Tables of Contents
Our Pride &Joy!
Ahead to April
By Stephen Baron
Join Stephen Baron as he shares his true life story involving 38 years battling this mysterious disease, and how he made the impossible possible when challenged by both the psychological and physical obstacles corrected with this chronic ailment.
From the seat of a wheelchair, see MS through the authorís eyesóthat there is joy and hope for everyone. Stephen is a shining example that happiness can be achieved through lifeís gravest downfalls, and has opened a new door of optimism and renewed strength to guide others through their trials and tribulations.
Find entertainment within Baronís experiences, and realize that love truly materializes in our bleakest hours.
NEVER GIVE UP
FOREWORD NANCY J. HAVERNICK-BARON, M.D.
MY SECRET REVEALED
CHAPTER 1: PRESENTATION
CHAPTER 2: DIAGNOSIS, NOW THAT YOU HAVE IT, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO
CHAPTER 3: M.D. DOES NOT STAND FOR MINOR DEITY
CHAPTER 4: GOING PUBLIC
CHAPTER 5: THE CHALLENGES OF MS
CHAPTER 6: DRUGS: TERRIFYING AND TERRIFIC
CHAPTER 7: DEPRESSION
CHAPTER 8: DONíT BELIEVE IT, PEOPLE STILL CARE
CHAPTER 9: FROM INDEPENDENCE TO DEPENDENCE AND BACK AGAIN
CHAPTER 10: THE HOSPITAL
CHAPTER 11: HOW TO BACK UP WITHOUT GIVING UP./
*My Secret Revealed*
I made a promise more than 15 years ago.
When I was hospitalized with an MS attack, I received a treatment of physical therapy daily. I felt so buoyed by the workout I asked the director of the department where I could connect with a good physical therapist.
He responded, "You don't need one. You have a great attitude, and that is more than half the battle. You're your own best physical therapist. You ought to share your attitude with other people."
"I don't do support groups," I responded, "but I'll write a book that conveys my attitude."
Thus, directly or indirectly, I have worked on it ever since. MS is not the end of life. Do I enjoy having MS? Not a bit, but I've never used it as an excuse for withdrawing from life. Technology has made life more accessible for the handicapped. That this book was composed using a voice input computer is a testament to that. As well, I hope that it might help others who know an MS sufferer. Everyone suffers a handicap of one sort or another, from arthritis to tinnitus. Each limits life in its own particular way. Learning how to pursue a complete life, illness, notwithstanding, is a challenge everyone faces. I hope that by understanding MS better, people will be able to lead more complete lives.
A long-standing friend was amazed at how I carry on despite being quadriplegic. For more than 38 years, Iíve suffered multiple sclerosis (MS). Notwithstanding, I have lived as normal a life as possible. I havenít been able to walk for over 20 years. Neither can I do a whole host of other things. To take three of the most basic activities: I canít feed, dress, or clean myself. Yet, I see my situation as essentially no different from anyone elseís.
As my dear wife wisely observes, ďNo problem is small if itís your own.Ē
Havenít we all seen that at least a thousand times? My problem just happens to be MS. For someone with chronic hangnails, his problem is just as serious.
I donít dwell on MS. Why spend hours worrying about something I canít get rid of? And if I did spend thousands of hours crying about it, would that change anything? I concentrate on living. Knowing that modern medicine is doing everything possible to find a cure for it, Iíve turned my attention to doing things within my grasp. For me, MS is a monumental inconvenience. MS and I have an understanding: it doesnít bother me, and I donít bother it.
Would that it were that simple every day. I find myself making new adjustments and accommodations for the disease. Itís an ongoing challenge. Itís like the song that Shari Lewis used to sing, ĎItís a Song That Never Endsí.
Two things are key: humility and patience. I cannot overemphasize how important it is to be humble in the face of MS. I learned the hard way that it is bigger, stronger, and tougher than I am. I can assure every man or woman that if you are foolish enough to go head to head with MS, youíll lose. Donít be so foolish as even to try. And it is equally true for trying to outsmart it. You see, not only is it stronger and tougher than any of us, itís also smarter. And I thought that getting a Ph.D. was tantamount to getting the keys to the kingdom. Boy, was I ever wrong.
Once I learned how important it is to be humble, I began making the adjustments that make living possible. Primary among them is being patient. How un-American of me. We want everything done yesterday, donít we? Getting things done is enough of an achievement, regardless of how long it takes. Technological accommodations, such as the voice input computer Iím using to write this, have been essential in making my life Ďnormalí. Still, there are many things I cannot do.
MS is another challenge the Almighty has given me. And it is said that He doesnít give us any challenges we canít handle. I do my best to handle it.
Available from www.double-dragon-ebooks.co
Stephen Baron, 58, is married 26 years, the father of two daughters, 25 and 23. He was a professor of political science for 23 years before retiring in December, 2000.
Reach Stephen by email to comment: email@example.com