It is March and March is MS Awareness Month. Modern Day MS is bringing awareness to what multiple sclerosis really looks like by introducing you to a real person living with MS each day of the month.
Meet Barb. Barbara inspires hope through mindful health and a meaningful life. By combining healthy living, spirituality, and neuroscience principles, she helps people understand how to be proactive in their health care versus reactionary in their sick care so they can feel great in their body and in their life. Visit Appelbaum Wellness to learn more .
How many years have you lived with MS?
“I have been living with MS for 9 years. (Diagnosed 2 weeks before my 44th birthday.)”
What medication and/or natural treatments do you use?
“When first diagnosed, the doctor put me on Betaseron (injected every other day). As of 1 ½ years ago, I switched to Tecfidera (one pill twice a day). Being on an oral medication is much easier to manage plus it’s less harsh on my body.”
“In addition to medication, I use an integrative approach to self-care. I eat an anti-inflammatory diet; exercise/move 4-5 days per week including gentle yoga, weight training, walking, and interval training on the treadmill; take vitamins that promote lowering inflammation as well as vitamin D; and I practice healing prayer daily.”
“I also make time to check in with my doctor at least 2x/year (if all is well) and reach out immediately if I think something is not right. Having a ‘team of experts’ on my side helps tremendously and my team consists of my: internist, neurologist, integrative medicine doctor, trainer(s), nutritionist, chiropractor, healing prayer Rabbi, and yoga instructor(s).”
How has MS made you stronger?
“MS has definitely made me stronger and wiser; helping me to discover my unique purpose of being. With MS I am able to live my best, healthiest life and have come into my own. And through sharing my story, I help teach others how to navigate their life’s journey to their best ability too. It has also helped me to be fully present; aware of life’s fragility on a daily basis so I am no longer wasteful with my life.”
What do you think is the future of the MS?
“The future of MS is hopefully short-lived. Twenty years ago there was only one disease modifying therapy (DMT). Today there are over 12. People are living healthier and longer with MS while researchers are closing in on its cause. Plus the MS Society just launched a new Wellness Initiatives in MS looking at the role of diet, exercise and mood as additional tools for prevention, maintenance, and possible cure. I do believe someone will discover an immunization before a cure however I do believe a cure will be found in my lifetime.”
“I am hopeful research will also uncover ways to repair damage for those who have had MS for so many years that they didn’t initially have DMTs to use therefore causing their MS to be much more severe. If we all keep doing our part to raise awareness and much needed dollars for research, I believe we really will create a world free of MS.”
What quote inspires you?
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly…”
Please share Barb’s story to teach others that MS does not look a specific way. You might interact with people silently suffering every day. We would love to share your real MS story in March for MS Awareness Month. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Stay connected with Modern Day MS on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.