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Letters to the editor: Connecting within magazine pages

No more head in the sand
I was cleaning out some of my magazines when I happened upon the Winter 2022–23 issue of Momentum. I’d set it aside to read later and never got around to it until today. I’m interested in the articles but am somehow reluctant to read them. I want the information but don’t want to immerse myself in all things MS, so I rarely read the whole issue.

This time, the cover was about MS and diet. I’ve gained weight over the past couple of years and knew I could no longer hide my head in the sand. I read the whole issue, starting with the letters to the editor. Three letters referred to an article from the Fall 2022 issue called “A smaller life,” which really struck a chord with me. Two articles also hit me pretty hard, “Changing my life for the better” and “Painting away the pain.” Each affected me for different reasons but made me wish I’d been reading all the issues these past few years. I went back and read “A smaller life.” While it was hard to read because I could relate to so much of it, I blinked away the tears and finished. Because the author was willing to be brutally honest with herself and the MS world, I realized that there were others who were feeling the same as me.

I vow to read each issue and not just let it lie on the coffee table or tuck it away in a basket, so I don’t have to look at it and face something I try not to think about every minute of every day. While reading it was emotional for me, I want to thank you for your willingness to print such honest and informative articles.

Christi Heideman, Missouri

Happy to see support
I was diagnosed with MS in 2009, which delayed my pursuit of gender-affirming care for a decade due to lack of information and fear. Reading your cover story “Lives in transition” (Summer 2023) brought up a well of feelings: gratitude, sadness for past me, and overwhelming happiness for trans and gender nonconforming people living with MS who get to see themselves reflected so sensitively in the pages of your magazine. The current political climate can sometimes make it feel like everybody has a negative view of trans people. It is refreshing to see the MS Society take a stand in support.

Zein Murib, New York

Let’s express ourselves
I just got my copy of the Summer 2023 Momentum in the mail. The first page that opened was the article by Elizabeth Jameson (“How I learned that swearing can be good for the soul”), and I couldn’t have been more excited about it. I just finished a seven-week attack of sciatica. I told my kids that I was going to start cussing if it didn’t resolve itself soon. I’ve always said that “oh darn” just didn’t cut it when things were really rough. So, thank you for laying it all out there and making me feel better about letting it fly. My husband (married 46 years by the time he died in 2018) was a sailor and served in Vietnam, so I knew all the words. There was nothing I didn’t hear every day. It did kind of bother me, but not anymore. We need a release, and it feels so good to release the demons. So many things have been taken from us. Let us express ourselves.

Marti Arnold