About MSAA

As a national nonprofit organization, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a toll-free Helpline; award-winning publications including a magazine, The Motivator; website featuring educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; equipment distribution ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events and activities; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; and more. For additional information, please visit http://www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

I Thought I Had Lost My Smile

Anxiety

By Penelope Conway

Added stress for a person with multiple sclerosis is not ideal. Life is already challenging enough, but the added stress makes everything a gazillion times worse. Anxiety easily sets in. You get less sleep, more headaches, your appetite can be either non-existent or you want to eat everything in your cupboard, everybody gets on your nerves with stupid things like just saying hi to you in the morning, weakness increases, you notice the ringing in your ears more, and pain is through the roof. All the little symptoms you used to just accept are now Continue reading

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You Are Not Alone – Anxiety and Depression in MS

By Doug Ankerman

It is not easy.

Of all symptoms one can experience with multiple sclerosis, I find anxiety and depression to be the most challenging.

For foot drop — I wear an AFO. Heat tolerance — I put on a cooling vest. Balance issues — I use a rollator. But for anxiety and depression, there is no aid. No clunky piece of equipment to help you through. Continue reading

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Learning About Anxiety

By Stacie Prada

I get anxious, but I never considered I might have anxiety. I’ve heard people talk about how it feels to have panic attacks, and I know I haven’t experienced one. I thought of anxiety as something constant and debilitating. I do yoga, I laugh, I’m active, and I’m productive.  Having a diagnosis of anxiety doesn’t fit in with how I view myself.

But when I research anxiety, I realize that what may not be paralyzing for me could still fall perfectly under the anxiety umbrella.

Anxiety

Grinding teeth, nausea, headaches, problems sleeping Continue reading

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Zephyr

By Chernise Joseph (Zivvy)

Anxiety. I’m full of that right now.

It’s pretty common, but it still feels like something you’d see in a horror movie: it sneaks up on you, there’s some loud, dramatic cue of music, and then suddenly whatever else you’re doing feels irrelevant because now you have to run from It.

Tonight, I sat outside with my friends and watched the tree canopies above us get caught up in the wind. It’s a cool, breezy night Continue reading

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Take the Time to Feed Your Creative Self

By Maria Sammartino

Art has always been a part of my life and who I am. Growing up we didn’t have the luxury of “just watching TV.” My grandparents were both artists and made sure when we were with them, we either had a pen, crayon, paint, knitting needles, or crochet hook in our hands. Thankfully for us, they made sure our hands were always busy and we were creating something.

My grandmother was Continue reading

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Voting Reminders – In-Person or Mail-In Ballot

Election season is upon us and we are less than one month away from election day. Across the country, there are many important federal, state, and local elections awaiting the decision of the people on November 3, 2020. This year in particular, many people are considering how they want to vote – either in-person at their polling place or via a mail-in (or absentee) ballot. Whether you plan to vote-by-mail or in-person this election, below are a few things to keep in mind as we get closer to Election Day. Continue reading

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Barbara Dixon – October 2020 Artist of the Month

Each year, MSAA features the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis in our annual MSAA Art Showcase. We also highlight one artist each month as our Artist of the Month. This month, we are proud to feature artist Barbara Dixon of Woodstock, GA:

Tolerance

About the Artist: Continue reading

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Reluctant to Change

By Doug Ankerman

Multiple sclerosis has been, and continues to be, the best disease I could ever have!

(More on this later.)

When it comes to change, I have been reluctant, even rebellious, my whole life.

Strange places, new faces, different situations make me Continue reading

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The Tsunami

By Chernise Joseph (Zivvy)

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with tsunamis.

I know how that sounds, tsunamis aren’t the friendliest natural phenom to be fascinated by, but I think that’s why they’ve caught my attention like they have.

When I think of change, I think of tsunamis. Consider this: tsunamis are the perfect representation of change, not only because they have the ability to change lives in seconds, but because they’re water. Continue reading

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Slow Change and Sudden Shifts: Zooming Out to Gain Perspective

By Stacie Prada

Slow change can be really tough to handle. Its gradual and persistent nature can disguise itself as normal and stable. Only when it reaches a threshold or shifts might we feel the results.

I’ve been living with multiple sclerosis unknowingly and knowingly for almost thirty years, and in the last 12 years I’ve known lesions in my spinal cord are the root cause of pain and my body malfunctioning. I know my body is damaged from MS, I sense where it’s going, and yet Continue reading

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