Category Archives: Travel

Blessings & Baton Rouge: MS On the Move Luncheon

More than 250 people gathered at the Lod Cook Alumni Center on the Louisiana State University campus for the On the Move Luncheon. #Blessed

On a typical Sunday, I often extend my right hand asking, “How are you this morning, Chris?” And her usual response is a heartfelt, “Blessed.”  That frequent exchange at church is quick, and so powerful.

Just that one word: blessed.

Dan and I often have discussed the concept of being blessed. Since we both are living with Multiple Sclerosis and the disease’s frustrating side effects, it can be difficult to see ourselves that way.

We realize that our recent recent trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was a blessing. We met fantastic people and shared our story at the MS Society’s On the Move Luncheon. This annual event for the National MS Society Louisiana Chapter gave us an incredible opportunity to talk with and meet others living with MS and to help increase awareness of Healthline’s MS Buddy.

But sometimes we think there is no way the words MS and blessed belong in the same sentence; especially when we think about our numb hands, incredible fatigue or less-than-cooperative bladders. MS and cursed seems more accurate, right?

Honestly, haven’t all of us living with chronic illness had moments where we’ve felt cursed?  Like our bodies and the world are out to get us. It is a horrible feeling. Like when I’m trying to type this essay for our blog and my hands ball up into a fist and I can’t type. All I have to do is get my fingers to straighten out to push the keys. But my MS keeps it from happening. Things like this happen, and I feel less than blessed.

Feeling cursed while dealing with the realities of MS is a place we mentally visit now and again, but we can’t live there. We need to recognize and appreciate our blessings, no matter their size:

  • All smiles on a sunny day as we prepare to give our keynote presentation.

    Blessings like the “Buried Treasure” event where Dan and I met in 2002;

  • The support we get from friends, family and the National MS Society;
  • When Dan’s clumsy, numb hands effortlessly button his shirt collars or tie my shoes;
  • When I can feed myself — including cutting my own food — through an entire meal; and
  • The mere fact that we wake up every morning.

And blue skies and sunny days also are blessings to be appreciated 🙂 For as much as we could go on and on about how we seemingly are cursed, Dan and I know our list of blessings far outweigh the bad if we take the time to realize them.

Discovering power in MS advocacy

Multiple Sclerosis possesses weapons that should make Dan and me feel powerless. Striking us with extreme fatigue. Weakening our limbs with constant numbness. Robbing me of my ability to walk. Powerless. But that’s not how we’ve rolled, both literally and figuratively, in our 10 years of marriage. Dan and I have lived to redefine what…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

Monday Evening Events with Cooper

Good evening, dear readers, Forgive my twelve hour lateness, but while Mumma and Dan were away this cat sure did play. Writing just wasn’t a priority when I had the whole house to myself. Yes, I enjoy being alone at times and yes, I hate being alone. And yes, I am a cat of contradictions.…Continue Reading

Mr. and Mrs. Digmann go to Washington

Either our Multiple Sclerosis finally is starting to get to us or we really are getting old. Dan and I are leaning toward the latter (OUCH!). What else would explain how we have been back from Washington, D.C., for over three weeks and have not written about this incredible experience? The Michigan Chapter of the…Continue Reading

Musical birthday memories

“In Xanadu, did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree…” So sayeth Olivia Newton-John in one of my all-time favorite movies: Xanadu. I love this 1980 film that was billed as, “A Fantasy, A Musical, A Place Where Dreams Come True.” I love its music, storyline, the roller-skating, and its abundant cheesiness. And I love…Continue Reading