In the months that it took for me to get my diagnosis, I became increasingly desperate for one. The 10 months that bridged November 2015 to September 2016 were a source of frustration and confusion. Why wasn't my leg working? Would I ever get feeling back in my left leg? Will I have to use a cane for my entire life? What is wrong with me? While steroid treatment and plasmapheresis treatment brought relief, I was still in search of a final answer. At the end of August, I got my answer. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The next chapter of my life officially began.
Since my diagnosis, I've been on a program of an aggressive course of treatment that has so far been very successful. I've chronicled the importance of rest and the amazing support that Kate has provided in this crucial part of our fight with MS. Conversations with my neurologist surfaced another important piece to this fight: exercise.
The Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), or Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP), has arrived. With approximately 25 to 30 percent of people with MS enrolled in Medicare, it’s important to be equipped with useful information to pick a plan that works best for you.
The AEP begins on October 15 each year. From there, you have until December 7 to make changes to your plan. Any changes you make during the Annual Election Period won’t take effect until on January 1, 2019. After then, you can’t make changes to your plan unless there is a special circumstance. Here are some general things to keep in mind during this period...
At work, have you ever asked why something is the way it is, and you’re told:
“I don’t know… that’s just how it’s always been done.”
Even just typing that, I start to break into a cold sweat...
“A fever could be life threatening.”
That single line from an old episode of “The West Wing” prompted me to immediately Google whether, in fact, a fever is fatal to someone with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, something with which I was diagnosed in the summer of 2014. Fresh from learning I had MS, this mere suggestion plunged me into a panic. A search of “fever and multiple sclerosis” yielded over 590,000 results...
As we prepare to celebrate Veterans Day, my husband Nick and I look forward to a very special phone call that we get—a call from our oldest son, Nicholas, an active duty Air Force Captain.
Nicholas calls my husband, a 23-year Army and Desert Storm veteran, and my father, also a 23-year Army and Vietnam veteran, on Veterans Day. No matter where he is, if he can call, Nicholas does. He gets it...
This blog was originally published on March 21, 2016 and updated on November 9, 2018.
Where’s the restroom?
There are so many symptoms with MS that a bunch of them often get glanced over. The one that has been the most active for me lately is incontinence. The opposite of constipation, incontinence is where your bladder is going to empty NOW; with as little notice as possible. I never thought that at 31, I would be like my grandmother and know where every bathroom in the county is. It can be super frustrating when out of nowhere, you have to go...
Dear Me, of three years, nine months, and 15 days ago:
Your life just changed. Changed from six weeks ago before this all started. Changed from 5 a.m. this morning when Mike woke up, left side completely numb and decided to drive himself to the ER so you could get the kids off to school. Changed from an hour ago when you were sitting alone, nervously waiting for him to be out of the MRI...
When I was first diagnosed about 5 years ago, I was prescribed Rebif, which is a subcutaneous injection, injected 3 times a week.
Now, as if being suddenly diagnosed out of the blue at 22 years old again, I’m losing feeling in my hands, feeling like I'd lost everything I worked for previously. I now had to comprehend injecting myself 3 times a week all over again with what felt like super strong acid...
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...
A few weeks ago, I went to a class called “Forget Your Fear & Trust Your Truth – A Personal Growth Workshop” held at Happier Valley Comedy in Hadley, MA by Pam Victor, and it empowered me to unleash my potential and stop holding myself back. Three hours at this workshop learning improvisation fundamentals has changed my perspective on life and MS.
When we first got to the class, we were asked to choose an intention card, and I chose one that said, “Take risks.” I was taking this class because I wanted to challenge myself and to live outside of the safety bubble I had created. After we all introduced ourselves and stated our intentions, we split up into pairs and played our first improvisation game called 1, 2, 3. All we had to do was take turns saying 1, 2 and 3 and if either one of us messed up at all, we both had to raise our arms in the air and shout, “Yay!”..
My appointment is at 3:30 p.m.
Some 25 miles away from my home.
The clock says it’s only 12:53 p.m..
Although it won’t be rush hour when I drive to the hospital, you never know what will happen when it comes to Boston traffic, so I want to provide myself a cushion of extra time, so I won’t be late for my annual MRI...