Tag Archives: Multiple Sclerosis

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 😉

It’s just a cold, right?

It’s 40 degrees and raining on Monday. Then you wake up to sunshine and a crisp 18 degrees on Tuesday … just in time for 32 degrees and six inches of snow by the weekend. No wonder sniffles, sneezes and tissues take over our lives throughout the winter months. We’ve all been there, right? But…Continue Reading

Realize your awesomeness in 2017

Happy New Year! Um, yes true, it was new a few weeks ago, but nevertheless, all the best to you in 2017! May this year bring you happiness, joy and good health. These good wishes remind me of a New Year conversation Dan and I recently had. We were discussing our resolutions and he asked,…Continue Reading

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

Weighing in on MS and obesity research

By now you may have read a news article or two focused on the relationship between obesity and Multiple Sclerosis. Articles with ominous headlines like: “New Study Provides More Evidence That Obesity Increases Risk for Developing MS” “Obesity Epidemic May Contribute To Multiple Sclerosis; Increases Risk By 40%.” Articles like these show the growing body…Continue Reading

An MS caregiving story in pictures

It’s always humbling when people want to know more about us and about our shared battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Jennifer and I comment that our life together and serving as each other’s caregiver is an open book, and we’re willing to answer pretty much any question. Leave it to a Central Michigan University student to make…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

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