Looking Back on a Year With Multiple Sclerosis

Mandy Crest Health Guide
  • It was the first week of December 2007, when I wrote my first post here on The Health Central Network’s Multiple Sclerosis Central. I’ve been writing two posts per week about living with multiple sclerosis, and there is no evidence that I’m running short on material. Life with MS requires adapting to constant change and remaining open to new avenues.

    Last December, I suggested that we Keep the ‘Hustle and Bustle’ in Perspective. “The hustle and bustle are not necessarily all they're cracked up to be. Keep it simple and you'll have more to give. So, pour a steaming mug of hot chocolate, stoke the fireplace, turn on your favorite Christmas music and enjoy the people in your life who matter most.” With the holiday season upon us once again, I stand by that suggestion.

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    In February’s At the Crossroads, I wrote that “more and more I am questioning my ability to continue even this part-time job.” Amazingly, I am still hanging in there, working mornings outside the home, and afternoons at home. I can’t know how long this will continue, but that’s the unpredictability of life with MS.

    I bragged about a healthy diet in Food for Thought: Fuel up on Premium. Nothing has changed, I’m happy to report. I can give myself a pat on the back for my diet... how about you?

    Exercise and MS: Join Me in My New Commitment! That’s what I said back in April. In May it was Yoga for MS: It's About the Journey. So, how did I do? It’s a failing grade in that department. Exercise is my achilles heel. There are any number of reasons why I can’t manage it, not the least of which is that I have MS! But that’s no excuse. I understand the important role exercise plays in overall health, and in maintaining strength in the face of MS. It’s hard. Very hard. But I must vow once again to find a way to exercise more. Hold me to it, would you? Jake and I just took a long, invigorating autumn walk through the neighborhood and it felt just wonderful!

    “Those of us who have MS had better find a way to work with it... around it... and through it. Otherwise, life will pass us by. Find your passion. Then find a way to live it.” I wrote those words in August, and they are words I live by. The point is not to stop living. I’m still working on living my passion. Are you?

    The Kindness of Strangers really got to me in August. It still makes my day when I run into kind strangers. I run into not-so-kind strangers, too, but I choose not to dwell on them.

    In September, it was a wayward train that got me steamed in, Hey, You with the Cane, Could You Speed it Up? Well, I was not successful in getting a direct response, but in subsequent visits to the mall, we didn't come across the train. It could have been just a temporary thing, or maybe they got more complaints than just mine. In any case, good riddance, little train.

    By October, the economy weighed heavily on my mind. In Wall Street, Main Street, and MS I worried about health care taking a back seat to wall street and the economy as a whole. In the end, I decided that “now is not the time to fade silently into the background.” Let's keep up our fight for health care reform!

  • From a recent post, How to Survive Thanksgiving: Tips for the MS Patient, I suggested that it is not necessary to play hostess. Taking my own advice, I am not hosting and I fully intend to have a stress-free holiday.

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    So begins my second year as part of this wonderful on-line community. Thank you for reading, contributing, and doing your part to support others.


    As always, feel free to give me a shout out, either through commenting or private messaging. And thank you for a truly inspiring year.

Published On: November 24, 2008