Life is a Cycle

It never matters what goes on, life keeps moving on whether we are ready or not. It seems like life is on an endless cycle of time. Life will keep going even when we are suffering from some type of challenge or hardship. The crazy thing is, that we are strong enough to handle it all, even when we cannot see the strength within ourselves. We did not ask for it, but the day we were born was a gift and we can decide what we do with this gift.

Although I know we all appreciate our lives, I am sure there are things you wish you could change. One thing that never stops is, that bills come at the same time every single month. Of course, we work to survive, pay bills, and enjoy life, but the darn bills get old! It would be nice if just once the bills would not come in. It seems like some, especially the power bill increases every month! I am sure the power bill increase has something to do with the insane heat! I am not sure about you, but I cannot deal with the heat.

I can still remember a time when there were four different and unique seasons. Unfortunately, now it seems like spring and summer became one where temperatures are just HOT. Then autumn and winter have become one of the same where you can hardly tell the difference between the two. Spring used to be tolerable temperatures. Autumn used to be a beautiful season with the leaves changing colors and temperatures getting cooler. During the winter months, the ground was covered with powdery snow that glistened. Summer has always been hot, but now it is too hot to survive.

Is there anything you wish you could change about life? Yes, life can be beautiful and exciting, but there can be improvements with everything. The two things I wish I had the power to change are the insane temperatures and the bills that will not stop coming. Logically, I know there is nothing I can do to change these things, but it would be great if I did. I am not trying to complain because I know complaining does not change anything, I am just venting😊!

We are already almost at the end of June, so we have almost made it through half of the year. How are your week and year going? What do you want for next month or next year? Dreams and hopes should never leave our hearts because they are meaningful😊! I know the past few years have been a struggle, but we have survived, and we are stronger because of everything we have gone through. Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves how incredible we are and how much courage we all have!

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

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

Happy Monday, y’all! I hope you had a nice and relaxing weekend! I do not know if it was the heat or fatigue, but I was a little slack from blogging last week. I am going to do my best to back in the swing of things again and do better. It never fails, as the weather causes extremely hot temperatures, I end up feeling more exhausted and my pain levels increase rapidly. I have lived in the south more than 20 years and do not think I will ever get used to how incredibly HOT it gets, but I do think it has been worst in the last decade or so.

I would like to start this new week off being motivated and optimistic. Of course, the weather has been a struggle for me and it has not been easy, but do not want to allow this issue to hold me down. I hope you are going to find the quote I am sharing with you today motivating and it helps to carry you through the days until the weekend returns. I think it is important for us to hold onto our dreams and never let them go. Life is always going to be challenging and we will never stop experiencing difficult times, but our dreams can carry us through them all.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I look forward to reading your comments and will respond as quickly as I can. I hope you have a lovely week and you do not deal with any extra stresses. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Never-ending Headache

Happy Sunday to y’all! I hope you are enjoying your weekend and of course, staying safe. I found out some slightly upsetting information the other day. The mother of a friend of mine from high school has COVID. Unfortunately, so many people are under the impression that COVID is something from the past and is long gone now, but the hard truth is, that COVID is still lingering around and invading the lives of too many. My husband and I have done everything possible to stay safe and I think we are the only two people in our circle of friends and family that have not gotten COVID.

I have been unable to do a post for several days now because I have been battling with an evil headache/migraine/sinuses. Over the past several days, this pain has eased up and came back full force numerous times. Considering I have been used to pain for over 20 years, I can normally ignore the pain, but head pain is something I have not learned to ignore. This typically puts me in the bed or on the couch with the cats in misery. If I had to guess, I think this is coming from the weather changes and stress. We are just now in June and the temperatures where I live have already been too close to 100 degrees. I am dreading the next several months of summertime heat!!!!

Regardless of any stress or pain, I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am for June 10th when I get to meet my literary idol, James Patterson. I know this meet and greet will only be a few minutes to tell him how honored I am to meet him, shake his hand, and hopefully get a picture with him, but those few minutes will be amazing! Many people dream to meet a celebrity or rock star, but this man is a rock star in my eyes. I am in complete awe of his writing abilities and only wish I had his talent. I do not think I have ever looked forward to something so much in my life. I am excited and a little nervous because I do not want to become tongue tide and not be able to tell him how much I appreciate his work and enjoyable books!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared today and that you might have some advice for when you meet your idol! Today is the last day of the weekend, so I hope you enjoy it to the fullest. Tomorrow is another Monday when the new week starts, so rest up and get prepared. I am only working four days because I am off on Friday to go meet James Patterson. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

TGIF

Life is not always perfect, and it is impossible to be happy all the time, but we do have the power to make changes when necessary. Complaining about things in life we are unhappy with is NEVER going to change things for the better. Sometimes we need to implement the changes we NEED in our life. The problems we encounter are NOT going to fix themselves and will only get worst. We spend most of our time at work, so if we are miserable in our job, it might be time to start looking for something different where we are not miserable for eight hours a day, five days a week.

Work is not always fun, but it can be fulfilling and semi-enjoyable. I have always enjoyed working with people and find “some” of them interesting. However, more and more I am finding the way people behave and treat others disturbing and offensive. I treat people the way I would want to be treated and try my best to understand their outlook on things and what they might be going through. The way things have been in recent times, I have a new view on this. Unfortunately, so many people are selfish and do not care how their tone, verbiage, and treatment affect others.

Changing jobs is extremely frustrating and challenging. It takes persistence and perseverance. Numerous job search sites are available. The most popular and user-friendly are https://www.linkedin.comhttps://www.indeed.com/https://www.monster.com/, and https://www.glassdoor.com/. I am sure there are many more out there, but I am not familiar with any others. A quick and simple google search can bring up others if you are looking for another job. 

We are only offered one life and there is no way to rewind, pause, repeat, or fast-forward. If there is anything you are not completely happy or content with, it is time for a change. This can be in a job, relationship, where you live, what you do for enjoyment or anything else involved in your life. Of course, change is never easy, but it can be accomplished with strength and determination. 

Relationships whether they are romantic, friendship, colleagues, or family can be complicated. All relationships require strong and open communication. Without being able to be open and honest, a relationship will fail quickly. It is also important to never hide anything from your life partner. When people hide things from the person, they are building a life with, there will only be unnecessary complications. We should not feel like we need to hide anything because we are already being open and honest, so there should not be anything to hide, right?

I am not complaining about my job, but I am unhappy with the way things have been. The training missed many things we needed to know and now everyone is so overwhelmingly busy, that no one has time to help those that are newer. I have always been a perfectionist with my work and hate making mistakes. Therefore, I take a massive number of notes because I want something to reference when I am unsure. There have been several people that I work with currently that are amazing and helpful, but then there are others that talk or email in a demeaning and discouraging way. I think some people forgot what it was like to be new and learn an entirely new industry.

I think part of the reason I have felt so irritable lately is that it is WAY too hot! The heat causes many of my MS symptoms to be aggravated and intensified. It is only May, and the temperature has already been in the high 90s. I do not even want to know how hot it is going to get when it is summer. Living in the south and still waiting to get central air has been troublesome and infuriating. I do enjoy summer, but only when I am at the beach because the ocean breeze counteracts the insane heat. I mean who in their right mind wants to be out when the temperatures are so high? No sane person! 

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed this post, and the information was beneficial. It is finally Friday, and we now have the weekend to look forward to. We can let of the negative feelings the week caused us. There is no point carrying those negative feelings into our weekend when we know anything we were dealing with this week will probably still be waiting for us on Monday. I look forward to reading your comments and will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Finally Friday

Happy Friday y’all! How was your week? Even though it was a shorter week, it felt so much longer than the normal week. I do think short weeks feel longer because we are trying to fit everything into the four-day week that we would do during a normal workweek. What do you think? I can say that work is finally getting busier which I prefer because it makes the day go by much faster and when things are slow, the days drag by and feel like they are never going to end.

Now that we made it through the week and are now able to enjoy the weekend, we need to let any negative feelings the week cause go so we can enjoy the insanely short weekend. I do know the quote I am sharing is not what I would normally share on a Friday, but I feel like it speaks volumes and loudly! I have thought this for a long time now, but think it is getting much worse because even though it is 2021, so many are way too judgmental of others. I feel strongly that color, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, and anything else being judged is very wrong. As the years move forward, I think we should be progressing with the times and we should be much fairer, and equality should be for everyone!

The numbers of COVID are suggesting there is a decrease in the spread, which is probably because so many are getting vaccinated. Unfortunately, there are so many that are resistant to getting vaccinated. Of course, some are avoiding getting vaccinated because they do not believe it is serious or maybe it is political reasons, which make no sense to me, but it is those refusing the vaccination that are dangerous. I have had both vaccines, but I also have not been tested to ensure I am safe. I cannot help but worry a little, but nowhere near as much as I was when COVID first was introduced.

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you have a wonderful and safe weekend doing what brings you the most joy. I would love to read your comments, which I will respond to as quickly as I can. I am still trying to get back into my normal routine with posts, but I have felt so exhausted lately, which is probably because of the temperatures. 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

Beat The Heat

As y’all already know March was Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. Even though March is almost over, MS for me and everyone else living with this illness will continue to battle with the challenges that come along with it. With that being said, I do want to share a few additional posts to further explain the struggles that Multiple Sclerosis creates.

One thing common with those with Multiple Sclerosis is heat intolerance. Simply taking a hot shower, spending too much time in the sun, or possibly making a hot meal because the stove and oven can make the kitchen extremely hot. The reason people with MS are sensitive to heat and temperature changes is that MS causes nerves to lose their conductive coating, which is referred to as a myelin-sheath.

Heat issues may cause a person with MS to have an escalation of symptoms such as dizziness and/or increased heart rate. I am going to share 6 tips that may help you to defeat the brutality of the heat enemy. Some of these tips might seem like common sense, but they are important to mention, or at least I think it is.

Stay Inside:

Logically, this makes perfect sense, but the warm summer months are closing in on us relatively fast and this needs to be very well understood. Staying inside with the air conditioner or at least fans may contain MS symptoms. Be sure to pay close attention to the forecast and avoid outdoor get-togethers when it is too hot. It will be much better for you and your health to stay inside when the temperatures and humidity increase because you do not want the symptoms to get too awful.

Utilize Cooling Products:

There are numerous cooling products available online and in stores. The MS Society has cooling vests, wrist, ankle, neck, and head cooling packs. These are fantastic cooling packs that can help you to tolerate the heat and even make picnics possible. Something as simple as a cloth dipped in cold water and applied to your head can make a remarkable difference in the way you feel.

Ice Cold Beverages:

On those insanely hot summer days, there is nothing better than ice-cold water with or without lemon. It is amazing what powers and benefits can be had with liquids. Aside from an ice-cold beverage, you may also experience relief from popsicles, ice cream, or frozen yogurt. To save time walking to the kitchen at night and searching for something cold to drink, try freezing a bottle of water and place it beside your bed. This will provide you the much needed cool down without leaving the comfort of your bed.

Cool Down in the Pool:

As the temperatures start increasing, spending time in a pool when possible can give you the cooldown needed. Not only will a pool help you cool down but provide you with some exercises that can be done easily and without high impact on your body that might cause you extra pain. For additional cooling powers, keeping your wet swimsuit on after leaving the pool can be wonderful because it will also keep you nice and cool!

Plug in a fan or fans:

The fan you use does not need to be high-tech or fancy to offer you cooling benefits. A simple oscillating fan that is easy to move to other rooms can provide you great and fast relief from the evil heat. A ceiling fan helps to circulate air, which can give useful relief from the heat as well.

Lighten Up Clothing:

It can be astounding how our choices of clothing can make a considerable difference. Thinking in layers of clothing when we get dressed might serve you as a benefit. Dressing in lightweight and easy to remove clothes allows you to remove layers, as necessary.

I hope the information provided in this post was helpful for you. In the southern state that I live in, I can speak from experience on how awful the heat makes me feel. It typically starts getting a little too hot for me in April and previously when I did leave the house, I would be overheated just walking to my car. A few years ago, I did reach out to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and they sent me a few cooling products that are phenomenal, and I am thankful to have them. Of course, over the past year, I hardly leave the house, but hopefully, things will become safe again soon.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I know I have been a little off with my typical posts, but life and fatigue sometimes get in the way. I would love the opportunity to read what you thought about this information and will do my best to respond to all comments as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Multiple Sclerosis Triggers and Ways To Avoid Them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always, Alyssa

9 Multiple Sclerosis Facts

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

A few additional facts regarding MS to understand are:

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

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

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

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

B Neurologist Exam

C. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

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

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

F. Optical coherence tomography (OCT)

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

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

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

*An inability to concentrate or pay attention

*Decreased problem-solving skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always, Alyssa

My weekend of pain

Three days of migraine & pain hell!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always, Alyssa