Laura is a mother of three daughters, wife, and educator. She also lives with relapsing MS. She believes in maintaining a positive outlook, taking each day at a time, and not allowing her MS to define her.
When I was first diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), I had many questions and fears: How would the MS affect my daily life? What would this mean for my family? How will MS impact me physically and emotionally? As a parent, spouse and educator living with this unpredictable condition, I know that every day can be different. Keeping a positive outlook and feeling comfortable, both physically and emotionally, can be a challenge.
Over the years, I learned that through a shift in mindset, relaxation techniques, and a supportive care team, I’m able to say yes to feeling that I can do this.
Imagining another perspective
If there’s one thing I could tell others living with relapsing MS, it would be that MS does not define you. It’s easy to let fear of the unknown or feelings of uncertainty leave you feeling powerless when it comes to MS. I’ve learned through experience that this does not have to be the case.
Today, I view my life as a journey, and MS is simply a passenger, while I’m in the driver’s seat. When you choose to be in control and think of MS as something you live with, rather than something that has you, it’s easier to have a more positive outlook and be prepared for future bumps in the road.
Setting intentions through relaxation
I like to look at each day as an opportunity to learn and grow. Something I do to help me feel prepared to experience my day is beginning with a few minutes of quiet time and setting my intentions for what I’m looking to accomplish that day—whether it be spending time with my daughters, helping in my community, starting a new book, or organizing my space.
This quiet, reflective time allows me to be mindful of how I’m really feeling, so I can work toward making changes that will benefit me. If I notice that I’m feeling fatigued or experiencing discomfort, I give myself time to rest and adjust. By setting my intentions, I’m able to view each event or obstacle as an opportunity to continue learning and growing in my journey with relapsing MS.
Embracing my care team
My husband and three daughters are a very important part of my care team. As my daughters grow up, I’ve learned the importance of being open and honest with them about how I’m feeling, and I know that this has strengthened our bond.
If I’m not feeling my best, I know that it’s okay to open up to my family and close friends. It helps them recognize my symptoms and understand how these experiences affect me. Now they look to help me without even being asked!
With a positive outlook and mindfulness balanced with a supportive care team, I’m able to say yes to feeling courageous while living with relapsing MS.
Laura S. is a paid spokesperson for Biogen and has experience taking Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate). She may or may not be currently on TECFIDERA.