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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Multiple Sclerosis: In Like a Lion?

The first day of March has come and gone. Now we have spring to anticipate.


Being the folk lore buff that I am, I tend to abide by the rules of Appalachian weather forecasts. Even though March 1 was sunny and warm here, the day ended with gusty winds and falling temperatures. Thus, I say that March has arrived like that old lion of weather lore. That means we can expect at least one more snow storm. That's fine with me. Spring will just be that much sweeter when it comes to us.

Unfortunately multiple sclerosis rarely gives us anything favorable to look forward to. Or does it?

I actually am looking forward to the arrival of my thirty day free trial of Ampyra. The pharmacy called yesterday to confirm my information and set up delivery of my new drug. It should be here within the week. That was certainly fast, since I only met with my neurologist on Monday. That means that I will receive my Ampyra shipment just n time for my birthday. (I love getting packages in the mail!!!) With any luck that also means that I will be walking much better by Easter. Which also means that I will receive a gift of improved mobility. Happy birthday to me. 

But if Amprya doesn't work for me I refuse to mark that as a failure. We must play the hand we're dealt and move forward. Fate is not easily manipulated. 

According to Lemony Snicket, "Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don't always like." Just because we cannot control fate, that doesn't mean we cannot control our reaction to our so-called hand.

We need to put things in perspective and do the best with what we are given.

If my new MS treatment doesn't agree with me, I am still going to exercise. I will continue to write every day. My friend and I are not gong to stop experimenting with new knitting patterns or meeting for calorie-infused chain restaurant goodies. I will not quit reading books or playing all of those crazy Facebook games if Amprya doesn't work for me. You know why?

 MS does not define who I am. Sure, it's an inconvenience and sometimes an embarrassment. I just need to pay attention to the particular hand MS chooses to deal me from day to day. Living with multiple sclerosis requires flexibility and an open mind. Living with MS is not for the faint of heart. Embrace your inner super hero by refusing to be a doormat to the MonSter.

We all have a story and that story is different for each of us. I have learned so much more about my disease from the testimonials of others. There are so many great stories out there and it is so reassuring to connect (no matter how distant) with someone else who can relate to your frustration and applaud your successes.

There are several MS-related books on my shelf, my favorite being Multiple Sclerosis for Dummies. I like this easy-to-use guide for that very very reason. It is easy to use; easy to read; easy to understand. I mention this book often. I am fascinated with the Forward by David Baldacci and the straight-to-the-point format of the book. It's just a wonderful resource.
MS Living Symptom Free: The True Story of an MS Patient by Daryl H. Bryant is an inspiring story of a fellow MS warrior that has touched me beyond words. I love his story mainly because he relies upon the sense God gave us to endure the trials of multiple sclerosis. In a time when common sense seems to have expired, Daryl revives that ol' relic and reminds us that we really do have a say in how we live with our disease.
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Ronda Giangreco's The Gathering Table: Defying Multiple Sclerosis With a year of  Pasta, Wine & Friends is another wonderful book. Giangreco literally cooks her way to a positive mindset in dealing with MS.Product Details

These books are not medical textbooks. They are easy reads for someone wanting to know more about MS or for a current MS Warrior searching for ways to fight the good fight.

 I hope you will order a copy of my own story I Have MS. What's Your Super Power?

The best way to learn more about a subject is to hear about it first hand. Prior to publication, Leslie Hillburn, administrator of the Face Book page We're Not Drunk We Have MS reviewed my book by saying:
"I absolutely love how every symptom is explained. While reading this book I shook my head in agreement with every word. Those of us with MS are fighters, strong and will never give up. This book is a must-have to share with loved ones to gain a better understanding about this monster. Thank you, Lisa, for letting us have a peek into your life and explaining what so many of us go through. Stay strong, my MS sister."

This is the reason I wrote I Have MS. What's Your Super Power?
I want to share my limited knowledge with others. I say limited because the more I read, the less I realize I know. Maybe I really don't want to know everything about my disease; but I do want to know that there is hope. The stories of other MS Warriors give me that hope.

So, whether or not the month of March comes in like a lion or like a mouse, I am determined to be that lion.

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month 2016 began yesterday, March 1, with sunny skies and calm temps here in West Virginia. Just like MS, though, the weather conditions are changing rapidly. This morning I awoke to snow showers and the promise of rigid temperatures. Yesterday my step was somewhat light and I accomplished a lot on my daily chore list. Today I have a headache and I have pretty much talked myself out of going to exercise class later.

The March winds have had a profound effect on my attitude and MS is thumbing its nose at me. MS is doing it's job; but I plan to go in on the defense after while. The MonSter doesn't have a chance today, regardless of the weather.

I may not be able to control fate, but I can control my decisions for today. And my biggest decision is to contribute to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society through the sale of my books.

Please consider helping the National Multiple Sclerosis Society by funding the research of MS with the purchase of my book.
During the month of March I will donate one dollar per sale of I Have MS. What's Your Super Power?: A Common Sense Guide to Living With MS to NMSS.
I Have MS. What's Your super Power? is a Readers Favorite 5-star review recipient and an honorable mention at the London Book Festival. Not only is it my story, but I offer suggestions and commentary for living with MS.


Contact me via e-mail and I will personally pay the postage or even hand deliver (if you live relatively close by).
LisaAnnettteMcCombs@yahoo.com

Have a wonderfully windy day,
Lisa

UPDATE!!!!!
As of this morning eight books have been ordered and sold. That's $8.00 for NMSS!!!!!!



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