Rita M. Andolina
Like many people with MS, my life and the lives of my family members, changed dramatically when I was diagnosed with MS. We all have different stories of how our MS was finally discovered. Many people experience sudden visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, muscle weakness or sudden numbness in their hands or legs.
Fortunately, there are a number of excellent neurologists in my area who know how to spot MS.
But that is because unfortunately, as literature states, New York State has one of the highest rates of MS in the country. The incidence in Western New York, where I reside, is double the national average and Buffalo continues to have the 2nd highest rate in the country.
My diagnosis was in 2002 , 17 years ago.
MS impacts our productivity, social functioning and employment. By profession, I am a Licensed Master Social Worker and was the administrator of a seven-county residential program for the developmentally disabled before I was sidelined by MS, a good 10 years before I would have considered retirement.
Volunteerism has always been important to me and I do offer my services, though MS related fatigue and chronic pain can interfere with plans. People with MS must make accommodations each and every day.
Despite my MS, or maybe because of it, I live in the moment.
People with MS and their families know that their future is uncertain.
We, who have MS are painfully aware that more MS research is our only hope. We need to do something about MS now—to move toward a world free of Multiple Sclerosis and a world where there are more services for those who have it.
MS stops people from moving. We need to stop MS.