Each month I want to highlight someone in the MS community who is doing amazing things for themselves and their MS diagnosis!
If you’d like to be interviewed and share your story, please email me at email@example.com!
When were you diagnosed with MS? What was it like for you?
March 17th 2020, the week the world was shut down due to the pandemic. It was shocking ontop of what was already going on in the world. I didn’t know what multiple sclerosis was and even struggled to pronounce it. I asked my physician if I could just call it “Multiple S.” She then explained to me that yes! People call it MS. I went home and the second I saw my husband I broke down sobbing. It took me almost a year after that to accept my diagnosis. A lot of “why me?” A lot of anger, sadness, depression. Currently, finally getting a handle on the acceptance if the rest of my life.
What did you think was going to be the hardest part of MS? What was actually the hardest?
Daily management of my disease. I have learned a lot, a whole lot! Researched more than enough, at times obsessed with research. It is hard to make the right choices, but in the end its better to be in the “know.”
Have you or are you currently taking any MS medications?
I am not currently taking medications, but am starting Tysabri June 2nd after more than a year if managing naturopathically.
What is the symptom you struggle the most with?
Fatigue!!!!!! Its definitely the biggest struggle I have. Anxiety and depression have a big part in the fatigue as well, but I am getting better.
Have you made any diet changes that has helped?
Absolutely. Best Bet Diet by MS hope has helped so much to know what to put in my body that won’t hurt me and cause symptoms.
Have you made any lifestyle changes that has helped?
Yes, I have. Positive outlook is the the most important thing to do. Exercise, such as walking really helps. Prayer and meditation are also important. Knowing that your diagnosis isn’t the end of the road and just learning to manage it will be the best thing to know.
Was your family/spouse/friends supportive of your decisions; if not did they change their minds afterwards?
All of my family and friends let me process and do what I have felt best for my own life. My parents help me a lot with buying any supplements I need and my husband supports me with any crazy expensive food choices I need. My sweet husband also emotionally supports me so much! My children have learned what mom can and cannot do and have adapted to it. My daughter has caught on so much of my dietary restrictions and makes me special treats that I can eat 🙂
What is the most impactful thing you’ve done to help your MS symptoms?
Being selfish, which as a mom that is the most difficult thing to do. Rest when I need rest, say no when i need to say no and to give myself a break when I need a break. It is impossible to keep up, so accepting that you can’t most of the time is impactful.
If you could tell someone newly diagnosed one thing, what would you say?
Breathe and take your time to not jump into decisions. Don’t be pushed, your body is your body.
My name is Kathy, and I have a somewhat similar story to yours. I was diagnosed in February of 2019. It was at least a year of feeling numb, like if I had been in an accident, and was moving around bumping into things, half aware of my surroundings. Inside my head? Same. There is some residue of stunned hunh? What’s going on feeling. I think that is my way of dealing with it on my terms, accepting it in more reasonable amounts. Really, you can’t just say, believe and inwardly digest all of the life sentence you have been given all at once.
I feel like one of the best things in my life is a beloved sister who has Rheumatoid Arthritis. She has shown me through her words and actions how to manage the hugely all-encompassing thing that is autoimmune disease.
My family is supportive, but I think they skirt around the outside of what MS is, and what it is doing to me. Fair enough, I did the same thing to my sister with the whole RA diagnosis. Her disease is a lot more visible on the outside.
I admire your courage to jump in and change your whole approach to nutrition. That is huge!
I wish you well Amanda! You are now in a group with an amazing group of people! It helps immensely to know this!
Hi Kathy! Thank you for sharing your story and sending well wishes to Amanda! I’m glad you have support!