Meet Kara Johnson
When were you diagnosed with MS and what was the first thing you did after you found out?
May 2011. I went back to work and blankly starred at my computer screen for about 4 hours...
What advice would you give to someone just finding out they have MS?
We all have these defining moments in life where life "before" was never to be the same with no going back... loss of a parent for example. I remember thinking nothing would ever be the same in my life ever again. I was right and wrong! There are many things in life I now enjoy so much more than before.
Simple things in life hold so much more value and overcoming symptoms through physical activity has been hugely rewarding. I live a much fuller life as a result. I eat healthier, exercise more because I have that much more reason to do so. Allow yourself to wallow and digest the diagnosis then go out there and be your own warrior. It took me a couple years to get my head around this so be gentle with yourself and strive for the best version of yourself.
What is something good that came out of your MS diagnosis?
Savoring the little things. After being completely numb from the chest down for 4 months then slowly regaining that feeling over the course of 2 years is incredibly rewarding. Recovery is always possible, you have to believe that. I am a fighter now!
What is your morning routine?
Wake up, meds, coffee and a healthy breakfast followed by an hour of exercise. I wasn't always able to to that but I have earned it and want to keep it as long as possible!
How has MS affected your daily life?
I savor every little thing that could possibly be taken from me. Hiking in the mountains with my 3 kids and husband. I take every opportunity that comes my way. I am not putting anything off until tomorrow. I truly believe I live a fuller life than an average "healthy" person!
Can you remember your saddest memory of your life?
Losing my father, losing a pregnancy in the second trimester, MS diagnosis.
Can you remember the happiest moment of your life?
Birth of my 3 children.
What is the greatest achievement you have done since being diagnosed and how were you able to achieve it?
I competed in a fitness competition in May at age 40! I was always the kid running at the back of the pack in gym class, I never thought I could accomplish such a thing and I am now training for my second!
Any other thoughts you would like to share?
Live the life you want. Don't wait! No one knows what tomorrow holds so make the best of today.
Follow Kara's Journey on Instagram: @Msisbs