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.
COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection) is a prescription medicine that is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults.
Do not use COPAXONE® if you are allergic to glatiramer acetate or mannitol.