As an MS warrior, I advocate for myself and take things slowly

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by BioNews Staff |

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Five photos showing individuals with multiple sclerosis, who are sharing their real-life stories during MS Awareness Month, are hung with clips on a string above the words 'MS Community Spotlight.'
A father and his adult daughter stand next to each other outdoors, behind a giant sign that says "Walk MS 2023." The two are also wearing matching black T-shirts that say "Fight Multiple Sclerosis." Behind them is a row of trees.

Lynne Denise, right, and her dad, Don Collins, attend last year’s MS walk in Edwardsville, Illinois. (Photos courtesy of Lynne Denise)

Day 30 of 31

This is Lynne Denise’s story:

Hello, multiple sclerosis (MS) warriors! My name is Lynne Brush, and I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in January 2023.

A multigenerational family of four that includes three women and one man, stand on an outdoor path with light jackets on. They're wearing black T-shirts that say "Fight Multiple Sclerosis." A row of trees lines the path.

From left, Lynne Denise’s daughter, Paige Brush; Lynne Denise; Lynne Denise’s dad, Don Collins; and her sister, Lesly Collins.

My doctor said that my case of MS has hit me pretty hard. I’m no longer able to work and am currently filing for disability. Before my diagnosis, I worked as a charge nurse and part of the core team.

I’m blessed to have an amazing husband and three college-aged kids.

I miss being able to work terribly. I feel horrible that I can no longer help support my family. I was going to try to work from home, but my husband said that he thought I should file for disability because he knows how tired I always am and how much I sleep. He didn’t think I’d be able to sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day. I hated to admit it, but he was right. There was just no way I could do that.

My husband is amazing. He always tells me to do what I can, and not to push myself, which isn’t easy for me. I’ve always taken care of others. I’ve always advocated for my patients so that they’d have the best care possible.

A woman sits on a stair life at the top of a set of stairs in a home.

Lynne Denise uses her stair lift at home.

I know I need to advocate for myself now. I’m sure I drive my doctors crazy with all my questions, but hey, I’m a nurse! The most important thing patients can do is advocate for themselves, or alternatively, have family members do it.

This MS journey has not been easy for me, but I am strong. I am a warrior, and I can do this.

If you’re newly diagnosed, the best thing you can do is find an MS doctor. In my experience, regular neurologists didn’t always know enough about this disease. I also think it’s important to get your information about MS from a reputable organization such as the National MS Society and MS News Today. All of the information from a Google search can be overwhelming.

Take one day at a time. Some days, I even take things one hour at a time! God bless everyone. We’ve got this. We are strong!

In recognition of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March, the MS Community Spotlight campaign features a series of stories highlighting the real-life experiences of people affected by MS, written in their own words. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more stories like this, using the hashtag #MSSpotlight, or read the full series.