Thoughts out of the blue

Out of the blue and for no reason at all, I started thinking about a life-altering event I went through. This is not something I dwell on because I have very little control over it and it would be a waste of time to overthink it. It has been more than 20 years since I heard my doctor tell me that I had Multiple Sclerosis. I was still so young, very ignorant of what this meant for my life, and fears of how many challenges I would be forced to endure. Of course, I did hear the words the doctor spoke to me on the day he broke the news to me, but it took me a while to accept what he said to me. I tried my best to fight him and tell him he was wrong, but that was fighting a battle I had no chance of winning. After several months, I chose to accept it, but also to never surrender because I do believe in the power of the mind and that positive thoughts produce positive outcomes.

All those years ago, I was terrified that I would not be able to live a normal life. Nowadays, I wonder what is normal because for me it is constant pain and frustration with a disease without a cure. I feared that I would lose the ability to walk and take care of myself, which would have been extremely hard for me because I am a very independent person and never want to rely on anyone for anything. It has been approximately 20 ½ years, 7,488 days, 179,703 hours, and 10,782,180 minutes (give or take) and I am still here. I am walking and taking care of myself and my husband, and my three cats. There have been many obstacles through the years, but I have always remained determined to not allow this illness to defeat me.

Over all the years, I have learned more than I ever wanted to about Multiple Sclerosis and as crazy as this sounds, it has taught me a lot. I have learned how to discover a strength that I never imagined having. I have learned how being determined can help me to survive the most challenging situations. I now understand how powerful resilience is and the many ways it can help us to persevere, even when we feel like hope is lost. I have learned just how a positive mind can make a HUGE difference in our daily life.

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that I do not dwell on things I have little control over. I do understand that even though I have little control over Multiple Sclerosis, I can control how much I allow it to bring me down and to feel helpless. I do have control over my mind, and I can tell myself that I am stronger than this unpredictable illness. Most importantly, I can remind myself that I did nothing to cause this illness to continue to plague my life. I will continue to keep the promise I made to my late grandfather shortly after I was diagnosed to continue to fight the battle until I win the war against Multiple Sclerosis.

Unfortunately, we all have something we must live with, and we all have a choice in how we approach things. I am thankful the doctor caught the Multiple Sclerosis early because if he did not, I can only imagine how much worst things would be for me today. I will always have a special place in my heart for my first Neurologist and his Nurse Practitioner because they were an amazing team that never lost hope in me. I am thankful that I have learned to not feel any shame because of what I live with.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared today and that in some way, it resonates with you and helps you to understand your strength. I hope you are enjoying your weekend and remaining as safe as possible. I am looking forward to reading your comments and I will respond as quickly as possible. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Sunday Thoughts

Happy Sunday! Unfortunately, our weekend is almost over and it does not feel like we even had one. Crazy how incredibly fast the weekends go by, isn’t it? How has your weekend been? My weekend has been uneventful, which I do enjoy. My outside kitty has come to visit me every night, except for when it is raining. She has become more comfortable with me and even tried to get on my lap when I was visiting with her last night. It might sound mean, but I did not let her because I am unsure if she has fleas and I do not want my three precious inside cats to get fleas because that would not be fair to them.

Of course, like always two of my three cats did wake me up yesterday at 6:30 AM, but they did not bother me this morning! Even though they did not wake me, I was still awake early. I have been able to sit with each of them and watch TV during these two short days of our weekend. They all enjoy spending time on my lap and snuggling, which I must admit I also enjoy, well until Willow thinks it would be fun to nip at me. My husband tries telling me they are love bites, but they do hurt sometimes.

I know we do not have a choice, but are you ready for the week to begin tomorrow? Honestly, I could use a few more days to rest and recuperate, but I know that is not an option. I suppose the only thing we can do is accept our fate and take the last few hours to get ready for the new week. Hopefully, the week will not be near as bad as I am expecting and it will be filled with opportunities and hope! I do know that the three cats are not happy the week is beginning tomorrow because they much prefer to have me around all the time, even when they are sleeping!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you have enjoyed your weekend and stayed as safe as possible. I am working on a post that I hope to complete soon. I will give you a clue as to what it is about, manipulation. I look forward to your comments and will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Finally Friday!

Happy Friday, y’all! I hope you had a great week and you are looking forward to the weekend. This week has felt super long which included good, bad, and awful days. I already explained how things went on Monday with my doctor’s appointment and how incredibly rude they were to force me to reschedule when I was three minutes from their office. Yes, I am still a little sour about this because gas prices are insane and the traffic on the interstate is miserable, which they are fully aware of. Besides my frustrations with the doctor’s office, people have been ridiculously demanding and rude. I do not understand it, but I guess they never learned that you get more flies with honey than vinegar😊!

As we end this week, we need to not hold onto anything negative that occurred during the week. Something I have learned is, that we need to not dwell on things we cannot change and anything we have no control over we need to let go and move on. Why overthink something we have no control over and cannot change? I would like to share a quote with y’all today that I found interesting and incredibly true. No matter how many bad things may happen in life, many good things can unfold from the challenges and experiences we endure. We should always keep our eyes wide open and be accepting because this will help us deal with everything with dignity and grace!

Most of us are fully vaccinated, which is great, but we still need to be cautious. Many that have been fully vaccinated with two vaccines and a booster are becoming ill because of a new COVID strain. The good news is those that who are fully vaccinated are not getting gravely ill but still may get sick. The vaccines do not last a lifetime and unfortunately, we may need to continue getting vaccines to stay safe. As y’all know, I have a weak immune system, so my husband and I are going this weekend to get the 2nd booster. Honestly, I am not excited about this because the 1st booster had me sick for the entire weekend, but I would rather be sick for a few days than lose my life.

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you enjoyed what I have shared with you and I look forward to reading your comments. I will respond to all of your comments as quickly as I can. I hope you have a wonderful day and an incredible, and safe weekend! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Memories

Memories can be an amazing part of our life. Some memories we want to hold onto forever and cherish because they were incredibly special. Throughout our lives, we get many new memories good and bad which we do not have control over. Of course, the good memories are the ones that can always make us smile😊. We never want to forget the best of memories we have had because they were during special times. Do you have any great memories you enjoy remembering?

Have you ever wondered why we keep bad memories stored in our minds or why we cannot forget them? We all can admit that our bad memories were awful and were caused by terrible times in our life that we wish never happened. The bad memories are the ones that are haunting and feel like a nightmare we cannot wake from.

The brain stores highly emotional memories longer than other, such as happy or neutral memories. The negative memories remain in our mind longer because they coincide with highly stressful situations. There are many reasons one may want to forget certain memories; some may be embarrassing and humiliating. Other negative memories are agonizingly painful and or traumatizing. Many things can trigger distressing memories and can send us into a tailspin of negative thoughts.

If there are painful memories you feel you need to forget, remember that it takes time for any memories to fade away and you must try to not become discouraged. The following are ways to decrease a memory’s emotional burden and helps them to be less invasive.

~First, even though we want to forget a memory we need to identify and understand the bad memory. Recall the sights, sounds, smells, and feeling that came over you during the specific time.

~Second, rather than trying to ignore the unwanted feelings the memory instilled on you, allow yourself to feel them. It might be hard to allow the feelings in because the memory was harsh, but it is part of the healing process.

~Another step is try to determine what triggers your memory. You can take note of the things that trigger your painful memory and be prepared when it happens again. Knowing your triggers can help you to find healthy alternatives to cope and not run away from them because they will continue to return until they are addressed.

Think about some of the best memories you have stored in your mind. Never let those memories go because we all need them to help us through the tragic times in life. Sometimes it seems like there are more bad memories than good because we have not processed and found a way to cope with our bad memories. Think about it, are you able to think of more good or bad memories when asked? I definitely have many good memories but can admit it is the bad memories that weigh heavily on my mind.

Our childhoods are what shape us into the adults we become and unfortunately, not everyone has the picture-perfect childhood. We often can remember things we wish we could not remember and avoid talking about them because they were bad times in life. We cannot erase our past, but we can find ways to cope with the pain and use the memories as a learning experience.

Thank you for visiting my site today. Even though I know this topic can be painful, I hope you found what I have discussed helpful. I look forward to reading your comments and will respond to all of them as quickly as I can. I hope you have been able to enjoy your weekend! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

How to overcome Omicron stresses

No matter what state or country you are living in, we have all been living through the fears of COVID. This has been causing stress and worry for two excruciatingly long years. The isolation, social distancing (which I like), Zoom meetings, concerns about the safety of the vaccines and which one to take, and the wellness of ourselves and our loved ones have been exhausting.

We have already endured several COVID variants before the latest one, Omicron. Obviously, Omicron has come along with various new issues of stress and even more uncertainty. Omicron has created additional levels of fatigue, hopelessness, depression, frustration, and annoyance.

Everyone around the world has watched the previous COVID surges on the news. Sadly, the Omicron variant has ingrained thoughts thought we will never regain a normal life again. The feelings of hope one moment, only to feel hopeless another can cause stress hormones to consume our bodies. This mostly leads to mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion.

Making it past the current surge and any others we may face in the future means protecting your physical and emotional health. The following steps I am going to share with you are a few ways to weather the storm.

Keep everything in perspective

Even though every day feels like Groundhog Day and things we were looking forward to are canceled or postponed due to an increase in infection rates, progress continues to be made daily. Omicron is extremely contagious, but those that are fully vaccinated have caused fewer hospitalizations and deaths than the previous variants. Also, those that are vaccinated and get COVID get much more mild symptoms.

Never stop looking forward

It can be frustrating and disappointing when something we are looking forward to is canceled or postponed, but the one thing the pandemic has taught us all is to be flexible. The truth is, we have all learned that moments of joy make eliminating Omicron crucial, and we are willing to do what it takes. Understanding an attitude of flexibility is critical and helps when we continue scheduling times to celebrate. Being flexible and at peace with acceptance are a necessity until we are past the COVID surges.

Think in smaller steps

It is easy to get caught up in our negative thoughts, such as things are never going to change, everything is so difficult, or I am so overwhelmed. It might be better to focus on the smaller concerns we are having. Once we are feeling more confident with our coping abilities, we can work on the bigger concerns we are experiencing. Maybe instead of trying to plan a get-together with the number of people we once did, try inviting one of two people to an outdoor activity. Most of us are used to Zoom meetings, so maybe connect with your friends in a group Zoom or Facebook call. This allows you to stay connected without the fears of COVID.

Remember self-care

A nice warm bubble bath can help to escape feelings of being anxious and overwhelmed. Taking time for yourself to rest and relax is crucial during these stressful times. You can take 30-45 minutes a day to get lost in one of your favorite books. This would be much-needed time away from hearing anything about the virus. Too much talk and thinking about the virus can create an overwhelming amount of stress and cause other health issues. 

I know things with COVID have been weighing on many minds and it is good to not focus too much on it and let it consume our lives. However, I did feel the information in this post was important and something we all needed to read. I hope everyone is being careful and follow the advice we all heard from the experts. This is NOT a political thing, it is a matter of life and death. I think we have already lost way too many people and it needs to stop. Unfortunately, we all know at least one person that has been sick with COVID and many have lost someone they care about. We need to stand together to put an END to COVID!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you had a nice, relaxing, and safe weekend and you are ready to tackle the week ahead of us. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared with you today and that it was helpful. I do look forward to reading your comments and will respond as quickly as I can. Please never remember that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Two Days of Head Pain

For many years now, one of the most consistent parts of my life has been the pain issues. Living with pain 24/7 is not easy but most pain I can deal with. I suppose I have learned how to continue living my life, despite the pain because I have realized it was not going anywhere. Over the years, there have been several frustrating things I have encountered when I would say, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” There are no ways to join the pain, so acceptance is the next best thing to do.

Regardless of how I have learned to live with pain, there is one type I am unable to tolerate. Everyone handles pain differently, but for me, head pain is the most unbearable. Unfortunately, headaches are something I have endured long before I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. One of my first memories of having a headache was as a child. A little girl in kindergarten getting off the school busy with so much head pain I was on the couch all night unable to move.

The painful truth about headaches is, they seem impossible to get used to. All I can do is lay down in a dark and quiet room with an ice pack on my head waiting for the pain to lessen. Every headache I get is a miserable experience that I would not wish on anyone, even my worst enemy.

Since Friday evening, I have been battling with a sinus/migraine. A normal sinus headache or migraine are bad enough on their own, but to gang up on me was just evil. Nothing was helping to ease my pain. I tried an ice pack on my head, but it continued to get too warm. I took Excedrin, Advil, and Sudafed, but it refused to ease up. This double hit of head pain caused me to feel nauseous and dizzy. After staying on the couch with my cats trying their best to make me feel better all day yesterday, I am finally somewhat better today. As I write this post, I am still dealing with the head pain, but I can tolerate it much better now.

Several years ago, when I was getting these nasty migraine/sinus headaches on a regular, I tried going off the Gilenya that I take for Multiple Sclerosis. I had known that sinus issues were a side effect of Gilenya and thought if I went off the source, the sinus headaches would stop. Of course, my doctor advised against this, but I was so sick and tired of the sinus pain, I was willing to do anything to put a stop to it. Unfortunately, going off the Gilenya for a short amount of time caused the MS to get worse and I ended up with additional lesions.

I made the decision years ago that I would rather endure the head pain rather than allow the MS to get worst. Gilenya has been a saving grace because it has slowed the progression of the MS and that means more to me than not having head pain. Yes, I do get sinus and or migraines weekly, but at least my MS is not progressing and putting me in a wheelchair. NO, being in a wheelchair is not the worst thing that could happen, but it is something that I have been terrified of since being diagnosed with MS when I was 19 years old.  I will continue to fight the MS with everything I have and if that means dealing with the head pain, so be it!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you are having a great and safe weekend. I am sure y’all have heard that COVID numbers are increasing again, so I hope you are either already vaccinated or plan to do so soon! I would love to read your comments on what I have shared today and promise to respond to all comments as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Pick-Me-Up-Thursday

Finally, it is time to say happy Friday Eve! How has your week been? As I have already said during the week, work is staying rather steady which is great and exhausting. Even though it might have been a long week, things could always be worst. Life can often create monumental levels of stress and we must try our best to maintain the most optimistic perspective on things. I think it is important to try seeing the bright side of all situations and even though that is not always easy, we can help support each other through challenges we face!

I hope your week has been wonderful and you are looking forward to the weekend ahead of us. Do you have any plans for the weekend? I know you will not be surprised, but I have nothing at all planned and after how long the week felt, it is just what I need. So, now that we have almost made it through the week and the weekend is so close, it might help all of us to have a short and sweet pick me up quote! I hope the quote I am sharing with y’all today will give you the boost needed to make it through one last day of the week! With the troubles in the world, I believe we need to find a way to hold onto hope and never let go. With enough hope, compassion, empathy, and strength we can do anything!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you have enjoyed what I shared and I am looking forward to reading your fabulous comments. Hopefully, your Friday eve is wonderful and lacks any unnecessary stress. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibe!

Always, Alyssa

End The Hate & Spread Love

I have started this post a few times and was not able to finish it because these issues are horrific and intensely upsetting. In the United States, we are all taught in school that we live in is a free and great country, but as we get older and learn more it is not easy to believe this anymore. I could be wrong and if I am wrong, I will admit it and you will have my sincere apologies.

Over the past few years, there have been so many acts of violence against people of color, and I believe passionately this is wrong. I have always believed that we are all humans beings and color, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, and anyone else that is being discriminated against should be treated equally and with respect. I have seen that the moment certain people are seen differently, they are automatically viewed as less than and I just do not understand this.

Unfortunately, since January 2020 when we had first learned of minimal information regarding the COVID virus, there has been an undeniable increase in racism that is targeting the Asian-American community. The escalated reports of Asian-Americans being threatened and/or harassed while innocently walking down the street have skyrocketed.

I think it is safe to say that we have all heard of COVID being referred to as the “Chinese Virus”, “King Flu, or “Wu Flu”, which has created vast amounts of animosity around the world. I do not have to mention any names because we all know who came up with these despicable and offensive nicknames. Too many ignorant extremists continue using these names while spreading antisemitic and racist conspiracies. There are many people in the Asian-American community that are senselessly being blamed for COVID and being told to “Go back to China”. Most of these individuals are not even Chinese and/or have been to China.

It is not my intention to make this post political, but this information has nothing to do with how I feel about former President Trump and everything to do with the verbiage he used. We may not always be aware of how the words we use can become a dangerous weapon. Sadly, the hate and racist rhetoric Trump used while speaking during news conferences and on Twitter only made “some” people believe there was nothing wrong with repeating and spreading the hate-filled lies. After all, we have been told to trust what the president says, but let us face it, politicians are not always honest. Even though Trump fueled these views, it is each person’s decision to keep the untruths spreading rampantly.

The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University discovered disturbing information regarding an increase in hate crimes. During this past challenging year, there have been a staggering number of 3,800 hate-filled incidents against Asian-Americans. These hate crimes against Asian-Americans in 16 of the largest cities in the United States have increased almost 150&, which is grossly devastating.

I do not think I can say how we can help end these hate crimes, but we can try. It is so important to treat everyone with respect and equality. I cannot say that COVID did not originate in China because we all know it did. However, even knowing this fact, none of the Asian-Americans living in the United States are at fault. I honestly do not think anyone living in China is at fault either.

Everyone around the world has been forced to find ways to deal with the COVID challenges and we all need to continue working together so we can live a safe and happy life. There is no need to feel hate and no reason at all to spread hate. Love and kindness might not spread nearly as fast as hate does, but we need to learn how to embrace these emotions and help others feel them as well. No matter who they are and how perfect we think another’s life is, we all have struggles and we all need kindness, compassion, empathy, and support during life.

I know I have not done a post since Monday, but it is because these past few weeks have been difficult. Y’all know we adopted two kittens about a year ago, which has been great. The only bad part is our older cat has keeps getting sick. The vet told me that is normal for kittens to be carriers of infection and with Sundance’s asthma, it might take him a little longer to adjust to this. Last Sunday, I took Sundance to the emergency vet because I was overly concerned. You would think with how much an emergency vet costs they would help him improve. Unfortunately, they made things for our sweet boy much worse, and I took him to his normal vet on Monday. Thankfully, he has gotten much better and is finally eating, taking his medication, and drinking. My husband and I are so happy that Sundance is back to his normal silly self and he is getting along great with his two sisters.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope this post provided you with some helpful information and you can understand the awful struggles in the states right now. I would love the chance to read your thoughts on this post and I will respond as quickly as I possibly can! I hope you are having a great and safe weekend, and you have done those things that make you happiest. Please never forget hat I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Reasons Spending Time Alone Is Good For Us!

Whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, spending time alone can be beneficial to everyone. Of course, not everyone enjoys time alone because it might cause some to feel lonely, but in time the benefits will outweigh the negative. I am without a doubt an extrovert and do enjoy spending time around people and learning from what our differences might be. However, I also do enjoy spending time by myself. It is also true that surrounding ourselves with those that lift our spirits is helpful and often crucial, there are also several benefits to alone time. The following are just a few reasons solo time can be advantageous and valuable.

1. Time alone allows us to recharge. Trying to balance our daily obligations, family, and friends can be extremely challenging and energy draining. Allowing ourselves time to give ourselves our full attention to doing what we love and enjoy can be particularly useful. Taking time to recharge will not only help us, but it can benefit those around us as well because we will feel energized and happier.

2. Our lives can get chaotic because of our busy schedules. Spending time alone can provide us with time to contemplate what is going on currently, what has already happened, and even what may happen in upcoming events. Taking some time to take a break may help with social situations, where we are at in life, and the necessary time to reflect and grow as a person!

3. Spending time alone creates more independence. This is a start to relying on ourselves and trusting our abilities. Learning our abilities will provide us with a stronger sense of independence, which is a great feeling and an amazing accomplishment in life!

4. Trusting your thoughts and ideas will become easier. After you can find your independence, it is necessary to make decisions for yourself, instead of requiring others’ input and advice. It can be a little terrifying at certain times, but trusting your instincts and intuition is beneficial. Once you feel comfortable with your opinions and thoughts, it can help illuminate and clarify who you are and who you want to be in this life.

5. We have all heard that old saying “Too many cooks in the kitchen”, well the same logic applies in all aspects of life. Spending time alone can provide you with more productivity. Being alone, with only your thoughts allows you to create your ideas and execute them the way you want to without the input from anyone else. Alone time helps you develop and understand your strength and what you have to offer this world.

6. After having a little solo time, we can feel a deeper appreciation for others once spending time with friends, family, and even co-workers again. This can provide a strong impact on our emotions and be more energized and attentive when we spend time with others.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed this post and it provided you with some valuable information for your life. I hope you are having a great and safe weekend and doing what it is you enjoy the most. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Finally, some good news!

Good afternoon y’all! I was not able to do my normal Let It Go Friday post, but do have an even better one to share with y’all! I hope you had a good week, and you are ready to enjoy your weekend safely! Do y’all have any plans for the weekend? We were thinking about going to look at kittens, but I think we are putting this on hold for a little while. We might hold off for summertime because there is a ragdoll mama that will be having kittens and they will be available!

There is always so much bad news we hear about daily, so when we finally get good news it is something to celebrate and share! I believe I told y’all that I was waiting for my reapproval for my Gilenya copay assistance. This medication had worked very well keeping my Multiple Sclerosis at bay, which is wonderful. The only problem with this medication is the cost. With insurance, but without copay assistance, this medication would cost $8,000 per month. Logically, who can afford something this outrageous?

I had mailed the application to the Gilenya Go Program about 2 weeks ago because I do not have a fax machine at home, we all know how slow mail is! Anyways, last week I received a request for additional information from the Gilenya Go Program. Thankfully, while I was at my doctor’s appointment last week, the nice ladies there faxed the paperwork that was requested for me. Today, I heard the BEST news I have heard all month, and my application was approved. Instead of paying $8,000 per month for this medication, I will pay nothing!

Of course, I have not had an appointment with my Neurologist to go over the results from my MRI, but I did read the report. From what I read and not having a medical license, it appeared that the results were stable, and nothing had changed from the previous MRI I had a few years ago. In my naïve and not professional thoughts, no change is much better than changes for the worst! This is all thanks to the Gilenya that I take daily for my MS. Previously, after I had an MRI, I dreaded the results because there were normally negative results. 

I have an appointment on March 23rd to hear my neurologist talk about the results in medical terms. I am not dreading this appointment because from what I read, my results are not awful and remaining better than they were in the past! I am just extremely relieved that my application with the Gilenya Go Program was approved and I will be able to get the medication every month, without any delays or problems!

Thank you for stopping by my site today! I know we are all busy and I appreciate you taking the time to read what I wrong, and share your amazing comments. I hope you have a great Friday and a fantastic, and safe weekend! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa