Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)


MS style: Sporting shades in the shade ... or fog or rain

I wear sunglasses in the sun, the shade, and even sometimes in a storm. Call it MS stylin’.


Multiple sclerosis can cause vision issues (such as optic neuritis) and light sensitivity. MSers may be prone to migraine headaches. Those are glaring issues.

Often, I can be found with a pair of sunglasses stuck on top of my head. In a brain-blip moment, I might ask people if they’ve seen my glasses. I might even don another pair, only to find the original glasses are serving as a headband.

Maybe you know the feeling.

Unless the sun has set, I’m not likely to go out without my shades.

Girl in Sunglasses –
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What do mothers, marathoners and MSers have in common?

Mmm, that’s a tough question – or is it?

I’m a mom, a runner, and an MSer. OK. I have never run a marathon. (Does a half marathon count?) But I think I know the answer to this question.

Ask any mother, marathoner, or multiple sclerosis warrior. Bet you’ll hear the same answer, or at least something similar.

“It’s a mercy that we forget pain.”

That’s right.

If that weren’t the case, who would ever birth a second child, run a second marathon, or even climb out of bed on a bad MS day?

But we forget. Mercifully, we forget the aches, the cramps, the spasms, the tingling burns, and the other pains that go with challenging life.

Moms get up and care for families, even when we don’t feel too great ourselves. Marathoners plot right through the dreaded wall, running with blisters, broken toenails, and all sorts of injuries. And MSers rise once more to stand toe-to-toe with the malevolent MonSter, boldly waiting to see what sort of MiSery he will next unleash.

Yes, forgetting pain is a mercy indeed. Maybe that’s what makes us run again – ticking along at any speed, by hook or by crook – when life is hard. 

And by the way, sometimes the MS life actually feels like the mother of all marathons.

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What do mothers, marathoners, and MSers have in common?
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MS + MSG = Mess

Monosodium glutamate is no MSer’s friend.

Sure, MSG makes food taste stronger. Wanna know why? This food additive (often called a flavor enhancer) acts on the central nervous system and pretty much fakes the brain into thinking a food’s flavor is more pronounced than it is.

MSG also feeds into food cravings. Some nutritionists even suggest MSG may be linked to obesity – perhaps because of the cravings issue. 

Why is MSG bad for MSers?

MSG is a known migraine trigger. It can also cause irritable bowel symptoms in susceptible people. (Anyone raced home from a restaurant after perhaps consuming MSG-laden food?)

Not exactly a primo food choice for anyone with multiple sclerosis – or maybe for the rest of the population. Plenty of physicians tell pregnant women to avoid MSG like the plague.

Can somebody tell us why this stuff is still legal?

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MS + MSG = Mess
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My new fitness trainer is sleeping on the job

Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation to get up and moving. And good company can raise our spirits and our energy levels.

Maybe that’s not a scientific fact, but it sure feels like it’s true, especially with MS.

That’s where the new puppy comes in.

This little wonder is a Border Collie / Labrador Retriever mix. (Dog experts actually call that a Borador.)

That recipe spells plenty of spunk, spirit, and sportiness.

Only this Borador is pretty chill.

Last night was her first sleep in our home, and the skies opened with a crashing, flashing, bashing thunderstorm. I woke up plenty, but the pup slept right on through.

This morning, she is sacked out on a blanket, right next to my desk.

Just four months old, this little adopted rescue pup is already proving to be a champ around the house.

I’m sort of wondering who rescued whom.

Photo copyrighted by LAN –
Kicking MS to the Curb

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MS tips: Skip shower bottle MixupS

Hot showers and baths may feel good at first, but these steamy spots can become troublesome for folks with multiple sclerosis.

MSers know about Uhthoff’s Syndrome. MS symptoms tend to flare up when an MSer’s body temperature goes up.

Balance issues, blurry vision, dizziness, numbness, tingling, and a host of others challenges tend to come up in the shower or tub. At the same time, most folks don’t wear contact lenses or eyeglasses to bathe.

So eyesight is a particular issue - putting MSers into hot water in more ways than one.

True confessions time: Have you ever tried to shampoo with conditioner or condition your hair with shampoo? And where does liquid bodywash play into this scenario?

It can be difficult to tell which bottle is which.

Sure, clear product bottles reveal whether their contents look like tinted shampoo or milky conditioner. But lots of manufacturers make these pairs of products match.

Here’s a little MS coping trick.

Whenever I purchase shampoo or conditioner, I mark each bottle with a big “S” or “C,” using a solid dark permanent marker. That makes the choice much clearer in the shower.

Sometimes a solution really is that simple.

Skip shower bottle MixupS –
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Shampoo and Conditioner –
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