Tag Archives: Multiple Sclerosis

An MS caregiving story in pictures

Photo by Emily Mesner featured in her story "Our Everything"
Photo by Emily Mesner featured in her story “Our Everything”

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 us uphold such a claim.

But it wasn’t just any CMU student. It was Emily Mesner. She is one of my photo interns.

She came to me late last year with a request to feature Jennifer and me in a photo essay about caregiving. It wasn’t like we never have had photographers develop similar stories about us. The storytelling works of photographers-turned-friends like Ryan Evon, Ashley Miller and Will Moore captured some of our most favorite pictures.

One of the biggest differences with those projects was I didn’t directly work with any of them. Emily is my colleague. We work together on assignments about the awesome work of CMU students and faculty. She takes the pictures. I write the stories.

This time, though, it was all Emily’s assignment. It was for her class, and it was about the MS caregiving life of my wife and me.

Another one of the biggest differences between Emily and the other photographers is this: First she was a friend, then she was our photographer.

The reality was, Jennifer and I never once felt awkward about opening up to Emily and providing her access to the more personal sides of our caregiving life. She had an all-access pass, and she handled it all with the most discrete level of professionalism.

We invite encourage you to check out the story “Our Everything” that Emily crafted, and see for yourself why she recently was awarded second place for College Photographer of the Year by the Michigan Press Photographers Association.

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

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

MS lessons learned on unwanted anniversary

When a child turns 18, that child is an adult, right? On his or her own. That’s the deal. Independence at eighteen. November 14, 2015, marked my 18 years. Time for my freedom. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Only one small thing: Freedom is not on my horizon. Even though I’m fully willing to…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