Chicago family deals with multiple sclerosis

Like many parents, there are days when I don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning.

Not to complain, but when you work until 1 or 2 a.m., then get up with a rambunctious toddler some five or six hours later, kicking your legs from under the covers and onto the floor can sometimes be as challenging as running a marathon.

However, when I do feel dead to the world, I need only turn to my left to see the empty side of our bed in order to perk up quickly.

While I am moaning and groaning, my wife, Vicki, is getting ready for another day. I stop to think how tough it is some days for her to simply get out of bed, and not because she’s also suffering from a lack of sleep.

Vicki was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in November 1999, less than three months after we got engaged.

While past exacerbations of double vision, numbness and spasticity have not been too severe, the constant fatigue and a lingering sciatic pain associated with the disease makes it tough sometimes for Vicki to muster enough energy to cook dinner or pay bills.

Yet like Bert Taddei, Dave Wojciechowski and Angela Loftus, my wife has not allowed MS to prevent her from living a full life.

Vicki is an outstanding mother to our 3-year-old son Matthew, doing everything any other mom can. She also works full-time and is a pretty wicked dodgeball player.

Some days are tougher than others, but most of the time you can’t tell Vicki is suffering from MS. That’s because she is not suffering from it. She is living with MS.

For that, she is my inspiration and the reason to get up in the morning.

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