Dealing with MS-Related Falls?

MS and some of its related symptoms, such as numbness, dizziness, weakness, loss of balance, tremors, and more, can lead to an increased risk in experiencing falls for those living with the condition. One of the MultipleSclerosis.net contributors, Devin, recently posted an article about his life with MS-related falls, and how he copes with these potentially frustrating or embarrassing situations. After this article was published, we received an incredible response from our community on their experiences with falling, and how they cope with this often-scary situation. Below are some of the amazing responses we received. Continue reading

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Making MS the Punch Line

By Doug Ankerman

Finding humor in situations is what I did WAY before multiple sclerosis became my dance partner.  Writing jokes and doing stand-up comedy about the oddities of life and experiences was a way of dealing. So little did I know this skill (if you can call it that) would help me cope with an MS diagnosis back in 1996. Likewise, who knew sharing silly observations about MS would help others too. Helping them realize they are not alone.  That what they are thinking, feeling and doing is not problematic – it is just a part of life with chronic illness.

For example, do you notice Continue reading

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MS Humor, Maybe.

By Lauren Kovacs

Funny, not so funny. I know MS is really a mean demon. It tries to throw peanuts at you like a demented circus clown. I hate clowns.

Try and find humor in it, where you can.  Be silly.  Wear what you want, for example.  Try and do what makes your moment.  MS changes all day.

I can only wear certain sneakers. I like silly sneakers. Being in kids shoes, I wear whatever ones I like. The ones with lights are not yet in my closet. I have some dignity; however, I love my pink polka dot Chucks and my Sketchers with sparkles.

I do have some adult-restraint on apparel, but not too much. I wear only pull-on shorts/pants now. I kinda had a funeral for my button shorts/pants. Go crazy. There is little control with MS. Control your wardrobe. I am not saying wear big red floppy shoes and an orange wig, but have some fun.

Laugh at yourself. I fell at the doctor’s office recently. I jumped up and shouted, “I’m ok!” I didn’t really jump. I kind of slither up my walker. The only thing was a wee bump on my ego. Chocolate is great at ego repairs, too.

I once told a MRI technician that my lesions light up like a Christmas tree and I recommend he wear sunglasses. When he had to stick me eight times for the IV, I could not find any humor in that. I do not identify well as a pin cushion, and then spending almost two hours in a Pringles can they call a MRI was not funny.

Find humor in MS. Laughter is the best medicine, they say. I have to use a life vest in my own pool now. I call it buoy training. I have very little control in the water now. I would be a floating chicken nugget for a shark, if I was in the ocean.

MS can be very depressing. It is like MS jail. I had to turn in all my talents, before the life-long stay. Heck, I had to turn in my coordination, too. Trying to drink grapefruit juice out of a cup ended up on my face and in my hair. That hand earthquake left me with a burning eyeball. Make light of stuff.

Laugh off your quirks, when you can. If you laugh at yourself, it helps you and others move on. I know MS is mean and a thief. Making light of most MS incidents can help you not to dwell on the MS monster as much.

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I Have Multiple Sclerosis and I Still Smile

By Penelope Conway

When terrible things happen, one of the first things to disappear in the chaos is laughter. Somehow all the smiles and giggles that once filled the day get tossed to the wind and pushed aside giving other things more importance. Things like fear, anger, sadness and worries.

For many people, laughter just doesn’t fit in with all that’s happening in their crazy, mixed up world. I mean, how can anyone laugh when their life is falling apart. It just seems impossible…absurd…oh, so wrong. Continue reading

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Grilled Corn on the Cob with Bacon

Do you love grilling season? I love grilled corn, especially with bacon.  When you wrap corn with bacon it adds additional flavor and tenderness to the corn.  Brush the corn with butter at the end if you would like.  It is easy and yummy! Continue reading

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Laughter Is Essential When Living with a Chronic Illness

By Stacie Prada

Sometimes feeling crummy and being overwhelmed makes a person forget to do things that didn’t take any thought when they felt well.  It’s natural to focus on what’s wrong and stop thinking things are funny. It’s easy to let the hard things override any impulse to be lighthearted.

I haven’t really found a way to laugh at my MS symptoms.  They’re inconvenient and sometimes debilitating, they’re an indicator of how much damage my MS has done, and they’re scary for the damage that may be yet to come. Continue reading

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Laughter Therapy and Other Research Highlights

Recently, MSAA published an article highlighting the vital information presented at this year’s Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC).  This article, now available on MSAA’s website, features a large collection of research summaries, which provide a quick overview of the results of several important studies in the treatment of MS.

Topics featured in this article include:

  • Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) in research pipeline
  • Long-term efficacy, safety, and comparative analysis of approved DMTs
  • Wellness strategies, laughter therapy, and reproductive-health topics, including information on exercise, symptom management, pregnancy, and more

Read an excerpt on laughter therapy here: Continue reading

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How I Find Laughter in the Face of MS

By Alene Brennan

Incurable. Degenerative. Chronic. The weight of the words is heavy. The reality of living with them is even heavier. We can easily sink into the quicksand of worries and struggles or… we can find acceptance in this beast of a disease and sprinkle in a heavy dose of laughter.

Laughter is Medicine

We hear it often that laughter is the best medicine, but what actually happens when we laugh? And is laughter strong enough to take on MS? Continue reading

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Let Humor In

I think we can agree that life is very serious a lot of the time. We all encounter situations or predicaments that require much thoughtful attention and focus, and many moments that elicit extremely strong feelings that can get overwhelming. Life can shell out some pretty unpredictable obstacles and experiences and it’s hard not to feel overcome and bogged down with the heaviness of it. That’s why it’s so important to reap the benefits of positivity, especially humor, when we can. Because dealing with illness, loss, and change can be physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting we have to find and take advantage of moments of joy in between. Continue reading

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Does that Thermometer say 101?!?!

I’m not sure about where you are but summer has been brutal so far this year in the North East! For you pessimists let me say “Yes, I know two months ago we were all complaining about winter and wishing summer would get here already.” But these temps are something else. Whether you have MS or not, the high heat index can make you rethink that stroll outside (like, really how is it 75 degrees out at 6AM?!?!?!).

Now I know cabin fever is usually reserved for the middle of winter blues but we can get stuck in doors in the throws of summer, also. Continue reading

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