Getting On With Life
Eighteen years ago I was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS, at age 53. I was grateful that I had already had so many rich life experiences such as cross country skiing, jogging and climbing the La Luz Trail in the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I tried a variety of treatments and medications for my condition, with varying success. When I discontinued them I no longer had fatigue. For several years I tried every-other-week therapeutic plasma exchange infusions, with short-lived success. I even tried an autologous stem cell treatment. [For more on current research with stem cells and MS: www.nationalmssociety.org/Research/Research-News-Progress/Stem-Cells-in-MS]
In the meantime, I got on with my life! I taught a water exercise class, moderated a support group meeting, and taught yoga classes with the support of a grant provided by a pharmaceutical company. In addition, I began an adaptive ski program, joined a wheelchair basketball team, took up sled hockey, and—to celebrate my 70th birthday—went paragliding.
I have participated in fundraising activities and volunteered for several summers at a camp for children in wheelchairs. Overall, I feel I have been afforded an active, enjoyable life without wasting time whining about what I can’t do. Instead, I spend my effort on finding ways to do as many enjoyable things as I can.
Editors Note: Not all treatments work the same for every patient. Consult your healthcare provider about what treatment, if any, is right for you and your MS.
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