Cory and I met through twitter and instantly realized how much we have in common. We are both yogis and writers with multiple sclerosis. I’m happy to share our interview with you.
When were you diagnosed with multiple sclerosis?
“You know what I find interesting is if you ask someone when any other major shift occurred in their life, they can tell you a general time frame maybe the season or the month and the year, but ask someone when a doctor first told them they had multiple sclerosis and they remember the exact day. Like many others, it’s been a long windy road to a diagnosis. But the first time a neurologist told me she believed I had MS was October 16th 2007.”
How is your life different than that day?
“If I could choose one word to describe the difference it would be aware. It didn’t happen overnight, but living with such an unpredictable disease makes you see the world through a different lens. I am more aware of my body, when it needs to rest, when I need to push it, when I need to adjust my diet or workouts.
I am more aware that this is the only body I get, and its abilities are ever changing. I appreciate each moment I can do the things I enjoy.
I am more aware of the time I spend doing the things I love and the time I spend on the things I have to do to pay bills.
I am aware that everything could change tomorrow, and I do my best to stay present.
I am aware that I am not alone, that we are all facing unseen battles, whether it’s MS or something else and I operate with a different sense of compassion.
I am aware that saying yes to new things is better than saying no and wondering what would’ve happened.
I am aware that I have my limitations and it’s up to me to set boundaries.
I am aware that the only constant in this world is change and I embrace it.
Are you on any medications?
Do you use any natural therapies?
“I practice yoga. I’ve done acupuncture and should do it again because I felt so much better. I try to follow a clean whole food based diet as much as possible. I stay active and I do what I can to stay positive which sometimes means meditation, or a long walk, or a good cry to let it all out.”
How do you feel today?
“I feel pretty great. I know that I am lucky that most of my symptoms are manageable. Right now, I deal with bouts of bone aching fatigue, and cognitive difficulties. As a writer, the cognitive ones are probably the hardest to deal with because it makes my work that much harder. It’s frustrating to think one thing and have it come out completely wrong when I try to type it. Or to not remember the words to describe things. But guess what? There’s spell check and editors and I’m aware that not everything has to be perfect – so I feel great!”
What do you think the future of MS looks like?
“I think the future of MS is a positive one. There are so many new therapies, drugs, discoveries, that it’s hard to not believe that good changes are ahead of us. But beyond the medical aspect of the disease, I think the future looks great because there are so many ways fellow MS warriors can now connect with each other. When I was diagnosed, social media wasn’t as big as it is today. There was no community on Instagram or Facebook.
People didn’t have positive blogs and websites like Modern Day MS. I remember during those first few months after diagnosis sitting at my computer until three or four in the morning scouring the internet for information and others like me.
All I found were lists of all the things that could possibly happen to my body, and chatrooms filled with people who could only focus on the negative aspects of MS. There were few books written on the disease or life with it and all of those were usually written by older famous men. There was no real place to find solace. But now there are so many places to find connection. If I were diagnosed today, I’m not sure I would’ve felt the need to write my own memoir Love Sick, because I believe I would’ve found a positive connection to people and the disease at a much earlier stage and I might not have been compelled to fill the gap in information.”
Tell me more about your book.
“Love Sick chronicles my journey with MS, dating, and working in Hollywood. It’s the story of how I went on a medical quest for answers and simultaneously threw myself headfirst into looking for romance. It’s a little bit Sex and the City and a lot of holy shit why is this happening to me? It’s about the countless doctor’s appointments, MRIs, and a spinal tap that landed me in the ER. It’s about all the fears that come with the uncertainty of the disease. It’s about how I felt I was no longer lovable because of the MS. Despite the fact that I knew cognitively this was not true, it was all I could think about. Ten years later, I am in an amazing place, but during those first few years after the news, I was in a state of shock, worry, and confusion. Love Sick is my honest account of what I went through during that time.”
Why did you decide to write Love Sick?