It’s Not The MS, It’s the MS’er . . .

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a guest blogger – but I’m so proud to host this one.  The writer is Scott James, and he’s been a friend and supporter of almost since day one.  He’s an interesting guy:  he was diagnosed in Nov 2006 with RRMS, he lives in San Diego, Ca, he’s married with two great kids and is an Action-Sports Photographer (cool, right?)!!  Think fast cars and surfing.  He’s pretty amazing.  Here’s his post:



It’s Not the MS, It’s the MS’er . . .

I read the greatest quote the other day on the page of a very talented photographer I follow on FB. The discussion was about which cameras were used in a recent worldwide photo contest. Like all photographers enjoy doing, each brand camp commenced to light-hearted ribbing about which camera was really best. I, being a CANON guy, have enjoyed my share of entering that debate. And it was there that I saw what may very well be my next tattoo to be placed on my right (shooting) forearm…”It’s not the arrow…It’s the Indian shooting it”.

I have a list of favorite saying, mostly from my Grandfather and my “best looking Uncle” (a family joke). They’ve served me well through the years. Golden nuggets like: “never shit in your own back yard,” or, “if my Aunt would have had balls, she’d have been my Uncle”…things like that. But this one – this one hit me on two separate levels. The first one, giving me a good comeback on days when I’m feeling a bit shaken at someone saying my skills with a camera must come from my “good camera”. It bothers me that this one bothers me so much, because I like to think I’m more humble than that. But after a couple days of running my new mantra though my little, scarred up noodle, it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks: This is MS in a nutshell.

It’s not the MS (arrow) it’s the Indian shooting it. That’s what makes ALL the difference.

I’ve got a quiver full of the shittiest arrows made. But if I want to eat, if I want to be able to fend off someone, or something, or whatever, I better learn how to shoot them right, and as best I can. Because, the truth is this – the world keeps spinning. Life does not stop. Well, it does for everyone someday. But right now, for me, the hits just keep rollin’. I got 99 problems, and crying over bent arrows isn’t one of them. All I need to do is look at that arrow as I’m loading it up (or whatever you call getting ready to shoot an arrow), figure out how I need to aim the damn thing, pull it back – and let it fly. Sometimes I miss. Sometimes, I get pissed and have to reach back, grab another one, and take another shot. Such is life. Such is MS.

A little over 9 years ago, a doctor told me life as I knew it, was going to be different. And sure as hell. she was right! It IS different. And not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could change and go back to how things were before. That’s about the most “normal” thing I have going in my life. But I think a large part of that thinking stems from just being tired of some of the day-to-day stuff. Memory is fading on just how it felt to fire off a pristine arrow. And there are times when, even though I know the shot will not work out right, I’ll hold my right eye up to the viewfinder of my camera, for no other reason than I miss how natural that feels. I DO miss my right eye, and a REALLY harsh truth here is…should MS take my left eye out of the game, I make no promises as to how centered my life would be. There’s just too much beauty in the world I’ve yet to try to capature. And I’ll be beyond pissed if I’m not able to do just that. But I do know this – I’ll always hope for that miracle. So none of my camera stuff will ever be “For Sale”. I’ll spend a lot of time bumping into stuff while I figure things out. And I’ll figure out what to do next.


It’s not the arrow. It’s the Indian shooting it, that matters.


Want to reach out to Scott?  Here’s how to find him:

Scott James Picture

Social media pages/contacts:
@sjamesphoto on Twitter and Instagram
sjamesphoto page on FB
Special thanks to for the cool shot of the archer and targets.  
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FUMS 001 | Dan & Jennifer Digmann Interview

Dan & Jen pic2

In this episode, I interview Dan & Jennifer Digmann, a wonderful married couple who both have Multiple Sclerosis.  They’ve written a book called, “Despite MS, To Spite MS” and we talk about what their journey has been like:  how they met and married, how they deal with their challenges, and how they advocate for all MS’ers.

You’ll learn:

  • How they maintain their upbeat outlook;
  • What’s on their horizon for advocacy
  • How writing a book helped clarify each of their approaches to MS

Download this episode (MP3)(36m2s)

 Click here to listen now!

Resources in this episode:

Despite MS, to Spite MS

Dan & Jennifer’s website 

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Working From Home With Multiple Sclerosis

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Pulling the Plug

I LOVED my job.  I loved the people I worked with and for and I loved what I got to do each day.  I thought I would be retiring from that job – when I was of retirement age.  MS had a different idea.  I drove to various doctor’s offices and talked with the docs and their staff most days.  There were also Chamber of Commerce, economic development and lunch meetings to attend.  I drove to all of those and to our corporate office several times each month as well.  I drove ALOT.  So – when I started to confuse the gas and the brake pedals and had trouble remembering which side of the road was the correct one for me to be on, I needed to reassess.  This was for my safety and the safety of others. […]

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Multiple Sclerosis Holiday Gift Guide – 2014

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This annual Multiple Sclerosis Holiday Gift Guide is a hit every year.  I’ve updated it this year with new products that either I’ve come across or have been suggested by others in the FUMS Nation.  I hope you find this helpful – and, if you have other suggestions that I’ve missed, please share them in […]

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MS, the Holidays and Depression

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Joy to the World – bite me!   ‘Tis the season – well, almost.  The holidays are right around the corner.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or none of the above, the reminders of how happy everyone else seems to be are everywhere.  The ads are all showing happy, smiling people with loads of […]

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Time – Doesn’t Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Time and Multiple Sclerosis

Occasionally I will post a guest blog – either something someone has sent to me – or something I’ve actively sought out.  This guest blog was one that I solicited from a good friend of – Ms. Joy S. Johnson.  She’s a writer, an animal enthusiast (especially her dog Duke) and yes, she has […]

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