This month in honor of MS Awareness Month, we are introducing you to Real People with MS. Today Modern Day MS writer Rachael is sharing her interview with Jennifer.
How many years have you lived with MS?
“It will be 20 years on July 29, 2016, one week after my 28th birthday.”
What medication and/or natural treatments do you use?
“When I was diagnosed, I was a 28 year-old actress in-between jobs with no health insurance, so for the first year I took a natural, holistic approach. I had a complete work up done to check for any allergies, Candida and blood count deficiencies. I followed a very strict caffeine/sugar/meat/gluten/
“The next two years I went on Avonex, but had to switch to Rebif, due to insurance issues and eventually ended up on Tysabri, which I remain on to this day. I love the ease of its delivery (1 hour IV) as well as its infrequency (once/month).”
“Daily, I also take 10,000 iu of D3, B-100 Complex,1200 iu fish oil and Ferrous sulfate (iron).”
What is something about MS that you wish more people knew?
“We are all the same. We all have challenges in life, some are monetary, emotional, familial, addictive, or physical. It doesn’t make one’s life worse off than another’s or one’s life more “blessed” than another’s.”
Any advice for someone who’s newly diagnosed?
“Be. Seriously! Be who you are and what you need to be! (That is a LOT.)”
“And get a tattoo, take that cooking class, have you thought about getting a pet? DO IT. Change your hair to that cut/color you’ve always wanted to try or travel.”
“Take care of YOURSELF. Start a gratitude journal. Every morning, right when you wake up (or take it into the bathroom with you), write down three things for which you are grateful.”
How has MS made you stronger?
“It may sound counter-intuitive, but I am very grateful for my MS. It has made me who I am, and it is part of who I am. That being said, it has not always been that way. Be yourself and let your friends love you for you.”
What do you think is the future of MS?
“The future of MS? If you really think about that question, it sounds rather absurd! I believe a cure lies ahead with the mapping of the Genome, new drug discoveries, and constant research. Maybe not tomorrow, and probably not soon enough to help my long-term demographic, but it will happen.”
What quote inspires you?
“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” ~Dr. Wayne Dyer
Please share Jennifer’s story to teach others that multiple sclerosis does not look a specific way. You might interact with people silently suffering every day. You may also enjoy Vanessa, John, Maria and Yvonne’s Real MS Stories.