She's had MS for 30 years but has continued to live her life to the fullest. Read her inspirational new years resolution suggestions.
HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
Don't Let A Chronic Disease Disrupt Your Life
(NAPSI)-When it comes to resolutions, many people vow to lose weight or stop smoking, but for people living with a chronic disease, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), resolutions take on a new meaning.
Every hour of every day, someone is diagnosed with MS. While MS is a chronic and disabling disease of the central nervous system, many people with MS continue with their normal daily lives--work, spending time with friends and family, and the activities that they enjoy.
Rosalind Joffe, 56, who lives in Newton, Massachusetts, has been living with her MS for nearly 30 years. After being diagnosed, Joffe decided to take charge of her future. It's what she has done since that moment that makes her story an inspiration for the more than 400,000 Americans, mostly women, who have MS.
Building on her experience of living with a chronic disease Joffe founded her own executive career coaching business. She is dedicated to helping others with a chronic illness develop the skills they need to succeed in their careers. Joffe firmly believes that living with a chronic disease does not preclude living a full and successful life.
"I've lived with multiple sclerosis for 30 years and I believe I am healthy and as active as ever because I made the decision to turn this disease into a positive," says Joffe. "I created my own business dedicated to helping others become successful in their careers," says Joffe. "I also chose a once-weekly effective therapy that fits my active lifestyle."
Finding that right solution for Joffe didn't happen all at once.
"For two years, I took Copaxone (glatiramer acetate), a daily injectable treatment, but the injection site reactions on my skin became unbearable," explains Joffe. "After discussions with my neurologist, I decided to switch to once-weekly AVONEX (Interferon beta-1a), which I have now been on for over seven years."
Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, but the unpredictable physical and emotional effects can last a lifetime. Symptoms of MS range from numbness in the limbs to paralysis or loss of vision. While disease progression, severity and symptoms in any one person cannot be predicted, advances in research and treatment are giving hope to those affected by the disease. Rosalind's experience has been positive due to her personal decisions, but please note that individual experiences may vary.
"The goal of treating your MS is to reduce the physical disability and progression of the disease," says Joffe. "That's why it is so important for people with a chronic disease to find an effective therapy early that they can start with and stay on for the long run. Knowing that my MS is under control allows me to focus on what I love--helping others with a chronic disease be successful in their careers."
To create a positive outlook, Joffe suggests people living with a chronic disease to consider adopting the following resolution tips:
• Ask for what you need to do your job successfully. This is not as easy as it sounds, but it is also not as difficult. Make a list of what you can no longer do and figure out what would make a difference and is a reasonable request. Develop a plan by identifying who it would affect and what it would take to accomplish.
• Explore what you can do differently. Sometimes, you just cannot do the activities you once did--whether it is in the workplace or at home. You might need to "reinvent." In the workplace, it might mean a different job in the same organization, a different one within the same industry or an entirely different job that capitalizes on your talents, hobbies and skills. At home, it might just be a different way of performing an activity.
• Find the strengths you thought you never had. Sometimes, we need to push ourselves a little harder to see that there are reserves we did not think we had. Too often when you live with a chronic disease such as MS, the disease can seem so overwhelming to face. Surround yourself with positive thinkers so that your spirit rebounds.
Another resolution suggestion Joffe offers is, "pay attention to yourself and find that place in yourself that can balance your priorities in life with those of everyone around you."