Kumfs – #AtoZChallenge

(David said my “K” word should be either kleptomania, Kansas, or keratin. These have nothing whatsoever to do with MS. Or with me, for that matter.)

I have been known to fall a lot in my life. I think I had stitches in my head three times before my fifth birthday. I was teased mercilessly by my friends in junior high for falling off my brown leather platform sandals while standing still. (I just keeled over. There’s no explanation.)

Mine were like “G,” although — had I seen them — I probably would have wanted “K” back in the day.

If I’m completely honest, my friends have teased me my entire adult life about my inability to wear heels of any height. (It’s like Joey said about Chandler and bras. I can’t work ’em.)

Now, throw Multiple Sclerosis into the situation!

When I was first diagnosed, I was falling pretty regularly. I had foot drop in my left foot, so I’d catch my toe on the floor all the time. But, just like in 7th grade, there were also plenty of times that I just fell over for no apparent reason.

It got to the point where I was constantly checking in with David on it. “Would anyone have fallen right there? That was kind of uneven, right? I mean… right?” Sometimes he was able to reassure me, sometimes not.

I fall a lot less now. I wear what I call “orthopedic shoes” (almost exclusively walking shoes from Ziera, which used to be called Kumfs), because they are comfortable, supportive, and don’t irritate my sensitive foot. I can get most of the styles in whatever color I want, which is black. (They sell other colors for you people who don’t want to own ten pairs of black shoes.)

I sound like an ad, I know, but it took me a lot of trial and error to find shoes that would work, so if this helps someone who has similar issues, I’m glad. These shoes are spendy, I won’t lie; they probably average about $150 a pair, but it’s an investment in my health. I’ve decided to consider it a fair exchange for all the money I have saved by not dyeing my hair.

Hudson Taylor – #AtoZChallenge

I haven’t yet worked out exactly how Hudson Taylor (the band, of course, not the missionary or the wrestler) relate to my having MS, but I’m sure I’ll think of something. I need to shake this month up a little bit.

Hmmmm… Do Hudson Taylor sing about MS? (No.) Do either of them have MS? (Not that they’ve ever mentioned to me.) Support MS awareness of any kind? (Probably not, although they are so nice that I bet they would.)

Meanwhile, I’ve let days go by without posting since I can’t come up with anything to tie in the band, so I guess I’ll just leave you with a gorgeous recording of their new song, “Old Soul.”

P.S. Harry and Alfie, on the incredibly remote chance that you are reading this, please remember that you said you’d come back to Portland in May. And that you’d be headlining. And that you’d bring your whole band. And that I could have two free tickets. Okaythanksbye.

Awareness – #AtoZChallenge

This Saturday, April 7th, is the biggest day of the year for me: WalkMS (here in Portland).

What is WalkMS, you ask? It’s a 5k walk to raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis, a time when friends and families join into teams and take to the streets to show support for those who live with this disease. I’ve been incredibly blessed to have my team grow larger each year, as more and more of the people I love come out and walk with me.

WalkMS is also a fundraiser for MS research. This is key for someone with Primary Progressive MS like me, because it is a less common form of the disease and one for which they have very few possibilities for treatment.

If you want to participate — by walking with my team or donating to a great cause — just click here. All of us with MS will be grateful. For those of you who already give me so much support, thank you!! I couldn’t do it without you!