This is an incredibly personal post, and I struggled with whether or not to use my blog as a platform to raise awareness, and I came to the realization that if I can change one person’s life, or one person’s perspective, it will all be worth it. My dad has Multiple Sclerosis. His MS is primary-progressive, which is the most aggressive, fast-acting, and unfortunately, most difficult to treat. In less than five years, he went from someone who was in his mid-50’s, vibrant, energetic, and fit to someone who can no longer feel half of his body, has any energy, or walk without the aid of a walker. Inside, I want to share my story as my dad’s main caretaker, as well as share with you my eye makeup look inspired by the MS color, orange.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Above is a wonderful infographic on the scientific reason MS occurs. Symptoms include but are not limited to:
Are there different types of Multiple Sclerosis?
Yes, there are. Some people can be diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS and have “episodes” or periods of symptoms and then be perfectly fine for a stretch of time from weeks to months to years. My dad has Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. His form of MS is much more rare, and it means that he doesn’t have episodes or periods of symptoms, it means he has these symptoms all the time. It also means that it progresses much faster than typical MS, and it is also much more difficult to treat in the form of medication.
Is there a cure for Multiple Sclerosis?
There is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis currently. There are medications and treatments that MS patients can try, but many often come with debilitating side effects. Some are not effective at all, and some are experimental.
My dad’s personal story:
I could probably write an entire novel on my dad’s story thus far with Multiple Sclerosis. I want to keep this poignant and I also want to keep your attention. When I moved to South Carolina from New Jersey almost six years ago in 2007, my dad was his active, energetic, crazy self with two perfectly working legs and arms. In 2009, my dad started experiencing strange symptoms, until one day we attempted to walk across the Lake Murray Dam together, and he couldn’t even make it a quarter of a mile because his left foot was dragging and numb. I had to help support him back to the car, where we immediately brought him to a doctor fearfully, but we were told it was just “back problems.”
After a devastatingly long year of MRI’s, a spinal tap, doctor’s opinions, and treatments, we learned that my dad has Multiple Sclerosis, and has lesions in his brain and his spine. There are different types of Multiple Sclerosis, and his type is “Primary Progressive,” which means it is the most aggressive, fast-acting, and unfortunately, difficult form of MS to treat. In less than 2 years, he has lost his ability to use or even feel his entire left leg and foot. The left side of his body is completely numb. He is often fatigued to the point where he cannot move. He suffers from debilitating headaches, loss of balance, and dizziness. He has memory, reasoning, and cognitive problems because of the MS. It has affected his ability to even do simple tasks that we take for granted such as going to the bathroom or cooking dinner. He has gone from using a cane to a walker, and now mostly needs a motorized scooter or his walker if we are even going to the store for five minutes. He has fallen several times in the past few weeks out in public where he has damaged not only his body, but his confidence in simple tasks like walking.
There is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis. He has tried daily injections, natural homeopathic cures, as well as new drugs, often with horrific side effects, and nothing has seemingly helped or worked over the long run. My dad is often defeated, embarrassed, humiliated, dejected, and reduced to the point of tears, as the once incredibly energetic, strong, independent man he was his entire life is now dependent upon my care-giving and the kindness of strangers.
On Saturday, April 13th, 2013, I will participate in “Walk MS” for the second time. Every single time my foot hits the pavement, I will think of my dad, and every other person who has MS, who has lost their ability to walk, talk, think, and function. I will be grateful for my physical capabilities and I WILL walk with pride, with my dad’s name on my back. I will walk with aggression against this mysterious and uncured disease which has claimed my dad’s capabilities in less than four years.
If you feel led to the donate to our team, please use the following link. 100% of the donations go to The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. My dad’s story is just one of many. I will be forever grateful if this story has touched your soul.
The awareness color of Multiple Sclerosis is orange. I wanted to do a bright, bold, in-your-face orange look that represents MS. You can use any similar shades you have in your makeup collection, and unlike many of my posts, I want this post to be more about MS awareness than the actual makeup.
I want you to enjoy the makeup look and the photographs, but also know that I appreciate you taking the time to read my dad’s story. To achieve this look I used Sleek Makeup’s iDivine Shangri-La Collection “Respect” Palette.
From the bottom of my heart, to anyone who is currently living with Multiple Sclerosis, or knows someone with MS, please take a moment out of your day to think about what they deal with on a daily basis. Before my dad became handicapped, I admit that I would sometimes feel impatient or annoyed at those who were walking slower or handicapped. Now, I have great compassion for those in wheelchairs and with canes, and I always think to help them or assist them in any way possible. Even if you cannot donate to my Walk MS Team, the next time you see someone who is handicapped or struggling, smile at them. Even a smile can cheer up their day or improve their helpless thoughts or mood.
If you can donate, no matter how small, to my Walk MS Team, click the banner below to be taken to my team’s page:
If you have any questions about MS, or you want to share your story, I would LOVE to hear from you down below. I can’t wait to share pictures of the Walk MS event on April 13th, 2013 here on the blog!
[ALL PHOTOGRAPHY ON THIS SITE IS TAKEN BY REBECCA KAZIMIR. NO PHOTOGRAPHS ARE TO BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.]