles, but I do have to say I am a little sad that I can't wear classic tassel loafers anymore. I have spent hundreds of dollars over the years looking for shoes that fit and give good stability. For the past few years I have worn ECCO shoes, which are very good but very heavy after a few hours. At home I wear either my Sperry Topsiders or go barefoot, (which is the most stable). I have had MS since around 1977, but had so few symptoms, that no doctors could diagnose it. When I hit 50, the balance and walking issues began to appear, and that's when I started shoe shopping because I had drop foot. It was still 3 more years before I was diagnosed, but I was already in the SP stage. Fortunately I don't have to worry about fashion, and my shoes are versatile enough to go with whatever I wear. Thank you for bringing up the issue of shoes because I have found it one of the most difficult aspects of overcoming what can be an obstaccle to living life to the max that I can.
  • Joanne Chapman   Oct 27, 2016 2:12 PM
    I love your post about shoes. I feel the same and now buy bags or funky flat shoes!

    I am a mummy with RRMS and was diagnosed just over three years ago and have been living with symptoms for nearly 5 years. I live in York in England.

    I started a blog called poorlyparents which you can find on Facebook and WordPress. I write it from a perspective of being a mummy of a toddler as well as having MS.

    Thanks for sharing your post, fab!
  • Mindy   Oct 27, 2016 7:14 PM
    I was diagnosed almost 17 yrs ago. I feel a bit guilty in saying up until October 2013 I had no outward signs of having anything wrong. Then all of a sudden I began to trip and fall. In my younger years I always made better tips as a waitress when I wore heals. I always liked to dress nice and loved heals, boots, appropriate short and long skirts, dresses, and suits with heals. Then I had to begin to use a cane because I started to fall at work which also meant I could not where my heels. having to get dressed for work and not wear heels was a major blow. I always did wear pants but now I had no choice because I struggled wearing slip on shoes but was able to find really cute ones and just readjusted some of my dresses. Then within 6 months I could no longer wear my cute little slip on shoes, thank you to my drop foot and I had to move to tie shoes. It devastated me, as much as I tried to wear dresses and skirts with tie shoes (looks so nice on other women) I could not do it. I then moved to cute colored sneakers that I am able to color coordinate with my pants. Thank you to my black drop foot ankle contraption making it more noticeable, This summer I finally purged my closet, I don't think I am vain I just liked looking nice.
  • Laura   Oct 28, 2016 3:12 PM
    Thank you for writing this! I so needed to read this today. I have a difficult time not being afraid and it's hard to talk about but reading this was a comfort to me, that it's normal to feel this way and there are others out there who actually feel that way too. I too said goodbye to heels but we could probably do more things wearing flats anyway ;) thanks for your inspiration!
  • Guapalop   Oct 30, 2016 3:57 PM
    I completely sympathize with you. I was diagnosed in 2014 and since then my lovely high heel shoes have been hiding in my closet. I used to love wearing my heels. I didn't wear anything else. If it was between sneakers and heels.... I was definitely wearing my heels. Anything from 2 inches to 4 inches. I am sad I can't wear the heel collection that I amassed as a younger me but I am determined to go back to them. It might not happen... but I sure am trying. Just this weekend I wore my 2 inch heel grey knee high boots!! Woohoo! I was slow to walk in them but I still had my strut :D Sending love and prayers to everyone who understands us
  • Avatar
    mamabirdo4  Nov 11, 2016 8:14 AM
    I loved reading your story! I haven't come to terms with my MS yet, but your story has empowered me!
  • Excadet  Nov 15, 2016 10:28 AM
    I was Dx 25 years ago & still trying to figure it out because MS is the "gift" that keeps on giving, in that it changes. I'm being a little sarcastic; I guess that's part of how I deal. I STILL lament the unworn beautiful shoes (but only occasionally).
  • Cyndi   Nov 29, 2016 7:46 PM
    I was diagnosed nearly 1 year... I've mourned so much and facing the loss of shoes is real! Your perspective and insight gave me a smile.
  • dustydee  Feb 12, 2017 4:54 PM
    I was never a big heel wearer but giving up something you love is something we have all experienced. I am inspired by your blog to push myself harder when walking. I always get scared and end my walk too soon but tomorrow I am going to push through it and not be so afraid. Thank you for the inspiration.
  • Cheryl Parker   Feb 15, 2017 1:42 AM
    I was very interested in your story about how you were introduced to MS at the age of 40 something. I was twenty- eight when I had a total crises, was taken to the hospital, which turned out to be a stay of six weeks. While there I was, at the beginning, thrust into a world I had never dreamed of; suddenly I lost my power of speech, multiple vision, weakness to the point of not being able to sit up, or squeeze the Dr. finger, or blow my nose, feed myself, or--- the worst, not recognizing my Parents when they came to see me. I not a person to give up. I was told I might never walk again. So, I worked hard at P.T. practiced walking up and down a set of wooden staircases, and so forth. At the end of six weeks, I walked out of that hospital with a Cane. With P.T. three times a week, I was able to loose the cane. I had many ups and downs,a non acceptance of my diagnosis of Primary Progressive MS with a primary effect of Extreme fatigue. I am now 70 years old, and after forty two years of a wide range of feelings from anger at everyone, to realizing that laughter is really one of the best medicines for the soul and love of family and friends the best incentive to keep fighting and trying my best to adapt to every challenge I faced. Oh, by the way, I walked all those years, sometimes not too well, until ten years ago I had to give up one of my fights. I have been in a wheelchair for only ten of the last forty two years. Hope and determination can work so positively. The greatest Miracle though, is my belief that my Lord, Jesus Christ, Loves me and is always with me, helping me to survive in a positive way. I am one of a statistic of only fifteen percent of the MS population with a diagnosis of Primary Progress MS from the begining to the close to the end of my Journey of living with MS. Thanks for listening. This is the first time I have spoken publicly of my life with MS.
  • ldebsnack  Mar 1, 2017 11:59 AM
    I can soo relate to all of what you said....
  • Elin   Mar 16, 2017 9:27 AM
    Thank you Katie...I felt exactly as you did/do, when my MS hit! Sucks, doesn't it!?
    We just have to adjust to the stuff life throws at us. I've had to deal with this since 1986. It keeps you aware, doesn't it? Enjoy your life and yourself.
  • Joann Nighelli   May 2, 2017 7:46 PM
    I have had MS for over 30 years but it didn't come till I was in my 40's , I am in my 60's now. I had to stop wearing heals that I wore every day, I fall a lot. My balance is good 1 day and the next I will fall, no warning it just happens , it is very scary sometimes.
  • Pam   May 30, 2017 2:54 PM
    I can relate to your posting very well. I "used to" do a lot of things --play lots of sports like tennis and squash, participated in numerous road races including 6 triathlons, and yet, made sure I had nice shoes to go with work outfits. I just donated the last pair of nice shoes, finally admitting that I will never be able to wear them again. It was time -- foot drop and a wider foot won this battle but I still make sure my comfort shoes rock every outfit I wear!
  • des  Jul 12, 2017 11:04 AM
    This really resonated with me. I was diagnosed in 2013 and went from RRMS to, now PPMS. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that. Shoes can be a real problem. Recently found a decent low, low heal for my son's wedding, but still had to use a cane to walk down the aisle and have begun to fall a few times depending on fatigue and spasticity in legs. My biggest issue is not being able to do "normal" things that I used to do with no thought. Thanks guys for reminding me to concentrate on the things that I still can do.There are alot of shoes I have to get rid of, and not even high heel ones.
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    humanalien  Jul 19, 2017 2:00 PM
    Thank you for sharing, I am just beginning. No expertise where I live. Going out of town. Could you share this please. How do you get past the pain and burning. The ears ringing too loud. I am trying thc oil. Anyone else?
  • Dave Bird   Aug 4, 2017 4:20 PM
    I totally understand, I was just Diagnosed last year and we are already planning to sell out 2 Story house and move to a 1 Story because of my condition. We LOVE our house and I hate having to make changes because of MS. We just feel its better to get it done before I can't use the stairs again.
  • jude MacMillan   Aug 19, 2017 1:17 PM
    I loved your "Story about Shoes"! I can report a similar experience in my own life....I take comfort in knowing that shoes are just shoes after all...Whereas I, am a continually ever growing woman...so much better than a silly pair of shoes! :)
  • Stephanie Peyatt   Aug 19, 2017 1:53 PM
    I was also diagnosed in 1992 after moving back to So Dak and a doctor found out I had Ms no one in CA had a clue when I would go to the docs. I am a wife just had our 38 anniversary and have 2 younger girls at the time of diagnosis was so scared if I would be alive to take care of them one see them get Married but I did make it and now have to very busy 5 Grandkids I tool care of till they started school and I also took care of my parents and my mothers 2 sisters and husbands till they have all passes as of last yr so now I feel I have slowed down I don't have a lot to do before I always had to be somewhere for someone only way I didn't feel sorry for myself and I have now accepted it I have MS MS doesn't have me I'm going out fighting minus as you the heels I did also have to give those up was the hardest thing I saved them for yrs thinking well I might get back to wearing but I gave them away just 5 yrs ago telling my self I am mOre comfortable and with my legs getting tired as I try to push on so glad I did take on the comfortable shoes I was in my early 30s and now turned 59 and still getting around and kids keeping me busy when they come for summers and took up quilting and I go for visits where they live out of state. In the bigging I worked for Citibank and my boss was nasty and the docs couldn't get my dosage straight so I ended up quoting my job and took care of the grandkids as they came and I gave up on the medicine shots they made me soo sick so I have not taken anythIng docs just tell me to exercise keep calm that was a struggle with my parents and aunts and uncles passing It that was all I knew so I got a job with Him me Instead Senior Care and I loved it but recently had an occurance while driving so had to stop for a while but have found a new doc I will see in Nov she is very busy and see what options are out there and now my youngest daughter has been told she has MS which was one of my biggest and first questions was can my girls get it they said no well guess that isn't true and heard other with family havn same outcome well I'm just gonna keep movin on and now this is how I roll in comfy shoes exercise and healthy meals and positive thInking .
  • Sian   Aug 19, 2017 2:06 PM
    Shoes I wear stilts, I walk with crutches I don't feel my feet so I can't tell if they hurt . I stand tall and proud . MS is no excuse for ugly shoes .
  • Michelle   Aug 19, 2017 3:09 PM
    I've moved in many ways but I still mourn the loss of my gorgeous heels.
  • Sharon   Aug 19, 2017 6:27 PM
    Thank you so very much for your story of your shoes. I have four pairs of my favorite heels in their perspective boxes. Hidden way back in my closet. Waiting for "when I feel better"! It's been two years. Thank you 😊
  • Anna Walker   Aug 20, 2017 6:54 PM
    Boy I can relate to your story....I have half a closet full of fashionable, fun, clothes and shoes that I have not worn since my diagnosis in 2010. Slowly the new, older, wiser, fun woman is coming up for air and to start living life again. I have decided it is taking my life away......I'm gonna take it for a whirl wind of my life. :))
  • Marlene Bushee   Sep 20, 2017 7:59 AM
    I am a 51year old wife and mom of 2 grown men. Diagnosed relapsing remitting ms in 2007. I enjoyed this story about heeled shoes,out of all that I have to give up with this disease giving up my heeled shoes was the worse for me also. I am holding out hope that one day I too will be able to wear them again. Hey I still have roughly 30+ years left who knows..
  • Irene   Nov 17, 2017 7:43 AM
    There is so much we have to give up because of MS but so much that we do in spite of MS. How did you arrive at the point that you are comfortable with having MS being a part of your life? I'd like to stop fighting the fact that it is part of my life. Too unproductive!
  • Tanya Khanna   Feb 2, 2018 12:02 PM
    Hi Katie,
    Tanya this side. I am glad that u coped so well with MS. Defeating this trouble is best done by strengthening the mind to never ever GIVE UP. And your last line " I’m more comfortable with the idea that MS is a part of my life, but not the whole of it" makes me n hopefully other MS patients as comfortable.
  • Hellena   Apr 2, 2018 5:18 PM
    Dear Katie, I really enjoyed your blog and felt that I could really relate to it. I have googled lots of things about MS since I have been semi diagnosed with it. I have had an issue with walking/drop foot syndrome for a number of years now and am unable to do lots of things which I always took for granted, including wearing heels . Having that, I also have problems sustaining balance and walking in flats-which makes everything double frustrating to say the least! It's reassuring to read that I'm not alone snd I thank you again for sharing your experience. Namaste
  • Sylvia Vanderoef   Jan 9, 2020 2:36 PM
    Thank you for posting. i was diagnosed with RRMS in 2012 and to this day exactly, i am having a very hard time dealing with the fact that i can no longer wear my heels. It may sound stupid but my whole attitude has changed since i cannot wear my heels. Mt boyfriend tells me to exercise and i will eventually be able to wear them again, What are your thoughts on that?