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Introduction

Intro:  What Was I Thinking?

Hi, I’m Jan.  I’m a youngish baby boomer, a mother of two, a sister, a daughter, an ex-wife, a good friend to many, a professional photographer, an accomplished amateur cook, a former ballet dancer and weight trainer, a music lover and fan of the Blues, an insatiably curious learner, a citizen of the world, and a full-time patient.

I have Multiple Sclerosis.  I have several other autoimmune diseases, too, and I really do Walk With a Big Stick. It lends security and balance to my steps but there’s more.  I follow what the old adage says: I “speak softly” about my health care, sharing what I learn, talking with my doctors, research coordinators, and physical therapists about their perspectives, but I “carry a big stick” that represents the courage and determination to find what works for me and to not surrender to my conditions. The real stick reminds me to never forget what I’m doing or how I’m doing it and it reminds me never to give up.   So I proudly, and with confidence, Walk With a Big Stick.  Well, most of the time…

I like doing research. In the last 10 years since I got internet access, I have spent a considerable amount of time reading and searching online for information about all health issues that are of concern to me, especially new treatments and the possible interaction between my drugs and supplements.  I also subscribe to several medical newsletters online that report of new findings, new drugs, new treatments, new discoveries, all that. 

That’s all great, but really when it comes down to how we are going to deal with the little daily challenges of life with our conditions, whatever they may be, the medical publications and our health care providers are not the best sources for help and support. It’s not that they don’t care, it’s that they have never experienced it, they don’t know what it feels like in our bodies, and frankly, they don’t have the time to spend on that kind of stuff with a whole bevy of patients to care for. We need them to keep up with the massive amount of new medical info they apply to our care every time we see them.  We need each other to help figure out how to solve the little things that challenge us in every hour of our daily lives and to provide support for how it feels to have to face those challenges. 

So that’s what I was thinking…in this blog, Walk With a Big Stick, we can talk freely about how we think and feel, what we have discovered that works for us, ask each other questions, tell our stories, express what’s on our minds, and we can talk with each other about all of it.  We can share medical information if you like, as long as you understand that we share as friends, not as medical advisors.

My posts here will be about my life, things I’m experiencing or thinking about, sometimes directly related to my health and sometimes not. As you know from your own life, everything in my life is colored by my challenges and that’s what I’ll share. I hope that my thoughts will spur you to write back with your own thoughts and experiences and I look forward to conversations developing in the comment sections to all my posts.

I will be posting 2-3 times per month and reading comments daily.

Talk with you again soon!

Jan.

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