Ask the Expert – Differences in the MS Experience

Featuring Barry A. Hendin, MD
MSAA’s Chief Medical Officer

Question: Why does each person with MS experience different symptoms?

Answer: It shouldn’t surprise us that everyone experiences their MS differently since we are all unique, but the individual factors producing that uniqueness are worth considering in some detail.

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Community Views: What Only We Know

Multiple sclerosis (MS) impacts the body in many ways. Is difficult for those on the outside to understand. There are certain things only other MS warriors fully comprehend. Connecting with others living with MS feels affirming. 

To learn more about these unique issues, we turned to the Facebook page. We asked community members to complete this prompt: “Fill in the blank: _____ is something that only someone with MS would understand.” 

One of you captured it well: “When we say, ‘I don’t feel good,’ this has an entirely different meaning.”

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10 Ways To Stay Busy In The Winter

Between the cold weather and COVID, it might be a challenge finding fun ways to stay busy in the winter. There’s no need to stare at your ceiling out of boredom. Staying home can be just as fun and productive as putting real clothes on and going out! These 10 ways to stay busy in the winter will have you saying “paaaar-tay!”

Party GIFs | Tenor

·      Call up your friend or a close relative

·      Clean out your closet

·      Give yourself a manicure

·      Read a good book

·      TV time!

·      Start scrapbooking

·      Bake a delicious cake

·      Take up knitting

·      Have a dance party in your pajamas!

·      Virtual Zumba classes

For many people, the mere concept of sitting at home is enough to make you feel like you are swimming in a sea of boredom. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Try out these different ways to stay busy in the winter and see how it works for you!

You might find that you keep the sea of boredom at bay!

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Rainbow Fruit Cups

As we are looking ahead to the Spring, I wanted to share a neat idea.  This is fun and delicious to eat!!

The great thing about fruit is that it comes in so many beautiful colors, you have choices for each color of the rainbow with fruit.

Here are some fruit suggestions for you below:


First, you’ll need to wash your fruit. Some fruit will require additional preparation such as slicing or peeling.

After all the fruit has been prepped, now it’s time to assemble your fruit cups. If you use clear cups the colorful fruit will be more visually appealing.

Layer the fruit in their cups, one row of color at a time.  You can add yogurt or whipped topping as the final step on top.


Cracker Pecan Pie Recipe

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Staying Busy

By Lauren Kovacs

I must say this is easier said than done. 

I am kinda bored actually. I am a homebody, but even I have limits. MS has aged me, too.

I mean, I have always liked birds, but watching them used to bore me. Now I can watch them up close. It is like watching a fight club with feathers. Male Cardinals and Blue Jays are jerks. Bullies. I can watch a soap opera right outside the window. 

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Let’s Stay Busy

There’s no doubt that the winter months can be dreary and feel long-lasting. That’s what many across the country are currently experiencing these days. From treacherous weather to isolation still occurring because of the pandemic—feeling trapped is a universal experience we’re sharing during this time. So, what can we do to stay occupied and busy so that the time goes by a bit quicker? If we’re all feeling isolated, at least we’re all together in that too.

There are several different activities that can help to keep us busy, and playing games is a good one. Whether it’s playing a board game with others in your household or playing card games or online games if you live alone. Games can be a fun way to pass the time, and there are so many varieties out there to choose what’s most engaging for you. It can also be a fun way to interact with others virtually or meet new people.

Crafts is another way to stay busy. Though not everyone is into crafting and may not find it fun or interesting, a lot of people do. And again, there are so many ways to do it. Painting, collaging, drawing, building things, knitting, sculpting, etc. There’s no wrong way to craft, especially if you find something you enjoy doing. Reading is another popular pastime. Some enjoy this, and while it may not be others cup of tea, it’s an option for passing the time during these long winter days.

Watching movies and shows is a good default for staying occupied too. With so many streaming services these days, it’s not hard to find something that grabs and keeps your attention. Engaging in online groups and community forums can help the time pass too. This can also keep the door open for communication to help reduce feelings of isolation. We don’t have to go through these gloomy winter days alone.

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Short Days, Dark Nights, and Big Hopes

By Stacie Prada

Each winter, darkness pervades my free time. Living in the Pacific Northwest, daylight hours seem to only exist on weekends and during lunch on weekdays. Dry, sunny days are less frequent, and spending time outside requires dressing for wind, rain and cold. While invigorating to experience, inclement weather provides encouragement to stay inside and find comfort from the elements.

It takes more creativity and effort to be active when the environment encourages spending time indoors. The draw of the sofa and screen time is compelling and comforting. I can justify that time and accurately describe it as productive by using it to rest, connect with others, learn, create, reflect and amuse myself. All are valid uses of time, and they only lack fulfillment if they sabotage my needs or goals. Usually the challenge is not the use of time but the amount of time spent on them.

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Hope Angel – February 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 Hope Angel of Seattle, WA:

Hope Angel Artist of the Month artwork entitled Spiaggia

About the Artist – Hope Angel

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