My Weekend…..

I hope y’all are having a good weekend and you are staying safe. I know we all look forward to the weekend because it gives us time to rest and recuperate from a long week. How is your weekend going so far? Did you have a good week? I do hope last week went well for you and your weekend is everything you want it to be. Last week was a mixture of stress and more stress for me, but at least that is in the past now!

My day on Thursday was a little stressful because it started at a consult with the endodontist that will be doing my root canal next week. I did not like this doctor right away because he was a little rude and extremely offensive. His assistant was sweet and told me that doctor was a straight shooter, but there is a fine line between being honest and rude. I told him right away that I knew my mouth was a mess because of all the medications I have been on due to my MS, mainly steroids when I had a relapse, and I was only concerned with the two teeth that were in pain. Instead of addressing my reason for being there, he went onto telling me I needed a good dentist that was not going to be terrified when they looked in my mouth. For someone that has HIGH anxiety with the dentist, this was not a good start.

My weekend did not start in the best way because our older cat, Sundance was not acting right on Saturday morning. I think it is safe to say that y’all know how much I love my cats and that I would do anything in the world for any of them, so seeing him being lethargic was extremely. Every morning Sundance gets two medications for his asthma and he takes them in a pill pocket, which he never has a problem with because he thinks they are treats. He would not eat the pill pockets and would not even purr like he always does. While in complete panic, I called his doctor’s office. The veterinarian called me back about 15 minutes later and said there was a cancellation and to bring him in. Typically, Sundance fights me when I try getting him in the carrier, but he did not fight me at all. His doctor’s office is only 1-2 miles from our house, so it does not take but a few minutes to get there, but he cries the entire way. Today, he did not make a peep, but I made it in record time because I might have been speeding.

With COVID, owners are not able to go into the office. So, I texted the number when we got there and waited. The vet tech, Sarah, is one of the nicest people I have ever met, and she was there last week when Sundance had to go for his yearly check-up. She came out and with her kind and understanding personality said to him, “Sundance, you were just here baby, what is going on?” Through my tears and hysteria, I filled her in on what was going on. She told me they would take good care of him and that I did the right thing to bring him in. She told me that she understands worrying about my baby because she is the same way and that she has an older cat that is going through chemo. I cannot even imagine how stressful that must be, but I appreciated her kindness and empathy.

After waiting about 15 minutes, but it felt more like an hour, Sarah came back out to explain what was going on with Sundance. She said his heart and lungs sounded great, but he had an exceedingly high temperature of 104.9. Sundance has a UTI, which could have been caused either by the stress of the two new kittens or the car ride last week to get to the doctor’s office. As I said, he hates being in the car and hates going to the doctor and he is a baby about things, especially when I cannot be with him. They gave him an antibiotic by injection, so I would not have to give him more pills. The antibiotic will work for 2 weeks and he should start feeling better soon. They also gave him pain medication, just to keep him comfortable. The vet tech and doctor said he will be sluggish from the pain medication, especially because this is the first time, he has had one.

My poor baby feels yucky

Once I got Sundance home, he just laid around and looked very confused. He still would not eat or drink, but just wanted to sleep and rest. The new kittens, Willow and Penelope tried getting close to him because they seemed concerned, which was sweet to see. I have tried leaving him alone because I did not want to upset him, but I did put his water dish close to him so he could drink when he wanted to.

I have always taken great care of our cats and it was torture seeing him not feel well. I hated not being able to help him feel better. I have never felt so helpless because there is nothing, I can do to speed up Sundance’s healing. I am glad we never had two leg children because I think I would be in the ER every other day. Of course, Sundance is not able to tell me how he is feeling, but I can tell from the look out of his eyes that he does not feel well.

Thank you for visiting my site today and reading what I have written. Please keep Sundance in your thoughts and hope he feels better soon. I will keep an eye on him throughout the night and hope he is back to his normal self in the morning. Sundance has a huge personality and even though he is 10 years old, he still plays like a kitten. I think because of what we went through with Chloe in early February, I am overly cautious and on top of things. I have always been the type that worries, but our cats are like our children, so I worry even more. I will keep y’all updated on Sundance’s healing from his UTI and pray he gets better soon!

I hope the rest of your weekend goes well and you stay safe! I would love to know what you thought about this post and I will respond as quickly as I can. Considering I have been a ball of stress because of Sundance, the only way I can stay calm is to write about it. We all need an outlet in life, and this is mine! 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

9 Multiple Sclerosis Facts

In previous posts, I have explained that Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune and neurologist illness. What this means is MS affects the nerves, but also the body’s defenses to fight disease fails and begins to attack the cells. The immune system attacks the body’s myelin when you have MS. Myelin is a protective substance covering the nerves, so when this happens it leaves the nerves unprotected. The nerves being unprotected makes them vulnerable to damage, which causes them to not function as they would if there was healthy myelin. The damaged nerves create a wide range of symptoms that vary in seriousness.

A few additional facts regarding MS to understand are:

1.Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic condition, which means it is a lifelong condition and it does not currently have a cure. It is important to understand that even though there is not a cure, it is not fatal. There are 2.3 million people worldwide living with MS and they all have the standard life expectancy. It is only in rare cases there might be complications severe enough to shorten the life of a person. Overall, with MS most symptoms can be regulated with medication, adjustment to lifestyle, or both.

2. Multiple Sclerosis affects younger adults, and often women. Although MS can be diagnosed in children and older adults, people are mainly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. Women are two to three times more likely to develop MS than men. If the person is diagnosed is over the age of 50, this is normally called late-onset MS. It can be challenging for older adults to find a diagnosis of MS due to other age-related conditions having similar symptoms.

3. Multiple Sclerosis can be arduous to diagnose. Often symptoms and single tests are not enough to be able to make an accurate MS diagnosis. The challenges are due to the symptoms mirroring the symptoms of other conditions. Numerous tests that can be used to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms a person is experiencing, which include:

A. Blood tests to rule out Lyme disease, which can trigger the same symptoms of MS.

B Neurologist Exam

C. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

D. Visual evoked potential (VEP) test, which looks for impaired transmission present along the optic nerve pathways.

E. Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) Analysis is a way to look for conditions affecting the brain and spine. The CSF analysis is a series of laboratory tests performed on a sample of the CSF, which is a clear fluid that cushions and delivers nutrients to the CNS.

F. Optical coherence tomography (OCT)

4. The symptoms involved with Multiple Sclerosis vary and the list is long. The truth is, there is no such thing as typical symptoms because everyone that lives with this illness experiences it differently. Some symptoms may simply come and go, or some may regain a lost function, such as bladder control. A few possible symptoms include numbness and tingling, vision problems, balance and mobility issues, and slurred speech. The unforeseeable pattern of symptoms is due to whatever nerves are being attacked by the immune system at any given time. Most things are just unpredictable, and we must deal with the issues as they come up.

5. Multiple Sclerosis is comprised of relapses and remissions. Remission is the period of time when the symptoms have improved. Remission does not indicate the MS is gone, but these periods may last days, weeks, months, or in some cases years. Relapse or exacerbation is the incidence of a new symptom or worsening of an old symptom. This occurrence can be mild or severe enough to interfere with the ability to function. No two exacerbations are the same, so it is important to consult with your neurologist when you deal with one.

6. There is a cognitive part to Multiple Sclerosis. All the damage MS causes to the nerves can also impact critical thinking and other cognitive (mental) skills. It is not unheard of or abnormal for people with MS to have issues with memory and or finding the right words to convey what they are thinking. A few other cognitive effects may include:

*An inability to concentrate or pay attention

*Decreased problem-solving skills

*Difficulty with spatial relations, which means the ability to perceive two or more objects positioned in space relative to oneself and in relation to each other.

*It is normal for cognitive problems to create frustration, depression, and/or anger, but these are issues your doctor can help monitor and manage.

7. Multiple Sclerosis has been labeled as an “invisible illness” or “silent disease”, which makes sense because at face value people with MS look no different than those without MS. Symptoms such as blurred vision, sensory problems, and chronic pain cannot be seen by anyone else. However, some people that do require special accommodations, even though they do not have mobility issues and appear to be fine. One reason why MS has been labeled a “silent disease” is that even during remission, the disease is still, unfortunately, progressing, which has been referred to as “silent progression” of MS.

8. Staying cool whenever possible is greatly beneficial. Heat intolerance is another common issue that can cause an exacerbation of symptoms. People with MS may experience an increase of symptoms from hot weather or sun exposure, fever or illness, hot baths, or showers, and overheating from exercise.

It might be helpful to use fans and air conditioning, cool drinks, and/or icy compresses to stay cool. Wearing layers of lightweight clothing that is easy to remove may serve as a benefit as well. Also, utilizing a cooling vest that can be purchased online. Although people might experience a heat-related relapse, it is important to understand that heat does not cause MS to progress any faster.

9. Vitamin D plays a vital role in Multiple Sclerosis. Research has indicated a link between Vitamin D and MS, which showed the nutrient can function as a protector against MS and possibly lead to fewer relapses. Sunlight triggers the production of Vitamin D in the body, but that sun exposure can also lead to heat-induced symptoms. There are plenty of ways to increase Vitamin D without sun exposure which include fortified milk, orange juice, cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, and eggs or there are also Vitamin D supplements available.

I hope you found this information useful for yourself or someone you know. Please just keep in mind that I am not a doctor or medical professional, I am just someone that has lived with MS for over 20 years. I have experienced most of what is in this post, but that one thing I did not do when I was diagnosed was have the CSF Analysis. I have heard it is not pleasant, but people do live through it. There are still a few days left in the month of March and I do plan on doing a few more posts for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness. I do feel like there is a lot of information available and it needs to be shared with as many people as possible!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I always appreciate your continued support and truly love reading your comments. I hope you are having a good week and you are staying safe because COVID is still a threat. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Tuesday Madness

Hello Tuesday, my friends! I was not able to do my typical Motivational Monday post because I have been dealing with a nasty migraine for over two days now. The worst of this evil migraine was Sunday evening into Monday, but it is trying to let up a little now. Work yesterday was awful because looking at a computer screen only increased the pain I was having in my head, but I still did the best I could. I was supposed to have a meeting yesterday afternoon, but thankfully the meeting was postponed until this afternoon, I am not sure how well I could have dealt with a meeting with the migraine.

Of course, I endure pain every day of my life and the only pain I am not able to handle well is head pain. My husband was SO attentive and kept getting me fresh ice packs to put on my head and was willing to do anything else I needed. An ice pack typically helps relieve my head pain, but it was hardly touching the pain. When I say nothing provided any relief from the pain, I really do mean NOTHING at all even lessened the pain!

Considering it is still Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month and I have lived with this illness for over 20 years, I am planning to do a few more posts about MS. I know I have mentioned my first neurologist to y’all before. Dr. Kaufman was the first doctor I saw for this unpredictable and irritating disease. No matter how much I fought him and/or gave him a hard time, he never gave up on me. The man had the patience of steel and a heart of gold. His Nurse Practitioner was also a gem and was very compassionate. The two of them as a team were one of a kind and I will never forget either of them.

I did learn some sad news about my previous neurologist over the weekend. Overall, he is fine and healthy but lost his wife to cancer. This nice, loving, compassionate, trustworthy, and amazing man is one of the BEST and I hate to know he has gone through another tragedy in his life. It does not seem like the man cannot catch a break. I sent him a message with my condolences on Facebook, not that he checks those messages, but I did ask the former NP that does stay in touch with him to let him know he is in my thoughts and that I miss him. Then to give him a laugh, I asked the NP to tell him if he moves to the city I live in I will pay for his house, if he will treat me!

Once my evil migraine finally started to settle down and I thought I would be able to finish the post I was working on, my legs, feet, and hands started to misbehave! They decided to work together to create the annoying tingling feeling, with a touch of pain! When this happens, there does not seem to be anything that will relieve the problems. I guess I should be used to this by now, but unfortunately, I am not!

Yesterday was busy at work, which must have been a fluke because today is not at all busy. I am going to try finishing one of the posts about Multiple Sclerosis that I started and will hopefully finish it today, but we will see! To be honest with y’all, I do have a slight and manageable headache, which I think is a result of stress. My legs, feet, and hands are still misbehaving, but it is not as bad as it was last night, and I think is because of the rain we are having today.

Thank you so much for visiting my site today. I hope you are having a good week, feeling the best you can, and staying safe! I do look forward to reading your comments and will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

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

Tranquil Tuesday

Emotions On February 16th

You may or may not remember that I did already get my first COVID vaccine and had my 2nd one scheduled for this past Saturday. Although last week was painfully difficult and I considered rescheduling, I did not want to risk missing my chance of completing the COVID series and be a little safer with this virus. My husband went with me to complete the 2nd COVID vaccine and after that, we went to pick up the remains of our sweet Chloe that had passed away the previous Sunday. I do not know if I would have had the strength to pick Chloe up if I did not have my husband with me, so I am glad we were able to do this together.

I will say there was a mixture of emotions with picking up Chloe’s remains, one part of me was incredibly sad and the other felt a sense of comfort to have her back home with us. I know some people that cannot understand having a cat cremated, but I prefer this to bury her. I already had mentioned in a previous post we lost another cat to cancer and had her cremated as well, so now they are both on our mantel in the living room. It has taken time, but I think we are both slowly healing from the loss of Chloe. Neither of us is ready to take in another cat, but we do know we will in time, so our other cat is not lonely. Our other cat does show signs that he misses Chloe and is acting out a little, but it is probably to get attention. Or maybe he is doing these things because he is just being a little boy! Who knows, but we are giving him a little slack right now!

If you read the post I did after I got the first COVID vaccine, you might remember that I was extremely nervous. When I did the 2nd COVID vaccine, I was not as nervous. I did hear there was a greater chance of side effects after the 2nd vaccine, but I did not really have any. I will admit, my arm hurt a lot for a few days and the pain did go up into my shoulder and neck, but I am used to pain. I did have a slight cough and headache, but again, I am used to things like that. Even after the two weeks or so after the 2nd vaccine, we are supposed to be protected more, I still intend to behave like I did not get the vaccine and continue wearing a mask the rare times I leave my house. I guess I look at things like it is better to be safe than sorry!

As y’all already know, I did take a break from blogging last week. I was too emotional and heartbroken to do much of anything but did try to stay busy at work. I did not have any extra energy when I was done at work to write, look at another computer screen, and was not even able to do much with crocheting the blanket I had started for my mother and her boyfriend. I am happy to say though, I have finished their blanket and will be sending it to them this week! I have always found crocheting to be relaxing and it is not all that difficult. I am happy that I can send them an extremely late housewarming gift to use in their home! They both know that even though I have known him for a lot of my life, I took a while to warm up to my mother’s boyfriend. I think I have grown a lot over this past year and gotten to know him better and think he is a decent person. I also think they are good for one another and he has helped her overcome some demons she carried with her for too long.

In life, things can get challenging and unique situations can arise. These are just a couple of the reasons why forgiveness and acceptance are so crucial. Until we walk in another person’s shoes, we will not know what they have been through in life. I think all the trials and tribulations we experience in life will either make us or break us. Everything we encounter in our life can make us even stronger than we were yesterday, and we must take all these learning experiences as opportunities for improvement!

On another note, today would have been my Poppy’s birthday! I know I have written about this amazing man before and I explained how hard I took it when he passed away back in 2013. There has not been one day I have not thought about him or wondered if he would be proud of the woman I have become. I would like to think that there are at least parts of me that stem from him. I know he was a kind, accepting, and reasonable man. He never judged someone because of the color of their skin or who they loved. These are a few things that I am deeply passionate about because the color of someone’s skin does not matter and who they love does not either. What truly matters is the way we treat other human beings, and everyone deserves respect!

Thank you for visiting my site today! Previously, I was doing Tranquil Tuesday, and sharing a quote, but today I wanted to do something a little different. Honestly, in a sense thought of my late Poppy does give me feelings of tranquility! Today’s post was a combination of a few things to get a little caught up! As always, I look forward to reading your comments and I will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Pick Me Up Thursday

~It Is Finally Friday Eve~

How has your week been so far? My week has been an emotional roller-coaster. I told you earlier in the week that our older cat, Chloe, had been diagnosed with early-stage kidney failure a few years ago and seemed to not be doing so well in the past few days. Initially, her doctor’s appointment was scheduled for today, but on Tuesday night I noticed what looked to be blood in the litter box, so I called the vet frantic and requested her an earlier appointment. My husband and I took her to the vet yesterday morning to have her checked out. They drew blood, sent the blood for testing, and gave her fluids, and sent her home with us. I am supposed to hear from the doctor today before noon and if I do not, believe me, I will call them! The one thing the doctor said is that Chloe is getting older and with her kidney failure, she might also have a thyroid issue, which is treatable. Waiting for answers is torture, but hopefully, we will not get awful news.

Considering, this week has been difficult for me at least, I think we could use a little pick me up to get us through one final day before the weekend begins! I am hopeful that the quote I am sharing with y’all today, will provide you with the energy and optimism to get you through to the weekend. We all go through challenging and even tragic times in our lives, but I have confidence that we can make it through just about anything. I do believe that the combination of love and peace provides us with strength.

None of you are going to be surprised, but I do not have any plans for the weekend. Do any of you have anything planned? Whatever you decide to do this weekend, please make sure you stay as safe as you possibly can! I am looking forward to a quiet and peaceful weekend giving me the time to give Chloe LOTS of love. I will also plan on trying to help my mother through the difficult news she received on Wednesday. Once we got home from Chloe’s appointment, my mother called to tell me her mother’s doctor gave her a month to live. I feel for my mother, but her mother (yes, my grandmother) and I are not and have never been close.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed the quote I shared and I look forward to reading your comments. I do 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

Sunday Revitalization!

*Sunday Prepares Us For The Upcoming Week*

Who would have thought the weekend would fly by as fast as it did? It really seems like it was Friday just a few hours ago, but it all reality it is just about time to begin another new week. I hope your weekend has been full of nothing but happiness and you are staying safe!

As our weekend comes to an end, we need to make sure to end it with a great sense of positivity. In my opinion, if we end the weekend with an optimistic mindset, our week will start with the same level of optimism! I hope you will enjoy a fabulous quote I found that I would love to share with y’all!!

Thank you for stopping by my site today! I am looking forward to reading what you thought about the quote I shared and would also love to know how your weekend has been! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and please continue to stay safe. I hope y’all never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

What does our world need most??

12 Things Our World Needs Now!

Even though we may be oceans or miles apart, we are all still living under the same bright and beautiful sky. Unfortunately, the world we live in has been anything but peaceful for far too long. Countless numbers of people have been and continue to encounter uncertainty, increased stress, and escalated pain, an absence of hope, and inequality. Currently, our world is suffering and to have successful change we need to be united. No matter where you live, our goals are the same.

The things the world is in dire need of can be accomplished if everyone works together in unity. The great things that may happen will take time, patience, and resilience.

The following are what is urgently required for the good of this world:

1. Action-

There are numerous challenges we are facing and these challenges are not going to resolve on their own. People are constantly complaining about everything that isn’t right, but none of that is doing anything beneficial.

We need REAL action on poverty, climate changes, the mental health crisis, COVID-19, racial inequality, reckless and carelessness with the government, and much more. Without people, communities, politicians, and all nations taking action by joining together, the change that is required won’t ever take place.

2. Unity-

The challenges that have spread throughout the entire world will not be able to correct themselves unless we all JOIN TOGETHER! We do not need to live in the same state or even the same country, but we can help one another in achieving a common goal, PEACE & EQUALITY! Each and every one of us is alike concerning having a heart full of love, kindness, and acceptance. We are also uniquely different with adding our support for the greater good of the world.

3. Tolerance-

There is more division between people both within the same country and others. If we are going to successfully join together we will need to learn how to be tolerant to those we disagree with. There must be less of the terminology of us and them and more we and us. Tolerance means we need to put unnecessary loyalties aside and only have loyalty for human lives.

4. Acceptance-

Of course, we do not have to agree with everyone else all of the time. The opinion of others should be accepted with just as much validity as our own. Beneath the difference of opinions and disagreements, there is another human being that deserves respect and kindness.

5. Understanding-

As human beings, we are all a convoluted mixture of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It is common for those same humans to do things that gets on our nerves and even upsets us, but we need to try understanding the reason they may have done what they did. Unfortunately, many people go through struggles daily, but normally we are unaware of this. Especially with all that is happening in the world today it is important to try offering our understanding to others because chances are we are also experiencing our own challenging times.

6. Compassion-

There are going to be time we may see someone that is enduring a struggle. Although we might not be aware of the cause for their struggles, it is important to show our sincere, genuine, and wholehearted concerns for them. We have all heard this many times before, but a little compassion indeed goes a long way! It is amazing how helpful it can be when we offer someone who is going through struggles a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen and some comforting warm and supportive words.

7. Forgiveness-

Anyone can do things that they will regret later and whatever was done could hurt another. Honestly, forgiveness is not the easiest thing to do, especially in this day and age. When we forgive it doesn’t mean what was done is forgotten or that we are excusing someone else’s actions because that just isn’t true. When we decide to forgive someone, we are moving on and we are not harboring negative feelings towards that person.

Forgiveness is something necessary between the different cultures, nations, and generations. There is already too much anger, disagreements, and resentment that has been widespread, but this is the time the world and everyone in it needs forgiveness that spreads far and to all!

8. Kindness-

Countless people are suffering and daily more are faced with various misfortunes. Kindness is something that will surpass all faiths, ages, backgrounds, languages, and even reach beyond vast distances. It does not matter how big or small, all acts of kindness can make the world a better place in limitless ways. Bottom line is, the entire world is in an extreme need for a lot more kindness!

9. Trust-

Whether this is true or false, many people believe that everyone is out for themselves with little to no thoughts for anyone else. They also view others as being not trustworthy. Trust is the foundation in all human relationships and without it things can and will rapidly fall apart. We should be able to feel confident and comfortable putting our trust in those that are in our lives, but if we are not able to do this we might need to reevaluate who we are allowing into our lives. Trust takes time to earn and it can be lost quickly. Sadly, once trust has been lost it can take a very long time to earn back and even then can be challenging.

10. Hope-

Unfortunately, during recent times hope has gotten lost for many people. Although most people desire for things to be better, they have also lost the ability to have true hope that anything will get better than they are currently. Hope is what can invigorate the action necessary to resolve the many problems we are dealing with today. We need people to demonstrate the meaning and benefits of the power of hope through their actions. Once more people believe again and have the hope that tomorrow will bring better times; it will spread throughout our world!

11. Wisdom-

It does seem that most people have a smartphone, tablet, or they have both and have the answers needed at our fingertips anywhere we go. The thing is the knowledge we think we are gaining doesn’t necessarily translate to wisdom. What some are not aware of is there is a significant difference between wisdom and knowledge, which is mainly the quality.

12. Contentment-

While it is great many people want to continue to endeavor with achieving more, it also can turn toxic if it isn’t regulated. This does not mean regulated by stronger powers, it means to regulated the constant wanting more. Instead of always wanting more, there needs to be a time when we can look at all we do have in the present and be thankful for it. Many still don’t understand that more doesn’t mean better and need to realize what it means to simply be at peace with the life we have and all we have in our lives.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope what was written in this post was beneficial for you and also provides thoughts of pride because you are a kind and loving person. We are all going through many hard times, which can cause stress and frustration. These are things I can completely understand and sincerely wish there was something I could do to give assurance to everyone. When life gets challenging people will either jump into help or run away from the sadness. I wish there was a warm and sunny place we could all hide from what is going on, but regrettably there isn’t. The best way we can cope is to be supportive and understanding, but also feel like you have someone who understands and will offer support!

I know it is only Tuesday, but I hope your week going well and you are feeling the best you possibly can. I know I just wrote a lot, but I do want to know what you think. 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, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

The Bright Side of Negative Feelings

We have all heard that there is power in positive thinking, which I have always believed to be true. Even though we need to try finding the positive aspects of most situations we encounter in life, sometimes is still can be nearly impossible to not recognize and acknowledge our negative feelings. Do you think it is possible to maintain a positive mindset most of the time, but that it also isn’t healthy to ignore our negative feelings?

In this post I am going to share with you some critical reasons why we should not ignore our negative feelings when they appear, but instead embrace them.

1. Negative feelings can be viewed as a powerful warning method-

What does our fear do for us? Fear warns us of imminent danger and urges us to take action. Our negative feelings basically do the same and are acting as an alarm that signals possible harm in some form. This hard could be physical, emotional, or mental depending on what is going on in life.

We all pay attention when we feel fear, so why shouldn’t we embrace negative feelings? We should ask ourselves the question, why we are experiencing these negative emotions? Is there something we should be avoiding? Does this mean we should be taking another path in life?

2. Negative feelings are trying to tell us that something is NOT right-

I have just explained how our negative feelings notify us of possible danger, but they also can be warning that something in our life isn’t right. Maybe it is something in our relationship, our career, or something with our health, or even something we continue to put off has issues that we need to address. Often we should not view our negative feelings as merely a nuisance, but more as a good friend that has our best interests in mind.

3. Negative emotions can encourage us to take beneficial actions-

Unfortunately, we have all received bad news that caused us sadness. When this happens, what is the first thing we do? It is human nature to feel down and even feel sorry for ourselves. Instead of ignoring these negative feelings, it might be better to embrace them. Acknowledge the feelings we are experiencing and allow them to help us find a logical solution.

We should not deny or apologize for our negative emotions. Nor should we allow these negative emotions to paralyze us or overwhelm us. We are allowed to feel what we feel, whenever we feel what we feel and never dismiss those emotions. We are feeling how we feel for a reason and maybe we should explore them.

4. Negative feelings allow us to welcome and appreciate the good life has to offer-

How would you feel if everything in life went the same and was predictable? If every moment of our life was always happy and content, there would not be any negative feelings that would make the positive feelings more appreciated when they occur. All of us need to understand that no matter how much pain and distress we may deal with, life will also provide us with happiness and comfort.

5. Negative feelings provide us confirmation of what is important-

A well-founded signal you have come into your core values is when you have negative feelings. Maybe you violated one of your values or you failed to follow through with a promise and you are feeling guilty for this. Negative feelings are commonly a crucial assertion that we are honoring our beliefs, values, and views.

6. Negative feelings invite us to contemplate-

Allowing ourselves to have negative feelings allows us the opportunity to think deeply about things we did not give adequate time to previously. It is possible, we need to consider our health practices or spending habits or maybe something we have continued putting off for a long period, but are all things that need to be dealt with. Embracing and acknowledging our negative feelings may not be easy, but they are needed for our mental, physical, and emotional health.

7. Negative feelings can help protect us when we feel overburden-

Many of us tend to overdo things and push ourselves beyond the limits we are aware of. When we do over extend ourselves, we will hopefully begin feeling negative feelings such as frustration and irritability. These feelings are our body’s way to telling us to start facing ourselves and start limiting the amount of additional commitments we take on. We must listen to our inner voice and pay attention to the warnings our negative feelings are trying to notify us of.

8. Negative feelings offer healing-

We do not need to have thick skin or be referred to as overly sensitive; we just need to take time to heal when someone else causes us pain. If another person does or says something hurtful, it is very common to have negative feelings regarding the situation. Denying our feelings, no matter how negative they maybe will not speed up our healing process. This means it might be beneficial to use those negative feelings to promote our healing and take the time needed to do so without rushing ourselves.

9. Negative feelings will not allow a denial of reality-

It is important we know and understand that denying our feelings will not be a successful way to get over our negative feelings. Pretending something doesn’t bother us will never make that lie be the truth and could end up causing more issues and pain for the future. When something or someone causes us pain, it is perfectly fine to grieve the loss and disappointment. The only true way to get over disappointment and or hurt is the face the problem, mend the wounds, and move on with the life you deserve.

I hope the information in this post was beneficial for you, especially if you are going through a difficult time. It is never easy to face what has caused us pain, but we will be better off in the long run if we do so. I am sure there are several other ways that would be helpful and would love to read any comments you may have. The entire world is dealing with hard times right now and we all need to help and support one another. Until times get a little easier being kind, compassionate, and empathetic to what others are dealing is extremely important. I also wanted to say, please do not take this post as a negative, but to just say it is okay to have negative feelings because we are only human!

Thank you so much for visiting my site today. I hope you had a lovely week and you will enjoy a safe and happy weekend! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa