Happy Holidays to you! We're back with "Six Questions" and MSF Ambassador Brittany Tulaney. Brittany was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS in the winter of 2005. She is a New York Yankees fan who loves spending time with her husband and her two dogs.
1. How has MS changed your life?
Having multiple sclerosis can really put a damper on things, but the way I see it is, it can only impact your life as much as you let it. I was first diagnosed with MS even before I could walk into a bar and I have really only gotten upset about having the disease once. I went from being a top female employee for the northeast region of a well-known company to being put on long-term disability at the ripe age of 25. When I met my husband, I was only 22, but I was honest about having the disease and he doesn't hold it against me, and he never will. He thinks I am the strongest person he has ever met. That really gives me something to stand up to and I am very proud to hold that status.
I might not be able to work or drive, but I am a wife and a proud mom of two adorable puppies. Some people don't consider dogs children, but they are all that and more to me since having a child is too risky for me. If I didn't have my "kids" to keep me focused on a daily basis and to keep me smiling, I don't know where I would be. They can lick tears away and my yorkie even makes exercise on the treadmill fun.
2. What is the most important thing you’ve learned since your diagnosis?
People can be small-minded and think that having MS is the end of the world, but I have learned to only surround myself with the right people (and doctors) that want to see me succeed. Not only in life, but with the disease. I feel that it is very important to have supportive people in my life, not just behind me, but beside me as well. Also, I have learned that being honest with your MS doctor is the best thing to be. I don't want someone telling me what they think I want to hear. I want to be told what I need to hear, good or bad.
3. How have you found support?
I maintain good relationships with my doctors. On top of that, being on Tysabri has really introduced me to a lot of people. I don't get my infusion near my home town, so every month I have to be taken two hours away for it. Every time I am getting treatment, I get to meet someone new. Someone who has gone through what I have, someone who wants to know what they may experience, someone who is fearful of the disease, someone who needs me, or someone whom I need. I met my "MS Sister" out at our treatment site. I literally have only met her twice, but we talk every day!
4. What is the best coping tip you’ve picked up?
Keep a positive attitude!
5. What is your favorite MS- or health-related website?
6. This is the bonus question! What question would you like to ask our readers?
Does always seeing and hearing about breast cancer anger you?
Your answer? I was told years ago that a cure for MS isn't advertised as well as breast cancer because 'MS isn't known as a deadly disease.' What people don't know is that a lot of people with MS feel dead on the inside. Why don't we have MS charm bracelets? Why don't local TV stations hold benefit events? Why isn't there ever a commercial on TV for raising money towards a cure?