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Cleats for a Cause

Blog Summary

While some symptoms of MS are visible, often times, they’re not. Symptoms like fatigue, numbness, tingling and mood changes can bring a chorus of, “But you don’t look sick” comments your way. Many celebrities, musicians, actors, athletes and politicians have decided to use their platforms to shine a light on what it means to live with MS...

Never Say Never

Blog Summary

You know the saying, “never say never?” Well, I continually remind myself of this since my diagnosis 13 years ago. First it was, “I will never marry someone in the military or shorter than me.” And then I did both. I have told myself multiple times, “I will never do a marathon,” and I have done Challenge Walk MS (50 miles in 3 days!) twice and recently ran in a marathon relay. It’s so easy to say no to things, especially if the challenge seems too daunting because there is a fear that MS may prevent you from accomplishing something. This fear, in turn, overshadows the possibility that you really can do it...

A Letter to My Body Five Years Later

Blog Summary

Three games of volleyball a night is getting a lot tougher than it used to be. I’m not sure if it’s because of my age (40 is just around the corner) or my chronic illness—even five years into my diagnosis, it’s still tough to tell the difference sometimes.   The end of this year marks my fifth anniversary since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I try to think back on those early days and where I thought I’d be at this point. Of course, I’d hoped to be fitter, stronger, more confident in my knowledge of my disease...

The Reluctant Athlete

Blog Summary

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.

Medicare Annual Election Period: What You Should Know

Blog Summary

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...

Not How it's Always Been

Blog Summary

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...

Fever Fatale

Blog Summary

“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...

Thank You for Your Service

Blog Summary

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...

When you gotta go

Blog Summary

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

Blog Summary

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...

I Got 99 Problems and 87 of Them are Side Effects

Blog Summary

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...