Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What is "Coping With MS" - READ ME FIRST

Coping With MS - October 2009

Welcome to "Coping With MS"! The purpose of my blogging is to reach out to other people with MS as well as thier friends and families. I will share my stories of how I cope with having Multiple Sclerosis, how I overcome my symptoms and live a life full of love, laughter, hope and fun.

I hope you will find my blogs inspiring and I hope with equal fervour that you will feel you can contact me with your own stories of how you overcome your MS symptoms. If you just have a quick tip or trick that you use, please feel free to send just that. I know how hard looking at computer screens and reading can be for people suffering with MS!!

I will be posting a link on Twitter whenever I write a new blog, so that those of you who have problems with vision have a faster way of seeing if the day's topic is of interest to you. My Twitter account is Coping_with_MS so feel free to follow me there!

My blogs will likely vary in how I write them. Some will be stories of things I've accomplished that day (which I hope you will find amusing and inspiring) while others will delve deeper into my symptoms, what they let me do as well as what they prevented me from doing and how I worked to overcome them. In the more in-depth blogs about symptoms I Will be posting links to other websites with good, easy to understand help on coping with MS symptoms.

I have access to amazing programs here in Toronto. I have learned a lot so far and I continue to learn and grow through various programs I attend. I hope that my stories will reach some of you who don't have access to similar programs, so that you might reap some of the benefits of them.

If you have comments or suggestions on any of my blogs, please feel free to post them. I welcome any and all comments and hope that others will feel they can share their own stories of how they cope with their own version of MS.

Please keep in mind that MS is different for everyone and affects everyone differently. What might work for me and my symptoms might not be possible in your life, due to money, location, resources or just because your body reacts differently. I am not going to say I will have all the answers, but I hope to provide some of them!

So you have a bit of background, here is a little about me:

  • 38 years old (as of October 2009)
  • live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • diagnosed with MS in September 2007
  • my constant symptoms are: fatigue, pain, weakness in right leg, dizziness and balance issues, Lhermittes sign and vision problems (double vision when reading or concentrating)
  • my transient symptoms are: muscle spasms, inability to control my blood pressure and very intense (and frightening) sensation issues
  • I am ambulatory and use a walker to get around, including around my apartment
  • I can use a cane for very short distances when I have another means of support such as a wall, furniture or another person beside me as I tend to fall otherwise
  • I have two exceptionally furry cats who keep me busy with the vacuum cleaner, but who also add so much to my life
  • and my rock, my greatest strength, is my love for my Fiance, Henry, who at this time still lives over 3,000 miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, but is there for me every single day
I am a very lucky and very happy woman. I just happen to have Multiple Sclerosis. It makes day to day living quite interesting and I hope you'll find my stories and insight as interesting!

Sending you my warmest regards,



  1. Happy Birthmonth, Laura. Thanks for sharing your blog, and coping with your condition. I have a similar but different condition 'cervical myelitis.' (see transverse myelitis) but with ongoing diagnostic testing. The symptoms are very simialar to MS, other than it is supposed to be a one-off event. We shall see. It has been two years of recovery for me, and now I am just getting back to work part time as the fatigue is difficult to manage.

    The one challenge, public challenge, is the invisiblility of it all. I love this and hate it, 'you look great! how do you feel.' What to say... Thanks, I feel like shit... I've quit being so honest, but I hate to be a lump too.

    Way to go with your blog. all the best.

  2. I am grateful to have found your blog. I do not have a diagnosis yet but suspect MS.

    Here is my story:

    I am 45, wife and mom of 2 girls.
    Got sick at 14 (the doctors weren't sure but thought it was mono)
    Never recovered...went from full of energy to struggling to make it through the day.
    Has gotten progressively worse over the last 30 years. No dx.
    Two auto accidents...whiplash from both, etc.
    Has gotten much worse the last 6 months...
    Chronic fatigue and exhaustion
    All over body pain (hard to describe...joints, muscles, bones)
    Numbness in arms and legs
    Weakness in arms and legs
    Tingling in arms and legs
    Difficulty writing (typing is easier and less painful)
    Vision worsing in left eye
    Memory loss (especially short term)
    Difficulty putting owrds together...I think one thing and say another
    Frequent urination (I even had a bladder suspension but it didn't help)
    Depression (take Lexapro)

    I look forward to following your blog.


  3. Hi, I just found your blog- and look forward to following it. Life with MS is a challenge-- with so much unpredictability (even within a single day) that it can make life seem unbearable at times. I'd be interested to hear more about your experience with depression and how you deal with it(besides meds).
    For me, fatigue and depression are the hardest to work around. I am pissed off today (and often)that I have to deal with it all as there are so many things I would like to do and simply can't find the energy (or hope?) to do.
    I am hoping that 2010 will be an improvement over 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004. I want my life back, ya know????

    For what its worth-For some reason the black background makes it hard to read. (nothing against black I just can't read through it very well)

    I'm not always this pessimistic:)
    Best wishes

  4. @everyone - sorry I didn't notice these! I will pay attention to comments in future! :o)

    @lorrie - I am so sorry you are having such a hard time. I am glad you have the hope of recovery though! If you are finding the "invisibility" tough to cope with, can I suggest a website called there you will find other people just like you! Also, the website creator wrote a little something called "The Spoon Theory". I found it the best way of explaining to friends and family what my life is like. Have Kleenex ready though - I cried myself silly the first time I read it and still do, every time I read it!

    @D Lyn Sugs - I hope the doctors can get you a diagnosis soon! There are ways of dealing with all those symptoms, but easier once they know what is causing them! If you ever want to ask me about specific symptoms, please feel free to email me at

    @Ellery Jane - I hear you! I have finally accepted that I will never get my "old" life back, by simply coming to grips with the fact that this IS my life - no matter what happens, it is my life and how good it is remains my responsibility. I cannot just sit and hope for better, I have to make it better. I am hoping you come to accept yourself for who you are - because I'll bet you're even better than who you used to be! Just think, what would your 20 year old self think of you now? I'll bet you would never dream you could live with so much going on! You are stronger than you know! Oh - if you have any suggestions on what colour scheme would be easier to read, please let me know!

    Sending you all hugs and hopes!


  5. Hiya Laura,

    Your blog is inspiring. I've recently been diagnosed with MS myself, so am looking for support from others wherever I can find it. I've also just started my own blog on Would love your suggestions or feedback.

    Stay well,