My name is Gabriella and I have multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS can take me on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Considering I easily get motion sickness, I try to avoid the ride whenever possible. Here are some suggestions that have helped me through the ups, downs, and twirls of having MS:
- Spend time with family and friends and have fun with the people who care about you. Simply spending time with someone can help you focus on enjoying life. Who cares if you bump into door frames or are itchy? A loving friend will gladly catch you when you fall or scratch you when you itch.
- Laugh! Be able to laugh at the stories behind the symptoms, including confusion. I once put lipstick on the dark circles underneath my eyes thinking it was concealer! I looked like a clown but I found the humour in it.
- Pursue hobbies and interests that you enjoy and are able to do. I enjoy doing word puzzles, which has a dual benefit because it helps me focus, relieve my foggy brain, and develop my cognitive abilities.
- Be creative. When I wake up in the morning, my feet are often numb, so I created a game that my son and I play. He squeezes my feet as hard as he can. He thinks he’s playing a game. Little does he know that he is helping to stimulate my nerves so I can walk.
I have faced the reality that I have MS. I have now found a positive meaning to the illness. I know that the quality of my life is somewhat dependent on how I let MS affect me. You can find your own personal coping strategies. You might want to delegate tasks, exercise, nap or attend a self-help group. If it makes you feel better, it’s a good strategy. You can also turn to your local MS Society chapter or your doctor for advice on ways to cope.
-Gabriella Mammone, MS Ambassador and Entrepreneur
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