Surprising Causes of My MS Flares

Learning how to live with MS takes time. Only through experience can someone learn which things in their environment trigger an MS flare. Many of these triggers can come as a total surprise.

To find out more about your experiences, we reached out on the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook page and asked the community to fill in the blank: “I was surprised that ______ causes my multiple sclerosis to flare.”

More than 400 people responded. Here is what they shared.

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Balancing Whimsy and Invisible Forces

By Stacie Prada

Art that resonates with me changes depending on where I am in my life, how I’m feeling, and what I’m facing. Some things I loved at certain points in my life I love because they spoke to me at that time. I think if I were to first see some of them today, I would not connect in the same way as I did back then. I have some pieces that spoke to me during dark times that I chose to let go when times changed and they no longer brought me solace.  Others have endured through life changes and still resonate.

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Frozen Cool Whip Summer Lemonade Delight

Welcome to Summer!   Nothing says Summer like lemonade or a frozen treat; especially if it is easy to make and is all in one. This recipe combines frozen lemonade concentrate with pudding, Cool Whip and a graham cracker crust.  What a tasty way to beat the heat!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 box instant lemon pudding
  • 8 ounces frozen lemonade concentrate thawed
  • 1 ¾ cup cold milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 container Cool Whip
  • 2 pre-made graham cracker crust

Directions:

In a mixing bowl whisk together pudding mixes and milk until it thickens. Once thick, add in vanilla extract and mix again until combined.

Stir in 8 ounces of thawed lemonade concentrate and mix well.

Fold in Cool Whip gently until completely mixed together.   Pour mixture into 2 prepared pie crusts and refrigerate for about 8 hours. 

Enjoy! 

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Midsummer Eve

Perhaps it’s the illuminating glow of light… or maybe even the circle of fairies, this ‘Midsummer Eve’ painting by Edward Robert Hughes has always fascinated me.  The scenery depicts a fairy tale world, a mythical goddess sprinkled with flowers, surrounded by little winged creatures. I like to believe she is singing a song of summer and the fairies are singing along. It reminds me of the bedtime lullabies my mother and grandmother sang to me as a little girl. Moreover, this painting has proven that even as an adult, my imagination is just as powerful.

Research shows this piece of artwork references the belief that barriers between the fairytale world and the world as we know it, were thinner at “midsummer”, allowing mythical spirits to enter our world. This created a phenomenon that if you entered the woods on a midsummer evening, then you would encounter fairies and mystical creatures.

This phenomenon was often viewed as sinister, but starting in the nineteenth century, fairies acquired a much more likeable reputation. The artist, Hughes, contributed to the shift in this attitude, redefining this folklore with his use of golden lights, warm tones, and soft pastels.  

Today, this painting is known as enchanting and charming, reminiscent of a more magical and distant life.

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An Ode To Mothers

A picture does indeed speak a thousand words. This artwork by Mary Jane Q. Cross is a powerful depiction of the relationship shared by an aging mother and her daughter. It portrays the content smile on the mother’s face and the daughter’s gentle embrace but what is more evident is a bond that is built on friendship and trust. Like old wine, this foundation gets stronger and the hearts grow fonder as the years pass by.

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Art perception

What is it about artwork that catches our attention? Is it the colors? Or maybe the artist’s story. As an art newbie, I don’t have knowledge of the proper technical skills or techniques. I don’t know what makes a piece of art great. I have minimal understanding of the intricacies of painting, but what I do know is how it makes me feel.

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Letters to Myself

By Gina Ross Murdoch

As we approach the end of our fiscal year, I find myself reflecting on the last year. We have all seen such change in our lives and our organization that a moment to think seemed appropriate. A colleague recently spoke about the power of writing “a letter to myself,” telling the “past MSAA” what was ahead. I also see great value in writing a letter to our “future MSAA” with our hopes and dreams.

Gina Ross Murdoch
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David Desjardins – June 2022 Artist of the Month

Each year, we feature the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis in our annual MSAA Art Showcase. We receive many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share the work of these artists and their inspirational stories with you, including highlighting one artist each month as our Artist of the Month. This month, we are proud to feature artist David Desjardins of Union, ME:

David Desjardins artwork entitled Summer Sail on the Lake as MSAA's June 2022 Artist of the Month
“Summer Sail on the Lake”

About the Artist – David Desjardins

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What Is It Like Growing Up With MS?

MultipleSclerosis.net illustration of a cartoon hand with a blue crayon coloring blue and black word balloons

Getting a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis early in life can present unique challenges. Many teachers and principals are still learning how to best help students with MS. Also, young adults may not know how to act with a classmate who faces problems they do not understand. For young people with MS, this can cause a strain on their social life.

To find out more about these challenges, we asked our MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook community members: “Did or do you have MS as a kid, teen, or young adult? What was or is school and social life like?”

More than 150 people responded. Here is some of what they shared.

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A Hobby Lobby

By Doug Ankerman

Work may define us but it is our hobbies that makes us unique.

Hobbies give you zest. Give you fire. They put a sparkle in your eye.

A hobby is what makes you – YOU.

So don’t let anything, like the dreaded ick we call multiple sclerosis, take your hobbies away from you.

MS is no reason to give up an activity you love. Accommodations can be made so you may continue doing what you want to do.

Like to paint but can’t hold a brush? Don’t let that stop you. There are dozens of computer programs that allow you to create (and no messy clean-up!).

Like to dance but can’t stand? Take a chair onto the dance floor, plop down & shake your bootie, dammit. Believe me, you’ll have more dance partners than you can handle as others will gravitate to your spunk.

Like to garden? Get down & get dirty. I can’t walk in grass & mulch either, so I crawl through the flowerbeds slow as an earthworm. A garden gnome with filthy knees.

My point is, you can do whatever you want…by planning. Come to terms with your MS by saying “We’re gonna do it within reason, and this is how.” Then do it.

Here are a few of my favorite daily activities…

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