"With MS I have learned that
I'm not disabled, I just do things differently than most other people."
I was diagnosed in August 1989 when I was almost 36 years old. I worked at a bank, and my first symptoms
was failing eyesight. I could not see the amounts on the checks. They did tests here at our hospital but ended sending me
to a neurogolist in Nashville. This was one of the most scariest times in my life. Believing you might have a brain tumor
or had suffered a stroke. I was put through 3 days of continuous tests and sent back home knowing nothing.
Four days and nights later, the Doctor called and confirmed
MS. My symptoms at that time, mostly disappeared within 4 months and I was
pretty much back to my old self. Everything was on the right side of my body(I am right handed) which was difficult for a
Life continued on. I started on Betesaron when it was
approved but little by little, I kept getting a little bit worse but I had always said going into this, that I would not let
this MS get me down. I had a bad attack in February of 1997 which caused me
to completely have to give up my job. That was a most depressing time. I have worked since I was a Jr. in high school and
I felt so helpless and useless. I also lost my insurance so had to go off Betasaron since we couldn't afford the $989.40 it
cost per month. My great supporting family and a select group of friends helped me through that terrible depression.
I still miss work, but really enjoy being at home too.
I tire very easily and the right side of my body is mostly "just there". I get around with a wheeled walker and I have a motorized
scooter for use outside.
Of course, I would much rather not have MS but I have accepted it and I do make the most of the time I have left in this life.
We had a bad ice storm and we were without electricity
for 5 days. Don got the kerosene heater out & we cooked on a Coleman stove BUT it was bad for me. I got sick with a chest
cold and congestion and it got me down again. I had to have steroid IV treatments for 5 days every 12 hours and then went
through 2 weeks of physical and occuptional therpy to get myself back to "normal". I am still weak but getting stronger each
September 1999-QUESTION for everyone---What common human
activity relaxes tense muscles,reduces blood pressure and heart rate; exercises the muscles of the face,diaphragm and abdomen;boosts
the immune system;and causes the body to release pain-fighting hormones?
Laughter also helps you get some emotional distance
from a distressing situation and see humor in it.
June 2, 2000
I started on Avonex in February 2000. Avonex is Biogen's
brand name for interferon beta-1a. Interferons are proteins produced by the body which fight viral infections and regulate
the immune system. It's not known exactly how Avonex works in multiple sclerosis, but it is thought to regulate the body's
immune response against myelin, the fatty insulation surrounding nerve fibers. The goal of Avonex therapy is to slow the natural
progression of disability that occurs in relapsing MS. It is supposed to reduce
exacerbations and slow the permanent disability caused by MS. Avonex is an
injectible drug. It comes as a powder-you have to add sterile water to it and draw it up in a syringe. I give myself a shot
each Friday and I have had no reactions to the drug.
Celebs with MS
Montel Williams--Talk Show Host
David Lander--Actor(Lavern & Shirley)
Alan Osmond--Musician & Author
Clay Walker--Country Music Singer
Stan Belinda--Cincinati Reds Relief Pitcher
Lola Falana--Actress & Singer
Donna Fargo--Country Music Singer
Betty Cuthbert-1956,1960, 1964 Australian Winner of Four Olympic Gold Medals
Hartzler--Chief prosecutor in Oklahoma bombing case
Jimmy Heuga--Olympic Skier
Lena Horne--Actress & Singer
Humm--NFL Quarterback for Oakland Raiders
Barbara Jordan--Congresswoman and Civil Rights Activist
With MS, I Have Learned
to be grateful for good days
that I can't safely sneeze while standing
to focus on my abilities
that I'm not disabled, I just do things differently
than most other people
that borrowing trouble merely means I'll have to pay
interest on it later.
to take a tablet or two of humor with my morning vitamins.
that there are more beautiful sunsets than ordinary
that I can't always reach the roses to stop & smell
them, but I can enjoy their beauty.
that my MS
is difficult enough for me to understand, let alone for someone else.
that seeing the world from a wheelchair beats being
too tired to enjoy it.
to Plan B,modify,and adapt while smiling.
that a kind word,telephone call,card or note can keep
me going for weeks.
that I learn more when I listen than when I talk.
that positive thinking is powerful and reality checks
that I'm the creator of the quality of my life.
that there are people who, without even knowing it,
make this world a little brighter and a little nicer to be in; I'm so grateful for those who light up my life.
that "oops" is a verb.
February 1, 2004
I had no relapses in 2003. I continue to take Avonex
& mega doses of vitamins. I really feel this helps to fight off the colds as I didn't have one the whole year. I am continuing
with my healthy eating & I purchased a stationery bike in August & have been faithfully riding that 3+ times a week.
I am still driving and still use my wheeled walker but I feel good. I may be slow in getting around but at least I am still
getting there. Don't give up or into your MS. Fight it every day. Change your
attitude. Remember to laugh alot!! May 2004 bring you peace within yourself.