My Journey with Multiple Sclerosis

MelissaDishPix

Melissa Disharoon’s

Multiple Sclerosis Momstamp Collection

Over 21 years ago, I was diagnosed with Relapse-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Today I am walking. A few years ago I was not. Tomorrow is a mystery. That’s the nature of MS. Below is a collection of resources that have proven incredibly useful to me during my journey with this mercurial disease. I have a unique relationship with MS because not only have I lived with it for over two decades, but I also experienced it as a caregiver. You see, my mother also had MS for 42 years. I was raised by it. MS informs who I am as a daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend, and a fighter. Although there is much that remains a mystery about this illness, there are so many more treatment options available now than there were when I was first diagnosed. People are much more comfortable talking about it and sharing their experiences. And, although at times frustrating and scary, I know that MS does not define who I am. I consider it a privilege to share my experience with people who are newly diagnosed and/or struggling with new symptoms. I hope my collection will provide some answers to you or your loved one. Always remember: you are not alone.

 MSAwarenessFlowerBanner

Dr. Hart C.M. Cohen; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Hart Cohen is a neurologist in Los Angeles, California and is affiliated with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He received his medical degree from University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for 32 years. Dr. Cohen diagnoses and treats disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, muscles, and the involuntary nervous system that controls the heart, lungs and other organs. He treats headaches, stroke, dementia, seizures, epilepsy, sleep disorders, neuromuscular diseases, and specializes in treatment of multiple sclerosis.

I have been provided excellent care from Dr. Cohen for almost 20 years and highly recommend him to anyone dealing with neurological issues, but especially those with Multiple Sclerosis. He is empathetic and kind and really takes time to answer my questions and assuage my fears. He is conservative with use of drug therapies, but also very practical in his approach. He also is supportive of alternative therapies. Over the years, my insurance stopped covering his visits, but I am totally willing to pay out-of-pocket to continue working with him. I trust him with my life.

 

Audrey Goldman, MA, MFT; Sherman Oaks, CA

Audrey Goldman has been my go-to support for over 30 years! My family has sought her advice for all matters pertaining to MS. She’s offered great insight for me both as a caregiver and an MS patient. If ever I have a question/problem: she’s my first line of defense.

 

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Southern California & Nevada Chapter; Los Angeles, CA

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, is a United States-based, non-profit organization, and its network of chapters nationwide help people affected by multiple sclerosis by funding research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, and providing programs and services that help people with multiple sclerosis and their families.

The NMSS is the foremost resource in all-things MS. If you have questions about symptoms, diagnosis, need doctor recommendations, looking for a support group, questions about insurance, applying for disability, advocacy, legal rights, research, fundraising, this is where you start.

Michael Gerber, MS Self-Help Group; Los Angeles, CA

This local MS self-help group meets the 3rd Thursday of each month from 6pm – 7:30 at the Fairfax Branch Library near Pan Pacific Park. Michael and his wife Gail are incredibly generous people who share their experiences living with MS, and facilitate intimate/inspiring/educational discussions about the disease.

CureMSButterfly