The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.
So here we are in mid-January… long past New Year countdowns and the making (and breaking) of resolutions. Although it is different for me now, when I was younger, New Year’s was the grand finale to 365 days, worthy of much celebration.
I can still remember my first and only formal New Year’s party held in a glamourous ballroom. My husband and I were in our 20s and completely inexperienced with swanky affairs. Soon after arriving, I proudly stood in my evening gown alongside my husband in his borrowed tux as he uncorked the first bottle of champagne at our table. I can still see the cork shooting from the bottle and hitting the woman on the other side of our table smack-dab in the center of her forehead. Fortunately, my New Year celebrations are much quieter now – and much safer for those around me!
With each new year, I think about what’s ahead, what I can control, and what will make the next 12 months fulfilling for me. Instead of pushing myself to do more or be better, my approach this year for health management is to track what helps me manage my health with methods that are easy to use and visually informative.
Knowing what my body needs is an ever-changing puzzle, and tracking provides clues for what could be the cause or remedy for things contributing to health challenges. Add aging and menopause to living with Multiple Sclerosis, and knowing how to best manage my changing body is not easy.
MSAA features the work of many talented artists affected by multiple sclerosis as part of our annual MSAA Art Showcase. Each month we share these artists’ inspiring stories and beautiful artwork with you as our Artist of the Month. This month, we celebrate Hope Angel as the January Artist of the Month. Hope is from Seattle, WA.
The holiday season for me is one of convergence. A convergence of work demands, holiday tasks, gatherings, gifts and merriment. It feels like everything needs to get done, and there’s not enough time in the day or energy in my body to do everything. It affects my routines, eating habits, cash flow and health. Yet I love it and look forward to it every year.
Decorations brighten the landscape, workplaces and homes. Stress abounds, but so does good cheer. Frenzy and serenity coexist.
MSAA features the work of many talented artists affected by multiple sclerosis as part of our annualMSAA Art Showcase. Each month we share these artists’ inspiring stories and beautiful artwork with you as our Artist of the Month. This month, we celebrate Vanessa Willison as the December Artist of the Month. Vanessa is from Dorchester, NE.
Recently, my son Steve approached me with an idea. “Mom, how about we create a mother and son team supporting MSAA for the Disney Marathon Weekend?” Having participated before with TeamMSAA in the Disney events and getting the opportunity to do this with my son, I was all in with his great suggestion. It also made me think about how thankful I am to have his support as a team member in our collective efforts to raise funds and awareness for the MS community.
When Multiple Sclerosis fatigue rears up, my first noticeable sign is when I stop telling stories that come to mind. I edit myself more, and I contribute to conversations less. A decision point noticeably inserts itself into the thought process.
Do I have the energy to share this story? Am I able and willing to commit to staying in the conversation? When I’m experiencing fatigue, the answer is no. Things I find funny, interesting or relevant become thoughts too big to share.
Team MSAA includes a wide community of people whose lives have been touched by MS. In fact, our fundraising runners, walkers, and swimmers come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. The upcoming runDisney weekend has perhaps our youngest participant yet – 8-year-old Berkley Keene, running with Team MSAA in January’s Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend’s 5k!
MSAA features the work of many talented artists affected by multiple sclerosis as part of our annual MSAA Art Showcase. Each month we share these artists’ inspiring stories and beautiful artwork with you as our Artist of the Month. This month, we celebrate Ben Lang-Roma as the November Artist of the Month. Ben is from Lynnwood, WA.