20 years of MS

This year is a milestone for me.  It marks the twentieth year into what was at first a very scary jump into a life with Multiple Sclerosis.  For almost 20 years, my symptoms were slight and came and went with little effect on my life.

About 5 years ago I had been walking with a friend on a regular basis, and at the end of our 2 miles, my right leg would “fall” a bit with each step.  It would kind of thud into place.  In the past two years, walking  has become increasingly more difficult as my leg now begins to fail after just 10 to 15 minutes into a walk.  I feel for the first time that MS may become more than just an excuse to nap guiltlessly when I am tired.

I am starting this blog to record my feelings and my progress as I explore exercise, diet, and life on this side of 20 years with MS.



  1. Billie Jo Robbins said,

    March 29, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Annita!…I am glad to see you talking about this…you never seem to talk about it much at all…writing and talking will help!..though I don’t have MS….I can relate to you so much on the “testing it out theory”…I think I am coming out of my CFIDS flare..but not sure…so I have to push myself a little to see.It is scary…and frustrating…May God give you comfort to know you are NOT alone…and some helpful insights…as you write your journey..I will be right here with you!

    • annitajohnson said,

      March 30, 2010 at 8:28 am

      Billie – Hi Sweetie. You know, I never have actually needed to talk about it. I have had so little trouble with MS over the last 10 years. You, and even my sis, have had so much more to deal with having CFIDs and Fibromyalgia. This is about setting some goals and tracking my reality as some of the effects of MS do start to weigh more heavily. “Testing it out.” I am so glad you get that. Not glad that we have to face it, but it is nice to know you understand exactly what I mean. Hugs! ~ Annita

  2. elaine dannen said,

    March 29, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I had no idea. Thank you for this opportunity to follow you, but also lift you up. I started a CaringBridge page when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, and I have continued the journal for my own sake, especially since I have continuing side effects from the treatments and myopathy. As odd as it seems, people continue to follow me, and it is an encouragement to me. Keep this up!

    • annitajohnson said,

      March 30, 2010 at 8:34 am

      Thanks, Elaine. Send me the link to your CaringBridge page. Phil had quite a bit of myopathy to deal with, too. His feet still cause him some problems with circulation and numbness.

  3. Dave Flowers said,

    March 31, 2010 at 7:51 am

    This December 5 will mark 20 years with MS for me as well. I too have felt it kind of beginning to creep up on me, and I hope I’m imagining it. And I too get that gait problem sometimes. My teenage daughters call it my ghetto walk. The funny thing is my family always notices long before I do that I’m having trouble. My wife or one of my girls will ask if my MS is bothering me, and my girls will imitate my walk, and then we laugh. I tell them you always know who your family are — they’re the ones that can do imitations of you walking with your “disability” and everyone laughs and thinks nothing of it. That reminds me that whatever I may lose to MS, I’m in no danger of losing what really matters.

    • annitajohnson said,

      March 31, 2010 at 4:09 pm

      Hey, our paths have been very similar. (Spring Arbor, too…you were there right?…I tried to look for your pic – I have a vague idea of a tallish, dark haired guy. I think the one in my head is you – well…less hair now.) And family…yes, they get to pick and make fun. They also will be holding us up. I think of my son and his strong arms when he caught me one day to be sure I didn’t fall down the stairs. He had, however, also scared me in the first place. I am also hoping this walking thing is one of the flares that will just disappear. It seems different, however, as it did start slowly, unlike the other flares that kind of showed up out of nowhere. The MS walk in Traverse City in June will be fantastic! Such a beautiful place, and June is gorgeous in Michgan. Thanks for sharing that with me. I am encouraged!!

  4. March 31, 2010 at 8:51 am

    […] morning I was reading the blog of another person who, like me, was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago and who, like me, has had very few problems.  But lately she has noticed that she is having […]

  5. Dave Flowers said,

    March 31, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I thought you might want to see how you inspired me to take some action. Thank you!


  6. Nannette Johnson said,

    March 31, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Annita, I didn’t realize you had MS. You may have told me, I just don’t remember. I hope blogging will help and I’m sure you’ll find a group of people who have this in common with you. This can be an encouragement to you and them.

    Happy blogging and take care,

    • annitajohnson said,

      March 31, 2010 at 8:55 pm

      Nannette – I probably did not tell you. It has been so inactive since we moved here, that I have not mentioned it to many people. Thanks for your note. I value your friendship. ((hugs)) ~ annita

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