Have you ever read a great book and dreamed of talking to the author? Well I did just that! First through e-mail, then on the phone and now we’re even Facebook friends! Yes, I stalked her. Can you tell I’m a little smitten?
The Author: Yvonne deSousa.
The Book: MS Madness! A “Giggle More Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis
Yvonne was a busy, fun loving and confident woman when in December of 2009, MS came to visit and never left! Merry Christmas to Yvonne!
Rather than focusing on the bitter realities of this disease with sadness, in her book, Yvonne shares how she leans on humor to soften the rough edges of the struggles during her first year of MS adventures. She’s a firm believer in the power of laughter and wishes that doctors would include it as one of the valid therapies or coping mechanisms for MS — and other adversities for that matter. “It’s scientifically proven that endorphins are released when you laugh and they make everything better! Docs promote exercise and eating right but what about laughter?”
Humor helps to navigate the daily challenges Yvonne faces like overwhelming fatigue and one of her symptoms called “brain fog”. Known clinically as “cognitive changes,” brain fog, http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms/Cognitive-Changes is caused by a “loss of myelin around nerve fibers [which] can cause difficulty with transporting memories to storage areas of the brain or retrieving them from storage areas.”
After testing, Yvonne’s doctor compared her brain to that of an old man — referring to the doc’s own elderly father. In her book, she humorously describes what it’s like to live with this frustrating symptom. “Sometimes I would describe the brain fog as my brain being all fuzzy…which reminded me of the fuzzy tongue I would get the morning after a night of partying the summer I turned 21.” How has it affected her day to day? “…My multi-tasking skills, skills I once prided myself on, are pretty much shot…”
Like all of us who deal with challenges — and who doesn’t? — she presses on. In fact, MS Warriors are a pretty tough group. At the beginning of chapter four in “Stumble to Rise” I share one of my favorite quotes,
~The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
She’s currently teaching a course on Publishing for wanna-be authors. If I lived in MA, I’d be there with bells on!
Thanks Yvonne for making me giggle and showing us that laughter really is the best medicine! Check out some of my favorite “Laugh Lines” at http://YvonnedeSeusa.com