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.

You Are Stressing Me Out!

By Lauren Kovacs

I admit that I am not always great at this. My approach to stress changes like the wind.  Each issue or event is assigned its own thing. I often stress about stress. 2am is often my stress time.

I am a classic introvert. I am allergic to people, parties, or any gathering. Avoidance is often my plan, sadly. Kind of weird for a Continue reading

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After the Stress: The Arc of Relief Takes Time

By Stacie Prada

In wellness circles, we focus a lot on trying to reduce, offset, and avoid stress. It sometimes seems like feeling anxious or overwhelmed is perceived as a deficiency in our ability to handle life. I’ve come to believe that certain life chapters and physical conditions are inherently stressful and completely outside the limits of what any well-adjusted, positive and active person can live through without physical consequence.

I once heard that Continue reading

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Top 3 Ways to Manage Holiday Stress

By Alene Brennan

Tis the season to be merry and bright… unless you’re living with multiple sclerosis and wanting to just crawl under the covers at the idea of the holiday commotion.

It seems like all the symptoms of MS can be amplified during the holiday season. Why? Because as much as it is a wonderful time of year, it inevitably increases stress.

For some people, it’s “good” stress – the additional social events with Continue reading

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MS and the Flu Shot

MS and the FluIt’s that time of year again when the leaves start falling off the trees in earnest, the weather turns cooler, and the sniffles start to spread around offices and schools. Welcome to cold and flu season. When it comes to preventing the common cold or the flu, there are different strategies Continue reading

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Election Day and Voting with a Disability

Election season is upon us and there are many important races all across the country awaiting the decision of the people. If you feel unsure about voting, or how to get to the polls, check out these five things to keep in mind before you cast your ballot.

Make sure you are registered to vote.

Depending on the state you live in, there may be a specific deadline that you must register before. If you have already missed Continue reading

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Revealing the Mysteries behind Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is proud to introduce the latest edition of The Motivator, available now in both print and digital editions! This edition’s cover story, “Revealing the Mysteries behind Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI),” covers how an MRI works, what it shows, the challenges it presents, and how the MRI is used to monitor disease activity.

Read an excerpt from our cover story here:


MS can sometimes be “clinically silent,” where active lesions are not causing any symptoms. However at other times, certain lesions observed through an MRI correspond specifically to some type of dysfunction, depending on where the lesion is located. For instance, a lesion on the optic nerve may cause optic neuritis, while a lesion on the brainstem can cause vertigo and/or double vision.

Lesions along the spinal cord cause very specific symptoms depending on their location, but in general, these typically relate to either motor (movement) or sensory (sensation) problems. When lesions occur within the anterior (front) portion of the spinal cord, motor or movement functions are affected. Difficulty with coordination and strength with moving one’s arms or walking are examples of symptoms that may occur. When lesions occur within the posterior (back) portion of the spinal cord, sensory problems are more likely. These might include numbness, tingling, burning, and/or loss of feeling, month other sensory issues.


Continue reading the cover story at support.mymsaa.org/motivator to learn more about MRI technology and how that helps monitor MS activity.

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My Life with Multiple Sclerosis… I Got This

Life with Multiple Sclerosis...I Got This

By Penelope Conway

No one likes to think about where multiple sclerosis may lead…not even me. But I can tell you from my own experience, ignoring the possibilities of progression is to live in denial and will only set you up for defeat. Trust me, I lived there my first year after diagnosis.

I chose to deny what was happening in my life because I was afraid of the unknown. Continue reading

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Acceptance is a Myth

Accepting multiple sclerosisBy Doug Ankerman

Wearing the sash as one newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is an overwhelming experience.

Mind spins. Heart races. Limbs tremble (that being the MS part).

Diagnosis may bring closure to some questions. But now new challenges arise. Continue reading

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What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting…

By Scott Cremeans

As a seventeen-year veteran MSer, I am sometimes asked to advise the newly diagnosed. Sometimes I am the one to welcome the recently initiated into the fraternity or sorority of MSers. Questions get posed to me all of the time typically asking the same queries in different forms. Is MS a death sentence?  No. You have MS, how do you look so good?  Oil of Olay. What now? Live your life.

Then one gentleman’s query put me in a quandary. Continue reading

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Accepting Your Diagnosis – Welcome the Beast?

By Lauren Kovacs

This is a process that is very different for everyone. It is not easy to face the monster. It is often a lonely quest. Questions, nervousness, unknowns, anger and shock tend to be its odor. Stinky.

My story is too long to write. You would get bored. It was so long ago and re-living it does not help me much. It changes and we change with it. Faith, for me, has been my only rock.

It started when I was 16 and involved nine months of Continue reading

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