Yvonne deSousa’s diagnosis of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis came with an insightful declaration from a new doctor (“MS Sucks”) and a brother’s helpful advice (“You could totally get one of those handicapped parking plates now”).
What followed was a year of MS-adventures: “accidentally” kicking an officious male doctor in the crotch, becoming an undercover agent to pay for medication made from Chinese hamster ovary cells, discovering the amazing effects of legal speed, and battling her arch-nemesis, the dreaded food group-vegetables.
Throughout her MS journey, Yvonne learned how to use humor to find acceptance in her diagnosis and how to smile in the face of chronic illness. Life with multiple sclerosis can be daunting, but Yvonne shares her giggles at the bizarre world she has unwittingly entered and the new perspectives it has given her on life. MS Madness! makes us realize that with a sense of humor, we can survive anything.
“MS Madness! A ‘Giggle More, Cry Less’ Story of Multiple Sclerosis combines defiance with humor, the secret weapon of the sick. Laughter has carried me a greater distance than conventional medicine ever will. In the end, attitude drives well being.” -Richard M. Cohen, NY Times best-selling author of Blindsided and Strong at the Broken Places
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Put MS Madness on your TBR pile**My thoughts**
"That's such a serious disease! How can you laugh at it?"
I often hear these words when I am poking a bit of fun at Alzheimer's, which runs rampant in my family. I hear it directed towards those friends and family who suffer from MS, cancer, and all kinds of other horrible diseases. My question is, how can you not?
When going through numerous personal issues that could have beaten me down and made me want to give up, I chose to take the higher road. I started to look for the positives in every single moment and even chose to laugh. I learned this from my own family and try to teach others to do so. This book is a perfect example of how to find the humor in life, even when dealt a crummy set of cards. We've all been there. It's our reactions to the situations that may differ.
Yvonne takes her diagnosis quite seriously. She acknowledges that she had never before really understood MS, though her own sister had already been diagnosed several years before. More than one form exists. Even then, as with all other ailments, each person is going to have her own set of symptoms and reactions, requiring different treatments, all falling under this umbrella called MS. The fundamentals and general aspects are the same, just individually tweaked for each person. This book provides enough of the basics for some general understanding of the disease, as well as lots of insight into her own personal struggles.
You ride the roller coaster with her, feeling her confusion, the pain, the exhaustion, the madness. Usually you laugh along with her, though you may have a tear or two in some spots. You will feel her faith shine through, whether it's faith in herself or faith in a higher power. You want to wish her well and hope that other friends and family that you know who have MS can also try to find some humor and happiness in their own horrible situation. I recommend this to anyone who either suffers from or knows someone who has MS. You will recognize people you know and love within her words. Even if you don't have MS, you may also find yourself within her story. I know I did.
Thank you, Yvonne, for sharing your story.
Yvonne deSousa has worked as a street sweeper, a shell seller, a babysitter, a candy peddler, and a guest house manager, all before the age of sixteen. Later on she worked as a waitress, sales clerk, library assistant, victim’s advocate, and at the front desk of a doctor’s office.
Two years before Yvonne’s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a relative volunteered her to write an article for a local newspaper. Little did she know it was the beginning of a writing career. When MS threatened to turn her into a lunatic, she started writing more frequently and quickly discovered that writing about the insanity that is MS was helping to keep her sane.
Her work has appeared on CapeWomenOnline.com, and in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith and Something On Our Minds, Volumes 1 and 2. Yvonne also writes a weekly blog on www.yvonnedesousa.com the website that uses a giggle stick to beat up on MS. Since finishing MS Madness! A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis, she has started presenting programs designed to help others use humor to help cope with chronic illness.
Yvonne enjoys writing, laughing, and resting. She lives by her personal mottos, “how you deal affects how you feel” and “my MS is not your MS and your MS is weird!”
Contact her at Yvonne@yvonnedesousa.com
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