Tag Archives: Multiple Sclerosis

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 up to competitively chuck a bag of corn into a six-inch hole some 27 feet away.

Such fun times! However, because my arms have lost some strength and range of motion since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I’ve never been able to join in throwing the bags.

Not yet.

You see, doing more exercise is part of my plan to lose weight. I know. It’s part of everybody’s weight loss plan. But mine is different, and here’s how:

I went to a physical trainer. And yes, I was intimidated. Chubby me going to the gym, in a wheelchair. The moment I rolled in, nobody cared that I was chubby or in a wheelchair. They were working on their own issues, and many of them offered me encouraging smiles because they knew I was there to work on mine.

The most encouraging smile came from Brandon, my physical trainer. He met with me, listened to my story and — over the course of a few weeks — structured an exercise routine that my caregivers and I could do at home. Most importantly, it is a wheelchair exercise program that I can do despite my MS.

Brandon asked me the biggest goal I hoped to achieve. I wanted to get stronger, certainly, but I want to one day be able to play that silly bean bag toss game with Dan. And I don’t just want to play it, I don’t want to embarrass myself.

So, Brandon developed a plan to stretch and strengthen my arms, legs and core, and I’ve been working at it. And I’m getting closer to my goal … one toss at a time.

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

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