Let's Start At The Very Beginning...
“Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.” ~ Rodgers and Hammerstein, “Do Re Mi” from “The Sound of Music”
Welcome to the exciting launch of MultipleSclerosis.net and my first blog post on this site. I’m thrilled to be a part of this new venture, and I hope to educate and enlighten you about MS along the way. I thought I’d start by letting you know a little bit about me.
In 1981 I was in a car accident that left me with 16 stitches on my forehead and a concussion. It’s also when I noticed my right foot was numb. I didn’t think much of it.
Fast forward to 1987. I was working in New York City, and while walking in the Port Authority Bus Terminal I suddenly noticed I was walking funny. It felt as if one leg was shorter than the other. I looked down at my feet and noticed one of my high heels was missing! I looked down at the floor and saw my shoe was lying 10 feet behind me. My right foot was so numb I hadn’t noticed when my shoe fell off. Something was terribly wrong.
A CAT Scan and spinal tap later and BOOM – I had a diagnosis of MS. My family circled around me and my boyfriend (now husband) held my hand.
I immediately led a support group for The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and became involved in fundraising for a nonprofit MS Center. I briefly worked for IOMSN (International Organization of MS Nurses) and met many wonderful and passionate nurses from around the world all working for one cause – to treat the whole person with MS.
At age fifty, with my son entering college, I decided I wanted to begin a new professional chapter in my life. I decided to go back to school to get my certificate in Patient Advocacy. I thought I’d combine advocacy with my love of writing. Today I am blessed to be writing for 3 health websites, offering my years of experience with MS while addressing reader’s concerns. Shared experiences help us all feel less isolated and alone.
I author a blog, An Empowered Spirit, for people age 50 and older that want to live a vibrant and healthy life. My MS is a small part of who I am, so I decided to write about aging and why being over 50 is an exciting time of life. I sometimes write about MS, but I also writing about things such as the importance of friendships, how I tackle my sleep (or non-sleep!) issues and why I love Frank Sinatra! I’m having a lot of fun with it.
I work as a Peer Resource for Shared Solutions, helping patients using the disease modifying injectible, Copaxone. We share stories, and I try to answer their questions. It’s gratifying for me to help others.
I also volunteer for The National Multiple Sclerosis Society by educating care workers at nursing homes who have residents with MS. We talk about the basics of MS, and the dignity and respect each resident should receive. It’s important to spread awareness about what MS is, and how each of us deserves to be treated with fairness and courtesy.
I am blessed to be able to work from home and create my new professional life. Working from home allows me the luxury of taking a daily nap, the ability to take breaks when necessary, fit in some exercise (I love yoga!) and have a social tête-à-tête with friends every so often.
Most of all I am lucky to be able to meet new and fascinating people with MS who have become my friends, and to become a part of this wonderful website, MultipleSclerosis.net. The beauty of the Internet is the ability to make solid friendships with people who are journeying down the same road as you. I look forward to being able to do that with you!
Please share your story, and let me know what you think of my first post. If you have any questions, ask away!
Take good care.
Does listening to music help lower the severity of your stress or MS symptoms?