Living and Laughing with MS

While I am away vacationing with my husband and desperately trying to disconnect, I'm pleased to introduce you to another Chicago Now writer, Mr. Patrick O'hara.  Patrick is a Chicago born comedian and writes Comedy, Tragedy and Me.  Patrick was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a few months ago, and like me when I was diagnosed; found comfort in each other as a sounding board for many questions that come up.  

Since Patrick is a naturally funny dude, I'm thrilled that he took time to get serious and talk about this disease that many people still are not educated about.


I am able to admit when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis I knew very little about the disease. I will even admit that even though I have been diagnosed since July that I have a ton to learn about it. The strange thing is I might research too much. I see the great stories, but then I see the awful stories. I try very hard to focus on the positive and realize not everyone's cases are the same, but sometimes I get scared.

I have been trying to work on jokes about MS to add to my act, I am a stand up comic, but so far my MS jokes have not found an audience. The drugs I have been prescrbed to treat it make me feel worse than I did before I was diagnosed. It was a strange kind of blissful ignorance. Somehow the diagnosis was better news than my original diagnosis of a stroke. Yes, the aches, pains, fatigue, and nausea are no fun, but I wake every day and I am lucky.

I am making the decision every day to wake up and stay positive. I now have three diseases that have their own walk and even their own awareness days at the very least. In addition to MS, I am diabetic and I am twice over survivor of cancer. I have definitely fought some battles in the past and I will continue to fight because I have a million reasons to keep fighting.

I won't lie, I am still not always entirely sure what this diagnosis means. I am just trying to live healthier and keep my brain stimulated. Even before my diagnosis, as an adult I have a hunger for knowledge. I am back in school and I am going to graduate because my name is not Daniel Tosh and making a living as a comic is hard. It is a fun hobby and sometimes I get paid for it. I am staying completely focused on my present and the future I will share. I am letting the child in me run free sometimes, but I am also letting myself grow up.

Writing a blog is a great release, not every post is about MS but it just feels great to put my thoughts out there. I am not a great writer, I may never be but I do love it so. I love to entertain, that is a part of me that will be forever present. I am the guy who brings laughter because making people smile is what I am good at. This blog is a little disorganized and all over the place, I blame the MS, another perk of this disease.

It is quite daunting, I wake up sometimes and find it difficult to get motivated, then I just kickstart my motor and force myself to move. I share stories and talk to people I know who have MS and they have helped me a lot with this battle. I have a lot of friends, family, and a girlfriend who understand there may be struggles ahead but I know that I am fighting with an army. It not the worst thing to ever happen to me, there was that time I did not get that He-Man action figure I wanted. Yes, action figure, they are not dolls!

I digress, my main point is that I am living every day to the fullest. Doing all I can to make every day the best day of my life. I want to inspire, I want to help others fight when they feel like giving up. I want to work towards a cure and be part of the reason this diagnosis won't  be so daunting for someone else in the future.

Follow Patrick on Facebook here. 

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