Howdy! For the past 6 years, I have been the South-Central Regional Director, and most recently I have taken on the duties of also serving our clients in the Northwest Region. During this time I organized many patient, physician and healthcare provider education programs, where we focus on providing the most informative, educational and enjoyable programs possible. I have met the most dedicated neurologists and nurses in my region, and have been privileged to become acquainted with many MS patients and family members. They have allowed me into their lives, and I am always very happy to catch up with them when I have an event close by.
Some of my favorite programs are those aimed specifically for women with MS. We have had several “Women’s Retreats” in my region, and each one has been very special. The format is simple: Provide a weekend of education, relaxation, friendship and fun. These weekends are focused on how to juggle the many hats women wear on a daily basis: mother, wife, employee, chauffeur, cook, housekeeper and MS patient. Everyone feels the stress to be superwoman, and these weekends provide a respite, as well as some tools to help keep it all manageable.
At another recent program we focused on “Movement and Music” and everyone was shown simple ways to keep moving by using music throughout the day. Instead of focusing on the “E” word (exercise), we simply learned fast, simple ways to incorporate stretching and strength training in everyday activities. We learned how to use the beat to any song we heard to help keep us limber and stronger, thus keeping drop foot or spasticity at bay.
If you are interested in upcoming programs in your area check out MSAA’s calendar of events, which lists educational programs all across the country. If there is a specific topic you would like to see added to our education programs, please let us know. We would love to include it!