MS Madness!


“The author welcomes us into her world with an engaging opening set during the holiday season, which creates a cringe in the reader, who can relate to the initial sense of frustration at the stress caused by the symptoms during this hectic time of year. Well done. Any medical concern causes stress, but author has beautifully crafted an opening setting to hook the reader.

Author’s writing voice is friendly and relatable, with terrific, subtle humor that we can see is a strong tool in helping her cope; readers will glean from her example that humor is an essential element in any diagnosis.

Author shares the steps of treatment well, particularly strongly in scenes of self-injection, and discussion about treatments and medications. Author has done a lot of research in the field of MS diagnosis and treatment, which is a strong core of the book.

We get a wonderful sense of the help she receives, from unexpected sources such as the cell phone plan worker Latiesha. I smiled and nodded at that point, knowing the magic that helpful strangers can create in a time of need. Well done.

This is an important and helpful book for anyone suffering with MS, and especially helpful for their loved ones to read as well, giving a glimpse into the symptoms and treatments, and as a reminder of what the MS-sufferer might need. A well-written account with an important purpose.”
—3rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards


“A week before Christmas in 2009, deSousa, a writer and blogger in her late 30s, receives a diagnosis that explains all of the mysterious symptoms she’s had for months: relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis. She’s thrown into a disorienting world of self-administered shots, exhaustion, and memory loss. Rather than descend into pity or bitterness, she decides to enjoy her favorite holiday while relying on her Catholic faith, a sense of humor, and family. DeSousa considers herself lucky: unlike her sister, who also has MS, she doesn’t need a cane or a brace to walk.

That attitude, which helps her navigate the difficult early months, comes through right away in the book. At first, deSousa continues to hold down a stressful job and teach Sunday school, in part because, even with insurance, she worries about the mounting costs of dealing with the disease, but eventually, her disability forces her to quit working. She describes her deliberations over whether to spend 83¢ on a fountain soda, and her joy at discovering that the soda is actually free.

With her new free time, she discovers previously untapped interests like writing and earns a scholarship to a writing conference and is published. In this heartfelt memoir, deSousa proves that while there is much to be frustrated and dispirited about, it’s possible to face quagmires with grace.”
—Publisher’s Weekly, BookLife


“Subtitled “A ‘Giggle More, Cry Less’ Story of Multiple Sclerosis,” MS Madness! is an enjoyable book for anyone looking to uncover the lighter side of MS. Authored by a woman with MS, the story is written in a conversational tone, connecting the reader with her many unique encounters and entertaining perspectives. Ms. deSousa takes readers on her journey through her daily events, including her relationships, school and work, doctor visits, and much more, all while sharing her comical thoughts on how she interprets the sometimes bizarre situations.

When the pharmacist refuses to give her a large prescription of Vitamin D at one time – making her return to the pharmacy every few days – she wonders if he thought she was going to try to sell it illegally to “unsuspecting folks who were already drinking their fair share [of Vitamin D] in their milk.” Not only can members of the MS community relate to her physical, cognitive, and emotional ups and downs, but readers will find themselves laughing out loud throughout the book.”
—The Motivator


MS Madness!  A ‘Giggle More, Cry Less’ Story of Multiple Sclerosis combines defiance with humor, the secret weapon of the sick.  Laughter has carried me a greater distance than conventional medicine ever will.  In the end, attitudes drives well being.”
—Richard M. Cohen, NY Times Best Selling author of Blindsided and Strong at the Broken Places


“Yvonne deSousa is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The only way to deal with it is to face facts and take each day as it comes. The various signs and symptoms of the disease make her day to day life progressively difficult. She ends up quitting her front desk job. Whatever she has to face as a result of her MS, she does so with elan. Living and surviving through the MS fog-riddled days, Yvonne makes sure she does not lose her sense of humor and brightness of spirit.

MS Madness! A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis by Yvonne deSousa is just what it promises to be. The author has managed to turn a potential sob story into a humorous read without losing the main plot. It takes a lot to make fun of yourself and the author does it with ease. Her ability to laugh at herself, in spite of her condition, can surely be an inspiration to one and all. Describing the difficulties she faces in dealing with new technology and managing her finances, Yvonne surely strikes a chord with those of us who know what being a klutz is all about. Her review of the highly acclaimed movie, ‘Inception’ is hilarious and not to be missed. I really think it takes a lot of courage to look your MS diagnosis in the face and choose not to be beaten by it. Yvonne has done a wonderful job of sharing her story in a very nice, readable way. She deserves a pat on the back for telling it with a smile.”
—Reviewed by Dr. Oliva Dsouza for Readers’ Favorite


“DeSousa’s debut memoir chronicles her first year living with multiple sclerosis and some of the lessons she learned along the way.

DeSousa looks to infuse humor and wit into her life-changing first year with MS. Her vivid, accessible voice is a strength of her book, and she puts a humorous spin on the debilitating disease to cope with its effects on her body. While the irreverence is a hook, it also subtly serves to demystify some of the most confusing aspects of MS, a condition still misunderstood. Explanations about the effects on muscles, cognitive function and even hearing give readers insight into some of the daily struggles of those living with MS.

The humor, however, sometimes overshadows the narrative arc and structure of the book. It’s wonderful to be able to hear the author’s voice so clearly, but at times it assumes a rambling, almost too-casual quality that attempts several conversational paths without sticking to one, leaving the reader a little befuddled. Likewise, many anecdotes about DeSousa’s everyday life—working at a medical office, teaching at Sunday school, eating junk food, getting over an ex-boyfriend—can be honed and trimmed. On the whole, DeSousa is personable and engaging. For instance, in a slightly too-long section about halfway through the book, the author describes cooking a recommended vegetable dish because cookies ‘aren’t very healthy.’

The author’s grace shines through even in quieter moments, and those qualities shape the work just as much as the humor. The final chapter advises her readers that, ‘It is okay to be really really mad at this obnoxious, damaging, and weird disease… But moving forward is something I insist on.’

A warm, unique memoir about coping with disease.”

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Yvonne deSousa’s diagnosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis came with an insightful declaration from a new doctor (“MS sucks”) and a brother’s helpful advice (“You could totally get one of those handicapped parking plates now”). What followed was a year of MS-adventures: “accidentally” kicking an officious male doctor in the crotch, becoming an undercover agent to pay for medication made from Chinese hamster ovary cells, discovering the amazing effects of legal speed, and battling her arch-nemesis, the dreaded food group: vegetables.

Throughout her MS journey, Yvonne learned how to use humor to find acceptance in her diagnosis, and how to smile in the face of a debilitating chronic illness. MS Madness! will make you laugh while learning the real story of what MS, a disease that affects 400,000 Americans daily, can do to a perfectly normal person.

Life with multiple sclerosis can be daunting, but Yvonne shares her giggles at the bizarre world she has unwittingly entered and the new perspectives it has given her on life. MS Madness! makes us realize that with a sense of humor, we can survive anything.

About the Author

Two years before Yvonne’s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a relative volunteered her to write an article for a local newspaper. Little did she know it was the beginning of a writing career. When MS threatened to turn her into a lunatic, she started writing more frequently, eventually publishing her work in newspapers, an online digest, and in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith. She writes a regular blog on and presents programs designed to help others use humor to help cope with chronic illness.

Yvonne enjoys writing, laughing, and resting.

Additional information

Weight12.656 oz
Dimensions9 × 6 × .5454 in
MS Madness!