QUESTION: What are you grateful for?
I am grateful for the amazing human body and its ability to move, function, and heal itself. I'm grateful for health.
QUESTION: Why are you grateful for the human body?
Beyond the fact that I am an active person and I just love to be able to use mine, I was diagnosed with MS a few years ago. When you get something like that, it gives you the perspective that some of the little things like your ability to move your hands, feet, and legs could go away. When you recognize that at some point you may not be able to function the same, you become grateful for what you've got now.
"When you recognize that at some point you may not be able to function the same, you become grateful for what you've got now."
QUESTION: What was the first clue you had MS? What were your symptoms?
The day after Christmas about five years ago, I started having dizzy spells. With those dizzy spells, I would get motor function issues. My right hand and my right arm would start slowing down while I was typing. My right leg started to feel weaker than my left. It was kind of weird, so I went to the doctor to try and figure out what was going wrong.
QUESTION: What were your thoughts on being diagnosed?
Honestly, the biggest concern I had was How am I going to continue to be a dad? When I was first diagnosed, I really didn't know much about it. I was confused and scared. I've always been an active person, and I try to be active with my kids. I like to play with them, but the issue is that one of the side effects of MS is a lot of fatigue. I used to be able to come home after a day of work and dive into wrestling the kids. Now, I get home and I’m just completely exhausted. The disease has definitely cut into the quality time I have with my family. I just don't have the same level of energy that I had before.
"Honestly, probably the biggest concern I had was 'How am I going to continue to be a dad?'"
QUESTION: What else has changed in your life since being diagnosed?
My energy level is the biggest thing. MS also impacts my mood a little bit. I have more mood swings. It's frustrating when it happens. For the most part, however, my life hasn’t changed too drastically. It’s not nearly the death sentence I thought it was when I first got diagnosed. The other symptoms come and go. They're more annoying than anything else. Definitely manageable.
QUESTION: How has MS taught you gratitude?
The biggest thing is just being grateful for the experiences that I have, and trying to make the most of every day. Recognizing that there is potential for disability in the future makes a big difference in how I spend my days. I am grateful for the fact that I can move and function normally, and for all of the amazing little things that my body can do. I am also grateful for research, science, and everything that has gone into trying to find a cure for these issues. I’m blown away with the research, and the reality of the human body.
"The biggest thing is just being grateful for the experiences that I have, and trying to make the most of every day."