MS Stands For Mississippi, Morgan Stanley and Multiple Sclerosis


I’ve taken a step away from the blog for the last couple of weeks…not by choice.  In fact there are some great people waiting to share with the blog; it’s me not them.  I wish I had a thrilling adventure to write about that kept me from blogging.  This is not the case.  I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  There isn’t an exciting, drum roll way to tell others you have Multiple Sclerosis.  I still don’t really understand it.  Before if I heard the letter M and the letter S, I didn’t jump directly to MS for Multiple Sclerosis.  I’m not going to spend lots of time dwelling on it – especially on this blog.  It doesn’t and will never define me.  It is an unfortunate thing I must contend with – like icy roads in winter and Justin Beiber in the news everyday.  I think it deserves a mention as I am going to share more of my new lifestyle, nutrition, and new dabbling in meditation.  I’ll let you know how that one goes for sure, I can only meditate for a couple of seconds at a time and I start thinking about shoes, lunch, laundry – you get it.

Courtesy of

Recently I visited the doctor for my annual checkup.  I have had some neurological problems for the past few years so I have a yearly MRI.  My Neuro-Immunologist is at Duke University.  His name is Dr. Hartsell.  He is extremely intelligent and must carefully choose his words so that regular people can understand him.  I like him, he is pretty compassionate and cares about his patients.  Some doctors do not.  I won’t elaborate but I think their Karma is the current health care regulations they have to deal with.  Dr. Hartsell is not in this category.  He spent about an hour with me drawing statistics charts and giving me options.

Dr. Hartsell told me there was a good chance that I had MS.  I say good chance because I don’t want to have it.  I’m a lukewarm patient.  I’m still working through the denial phase of grief.  His nurse Uzma is a real gem.  I was on the phone with her last week and she said, “So how are you feeling?” She asked in the way that she really wanted to know how I was feeling.  I was a little shocked (reference my above comment about doctors that don’t care).  Uzma cares.  Uzma has already done a fantastic job arranging, calling, and checking on things for me, like a nurse mom. I don’t need to think ahead because Uzma already has and she’s got it under control.  If I have to go through this, I’m glad Uzma is on my team.

Nurse Uzma
Today I had the first of three days of infusions to stop the inflammation.  It wasn’t fun but it was better than the flu or chicken pox.  Duke gives every patient in the infusion clinic their own TV so I (and my dad) watched the Bethenny Frankel show – what else?
Half-Heartedly Ready for the Day.
I was afraid at first but my infusion clinic nurse had MS too. She was compassionate, not to mention fit and looked great, and quickly alleviated my worry.  I’m learning so much.  I am following the diet proposed by MS pioneer Dr. Roy Swank and also adding extra Vitamin D and sunlight to my routine.  It’s a bonus that I dropped 1.5 pounds since last week on the diet.  I’d still rather have the weight and not MS though.
Dad holding my purse and watching the Bethenny Show.  Mom was not in the frame.
My parents deserve a shout out.  I am blessed beyond measure to have the parents I do. There is nothing I could write that would express my feelings about them and what they mean to me, absolutely nothing.  Also I’m grateful for my fiance Tripp who is very patient – my sisters, brother, and a family that finds small ways to lighten up a dark couple of weeks.  It is very humbling to be loved.  I hope everyone has someone to love them like this.  
So the new road begins, with some twists and turns along the jouney.  Life is unpredictable that way.  I don’t believe this was part of God’s perfect plan for me because I don’t believe he gives us sickness.  I think we live in a sometimes ugly world so he does give us a measure of grace and mercy to deal with things like this.  I’m working on having grace.  I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it.  I will get there.
And we now return to your regularly scheduled programming…stay tuned this week for super exciting topics from Effortless and Exquisite.  I’m excited and I’m thankful for my readers sharing this journey, the good and not so great parts with me.


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Julie, The Effortless Girl, is from a small (teeny tiny) community in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. The Effortless Girl was born out of a desire to challenge herself to find accessible, unique lifestyle ideas with cost savings in mind. LEARN MORE >

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