7 minutes, 51 seconds
Marianne, from Norway, has been diagnosed with MS since 2007. She writes articles on her blog at www.multiskrulla.no and travels around the globe to talk about her experiences with MS. Her goal is to inspire others to have a positive outlook on life, despite Multiple Sclerosis.
Let’s Talk Brains
This year, I was lucky enough to attend The World vs.MS: Lets Talk Brains 19 event in Copenhagen. And what an inspirational experience it was, to hear speeches from great professors in neurology had made me think a bit about my own brain, and how is my brain doing?
During the event, we also talked about Patient Focused Priorities (PFPs) and the one question people with MS wanted their neurologist to ask in appointments.
To find out more about the event, watch the video below:
When you come to think about it, the brain is quite a peculiar little thing. Just think about all the things that is being controlled from here. Your brain is you, it´s your personality and it’s what makes you YOU. With your brain, you experience the world like nobody else as it holds all your memories, like a giant photo album. Now isn’t that magical?
On the other hand, your brain is also the boss, the one who tells you how you feel. It contains your memory, your personality, feelings and intellect. My brain has been under a mutiny and several attacks, or MS attacks as you can say.
It`s been a couple of years since my last MS attack, thank goodness. But it has given me a couple of damages such as not being able to remember certain words, not being able to say the right words during conversations, and memory problems.
I must admit; all of these damages would get worse if I didn’t take good care of myself and my brain. And this doesn’t just apply to people with MS, but the most of us. We always talk about taking care of our health, but we never talk about having good brain health. We can’t forget the brain, it needs exercise, love, nursing and care.
Often, we control over how many times a week we choose to exercise our body, but do we remember to check how our brain is doing? Has it gotten the stimulation and work out that it needs to feel good? And does it function as good as it should?
With this in mind, research exists showing if you are doing physical training regularly, your brain will also feel good. The body and brain need each other.
The same goes for our diet. We eat healthy to stay physically healthy, and you can browse article after article about what we should eat to keep your body in shape. But, what about the food that strengthens the brain?
It can be vital to include good brain food in your diet. Some examples can be foods which incorporate essential fatty acids, phospholipids, living plant substances, amino acids, and drink plenty of water. Another recommendation is to consume nuts for concentration, berries for the memory, and apples for happiness.
So how is my brain doing?
Once a year, I get an indication on how my brain is doing about through MRI scans. For me, it’s both terrifying and exciting to lay down in the MRI machine.
I think to myself if I’m still stable or are there going to be new lesions in my brain. Insecurities comes every time, no matter what, it’s natural for these worries to occur.
When I receive a letter from my neurologist and I read the words “no new lesions, no new activity”. It is such a wonderful feeling, every time. For this, I feel grateful.
Honestly, I have a quite a relaxed relationship with my MS. I can even say; my MS and I are friends. However, I’m not sure if this would be the case if I didn`t have a good relationship with my neurologist and nurses.
Everyone experiences MS differently with varying symptoms, so it can be difficult to know what’s ‘normal’ and what’s not. In the first year of my diagnosis, I called my nurses often to tell them about any new symptoms I was experiencing. They always took the time to ask about how I was feeling, talking through my symptoms and whether they think it was MS related. The point is, they took my worries seriously and took the time to explain what to expect from MS.
Many of us are guilty for asking Dr Google for our symptoms and end up in some forum somewhere on the internet where there is an ocean of people who think they know better.
My healthcare team taught me about MS, so that I could know my own MS. I think it’s very important, the more we learn about our MS, the safer we feel. Only you know about your own MS. If there is something I have learnt, it’s that we need someone to ask questions to, we need to turn to our nurses and neurologist for this in order to get the knowledge and support we need.
Take care of yourself
Finally; it’s important to never take our health for granted. We must take care of ourselves. Get enough sleep, don’t stress, eat healthy, be active, learn something new every day, and accept that we are constantly changing.
Date of approval: July 2019
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