MS Medications and Copay Assistance Programs

Although it has been 20 years since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, there still has not been a cure discovered. When I was diagnosed, there were not many disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) available and the ones that were offered were all injection based. I will never forget the first two I tried because they failed miserably. To be 100% honest, it may not have been the medications that failed, but instead, I was at fault because I found it too difficult to give myself a shot. Of course, injecting yourself with a sharp needle is challenging, but I think that the after-effects were much more miserable.

One can experience side effects with any medication, which I believe is because most medications, no matter how helpful they seem are poison and they require another medication to combat the symptoms. I guess you could say that big pharma knew exactly what they were doing to keep their pockets filled deep and everyone else to be broke.

During the past twenty-plus years, which is more than two decades, there have been many improvements and advancements in the treatment for those living with Multiple Sclerosis. The DMTs are no longer only injection-based and there are now a variety of medications available. Not only are there numerous medications to choose between, but most have copay assistance programs making the medications more affordable. These copay assistance programs are very beneficial, especially, if you lived in the United States where healthcare and medications are outrageously expensive. 

In the rest, of this post, I am going to share the different types of medications available for Multiple Sclerosis and if there are copay assistance programs available. Please be advised and understand that I am not a medical professional, nor am I providing any advice on the best medications to try. The information in the remainder of this post is all information I have discovered through the years and research.

I am going to start with my least favorite type of DMT, which was the only type available when I was diagnosed.

Injected-Based Medications:

Rebif, an Interferon beta medication was the first medication I “tried” after my diagnosis. This medication is taken three times a week and at least 48 hours apart. Rebif is administered subcutaneously, which means you are injecting the medication with a short, thin needle just under the skin. Rebif offers three injection options: the Rebif prefilled syringe (which is what I had), the Rebif II autoinjector, and the Rebif Rebidose Autoinjector. There are two options or dosages, 22 mcg, and 44 mcg. The following link will take you to the website for Rebif’s copay assistance. https://www.rebif.com/home/1-on-1-support/Financial-support-specialists.html

Copaxone was one that I did try for a short time. Both myself and my doctor knew it was not working well enough for me as I had already proven I was terrible at giving myself injections. This type is also given three times a week and at least 48 hours apart. It is best to do the injections at the same time and day each week. Copaxone 40mg can be administered with autoinjector 2 in a glass syringe. There is a copay assistance program for this medication, which you can visit at the following link. https://www.copaxone.com/shared-solutions/copay-assistance.

Avonex is a once-a-week medication. This is a 30-mcg intramuscular self-infection that is injected into the muscle. Avonex is available in two ways. One way is the Avonex pen which is a single-dose autoinjector. The second way is an Avonex prefilled syringe that allows you to inject your weekly dose. Copay assistance for this medication is available, so if you are interested in this, please see the following link https://www.avonex.com/en_us/home/support-and-events/financial-information.html 

Although, oral medications are easier and do not involve needles, not all oral medications will be the most effective treatment for everyone. I am going to share the oral medications that are currently available and if there are copay assistance programs available. 

Oral Medication Options:

Aubagio is a once-a-day medication. Copay assistance programs are available. https://www.aubagio.com/cost 

Tecfidera was one that I did try, but it was because I was having issues with increased headaches, and everyone I know (not my doctor) was blaming them on the Gilenya. This medication is taken twice a day with or without food. This medication does have a copay assistance program available to help with the costs. Please see the following link if this is something you are interested in. https://www.biogenoptions.com/en_us/home/biogen-support-services/financial-insurance-cost-assistance.html 

When on Vumerity, during the first week, the patient would take the starter dose of 231 mg as one pill twice a day. After the first week, the patient would begin the regular dose of 462 mg as two pills twice a day. As with all the others I have gone over so far, this medication also has a copay assistance program. https://www.vumerity.com/en_us/home/biogen-support-services/financial-support.html 

With Bafiertam, during the first week, the patient could take the starting dosage of 95 mg, which a day. After the initial seven days, the dosage would increase to the normal dose of 190 mg twice a day. Copay assistance for this medication is available, please see the following link to learn more https://copay.bafiertam.com/ 

Gilenya is the medication that I have been on for many years. The first dose of 0.5 mg needs to be monitored for at least six hours by a healthcare professional. After the first dose, this medication is taken once a day with a daily dosage of 0.25 mg. There is a copay assistance program, which is a lifesaver as this medication is insanely expensive. For a better understanding of the copay assistance that may be offered, please see the following link https://www.gilenya.com/ms-pill/co-pay 

Zeposia is another type of oral medication that I have not heard much about and it surely was not an option when I was diagnosed. This medication is taken once a day as well. There is a copay assistance program available, please see the following link for further informationhttps://www.zeposia.com/multiple-sclerosis/copay/ 

Another oral medication that I am not too familiar with, and it was not available when I was diagnosed is Ponvory. This medication is a once-a-day pill, but it does involve a special way to begin the medication. There is copay assistance available for this medication, please see the following link to view more information https://www.janssencarepath.com/patient/ponvory/cost-support 

There are numerous other options available to treat Multiple Sclerosis and so many more than I was offered when I was diagnosed. Of course, I do encourage anyone who has been battling with this disease for years or those who have been recently diagnosed to do research on different medications. I am including a link to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, as this website explains the different types of medications available and if there are any assistance programs available. 

I do think it is also good to talk with your specialist because they should be very knowledgeable about the medications that are available. I did share several in this post, but I did not want to make you read about so many medications, when you can read about the types that seem appealing without reading as much as I have already shared. Plus, I do not want to encourage anyone to try any medications because again, I am not a medical professional. The only thing I know is, I have been fighting this disease for over 20 years and I am still waiting for a cure to be available.

Thank you for visiting my site today. Even though I am not making any suggestions on the best medications, I hope the information I shared regarding copay assistance was helpful for you. Considering I have been dealing with these copay assistance programs for a long time, I am happy to help if you should have any questions. I hope you are having a lovely weekend and I am looking forward to reading your comments or questions, which I will respond to as quickly as possible. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

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Toxicity in The United States

The United States has been suffering from mass levels of toxicity for decades. Unfortunately, there have been and continue to be numerous issues that are engulfing most of us living in the United States. These toxic behaviors and thoughts are seeping into the rest of the world daily. The catastrophic events and issues Americans have faced end up being shown on the news for the entire world to view, which is shameful and a complete disgrace. It is tragic as an American to know about the devastations we are enduring, mostly due to those with bad intentions that are full of anger and hatred. Sadly, many have become desensitized, and the pain others are experiencing does not cause them any distress☹.

One issue that appears much worst in the United States than in any other country is gun violence. In other countries, when there was one case of gun violence, the country took the proper measures and banned guns for everyone. In the United States, you are unable to watch the news or read articles on any news outlets without seeing about shootings with or without casualties. There have been numerous school shootings in the United States and this needs to stop. Children and teens should never have easy access to a gun of any kind. If a parent or another adult in the household chooses to have a gun, they should take necessary safety measures.

Many Americans seem to believe because it is the 2nd Amendment is the right to bear arms that everyone deserves to own a gun, but there need to be more laws that are followed. We do not have to be in war times with each other or anyone else. There also needs to be more education involved regarding the purchase of a gun and gun ownership. An individual who has mental health issues and is a threat to themselves or others or has a criminal record should not be able to own a weapon, which I know is already a law, but it needs to be enforced much better. I do know of at least one person that has a criminal record of violence and the person was able to not only purchase a gun but was also given a concealed weapon permit.

Another major issue that seems to be much worst in the United States is the opioid crisis. I have wondered why this seems to be the case and what I have discovered was not too surprising. The people that are to blame for this crisis are the greedy pharmaceutical companies pushing the dangerous and addictive medications, the doctors who are overprescribing these drugs, and the drug dealers who are selling fentanyl. Of course, many people are suffering from chronic pain due to illnesses or are gravely ill due to cancer. Unfortunately, some are addicts and careless. The overdose death rate in the United States is twice as much as in any other country in the world. Preventable opioid deaths are occurring among individuals between the age of 25 to 54. The overdose deaths of those older than 55 are increasing rapidly. The drug dealers that are pushing the extremely deadly drug fentanyl are out of control which has been the cause of 80% of the overdose deaths in 2022.

A very controversial issue in the United States is abortion. This was a legal action for women for almost 50 years. I am not saying that I am pro or against abortion, but I am pro-freedom. This includes for a woman to have the freedom to decide what she does with her own body. You can probably say that I am pro-choice! If a woman gets pregnant after unprotected and consensual sex and can admit she does not have the means to provide for a child or she is raped and decides she cannot carry her rapist’s child, it is her body and her choice to terminate the pregnancy. If the United States wants to continue saying we are a free country, then a woman should be free to her body. Doctors and the government should not be in control of a woman’s body in a free country!

Mental health has been a critical issue in the United States for many decades. There is a very negative stigma that surrounds mental health causing people to feel shame and afraid to try getting help. Even when a person decides they want help, there are limited resources for them to do so. Once they can locate a facility that offers the help they desperately need, the wait list is so long, and the expenses are too high causing them to give up. We need more places to be readily available and affordable to help those who are suffering silently from mental health issues. We need to find ways to remove the negative stigma and be more open to anyone with mental instabilities. This could be a solution that may prevent mass shootings and suicide.

The United States is the only developed country that does not offer free healthcare, but instead, the cost is on a steady and consistent rise. The increase in the cost of healthcare in 2022 was 6% and is expected to increase another 5%. This is ludicrous and unacceptable! The United States is the wealthiest country in the world by a long shot. With this fact, why can healthcare not be a free right for everyone? So many people cannot afford healthcare in America and therefore are left to suffer from ailments and diseases. Even those with expensive healthcare still nearly can go bankrupt due to all the other costs. In a country with outlandish wealth, no human being should ever have to suffer from illness or disease without affordable healthcare.

In my entire 41 years in the world, I have only lived in the United States. I have lived in the northern and southern states, so I do not know if equality is an issue in other countries but do know it is a major issue in the United States. People are judged and treated differently based on where they are from, the color of their skin, religious beliefs, political following, and who they love. None of this makes sense to me and never will. We are all human beings and while I do have my strong views on certain things, I do not judge or think negatively about how others view things or how they live their lives. I only judge and feel a certain way about others based on how they treat other people. I wish everyone from sea to shining sea could learn ways to express love and acceptance more because hate is only going to destroy the planet, we are sharing.

As broken as the country and system appear, there must still be hope for it to be better. The good and honest men that fought for this country many years ago should not have risked their lives in vain. Mine and my husband’s late Grandfathers were a couple of these amazing, strong, and kindhearted men who fought for this country. Their risks along with countless others should be remembered and we should be doing better for people like them and stop the evil hatred the world is conflicted with. Hatred and misery will never do anything positive for anyone, but they will damage the people we love.

Thank you for visiting my site today. Even though what I have shared was emotional and safe, I do hope you found it interesting. I am aware not everyone is going to agree with every word of this post, but this is how I feel about things in the country I live in, and it breaks my heart. I wish the world could be filled with love and compassion, but I do not have any control over how others behave and can only control myself. We do not have to agree with our family or friends, but we need to be respectful of their feelings. I am looking 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

20 Plus Years….

For the past 20-plus years, I have been forced to live with an incurable illness, Multiple Sclerosis. There have been various challenges I have encountered during the years, but the most frustrating has been how extremely unpredictable this illness is. It does not seem to matter if I follow my doctor’s recommendations and take the necessary medication daily, things can still go wrong. I do realize that I am one of the lucky ones living with this illness as it has not caused me to be disabled and required to use a wheelchair or a cane, but it has caused me many issues.

Of course, I have learned to deal with the pain that I feel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year as much as anyone can. Lately, the issue that has made me nervous is the increase in dizziness. This is an issue I have dealt with randomly before, but it has been way too frequently over the past few weeks. I have not let my doctor know about the increased dizziness and not sure that I am going to unless it gets worst. After all, I already know what this could mean and do not want her sending me for an MRI or pushing me to take steroids because both make me miserable.

In the past dizziness was a sign there were new or active lesions on my brain. I think to avoid increased levels of stress. I would rather not have a doctor tell me what I already feel like I know because all that would do is make my stress skyrocket and then cause even more issues. Considering I have lived with MS for so many years, I know the most important thing to do now is to, limit and reduce my stress levels, which will hopefully make things better with the dizziness.

I think taking the right steps to reduce stress is going to be the best course of action. I recently did a post about the benefits of journaling, so I am going to try doing this daily and still blog. Writing is a great way to reduce stress and express positive thoughts and vent negative emotions. Now that the temperatures are cooler, I am going to start crocheting again because this has always been relaxing for me. I would love to be able to donate the blankets I make to those who need them to stay warm.

Do you have any specific things you do to reduce stress and relax? We are all unique and have different ways to handle issues in life, but they are all important. No two people are the same, which is what makes the world so interesting. I believe if we were all the same, the world would be boring and not at all interesting. It would be great if we could all learn to accept our differences and still be kind and understanding to one another because this would make the world a better place.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared, and you are enjoying your weekend. I am looking forward to reading your comments and I will respond as quickly as I possibly can. Thankfully, we do still have one day left to enjoy the weekend and I hope you can do so safely. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Quick Sunday Thought

Sunday is “supposed” to be a day to relax and get ready for the week ahead of us, right? Unfortunately, I woke up early this morning with a killer headache/migraine. I am not sure what caused this to happen, but it has left me thinking the “daith” piercing might not help these. I do tend to get sick with a cold or something like that every time there is a weather change, which could explain the body aches and head pain. Needless to say, it was not a good Sunday for me at least.

It did not help that my pain doctor screwed up and NEVER called my refill in for today like she was “supposed” to. I called the pharmacy on Friday afternoon to follow up and ensure the Nurse Practitioner did what she was supposed to. When I learned the Nurse Practitioner did not call this in, I did call the office and was told they were taking care of it. They did NOT! Sadly, we need to make sure our doctors do what they are supposed to, especially with our medications, but I guess it is what it is! I am unsure if this is just an issue with medical professionals in the United States or if it is worldwide!

I hope you have had a nice and relaxing weekend. Do you have issues with your doctors or Nurse Practitioners not doing what they are supposed to do? How do you handle these issues? I already left a voicemail for my doctor’s office to let them know their so-called care is unacceptable. I am not sure they fully understand what it is like to live life in constant pain because if they did I am sure they would not be so incompetent and inconsiderate.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I am looking forward to reading your comments and I will respond as quickly as I can. I feel confident that most of you understand my frustration with my doctor’s office, so I would love to know how you would handle things. I try to always be polite, but I think that seems to make them think I am a pushover and they can screw up. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

World of Hurt

I think we can all agree the past several years dealing with COVID fears has not been easy. The COVID pandemic put our lives on hiatus. All the things we wanted to do and took for granted were halted. It was not easy to be stuck at home all the time and only see the same four walls, day in and day out. While COVID has not vanished from existence, many have taken the necessary precautions by getting the vaccine. I still have hope that life can start becoming closer to the normal we once knew, but I do understand things do not always work out the way we want them to.

The truth is, we are only offered one chance at this life, so we should not waste any time on anger and hate. Instead, we should always continue growing, changing, learning, and striving to improve. Each day we encounter numerous challenges and struggles, which even though it is not easy to see in the moment, make us stronger and more courageous. No matter how difficult the challenges we face seem, if we can think of them as opportunities, they might get easier.

We have been dealing with stress and loneliness due to COVID for so long, that I can hardly remember what life used to be like. I cannot remember what we used to do on weekends or vacations. The only way I can view weekends now is time I do not have to work. It seems like for years we have had nothing to look forward to or be excited about.

Although I know cases and deaths from COVID have decreased, there are still lingering fears in my mind that I cannot erase. Besides COVID, other terrible things are occurring too often. I understand the United States will not take away the people’s right to guns, but something needs to change. We should not have to fear going to a grocery store, hospital, mall, movie theater, out to dinner, or children going to school. Gun control may help save lives or at least lessen the chance of an unstable person being able to purchase a gun. Assault rifles and semi-automatic guns are not meant to be in the hands of ordinary people and should only be used during war times. Schools, stores, restaurants, and hospitals are not acts of war.

Mental health has been a serious issue for decades, but it does not seem like anyone is trying to make changes. Those that suffer in silence and alone need to feel comfortable asking for help, without fear of ridicule, judgment, and not having the ability to afford help. There are too many people battling addictions, which can lead to depression and possibly death. Why should people be forced to suffer without any viable help? The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but the citizens cannot afford help, healthcare, or medications. That just does not seem right to me!

Unfortunately, we continue to live in a world of fears. We should all try to understand others and help when we can. Of course, we need to try putting our needs first because if we are not well, we will not be able to help anyone else. Putting our needs first is not selfish, which I do tend to have a hard time understanding because has always been in my nature to put other’s needs ahead of my own. This is something I am working on and know I will succeed with someday.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you found what I have shared today meaningful. I am looking forward to reading your comments and will respond as quickly as I can. I hope you are enjoying your weekend and remaining safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Boost your immune system

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

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

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

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

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

2. Acknowledges and negates harmful substances from the environment

3. Fights disease-causing changes in the body.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you are having a relaxing, safe, and wonderful weekend! I am looking forward to reading your comments, which I will respond to as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

End of Long Week

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

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

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

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

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

Always, Alyssa

Happy Tuesday

~One Day Down, Four To Go~

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

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

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

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

Always, Alyssa

Doctor’s Appointment & Nasty Rainy Day

Torrential downpour and non-driving people on the interstate drive me insane! I already hate driving but driving in the rain I despise more than I could ever explain. I left work early yesterday to go to my appointment with the pain management doctor, while the hour and a half drive there was fine besides the 18-wheeler trucks, the drive home was terrifying because the rain was so intense, I could not even see the front of my vehicle at times. There was a point that I almost pulled over to try waiting out the rain, but I really wanted to get home, so I continued driving very slowly, which is not like me.

I will never understand why doctors bother scheduling appointments because they are always running behind at least 45 minutes. My appointment yesterday was scheduled for 2:00, but the extremely sweet Nurse Practitioner did not come into the exam room until 2:40. Normally, I would have been frustrated, but like I said the NP is a sweet lady and I like her, so I remained patient and kept myself entertained shopping and writing a little.

These appointments are always so quick, well once the NP comes in the room, but it seems like a long drive. I am just glad she is allowing me to do these follow- up appointments every three months, instead of every other month. Overall, everything went just as well as it always does. She has even suggested a topical medication that might help with the neuropathy my legs and feet deal with daily, so I am happy about this. I do have to wait on the specialty pharmacy to call me back once they deal with the insurance company.

The hour and a half drive home felt like an eternity. Several times during the trip home, it was raining so hard that I could not even see the hood of my vehicle. I did stay in the slow lay, going no more than 40 mph. It was terrifying though because other cars were still speeding and that always frightens me, especially because I know they cannot drive when the sun is shining, and the ground is dry. There were a handful of times I considered pulling off at a rest stop to try waiting for the rain to stop, but I wanted to get home and work another hour to not have to use PTO. Even though it took me almost two hours to get home, I did make it without having an accident. Crazy times driving on an interstate in the south!

Thank you for visiting my site today. This was just giving an update on a doctor’s appointment, but I felt it was something good to write about. I hope you enjoyed it, and I would love the opportunity to read your comments, which I will respond to as quickly as I can. Please remember that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, support, comfort, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Summer heat & Multiple Sclerosis

It is one of last days of May and the summer heat is already extreme and dominating the south parts of the United States. For those of us living with Multiple Sclerosis, we all know that heat is one of our biggest enemies. Unfortunately, where I live in the United States, we are already fighting with temperatures in the 90’s, so I can only imagine how hot it will be in the dead of summer, but I am dreading it!

There are a lot of people that live with Multiple Sclerosis that experience temporary worsening of symptoms when the weather is exceedingly hot and or humid. Unfortunately, it only takes a quarter to a half-degree increase in the body’s core temperature for someone’s symptoms to worsen. The elevation in temperatures impairs the ability of a demyelinated nerve to conduct electrical impulses. Simple activities such as sunbathing, exercising, or taking a hot bath or shower all can have the same effects. Some have noticed their vision becoming blurred when they get overheated, which is a phenomenon known as Uhthoff’s sign.

Even though the heat can cause symptoms to worsen temporarily, it does not cause additional disease activity. The symptoms that worsen when overheated will improve once you cool down. May years ago, before there was better testing for MS, doctors used the “hot bath test” to diagnose MS. When a doctor suspected a person had MS, they would immerse the individual in a hot tub of water, and the appearance of or worsening of neurologic symptoms confirmed the person had MS.

While temperatures are increasingly warmer, it is crucial for those with MS and experiencing heat sensitivity to do what they can to combat these challenges. The following are the best ways to deal with the heat:

1. During extreme heat and humidity, stay inside in the air conditioning. There are specific times during the day when the heat is more intense, so it may be beneficial to pay close attention to the weather. Normally, the heat is not as bad during the early mornings, but as the day goes on it gets much hotter.

2. Utilize cooling produces, such as cooling vests, wraps, and bandanas. These products can be purchase online and be extremely helpful when you do need to be outside, even for short times. The following are a few vendors that offer these products:

https://glaciertek.com/ phone number is 800-482-0533 Try the PROMO CODE ‘NMSS-15’ for a 15% discount.

https://www.mistymate.com/. Try PROMO CODE ‘SS10’ for a 10% discount

https://onyxcool.com/. The phone number is 651-212-6600. Try PROMO CODE ‘NMSSCool25’ for a 25% discount

https://opalcool.com/. Try PROMO CODE ‘NMSSCool25’ for a 25% discount

https://polar-products.com/. The phone number is 800-597-0618. Try PROMO CODE ‘NMSS18’ for a 15% discount + a free Polar Cool Tie with every order.

https://steelevest.com/. The phone number is 888-783-3538. Try PROMO CODE ‘NMSS2021’ for a 10% discount (min. $20 order)

https://www.thermapparel.com/health. The phone number is 855-232-7233. Try PROMO CODE ‘Undercool’ for a 10% discount

You may also be able to contact the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for assistance as well.  https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Resources-Support/Find-Support/Ask-an-MS-Navigator. Or you can call them at 1-800-344-4867.

3. Wearing lightweight, loose, and breathable clothing.

4. Stay hydrated. Drinking cold beverages and eating popsicles can help to keep you cool. Many great products that help to keep beverages cold and buying two of these items can be greatly beneficial because while one is in the freezer, you can be drinking out of the other. I bought two of these items on Amazon so I could keep one in the freeze and drink out of the one that is cold, but there are many others. This is the link for the ones that I have https://www.amazon.com/Swell-10017-B19-36640-Stainless-Bottle-degrade/dp/B07WQFMPF7/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=S%27well+Stainless+Steel+Water+Bottle+-+17+Fl+Oz+-&qid=1622390586&s=home-garden&sr=1-

5. If you exercise, do so either in a cool pool or in a cooler environment.

It has been a little while, but the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is where I was able to get mine from and they are helpful. If all else fails, you can always google these products and I am sure you will find something that will work for you. As you already know, everyone is different and has different challenges with MS, but if you are anything like I am the weather poses awful issues. It does not matter if it is hot or cold temperatures, they both cause me to experience issues. The cold causes me to tense up, which makes my pain much worse. The heat causes me to feel even more fatigue and does affect my vision.

I hope this information will help you while dealing with the extreme heat. I know a few of you might be in a country that is not dealing with the summer months right now, but for those of you that are do everything you can to stay inside or at least in the air conditioning. If I must leave the house now, I try doing so at night after the sun has gone down or in the morning before it gets too hot. Of course, for some doctor’s appointments, I cannot do anything about the times, but I do stay hydrated. I love Fiji water because I think it tastes much better than any other water. I also like Grape or Kiwi Strawberry Propel waters. I honestly cannot remember the last time I drank a caffeinated beverage and feel much better without them! If I drink any soda during the day, it is at night with dinner but only one.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I do look forward to reading any comments or additional advice you might have. I will respond to all comments as quickly as I can. I hope you are having a nice three-day weekend and hope you are staying safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa