Yvonne deSousa guest post

We couldn9780989972369_p0_v1_s260x420’t be more excited to introduce you all to our incredibly talented (and hilarious!) blogging friend Yvonne DeSousa! It truly is our pleasure to feature a guest post from her on our blog.

We connected with Yvonne through Twitter, where we soon learned more about her blog (yvonndesousa.com) and her recently released book (“MS Madness! A ‘Giggle More, Cry Less Story of Multiple Sclerosis’”). Such great writing and we encourage you all to check them out soon! 

Thank you, Yvonne, and to our readers: Get ready to giggle and learn more about one of the many unusual symptoms of MS.




I am usually known for posts that offer a comic nature to my life with multiple sclerosis. But today, I would like to talk to you about a serious issue, one of which you may not be aware, MS PBA.

Yes, I know, you think I must be writing in the midst of one of my cognitive episodes as you have never heard of MS PBA.You are likely thinking I typed a letter wrong and maybe I meant, MSPCA. No. I love animals as much as the next person but I am not referring to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

 Yvonne deSousa
Yvonne deSousa

So now you are wondering if I meant MS PDA. No to that as well. I am currently single and there are no public displays of affection going on in my MS world. If I happen to be witnessing some PDA in your world, I am probably gagging out of spite. If I wasn’t single, and out in public with my beau, I probably would display lots of PDA mostly because standing is exhausting and as I am not ready to start using a cane, I would probably be falling all over my beloved in an attempt to stay upright without tiring myself anymore than I have to.

And I am not talking about MS PB&J either. While a healthy diet is important, and peanut butter is a delicious source of protein and fiber (I am getting some healthy nutrients right now with a jar and a spoon beside me,) the jelly not so much.

PBA is a medical condition that can affect people with neurological disorders. I learned this while trying to fight brain fog with bad television. A commercial appeared showing a man crying, followed by a woman laughing, then a woman crying and a man laughing and so on. It was an advertisement for PseudoBulbar Affect and it is a legitimate diagnosis where people display bouts of uncontrolled laughing or crying emotions.

Too bad I didn’t know about it in the years before my diagnosis when I was a teary-eyed mad woman freaking out everyone around me. I wouldn’t mind if I was displaying the laughing side of the illness; I strongly believe an all-out belly laugh is good for you. Unless you are laughing at someone bigger than you who decides to beat you up because you are laughing at them. But being able to blame the random sobbing on something other than the sappy movie or PMS? Excellent!

The commercial provided a phone number if you wanted more information. I called and received a packet within the week. The packet described PBA in more detail and gave helpful tips:

* Keep a diary to track the uncontrollable emotions (too grueling)

* Tell people what’s going on (like they’d believe you- they already think you are crazy)

* Breathe (duh, don’t we have to do that anyway?)

It also suggested if these tips and others provided don’t help, you can go on medication. So I looked at the medication info and the side effects mirror MS- dizziness, weakness, UTI’s, and flu-like aches.

Figures. Thus, I stopped reading about PBA. My crying spells have calmed down and so I will live my life in the throes of MS PBA without an additional RX.

But really, MS, can you give me a break? Can you at least make my unruly symptoms be of the laughing kind?

Note-I intend my blog posts to be humor based. But if PBA is an issue for you or someone you know, you can obtain more information at www.pbafacts.com  


2 Responses to Yvonne deSousa guest post

  1. I have been dx’d with PBA for over a year and guessed that was one of lovely MS’ free side effects before dx but no meds that I knew of so never mentioned it to the neuro at that time.

    But because of the crying I did in her office she got me some counseling, counseling should never hurt anyone and it didn’t me except it didn’t stop my crying. Everyone told me for years it was ok to cry! But for me and the excessive nature of mine it was not ok with me.

    I have been on the med for it for over a year and would hate to ever go without it again. I still cry but more like “normal” people!

    Thanks for bring PBA to everyone’s attention!

  2. Thank you so much Brenda! I had crazy crying jags too, mostly directed at a then boyfriend but I just thought I was going crazy. It wasn’t until after my diagnosis and I saw the commercial that I realized what was going on. I’m doing better now and so don’t take the meds but glad to know they are there if/when I need them. Thank you for reading and thank you to Dan and Jennifer for publishing this!!

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