Welcome to our fifth installment of Living Well with MS Coffee Break, where straight from Cornwall (UK) we welcome Sean Kressinger as our guest! As you now know, we decided to do something a little different in expanding the range of content we produce here at Living Well with MS. To honor the community that forms the beating heart of Overcoming MS, this special series called Coffee Break features short interviews with members of the OMS community talking about their personal journeys adopting and staying on the OMS 7 Step Recovery Program, the challenges they encountered and how they overcame them, and their tips and tricks for sticking to the path that leads to better health. We hope you enjoy and learn from these intermezzos between our regular episodes, and as always, your comments and suggestions are always welcome by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m Sean Kressinger and I live in Cornwall, England. I was diagnosed with RRMS 5 years ago though I may well have had it for 25 years. It’s rather prolific in my family, with an aunt, sister and many cousins having it, so the diagnosis wasn’t a complete shock.
I spent the early part of my career as an RSPCA Inspector (animal welfare) in Lincolnshire and Derbyshire, which was enjoyable at times but highly stressful. This is when my first symptoms appeared but were largely ignored. For relaxation I started to paint portraits and do carpentry projects which eventually gave me a reason to leave my stressful job behind and move to Cornwall. I became self-employed, as a gardener at first, painting portraits whenever possible and eventually re-training as a carpenter specializing in furniture. I’m still a carpenter, working around 2/3 full time, though the ability to paint seems to have vanished!
I jumped at the OMS program as soon as I read about it. It seemed logical, evidence-based, extremely well-researched and wasn’t trying to sell me anything! I was already a vegetarian on the whole, so the dietary aspect wasn’t going to be a huge leap, plus I knew I needed to exercise more, and I had an interest in mindfulness/meditation although I hadn’t tried it. It all made sense to me and it was a huge relief that I could help myself with the condition rather than rely purely on the drugs offered.
At the time, OMS was looking for local Ambassadors to form regional Circles and I applied without hesitation. I became the OMS Ambassador for Cornwall and recently the other ambassadors and circle members of Devon and Cornwall joined forces to alleviate any isolation issues amid the Covid-19 lockdown. For me, the OMS Recovery Program is for life now. I’ve been on it long enough to feel the benefits and I’ll continue to promote it whenever I can.
- Can you tell us a little about yourself, your family, your life, where you live and anything about yourself you’d like to share?
- When were you diagnosed with MS and how long have you been following the Overcoming MS 7 Step Recovery Program?
- What is your favorite thing about the program, namely what do you feel has made the biggest positive impact?
- What was your greatest challenge in adopting the OMS program, and how did you overcome it?
- Can you tell us a bit about the video “Fighting Multiple Sclerosis” that your daughter Holly made?
- How have you had to adapt your daily healthy habits to the new realities imposed by COVID-19?
- Do you have any other tips or tricks you can share with our audience that might help them on their journeys?
If you post something concerning OMS and COVID-19, especially if it’s a bit of good news during this rough patch, don’t forget to use the hashtag #positivelyOMS.
Coming up on our next episode:
On the next full-length episode of Living Well with MS, launching July 8, 2020, Geoff Allix digs into the Top Hacks for Getting into a Meditation Habit with meditation coach and wellbeing mentor Alison Potts. And keep an eye out for Coffee Break #6 with Johanna Lahr, coming to you straight from Berlin, Germany on July 20, 2020.
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