Happy 20th MS Anniversary to me!

February 18, 2018

fullsizeoutput_c8I am one of at least 400,000 people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with MS, a debilitating disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the body. This is my story.

I was diagnosed with MS on Aug. 4, 1998 — almost 20 years ago. For most of those years, I had the relapsing/remitting form of the disease and was fortunate to have had few exacerbations. Now, in the early stages of secondary progressive MS, I am told that the disease is progressing very slowly. (Fingers crossed!)

Don’t get me wrong; MS isn’t a walk in the park. I battle its challenges every day. My symptoms include gait, balance and vision problems as well as fatigue. Hot weather and stress worsen my fatigue. And I develop cognitive problems when I let stress get the better of me.

To manage the disease, I take two medications prescribed by my neurologist, who specializes in MS. One drug limits the progression of the disease; the second medication helps me walk better.

I also have made lifestyle changes that help me feel better. I  take supplements, exercise five days a week and eat a gluten-free, low-carb diet. I try to control my exposure to hot weather and humidity (which isn’t always easy in Alabama), and I try to be mindful of stress.

In addition, I get support from the National MS Society, an organization whose vision is a world free of MS. Through annual Walk MS events, the society provides programs and services to people with MS and funds cutting-edge research.

This year’s Birmingham Walk MS will be held on April 7. I urge you donate today to the Birmingham Walk MS to help provide those programs and services for people with MS in Alabama, and to fund research to find a cure for MS in my lifetime.

Donate Now


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