When were you diagnosed with MS? December 2018
What type of MS do you have? Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS)
#1: Can you tell us a little about your journey with MS. How did you feel about your initial diagnosis and how it has affected your life?
On December 31, 2018, my doctor gave me an unexpected prognosis. I was told that I had Multiple Sclerosis. As an African American male with no reported family history of anyone else with the disease, I was completely in shock. After carefully thinking it through, my diagnosis explained why and how my body was going through so many drastic adjustments over the years. Without significant changes in diet and exercise, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can rapidly deteriorate the body. However, the support of a team of doctors and bi-annual medication has really helped to slow down the progression of MS for me.
#2: What MS symptoms do you have and how do you manage them on a daily basis?
The symptoms I experience are numbness, brain fog, fatigue, weakness, electric shock, and tingling. To manage these symptoms, I incorporate different medications, exercise, aquatic therapy, and ample rest into my routine.
#3: Who/What has been your most important support system?
My family and especially my wife have been a great source of support for me. I receive additional support from my MS Support Group. I meet with them on a weekly basis and this really helps, because it encourages my spirit.
#4: Do you use any accessories like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs to manage daily activities?
I recently purchased a walking cane; but, I try not to use it. I usually try to balance myself without the cane every morning.
#5: How do you stay positive and motivated in your daily life? What do you do for self-care?
I stay positive by trying to help encourage others through my various social media platforms. The biggest positive for me is hearing people say that I helped them through my kind words and my smile. Being able to help others is the best motivation I can receive, especially from people going through the same thing as myself. Normally my mornings are dedicated to self-care; because, that's the time I read my Bible and meditate before I truly start my day.
#6: Your story and experiences with MS are incredibly valuable and can provide encouragement and motivation to others in the community. What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with MS or going through a challenging time right now?
I look at my life as an example of how to respond to the diagnosis. It's okay to cry and feel sorry for yourself for a moment, but after the crying is over...RESET your thinking. Perhaps the most significant lesson to learn from MS is the ability to reset your mind. Make an effort to condition your mind to believe that you can still have a great life, regardless of the challenges you may face on a daily basis.
#7: Have you started a business or mission related to MS? Can you tell us about it and what inspired you to take this step?
I haven't started a business for MS. But, I am trying looking forward to becoming an advocate for MS through various organizations. I have reached out to several people, but I haven't heard back from anyone yet. Hopefully, I will soon!
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