Thursday, December 2, 2010

Carnival of MS Bloggers #77

Welcome to the Carnival of MS Bloggers, a bi-weekly compendium of thoughts and experiences shared by those living with multiple sclerosis.

What Can You Do? What Should You Know? How To Get Back Up Again!

by Diane Standiford of A Stellarlife
  1. Eat healthy
  2. Exercise any part of your body that you can
  3. Reach out to people, family, friends, strangers
  4. Discover YOU. What makes you laugh? What are your fears? What is fun?
  5. Laugh, educate your fears into remission, have fun!

by Diane Standiford of A Stellarlife

Take a deep breath.

The majority of people diagnosed with MS will live a long life and never need a wheelchair.

You have a disease that has warped ahead in the last 20 years to a place where there are many avenues you can take to manage it. It will be managed; you CAN do it.

Every week, new research is leading us closer to answers about MS.

You are not alone. There are support groups and many blogs written by people with MS. Join the community!

Time is on your side. MS will not kill you. "Death by Ms" is rare and if you are that bad off, then you are not reading this. (If you don't believe me, ask your doctor.)

Keeping your body in good shape is essential to living well with MS. Exercise, eat healthy, rest, follow your passion.

Don't make hasty decisions, especially when you are having a relapse. Most MS starts as relapsing/remitting, "This too shall pass."

Talk with your friends and family. They will want to help you.

Educate yourself about MS! With the Internet you have a WORLD of information, use these tools and sharpen your emotional tools.

DON'T quit your job until you have tried everything to keep it, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that an employer give you reasonable accommodations. Sometimes the simplest of changes can mean being able to keep your job.

Form a good relationship with your primary care doctor. MS will NOT be responsible for every physical problem you have.

Breathe. Focus on the good things in life and go after them now. Surround yourself with things that make you happy. Help others whenever you can. Give. The return is always great.

Your new adventure awaits you! Embrace MS, it is a part of you now. There is always a chance a cure is in your future!

Start a diary, let your feelings out. It is okay to cry, to be afraid, but don't let MS define you and don't let fear be the boss of you.

Hey! Think about staring your own MS blog. It is easy to do. We will warmly welcome you!

by Jennifer Digmann

Yes, on my face.

Couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Or so I thought. Right there on a break from my class, Dan was helping me to pivot in the Anspach Hall bathroom and SMACK!

Profanity! Profanity! Profanity! And Tears … tears … tears. And that wasn’t just me. I heard profanity and tears coming from Dan too.

It was frightening, fast and so sudden. I couldn’t even lift my head off the tile. I didn’t want to even move and I was face down on a public bathroom floor. That’s how bad it hurt.

This was supposed to be a standard trip to the bathroom. Same as we had done for each Tuesday evening over the past nine weeks of the semester. I have a regularly scheduled break during my Anthropology 590 graduate class, “Gender, Culture & Society.” During this time Dan comes to the CMU campus building to help me go to the bathroom.

And it normally runs like clockwork. We get a break. We go to the bathroom. I ask if any of the women there minds if my husband comes in to help me – which they never do because women rule! –and he helps me with pivoting and transferring on and off the toilet and back into my chair.

But this night, the night before our largest speaking presentation ever, a rare miscommunication in the transfer back into my chair had me simultaneously thinking, “Timber!” and “This is going to hurt,” as I fell shoulder first into the bathroom stall and then flat on my face. Thus the imprint. For real. You can see the tile lines on my cheek!

I’m lucky that there was no blood, I didn’t break any teeth, and we were able to get help (thanks, Sarah, Dr. Brown and Josh!).

I was fine once I calmed down. Dan was too. I think I took a couple ibuprofen and sat on the couch after my professor let me go home from class early (Thanks again, Dr. Brown!).

And I geared up for the next day’s presentations with the Women’s Initiative at noon in Mt. Pleasant and the Shiawasee County MS Self-help Group later that evening in Owosso.
Speaking with Dan in front of 300 people at the Women's Initiative event (thanks for the photo, Peggy!)

Speaking with Dan in front of 300 people at the Women's Initiative event (thanks for the photo, Peggy!)

Marked with the sign of the bathroom tile floor, Dan and I delivered two of our best speaking engagements the next day. We were fortunate enough to share our story and increase MS awareness, all while I was rockin’ my first-ever black eye : -)

And to be frankly honest, I sported that black eye with pride because it symbolized both the reality of my Multiple Sclerosis and my determination to not let this disease hold me down.

[Note: Jennifer's black eye has cleared up and she is busily writing her last paper of the semester.]

This concludes the 77th edition of the Carnival.

The next Carnival of MS Bloggers will be hosted here on December 16, 2010. Please remember to submit a post (via email) from your blog of which you are particularly proud, or which you simply want to share, by noon on Tuesday, December 14, 2010.

Thank you.

Comments for this post.


  1. Thank you for sharing this story. May you and Dan stay strong and continue to live to the fullest.

    Ellie in WI
    Going on 20 years in living with MS

  2. Ouch!! I've had MS for 15 years and rarely have my falls looked so badly! Most of the time it's been only my ego that's been hurt! Embarrassment is not a fun emotion!

    I'm glad I found this carnival! It will be fun getting to know all of you fellow bloggers!


  3. Fabulous stories and advice about coping, dealing, and not being so afraid. Let us live!