Strong enough for the struggles!

strong enoughI do believe that all the struggles we go through in life, even though we may not be able to see it at the time, only to make us stronger! We do not get to choose what difficulties we face throughout life, but we can decide how we cope we them. Every battle we tackle can teach us better ways to handle anything else the future holds for us. 

Life is an uphill journey that we are always learning from. An experience you have endured previously can potentially help yourself not struggle as hard if faced with the same situation again or someone else moving forward. We all confront issues in life differently, so what works well for me may not work as well for someone else and visa versa.

Looking back at life I realize that some situations I thought were impossible, were not nearly as bad as I made them out to be. During high stress situations I think we may Beautiful strugglesometimes allow our emotions to have more control than necessary, instead of focusing on logic. Without a doubt I am very guilty of this because I always become very emotional when I am under a great deal of stress and put zero emphasis on being logical. In my sane and clear mind, I do know the only way to make it through difficult times is to look at the issues and find logical ways to fix the problems. For me personally being too emotional causes me to make irrational decisions that in the end never help myself or anyone else that was involved. 

I believe while we are going through difficult times in our lives, we should be able to be open up with our feelings to at least one person! The difficult part might be the person you can always open up to is actually involved with what you are struggling with. Even though it may be hard and you feel like you are suffocating with stress, you still need to find a way to be open about your feelings. Sometimes I will bottle my feelings up which only causes additional stress but I really do not like confrontation! 

I am still dealing with some issues from my exacerbation but I am doing much better. Honestly I can not say what is worse the pain or fatigue I feel everyday! Even though I have had a terrible head cold I have been able to work 5 hours each day this week and next week I will be doing at least 6 hours a day! It has been really hard for me to get back to my normal self, but I am not giving up my fight! 

Thank you for reading and commenting on my short thoughts for today! I will respond to all comments and emails as soon as I am able. I hope y’all have had a good day! Take care and much love to y’all!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

 

 

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First time with Rebif

journey continuesAs promised, I am carrying on with my fun journey of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Unfortunately, when I was first diagnosed in 2002, there had not been oral medication approved or probably even thought of yet, so I did not have many choices. Like I had said in one my previous posts,  my doctor strongly urged me to try Rebif because he had seen a lot of success with his other patients, so I did give him the benefit of the doubt.

I can remember the first time I gave myself the Rebif shot! It took me forever to get the needle into my skin only because I was so scared of what was going to happen and how it was going to feel. I remember I asking my mother to be at my apartment with me because I never thought I was not going to have the courage to do it by myself, especially the first time and I needed a little support. Shockingly enough I did manage to get the needle in but then had a hard time actually releasing the medicine because it was already burning like fire. All in all I think my first injection took me about 20 minutes to complete, but I was proud of myself when it was over because I actually did it myself! I can still remember how much the medicine burned as it was released from the syringe and told my mother I would never do it again because I hated every moment of it. ThatRef evening I woke up several times feeling like I had the flu because I was cold but sweating and my body ached all over. Even the next morning I felt like I was still sick so I called the doctor worried. My doctor told me it was very common to have flu-like symptoms with Rebif and before my next dose I should premedicate with Advil or Tylenol,  as they would combat those negative side effects. Of course me being the patient I think every doctor dreads having had a lot of questions! I could not understand why a medicine that was supposed to be helping me would cause me to be even sicker and require more medicine. My goal was to take as little medicine as possible and they were only increasing what I had to take.

The next time I had to do the Rebif, I asked my mother to come over to my apartment and do the injection for me. I just could not handle  pushing a needle into my skin knowing  exactly how bad the medicine would burn and how I would feel the following day. Thankfully my mother was able to help me and do the injection for me. Afterwards, I did manage to do the injections myself for the most part. My husband knew what days I was supposed to do the injections and would remind me and encourage me to do what was needed. 

Technically, I was prescribed Rebif for about two years but slowly stopped doing the injections on the days I was supposed to because I had too many bruises and ran out of injection sites that were the easiest for me to do. My doctor figured out that the medication was not working because I was having more issues arise but he did not know the real reason it was not working, so I finally told my doctor that I was not taking the medicine any longer and told him why. I explained to him that I was not good at doing an injection every other day, so he and I discussed different options. Unfortunately my options were limited to other injection based medications or IV medications and I was not comfortable with any of my options and needed time to think about what I would do next. 

From my own personal experiences I know just how important it is to find the right disease modifying medication that works best for you. Back then, the diagnosis was still new to me and I was still being stubborn not wanting to face the facts that I needed to do something to slow the progression of the disease. I made bad decisions solely based on not wanting the illness to have any effects on my daily life and not wanting to  admit that this illness was not going anywhere. It was a childlike mind thinking if I did not Unknownacknowledge it, there would not be any consequences. I went as far to tell my doctor he was wrong and I did not have MS and I was getting a second opinion. I did exactly what I said and got a second opinion from another specialist. Those were two bad decisions all in a matter of a few months. I stopped taking anything for the MS and went to another doctor that did not seem to have as much knowledge. I ended up having my first bad exacerbation which caused me a lot of weakness and dizziness and I ended up back with my first doctor. As terrified as I was about going back to the doctor I told was wrong, he was very understanding about my feelings. This was also the first time the exacerbation was bad enough to require IV steroids. There were a few other medications I tried before finding the one that was best for me, which I will get to in my next post. These posts are taking a little longer because they are all emotionally draining for me.

I do completely understand how hard it is when finding the right medication for MS, but it is really important to do your own research and give things a try with an open mind. I have tried a number of medications so please do not hesitate to reach out to me if there are any questions I can answer for you. Please keep in mind all my answers are only based on my own experiences as I do not have a medical degree. Considering I have gone without taking anything I do know it is not the best idea and I only want to help!

Thank you for visiting today and sharing any comments you may have. I will respond to all comments and emails as soon as I can! I hope y’all had a good Monday and I hope you are having a great evening! Much love and take care!!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

Awesome Blogger Award Nomination!

awesomeblogger

I feel so honored, privileged and thankful for you to consider me a nominee! Thank you Mackenzie for nominating me, I really appreciate this and you more than words can say! Mackenzie is a very passionate writer that is full of positivity and handles her illnesses with such grace! I encourage everyone to check out her blog lifewithanillness.

Rules For This Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Include the reason behind the award.
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated.

 

Mackenzie’s Questions

  • What is your biggest goal in life?

My biggest goal is life is to someday be able to write a book! I even have a plan for what my book will be able!

  • What is your favorite food?

If I am being honest, my favorite food is very unhealthy but it is pizza.

  • Cats or dogs?

I do love all animals but I guess I would have to say cats!

  • Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because of my love and passion for writing and also to be able to help others that battle chronic illnesses. I want to be able to provide positive thoughts to illnesses that are not fun to live with and show everyone that there is a way to make it through even the hardest times in life. I want to be able to encourage others to never give up on dreams, even when you feel like all the cards are stacked up against you.

  • Where is your dream vacation?

My dream vacation would be to travel the world. I would start off in Hawaii! Then, I would go to Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Italy and then Denmark. I have big dreams for an amazing vacation!

  • What advice would you tell your 13-year-old self?

The best advice I could give the 13-year-old me would be to never give up on life and dreams because anything you set your mind to can be achieved in time.

  • How many pets do you have?

I have two amazing cats that truly bring so much happiness to me everyday!

  • Who inspires you?

The person in my life that has inspired me the most would be my Grandfather. The reason he was the most inspiring person to me is because he knew nothing but love and always treated others with respect. My Grandfather had no room in his life for hate or discrimination. 

My Nominees:

  1. Create Space
  2. Army of Angels
  3. Fuck MS
  4. Robyn’s Reflection
  5. Just a Quiet Girl, Living in a Noisy World

 

My Questions:

  • What made you decide to start blogging?
  • What is your biggest dream in life?
  • Do you have pets?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • Who or what is your greatest inspiration?
  • Where was your best vacation?
  • What is your most challenging goal in life?
  • What did you want to be as a child?
  • If you could give advice to the 15-year-old you, what would it be?
  • Who is your idol in life?

First, I want to thank all of my nominees for all your amazing posts and for all of your support since I started my blog! All of you are absolutely amazing and have great writing abilities. I have loved getting to know all of you and I am really looking forward to reading your answers! Thank you again to Mackenzie, livewithanillness, for nominating me for this incredible award! I hope y’all have a great day and keep your amazing blogs going! 

Love 2

Much Love, Alyssa

Invisible Illness

What-is-it-like-300x167What does invisible illness mean? Invisible Illness are disabilities that are not immediately seen. Illnesses like Multiple Sclerosis, Depression, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary), APD (Auditory Processing Disorder) and many others are felt but not seen by outsiders. 

Living life with an invisible illness can be extremely frustrating because when something is not seen to the naked eye, people tend to think the condition is being made up and not a real problem. For all of us that battle with one of these invisible illnesses we know how much we feel it, so when anyone questions our illness it can be emotionally draining. I do  completely understand that a lot of people have not been well-educated as to what MS is and what it does to the body, so I do my best to explain it to those I have to be around like co-workers.  Honestly the only time explaining gets frustrating is when I have explained things is the simplest terms possible and the same person still does not get it and does not even try to understand. Invisible-illness-under-the-surface

We have all learned the best ways to survive any illness we have been inflicted with and continue to carry on an amazing life. Some would say I live a very dull and boring life because I typically go to work, come home, my husband and I have our TV shows we watch together every night, eat dinner, take care of our fur babies, read, write and that is pretty much all. We do not go out “on the town”, we both prefer to stay in the comfort of our home. When we are able to we like to go on vacations to the beach or the mountains for snowboarding, but we do not have a deep desire to be out constantly doing something. I prefer to not allow any kind of drama and disaster into my peaceful life because all that does is cause stress which leads to further health issues. I am able to survive the MS because of the choices I make in my life. I try to stay calm and positive because to me that is the only way to make it in this world. 

There are so many reasons why staying positive is the best way to live life! A positive mind will improve daily interactions with others, makes it easier to avoid worries and negative thoughts and it will bring optimism to your life! Even during the most difficult times in life it really will help to try to find the positive in the situation. I do believe that everything happens for a reason, it is just hard sometimes to figure out the reasons. I hope one reason I have MS is so I can show others that you can live a fulfilling life even while battling an illness!

Yesterday my husband and I went to have lunch with my in-laws, sister-in-law and niece. It was a nice to be able to catch up with family and I was able to show how much I have familyimproved with my flare up. I was in a lot of pain by the end of the visit but I had a good time. I am so thankful for the wonderful family that I married into. There is always great conversations and fun times! While it was great to be around family, I was so happy when we got home so I could change into comfortable clothes and be surrounded by our wonderful fur babies!

I hope y’all are having a nice weekend so far and if you went out shopping you were safe! I can only imagine how crowded the stores are, but I hope it was a good time overall! I always like to rest and not do much house work on Saturday, but on Sunday I will do the fun job of grocery shopping and laundry. 

Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my thoughts of the day! I have been so delighted by how many people I have been able to have great conversations with! I really love getting to know to know y’all! I really hope that I have been able to help y’all with things you are dealing with. I obviously have a lot of experience and knowledge with the struggles of MS but I actually have a lot of knowledge with making it through other strains life throws our way! Please feel free to email me anytime and I will respond as soon as possible! Much love and wishing you lots of comfort! I hope you have a great evening!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

 

Being Thankful

203445-Happy-Thursday-Good-Morning-ButterflyGood morning Y’all! Today I am not giving thanks just because it is “Thanksgiving”, I am giving thanks because there are so many things and people I am thankful for everyday of my life. Like I said yesterday, I do not need a designated day that some countries only acknowledge thanks once a year for, I am thankful everyday for my life. I do understand that there are actually many countries that do not celebrate Thanksgiving and I do appreciate that, but they love their family just as much if not more than we do here in the United States.

This morning I was very curious on how Thanksgiving really started and what I read and watched was a bit disturbing. There were numerous Native Americans asked how they feel about Thanksgiving and their responses were upsetting because I never realized how cruel things were back when this holiday was introduced. I am going to attached the article I read online and y’all view more than what I talk about, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/thanksgiving-2017-native-americans-videos-what-do-they-think-racism-columbus-redskins-a8070611.html . Many of the Native Americans that were asked about Thanksgiving believe it was simply a massacre. Puritans came and slaughtered millions of Native Americans, stole their traditional land and damned their rivers. Many believed that Christopher Columbus was the first terrorist in America. These people believe that now Thanksgiving is just a reason to have family together and over eat. Of course then after a massive meal, everyone wants to start shopping and spending insane amounts of money for Christmas gifts. Anyone that lives in the United States knows that the stores will be exceedingly busy from now until January with a tremendous amount of consumerism. I mean for God’s sakes there are stores that are opening in the early afternoon of Thanksgiving Day with  early bird savings. What happened to enjoying time with loved ones? I do not mean to sound so negative about a holiday that is meant to be surrounded by family, but it is quite upsetting to think about how this “holiday” really started in 1619.

I am eternally thankful for my family that is still here with us and those that have passedhappy thanksgiving in heaven on. I was truly blessed to have had my wonderful Grandfather in my life and my husband’s amazing Grandparents for so many years! My Grandfather and my husband’s Grandparents made such a positive impact on my life! They were by all means the most loving, accepting, compassionate and all around truly amazing people who ever walked the face of this earth. It makes me sad that they are no longer with us in the physical sense, but they will always be a strong part of our heart!

After reading the article and watching the videos that I shared with you, I really do not know how I feel about Thanksgiving. I do not like to hear of anyone being mistreated because I feel like anyone and everyone must be treated with love and respect. Let me ask you, how do you feel about Thanksgiving and how do you celebrate it? I will love my family daily until my last breath and I will always enjoy any precious time I am able to spend with them! My heart breaks to know that even almost 400 years ago there were so many people being treated unfairly and it still goes on today in 2017. It makes me sad to know there are so many people who are not fortunate enough to have food on the table but then there are so many others that will spend a small fortune on shopping. What would happen if all those that spend so much money shopping the “greatest deals” around the holidays, would spend even a fraction of that to that to help those in need?

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts for the day. Again, I was not meaning to be negative I just like to know as much as I can about our holidays and what we are celebrating for. I truly hope that you enjoy whatever you are doing on this beautiful day! Please leave any comments you have for what I have written today and I will respond as quickly as I can. No matter what the day is, please enjoy your life as much as you possibly can and never forget to share love with those you hold dear before you miss that opportunity!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

So Much To Be Thankful For!

Reason_To_Be_ThankfulI have always found it a little strange that we need a day that is titled “Thanksgiving” in order to think about what we are truly thankful for in life. No matter what kinds of struggles we may deal with in our lives, there is always something that we should be able to think of that we are thankful for! I do not need a “special” day to appreciate and acknowledge the great parts of my life. I feel blessed to have family that loves me unconditionally and offers me emotional support when I need it! 

Everyone at work today was talking about their plans were for Thanksgiving. Most people complain about either making a huge meal or having to drive long distances, when it is really all about spending time with loved ones. For Thanksgiving my husband and I are planning to have a quiet day at home together with our cats! I did talk about making us the traditional Thanksgiving meal but I decided to make what I am best at, lasagna! I feel like it has been a little while, but we are planning to visit with my in-laws on Friday. With my mother being a nurse, she has to work tomorrow but I hope for her sake it will not be a busy day!

In a very crazy way, I am even thankful for MS. As difficult as it can make my life, it Thankfulreally has made me a stronger person. Plus, I do know that as much pain as I have been experiencing, it could be so much worse than it is. I am so grateful that I still have full function of all my body parts, even if they hurt like hell! I remember when I was first heard I had MS, I was terrified that I was going to be in a wheelchair. Even if someday I do have to use a wheelchair, I am old enough now to know my life will still carry on, I will still be able to do most things I do now but back then I thought it would be absolutely horrible. 

Even though it has taken me a while, I have been able to slowly build my strength up which is enabling to work more hours daily. Shockingly enough I had a fairly good 5 hours at work today and I was able to control my stress and pain slightly better. Next week, hopefully things will continue to improve and I will get closer to my normal work schedule of 40+ hours. I know my plans of working so many hours does not seem very exciting but the paycheck is always nice to see! I guess it is true, you have to work hard in order to play and do what you want to do in life.

friendship_and_butterflies_note_card_set_of_eight_681d5cb5Another thing I am very thankful for is my blog and the amazing friends I have made through this. I have had the opportunity to communicate with people all over the world and learn not only about their experiences but also their country. Being able to learn so much about other countries I feel like I have almost traveled the world! 

I have learned that not all countries celebrate Thanksgiving, but I hope that whatever y’all do tomorrow and the rest of the week is filled with happiness and comfort. I am so excited that I have the next four days off of work to rest up more so that I can feel close to 100% better for next week. I also really want go this weekend to Crisis Ministry so I can give my donations for those that are in need of warm clothes. The temperatures have been steadily dropping, so I know there are people out there that will benefit from some warm sweaters and jeans! 

As always thank for you for taking the time to read and comment on my thoughts for the day, I will respond to all comments as quickly as I can! I hope y’all had a great day and I hope your evening goes very well! Take care and much love to all of you!!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

Another Day Down!

Happy Tuesday 1Today was just another day trying to work towards my goal of increasing my hours. I found that now I am doing better early on in the day, which is opposite that it was a few weeks ago. After working non stop for four hours I started to feel my body start aching and the headache start to slowly come back, but that might have been from staring at the computer for too long. But, I do think overall I am slowly getting better. A few weeks ago I would be crying and hardly able to move because I was in so much pain, but now things are nowhere near that level!

Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day because we have one person out sick and another person whose wife just had a baby today. My small team of co-workers just decreased by half! I told my manager that I was going to try to get to work earlier tomorrow and stay a little later than I have been, but that I would not leave until my half calm and slowof the work was completed. I get pretty determined and ambitious at times! I also told him that next week I am not promising to be back at 40 hours a week, but I would do as much as possible and wanted to just play my time by ear for now. He was very understanding and told me he definitely wants me to be back to work full time, but did not want me to rush myself. I do believe that my manager knows I value my work and want to be able to give all I do 100% but right now I do not have that ability, but I will get there!

I do know already that MS flare ups can last anywhere from a few days to months before all the symptoms have passed. The last terrible flare up I had was probably 8 years ago and I was out of work for 2 months, which was so frustrating for me. I have had a few minor set backs since that last bad flare up 8 years ago, but I only had to miss work a few days before I was back to my “normal” self. I really can not complain because as long as I take care of myself, rest enough and stay on the damn Gilenya, I do not think I will have anything too detrimental happen again for hopefully years. I know I need to learn to relax more and stress A LOT less I am trying, but I am 36 years old so it is hard to change old habits. 

Speaking of learning to relax more and stress less, I started a fabulous book today. My newGet your shit together book, that might end up being what I live by is called “Get Your Shit Together” by Sarah Knight. The key thing that caught my eye right away is she says, “How to stop worrying about what you should do so you can finish want you need to do.” I have a problem when I am always thinking about what I think “needs” to be done and forget the things that I actually want to finish. This book is a very easy and fun read, but I will warn you ahead of time she might use a lot of profanity which I guess the title gives that away. I truly love how real Sarah seems to be as she writes, which I find really inspiring. She does not try to sugar coat what we all sometimes do wrong when we make plans or allow for more  obligations to our lives that are not needed. I am really enjoying this book, so of course I wanted to share this with y’all! 

Thank you for reading and commenting on my thoughts for the day! Now that I am starting to feel better I am able to focus a lot better on my writing. I think there have been a few days that I was all over the place but I had so much building up in my mind and writing is how I can deal with those thoughts! Now that I am thinking clearly I will be able to continue my flash backs of when I was first diagnosed. I hope that what I went through all those years ago will be able to help someone else that maybe dealing with something similar now.

Until next time, I hope y’all have a great and relaxing evening! Take care and thank you again for all of your continued support!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa