Let It Go Friday

I have always known that weather conditions, extreme temperatures, and stress can create issues with how Multiple Sclerosis behaves. If I am being honest, Multiple Sclerosis tends to misbehave frequently and have crazy toddler-like temper tantrums. I am not sure which issue causes more issues but do know that combination causes massive and miserable pain. I do not enjoy complaining about the pain and know that tears do not fix a thing, but yesterday my pain was at a high that makes me wonder how I managed to make it through my workday.

Of course, it has been rainy a lot lately with some wild storms. The power did go out while I was working yesterday, but only for about fifteen minutes. There was a part of me that hoped it did not come back on so fast because of how awful I was feeling. My poor cats hate when it storms because they seem to think the thunder is going to kill them and they all hide under the bed. I swear I often think where I am living is trying to be like Seattle where it rains most days☹.

What can you do when you are in so much pain and nothing helps? Right, there is nothing that you can do. I have heard so many times that stress is the silent killer, and I could not agree more with this. Stress can cause additional pain, headaches, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, and invade your mind. Unfortunately, I have always worried about those I care about and worry about what they may be going through in life. The world is such a mess right now. We already went through years of COVID fears and now we need to worry about Monkeypox. I mean, when is it ever going to end? Right, no one knows, so all we can do is follow the experts’ advice.

We have finally made it to the end of this week and my goodness has it been a long week! The weekend is going to begin soon, and we need to let go of all the never emotions the week has caused. The weekends are so short, so we do not need to carry the negativity from the long week into the weekend! Friday is the perfect day to just let go and I hope the quote I am sharing with you today will help you do so. I hope your week went well and you did not have to endure any unnecessary stress and hardships.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope the quote I shared helps you to learn to let go of negativity and enjoy your weekend. I know I have asked y’all before to stay safe and do what is necessary with vaccines, but it is looking like Monkeypox can be extremely dangerous. I am looking forward to reading your comments and I promise to respond as quickly as I can. I will be playing catch up this weekend with comments as I do not have anything else planned. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Sunday thoughts

Full disclosure and I am sorry in advance. I know I am mentioned the following statement multiple times over the years, but it still stands to be true, and I feel is worth repeating. Although life can be complicated and exhausting at times, life is short. No matter what we go through or how overwhelmed we feel, we should never give up and must do what brings us the most joy. We do not need to explain ourselves to anyone because this is our life. Other people may not agree with how we live our life or any of the decisions we make, but no one needs to understand why we made certain decisions. As long as we are not causing harm to anyone else, it should not matter how we are living our lives. 

Over the past several years and the first days of knowing what COVID was, and the damning effects it inflicted, many have been stressed and scared. These feelings are normal because COVID has killed so many. I am sure everyone has heard another strain that is more contagious making its way through the world. The new strain BA.5 has caused illness in people that have been vaccinated and boosted, which has been upsetting. However, we all must keep our vaccinations current because, without them, the chances of survival decrease significantly. It does seem as though anytime we think we have seen the last of COVID, something new appears.

I do understand that many people were hesitant about the COVID vaccine when we were first introduced to it, and many refused to get the vaccine because it was so new. We are all entitled to our opinions, but if we look at how many unvaccinated people have died when they got COVID to the number of vaccinated people that had a breakthrough infection and survived, it seems like an easy and logical decision. Scientists have stated that those who get the newest strain of COVID that are vaccinated have experienced less severe symptoms and heal faster than those who are unvaccinated. Recently, a friend of mine got sick with COVID. She has an underlying condition and was double vaccinated and had the booster, she has made a full recovery but might not have if she was not vaccinated. I think the decision to be vaccinated or not is a gamble with our lives and I am not a gambler!

Another issue everyone around the world is experiencing is the unbearable heat! Yesterday I had to go out to do a few things, which I normally do not have to do. The heat was so awful that walking from my front door to the truck caused more dizziness and irritation. Do you wonder why the heat is so out of control? Is there any doubt that global warming is real? The healthiest people in the world cannot tolerate this heat, so for anyone who battles with health issues, it can feel like their life is being sucked out of them. Extreme temperatures have always caused me additional problems with my Multiple Sclerosis, but the extreme heat is making things 100 times more intense. I told my husband yesterday that I am not leaving the house during the day anymore until at least November. I did look ahead at what the weather was going to be like next week and it looks as though more miserable days with heat are coming!

What are some of the most important things in your life? Do you think anyone should have to explain why they love who they love? Does it seem like there is too much hatred filling this world? I am unable to understand hate and I do not think I ever will understand it because, in my opinion, we are all human and deserve to be treated fairly and with compassion. We will never know what someone else is going through in life unless we try. Sometimes a person will have an unpleasant attitude because they are struggling with something in their life, but it is possible they just need someone to understand and offer them love. Do you ever think that being kind to another person might have a HUGE impact on their life and make a difference? I do without a doubt!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you are having a good weekend and staying safe. I am looking forward to reading your comments and hope that you have enjoyed this post. I will respond to all comments as quickly as I can. It is a little sad the weekend is becoming to an end soon and we will be getting ready for another long week, but if we view each week as an opportunity, it might make it a little easier😊! 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

A Never-Ending Journey

As I continue to look for another work from home job, that is the right job and not a crapshoot it becomes more and more frustrating. Considering a few things, I know about myself are working later hours and cold calling people do not work for me and my personality. I do not want to have to be overly picky, but I also do not want to start a job and must resign a few days later. Thankfully, my husband is 150% on my side and does not want me to accept something I hate just to have a job. He continues to tell me that I deserve more and I do not have to accept the first thing that comes along.

The reason working later hours is a problem is because I tend to feel better the first part of the day and the pain, and neuropathy gets worse as the day goes on. Working after 3:00 or 4:00 is manageable, but normally after 5:00 or 6:00 I feel terrible and cannot function as well. How do you explain something like that to a future employer? I cannot think of a way another person would understand, so I am trying to find something that is a work from home and first shift. I do not mind working weekends because we do not do anything anyway, but the hours are not negotiable for me.

I do not know about you, but I detest sales calls. I do not appreciate being called and asked if I am interested in purchasing something because if it was something I wanted, I would be the one calling the company. And, I do not have a desire to call people trying to sell them life insurance. It is not in my nature to call people trying to force them to buy something and when they ask questions force me to not be 100% honest. If I were going to be paid to be a liar, I would have become an attorney or a politician. Of course, not all attorneys lie but most are not completely forthright.

The reason I am looking for a work-from-home job is not that I am demanding or difficult, but with COVID and my immune system, it is not for a want to work from home as much as a need to work from home. Somehow, I have gone through these past two years of COVID and not gotten sick with COVID. The way I view COVID, and safety are a little unusual and maybe I take it to an extreme, but I must view it as if I get COVID, it is basically the end for me, and I may not survive. Do people with MS and on the medication, and get COVID and survive, sure, but I am not a gambling kind of person.

There are enough problems in this world, and I want to feel good about what I am being paid to do. Most people do not want to work and only do so to have an income to support their families. I do want to work because I enjoy having a schedule and something to do during the day. I love and enjoy staying busy, which I know is not necessarily normal, but I never claimed to be normal and prefer to just be me!

Not accepting the first job or jobs that were offered has not been an easy decision for me to make. There is a part of me that feels guilty for not working, but I am trying and will not stop until I have a job that is a good fit. I know there is one out there, but good things take time and I need to learn to be more patient. Patience has never been my strongest quality, but at this point, I do not have a choice but to learn!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I appreciate your continued support and love reading your comments. I will be responding to all comments as quickly as I can. I hope you are having a great and safe week so far and you are looking forward to the upcoming weekend! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

How to overcome Omicron stresses

No matter what state or country you are living in, we have all been living through the fears of COVID. This has been causing stress and worry for two excruciatingly long years. The isolation, social distancing (which I like), Zoom meetings, concerns about the safety of the vaccines and which one to take, and the wellness of ourselves and our loved ones have been exhausting.

We have already endured several COVID variants before the latest one, Omicron. Obviously, Omicron has come along with various new issues of stress and even more uncertainty. Omicron has created additional levels of fatigue, hopelessness, depression, frustration, and annoyance.

Everyone around the world has watched the previous COVID surges on the news. Sadly, the Omicron variant has ingrained thoughts thought we will never regain a normal life again. The feelings of hope one moment, only to feel hopeless another can cause stress hormones to consume our bodies. This mostly leads to mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion.

Making it past the current surge and any others we may face in the future means protecting your physical and emotional health. The following steps I am going to share with you are a few ways to weather the storm.

Keep everything in perspective

Even though every day feels like Groundhog Day and things we were looking forward to are canceled or postponed due to an increase in infection rates, progress continues to be made daily. Omicron is extremely contagious, but those that are fully vaccinated have caused fewer hospitalizations and deaths than the previous variants. Also, those that are vaccinated and get COVID get much more mild symptoms.

Never stop looking forward

It can be frustrating and disappointing when something we are looking forward to is canceled or postponed, but the one thing the pandemic has taught us all is to be flexible. The truth is, we have all learned that moments of joy make eliminating Omicron crucial, and we are willing to do what it takes. Understanding an attitude of flexibility is critical and helps when we continue scheduling times to celebrate. Being flexible and at peace with acceptance are a necessity until we are past the COVID surges.

Think in smaller steps

It is easy to get caught up in our negative thoughts, such as things are never going to change, everything is so difficult, or I am so overwhelmed. It might be better to focus on the smaller concerns we are having. Once we are feeling more confident with our coping abilities, we can work on the bigger concerns we are experiencing. Maybe instead of trying to plan a get-together with the number of people we once did, try inviting one of two people to an outdoor activity. Most of us are used to Zoom meetings, so maybe connect with your friends in a group Zoom or Facebook call. This allows you to stay connected without the fears of COVID.

Remember self-care

A nice warm bubble bath can help to escape feelings of being anxious and overwhelmed. Taking time for yourself to rest and relax is crucial during these stressful times. You can take 30-45 minutes a day to get lost in one of your favorite books. This would be much-needed time away from hearing anything about the virus. Too much talk and thinking about the virus can create an overwhelming amount of stress and cause other health issues. 

I know things with COVID have been weighing on many minds and it is good to not focus too much on it and let it consume our lives. However, I did feel the information in this post was important and something we all needed to read. I hope everyone is being careful and follow the advice we all heard from the experts. This is NOT a political thing, it is a matter of life and death. I think we have already lost way too many people and it needs to stop. Unfortunately, we all know at least one person that has been sick with COVID and many have lost someone they care about. We need to stand together to put an END to COVID!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you had a nice, relaxing, and safe weekend and you are ready to tackle the week ahead of us. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared with you today and that it was helpful. I do look forward to reading your comments and will respond as quickly as I can. Please never remember 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

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

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

Been Out Of Sorts

I have been trying for several days to write a post, but I have not been able to. I have a few reasons why things have been so challenging, and I will try to explain. One issue is I have not been sleeping well due to awful tooth pain. I know my fear of the dentist is very irrational, but I have never been able to shake this fear in all my years. After several mornings waking up at 3:00 AM in excruciating pain and it takes me a while to fall back to sleep, I finally scheduled an appointment with a dentist. My husband and I are still relatively new to where we are living and I did not know any dentists, heck, I hardly knew of any doctors besides my neurologist, but I reached out to an extremely sweet couple that has lived in the city for years for a recommendation. This couple is kind, trustworthy, and I feel confident they would steer me in the right direction, the only problem is the dentist did not have any openings until April 19th, but I have dealt with it this long, what is a few more weeks?

The other issue I have been experiencing is my legs and feet are feeling the annoying tingling, pins, and needles sensation, and a great deal of spasticity. This seems to be getting increasing worst at night, which makes it hard to get comfortable and fall asleep. Even though it is known to those with MS that heat causes issues, previously a heating pad on my legs would help calm the problems down. Unfortunately, a heating pad or a warm bath is not helping at all and I am just having to be patient with my legs and feet, which I am not good at being patient at all!

As y’all know from things I have said in previous posts fatigue is a huge issue with people with Multiple Sclerosis, so not getting anywhere near enough sleep due to my tooth pain and twitchy legs is only producing more fatigue. I do not know about you, but when I get too overtired, I become very irritated with everything. It does not matter how small the issue is, it will make me want to scream and or cry. You can only imagine how I would feel if something huge happened.

I like to think that I am a patient and tolerant person, and always try being understanding because I do know everyone is going through something in their life. It takes a lot to push me to my breaking point, which is not always a good thing because that involves a lot of pent of frustrations. While it can be a good quality to be able to let go of things that are not crucial, the built-up of frustration can be like if a volcano, collided with a tornado, and an earthquake happened simultaneously. This is just me and I might be abnormal because I hold onto things for extended periods of time before anyone would ever know something was bothering me and I know this is something that needs to be worked on and improved.

I am not making any promises because I do not like breaking a promise, but I am going to try finishing the posts I had mentioned before. I know March and Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month are over, but there are still a few things I want to mention. March being over does not mean that those of us living with Multiple Sclerosis get a break because unfortunately, we still have the same battle to fight.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. I still have so much that I would like to write about, and I am doing the best I can. I hope your week is going well and you are continuing to stay safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

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