More About Me
Welcome to my blog! So glad you decided to pop in!
I'm Monica Braun, Educator and MS Fighter. This is the spot where I share my experiences and reflections about my MS journey. Whether you're a fellow MSer, or someone who cares about someone with MS and you're interested in learning about personal experiences with alternative therapies, diet and lifestyle changes, or the latest news related to neurological conditions...WELCOME, you've come to the right place!
I've been living with MS for over a decade and it's taught me so much about myself. And although I would never wish to purposely have this disease (I'm not crazy...or a martyr!) it has brought about a major lifestyle upgrade. Here's what MS has done for me:
- Taught me how to listen to my body. Kind of a no-brainer, I know, but crucial for me, because I basically took by body for granted, confident that it would do what I wanted, when I wanted. I basically ate what I wanted, drank what I wanted and ignored all those little signs that ended up becoming a big sign of something more serious.
- Brought me back to the garden (I now grow my own organic vegetables) and kitchen (forced me to learn how to cook well with alternative foods...no packaged meals for this girl!)
- Connected me more deeply toward my spiritual self and got me to really know ME (my strengths, weaknesses, fears)
- Taught me to question Western Medicine and embrace a more wholistic view of health
- Educated me on the gamut of sciences (seriously, I feel like I went back to school to learn human physiology, microbiology, immunology, neurology, and a bunch of other -ologies I know I've missed!)
How I Got Here
My MS journey started in the spring of 2003 when I first developed vertigo (which lasted for 2 weeks) and then some numbness in my fingers which progressed to my entire right hand and then my toes (and never went away). My doctor referred me to a neurologist, who sent me to have sensory evoked potentials done, and when those came back as abnormal, sent me for an MRI of my brain. By this time, I had started to look on the internet for possible causes for my annoying symptoms. I had already come to the conclusion that I most likely had MS but it still came as a shock when the doctor said, "I'm really sorry, but you have Multiple Sclerosis". I remember driving home on the freeway, crying, because all I could picture were the two women with MS I had known that were in the Extended Care Unit where I had worked as a nurse aide and both obviously were severely disabled. That was going to be me, I thought!
But, the teacher in me kicked into overdrive and I decided I was going to learn everything there was to know about this disease called Multiple Sclerosis.