Natalie Shumylo – April 2019 MS Artist of the Month

Each year, MSAA features the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis in the annual MS Ability and Four Seasons Art Showcases, including highlighting one artist each month as our MS Artist of the Month. This month, we are proud to feature Natalie Shumylo of West Allis, WI:

Natalie Shumylo - Running Late

“Running Late”

About the Artist Continue reading

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The Benefits and Challenges of FMLA

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides job protection to those that need to miss time from work due to illness, or who need to provide care for a family member with a serious health condition. One of our MultipleSclerosis.net contributors, Donna, recently posted a great piece on FMLA, explaining the process, including who qualifies and how it works. In response to this post, we received so many insightful comments from our community members, conveying their personal stories and challenges with FMLA, that we compiled some of their experiences to share.

Granting time to focus on what’s important

There are many great benefits of FMLA, Continue reading

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Surrounding Yourself

By Doug Ankerman

Okay, I hear you saying “you got this”… “no problem”… or the hackneyed, overused phrase “I have MS but it doesn’t have me.”

Yeah, I hear you tough guy/tough gal.

I hear you because I used to say the same. When I was diagnosed back in 1996, I thought MS didn’t know what it was messing with. I didn’t need any help. Didn’t need advice. Didn’t need to talk about it and burden someone else with my belly-aching. Continue reading

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Loved One in Denial?

By Jarely Meza

Some of us have been in the situation where a loved one has experienced a health problem, a sickness, addiction, or recent medical diagnosis and they are too stubborn or proud to admit this, let alone ask for help. As care partners we feel that it is our responsibility to push them to get help – to remind them about setting up an appointment, or to even try and convince them to go see someone about their situation.

Often someone who may be in denial will Continue reading

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The People Who Surround Me: Those I Keep and Seek

By Stacie Prada

As I age, I’m getting more intentional about who I spend time with and how I shape interactions. We can’t always completely avoid people who drain us, but we can shift how we approach our interactions. We can’t always spend enough time with the people we love, but we can shape our relationships to maximize our joy and connection. A lot of our daily lives involve acquaintances who with a small amount of attention can become friends. Our friends and family won’t always have the skills or perspective to meet our needs, but we can find circles of friends who will fill the gaps.

People who drain me: If I can Continue reading

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Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili Recipe

For this month’s featured recipe, we are delighted to highlight a delicious concoction from an MS care partner during MS Awareness Month.

Arlene’s husband David was diagnosed with MS in 1997, seven years after receiving a diagnosis of transverse myelitis that appeared with an attack of acute symptoms. Living on their family’s ranch in Montana with their children and grandchildren nearby, cooking has become Arlene’s art form over the years. She’s grown a greater skill set in this art and has continued sharing several recipes and her family’s story with the MS community.

Our featured recipe is one of Arlene’s favorites to share! This crock pot cream cheese chicken chili recipe Continue reading

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Care Partner Needs

As we embark on the second half of MS Awareness Month, we are focusing in on care partners. Care partners can be family, friends and in some cases individuals from agencies or organizations. Being a care partner can not only be a difficult, but also lonely position to be in. Others who have not walked in your shoes will not understand the concerns, questions or struggles that you encounter. They also may not understand Continue reading

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Who do you surround yourself with?

By Lauren Kovacs

It is tough when dealing with MS. You don’t want to be the burden and the boil on someone’s bum. But, you also don’t want to seem stubborn in not asking for help. The winds of MS are blowing at each other. I get it.

Sadly we have to buffer the winds. Bad hair days from those winds are common. Keeping calm in the wind storm is hard. MS is a strong contender. Being calm can help avoid a flare.

Not easy to please others by asking for help, keeping your Continue reading

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When You Get Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis So Does Everyone Close to You

How MS Affects Friendships

By Penelope Conway

I woke up this morning thinking about the past five years of my life. I get discouraged sometimes thinking about everything that has happened. I have days when I feel as if multiple sclerosis has flipped my world upside down and inside out. That my life, plans, dreams, and hopes have all changed more than I ever thought possible and I wasn’t prepared for the changes.

Many people go through life wishing they lived a life much like a scene from a movie where everything falls perfectly into place. Where they have Continue reading

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Sometimes I Feel Guilty for Having MS

By Alene Brennan

Living with a chronic illness is not easy. Living with an invisible disease is not easy. Living with an unpredictable disease is not easy.

Living with MS is hard.

To add insult to injury, I sometimes feel guilty for the extra burden it places on my family and friends.

After my diagnosis I felt like I lost the certainty I believed I had over my health. Of course, none of us has a guarantee with health, but an MS diagnosis definitely Continue reading

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