Random acts of violence

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to hear about violence taking place in the United States. Anytime we turn on the TV there is at least one, if not more awful things happening. We are constantly hearing about mass shootings, cops killing unarmed people (most often black men), or other acts of violence where innocent people are dying Some people have become desensitized to the various amount of hate-filled violence that occurs, which these acts cause others vast levels of distress and despair.

When you combine isolation due to COVID and feelings of despair from the violence taking place, the emotional impact can be extremely intense. Of course, working from home is great, but I do feel very isolated and like I am on house arrest a lot. Situations like what happened with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others murdered by those that are “supposed” to protect and serve, the police cause me to feel anxious and angry and I am not an angry person. The case against Derek Chauvin, the police officer who murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis had me on edge. When I watched the verdict being read it did give me a glimmer of hope, but there is still a lot that needs to be done.

The recent and senseless mass shootings that have occurred in the United States are heart-wrenching. The one on March 16, in Atlanta GA at 3 spas left 8 people dead, 6 of which were women of Asian descent. It has been stated this murder rampage was due to anti-Asian racism, which does not make any sense to me. These women were innocent and simply doing their job to take care of their families. Atlanta, GA is only about two and a half hours from where I live, but these acts can happen anywhere because the levels of hate and racist behavior are exceedingly high. I do not understand why some many Americans have any issue with people of Asian descent because these people are NOT doing anything wrong or causing any harm to anyone else.

Only six days later, on March 22 in Boulder, CO another gunman went on a shooting rampage at a supermarket. This incident left 10 innocent people who were at a grocery store picking up items needed dead. People that knew this 21-year-old gunman said he was prone to anger problems and his arrest record showed where he assaulted a classmate in 2017. It was obvious this person had issues, so why was something not done to help him?

Less than a month later on April 15 in Indianapolis, IN at a FedEx facility a gunman started shooting people in the parking lot before he continued his shooting spree inside the building. This mass shooting left 8 innocent people dead before the gunman turned the gun onto himself. Not to sound insensitive, but if the end result was taking his own life, why did he not just do that in the beginning and leave the innocent people he killed alive?

There are no motives to make sense of these tragic deaths or to make it easier for the 26 families that lost a loved one. Even though there is not anything we can do for those affected by these events, there are ways we can help ourselves to cope better.

We have all been dealing with the pandemic for over a year now, often fearing for our safety, as well as for those we love because this virus is deadly. Then adding mass amounts of violence can shake communities to their foundations. Whether you live in the United States or another country, how do these situations make you feel? Some of us may feel like we are in danger if we just go to the grocery store or other normal activities outside the home. Other common reactions may include numbness and shock, difficulty making decisions, anger, inability to turn off the images seen on the news, tension, anxiety, loss of appetite, headaches, disturbed sleep and bad dreams, and or worry about future mass violence events.

Just knowing about these traumatic situations can be emotionally draining and cause you to feel unstable with typical life challenges. Issues with work, ongoing issues with the pandemic, financial struggles, or just staying on top of our daily activities can feel overwhelming and stressful. Try being kinder, patient, and more understanding with yourself because you are not alone.

Urgent do not forget to take care of yourself. Everyone reacts to these situations differently. It does not matter if an act of violence occurred where you live or on the other side of the world because our mind and body can react as if it were much closer. The following eight tips are ways we can practice self-care.

1. Safeguard your body’s needs by focusing on eating healthy, get proper amounts of sleep, and spending time outdoors.

2. Stay active in ways you are comfortable with. There is no need to push yourself too far and causing any extra stress on your body.

3. Embrace relaxation exercises such as meditation and relaxing breathing techniques.

4. Maintain a consistent bedtime routine to help you relax at night.

5. Collect information regarding the available mental health services and support.

6. Avoid using alcohol and drugs to help you cope.

7. Take the necessary breaks from watching the news on TV and or social media.

8. Give your attention to things you enjoy such as listening to music, walking, writing, other types of arts and crafts.

I know this post was not very uplifting or positive, but these are real issues the world is facing, and they are upsetting me tremendously. I do not like being negative or angry but wanted to bring these issues to everyone’s attention. This was not to upset anyone or ruin your day, so please forgive me.

I want to thank you for visiting my site today and reading this post. I hope you are having a good week and continuing to stay safe! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Adoption story

~Welcoming Home Kittens~

Y’all might remember me telling you about our precious little cat, Chloe that passed away in early February and how painful this loss was for us. Our other cat Sundance missed his sister just as much as my husband and I do. The poor little guy was lonely, and we knew we were going to have to get him a friend to keep him company, especially when we were working. I looked online for kittens to adopt for several weeks and one that we thought was beautiful. I emailed about this kitten a few times and was told to apply online to be approved for adoption. I was no able to see anywhere on the page where the adoption application was, but I did not give up.

After following up on this several times and not getting anywhere, I was about to give up and move on. I decided to send one last email about the kitten we had found and finally received an email saying the application was somehow removed from the page, but they did email me the application. I completed the application right away and sent it back in. The next morning, which was on a Tuesday, I received an email stating we had been approved to adopt this precious kitten. We scheduled an appointment for the following Saturday to go meet the cat and make a final decision.

On Saturday, my husband and I loaded up the carrier and drove about an hour to meet this kitten. I am the type of person that tries to always be prepared, so I made sure we had the cash for the adoption fee with us. The moment we walked into the room; I fell in love with the kitten. The foster mother had another kitten with her as well that she was taking to PetSmart to be put up for adoption and she was so tiny and precious. As my husband and I were getting to know the kitten we went there to adopt, the other kitten walked right into the carrier and made herself comfortable. Of course, being an animal lover, I am I looked at my husband, who has a soft spot for cats, and asked him if we could adopt both kittens.

My husband hesitated for a few minutes and asked if I thought I could handle having three cats. We had two for so long and cats are easy to take care of, so immediately said it would not be a problem at all. It did not take long to convince him to adopt both little girl kittens. It did help that the foster mother said if when we got home it either became too much or our other cat did not take well, we could return one or both kittens.

When we finally made it home with both kittens in the carrier, our cat Sundance did not know what to think. I think he was a little overwhelmed because in all the years we have had him, he has never once hissed or made any aggressive movements, but he looked at the carrier and let out a big hissing sound. After we saw his initial reaction, we figured it would be best to do the introduction a little slower and gradual, so we locked the two girls up in the guest bedroom so they could all smell each other through the door for a few days. On the fourth day of their lock-up, we let them out of the room and let them roam free throughout the house.

It has been a little more than a week since we brought the girls home and things are going very well now. The larger kitten in this picture is about 10 months old and her name is Willow. The smaller kitten is about 7 months old, and her name is Penelope. Sundance and Penelope have become surprisingly good friends because she is not as standoffish as Willow. Penelope and Willow are both sweet kittens, but Willow is not nearly as sociable because she is rather shy. Penelope already allows Sundance to give her kisses on the top of her head just like he did with Chloe. He did attempt to kiss Willow, but she was not having that yet. Penelope makes her little self nice and comfortable at night by getting in bed with me, where she gets under the covers and lays her cute little head on my pillow with me.

I do believe we made a good decision by adopting both kittens and know all three cats will get along great! I will continue to do random updates on the progress with how the cats interact with one another. I never thought that we would end up with three cats, but I do not have any regrets. All three of them have their own little unique personalities and they are just precious and full of love! I am just curious, how many of you think we are insane for adopting 2 kittens and now have 3?

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site and read this post. I hope you enjoyed the post and the pretty kitty pictures, and I look forward to reading what you thought about it. Even though it is only Tuesday, I hope you are having a great week and you are staying safe! Although I have been vaccinated, if I do leave the house I still behave the same way I would if I had not been vaccinated. Some people probably think I am taking it a little too far, but COVID still makes me nervous. I hope you never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Let It Go Friday

~Congratulations! It Is Finally Friday~

Happy Friday y’all! How was your week? I hope you had a great week and you are looking forward to the weekend! I am so happy the weekend is finally here and I have two days of not waking up early and then staring at a computer screen for eight LONG hours! I sometimes think that the computer ends up causing some nasty headaches or maybe it is “some” of the people I have to deal with. You will not be surprised that I do not have any plans for the weekend. I even already did my grocery store delivery, so I do not have to do that. I know I told you the other day that there were a few more posts I wanted to do about Multiple Sclerosis, which I hope to complete this weekend!

Now that the weekend is almost here and the weekend is upon us, it is time to let go of any negative feelings the week may have caused. Our weekends are so short and the work-week is so long, we need to be able to enjoy our weekends to the fullest, but please do so safely. I hope the quote I am sharing with y’all today will provide you with the means to let go of the negative and embrace the positives in life! For all the things we may regret we did during our life, we should use them as learning experiences, not do them again, and let them go. It is important to live, learn, grow, and move on!

I hope your weekend is full of nothing but happiness and enjoyment. Y’all already know that we are not completely out of the water yet with the fears of COVID, so please be sure to stay safe. I would love to know how your week went and any plans you have for the weekend. Unfortunately, I still believe the United States is still going through many difficult and tragic times, but during times like these, we need to do our best to be understanding, compassionate, empathetic, and kind to others. The truth is, we never know what someone else is going throughand their troubled times may alter their personality. I do believe in that old saying “Kill them with kindness”.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed the quote I shared with y’all and do look forward to reading what you thought. I do promise to try responding to all comments as quickly as I possibly can. Also, please know that I will be working on the posts to share a little more information about Multiple Sclerosis. I know March is over and it was Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, but just because the month is over does not mean those living with MS are free of it! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Multiple Sclerosis Triggers and Ways To Avoid Them

Multiple Sclerosis can be a challenging illness to live with, but there are often ways to manage the difficulties. Many things can trigger symptoms, but there are also ways to avoid many of these triggers. It takes time to understand what exactly triggers your symptoms and then to discover the best way to avoid them. Just like each person experiences MS differently, each person will have different triggers and ways to combat those triggers. Of course, please remember that I am not a doctor or medical professional, I am just another person living with MS, and have researched the topic. Today, I am going to share 10 triggers and ways to avoid these triggers.

1. Stress: We all experience stress in our life but having a chronic condition like Multiple Sclerosis can create an entirely new source of stress. Other types of stress can be a result of work, personal relationships, or financial struggles. Too much stress for anyone can cause difficult times, but too much stress for someone with MS can contribute to the worsening of symptoms.

Ways to avoid stress might include finding a relaxing, stress-reducing activity that takes your mind off stress. This activity is anything you find enjoyable because this is for YOU and YOUR health. A few things that may appeal to you are yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. These practices can help you to relax and obliterate risks for causing symptoms to worsen.

2. Heat: Any form of heat whether it be from the sun, sauna or, a hot tub can be too extreme for people with Multiple Sclerosis. This can often time lead to an exacerbation of symptoms. From my own experience, heat is the enemy which is difficult because I love the beach. I think my saving grace at the beach is the ocean breeze!

It is not always easy to avoid the heat, especially where I live in the south. The best way to avoid this is to keep your house cool and purchase extra fans. Also, on days when there is extreme heat avoid direct sunlight, wear light loose clothing, and stay in the shade as much as possible. Steer clear of saunas, hot tubs, and those hot yoga studios.

3. Childbirth: Many women with MS experience a relapse after giving birth. As a matter of fact, 20-40% of women endure a relapse in the period of time after giving birth. Thankfully, my husband and I do not have children, so I have not experienced this issue. Of course, no one can prevent a relapse after childbirth, but this would be a time to take some steps to reduce how severe the impact is. During the immediate days after childbirth, lean on family and friends to assist with your new bundle of joy so you may get rest and take care of yourself. This can help your body recover more effectively.

4. Becoming Sick: Certain types of infection can cause a relapse and MS can create certain types of other infections. Infection such as the flu or even something as simple as the common cold may cause MS symptoms to worsen.

Avoiding sickness can be challenging, especially with COVID spreading like wildfire. Even with the numerous challenges involved with avoiding getting sick, living a healthy lifestyle can help with preventing infections and other illnesses. It is also helpful to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds multiple times a day and distance yourself from anyone that is sick, especially if you are experiencing a relapse.

5. Some Vaccines: While most vaccines are safe and recommended for those with Multiple Sclerosis, certain vaccines contain live pathogens, which can create the risk of exacerbating symptoms. If you are experiencing a relapse or taking certain medications, consult with your neurologist before getting any vaccines because it might be in your best interest to postpone the vaccine. Your doctor will know the best way to handle this and will advise you regarding vaccines.

I will be completely honest with y’all with the medication I take for MS, Gilenya, I was advised years ago to not get vaccines. Of course, that was 20 years ago and so many changes with medications with additional research. I had always been leery of getting anything and it was not due to the needles, I just feared for negative interactions. However, my current neurologist told me things with the Gilenya had changed over the years and the only vaccines that were not safe were the ones that were live vaccines, and I was able to get the COVID vaccine and I can get the flu vaccine if I decide I want it. My neurologist did highly recommend I get the flu vaccine, but I am not in any rush to do this!

6. Vitamin D Deficiency: At least one study discovered that people with lower vitamin D levels have an increased risk of relapse than someone with adequate vitamin D levels. It has been suggested that Vitamin D can protect against developing MS, but even more research that revealed Vitamin D affects the disease as it is needed.

The best way to prevent the issue of Vitamin D deficiency is to make sure your doctor regularly checking your Vitamin D levels. There are supplements available, some foods have high amounts of Vitamin D, and safe sun exposure can help increase and maintain your levels. However, while supplements may seem safe and legit, it is best to discuss any supplements with your doctor before beginning them to ensure there are not any negative interactions and they will provide suitable results.

7. Inadequate Amount of Sleep: Sleep has an important role in our overall health. The body utilizes sleep to repair the brain and restore other areas that have been damaged. When we do not get sufficient sleep, our body does not get the necessary time to rest and rejuvenate. Too much fatigue can trigger symptoms and/or make symptoms worsen. With muscle spasms, pain, and tingling, MS can make sleep rather troublesome.

Considering how vital sleep is for our health, it is crucial to discuss sleep issues with your doctor. Bring the issue to your doctor’s attention can help determine if any other conditions causing the sleep struggles.

8. Poor Diet: A well-balanced and healthy diet, along with regular exercise can be beneficial for avoiding relapses and/or reduces Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. A diet considering of processed foods will not supply your body with the nutrition that is required.

To avoid developing a poor diet habit, working with a dietitian to discover the best healthy eating plan you can carry on with could be extremely helpful. Although, research is not clear as to the best diet is for people with MS, eating healthy foods can have a positive impact on everyone’s health. Concentrate on good sources of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates is one of the best ideas.

9. Certain Medications & Stopping Medications Too Soon: The truth is some medications that can make symptoms worse. Your neurologist will need to monitor all medications you are taking to ensure there are no interactions that can trigger symptoms to worsen. Even though some medications can have negative side effects, this does not mean you should stop any abruptly. You should always consult with your neurologist before starting or stopping all medications as to not increase your risk of a relapse.

The 10th Trigger Can Be Pushing Yourself Too Far & Too Hard: As already stated, fatigue is a common symptom for those living with Multiple Sclerosis. With that said, if you have MS and continuously push yourself to go with too little sleep and/or overwork yourself physically and/or emotionally, you might face ramifications. The combination of overexertion and fatigue can trigger a relapse or make a relapse last longer.

The best way to avoid a relapse due to pushing yourself too hard is, be easier on yourself or at least listen to the cues your body is telling you. Start slowing down when you become tired. Rest as much as possible when you can. Understand that pushing yourself to exhaustion, the recovery will take that much longer. It is important to know that our body does know when it has had enough and when it needs to rest and take a break!

I hope the information provided in this post will be beneficial whether you have MS or another chronic condition. Living with any chronic condition can be complex and I am only way too familiar with Multiple Sclerosis, and with March being Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, I wanted to be able to share as much useful information as I could.

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you have a nice and safe weekend! I am looking forward to reading your comments and I promise to respond as quickly as I possibly can! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Pick-Me-Up Thursday

~Brighter Days Are Ahead Of US, Just Keep Going~

Happy Friday eve y’all How has your week been? I do hope your week has been great and you are continuing to stay safe! Do y’all have any plans for the upcoming weekend? I do not think anyone will be surprised to know that I do not have any real plans. My husband will be working this weekend and I thankfully will not be working! I will be staying home staying warm, comfortable, and safe with my sweet cat on my lap, where he loves to be! I know he still misses Chloe, as we all do and I continue trying to keep the poor little boy happy as possible.

I always keep things real with y’all and that will never change, my week has been a mixture of good, bad, and painful. The good is being able to continue working from home and also the Gilenya order came without having to wait. The bad was just a “little” frustrations with work that was not necessary. The pain is just due to the weather playing games with my body. It never fails rain and cold always make my pain levels skyrocket, but I do not complain about it because that does not make it go away. I think most people that do not know me would never have any idea how much pain I am in and I prefer to keep it that way. I think we all know that you cannot have good without bad in life, it is the yin and yang of life!

As our week is closer to the end and the weekend is a short way away, I think a little pick-me-up might be helpful to get through one more day! Unfortunately, there are still many people struggling right now and most of us are still feeling the stresses of COVID. With everything, we have seen and been through it is crucial to not look back on the past of stress and ill- feeling, and keep moving forward with positive thoughts. If we only focus on all the negative, we will never be able to enjoy the life we are meant to have, which would be a true shame. I would love to read your what you thought of this quote and my thoughts about it!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you have a great day and as always, please continue to stay safe! I can promise y’all that I will respond to all comments as quickly as I can, which might end up being after I get out of work. Please never forget that I am sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Inspirational Wednesday

~A Little Inspiration, Can Go A Long Way~

We have already made it halfway through this week, which means there is not much long until we see the weekend again! How is your week going? I do hope you are having a good week and you are staying safe! Of course, sometimes the weeks seem much longer than they are and all we can do is keep trying. We might be going through challenging times, but we do still have a lot to be thankful for and just need to focus on that.

Considering all of us are still dealing with various struggles, I think a little inspiration might help us through some of those times. With all the stresses that COVID has put on us all, it is hard to remember that someday things will get better. There are also so many built-up frustrations and hatred blanketing the world, which we can help by being kind and understanding. Of course, no one knows exactly when things are going to improve, but that is where hope and determination come into place. I do realize how difficult it is staying home all of the time and when we do finally leave the safety net of our homes we have to wear masks but all troubles, and struggles will someday dissipate, and we will have so much to be proud of because we made it. It is easy to want to throw your hands up and give up, but the strong people I know we all are will not just give up without a fight!

I hope your week is going well and you are remaining safe, and not having any extra stresses added onto you. Life has never been easy and we do all face numerous complications, but somehow we make it through them all. Our strengthens build character and further perseverance for which we should feel gratification. I know how difficult life can be, I mean I was diagnosed with a debilitating illness when I was still a teenager and did not let it deter me from trying to achieve my goals in life.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed the quote I shared with y’all and it provided you a little inspiration! I am looking forward to reading what you thought about the quote and everything else I have shared with y’all today. I promise to respond to all comments as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Tranquil Tuesday

Happy Tuesday y’all! We have already made it through one day this week and only have a few more to go before the weekend is here again. How has your week been so far? I had to go to a typically follow up appointment yesterday with my pain doctor. I really like the Nurse Practitioner because she is so kind and listens to me when I tell her the way I am feeling. I do not know about you, but I tend to like the NP better than the doctor because they take their time and are better with patient care. The appointment went well and I do not have to go back for three months!

We are all living in troubling times where there are so many hateful feelings and unfair treatment around the globe. It is not easy to deal with, but we do have to find a way to be the better person in some, if not most situations. I chose to share this quote with y’all today as a reminder we need to try to stay as far away from negativity as we can because all it will do is bring us down. During these times, we need to do the best we can to help build others up and help where we are needed because the more this happens, the less hate there will be in the world. I know it takes more than one person, but it has to start somewhere! I am hoping this quote offers you some peace and you will help to spread those feelings to others you come into contact with. I truly believe that a little kindness goes a long way in life!

I think y’all know this about me already, but I have a soft spot for helping others and cannot stand seeing another person mistreated. I feel that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with respect. I find myself standing up for those that cannot stand up for themselves because I have an extremely strong personality and desire to help as much as I can. I have never felt hate for another person simply for something they are not able to change and see each human being as an equal. It does not and never will make sense to me how or why anyone could hate another person because of the color of their skin, nationality, who they love, or anything else for that matter!

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you have a great day and you remain as safe as you can possibly be. I am looking forward to reading your fabulous comments and I promise to respond as quickly as I can. I hope you never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

~Let Us Start This Week With A Positive Mindset~

Happy Monday y’all! I hope you had a nice, safe, and relaxing weekend, and you are ready to begin this new week! Monday mornings are never easy, but we have a choice to think of Monday as a new beginning. Of course, it does mean getting up earlier and dealing with work, but it does not have to be all bad. My work has been rather slow lately and I am hoping the volume will increase and create busier days. It might just be me, but I think slow days at work drag by, whereas busy days make the day fly by!

Now that we are starting a new week, I think a little motivation can go a long way. I am hoping the quote I am sharing with y’all today will provide you the motivation you need to begin this week and hope each day gets better and better! I am looking forward to reading your comments on this post because what you think is important and more valuable than you could ever know. No matter where we live or what we are doing, everyone is always going through something in life. We might not know what someone we encounter is going through, so it is so important to try being understanding and patient with others. Everyone deals with difficult times differently and some might act a little ugly, but this is when we need to try helping that person because a little bit can go a long way. We never know the impact we have on others, so we should try being kind to all!

Considering we are all dealing with the stresses from COVID, it is a crucial time to do what we can to remain safe. Wearing a mask and social distancing is easy to do and does not only keep ourselves safe, but keeps everyone else safe! Of course, wearing a mask is not comfortable, but I do believe a little discomfort is worth saving lives! Even after we are vaccinated, it is still best to continue as if you have not been vaccinated. I know the United States is saying there will be enough vaccines by May for everyone to be vaccinated, but keep in mind there are other variants that might not be protected with the COVID vaccine.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed the quote and hope my reminder of staying safe was helpful. I sincerely hope you have a wonderful week and you are staying safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes! I also want y’all to know that if there is anything I can do to help you, I am only an email or message away.

Always, Alyssa

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

As you read this post, please be advised that I am not a medical professional. The information in this post is based on the research I have done since being diagnosed with this disease 20 years ago. The one thing about this disease that is important to understand is, it is extremely unpredictable and everyone, no matter what type of MS they have experiences it different. It does not matter if two people have the same type of MS, everyone experiences and deals with it differently.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that means that the body’s immune system attacks its tissues. This is a very unpredictable disease, and everyone experiences it differently. In this post, I am going to explain the four different types of MS and the distinctive characteristics of each type.

Radiologically Isolated Syndrome (RIS), is not considered part of the MS path, but has been utilized to categorize those with abnormalities on the brain and/or spinal cord that are consistent with a lesion of MS, and do not have any current or previous neurological symptoms or abnormalities discovered on a neurological exam. Many individuals had an MRI due to symptoms, such as headache, and revealed lesions appearing similar to those found in MS. During a study in 2020, it was uncovered that more than half of individuals with RIS will develop MS within 10 years.

Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) is a path of MS. CIS is referred to as the first occurrence of neurologic symptoms, which last at least 24 hours. This occurrence is caused by inflammation OR demyelination in the Central Nervous System (CNS). CIS can be classified as monofocal OR multifocal. Monofocal is when a person experiences a single neurologic sign or symptom that is caused by a single lesion. An example of this is an optic neuritis attack. Multifocal occurs when a person endures more than one sign or symptom caused by lesions in more than one area. An example of this is an optic neuritis attack and tingling in the feet. An important thing to be aware of is, just because an individual experiences CIS, it does not mean they will develop MS. The healthcare provider faces two challenges with diagnosing CIS:

1. Determining if the person is experiencing a neurologic episode caused by damage to the CNS.

2. Determine the chance from the damage the person is experiencing is a form of demyelination that will develop into MS.

Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) is the most common and the type I was diagnosed with 20 years ago. Approximately, 85% of individuals with MS are originally diagnosed with RRMS. This type of MS has evidently defined the attack of new or increasing neurologic symptoms. The attacks are also referred to as relapse or exacerbations and are followed by periods of partial or complete recovery, which is also known as remissions. While there is not any obvious progression of the disease during a remission, symptoms may disappear or some of the symptoms may continue and become permanent.

RRMS can be further described by inflammatory attacks on myelin, which is the layers insulating membranes surrounding nerve fibers in the central nervous system (CNS) and the nerve fibers. Throughout the inflammatory attacks, activated immune cells cause small, restricted areas of damage that create the symptoms of MS. Considering the areas of the damage varies, no two people will experience the same symptoms at any given time.

Those who have RRMS tend to have more brain lesions and more inflammatory lesions that appear on the MRI scans. Individuals are often diagnosed with RRMS in their 20’s and 30’s but can also occur in both childhood and later adulthood. Women are diagnosed 2-3 times more often than men.

The symptoms of RRMS can and normally are different for each person, but there are some common issues. The most common symptoms for RRMS are fatigue, numbness, vision problems, spasticity or stiffness, bowel and bladder problems, and issues with cognition. It has been suggested that a transition from RRMS to years SPMS typically will take place in people who have lived with RRMS for at least 10, but this does not always happen.

Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS) is another type of MS. This type of MS usually follows a period of the relapsing-remitting disease, the levels of disability gradually increase with or without evidence of disease activity.

SPMS is basically a second phase of the disease. Individuals with this type of MS may or may not ensure relapses caused by inflammation. However, the disease slowly changes from the inflammatory process like seen with RRMS to a consistent phase classified by nerve damage or loss.

Before the availability of disease-modifying therapies, some studies suggested that 50% of those diagnosed with RRMS would shift to SPMS within 10 years, and 90% would change within 25 years. The many different medications that are available in 2021 have provided a positive impact on disease progression. However, experts say it is still too soon to know the extent to which these disease-modifying treatments will change or slow the transition to SPMS.

Considering the transition from RRMS to SPMS is a gradual process, the healthcare provider will not know when exactly it occurs. The challenges the healthcare provider faces is establishing if:

1. The worsening is permanent, but some damage remains after the inflammatory attack ended, meaning the individual is experiencing an RRMS disease course.

2. OR the disease continues to get worse, but the individual is no longer enduring an inflammatory relapse, which would indicate the person has transitioned to an SPMS disease course.

The fourth type of Multiple Sclerosis is Primary Progressive MS (PPMS). This type is classified by worsening neurologic function from the onset of symptoms without early relapses or remissions.

Each person that lives with PPMS will experience this disease differently. Commonly, PPMS may have short intervals when the disease is stable, with or without a relapse or any MRI activity, as well as duration when there is increasing disability occurring with or without new relapses or lesions on an MRI.

PPMS is different from RRMS and SPMS because it does not include the same issues with inflammation. Although people with PPMS have fewer brain lesions than those with RRMS and SPMS, they do tend to have more lesions on their spinal cord. Typically, people with PPMS experience more problems with walking and may require more assistance with everyday activities.

From my own experience with Multiple Sclerosis, I was a terrified child when I was diagnosed. I was only 18 years old and did not know much about the disease. In my naïve childlike mind, I was going from being diagnosed to a wheelchair and then death. Yes, I was diagnosed, but did not end up in a wheelchair yet. I think it is extremely important for anyone newly diagnosed to do research, build a strong and honest relationship with a neurologist, and have a strong support system. It can be a scary and terrifying diagnosis, but a normal life can still be lived, especially one the right disease-modifying treatment is found!

Thank you for visiting my site today. This is my first post about Multiple Sclerosis for MS Awareness Month. There is so much information out there about this disease and I only wish I had this when I was diagnosed all those years ago. I can remember how I felt because I was alone in the exam room when I heard the news and it felt like the room was spinning out of control. I did not want anyone to know I had MS, but that was rather silly. Now days, I am open about it and want to help others that are dealing with this disease. I want y’all to know, no matter how alone you feel, you are never alone! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes! I also want you to feel free reaching out to me any time if you ever need any extra support and help!

Always, Alyssa

Pick Me Up Thursday

~Our Week Is Finally Almost Over~

Happy Friday Eve y’all! How has your week been? It is so strange how some days go by really slow and others fly by, but those are normally the weekend days. Do you have any plans for the weekend? No one will be surprised when I tell you that I do not have much planned for the weekend. I will need to go through the drive-thru pharmacy, place an order for groceries, and hopefully clean the house because it really needs some TLC.

As we are nearing the end of the week, but still have one day to go, I think we could use a little pick me up! I really love the quote I am sharing with y’all today, but I hope it offers you the pick-me-up needed to get through one last day until the weekend! I will explain why I love this quote but would love to read your comments about it as well. No matter who they are, most people we come in contact with can offer us some knowledge from what they have learned. We do not have to agree with everyone we encounter, but we can help them just as much as they can help us, we just need to give them a chance!

Life is not easy in the United States right now because there are still so many obstacles we are facing. There are still many issues having to do with COVID, hatred, bias having to do with politics, unemployment, and much more. I do not think I will ever understand why people have an issue with anyone that is not like them because I enjoy meeting and talking with others that are opposite of me. I find some people of pretty interesting. I had to go after work today to the local piercing place because after taking my nose ring out for the MRI, I could not for the life of me get it back in. I met a couple really great people there and they were nothing like myself, which I enjoyed. I even offered my help to a lady there with getting a job with me!

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you enjoyed the quote I shared and what I in this post. We do not have far to go before we are able to enjoy the weekend, but please be sure you are staying safe because things are still unsafe due to COVID and the other variants. I am looking forward to reading your comments and I will respond to all comments as quickly as I can. Please know that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa