My weekend of pain

Three days of migraine & pain hell!

Since Friday afternoon I have been battling with a nasty headache, which I think was more an evil migraine. It started when I was still working and I had to force myself through the last part of the day, which even though I work at home was difficult to make it until 5:00. I know some would say the migraine and pain came from stress, but I actually disagree with this. Yes, I did get a little worked up about a loan I was working because I was a little confused about what I had to do next, but I did get everything figured out and was fine.

I have been working with my new company for three weeks and I still love my job. During the initial few weeks after training, we are all supposed to work on the loans that are assigned to us, and then the team lead would review our work before we could proceed with changing the status to “complete”. Well on Friday while I was dealing with the start of my nasty migraine, my team lead told me I did not need to have my work reviewed anymore and could proceed on my own. I am not sure why I was so shocked by this because I do understand the work, but to be told this during the end of my third week was a good feeling and made me feel confident. This is the same team lead that told me during my second week on the job I was going to be his “rock star”, so I guess I have a lot to live up to!

When I did finally make it through my horrible painful day on Friday, I laid down with an ice pack on my head around 11:00 PM and did not really get up until late Saturday. Not only am I dealing with a migraine from hell, but my entire body aches. I do not know where this is all coming from. It has been incredibly hot in the south, but I do not leave my house so I don’t know why the heat would be causing me so many issues.

As I am trying to write this I can feel the pain starting back up again, not that it actually stopped it just eased up some. Dealing with pain is not easy and can cause some stress. Trying to understand why the pain has to be this severe is something that can’t be understood. Normally, I can deal with pain, but I am not able to deal with head pain.

Headaches/migraines will have me in the bed with an ice pack and nothing helps. It has been a frustrating weekend that is almost over. I can only hope the headache/migraine will leave me alone as the week starts.  I promise I have done everything I know to get rid of the pain, but at this point, nothing is working. I am staying hydrated and even trying to eat.

Do y’all ever get massive migraines or pain in general? How do y’all deal with this? I would like to believe I am a strong person, but I am losing that strength dealing with all this pain. Any advice y’all may have would be greatly appreciated.

Thank y’all for visiting my site today. I do hope your weekend has been lovely, you have been able to enjoy it, and you have stayed safe. Please know that even though I am struggling with pain issues right now, I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

~July COVID-19 Information~

~The Truth About COVID-19~

I have honestly debated with myself for the past week if I should or shouldn’t write this because I want to steer clear of negativity as much as I possibly can. I must have started and stopped writing this at least 15 times, but I do feel this information is crucial and really needs to be shared as much as possible for the safety of human lives. There have already been so many people that lost their lives because of this virus and things urgently need to change.

My husband is a wonderful man and has always been very supportive of my writing and dreams of doing more with it. For the first time when I explained to him earlier in the week what I was planning to write about he actually deterred me from writing anything negative about the president. Let me clarify this, he did not deter me from writing negatively about the president because he supports him because like myself he doesn’t support that man at all, he just did not want anything I wrote about to negatively impact my life in any way. What I am actually writing about today is so much bigger and more important than a simple man like the president. I am writing about what most people worldwide have lived in fear of for the past 6 months, COVID-19.

There have been many false claims made and a vast amount of important information that was either not shared or it has been forgotten or it was not taken seriously. When the president of a county isn’t taking something seriously, none of his followers/supporters are going to take it seriously either, which in the United States where I live is an enormous problem.

If you are like me and you do not care much for politics, think about what you would think if your favorite musician was not taking this virus seriously. Would you follow how that person behaved or would you think the musician was out of their mind? Now think about how people you know and care for are behaving towards this virus. Do you have family or friends that are not viewing this virus seriously? Thankfully even though my mother supports the president she does understand the severity of the situation we are in here in the United States.

The COVID-19 numbers in the state I live in are steadily increasing without fail. I tend to think it is because I live in a mostly Republican supporting state with only a few exceptions. Recently, I spoke to one of our neighbors at the mailbox and she flat out said that she thinks the virus is a hoax. Of course, I always keep 6 feet distance between myself and anyone else that doesn’t live in my household.

The many things I find irritating when I do have to leave my house, which is not often, is that so many people do not respect others with social distancing and hardly anyone wears a mask. I just do not understand, except that neither the president nor vice president wears a mask. Nonetheless, people should appreciate the science involved and listen to the experts.

Recently, I saw that the United States has been the worst-affected country with more than 3.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 139,960 deaths. It is terrifying how many innocent or uneducated people have had to lose their lives because of this awful virus. How many people need to die before everyone will do what is necessary? It is easy to wear a mask and if they do not have a mask, wear some kind of face covering. It is even easier and doesn’t cost a thing, practice social distancing. Even in the south where I live in the United States, stores have markings on the ground indicating where 6 feet is, but yet many people still can’t maintain the 6 feet that is required.

I think y’all know by now that I am a very emotional person, which explains why it is hard for me to not breakdown in tears when I hear about someone that lost someone they love to COVID-19. It is the people’s life that has forever changed because they have to learn to live without someone they love.

Some spouses have lost the person they promised to love, honor, and cherish for the rest of their lives. Some parents have lost their child or maybe even grandchildren. How can anyone see this and not understand the urgency of wearing a mask, practice social distancing, disinfect everything they touch, and or wash their hands multiple times a day?

Most of you that have read my posts also know that I have Multiple Sclerosis and that I take a medication that weakens my immune system which means that I am at a very high risk of contracting the virus that is causing so much fear and stress throughout the entire world.

I am thankful for the job that allows me to work in the safety of my home. I am thankful for my husband that always supports me and does his best to protect me. I am thankful that my mother and stepfather are aware and staying safe from the virus. I am thankful for the intelligent people the United States has, even if those people are not always listened to because without these people we would not know what we do know about the dangers this virus has the potential of.

I want to ask each and every one of you to stay safe and follow all the safety protocols that we have been made aware of. I completely understand how uncomfortable it is to wear a mask, but I also think a little discomfort is worth your life and safety. No matter what everyone else is doing or how different you might look, please always wear a mask when you leave your home!

I know parts of this post might have seemed a little negative, but I hope you were able to see the positive within my words. I want to thank you for taking the time to read this information and I hope you will always stay safe! I worry about my family, friends, fellow bloggers, all humankind, and animals because animals can get COVID-19 just like we all can.

I hope y’all are having a lovely and safe weekend. I would love to read your comments on the information I have provided. I promise to respond as quickly as I can and within no more than 24 hours. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Coping with COVID-19 Stress

Learning to cope with the stress of a pandemic

For the first time in 40 years, on June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization declared the start of a flu pandemic. The CDC estimated that between 151,700 and 575,400 people died worldwide from the 2009 H1N1 virus infection during the first year of circulation. This virus was detected first in the United States in April 2009 before quickly spreading throughout the rest of the world.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared another pandemic with it being called Coronavirus or COVID-19. Even though COVID-19 was thought to be serious enough for the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic, there were still some leaders that did not heed the warnings and take proper actions.

The same leader or leaders that did not take COVID-19 seriously, spent months saying it was nothing more than a hoax and then claiming it was not even as serious as the normal flu. I find the ignorance and shame it takes to call this deadly virus the Chinese virus simply because it began in China absolutely ridiculous. I mean, no one ever referred to H1N1 as the American virus because it began in the United States, so what gives anyone the right to call COVID-19 the Chinese virus or any other demeaning name they think of?

There is one leader in particular that continues to blame everyone else for the virus but fails to blame the person he sees in the mirror every day for the 129,545 American’s that died because of this virus. Worldwide there have been more than 511,000 people who lost their lives due to COVID-19. We will never know now if only action was taken sooner not as many people would have had to die.

There is no denying the fact that being faced with a pandemic, which has already taken the lives of many, is stressful. Most of us have been overwhelmed with distress and anxiety due to this virus. Although actions such as social distancing are imperative for safety reasons, it can cause additional stress and anxiety from being isolated and lonely.

As we continue undergoing the pandemic of an infectious disease outbreak, there are several other issues that we may experience, including but not limited to the following:

– Fear for your health and the health of your loved ones

– Worry for your financial situation and or job security

– Changes in your sleep and or eating patterns

– Troubles sleeping and or concentrating

– Decline in chronic health problems

– Intensifying issues of mental health issues

– Increased use of tobacco and or alcohol and other substances

Everyone responds to stressful situations differently. Even though we dealt with the H1N1 pandemic back in 2009, I do not remember being as concerned and terrified as I have been with COVID-19. The crazy thing is during 2009, I worked for a hospital system with the Employee Health Department. I had constant interaction with people that tested positive for the flu, but never really worried. Of course, I wore a mask and washed my hands multiple times a day and thankfully never got the flu.

I do realize I am not the only one that remains worried about COVID-10, but I can also understand there is no amount of worrying that will make this situation any easier. Granted even if we lived next door to each other, chances are we wouldn’t be able to see one another and would only be able to offer support virtually. We can do this now and help each other to lessen the massive burdens of stress we are all enduring.

I am going to share a few ideas I discovered that will hopefully help reduce the stress we have all been trying our best to manage.

1. Limit Media Time-

Most people have already proven the ability to practice social distancing to prevent the spreading of COVID-19. With already understanding the importance of social distancing for the good of our health, we should be able to understand why distancing ourselves from the media would be in the best interest of our mental well-being. It seems like the media has 24/7 COVID coverage, which can be beneficial in small doses but can also be very negative causing additional anxiety for those who already had concerns. If you are anything like me (I am so sorry for you), you are already feeling extreme anxiousness. When we are becoming more anxious, we should consider taking a break from all news outlets and the view the news only twice a day at most!

2. Stop Engaging with worry-

Regardless if you are worried about yourself or a loved one contracting the virus or being out of work, the more you focus your attention on the worst-case scenarios, the more anxious and stressed you will feel. Of course, we are not able to stop thoughts from entering our minds, but we can choose to not dwell on those thoughts and instead decide to take action towards solving the problems at hand. I think we are all logical enough to understand the enormous differences between worrying and solving the problems we face. Our mind will often try to bait us into worrying, so we need to avoid taking that bait. Our feelings of anxiety will try baiting us with the many “what if” questions that we need to try avoiding answering because it only leads us down dark and endless roads. During times like these, we need to focus our attention elsewhere and on the more positive aspects. I do know during these stressful times, finding the silver lining might be challenging, but it is there.

3. Do not react to physical symptoms-

Just because you or someone around you coughs does not mean it is because of COVID-19. People have allergies, bronchitis, post-nasal drip, or a common cold and these issues are the much more likely explanation. We all know the seasons can cause numerous issues, so it is best to not assume COVID-19 every time you so much as hear a cough, but being aware of your surroundings and following safety protocols should always be followed. For your mental health and well-being, do not continuously scan your body searching for COVID-19 symptoms. The only things this behavior will do is cause unnecessary worry and intensify our already high anxiety levels.

4. Focus on productivity and newer ways of enjoyment-

Unfortunately, we do not have any control over the crisis the world is experiencing currently and the only thing we can control is our response. How many times in the past were you overloaded with work and maintaining your home, but discovered something new you wanted to try? With how much our everyday lives have changed and we are now living our “new normal”, we might finally through no fault of our own have time for new adventures. We can learn a new skill or fine-tune something we used to do back before life got crazy with work and family. Now is the time to put our attention on creating and accomplishing, instead of the virus and or our employment status.

5. Seize the moment in stress-reducing activities-

There are numerous different things we can try that could help reduce the vast amount of stress we might be experiencing during these trying times. As few ideas may include focusing on the things we are grateful for, exercising our bodies, guided meditation, and yoga are things that may help us relax our minds. Anything we may want to learn can easily be found on YouTube; there are many simple videos to follow along with on just about anything we can think of. Just think, once we are finally past this crisis we will not only have learned something new, but also appreciate all the simple things in life we may have taken for granted before such as dinner out at our favorite restaurant, a night out at the movies, and even something as simple as a haircut.

6. Follow CDC guidelines, but do not go overboard-

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or sing happy birthday or twinkle, twinkle little star, whichever you prefer. This does not mean washing your hands until they are red and dry. In the event soap and water isn’t available, you can use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Always avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and others outside your home. Wear face covering when around others out in the public. Despite what some might say, it is not necessary to remove all your clothing before entering your home.

7. Maintain a sense of normalcy-

During these crazy times, it may be challenging to continue your day as you normally would with some modifications, so this could require adding a little creativity. Before the pandemic, you may have gone to the gym for your workout, but now you have to work out in your home. Instead of dinner out with friends, maybe you have dinner or drinks by a video platform. Continuing life with a structure to our day and any type of an appearance of normalcy will help reduce any additional anxieties.

8. Show kindness for yourself and others-

During a time of national crisis, it is normal to feel anxious and worried. Remember while you are having these feelings, people you know are probably having the same feelings. Reaching out to family, friends, and neighbors who have been isolated, the same as all the rest of us may need a little boost in their spirits. Sometimes a simple phone call will not only heighten our spirits but also improve the person on the other end of the phone mood as well. If you are currently unemployed because of the pandemic, your new job is to have faith that this storm in life will pass and something new will come along and everything will work out for the best!

I meant to have this post out yesterday, but obviously wasn’t able to. For some unknown reason I had a lack in motivation and also continued getting distracted with many other things. I guess maybe it was the mixture of emotions I am feeling for starting my new job Monday. I am not overly nervous or excited; it is pretty much a good balance between the two. I have been out of work for many months now and honestly I have not ever worked from home on a permanent basis. I know I will be able to handle the work from home status well because I have always been extremely organized and disciplined. I did work in the same industry my work from home job is for several years prior to my husband and I relocated and did very well with it. If I am not mistaken the work I am going to be doing is almost exactly the same, but I have heard from a reliable resource that my new company is far more organized than the company I worked for previously.

Thank you for stopping by my site today and I do hope this information was helpful for you! I did only list 8 possible stress relieving ideas, but I do know there are many more and you probably already have some. I do hope you will share your thoughts on this important topic because it will help anyone that reads this. I hope your week is going well, you are feeling the best you possibly can, and you are continuing to remain safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month, Part 1

June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. For June, the goal is to raise awareness, further educate those unaware about migraines and headaches, and show support to those that deal with these issues. Due to the vast about of information and to try to maintain length, there will be other posts with even more information about migraines and headaches.

Migraines are the third most common disease globally estimating 14.77% of the world’s population suffers from migraines. Approximately 38 million United States citizens deal with this pain. Of the American’s that battle with migraines, about 85% are women. The vast majority of migraine sufferers experience an episode once or twice a month, more than 4 million others endures chronic daily migraines. It is an exceedingly debilitating condition causing not just a simple headache but can come along with nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances, utmost sensitivity to sound and, light and tingling or numbness in the face. Nearly 25% of migraine attacks may include an aura, which is a visual disturbance that lasts less than an hour.

Unfortunately, children can be affected by migraines. Of the children that experience migraines they typically have their first episode before age 12. Even though at younger ages boys suffer more from migraines than girls, once in the adolescent year’s girls end up dealing with migraines more than boys of the same age.

Migraines are a crucial public health concern, but they continue to be misunderstood, under-diagnosed, and under-treated. More than half of migraine suffers are never diagnosed properly. Many that suffer do not pursue medical attention for their pain because like individuals battling other chronic illnesses, there are extremely high costs for medical services, minuscule support, and restricted access to proper quality of care.

While we are in National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month it is important to recognize the International Classification of Headache Disorders, published by the International Headache Society, which used to classify more than 150 types of primary and secondary disorders.

I will begin with primary headache disorders which are divided into four groups:

1. Migraines- I briefly touched on this at the beginning of this post, but allow me to give a slightly deeper description. A migraine headache is distinguished by throbbing and pulsating pain caused by an activation of nerve fibers residing within the walls of the brain blood vessels that travel within the meninges. Just to quickly explain, meninges are the three membranes lining the skull and vertebral canal and encloses the brain and spinal cord.

Migraine headaches are repetitive episodes of throbbing pain ranging from moderate to severe in intensity. These typically affect one side of the head at a time. If an episode goes untreated it can potentially last anywhere from 4-72 hours.

Various factors can trigger the migraine cycle to begin and could differ from person to person, but may include sudden weather or environment changes, too much or not enough sleep, strong fragrances, emotion, stress, overexerting yourself, loud noises, motion sickness, low blood sugar, skipping meals, tobacco, depression, anxiety, head trauma, hangover, certain medications, hormonal changes, and bright or flashing lights. The cause in 50% of migraine sufferers were foods and ingredients. A few examples of the foods and ingredients that can trigger a migraine are aspartame, caffeine, or withdrawal from caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, aged cheeses, monosodium glutamate, numerous fruits and nuts, fermented or pickled goods, yeast, and cured or processed meats.

The four phases of a migraine, which all can be apparent during an episode, are:

1. Premonitory symptoms occurring up to 24 hours before developing a migraine. These symptoms can include food cravings, incomprehensible changes in moods, unmanageable yawning, fluid retention, and escalated urination.

2. Auras occur in some people causing them to immediately before and during the migraine see flashing or bright lights. Other people may experience muscle weakness or a feeling of being touched or grabbed.

3. Headaches can start and gradually build in severity, ultimately becoming a migraine. However, it is possible to suffer a migraine without a headache.

4. Postdrome can occur after a migraine, which is when someone feels exhausted or confused. This phase can potentially last up to 24 hours before the individual feels healthy again.

Besides the two main types of migraines, I will provide details on; there are eight others forms people may experience. I will share only the names of the additional types in this post but will do another post with the details in the next few days. The eight other types of migraines include Abdominal migraine, Basilar-type migraine, Hemiplegic migraine, menstrual-related migraine, Migraine without headache, Ophthalmologic migraine, Retinal migraine, and Status Migrainosus migraine. The following are the details regarding the two main migraine types.

1. Migraine with aura, also known as a classic migraine. Symptoms can show about 10-60 minutes before the headache begins and last no more than an hour. The symptoms may include visual disturbances, difficulty speaking, numbness, or muscle weakness on one side of the body, a sensation of tingling in the bands or face, nausea, loss of appetite, heightened sensitivity to light, sound, and smell.

2. Migraine without aura also knows as a common migraine. The symptoms with this type include headache pain that happens without warning and typically felt on one side of the head, nausea, confusion, fatigue, blurred vision, altered moods, and an intense sensitivity to light, sound, or noise.

The most common type of headache is a tension headache, which was previously known as a muscle-contraction headache. This type of headache suggests the role of stress and mental or emotional pain triggers pain and contracting muscles in the neck, face, scalp, and jaw, missed meals, depression, anxiety, not enough sleep, or sleep apnea.

The pain that accompanies tension headache can range anywhere from mild to moderate and anything in between. Typically this feels like constant pressure is being forced onto the front of the face or to the head or neck. It can also feel like something is being tightened around the head and is felt on both sides of the head. Those that suffer from tension headaches may become very sensitive to light and sound, but do not go through the pre-headache aura that comes along with migraines. Tension headaches will begin to fade once the period of stress or other related causes ends.

Tension headache tends to begin during adolescence and reach the utmost activity in the 30’s. These headaches do affect women somewhat more than men.

Tension headache has two different forms:

1.Episodic tension headaches happen between 10 and 15 days each month and can last anywhere between 30 minutes to several days. Even though the pain is not disabling, the intensity of pain tends to increase with the regularity of the episodes.

2.Chronic tension headaches often happens more than 15 days monthly over 3 months. The pain involved with this form of headache is consistent over days or even months, it is felt on both sides of the head and can become extreme and disabling.

Both depression and anxiety can be the source of tension headaches. These can occur in the early morning or evenings when conflicts at home or work are expected. The various other causes include posture that strains the head or neck muscles, degenerative arthritis in the neck, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

Cluster headaches are the most extreme form of primary headaches. This form of headache involves unforeseen, exceedingly painful headaches occurring in clusters. They typically occur at the same time of day and night for several weeks at a time. Cluster headaches affect one side of the head, frequently behind or around one eye, and may lead up to migraine-like aura and nausea. The pain involved peaks 5-10 minutes following the onset and persists at the same intensity up to 3 hours. Some will endure restlessness and agitation, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, and increased sensitivity to light, sound, or smell.

Cluster headaches can start at any age but typically begin between 20 and 50 years old. This form of headache commonly affects that smoke more than those that do not smoke and is seen more frequently in men than women. Cluster headache episodes do not last as long as migraines. Ordinarily, people will have 1-3 cluster headaches a day, with 2 cluster periods yearly, possibly separated by months free from any symptoms. Cluster periods are commonly inaccurately thought to be allergies because they do occur seasonally, normally in the spring or fall. It has been suggested that inconsistencies in the body’s sleep-wake cycle could be a cause of cluster headaches.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I am sorry this post was so incredibly long, but there is a lot of important information that needs to be shared. In my next few posts I will explain the miscellaneous primary headache forms, secondary headache disorders, treatments and diagnostics. I do hope the information in this post was helpful and offered some sort of comfort. Personally, I deal with migraines and tension headaches far too much and understand many others do as well. I want to encourage your comments because I know they will be amazing and even help others, including myself! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

27b889827d7b041c766fd1b5e7ba47faWhat is Multiple Sclerosis?

March is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month. Multiple Sclerosis is an incurable neurological condition that affects the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.  The body’s immune system attacks the protective myelin sheaths that cover the nerve fibers which cause areas of scarring, known as sclerosis. The immune system also attacks and destroys the fatty myelin coating that surrounds and insulates nerve cells which is a process 348sknown as demyelination.

Experts suggest there being 250,000-350,000 people in the United States currently living with this illness. There is an indication the rate of the disease is increasing regularly in the 20th century with approximately 200 new cases each week. Those of Northern European descent have a higher risk for the disease, but Native Americans of North and South America and Asian Americans are at a lower risk. The disease is much more common in colder climates.

There are four types of Multiple Sclerosis, all having different characteristics.

  1. Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS). This is the most common form, RRMSbeing that 85% of those with MS are initially diagnosed with. Patients with this form will have relapses and periods of stability in between the relapses. Relapses are the episodes when new or worsening symptoms that are not caused by fever or infection appear. These episodes typically lase more than 48-hours. Between relapses are periods of remission where there is no clinical evidence of disease progression. Periods of remission can last for years, but this can range from person to person.
  2. Secondary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) can basically be considered the SPMSsecond phase of the disease. Most people that are initially diagnosed with RRMS will transition to this form at some point. Symptoms with SPMS will worsen steadily over time with or without occurrences of relapses or remission. There may or may not be times of relapses caused by inflammation, but will continue towards the progressive phase indicating nerve damage or loss. With this form of MS, the disability only continues to get worse.
  3. Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) is less common than the ms_disease-course_PPMSother forms and only affects 10-15% of those with MS. On average people with PPMS start having symptoms between 35-39 years old. There is a slowly worsening of symptoms from the beginning with no relapses or remissions. With this type of MS there can be times of short-term, but temporary, minor improvements, however the decline of neurologic progression is constant. Symptoms of PPMS include pain, electric-shock-sensation running down the back and limbs when the neck is bent, trouble walking, vision problems, muscle weakness, trouble balancing, paralysis, numbness, prickling feeling, dizziness, shakiness, trouble thinking clearly, mood changes, depression, sexual problems, and trouble with bowel and bladder control.
  4. Progressive-Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (PRMS) is a rare form of MS. There will PRMSbe a steadily worsening of the state of the disease from the beginning with acute relapses, but no remission will occur. The symptoms of this form are the same as those with PPMS.

The first neurologic event suggesting MS is known as Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS), which usually lasts at least 24-hours. The symptoms will indicate a single lesion (Monofocal) or more than one lesion (Multi-focal) in the central nervous system (CNS). There are many symptoms involved with Multiple Sclerosis some being common and others being less common.

Common Symptoms Associated with Multiple Sclerosis86665331_3276961818997285_6990907139438936064_n

  • Fatigue (Mental and Physical)
  • Pain
  • Tingling or burning sensation in the arms, legs, trunk of body or face
  • Vision issues (blurred or loss of vision)
  • Stiff muscles
  • Attention and memory issues
  • Dizziness, vertigo, and clumsiness
  • Trouble walking

Less Common Symptoms Associated with Multiple Sclerosis

  • Migraines
  • Speech problems
  • Body tremors
  • Seizures
  • Hearing loss
  • Itching for no reason
  • Mood changes such as depression or euphoria
  • Ability to concentrate or multi-task effectively
  • Difficulty making decisions, planning or prioritizing

Secondary Symptoms that can develop

  • Bladder and bowel problems
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Osteoporosis
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sexual health issues

ms awareness marchWith all the possible symptoms one can experience, there are ways to manage most of them. Bladder control can be something one can experience and this can be rather embarrassing if it happens out in public, but there some suggested strategies to manage this.

  • Drink enough fluids. The kidneys need at least 2 liters of water daily in order to flush waste products. Do not try rationing intake because this could increase the risk of infection.
  • Time your drinks. Try to spread fluid intake evenly throughout the day.
  • Limited caffeine and alcohol intake. Both of these can increase the amount of MS Painurination.
  • Special exercises such as exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor.
  • Continence aids such as disposable pad can be beneficial.
  • Medication can be provided to reduce the urgency to urinate and help the bladder empty itself.

Pain with MS can be primarily due to the neurologic condition. Pain could also be due to secondary conditions, such as musculoskeletal issues as a result of altered posture or spasticity. The weakening of leg muscles tends to trigger aches and pain in the back or knees. The unfortunate truth is, people with Multiple Sclerosis can feel pain anywhere, but there are ways to help manage the pain which includes medication, physical therapy, and relaxation techniques.27b889827d7b041c766fd1b5e7ba47fa

Every person that lives with Multiple Sclerosis is different and deals with this illness in a way that serves them best. A person can experience similar issues as another but at the end of the day, we all handle it differently. Each symptom, relapse, remission, and medication affects each person vastly different but yet can understand what another person is going through. It is vital that no matter what stage the illness is, there needs to be an understanding of what our limitations are and to never push beyond that.

Thank you for visiting my site laughtoday! I hope the information I provided to you was helpful. There is a chance I have stated the same thing in previous years, but I do feel it is important for us to spread as much awareness as we can because it does not seem like this illness is going away anytime soon. I do want to believe that someday in our life time there will be a cure, but until then we must continue to live our lives the best we can. I hope you are having  a great day and feeling the best you can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes! 

love-2-e1526867753936

❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

P.S I will be doing additional posts about MS during the month, but felt they needed to be separate posts because there is SO much information available. The crazy thing is, no matter how many years I have lived with MS, reading about it is a little upsetting.  

 

 

 

Doctors gone BAD

maxresdefaultI recently had to deal with my specialist’s office, in regards to the medication I take to limit the progression of my Multiple Sclerosis. Since the doctor that diagnosed my condition retired, the office he was at has been on a downward spiral. The amount of incompetence and lack of compassion are the only things that are steadily increasing, which is terrible.

Whether it be a nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician, they all should know how awful stress is for someone with Multiple Sclerosis. Being forced to battle with a nurse with a terrible attitude 71NwQ3YsJDLto get a refill for my medication caused me nothing but massive stress and frustration. This would have been  difficult regardless, but when the nurse decided to be ugly the situation escalated unnecessarily. All I am trying to do is anything necessary so I do not have a nasty relapse, especially without insurance.

I know I mentioned in a post I did a few days ago, the flaws within healthcare in the United States, but with what I just experienced trying to talk to my doctor’s office makes it even more frustrating! For a country that has insanely high costs for health insurance, you would think patient care would be top-notch, but it is the direct opposite.

downloadThe medication I take to slow my progression down is Gilenya. I have been on this same medication for a long time, so I know the processes and the ridiculous out of pocket with NO insurance. Honestly, I do not believe any normal person could afford this medication and I definitely can’t.

Basically, I guess I am not in the right tax bracket to be able to have insurance that I can afford or at least affordable medication to keep my condition at bay. Maybe I also missed the tax bracket where kindness, respect, understanding, and empathy exist. I feel strongly that health insurance should be a RIGHT, NOT a PRIVILEGE, but surprise the powers that be don’t agree with me. I do not think anyone should have to worry about how they are going to survive without 21a1d2783f3596243d4cd630893e7e7dinsurance and without access to life-altering medication.

First, thank you for taking the time to read this post. Second, I hope none of you ever have to go through anything like this. Third, I hope your weekend has started off great and continues to bring you happiness. I do want to encourage you to leave a comment; I definitely need advice on how to deal with the ignorant people at my specialist’s office. Lord knows I can’t take too much more, especially if it is just images (2)going to be a bunch of bull shit!

I hope you enjoy every moment of your weekend and hope you feel great! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

love-2-e1526867753936

❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

 

 

What do you think?

imagesEven though things are slowly getting a little better, I am still feeling way too much anxiety and stress. I am glad that my unemployment was approved because that helps with the financial stresses, but not having insurance when dealing with Multiple Sclerosis is making me feel a little crazy. I do think this would make anyone feel like they were jumping out of their skin, which is the way I feel right now.

My husband keeps telling me that I need to relax and everything is going to be okay. I am a very optimistic person normally, but I do not see life the way he does right now. Medications are stupidly expensive and so are doctor’s anxietyappointments. One of the medications I take daily that is supposed to slow the MS down is Gilenya. Y’all will be surprised how much this one medication would cost me each month without insurance. For simply a month supply it would cost me $7,500. Seriously, who can afford that?

Something that I find frustrating is, health care in the United States costs a lot of money and then there are still additional fees that need to be paid. The United States is the ONLY developed country that does not offer FREE health care, which I find crazy! Of course, I have never lived in a country where health care was free, but from my perspective, it can’t be any worse that what we have now. Sure, you might have to wait longer to see a specialist, but for me to get into the neurologist in the states I wait at least 2 months. free-and-universal-health-care-universal-health-care-free-but-65307278With all the costs between the price of insurance, the costs for appointments, the price of tests that need to be run, and then medications, people could just about go bankrupt. Our brilliant politicians try their best to convince the American people why we do not have free health care and that it would be an awful thing! The sad thing is, some believe everything they hear on the news and all the lies that come out of the politician’s mouths! I strongly believe that health care should be a RIGHT, not a PRIVILEGE. No one should ever have to choose between food and their health!

I know some of you reading this post live in a country with free health care, so want to get your input! What are the pros and cons of having free health care? Do you fe62d503ebdec18d58277ced8257e5e9_survey-citizens-for-plainfield-township-trails_631-313like having free health care or would you rather have it like the United States does? On average how long do you have to wait to see a doctor? Are the physicians intelligent and knowledgeable?

I hope your day is going well and you are feeling the best you can. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I am looking forward to reading your comment! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

love-2-e1526867753936

❤Always, Alyssa❤

Stress is NOT your friend! It is the ENEMY!

beating stressHow many times throughout your life has someone told you that you stress and worry too much? I am not proud to admit this, but I can’t count how many times I have heard those words and normally from various people. I have always asked myself one question, is everyone else right and I am the one that is in the wrong? Truthfully, I tend to always answer this same way, half of the time they are dead wrong, but half the time I am the one in the wrong.brain stitch

I am about to be brutally honest with myself and y’all. One thing I find completely impossible is turning my brain off. It seems that my brain has only two speeds, fast and overdrive without the ability to sit on idle. I feel like my thoughts are always running in circles, kind of like that hamster at the pet store and their wheel. When I am faced with a difficult situation, I managed to think of a million complex ways to approach the circumstances and just as many potential outcomes. It is kind of like I am always in the middle of another war with myself.

No matter what anyone else says, there will always be a few situations that are going to cause me a colossal amount of stress. These stressors can range anywhere from mild, which could be viewed as positive stress, to massive resulting in negative stress.

stress cycleRecently, I gained some valuable knowledge that I wanted to share with y’all and I do hope you will find this information to be beneficial and helpful in your daily life.

I started this post off discussing stress, but I wanted to dig a little deeper into this topic that impacts all of our lives at some point. My entire life I have only viewed stress as a negative and unhealthy behavior. While stress does have many characteristics that can be viewed as negative, it can also have a positive side. Positive stress can be referred to as eustress which is short-term and even a little exciting. This type of stress is a motivator 1caqbkGtsDhv4qN4ujcBtmALthat can improve our performance. A few examples of eustress are starting a new job or receiving a promotion, getting married, buying a new home, moving, going on vacation, and many more things we look forward to. Overall, this occurs when situations are viewed as an opportunity that will pave the road to good results.

On the other hand, negative stress also known as distress has an entirely meaning and happens to be the type I am more familiar with. This is any negative emotions we feel such as anger, fear, anxiety, and or frustration. This type of stress is typically felt when we feel threatened and lose control of the situation.

Negative Stress CycleNegative stress is followed by so many other factors that can be masked and even dismissed, but it does not go away that easy. This stress can be a short-term or long-term challenge that can cause anxiety to overflow, like when you share a coke bottle. Negative stress can decrease creativity and impair problem-solving and decision-making abilities. By allowing pent-up energy from stress to build up, it will only continue to escalate causing even more damage to the brain-mind body.

This form of stress also has the potential to create a fight or flight response. Our bodies images (1)go through many awful changes when we experience this reaction including increased blood pressure, heart rate, and perspiration, slowing indigestion, and a great deal of tension in our muscles. Things can get worse when in distress leading to mental and physical problems.

I am going to share just a few examples of negative stress which include a death of a loved one, divorce, separation or relationship issues, unemployment, legal troubles, financial problems, and there are many more issues that can lead to difficult and painful warning signs of stresstimes.

For those of us that live with a chronic illness, stress does nothing but add extra difficulties to our already heavily burdened life. No one can avoid stress because it can and does impact everyone’s life at some point, so we need to try finding ways to heal ourselves and each other relax a lot more. Logically, we all understand that the pressures from stress can potentially create additional health risks and issues at any moment, so let us work together with ideas that may help us to relax and stay calm.

Y’all probably already have ways thimages (1)at help you stay calm, but I am going to share with y’all 6 ways that may help maintain a relaxed state of mind!

  1. Thank y’all for stopping by my site today. Not only do I hope you enjoyed this post, but I hope it provided you with some helpful information. There is no doubt about it life often Try to worry less by identify what you do and don’t have any control over. After you have determined what you have absolutely no control over it, focus your attention on anything that can distract you, even if it is only for a short time. Sometimes simple distraction can give you just the right amount of peace and comfort.artworkimage-medium-21902316-7336573
  2. Know what your limits are and set boundaries. Once you have established your limits and boundaries focus only on what you can do and be proud of this accomplishment. Small accomplishments can lead to HUGE success!
  3. Learn how to forgive yourself. Any regrets you have from the past needs to be left behind, that is what the past is for. Moving forward leads to where the future is and considering the past can’t be changed, worrying about it isn’t going to fix anything and it just isn’t worth it!stress-ball
  4. Remind yourself it is okay to say “NO”. if you are feeling unwell, exhausted, or both, pushing yourself will only result in negative consequences. Family and friends will understand if you need to back out of plans at the last minute and if they don’t, that is on them, NOT you!
  5. Daily exercise is good for the mind and soul. The exercise doesn’t need to be anything more than you can tolerate, just know and remember your limits. Exercise is not a competition, so try to enjoy!
  6. Stimulate your mind. We all tend to stress a lot more when we have nothing to500_F_83041762_zLXgfHNOy8FfY0aJ59mCCB0DJi2W4YRt focus our attention and energy on. This is a perfect opportunity to find a new hobby. The sky is the limit with this, so have fun and enjoy this!

adds additional stress to our lives, but we must find ways to handle it better and without causing us extra health issues. I have always heard that stress is a silent killer and I believe that now more than ever. Y’all already know that my week did not start off the best due to a nasty headache/migraine, but it ended even worse than itstress-my-silent-killer started. I am okay, but I am not ready to talk about it yet. I have not processed everything yet and it is still way to fresh, but I do promise as soon as I am ready to share, I will. I hope your weekend is going great and you are feeling well. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

love-2-e1526867753936

❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

 

 

Donations do help!

NMSS_FY20_YE_Interstitial_r1_mobileI think y’all already know that I have battled with this unpredictable, not so fun autoimmune disease known as Multiple Sclerosis for almost 20 years. For nearly half of my life, I have wanted to not only help others struggling with this disease but also do all I can to help find a cure or at least find easier ways to get through this life.

I may not care much for the news because there is hardly ever anything positive being reported on, but I have heard about how awful the treatment of Amazon workers is. Even though I do find it disgraceful for anyone to be mistreated so we can shop, I am also still a guilty Amazon shopper. Although I am sure there are many issues within the company that starts but doesn’t end with the owner’s corruption and poor treatment of employees, at the same time this company has good as well.

Everyone that shops on Amazon have the opportunity to choose a charity they want to download (5)raise money for through Smile Amazon. The Amazon Smile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the charity of your choice. I received an email at the end of last week informing me that the charity I chose, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society received $258, 617.47 year to day in donations because of Smile Amazon. Of course, it still upsets me to think that any Amazon workers are mistreated, but I am still thankful for the donations made to a cause so close to my heart. I can only hope 41jnsvmBEML._SY365_BO1,204,203,200_the donations Smile Amazon has made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will help find a cure for this awful disease.

I have been somewhat familiar with The National Multiple Sclerosis Society since being diagnosed all those years ago but recently wanted to know more. I was very interested to find out how this organization began and what more they were doing. I was completely blown away to discover this organization was brought to fruition from one woman full of determination, Sylvia Lawry.download

Ms. Lawry was one of four children to Jacob and Sophie Friedman. While she was in school at Hunter’s College pursuing her law degree, Ms. Lawry’s younger brother Bernard began experiencing visual and balance issues. It was at this time these symptoms were proven to be early signs of Multiple Sclerosis. The family tried for years without success to find a cure for their imagesdear family member. In 1945, the strong-willed and very determined young lady, Ms. Lawry, placed a small classified notice in the New York Times, “Multiple Sclerosis. Will anyone recovered from this disease please communicate with patient.”

Once she received more than 50 replies, Ms. Lawry realized more funds for research, treatment and finding a cause were desperately needed. On March 11, 1946, she pulled together 20 of the nation’s most honored research scientists to form the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.27b889827d7b041c766fd1b5e7ba47fa

As Bernard’s health continued to worsen, she was seeing there were millions of others like her brother that needed help. At this time she gained assistance from Senator Charles Tobey from New Hampshire whose daughter was fighting against Multiple Sclerosis.

Until her dying day February 24, 2001, she continued her war on Multiple Sclerosis. She was a huge loss to the organization, but her legacy will never be forgotten. She did so much to help discover more about this disease and I believe all of us living with Multiple Sclerosis, should always be thankful for this amazing woman!

348sThank y’all for visiting my site today. I hope this post was eye-opening and helpful. Even though we may not be able to help with these causes as much as we would like, if you shop on Amazon or know someone that does, you can set it up so the company will donate portions of your purchase to any charity you want! I hope you have had a lovely weekend and you are ready for the holiday next week. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of     love ❤, comfort and many positive vibes!

 

love-2-e1526867753936

 

❤Always, Alyssa❤

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

MS & Temperatures are difficult!

imagesIt is a nasty, rainy 🌧 and chilly day out today and I have no plans at all to leave the house! This kind of weather makes me feel pretty awful and honestly hurts too much to walk around. It is rather frustrating, but I guess we all deal with life’s obstacles the best we can. I do wish I could sent this rain to Australia where I know they are dealing with some struggles at the moment. 

Heat and high humidity can make Multiple Sclerosis symptoms worsen, even though it is only temporary, it feels like an eternity. Doctors believe that this is due to heat causing nerves, whose myelin cover was already destroyed by MS, toacupuncture-for-multiple-sclerosis-755x429 conduct electrical signals far less efficiently. Doctors have told me for years that hot baths and hot showers are terrible for me, but there are times this is the only thing that relieves some of my pain. Even though a hot bath is only a short-term relief, it is at least a half hour of comfort!

Crazy thing is, I have been told more times than I could count that cold temperature are actually good for me, but is this the truth? I do not think so! Extreme cold temperatures and season how-cold-affects-symptoms-of-multiple-sclerosis-2440834-6eb83234820b49a991e4f07ab6f872a1changes can also worsen MS symptoms. If I understand all of this correctly, hot temperatures can causes MS issues and so can the cold, so I am not sure where that really leaves us.

What to do to ease MS Symptoms:

  1. Avoid ALL extreme temperatures
  2. Avoid exercising on hot and humid days
  3. Utilize the beauty of the air conditioners and cooling vests. Home a/c’s may actually be tax deductible for some people with MS. I think it is definitely worth a chat with doctors! The link I shared regarding cooling vests is just one option, the MS Society has more and you might be able to get it for free!

Even though climate can worsen MS symptoms, climate changes do not create any additional nerve damage.

5 Tips for staying warm during the winter months:

  1. Try to get moving! Of course there are times when living with MS it isn’t as easy to move around the way you would like. However, on day it is easier to get up and moving, attempt to get some moderate physical activity in. This will actually help cold-feet-and-multiple-sclerosis-2440826_v2-1a595343ecfd4dbdaee165a88eab7c40you burn energy and moving around can keep you warm.
  2. Dress in layer. It is rather easy to remove clothing if you get too hot, so dressing in layers might help. When you know ahead of time it is going to be extremely cold, it will be wise to wear a hat, thick socksand or lined boots. Wearing a hat and thick socks will keep the heat from escaping through the head and feet.
  3. Keep your hands and feet warm. Doctors think that MS can cause the blood vessels in the hands and feet to overreact to cold temperatures. Those with MS may also be at risk for Raynaud’s phenomenon, which is a condition where your fingers and toes lose heat.Raynaud’s Phenomenon can not only cause the color of hands and feet to be white to blue, but also cause numbness, pain and or the feeling of pins and needles. In effort to protect the hands and feet, you could use hand warmers and a heating pad. The warming vest I shared is just an option and I am sure there are many others out there!
  4. Warm your insides. A few easy ways to heat your insides is eating a hot meal, hot soups and hot drinks, such as coffee, teas and hot chocolate.
  5. Get some sunshine! Go outside and soak up the sun 🌅! Even on a chilly day the sun will still work to heat you up. By getting outside in the sun 🌅, you are also gaining some much needed natural Vitamin D.thumb_to-danc-terties-msnubutterflies-multiple-sclerosis-blog-page-47269722

Thank y’all for visiting my site today. I hope where you living is bright and sunny 🌅 with NO chance of rain 🌧! If you have the time I do look forward to reading your comments. I promise I will respond as quickly as I can. I hope you are feeling well and your weekend has started off great! Please know I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

love-2-e1526867753936

❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

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