Category Archives: Just for Fun

MS resilience in and beyond the Super Bowl

My dad always has told me that, “If you want to hoot with the owls at night, you better be able to soar with the eagles at dawn.” And after a late night hooting for the New England Patriots stunning comeback win in Super Bowl LI, I am trying to soar this morning. Slowly, I am getting off of the ground. Soaring might require a cup of coffee and a shower, but Dan and I enjoyed watching a great football game. We were having fun, not thinking about work or dishes or laundry or Multiple Sclerosis.

Just a few hours focused on football and fun.

After all, Multiple Sclerosis is a challenging disease to live with. Whether you are living with MS in your body, or if it is living with you in the body of a spouse, partner, child or friend, you are living with a complex, mysterious monster.

So how are you handling it? Do you think about  the disease all of the time? Is a cure or the effects of MS progression always at the forefront of your thoughts? Or are you able to think about the monster only when necessary, like at shot time and at yearly visits with the neurologist? And do you reach out to others for help and support?

Reality is you have to handle it one way or another, it is your choice. But a new study has shown that in people with chronic disease, like MS, resilience is linked to social satisfaction and quality of life – not physical function. I haven’t walked in nearly 15 years and need to use a wheelchair for my mobility and get from place to place. But I haven’t stopped. I’m soaring, despite my disease.

Resilience is the ability to solve problems, handle adversity and bounce back from difficult situations. It helps create a mindset of growth and opportunities, of seeing obstacles as challenges rather than threats. Kind of like when an football team comes back from a 28-3 deficit only to win the game in overtime, that’s resilience.

We strive for resilience, but we also have to be responsible. Like last night, we chose to decline an offer to attend a Super Bowl party at our friends’ townhouse. Sure, we can get into their place with my wheelchair, but we realized we needed to conserve our energy. When we both are tired, our quality of life and enjoyment of it suffers. Besides, we need to be at our best for our trip to Baton Rouge on Tuesday to present at the NMSS Louisiana Chapter’s On the Move Luncheon.

Understanding the factors that promote resilience may help people with MS to not only cope with unpredictable changes in health and abilities, but to thrive in spite of these changes. To learn more about how the resilience factor can help you to thrive, and watch an education program on Resilience: Addressing the Challenges of MS click on either link.

We hope that learning to become more resilient will help you to soar with the eagles, or at the very least better appreciate quality social time and a good football game 😉

But I want to play too

Throughout the summers, Dan makes the most of a gift I got him when he received his master’s degree from Central Michigan University: An officially licensed CMU cornhole game, complete with maroon and gold bean bags.  Friends and family come over to cook out, hang out and chill out, and inevitably they find themselves lining…Continue Reading

MS and accessorizing for good

It’s interesting how lines from movies have permanently worked their way into regular conversations between Dan and me. For example, trips to sporting event concession stands often trigger one of us to quote Spalding Smails from the golf classic Caddyshack, “I want a hamburger. No, cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake.…Continue Reading

Whether to go, weather we’ll stay

My initial thought when the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch was that it was much ado about nothing. The posted watch predicted everything shy of hellfire and brimstone the very day Jennifer and I were set to traverse three hours to Ford Field in Detroit and watch our beloved CMU Chippewas battle…Continue Reading

Our 6 habits for marriage, MS and happily ever after

I guess this saying is true: better late than never. I’m only 6 days late. It’s less than a week, which really isn’t too bad. Of course, I cut myself some slack because I have Multiple Sclerosis, and late, well, that is how some of us MS-ers roll. For real, aren’t we ALL late at least…Continue Reading

Maintaining a social life and ADA accommodations

We felt bad and apologized when we asked other people to take care of things we have do each time we attend a public event. Welcome, friends. Our life can be such an inconvenience. Not that the people patiently handling our requests weren’t fully willing to help us. We just regretted having to ask them…Continue Reading

Manage MS fatigue on your own terms

According to Healthline.com, “Unexplained fatigue and weakness affect about 80 percent of people in the early stages of MS.” We’re tired of hearing about it. Sure, at the core we are among the aforementioned 80 percent dealing with high levels of low energy, exhaustion and weakness. It is easy to say that MS is the…Continue Reading