Cognitive issues are common with multiple sclerosis

Independence and MS

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On this day back in 1976, the Declaration of Independence was signed into law. Today, let’s look at a declaration of independence from five common symptoms of multiple sclerosis that I experienced and what it meant to me:

Vision Problems

Vision Problems are one of the most common symptoms associated with MS. I have had Optic Neuritis where I lost the vision in my right eye. My independence from these vision problems required the interventions of a neurologist, neuro-ophthalmologist, MRI scans, and IV Solu-Medrol. Gaining my freedom from vision loss is definitely a reason to celebrate today.

What it looks like to have blurred vision with multiple sclerosis
Vision of State Street. (2011, December 21). Retrieved July 4, 2015, from

Mobility Issues

Mobility issues are a common issue of MS. When I was first diagnosed, I could not walk at all. My independence from mobility issues required extensive physical therapy both, tradition gait training (for walking) and aquatic therapy. Gaining my freedom from mobility issues meant never taking for granted a nice walk in the park again.

Mobility Issues are a common MS symptom where working with a physical therapist can help

Dr. Kim getting up. (2010, September 28). Retrieved July 4, 2015 from

Bowel and Bladder Issues

Bowel and bladder issues are uncomfortably common with MS. In my case, I suffered from bladder issues and was unable to urinate without the assistance from a self-catheter. Different kinds of bladder dysfunction can happen and can be learned about in my Urination Constipation blog. Critical to my success in self-cathertization was the nurse education I received. Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy is also a therapeutic intervention that can relieve these symptoms while strengthening and conditioning for continued relief. Nothing spells relief like freedom from bowel or bladder issues.

Bathroom sign for people with MS bladder issues

Gray, N. (2012, August 21). 234/366: Best. Sign. Ever. Retrieved July 4, 2015, from

Cognitive Issue

Cognitive issues are a common and scary symptom associate with MS. In my case, my short term memory was so bad I wasn’t safe around the house. For example, I set a pot of water to boil then walked out of the house. When I came back a couple hours later, the house was full of smoke and we narrowly avoid a complete house fire. I worked with a speech language pathologist for strategies of how to overcome my cognitive deficits. Freedom from cognitive issues meant that I could feel safe again.

Cognitive issues are common with multiple sclerosis

Wolin, M. (2011, April 22). Tindaro Screpolato. Retrieved July 4, 2015, from

Sexual Issues

An all too common and tough to discuss problem with MS are sexual issues. When I was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, I lost feeling, sensation and ability to perform. This impacted my confidence and intimacy to the point where I was pushing my wife away. There can be several causes of sexual issues and areĀ best discussed with your neurologist. Freedom from sexual issues blessed us with our two beautiful boys and the fulfillment of all our hopes and dreams.

Being a father is the most important miracle for me living with multiple sclerosis

Happy Independence Day

If you are experiencing any of these issues, don’t give up the fight. There are many resources available to help improve your quality of life. Today is the day to declare your independence from MS. You can do it! I believe in you!

Happy Fourth of July
Santos, A. (2010, July 4). Fourth of July. Retrieved July 4, 2015, from


5 thoughts on “Independence and MS

  1. Very nicely written article Matt! I am so happy that you are able to declare independence from these MS symptoms in your life and that you are able to offer help to others in their journey with the many nuances that MS brings to our lives. Keep up the good work and happy 4th of July!!

    I hope to see you the next time I am in Chandler.


    1. Hi Lynn! It is great to hear with you. Thank you for the kind words about the blog and hope to see you next time you are in town. Happy 4th to you and yours!

      Take care,


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