The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is proud to introduce the latest edition of The Motivator, available now in both print and digital versions! This edition’s cover story, “Home and Lifestyle Modifications for Safety and Accessibility,” covers various strategies for better living at home – from strategically placed grab bars for safety, to building ramps and widening doorways for increased accessibility. Learn about easy DIY changes you can make, as well as tips on how to choose the right handyman to make any larger changes to your home.
Also included in this edition:
Organization updates from MSAA President and CEO, Gina Ross Murdoch
MSAA’s Chief Medical Consultant, Dr. Jack Burks, answers reader’s questions
MS research news updates, and much more!
Read an excerpt from our cover story here:
I remember skipping down the stairs and leaping over the baby gate at the bottom with my hands full of laundry. Then I’d run down another flight of steps to the basement to fill the washer before sprinting back up with the wet sheets. With one arm full of wet sheets and the other grasping my son, I’d jump down the back steps and hang the sheets on the clothesline. And that was all before breakfast.
I never dreamed that a few years later, I’d be stranded on my front landing, unable to get down the two steps without holding onto my husband. I certainly never imagined that I’d get stuck in my bathtub, unable to stand up without my husband to pull me out.
Over time, I found solutions to some of the obstacles I was experiencing. Some remedies were not difficult. For instance, I learned that showering was easier than taking a sit-down bath. When the time came that I needed to sit while bathing, I purchased a shower chair at a medical supply store. When the single railing on our inside staircase became too difficult for me to navigate, purchasing a second railing at a home-improvement store was a simple fix.
Continue reading the cover story at support.mymsaa.org/motivator to learn more about home and lifestyle modifications you can use to make your home more accessible.
Introducing MSAA’s newest edition of The Motivator, available now in both printed and digital versions!
Read about the following topics in the new Winter/Spring 2017 issue of The Motivator:
Cover Story: Disease Effects and Needs of Minority Populations with MS
New findings on diagnosis, symptoms, disease course, treatment response, and access to care are among the many issues presented in this article.
MSAA’s President and CEO Gina Ross Murdoch talks about new Board members, successful fundraisers, and exciting initiatives.
Details are given on Ocrevus™ (ocrelizumab), the first disease-modifying therapy to be approved for both relapsing forms of MS as well as primary-progressive MS.
MSAA’s MRI Access Fund is now fully restored and in full swing, providing much-needed MRI scans to individuals who otherwise could not afford this vital testing.
Stories to Inspire:
Read about an individual’s recovery from severe depression and her newfound happiness.
The new Winter/Spring 2017 issue of The Motivator is also available as a digital edition, providing: easy, interactive, online viewing; access from your desktop, tablet, or mobile device; and special features that include a search field, font-size preferences, and more!
*The Motivator is MSAA’s award-winning magazine provided to the MS community and to our generous supporters.
Service Animals and MS – read the newest Summer/Fall 2016 issue of The Motivator, available now in print and digital editions.
Read about the following articles in this issue of The Motivator:
Cover Story: The Joys and Challenges of a Service Dog Partnership
Dr. Darbi Haynes-Lawrence takes readers along her eventful journey to partner with a service dog, encountering many benefits and hurdles along the way.
MSAA’s President and CEO Gina Ross Murdoch talks about record-breaking outreach, a new online community, and upcoming events to support MSAA’s vital programs and services.
Information is given on newly approved Zinbryta™ (daclizumab) and two investigational medications, Ocrevus™ (ocrelizumab) and siponimod.
Throughout the month of October, aligned with the release of latest edition of The Motivator, MSAA Client Services staff and guest bloggers will continue to highlight the impact that a wellness strategy can have on an individual with MS. Discussing topics such as diet and exercise, mental health, and social wellness, we hope to continue the conversation about wellness and learn from each other’s experiences.
The Winter/Spring 2015 issue of The Motivator is now available! Request your copy today or read it online with the all new digital edition! You can access the digital edition right from your desktop or mobile device and enjoy enhanced interactivity and special features such as tools to search for specific terms, change the font size, and add your own notes.
Read about the following topics in MSAA’s latest issue of The Motivator:
Cognitive Issues with MS: Research, Strategies, and Support
…A common symptom of MS, cognitive issues may impact many areas of one’s life, including employment, relationships, adherence to medications, and other activities of daily living. This article details current research into cognition and multiple sclerosis, while providing strategies and support for reducing the effects of this often-challenging symptom.
…Following a severe relapse, Tina was left with loss of vision in one eye, dizziness, and balance problems. She had no idea that seeing-eye dogs are also trained to help mobility and balance. With her service dog by her side, Tina is ready to conquer the world!
It is commonly known that MS can impact mood and can cause an increased risk for developing depression and anxiety which MSAA detailed in the Winter/Spring 2014 issue of The Motivator. However, you may be unfamiliar with another condition – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – which may be something to pay attention to as the seasons change.
SAD is a type of depression which is hallmarked by its “seasonality” generally beginning in the fall and lasting through the winter months. SAD typically tends to creep up as the daylight hours get shorter and the weather gets cooler and the impacts on mood may become more severe as the season goes on. Like other forms of depression, individuals who experience SAD may experience low energy (fatigue), may lose enjoyment in activities they once enjoyed, may experience changes in eating or sleeping habits, may have persistent sad or depressed thoughts, and may even think of engaging in self-harm. As with other forms of depression, individuals with SAD may benefit from the use of medications and/or talk therapy to help address this issue. One major difference with teasing out SAD from other forms of depression is that individuals with SAD may also benefit from using “phototherapy” or specialized light therapy; a person may even be assigned a specific amount time in their day to sit under the specialized light or lamp to help improve their symptoms.
If you have noticed that the fall and winter seasons tend to impact your mood, or if you have noticed a lower overall mood, please discuss the issue with your treating physician…sometimes just shedding some “light” on a situation can make a world of difference.
The Motivator is MSAA’s award-winning magazine provided to the MS community and to our generous supporters. Distributed twice per year, this publication addresses the physical, emotional, and social issues that arise with MS, and provides information and support to many individuals affected by this disorder.
Cover Story: The Emotional and Psychological Symptoms of MS
… The symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pseudobulbar affect (PBA) are described, along with effective treatment strategies. Important information is also given on how these symptoms affect roles and relationships, sexual function, and self-image. Read the full story
…Competitive “biosimilar” drugs may soon be considered for approval. Read about how these “highly similar” drugs may affect procedure, treatment, and cost. Read the full story
…Details on MSAA’s new Swim for MS online Aquatic Center are highlighted. This national program initiative supports the awareness, understanding, and availability of swimming and aquatic exercise as a positive wellness opportunity for the MS community. Read the full story
For this month, we focused our blog around managing MS. Some helpful tips were provided and the one that sticks out to me was about “asking for help”. Understanding your limits and what you are able to accomplish in a day is a great way to conserve your energy and focus on what is important. Often times it is important to involve those around you, but navigating the “how to” is a challenge.
For those who struggle with the symptoms of MS that may not be visible (i.e. fatigue, pain, and cognitive changes), the hidden symptoms of MS, asking for help from a friend or loved one can often be a daunting task. We frequently hear and read stories from individuals who feel guilty asking for help, because they don’t feel that they “look” sick. They fear they will be judged in asking for help.
It may be helpful, before you tell everyone about your MS symptoms to think; does this person play a significant role in my life? And, can I rely on them in the future if I need help? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then it is time to put on your teacher hat and educate those identified helpers about what types of symptoms you experience and what they may look, or sound like, for you. MSAA’s The Motivator Winter/Spring 2013 edition discusses may of the hidden symptoms of MS: https://www.mymsaa.org/publications/motivator/winter-spring13/. This publication can be shared with friends and loved ones to further provide education and information.
Not every person with MS experiences symptoms in the same way, so providing information as to how MS looks and feels to you is very important. With more understanding and better education, we can hope to reduce the stigma around the hidden symptoms of MS and promote a more positive experience for both yourself and your loved ones.
Please share your experiences, have you had to educate your friends and loved ones about the symptoms of MS? What has worked for you?