A few months ago my friend and editor, Julie Golimowski, asked me to write about my experience as a quilter with MS. The article is part of a feature on Multiple Sclerosis in the summer issue of Designer Quilts magazine.
Since hiring me as a pattern proofreader four years ago, Julie has shown concern about my health and the impact of MS on my life and work. Does the stress of deadlines increase my muscle tension and fatigue? YES. Is my ability to concentrate good enough to check math, diagrams, and wording for ten quilt projects an issue? MOST of the time. Am I able to climb stairs to get to the computer where I do my work? NOT ANY MORE!
Over time, her questions have become more specific. What was my first symptom? NUMBNESS and tingling. Am I in pain? SOMETIMES. What kinds of medical tests confirmed my diagnosis? MRI and SPINAL TAP. What medications do I take? DAILY INJECTIONS and PILLS for everything from muscle spasticity and incontinence to anxiety and depression.
Julie’s interest became more than concern for a good friend when she herself was diagnosed with MS. She revealed her condition to her readers in this latest, and last issue of the magazine. Her husband Joe writes:
Designer Quilts Magazine (formerly Designers’ Quarters) has ceased publication. In 2006, Julie, the editor of Designer Quilts Magazine and my wife, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is an incurable disease that attacks the central nervous system. Lesions in the brain and on the spine cause a variety of symptoms from blindness to the inability to walk. Julie has relapsing and remitting MS which means that her symptoms come and go without warning and it is no longer possible for us to publish our magazine. Sincerely, Joe Golimowski Publisher, Designer Quilts Magazine
There's no predicting the path MS will take for either of us. In spite of that, Julie and I maintain good attitudes. That's half the battle in managing this debilitating disease. It's been an honor and pleasure working with Julie on Designer Quilts Magazine. Now, if we could only edit MS out of our lives.