Stumbling In Flats

Barbara A Stensland
From running in heels to stumbling in flats - one day in 2011, Barbara woke up unable to speak properly, walk in a straight line or stay awake for longer than a few hours. She didn’t know it then, but that day was to change her life forever. In 2012, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). She began blogging at to show the day-to-day reality of living with MS, a teenager and a cat, in amongst coping with a rapidly-disappearing career, late-night pity-parties-for-one, discrimination in the workplace and adjusting to a whole new life with MS. She’s unflinchingly honest in her portrayal and exploration of this strange new world, where the McDonald criteria are no longer a way of judging French Fries but a tick-list for an MS diagnosis. Alongside scans, blood tests, a lumbar puncture and medication, she battles with The Teenager (school uniform angst, an undying devotion to pizza) and life in general (facing 40, a non-existent fitness regime, chocolate). After two years of blogging she has now collated a large selection into a book. She’s also corrected her appalling spelling and grammar mistakes along the way. In coming to terms with her diagnosis, she discovers she’s actually pretty strong and can definitely see the funny side to a serious illness.