MS a Funny thing (well..s😊metimes)
“« Living with MS isn't funny ... well, that is until you read this book of stories that will make you smile. » says a reader
MS is a funny thing in that it’s almost infinitely varied in when and in what ways it affects sufferers, but this is a book about the sometimes funny, or bizarre things which have happened to people with MS precisely because of their MS. Conceived by Nigel Bartram who has MS, each story is illustrated by young professional artists Olga Hendel, Laura Angelucci, Claudia De Cenzo and Yuri Meloni.
Bring smiles to the faces of as many people with MS as possible and to their families, friends and carers.
Benefit from laughter as a therapy. Not only can laughter decrease stress hormones, increase immune cells, relieve physical tension and stress, relax your muscles, increase your blood flow, but also trigger the release of endorphins - the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. No wonder it’s clinically approved!
In light-hearted way, promote greater understanding of the difficulties MS can cause for us (and our helpers) who are having to help us cope with daily living.
Celebrate the courage of MSers for being able to make light of their difficulties.
Bring a sense of satisfaction and achievement to the authors from seeing their efforts make a positive difference.
Raise some money for MS charities so they can do even more to help people with MS.
The book aims to:
and sentiments which the stories reveal
MS can’t take away our sense of fun
You may be living with MS, but MS ISN’T YOU
MS broadens and heightens our sense of the absurd
Never let go of the good things in life
Never say never – Intrepid
Never let go of hope
Never stop having fun
Never let MS own you
Don’t let MS cower you
Stay true to yourself
We can be proud of ourselves
Take the bull by the horns
A sometimes wicked or mischievous sense of humour
Determination yields rich pickings
Not afraid to take risks
Kindness of strangers as well as family and friends
The editor’s journey to here
A Brit through and through, aged 43 I upped sticks to follow Caroline, my wife, in what was planned to be a temporary career move to France, along with our two young children, and my rubbish French. Temporary morphed into permanent. A joyful adventure, imbibing the beauty of our surrounds and French gastronomy became altogether more serious. Settling in France permanently meant I had to find a job, but that was a breeze compared to a body which inexplicably started to go haywire. Overnight, out of nowhere, I lost 90% of the hearing in one ear (which happily came back of its own accord, more or less). In my long-gone student holidays, I worked as a tree surgeon, so heights held no fear for me. So how come I found myself sick with panic driving very slowly along the magnificent Gorge du Verdun with Caroline and the kids on board? I was petrified by the sheer drop into the ravine, something I’d have relished the challenge of scaling up in yesteryear. I suffered in silence of course.
I wasn’t diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) for another six years, time enough for my ‘flappy foot’ and drunken sailor swagger to become my trademark walk. Bit by bit, bucket loads of other symptoms intruded into my daily life. Time enough also for MS to land me in plenty of challenging situations, some of which, even though they may have been difficult at the time, were clearly comic book stuff.
The idea of ‘MS A Funny Thing (well smetimes!)’ crystalised a few years later when I was on an MS retreat. To my great surprise and delight, I realised that Multiple Sclerosis hadn’t robbed any of us MS suffers of our senses of humour. Indeed, it had given us a rich new vein of experiences to mine an chortle over, so important when up to half of people with MS experience depression at some point.
The deal was sealed when the retreat facilitators, Dr Keryn Taylor, a consultant psychiatrist, who has MS herself, and Dr Craig Hassed, a world-renowned expert on mindfulness, warmly embraced the idea of such a book for the morale boost it would bring to people with MS, and those close to them, by presenting an altogether lighter side of the condition. Off I went to write down a few of my own stories and harvest those of other people with MS. The latter with help from the four MS charities whom I’m honoured to say will share all profits from sale of MS A Funny Thing (well s😊metimes!)
What Some Authors Say:
Thank you for encouraging me to write my crazy story Nigel. I really didn't think it was worth the effort as no body would be interested in reading it, but with your help it's made the ridiculous situation of me falling down a hole into a really funny story, with very little effort! The illustration really adds colour to the story too!
Having MS is truly not the best, but if you look beyond the problems caused by progressive paralysis and all the other humiliations , it sort of strengthens the character. Thank you Nigel, for providing a platform where we can laugh at ourselves. These are personal stories as experienced by real people trying to make a virtue out of a poor deal, and what strikes me is how strong and stable (thank you TM humans really are.
I had great fun thinking about and telling my tale and as a psychology researcher I know how important it is for us to seize every opportunity to see the brighter side of life; laughter is such a powerful therapy. I think the very nature of MS means we all have had funny or bizarre things happen to us, I would therefore encourage readers to contact Nigel (at firstname.lastname@example.org)
)with either a story, or just an idea and he’ll write it up for you, if you prefer and will commission a professional artist to do an illustration, like the fantastic one which accompanies my story, ‘MS Really is a Funny Thing’.