Become a Creature of Habit

By Doug Ankerman

April’s theme of “Staying Organized” draws a collective “yeah right, when pigs fly” from most.

Adding your multiple sclerosis to the mix makes it even more overwhelming.

So, I say let’s break it down into something smaller. Something attainable. And simply become a “creature of habit.”

By that I mean make it a habit of putting your stuff in the same place every day.

Form a new habit - always put your wallet in the same placeHere on the counter is where 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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Emotional and Physical Wellness Go Together

By Doug Ankerman

They go together like milk and cookies, peas and carrots, Forrest Gump and Jenny.

Emotional and physical wellness go together like shoes and socks (or socks and sandals on middle aged males).

You can’t have one without the other.

But how so? Aren’t they two different things, some may ask?

I used to think Continue reading

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All About You!

By Doug Ankerman

All About You - 60 Seconds to Make Yourself BetterAlmost a month into 2019 and thank God all the chatter about resolutions and fresh starts is winding down.

The reason my undies are in a bunch about this topic is because resolutions fail and fresh starts, though better, are often postponed. 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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Bring it On

By Doug Ankerman

As a MSer, I’m not one for change. Change brings uncertainty, anxiety and undue stress that my tattered nerves don’t need. But this change in season, I welcome.

Welcome the Change in SeasonI LOVE fall. And so does my multiple sclerosis. Cooler temps. Tolerable humidity. And stable barometric pressure that isn’t Continue reading

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Making MS the Punch Line

By Doug Ankerman

Finding humor in situations is what I did WAY before multiple sclerosis became my dance partner.  Writing jokes and doing stand-up comedy about the oddities of life and experiences was a way of dealing. So little did I know this skill (if you can call it that) would help me cope with an MS diagnosis back in 1996. Likewise, who knew sharing silly observations about MS would help others too. Helping them realize they are not alone.  That what they are thinking, feeling and doing is not problematic – it is just a part of life with chronic illness.

For example, do you notice Continue reading

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Flying With One Wing

By Doug Ankerman

For me, traveling with multiple sclerosis (and being in a wheelchair) has never been a problem.

I’ve rolled through airports with every conceivable three-letter combination in the entire alphabet.  And my latest trip to Phoenix (or should I say PHX) would be no exception.

But this trip WOULD be a challenge for two reasons. Continue reading

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What’s the Alternative?

By Doug Ankerman

As a twenty-two year member of the MS Club, I have tried more than my share of alternative approaches to treat multiple sclerosis.  From diets to massage to supplements like turmeric and aloe vera gel.  I’ve questioned my dentist about Mercury fillings.  Researched into CCSVI.  With secondary-progressive MS, I found myself grasping at anything and everything to slow the gradual downward slide.

Here are a few others I’ve dabbled with… Continue reading

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Progressive Talk

By Doug Ankerman

The word “progressive” brings to mind images of broad, dynamic thinking.

Progressive is fresh.  Progressive is modern.  Progressive is revolutionary in every aspect.

Progressive was NOT me in any way, shape or form.

Just look at me as a kid.  Absolutely nothing progressive.  Big ears.  Big head.  Eddie Munster hair.  Shy.  Backward.  Sucked my thumb till I was eight-years-old.

My progressive aversion continued well into adulthood till finally being tagged “Secondary-Progressive” years into my MS journey.

It was the first-time I had been “progressive” at anything.

Though my new-found classification never bothered me because I figured I had had Progressive MS since day one.  I never experienced the ups and downs of Relapsing-Remitting.  It’s always been a gradual downhill slide.  Like the most boring roller coaster ride ever.  Like a driveway tilted just enough to let the rain run to the curb.

Having the label “Progressive MS” was no biggie to me because it is just that – a label.  Someone’s opinion.  A moniker.  A mark.  My hope is you feel the same way.

Whether your MS is RR (Relapsing-Remitting), SP (Secondary-Progressive), PP (Primary-Progressive) or CP (Chronic Progressive), it doesn’t matter.  MS doesn’t define you.  MS doesn’t limit you.  So don’t let it change you.

After twenty-two years I have come to accept my progressive MS…it’s my not-so progressive sense of fashion that continues to embarrass my wife in public…

But I LOVE my cargo shorts, honey!

All this progressive talk reminds me today, March 28th, is the first-ever Progressive MS Day, a day raising awareness for those living with the most debilitating forms of the disease.  You can help spread the word in your social media by using the official hashtag: #ProgressiveMSDay.

Join me as I give #ProgressiveMSDay a well-deserved sitting ovation.

Keep moving my friend.

*Doug writes about MS and other stuff on his humor blog at myoddsock.com, Facebook.com/myoddsock & on Twitter @myoddsock.

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