“I choose hope.” Interview with Multiple Sclerosis Blogger Tricia

In our “Spotlighted Blogger” series, we’re talking with people who are sharing their personal health experiences to help raise awareness of disease and change healthcare for good. For our latest interview, we’re talking with Tricia who’s writing about her journey with multiple sclerosis (MS) on her blog Love My MS Life. Some of you may know her on PatientsLikeMe as jakesmama. Check out her full interview below where she talks about the impact of connecting with others and why it took 11 years to get a diagnosis.


Why did you start blogging about your journey with MS and how has the community reacted?
I started blogging about my journey with MS last year. I’ve had MS for over 20 years and have been an avid fundraiser, MS Champion and MS Advocate ever since. My goal was/is to share my experiences with others living with MS to hopefully inspire and encourage them, while “telling it like it is.”

The reaction has been wonderful! When I hear people tell me they relate to my experiences because they “get it,” it makes me feel like I’m doing something good for others that share this disease.


In one of your posts, you mention that your first symptom started 11 years before you were officially diagnosed. Can you tell us about that?
When I was 13 years old, I had the virus mononucleosis. One afternoon the vision in my left eye became blurry but I disregarded it. The next morning I woke up and the vision was basically gone in my left eye. I was dizzy, nauseous and was taken to the hospital. The doctors called my bout of optic neuritis a “fluke thing” and I went home. During my high school years I would have bouts of optic neuritis in my good eye and would be given oral prednisone to bring the swelling of the optic nerve down. It wasn’t until my son Jake was nine months old that my ophthalmologist sent me for an MRI. This was 11 years later and when I was diagnosed with MS.


What’s it been like to connect to others with MS on PatientsLikeMe?
A friend of mine told me about PatientsLikeMe years ago. It’s a great way to connect with others living with MS, to compare symptoms and offer suggestions. I use it as a helpful tool to track my disease progression, keep notes, and learn from others.


What’s one bit of knowledge no MS patient should be without?
One of my favorite quotes is, “Never, never, never give up,” by Winston Churchill. I believe all patients living with MS struggle daily whether we can see it or not. I choose to have HOPE for my future and HOPE for a cure!


If you’re living with MS, find others just like you in our growing community of more than 34,700 MS patients on PatientsLikeMe. Learn what they’re doing to manage their condition with symptom and treatment reports and share your own experience with a personal health profile or in the community forum.

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10 thoughts on ““I choose hope.” Interview with Multiple Sclerosis Blogger Tricia”

  1. Same history, but almost 50 years ago. Subsequently learned 95% of optic neuritis cases are an early symptom of MS, and glad I wasn’t diagnosed until 14 years later… after my son was born.

  2. Great reading,
    All of us that have MS can relate with each other. My favorite saying is “I may have MS but MS does not have me”. I have found by changing my diet, no more processed foods and no soft drinks (except Sierra Mist Natural) I have been occurrence free for over two years. I do take vitamins, exercise, laugh a lot, and pray daily. I do not take any MS medication because it made me sick ALL the time and I suffered from continuous neuropathy. We are all different and that is what makes finding the right solution so very difficult. However, I do believe that a cure is in the near future so we can all have some sort of relief.
    Regards, Elizabeth

  3. I to have had MS over 20 years now and had mononucleosis and a young teen! Is that just a coincidence or could it mean something more???



  5. DeeAnne Hansen

    I have lived with MS 20 + years. My passions are my family and Social Work. I recently left my part time job but will continue to help whenever I am needed. When you are helping someone else you help yourself as well.

  6. It’s great reading about someone with such a horrible disease(that’s what I consider it since I have it)to have such a great attitude. God Bless you.

  7. Awesome testimony given so positively, with all that is still unknown and still being researched, if I listen to my body and hold onto hope and keep the faith, It has helped me to live with the diseases with a much all around healthier outlook.

  8. Love your outlook on life given the hand you’ve been dealt. Love you even more little sis…..I choose HOPE too!

  9. If u have ms look into ccsvi
    . I did and had it . Had an angioplsty of my veins which relieves some symptoms. See Dr. Arata In newport beach CA. I.was diag nosed in 1995 Also had mono as a teen.

  10. i was just diagnosed with MS in August 2014. I’m having a very hard time with the depression. I am supposed to start Tysabri Infusions. Does anyone have any advice?

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