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Living with MS is all about rolling with what the day brings

Even with multiple sclerosis, Angela Landry of Brockville fills her days with the same tasks that other people do. Perhaps her approach to things may be a little different, but as she says, she rolls with whatever the day brings. Diagnosed about 18 years ago, her family has been a wonderful support to her. Beside Landry is her son Xander, who has grown up with the various symptoms that his mother has experienced. Landry is very inspirational, always smiling and keeping quite busy.

19th annual Brockville Mandarin MS Walk set for May 29

On good days, no one would know that Angela Landry has multiple sclerosis (MS); other times, they think she's inebriated, as she rocks as she walks.

Multiple sclerosis affects each person differently. Known as the invisible or silent disease, sometimes people are quick to judge and make rude comments or give questioning looks.

For Landry, she doesn't give it a second thought because she knows what she can do and cannot do, so she rolls with whatever the day may bring.

"I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis right after Xander, my son, was born," shared Landry. "They waited to do an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after the birth, which was almost 18 years ago."

Landry's aunt Melodie has MS, so she knew some of the symptoms.

Multiple sclerosis is a disabling disease of the central nervous system with unpredictable consequences.

"I had a real good understanding of the disorder," said Landry. "I was pretty sure because they had done a test called the evoked potentials. It was the MRI that was the definitive, yes, you have MS."

Along with her depth perception issue, Landry had numbness in her feet which her doctor thought was frostbite; there was also numbness in her torso, that would come and go, but no pain.

Landry didn't attribute these symptoms to the pregnancy because the numbness was there prior to the pregnancy.

"According to my midwife, a lot of times during pregnancy, MS is kept at bay," indicated Landry.

For Landry when she was diagnosed, it was very scary, but as time passed, she became used to it although sometimes she has to contemplate her approach.

"My family has been wonderful," stated Landry. "I have Xander and another son Elijah, who is 25 years old. I became a single parent when Xander was about two years old, and both of the boys really understood that they had to help out more around the house and they did. At that point I was working full time as a social worker co-ordinating home services for adults with physical disabilities. Even my parents have been absolutely wonderful "

While living and working in Toronto, Landry had to give up her job when fatigue set in. Each day would take her an hour subway ride.

It's been almost four years since Landry and her mate Tom moved to Brockville.

Upon arrival in Brockville, Landry found that there are some places not accessible, that not all sidewalks have the appropriate curb cuts to accommodate scooters.

"It's mostly downtown that things are not accessible, but people are wonderful," indicated Landry. "The hardware store downtown, I go to the door and say I need this and they will get it for me, bring it out and I pay for it. People work with you!"

Early on, Landry contacted the local MS society to ask about supports group and activities. Margaret Loiselle, programs and service co-ordinator, gave Landry information, contact names and introduced her to what was available.

Now, Landry frequents the Brockville Public Library, is connected with a book club and joined the YMCA of Brockville and Area’s Sit and Fit class, three days a week.

"The Y has been so great for her," said Xander, "as it has brought up her energy."

As for uptown Brockville, Landry has a problem seeing the crosswalk indicator to cross intersections.

"It is difficult crossing Parkedale because I cannot see the little white man, and that's when Xander comes in handy," said Landry. "The tweet downtown (for crossing the street) is great."

During the winter, Landry's Sit and Fit class members offer her rides to the Y and she has been so grateful for their kindness.

Winter weather is hard for Landry, as she's not as mobile and as independent as she likes to be.

Her daily routine is similar to that of anyone else: cooking or laundry, cleaning, reading, doing all these things in waves, from prepping a meal, taking a break to cooking the meal. In the evening, she enjoys backgammon or listening to music.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by INSIDEBROCKVILLE
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length


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