My Story: Living with Multiple Sclerosis

Though some lifestyle concessions are needed, it is possible to remain positive while living with MS.

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Living with multiple sclerosis has really made me value the energy that I have
and choose very carefully what I give that energy to. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Exercising with MS has been a little bit of a challenge because heat really does cause me to have flares.
Something I've discovered that I absolutely love is deep water running, where your head is out of the water
but the rest of you is submerged in the deep end. And it's a great cardio option, while also staying cool.
Presently, we do a lot of just nice walking with our dogs and kids, and that is what I will take for now.
With MS, a few diet modifications that have been helpful is just paying a little bit more attention to anti-inflammatory eating,
so trying to eliminate things like sugars and caffeine and starches from my diet. I am not very good at it, but I'm aware of it.
[LAUGHS] Motherhood can be a challenge with MS, but I will say that it's really helped
spark a deep level of empathy and care within my children from a very young age.
That's not to say that they shoulder a lot of the burden but that they're very understanding and sensitive to how I'm doing and how to be caring in that moment
if I'm struggling. And they like to bring me water or snacks or whatever I need to just continue to lay flat and relax
and recharge. My MS diagnosis has impacted my art in many different ways,
including the medium that I choose to use and a few of the techniques that I've developed to help myself.
And that's what really shifted my lifestyle was my diagnosis. I do still have a part-time job that I work in cultural arts
within my city, but again, it's within that sphere of things that I really love, and so I'm really happy about it.
How I remain so positive with MS-- I'd say I really take the light and the dark in stride.
I don't have fantastic days every day, but I'm really thankful for the days when they're good, even,
and relaxed. I think just taking it all in stride is really important. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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