~Challenges, Memories & Reflection~

Happy Tuesday y’all! The good news is, we have one day down and only four to go before the weekend is back! With how hectic and chaotic life can get, it can become easy to get overwhelmed and forget the good things life has to offer. I want to remind you that no matter what challenges we might face each week or maybe daily, it is better to view those challenges as an opportunity for growth. Of course, I believe strongly that every opportunity in life makes us stronger and wiser. Everyone around the world is indeed different, but we all need to think about what helps us process the challenges we have faced and what we learned from those challenges.

Memories can sometimes flood our minds, but do we always remember everything exactly the way they happened? Yes, there are some memories I would much rather forget, but then there are some memories I will cherish forever. I think it might be a great idea to take a little time and write our future self a letter that we can reflect on later in life.

I am not going to ask you to share the letter you write to your future self, but I am going to share somethings you might want to write to yourself. What is a lesson you have learned in the past eighteen months and how did it make you stronger? What was something that happened recently that made you smile on the worst of days? Has there been a situation that has taken place recently that made you proud of who you are now? Is there any advice you would want your future self to remember years down the road? What fears do you have and how have you overcome them?

Reflection is something we all need to be able to do. Reflection means serious thought or consideration, and this is something that can help us to persevere in life. If there is anything we have learned during the past eighteen months of the pandemic, it is life is short and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Life is fragile and we might often take it for granted, but we need to try to never take life, loved ones, health, or anything else meaningful for granted. Even if we are not seeing loved ones or friends regularly, we should do our best to reach out as much as possible. It is amazing what a letter, text, or email can mean to someone we care about.

I will be the first to admit that the workweeks can be demanding, and I forget to stop, and take a break. I put so much time and effort into making sure my husband and cats have everything they need and try doing everything I can at work. The simple things in life that brings me the most joy is watching the way my sweet cats interact with one another and finding creative ways to express myself. The crazy thing is, I sometimes find it hard to know what exactly I want to write about, and this might be because I always have so many random ideas on my mind.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have written about today and I am looking forward to reading your comments. Considering we have accomplished getting through one day already, I hope your week is going well so far and only gets better as the weekend nears. Whatever you do this week, please do what you can to stay as safe as possible. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

We are starting another week and another month again. I cannot believe it is already August. I mean where has this year gone? I know we are still dealing with stress from COVID, but it seems to be getting worse. The newest variant is Delta, and it is even more contagious, and fatal, but still so many are still refusing the FREE vaccine and or wear masks. I suppose people are just never going to make sense to me. I can remember how much I wanted the vaccine for my safety and to keep those around me safe. If it had not been for my husband, I would have had to wait months instead of when I got the vaccine in February. Currently, there are many vaccines available, and no one must wait, but there is resistance for reasons I will NEVER understand.

Instead of dwelling on the vaccine and people being perfectly fine being part of the bigger problem with the spread of the virus, I would prefer to try staying optimistic and motivated. So, with that said, I am trying to get back to my normal posts and spread extra motivation today with a wonderful quote that I hope motivates y’all. I can admit this quote is simple, but I think it is powerful as well. I would love the chance to read what you think about this quote because your views are important to me.

I would like to apologize to y’all for my absence from the blogging community. I have been dealing with headaches, fatigue, and pain which is probably due to the nasty heat I deal with in the south. Do not get me wrong, I do love summer but only at the beach. There is a lot of beauty in the ocean and the breeze from the ocean helps to eliminate some of the heat. Maybe the ocean’s beauty just makes things easier to tolerate. Unfortunately, I might not get to the ocean this year because of all people who will not cooperate with the expert’s advice, but hopefully, the ocean is not going anywhere, and I will make it back to my happy place someday.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. I appreciate your time, support, and patience when I am not posting anything. I hope you had a lovely weekend, and you are ready to start this first week in August with a positive mindset. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Boost your immune system

During the past year and a half, eighteen long months we have learned many valuable lessons about the world and those living in it. From coast to coast, throughout every country people have endured the stress, fear, and anxiety from a wildly contagious and deadly virus. Some of the most prominent issues with COVID-19 are the misinformation that has been shared in the news and social media, but also those that are refusing to get vaccinated and or wear a mask. Too many people have politized this virus, which should NEVER have been a political issue because it is science-based. This virus has already killed millions of innocent people worldwide and has not stopped. Throughout this post, I am going to share important information on the complications from COVID and ways we can strengthen our immune system to defend against illnesses and viruses.

COVID-19 may be different for each person that gets the virus, but some are going to be similar. Symptoms may range from minor to severe and even lead to death. The symptom may include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, fatigue, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion, loss of smell or taste, nausea, and diarrhea. Some people are asymptomatic, which means they have the virus, but do not display any symptoms and are continuously spreading the virus.

Unfortunately, some people may experience COVID-19 complications that are caused by a condition called “cytokine storm”. This condition is when an infection prompts the immune system to flood the bloodstream with cytokines, which is are inflammatory proteins. These proteins may kill tissue and damage organs, and, in some situations, lung transplants will be required.

The immune system behaves similar to the way a security system we have in our homes does. My immune system does not behave the way it should, which is where my fears stem from. Although, our immune system is complex it is the first line of defense against illness. Our immunes system is comprised of various organs, cells, and proteins that have several vital roles, which include:

1. Fighting disease-causing germs such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi and eliminates them from our body.

2. Acknowledges and negates harmful substances from the environment

3. Fights disease-causing changes in the body.

Considering how crucial our immune system is and the ways all the variants of COVID-19 are impacting the world, we must do everything we can to keep our immune system healthy. Personally, the medication I take for my Multiple Sclerosis causes my immune system to be weak. Even though I have been fully vaccinated, I work from home, have groceries delivered, and rarely leave the house, I am still worried. On the rare occasion, I do leave my house, I do wear a mask because there is no way to know if the vaccine was effective for me. Also, I would not want to be an asymptomatic carrier and pass it onto someone else, even though they had the option to get the vaccine and did not.

Unfortunately, as we age our immune response capability may become reduced. With cases of COVID from the Delta variant steadily increasing, now is an important time to do everything we can to keep our immune system as healthy as possible. I am going to share several ways to help build and maintain a healthy immune system. Before you continue reading, please remember I am not a physician, nutritionist, or health expert, this is just information I have learned through a little research.

Maintaining good gut health could be the golden ticket! It has been suggested that doctors believe up to 80% of our immune system is found in our gut. A diet that is abundant with plant-based and unprocessed foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spice display a protective effect. Utilizing this type of diet can reduce inflammation and promote good gut bacteria, which establishes stronger immune health.

As COVID-19 continues to mutate into different and more contagious variants, continuing good hand hygiene is crucial. Washing our hands multiple times, a day for at least 20 seconds is the best and most effective way to not spread bacteria, viruses, and infections. You can count to 20 each time you wash your hands, or you can sing happy birthday or Mary had a little lamb 2 times as you wash your hands!

Continue or start taking vitamins daily. Vitamin C supplies immune defense by assisting cell function and defending against environmental contributors. If you do not want to take a vitamin C supplement, there are several natural sources including oranges, strawberries, spinach, kiwi, and grapefruit. Vitamin D can increase the immune response and defend against respiratory conditions. Of course, there are vitamin D supplements, but 10 minutes of sun exposure a day is an effective natural source.

We have all heard many times that stress is a silent killer, but it also harms our immune system as well. Stress can cause us to produce additional levels of cortisol and cytokine, which triggers inflammation. Stress can also decrease the number of white blood cells in our body that help fight off infections. Discovering ways that work best for us will restore much of what is needed for a healthy and fulfilled life.

Developing a schedule to get an adequate amount of sleep every night can help boost our immune system. Research suggests that less than six hours of sleep each night might make someone four times more likely to get sick, than someone that does get the proper amount of sleep. Our body depends on a full night’s rest to replenish cells and proteins. Of course, during the workweek, it is easier to stay with a sleep schedule because we have a set time our workday will begin, but we should use the same sleep schedule on the weekends as well

If you are currently a smoker, it is time to quit. Smoking does so many awful things to our bodies and increases the risk of cancer. There are many programs available to help you quit smoking, but it does take you making the first step! If you drink alcohol, it is best to only do this in moderation. Alcohol not only creates negative impacts on our physical body but also on our mental health.

Staying hydrated might not protect us fully from viruses but becoming dehydrated has many negative impacts on us that can easily be avoided. Dehydration can cause terrible headaches and hinder our physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, heart, and kidney function. I have mentioned before the importance of staying hydrated and provided a few useful tips. I drink water all day and even have a bottle beside my bed at night, so if I become thirsty it is available. I have purchased a few phenomenal bottles on Amazon that keep my water cold all day. I leave one bottle in the freezer, filled halfway with water so when I take it out there is ice in the bottom that helps keep the water even colder! I will share a link to the bottles that I have and hope you will find them as helpful as I do! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0764PGKL4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I hope the information I have shared will be helpful for you. I know there are many other ways we can work to keep our immune health the best it can be, so if you have other advice, please share with us! I have already said before, the vaccine is free, and everyone needs to get this as soon as possible. Being vaccinated and or wearing a mask will save lives. The people that are not getting vaccinated and wearing a mask are contributing to the death count, which is wrong and selfish.

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you are having a relaxing, safe, and wonderful weekend! I am looking forward to reading your comments, which I will respond to 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

End of Long Week

Happy Friday y’all! I do not know about you, but this has been a very long week. Work has been extremely busy, which I do prefer because it makes the days go much faster, but it has been pure chaos. One of my biggest problems is I second guess myself far too much. It seems like 99.9% of the time my first thought on the way something should go is correct. There was a specific situation yesterday that I thought I incorrectly added something and asked one of my co-workers for advice. Unfortunately, when I made a simple comment that I thought they were mistaken because certain fees are supposed to be added into the file this person did not take kindly to my comment. Turns out I was correct and need to learn to go with my first instinct on most things. 

Due to the week being so long and busy, I have not been able to do any posts or write at all, which I do not like. Writing has always been something that helps me when I am struggling with any aspect of life, so not being able to write has caused many feelings to fester up inside. There has been a lot building up in my mind, which is never a good thing, and I am not the type to not speak my mind. I have always been an open book and what you see is what you get, so holding feelings in is not who I am. The truth is, I am my own biggest critic and am always way too hard on myself.

I have been working on a post about one thing that has been bothering me but have not been able to complete it yet. I think y’all know how much COVID has caused me to stress and much frustration because I have and will continue doing what is necessary, but so many others are still refusing to do so. This does not make sense to me, and I am afraid it never will. I could understand people refusing to get the vaccine if it was expensive, like everything else with healthcare in the United States but it is FREE. I completely understanding people not wanting to wear a mask because they are very uncomfortable, but they stop the spread of a deadly virus and save lives.

Many of us have a weakened immune system due to underlying health conditions, so staying healthy and safe can be challenging. This is the post I have been working on for several days but still have not finished it. There are ways to give our immune system a boost and the ways are not too difficult. I am hoping for my post about this to be published by tomorrow or at least by the end of the weekend, so please stay tuned.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I always appreciate your time and look forward to reading your comments, which I will respond to as quickly as I can! I hope you have had a good week and you are looking forward to a relaxing and safe weekend! I am sure you will not be surprised, but I do not have plans for the upcoming weekend, which I like! The workweeks are so long and full of things we must do, and it is nice to enjoy the weekend no matter how short it is with nothing we have to do. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Lab Report Update

Happy Wednesday y’all! We are halfway through the week and much closer to the weekend! As I have already mentioned to y’all, I had my normal bloodwork and antibodies for COVD done on Monday. The normal bloodwork was as I expected because nothing typically changes with that. With the medication I am on for the MS, my white blood cell count is supposed to be low, which it was. The only thing I am not completely sure of is the absolute lymphocyte count. According to the lab report, this count was extremely low, but I am not sure if it is just low because it is supposed to be or if it is unusually low. I am hoping my neurologist will be able to provide me a little further clarification regarding this part of the results report.

The other part of the bloodwork was for the COVID antibodies test, which was the one I was most concerned about, considering I do have a weak immune system. Of course, the information I was able to read showed negative which means I do not have antibodies for COVD. After reading a little information on the CDC’s website, I am even more confused because it does not make sense. If I understand correctly, there are not any definitive tests that show if a person has developed antibodies for COVID and would be considered safe or not. My guess is it is because the virus is still new and even the experts do not have enough information to have developed testing. There are tests to determine if someone has COVID but testing for antibodies seems challenging. I am sure y’all can understand why I am so disappointed with the antibodies test, but I will just continue wearing a mask, social distancing, and disinfecting everything!

Like everyone else, I am tired of being confined to my house and not being able to travel because of the fear I have from COVID. I think I am more frustrated because I am doing everything I can to stay safe and got the vaccine only to still have no answers if I am safe or not. Life is too short to live in fear and not be able to do what brings joy. I am not the gambling type of person and will not, for lack of better words play Russian Rolette with my life. More than almost anything else I want to be able to go to my happy place, the beach for my birthday and 10th wedding anniversary.

Some people might disagree with me, but I feel strongly that if the virus were handled better when it first invaded the world, things would NEVER have gotten as bad as they did. YES, I do blame the person that was the president when the pandemic began, but it is also the fault of everyone who believed the lies we were told by that president! We were told the virus was nothing to worry about and it was no more serious than the normal flu and it would go away. Well, it was serious and killed millions of innocent people worldwide and it still has NOT gone away! Whoever thinks that wearing a mask is taking away their freedom is grossly incorrect. Wearing a mask saves lives and stops the spread, which would save our freedom!

It is great there was a vaccine developed so quickly, but with many people refusing to wear masks and or get the vaccine, the virus will only continue to mutate. The more it mutates, the less safe we all are. The increase in new COVID cases was 40% higher which is ridiculous. After one and a half years battling this deadly virus, things should be getting better instead of worst. You might not agree with this next statement, which you are entitled to your opinion but anyone that refuses to wear a mask or get vaccinated is nothing more than selfish. I have said this before, but it is worth saying again people lie, but science does not.

Thank you for visiting my site today. This probably was not the most optimistic post, but it is the truth about how I feel about things. When dealing with a deadly virus, it takes everyone around the world to work together to defeat the battle against the virus. The vaccine is free, so there are no issues with being able to afford it or not! Please do everything you can to stay safe and continue helping others understand the importance of being vaccinated. I hope you never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Happy Tuesday

~One Day Down, Four To Go~

How has your week been so far? I mean, I know it was only one day, but Monday sure was a doozy. There were a few reasons why yesterday was not the best Monday, but it also was not the worse. It was my first day back in my old position at work, which I realized quickly how much I forgot in the two or so weeks I was away from it. The funny thing was, everything came back to me slowly or more like a nightmare. I am just kidding it was no where near as bad as a nightmare, but it was a little unpleasant for the first few hours. I think the biggest part of it was that I missed the team I was with for two weeks before, but more so the supervisor!

Another reason yesterday will NOT be on a list oft best Mondays was because it rained on and off all day. Rainy days always increase my pain levels, which was already high. I guess maybe my body was trying to warn me the rain was coming a few days in advance, but it would have been nice if it has waited a little while so I did not have to cope with a week of rain pain! I hate to admit this because it makes me feel weak, but the leg and back pain has been so out of control it hurts to walk.

The other reason yesterday was not great, but it was not awful is because I left work a little early to go to my lab appointment. Of course, the lab was behind and I had to wait nearly 45 minutes, but the rest of the appointment was fine. I might be unusual, but I enjoy getting blood drawn. I find watching the needle go into my vein and pulling out a few vials of blood interesting. The labs were just what is needed because of the MS medicine, but I was also having my antibodies tested for COVID. It is important I know if I am safe or not. I will let y’all know what the results are when I get them back!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you have a great Tuesday and your week only gets better. Unfortunately, the numbers for new COVID cases is increasing, but that is due to those who are refusing to get the vaccine. I just ask y’all to continue doing what you can to stay safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

Happy Monday y’all! I hope you had a nice and relaxing weekend. It is hard to believe that we are already halfway through 2021, but I guess it is because we have been through some challenging and stressful times. Did y’all do anything fun and exciting over the weekend? I know you will not be surprised that I did not do anything and hardly leave the house, but that was in part due to the rain causing my pain to escalate. Normally, I do not allow MS to dictate my life, but sometimes pain has different ideas.

It is always hard to leave the weekend behind and start a new week, but that is where we are right now. We all know the weekends fly by and the weeks can drag by, but it is important to do our best to start the week with a positive mindset. I think we could all use a little motivation to start the week so we can be more productive and optimistic! Life is not easy and things happen that cause struggles or grief, but I do believe there is something good in everything we do and face. It is all about trying to see the silver lining in all we face because there is always something positive in all situations!

I hope you were able to feel the positive within the quote I have shared with you today. I planned to share a post with y’all about the Delta variant, but was too exhausted and in too much pain to do so. I am hoping to be able to share this with you soon though because I think it is extremely important. I am actually going to have my normal routine bloodwork done today and have my antibodies for COVID tested. Y’all know that I did get both of the vaccines, but I need to make sure I am protected so I can feel more comfortable and safe, especially because there are things to celebrate in the next few months! As soon as I get the test results, I will be sure to share them with y’all!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope I was able to provide you with enough motivation to start your week the best it can and hope each day gets even better. I know most of you have been vaccinated with the COVID vaccine, but please continue to stay safe because the Delta variant is no joke and probably not the last to come. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Endless Circle of Change

Life can be a combination of craziness, fascination, and excitement. I think it is the changes that bring these emotions on. Change can be difficult and keep life interesting, but also a little frustrating when they happen too frequently. I think some people thrive on change, while others are apprehensive about any change. It is not necessarily that I dread or avoid change because I do think there is a lot of change needed, especially for those that do not see others as their equal because of irrational reasons. The only time when I dread change is when I am comfortable and happy with the way things are, and it is not causing other distress.

Speaking of change that I dread, two weeks ago, my position changed at work changed. I will be honest when I first heard my position was changing, I was not happy about it because it was all new to me and it made me nervous. I have been with my company for one year and doing the same thing for the entire year, so I knew what I was doing. Within the first two hours in the new position, I was incredibly happy and adored the person I was shadowing, who is the supervisor. It is amazing how much one person can make things so much better.

During my two weeks working with this amazing, understanding, compassionate, empathetic, honest, and all-around wonderful lady I learned so much. She made my work life the best it has been in years, and I never dreaded clocking into work as I have before. I have always believed that people do not come into our life by accident, but there is a reason. Even though I have never met this person face to face, I feel like I have known her for years. I felt more than 100% comfortable talking to her about anything, whether it be work or personal, which was something I needed.

I think most people only view work as a job and their co-workers as just acquaintances, but I tend to view things differently. Of course, there have been jobs and co-workers in the past that I did not find enjoyable and was just doing what I had to do for a paycheck. However, there have been jobs and co-workers that were more than just a paycheck for me, and I cared deeply for them. I became so close with co-workers in the past that I invited them to my wedding! It is not always easy to make strong connections with co-workers and it can be exceptionally challenging when you work from home, but it can be done with enough time, understanding, and kindness!

Are y’all more accepting of change, no matter how frequent they happen, or are you resistant to change? When you are faced with changes, how do you handle them? I think this can cause uncomfortable situations because we get used to things being the way they are, and we sometimes cannot see the silver lining in any change.

There are MANY changes that need to happen in the world we live in but it appears that many disagree with me on this or they cannot see why change is very needed. What do you think should change in the world today? I mean it is 2021 and there is still far too much hatred Aand discrimination that exists. I used to think we “were” doing better before certain powerful people made it normal, which brought hatred to a much brighter light, but maybe I am naïve and want to see the best in people. Or maybe are now just showing their true colors and it is not a pretty color! Often, I do feel like it is better for our own mental health to keep our expectations low, so the chances of disappointments and letdowns are less likely to occur. I know that is probably a negative way of thinking, but I have been caused too much hurt and sadness from being disappointed by someone I trusted.  

I am sure I am not the only one in the world that feels this way, but we need more people that care about others and have empathy for them. Of course, we might not always know the person that is struggling, but we can have a certain level of understanding and a desire to help those that are going through a tragic time in life. No single person can change the world, but that one person can have a positive impact on another and make at least one day better for them.

Thank you for taking the time to read what I have written today. I would love the opportunity to read what your thoughts are, and I promise to respond to all comments as quickly as I can. I hope you enjoy your weekend, but please do what you can to stay safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

Happy Monday y’all! I hope you had a lovely and restful weekend. Of course, I did not do anything too exciting over the weekend, but it also was not restful. One of our sweet kittens decided it was a great idea to wake me up at 5:30 on Sunday morning. I am not going to lie even though she is absolutely adorable and full of love, being woken up by her playing with my hair and jumping on my head was SUPER annoying! I am not sure what even made her think it was a good time to wake up because I never get up that early. The three cats do get treats every morning, but not until between 7:00 and 7:30. I think most people would have just told me to take a nap, but I never take naps because it messes with sleep on a workday.

I think this week is going to be a little hectic. I have my first in-person appointment with my neurologist this morning. I am not really looking forward to this appointment and it is not because I am worried about the news she would have because I have not had any tests run lately. I am assuming we will just go over medications and she will probably draw blood considering I never went to get the tests done she wanted me to. Tomorrow, my supervisor will be in an early morning training class and I will be sending out the morning reports, which will not be bad. I also have four hours of training every day this week and I am not sure if it is necessary, but we will see. On Thursday, our kitten that woke me up early on Sunday morning has her follow up to see if the antibiotic she got helped much with her foul breath. Truthfully, I do not think it helped much and she is still sneezing, which means she will probably get another round of the antibiotic.

Considering I think my week will be a little insane, I do not know about you but I could use a little motivation to get this week started. It is never easy to begin another week and starting a week with my first in-person appointment with my neurologist is a little nerve-wrecking. I mean with COVID most doctor’s appointments have been virtual and this feels a little strange to me. I think everyone was sick of mask-wearing and being secluded to our homes, but what did we really miss about our “normal” ways of life? I cannot say I missed much because I prefer social distancing anyways. I do not like people getting too close to me because it is an uncomfortable feeling. This is the reason I chose this quote to share with y’all today and I hope it provided you a sense of motivation and optimism.

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you enjoyed what I have shared and look forward to reading your comments, which I will respond to as quickly as I can. I hope your week starts off great, but gets better with each day. Please remember to continue to stay safe, even if you have been vaccinated because we are still so uninformed about the Delta variant. I hope you always know that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Defeat Chronic Pain

Pain is not something anyone wants to deal with or finds easy to manage. Of course, there are many that battle with chronic pain due to an illness. It does not mean anyone experiencing pain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year any easier, but they may become used to it. Since my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis 20 plus years ago, my days have been accompanied by pain. At the beginning of my MS journey, my pain was minimal in comparison to what it is now and mainly focuses on my legs. To be honest, the leg pain generated pain significant enough to make standing, let alone walking challenging and agonizing.

There is no denying that the leg pain I endure is a direct result of neuropathic pain due to my MS. Neuropathic pain is typically described as a burning sensation in the affected areas. This type of pain is caused by short-circuiting of nerves carrying signals from the brain to the body due to damage inflicted from MS. Not only does the painful sensation feel like burning, but also like a stabbing, sharp, and pressing sensation. For anyone that deals with this neuropathic pain, it can be acute or chronic, which I will explain further.

Acute Neuropathic Pain may be an initial symptom of MS or part of an MS relapse. This can be described as a rapid onset and is for a short duration. The four different types of Acute Neuropathic pain are:

Trigeminal Neuralgia is typically described as a sharp and or shooting pain in the face or jaw area. This pain may occur as an initial symptom of MS or as part of a relapse. Considering the location of this pain it has been misidentified as dental pain, but this is caused by damage to the trigeminal nerve. Like many other issues associated with MS, this pain is unpredictable and comes and goes as it pleases.

Lhermitte’s Sign is a sudden and momentary sensation like an electric shock traveling from the back of the head, down the spine, and often extending into the arms and legs. This issue is often due to bending the neck forward. The pain indicates there was damage in the cervical spine caused by MS, which could be the first sign of MS or a relapse.

MS Hug most commonly is due to damage to the spine due to MS. I do not like the name of this issue because it is a hug that no one in their right mind wants to have ever! The best way to explain how this feels is a tight squeezing sensation around the torso, almost feeling like the blood pressure cuff on your arm or possibly how it would feel if a snake wrapped itself tightly around the torso.

Paroxysmal Spasms can be described as a sporadic and painful tightening of muscles. This is commonly a brief twitching that comes on suddenly and disappears as quickly as it came on. Frequently, this is felt in the arm or leg and occurs several times throughout the day and or night.

Chronic Neuropathic Pain tends to be the continuance of acute neuropathic pain I previously explained. When MS is involved, the pain can be experienced daily or nearly daily but is often unpredictable. When someone endures acute neuropathic pain, the likelihood it will become chronic is significantly higher. Some specific issues can increase this type of pain, including higher levels of stress, fatigue, illnesses, and becoming overheated.

Unfortunately, pain plays a vital part in many illnesses. Most of these illnesses are lifelong because cures have not been discovered as of now. Pain is not easy to live with, which is why it is so important to continue searching for various ways to keep the pain as under control as possible. I do not plan on allowing the pain I experience to dictate my life but will use the pain to fuel my determination to find pain relief strategies. Throughout my 20 plus years of living with various severities of MS pain, I have learned ways to tolerate the pain better including but not limited to the following. I say not limited to because I am sure there are many other amazing ways to handle pain and if you have any ideas, please share!

Utilize your breathing:

Of course, when the pain becomes high it is common to become increasingly tense. During these times it is crucial to try attempting relaxing techniques in a quiet, comfortable body position, and block out any distractions. You can envision the area below the navel or the area your pain is in and breathe into that area calmly, filling your abdomen with air and slowly exhaling. Imaging a deflating balloon may help with this part.

Decrease stress in life:

Pessimistic emotions such as depression, anxiety, stress, and all other negative emotions can drastically increase our body’s response to pain. Once we learn how to overpower the nagging stresses we may feel, we are likely to feel less pain. I think we have all heard that stress is a silent killer and I do passionately believe this.

To be completely honest, stress has been the most common culprit when my pain becomes more intense. Many techniques can help reduce stress, but everyone is different with what will work best for them. Often soothing and calming music can create a relaxing environment, which may promote feelings of less stress. Truthfully, most types of music will relax me because I enjoy listening to the lyrics and feeling what the songwriter was feeling.

Natural Endorphins Through Exercise:

When we are experiencing constant pain, it is very understandable we do not feel like we can be active. We may think the activity will make the pain we already feel worse, but that is not always the situation. Often when we are challenging ourselves physically, it can be beneficial if it is not too hard, long, or too much exertion. It has been stated that exercise strengthens muscles, which can help to reduce additional pain or further injury. It is advised to discuss exercise regimens with a professional because they will have the most knowledge and be able to describe what the best possible exercises would be for everyone.

Understand that alcohol creates problems:

Pain and alcohol cause problems with sleep. With that being states, drinking less or none may improve the overall quality of life, decrease pain levels, and enhance sleeping quality.

Journal daily activities and pain:

To treat pain effectively, it is important to be able to explain how we are feeling to our specialists. It is easy to forget things during doctor’s appointments because we might feel flustered, which is why it is crucial to document daily pain levels and what activities may have caused them. We will be able to discover what we were doing before the times when pain is highest. It could also be beneficial to document daily meals because some foods can increase pain.

Beneficial to maintain a healthy diet:

There are several reasons a well-balanced diet is of vital importance to one’s overall health. Nourishing our body with this type of diet can assist the digestive process, decrease the risks of heart disease, provide weight control, and boost blood sugar levels. Deciding to follow a low-fat and low-sodium diet the options can include the following: fresh fruits and vegetables, cooked dried beans and peas, whole-grain bread and cereal, low-fat cheese, milk, yogurt, and lean meats. A few examples of lean meats are beef, lamb, veal, pork, chicken, turkey duck, fish, and seafood (fish, prawns, crab, lobster, mussels, clam, etc) I do not eat seafood so I am not 100% sure what somethings are, but you might enjoy seafood and know a lot more than I do about it.

Discover enjoyable distractions:

If we allow ourselves to focus solely on our pain, it will get worse before it gets better and consume our life. Activities that keep the mind busy and thinking about other things besides the pain can be a successful way to decrease pain. Even if this is only for a short time, I think it is worth trying, don’t you? Sudoku puzzles are thought-provoking and fun, or at least I think they are.

Life with a painful chronic illness can be incredibly challenging, but I think together as a community we can help one another through these times. I hope the information I have shared in this post will be helpful for you or someone you know. Please just remember that I am not a medical professional and everything I have written was based on research and personal experience.

While I have been dealing with pain for over 20 years, I have been able to expect it, but I do not enjoy it obviously. Some days are worse than others and on the truly miserable days, I will keep fighting my battle because I am not ready to surrender to it. I guess it is the same with anything, good and bad days come and go, but they do not need to restrain life!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I know it was a little longer than my normal posts, but there was a lot of valuable information to share. I am looking forward to reading your comments and I will respond to all comments as quickly as I can. I hope your week is going well and you are staying as safe as you can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa