All I have to say is…Wow! I feel like I have just finished the CMSC marathon or perhaps I’m suffering from a CMSC hangover?! I just returned last night from the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting. It was a whirlwind of an event for me and while I probably should be resting right now, I just can’t stop thinking about the past three days in New Orleans. There was so much important information in the air at that meeting and so many amazing people to meet. It was truly a special experience for me to attend my first, of hopefully many, of these types of conferences.
While I’ve worked exhibit booths in the past at nursing conferences for my “day job” at Lippincott NursingCenter.com, the CMSC Annual Meeting was an extremely different experience for me. I had emotional moments that would come over me as an overwhelming sense of connection to every person in that exhibit hall, and a true appreciation and gratitude for each and every one of them. I credit all of the exhibitors, attendees, sponsors, speakers, researchers, practitioners, etc., etc. as active contributors with how well I’m doing in my life living with multiple sclerosis. I truly believe that I personally would not be doing as well as I am without the knowledge, passion, and dedication of the people in attendance at #CMSC2017. I’m not exaggerating when I say that they have all played a major role in life as I know it.
While I had hoped to get out of the booth and hear more of the talks and discussions, and engage with other exhibitors more, my time was taken up mostly with spreading the word about LiveWiseMS.org - an extremely important task, indeed! I hope I conveyed the true message and goal behind LiveWiseMS and the importance of providing trusted, clinical knowledge to the MS community, and in turn, empowering people with MS to be in charge of their overall health and well-being.
I think this conference came at the perfect time for me. I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately and like I was overdosing on everything and anything related to multiple sclerosis. My perspective and boundaries with MS were starting to blur, and I was starting to lose an important piece of myself. I was forgetting the fact that I am much more than this disease. This conference rejuvenated me and reminded me why I’m so passionate about living my life each and every day to raise awareness and understanding about multiple sclerosis. We are all much more than MS and together, we can beat this disease. There is still a lot that needs to be discovered but we’ve come a long, long way in this journey.
I’ll have to admit that I’m feeling emotionally and physically drained from the past three days but not in a bad way. I will write more on some of my personal favorite moments, highlights, and interesting things that I learned at #CMSC2017. However, over the next few days, I need to take time to further digest my experience at #CMSC2017, and to relax and recover from a truly remarkable event.