MS Puzzle Pieces

by Yvonne deSousa

Multiple sclerosis is nothing if not a frustrating learning curve.   Wikipedia’s definition of a learning curve (and who knows where THAT comes from), states “the increase of information is sharpest after the initial attempts, and then gradually evens out, meaning that less and less new information is retained after each repetition.”

I’m not even sure what that means.  The point is, since my diagnosis I have had to learn many things over and over again.  I would learn them, forget them, re-learn them, discover that what I learned is no longer valid, unlearn it, and learn it again in a new way.  Phew!

Add to that, a lot of what you learn does not make much sense and leaves you scratching your head trying to figure out how or if it is even helpful..  MS is like a huge jigsaw puzzle with MS’er’s trying to fit all the puzzling puzzle pieces into place.

If you are newly diagnosed, I want to spare you as much frustration as possible.  Since multiple sclerosis is different for everyone, that means whatever I share with you may or may not apply, and may or may not be worth learning.

Still, I am willing to share, so, before I forget any of these puzzling bits of information, let me list some of them for you.

-If you have MS, you should drink a lot of water to help maintain your health- water is great for you.

-People with MS often have bladder issues that can cause frequent trips to the bathroom or accidents.

-Drinking less water can help alleviate some of the above.

-Or, you can take medication to also help alleviate your bladder symptoms.

-The medication will cause you the worst dry mouth you have ever had.

-The only relief for the dry mouth is drinking more water which will cancel out the effects of the medication.

-MS is an invisible illness- you often won’t look like you have MS.

-If you don’t look like you have MS, people will wonder why you are tired all the time.

-When you tell them it is because you have MS, they won’t believe you and will think you are just lazy.

-When you try to explain that is not the case, they will say you are in making excuses or are in denial.

-MS CAN make you look like you are drunk.

-When you tell people you are not drunk, they will say you are in even more denial.

-Treating MS costs a lot of money.

-In order to get money, you need to work.

-Working makes you so tired that you may screw up at work.

-This causes your boss to think that maybe you shouldn’t work as you are too tired.

-You can get energy from eating healthy foods and exercising.

-You need energy to prepare healthy foods and to exercise.

                And finally,

-Multiple Sclerosis is so complicated, there is a lot of information you need to remember.

-Multiple Sclerosis can often cause difficulty with memory.

I hope you find this information helpful, friends.  And I hope you remember it as I have already forgotten.   Someone please remind me, wasn’t I working on a puzzle?

About the author: Yvonne deSousa was diagnosed with relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis in 2009. Yvonne created her blog designed to help those with chronic illness laugh amid tears. Yvonne also enjoys writing about Cape Cod history and has been published on Cape Women Online and in the Provincetown Banner, and Cape Cod Times. Visit Yvonne online at or Yvonne deSousa on Facebook


About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.


  1. My belly still hurts from laughter this time Yvonne! You described it perfectly! You really have to live with MS to totally get this I think!

    About the ‘Learning Curve’… we all know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line… That’s why it’s called a learning curve!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Emily Woodhouse

    Hey Yvonne, thanks for drawing up the facts about MS. I am sharing it.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing Emily! And I am so glad it made you laugh Linda. That is my ultimate goal. If we can’t laugh at the craziness we will go crazy!

  4. This simply was a delicious read. I laughed with ya! Having 2 sisters with MS I’m a witness to your trials and tribulations. I Love your attitude God Speed.

    • Thank you sis- so glad it made you laugh! Think we have all learned that you have to laugh at the craziness orhterwise you will go crazy!

  5. This is a riot! Thanks for sharing your humour and your healthy perspective with all of us Yvonne! Keep up the great work! ~Trish:-)

  6. Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Thanks for supplying this info.

  7. Normally I do not read article on blogs, but I would like to say
    that this write-up very forced me to check out and do it!
    Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very great

  8. Thank you Yvonne for setting out the humourous side of the MS Catch 22. Not so much a steep learning curve as the North side of the Eiger!.


  9. Thanks for sharing this tempting and appreciable post Yvonne. Great information on Ms which can be helpful to save anybody’s life. Keep up this great work.

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