About Me

  • Gender Female
  • Age 72
  • Relationship Married

My Story 7 Appreciate this

I am a woman in my 60's who has had Primary Progressive MS for 20 years. I live with my husband of 46 years, and we have 2 adult sons and 3 young grandchildren. For 30 years my career was that of a counselor helping people having problems with stress, depression and relationships. During summers my husband, our sons and I took long vacations camping and hiking all over the U.S. and western Canada. My first symptom of MS was in 1994, with a foot drop after long hikes. After 2 years of anxiety about what was happening in my body (which had been so reliable for the first 47 years of my life--allowing me to be a good dancer and hiker) I had an MRI in 1996, which led to a diagnosis of PPMS. i became quite depressed, and began taking anti-depressant medication which I continue to take a maintenance dose of as a 'safety net'. For the first 5 years of my MS I declined rapidly--losing most of my mobility; developing severe 'brain fog' and other cognitive symptoms; and having debilitating fatigue and muscle weakness. At one point my family and friends thought I was near death so we took a 'last family vacation' in Hawaii. My neurologists told me there was nothing they could do for besides prescribe medication for my spasticity. Being a very determined--even stubborn--person, I wasn't satisfied with this, so sought a second opinion. Testing showed me to have 3 serious co-infections which were treated consecutvely.. After 3 years of intensive treatment I had regained some of the functions I'd lost; eliminated my cognitive symptoms; and no longer requred long, daily naps in order to function. Although still very disabled and needing a wheelchair, my condition has been relatively stable for the past several years. My husband and I continue to love traveling (having acquired a taste for it while seeing much of Europe from a VW bus in the early 1970's). Six years ago we decided we still had some adventure left in us, so began spending winters at a beach town in Mexico. Last year we ended that chapter of our lives by taking a 6 month road trip. One of the most challenging issues for me in having MS has been going from being a 'fiercely independent'` person to one who can gracefully ask for and accept help from other people., Surprisingly to me, this has actually enriched and deepened my relationships with others. I believe I cope well with having MS by having a good sense of humor, a positive attitude, and a philosophy of life that serves me well. I would be honored to support you on your journey with MS.

Interests

Living Well with MS Emotional support, Healthy living, Healthcare, Mobility and accessibility, Relationships and intimacy
Getting Involved Walk MS, Advocacy, Volunteering
Research Research news
Hobbies and other interests

Travellng; nature; music/singing; reading; meditation; 'brain games'.

My Activity