My New "Normal"

  • by SueAnn H.
  •   September 26, 2016

SueAnn H. is a paid Advocate for Teva Neuroscience, Inc.

Most believe I caught the baseball out of self-defense. I don't know for sure, but when I opened my eyes, it was in my glove. That was good enough for me. It's the only ball I've ever caught. My athletic talents were cheerleading and baton twirling in high school. If you needed someone to throw a little fire baton or juggle knives, I was your girl. Other sports that require you to sweat or get dirty? Not so much.

I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in January 2005. My desire to keep up with my kids and my gritty determination has challenged me to embrace the unexpected and find joy in the journey. My life didn’t stop when I was diagnosed, but rather began again when I found my new "normal." 

How do I manage my RRMS in my crazy life? Since baseball happens during not only the warmest months, but cold months as well, I plan ahead and prepare for the unexpected. Everyone with MS should talk to their doctors about how to manage being in hot and cold temperatures. Where I travel, the outside temperature can range anywhere from 30 degrees with a wind chill, to 102 degrees with a heat index of 112. I pack lots of layers and cooling supplies. Frozen water bottles, frozen towels, cooling cloths, umbrellas for shade, blankets, visors, sunscreen and flip flops are a must for me. I also keep my winter coat in my trunk throughout the summer months. The car is parked close where I know I can get to it if I need heat or air conditioning. Often we have very early mornings and late night drives home and there are rain delays which have lasted seven hours or more, so I nap when I can in the car.

In addition to preparing for the unexpected, we also choose to make RRMS a "by the way" thing in our home as much as possible. I know there can be situations when we may have to make adjustments, but we don't give it any more room in our house than we have to. RRMS has brought out my stubborn side. I don't want to miss making any memories, so I've learned ways to stay in the game while working with any possible RRMS issues. 

My disease-modifying therapy is part of the game plan. I follow the NMSS consensus statement that recommends getting on a therapy that works for you. I've made lifestyle changes like trying to eat better, sleep and move more and talking about my RRMS with my neurologist. 

I haven't caught another ball while playing outfield, during our family practices. But, I have fun cheering as my son hits balls high above my head and over the fence. Home runs that I happily search for in the bushes behind his favorite field. 

SueAnn H.

RRMS Patient

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6 Comment(s)
  • Lina | October 02, 2016
    Hey Sueann,

    Thanks for sharing your story! I am glad to see your still out there with your family
    and don't give MS more time than it deserves,

    Teva if we have a story, we would like to share how does one go about doing this?
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | October 21, 2016
      Hi Lina, Thank you so much for your kind words and for being a part of Teva's Lift MS community. Since you enjoyed the blog perhaps you might also enjoy Teva's Lift MS Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LiftMS/. Best wishes!
  • Anthony  | October 17, 2016
    I have ms and seem to be getting better but I still need some social help
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | November 08, 2016
      We're so glad you reached out, Anthony! An MS diagnosis can be an emotional experience and our blog is filled with articles that may help. One post that might be helpful is the "MS 101: How to Talk about MS," which can be found here: https://www.liftms.com/action/talking-about-ms. We also recommend speaking with your health care provider if you have questions about your MS.

      The Lift MS Facebook community may also be a helpful resource: https://www.facebook.com/LiftMS/
  • Lorraine  | October 17, 2016
    I also have RRMS. I had two school age girls and worked in a sewing company during the day and a nurseing assistant in the evening. quict my day job. At fifty l was on SS disability. Still don't give up on myself. I am seventy. Still walking takin care of my house. Yard work can be somewhat taxing I am not going to give up on myself
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | October 18, 2016
      We are so glad you’ve chosen to share your experience with us, Lorraine. Please keep us posted on your progress, and best of luck!
  • Lena Amaya Contreras | October 17, 2016
    Wow you are doing so well and so prepared for whatever the temperature comes your way. I too carry sunglasses,visors, hats,umbrella, sunscreen and long white sleeve shirt so the sun does not hurt my arms,cane cooling vest and sandals. Your very right i carry my winter gear also you never know living in Colorado.
  • Tracie  | October 17, 2016
    How long did you go on with fighting to get a diagnosis? What were your main symptoms?
  • Linda | October 18, 2016
    Thank you for writing this articule . My hubby was just diagnosed
    • Teva's Lift MS Team | October 19, 2016
      An MS diagnosis can be an emotional experience. It's great that you're here and we hope you find others in the Lift MS community, who can relate, Linda!