My MSAdventures: Forward

The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis frequently carries along fears and misconceptions, and patients who receive that diagnosis are often insufficiently counseled on what to expect. Internet has now become a great source of information and typically all sorts of answers including those that do not apply to single individuals could be found there. The author of this book, on the other hand, has been living the troubles that come with the disease and she shares her experiences and her views with an emphasis on how to move forward. In fact, Becky, a person with a reserved and shy personality could have easily sat back and given up on living an active life, and instead, notwithstanding the physical limitations, she carries on and here she describes in humorous tones, the struggles she has to face to accomplish otherwise simple tasks.

The initiative to write this book stems from Becky's ability to look at herself and, despite the rapid accumulation of disability, to turn on the right, positive attitude. This strength of hers becomes her motivator and here is a message of encouragement that she wants to communicate to patients not only with multiple sclerosis but also with other neurological diseases. However, beyond being part of the literature meant for neurological patients, teaching them how to feel alive, there is an amazing load of humanity that transpires through the lines. These humanistic aspects will break boundaries and will render it a companion book enjoyable for everyone.

— Roberto Bomprezzi, Neurologist, MD, PhD

My MSAdventures: Introduction

In 1993 I was diagnosed with MS, Multiple Sclerosis. As the disease progressed, it became more and more difficult to stay positive and keep my sense of humor. When I wrote to a good friend in an email about my experience one day, she replied with a humorous interpretation of it. She helped me see a different way of looking at it.

From then on as things happened, I tried to think of how I could tell her about it to make her laugh. I found that I was not as worried and stressed if I thought that way. I decided to look at MS differently, as more of an adventure — or misadventure, as it sometimes turned out.

Writing about My MSAdventures (pronounced 'mis-adventures') this way helped me stay more positive about my life. This book is a collection of these MSAdventures over about a five-year period, not necessarily in chronological order. Hopefully, they give you a little insight into what it's like to live with this disease and how you might look at life a little differently.

A Sample MSAdventure: Backyard Pool Party

  Good News:      Went out to the pool to go swimming last night.
    Bad News:            Fell in.
Good News:      Did a great somersault getting into the pool.
    Bad News:            The judge only gave me a 4.2 (she was French).
Good News:      I came in first place.
    Bad News:            I was the only one competing.
Good News:      The water felt refreshing.
    Bad News:            The steps were at that end of the pool.
Good News:      The steps are OK.
    Bad News:            My body protected them.
Good News:      Didn't hit my face.
    Bad News:            My chin and hand were not so lucky.
Good News:      No teeth fell out yet.
    Bad News:            Went under the water.
Good News:      My daughter was there to rescue me.
    Bad News:            She was at the other end of the pool.
Good News:      She's a fast swimmer.
    Bad News:            Not fast enough.
Good News:      I survived.
    Bad News:            My lovely hairdo was ruined.
Good News:      I have another MSAdventure to tell you about.
    Bad News:            I have another MSAdventure to tell you about.

I can't even go in my backyard without having a MSAdventure!
    Hope this made you laugh.
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