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Like a Box of Chocolates

Blog Summary

A few Sundays ago, I woke up with a tingling sensation in my left fingertips. It was irritating, but unfortunately when you have MS, waking up with a new or odd sensation is a common occurrence. Life goes on…

You Can Run, But You Can't Hide

Blog Summary

When I was first diagnosed about 30 years ago, MS was some mysterious, archaic, incurable disease that not many had heard of, let alone understood. When my doctor told me good luck and sent me on my way, I knew it was my job to bury it and never look back. After all, if I couldn't fix it, I didn't want any part of it. I knew there were groups that helped people "cope" with this illness, but if I attended a meeting, it would only mean two things. One, I would surely face my inevitably bleak future, and two, it would mean I've accepted that I actually have MS. I wasn't ready to own it at this point, or ever...

Another Way to Serve My Country

Blog Summary

I first experienced MS symptoms in the fall of 2001 while I was stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base as the senior protestant chaplain. When my primary care manager at Grand Forks suggested MS as a possibility, I started researching the disease, but all of my tests were inconclusive. After being transferred to Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, I was referred to the chief of neurology at the University of Florida Medical School in Gainesville. I took my records, MRI films, x-rays and other documents with me to the appointment. Very shortly after we met in September of 2003 he said, “let’s call this what it is. You have MS.” Although I am retired from the Air Force, my passion for serving my country has not changed. I’ve simply re-focused my attention towards our elected officials as an advocate. As a chaplain and pastor, I have regularly encountered views different than mine. I expect it. People have different beliefs and cultural norms which govern their lives. 

Your Path is Yours

Blog Summary

​In the dark days following my diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, I found light with the help of family, friends and a newfound strength. My MS diagnosis even spurred me to follow my dreams—I finally finished my novel and signed with my literary agent last December. Overall, my path post-diagnosis has been a positive one...

A Bike Ride with My Son

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“You can do it, dad!” Those words reverberate through my head and pulse through my veins every time I ride at Bike MS.

Habits – Friends and Foes

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I was lucky to attend this year’s annual meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers, held in late May in New Orleans. There were a lot of interesting talks, and you can read about highlights here, browse slide presentations here and summaries (abstracts) here.   One presentation that really hit home for me was a talk about habits by Gabe Byars, an occupational therapist from the Salt Lake Community College in Utah. Habits are behaviors we do without having to think too much about them -- like walking into the house and always putting our keys in the same spot. Gabe said that habits make up about 43 percent of our daily actions. That sounds like a lot of time -- maybe that is where the saying “we are creatures of habit” comes from...

My Support

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Taxes.   They are a part of our everyday life, from the dollar cup of coffee to the chasm that separates our salary and our take home money in our paychecks. After finding out I had MS, the last thing I needed to hear was that I had to pay another tax. However, this one was different...

Packing List Essentials For an Adventure

Blog Summary

As my trip to Europe with my mom and step-dad draws nearer, I’ve started to think about what I’m going to bring along. For me, one of the most stressful parts of planning a vacation is figuring out what to pack. What if I pack too much? What if I forget something? What if the weather is crazy? Having a packing list can help you remember what to bring, especially if you have MS induced memory loss. To fight back against this symptom, I have a couple of suggestions.

Grinning Towards the Horizon

Blog Summary

The other day I wondered, where does the phrase “grin and bear it” come from? I had varied success in tracing its origin, but it appears to be derived William Hickey’s “Memoirs,” published in 1775, as an expression used by sailors attempting to survive a long spell of bad weather...

The Adventure of a Lifetime

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Let me start by saying that I don't have multiple sclerosis. I cannot profess to know first-hand the everyday struggles of living with the disease. Nonetheless, MS has become a major part of my life over the last 12 years ever since my mom met Tim. Twelve summers ago, my mom, Janet, met the man she would eventually marry. They were both single, in their early 40s and raising teenagers—a stressful time all around...

Not Alone

Blog Summary

I’ve tried many times to write about my story with multiple sclerosis, but every time, I can’t do it. Quite honestly, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know where to begin—MS is such an individual illness, where no two cases are exactly the same, so what works for me may not work for anyone else. But maybe that’s just been my excuse. The thing is, it’s not easy to talk about. Even when I think I’m fine, when someone asks about it, I often realize I’m not (tears and awkwardness ensue)...