800 + Followers!

Sending best wishesSince starting my blog on July 17, 2017 with 3 fantastic supporters my husband, mother and mother in-law, I have had the opportunity to get to know so many incredible people all over the world❤. My goal for starting my blog was to raise the awareness about Multiple Sclerosis and I really wanted to help others battling Multiple Sclerosis and other chronic illnesses by offering support and endless encouragement. We all know that our daily lives are not easy with random symptoms that appear with and without warning, taking various medications, going to countless doctors’ appointments, being confronted with numerous challenges, being forced to accept innumerable changes to our lives daily, even hourly and so much more! It is never easy finding others that truly understand what our lives are like.💕 By creating this blog, I have been able to learn from so many others that live with Multiple Sclerosis and other chronic illnesses affecting their daily life how they find the strength and courage to keep moving forward!

In our society today, I think it can be really difficult to be “different” from everyone else. I do not believe being different should be frowned upon, but it should we should all be proud of our differences no matter what they may be💕. Whether our illness is visible by the way we walk or talk, or invisible it can be challenging. Some people have been forced to leave their career as it became too much to handle. Some people have even been forced out of their career because people have lost their ability to have compassion and empathy for others. That just is not right to cause anyone unnecessary stress and shame!

❤I am so excited and honored to be able to share this with you! As I said when I started my blog in July 2017, I had 3 followers and that was great. Now 10 months later I am 800+ Followersfortunate enough to have more than 800 amazing followers that I am able to get to know! ❤The individuals I have met through this blog have been absolutely amazing! I would say that starting my blog was one of the best decisions I have ever made as it has brought me so much joy! 🌷The numerous extraordinary people I have been able to make strong connections and friendships with has been beyond incredible! All of us know what it is like to live with a chronic and incurable illness so we are able to offer support and encouragement to each other! ❤Y’all have truly been a blessing in my life and I am thankful for each and every one of you!

💕I really want to thank all of you for continuing to follow my blog and making incredibly inspiring comments. Through the comments you make on my site and the communications we have on your own site, I feel like I have made so many lifelong 🌷friends! 💕Let me just say once again, thank y’all for your support, encouragement, great advice and never judging my crazy moments, because I do tend to have them! I hope y’all are having a fantastic week and I hope y’all are feeling well! As always, I am sending y’all LOTS of love and comfort!

Love 2

❤Always, Alyssa💕

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It is okay to not be okay all the time

okayIt has taken me a really long time to realize that it is okay and perfectly normal to admit to not being okay all of the time! We are all just human and we all have times when we do not feel like our normal selves, as I said this is normal and there is not anything wrong with it! For some of us, including myself, it is not easy to admit to ourselves let alone anyone else that we are really not okay, but possibly struggling to keep pushing forward. Pain inflicts so many hardships to our lives and that pain can and does cause much sadness, fatigue, irritation and even bitterness.

As y’all already know, I have been dealing with a lot pain and muscle spasms, which you also know is extremely frustrating! Last week I had planned to increase my work hours, but unfortunately was not able to do this because of the intense pain I was experiencing. Trying to remain positive I thought, “It is okay, I will just try again next week.” Well that would be this week and so far it is not happening again. I did work 6 hours yesterday, but I was not able to go to work today.

dont-give-up-galaxy-hold-on-hope-Favim.com-1428490I will continue to refuse to give up and I also refuse being too hard on myself because at least I am trying! I want to be able to work “normal” hours, but more than that I want all this pain to give me a break even for one day! As crazy as this may sound, I am standing by my decision to not share this information with my specialist. Do I think she could give me any additional information that I do not already know after living with this illness for almost 18 years? My answer to this question is a FIRM NO! I will not struggle 1subject my body to even more steroids than I have already dealt with and I do not want to switch medications again! Prior to June 2017, I was on Gilenya for 6 years and it seemed to have worked well for me. My reasons for changing the medication was because I was dealing with horrible sinus issues and I thought it was due to the Gileyna, but now I see things differently!

With this horrible leg pain, which is also causing much additional back pain, I want to find some leg stretches that may help me even just a little! Do any of you do any leg stretches that you find beneficial and if so what are they? I know many of you know and understand what I am going through and I value your advice and opinions so much more than I can even explain❤!

❤ I hope y’all have had a great day and I appreciate you visiting my site today. I hope your evening is filled with much happiness and relaxation! I am really looking forward to reading your amazing comments! As always I am sending y’all LOTS of ❤love and comfort!

Love 2

❤Always, Alyssa❤

Fading Hope

Hope lostI feel as though I am slowly starting to lose hope that my leg issues are NOT going to come to a much deserved end! I have been dealing the pain and spasms at their worse for well over a week now and I am just really ready for a break! I know that may sound like I am just giving up and letting these issues win, but I am really not, I am just way beyond FRUSTRATED! It seems that in the past when I had these issues they subsided much faster than they are now. All I can think is, I am getting older so my body is going to take a lot longer to heal. I do not know if this is a real thing or not, but it is all I have to go on right now!

Just walking around our house feels like I am running a marathon and our house is not that big! When I am doing laundry, I have to carry the clothes down stairs to where the washing machine is and then carrying the clothes back up the stairs once they are dry to put them away. Logically that might wear anyone out, but right now for me it is tormenting my legs and in turn my back as well! Besides doing my normal things like laundry, grocery shopping, taking care of my sweet cats I am trying to rest, but the spasms and pain are still here with what seems like NO end in sight! I highly doubt my aggravation is helping at all, but I just really can not help it!

Let me also be completely honest with y’all, I have not informed my doctor of these issues because I do not want to hear what she might say! At that point with these issues that will not vanish she may insist even stronger I get an MRI, which will probably shed light on news I do not want to hear! Sometimes being a little ignorant to the truth infertility-card-losing-hope-not-optionhelps me not think about the troubles right in front of me. Considering I have had MS just shy of 18 years, I know in my heart and mind what is happening, but having a doctor that I do not care much for or ever agree with confirm my suspicions is  just not something I am ready for. Call that childish behavior or just being too stubborn for my own good or whatever else this might be, but I do not deal well with the constant disappointment of this illness. I always do my very best to just turn a blind eye to things I wish were not happening and hope they will just go away when they are ready! I think that MS sort of has a mind of its own and will do what it wants whenever it wants to without consulting me ever, which is just a little rude and mean!

I know how crucial it is to never give up hope❤ as it is something that is vital to our lives, but right now it is a little hard for me. I often feel like I have been fighting a battle that losing-hope-quote-1-picture-quote-1does not end and it is not ever easy! I also know how much staying positive can change our lives, but that positive attitude when it comes to all the pain and spasms I deal with is fading relatively  fast. I guess the reality is the pain and spasms are either permanent and I will learn to cope with them or some magical day it will ease up allowing me to feel as “normal” as I can! The real truth is what I am going through right now could be so much worse and other people are dealing with way more than I am so I really do not have much to complain about! This is all just frustration and wanting more than ever to not have this pain anymore because it is effecting my life, daily!

❤Thank you so much for visiting my site today. I am terribly sorry that this post might have been a little more negative than I normally am, but I guess we all have those days and it is okay because things will get better in time! I encourage your amazing comments and I promise to respond just as quickly as I can, your thoughts are so important to me. I hope you had a lovely weekend and I hope your Mother’s Day was very special! Never forget that no matter what I am dealing with, I am always sending you lots of ❤love and comfort!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

Seriousness of Depression

depression (1)Good afternoon Y’all! I hope your weekend is beautiful and going very well🌤! With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to continue sharing some additional information about what people can deal with! I also want y’all to never forget that one kind word to another can make a HUGE difference to that person’s day! ❤Love, acceptance and kindness can go a long way!

Depression, like all other illnesses does not discriminate and sadly affects people of all ages, ethnicity and socioeconomic backgrounds. Depression is more than just going through a rough patch in life or feeling sad, but can be quite debilitating. In fact, depression is the leading cause to disability in the United States among people between the ages of 15-44. You would never think that a child as young as 15 would experience depression, but it happens way more than we could imagine. In the United States alone 16 million American adults which are 7% of the population will or have experienced depression in their lifetime.Depression

What is the world causes depression for so many people? While there really is no known single cause for depression, but this may possibly occur from a series of events in life or even one major situation. Certain events in life can cause some, whereas chemical changes in the brain can cause others. Depression can be triggered by a life crisis or physical illness, but also can occur spontaneously.

Some factors scientists believe can contribute to depression are:

  • Trauma at an early age can cause long-term changes in the response to fear and stress
  • Genetics, mood disorders do tend to run in the family
  • Life circumstances such as marital status, relationships changes and financial standings can influence depression
  • Brain changes
  • Medical conditions
  • Drug and alcohol abuse. Approximately 30% if people with a substance abuse problem also have depression, which maybe these individuals were trying to self-medicate their struggles as that does happen quite frequently

There are numerous different types of depression one can experience, but I am only Depression-types-300x300going to touch on four of them: Major Depression, Persistent Depression, Manic Depression also known as Bipolar Disorder and Atypical Depression.

Major Depression is when a person is actually depressed most of the time for more days a week than not. Symptoms for Major Depression include:

  • Loss of interest of pleasure in activities
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Trouble getting to sleep or feeling sleepy during the day
  • Feeling restless, agitated or very sluggish and slowed down physical or mentally
  • Being tired and without any energy
  • Trouble concentrating or making decision
  • Thoughts of suicide

A doctor may diagnosis Major Depression if there are five or more of the symptoms I mentioned on most days for two weeks or longer.

Persistent Depressive Disorder is when the depression lasts two years or longer. This type is actually used to describe two conditions dysthymia and chronic depression. Dysthymia is a low-grade persistent depression and chronic depression is persistence of depressive symptoms for an extended period of time.

Symptoms for this type of depression are:

  • Change in appetite, either not eating enough or eating too much
  • Sleep too much or sleep too little
  • Lack of energy or fatigue
  • Low self-esteem
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Feeling of hopelessness

Manic Depression also known as Bipolar Disorder is another type of depression that so many people are living with. With this type of depression, a person can have mood episodes ranging from extremes of high energy, which is referred to as mania to low depressive periods, but they also have “normal” moods and energy in between. The mania part of this illness may involve long periods of sleeplessness along with Depressionhallucinations, psychosis or paranoid rage. The depressive episode can be very devastating and difficult to treat. Through studies there has not been any proof that antidepressants are beneficial for those with Bipolar Disorder, but a small percentage can actually increase risk for the high phases or speed up frequency of more episodes to occur.

Atypical Depression is specifier for either major or dysthymia depression. This is typically experienced first at an early age such as teenage years. This can be distinguished from melancholic depression because a person will see a mood improvement when something positive occurs, whereas with melancholic depression a positive event will seldom change the person’s mood. To diagnosis, a person will need to have at least two of the following symptoms to accompany the mood reactivity:

  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Increased appetite or weight gain
  • Intense reaction or increased sensitivity to rejection which can result in problems socially
  • Having a feeling of being weighed down, paralyzed or leaden which means dull, heavy or slow

In my opinion, people with depression often feel shame and do not feel comfortable talking to others about their struggles. I feel that it is incredibly important to never judge depression-quote-3-1-healthyplace_copiaanyone for what they are battling with in life, but we should all be accepting and offer our support❤! In some situations, depression can lead to suicide which I find extremely sad. Maybe if these people felt that they mattered and could confide in another, they would not have gone that route. Of course that is not always true as we really can not help someone who does not want help, but we can at least try to offer our compassion❤!

**Please note that I am NOT a physician or mental health professional. All the information I have shared with you is from my own research and experiences in life. So, please take this as advice not an official diagnosis for anything!**

Thank y’all from the bottom of my heart ❤for stopping by my site today. I hope you found this information valuable and offered you an understanding of what some have to deal with in life! Of course I will appreciate your comments and I will respond just as quickly as I possibly can. I hope you have  fabulous and beautiful day! As always, I am sending y’all LOTS of ❤love and comfort!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

Friday Sunshine!

struggleGood morning Y’all and a very happy Friday! Even though logically I know it is not possible, it feels like the weeks are getting longer. I had expectations for myself for this week, but those expectations were unfortunately not met. I told y’all in the beginning of the week I was going to try to increase my work hours from 6 hours daily to 7, but I was not able to. I also said I would not be hard on myself if I did not achieve this goal, which is a little untrue. As y’all know I have been struggling with a lot of spasticity in my legs, which is causing a massive amount of pain. I tried to push myself further so I could work 7 hours, but the most I was able to do was 6.5 hours. All I can say is, better luck next week because you know I will keep trying until I achieve my goal!

How was your week? Do you feel like the weeks are getting longer or is it all in my head? I think my week might have felt longer because I wanted so much to work longer hours and I was having so much pain! Frustration was definitely at a high! 

I am trying to make an important decision about whether I should or should not get another MRI. The only reason why my specialist sent the order in was because I haveMS Warrior been back on the Gilenya for 6 months and they want to see if it is helping my illness. Until I mentioned that I was on Gilenya for 6 years previously they did not seem to have any idea and now it might not even be necessary. It is a little disturbing to me that my specialist did not know or remember that I was on Gilenya for so many years prior to October. When she first told me I needed to have the MRI, I thought it was to see if the new active lesions from the October MRI had went into remission or if there were new lesions, I did not know she was ordering this because of the 6 month time line due to restarting the Gilenya! If I am being 100% honest, the only reason I would want this MRI done is to see if there are new active lesions causing all this spasticity and pain. But all the MRI will do is cause me a lot of unnecessary stress and in turn upset me way too much, which we all know the damage being upset will cause. I mean seriously, if all is well with the MRI the specialist mswill say I am doing well with the Gilenya but, if there is any activity on the scan she might say the Gilenya is not strong enough for me and I need to consider starting a different medication. The bottom line is I am NOT switching medications again until there is a cure because the Gilenya worked SO well for me for 6 long years and if the MS has progressed to Secondary, Gilenya is still used to treat the illness. Do you think I am being logical or irrational with my thought process?

I really appreciate you taking the time to visit my site today and I am really looking forward to your comments, which you know I will always respond to as soon as I possibly can! I hope y’all have a fantastic Friday and I also hope you are feeling well! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all positive vibes and lots of ❤love and comfort!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

Intense Spasticity

Definition+of+spasticityFor the past few days I have been dealing with a lot of pain and discomfort in my legs and even in my arms. I have experienced this sensation many times over the years, so I was almost immune to it and did not allow it to alarm me too much. In all honesty though, as the days and feeling continued it just started to become quite annoying and incredibly uncomfortable. Nothing but my trusty heating pad ❤ seems to alleviate this feeling of pain, which is just VERY frustrating. So I decided to share a little information with y’all about spasticity, which I am sure most of you already know about!

Spasticity is feelings of stiffness and various ranges of involuntary muscle spasms. This is extremely common with those living with Multiple Sclerosis. Spasticity could be as mild as feelings of tightness of the muscles or so severe that it causes painful, uncontrollable spasms of the extremities, most commonly in the legs. Spasticity can cause pain and tightness in and around the joints and cause intense lower back pain, which is horrible to manage! Spasticity can be triggered by a number of things like sudden movement or position changes, extremes in temperatures, humidity or infection, but can also be ms spasticityaggravated by tight clothing!

There are different types of Spasticity are:

Flexor Spasticity involving the hamstrings which are the muscles on back of the upper leg and hip flexor which are the muscles at the top of the upper thigh. The hips and knees are bent and difficult to straighten.

Extensor Spasticity involving the quadriceps and adductors which are the muscles on the front and inside of the upper leg. The hips and knees remain straight with legs very close together or crossed over at the ankles.

There are treatments available for this possibly painful situation. Treatments are on an individual basis, but for any treatment it is important to work closely with a specialist. Some treatments may include certain exercises recommended by the specialist, changes in daily activities, medication or a combination of all three of these options. The two most common antispasticity medications are Baclofen and Tizanidine. Baclofen is a muscle relaxant that works on nerves in the spinal cord. Tizanidine works quickly to calm spasms and to relax tightened muscles. All medications that can be used, can and will work differently with each individual person, which is why it is SO IMPORTANT to always consult with a specialist and report all side effect experienced.

**Important Disclaimer** I am not a physician nor am I in the medical field, all information I am sharing is based completely on my own research and personal experiences, so please if you are experiencing anything to do with spasticity consult with your physician.

Thank y’all for visiting my site today! I hope this information was interesting to you and if you have any comments, please do not hesitate to leave them. I love❤ being able to read your comments and I do always respond as quickly as I can. If any of you have experienced this feeling and have found a good way to relieve the pain and discomfort, please let me know!! I hope y’all have a great day and are feeling well. As always remember I am sending y’all lots of 💕love and comfort!

Love 2

 

Always, Alyssa

Anxiety Illnesses are Real!

anxietyEveryone experiences anxiety in cases such as dealing with a problem at work, before taking a test or while making an important decision, which is all completely normal. When a person has an anxiety disorder it involves a lot more than just the temporary worry or fear. The fear and anxiety for a person that suffers with an anxiety disorder does not just go away, but can actually worse over time, which can be frustrating and scary. The feelings that are involved with anxiety can and does interfere with a person’s daily activities such as their job performance, school work and even their personal relationships.

There are several different types of anxiety disorders that I am will be elaborating on which include: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is one that causes people to feel anxious and worried most of the time and not just on specific stressful situations like most of us deal with. The worries these people have tend to be intense, persistent and interfere with their normal lives. The worries will relate to several aspects of everyday life including work, health, family, and/or financial issues, instead of just one issue at a time which can be extremely overwhelming for anyone! Minor things like household chores or being late for a meeting or appointment become the focus of the anxiety and can lead to uncontrollable worries and fears!

Panic Disorder is a term that is used to describe panic attacks that are recurrent and disabling. Several ways a panic attack disorder can be characterized?

  • Presence of reoccurring and unexpected panic attacks
  • Worrying for at least one month after having a panic attack that you will have another, but do not know when
  • Worrying about the implications or consequences of a panic attack
  • Significant changes in behavior that relate to the panic attack, such as avoid activities all together

panic attackWhile experiencing a panic attack the person will feel overwhelmed by physical sensations. A panic attack typically peaks within 10 minutes and usually lasts up to an hour and a half, which will leave the person feeling tired and just completely exhausted. Panic attacks can occur several times a day or if the person is lucky maybe once every few years. Each person with this disorder can experience it in different severties.

Panic attacks are actually very common as up to 40% of the population will experience one at some point in their life.

Common signs and symptoms of a Panic Attack are:

  • Sense of overwhelming panic or fear
  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing as if there is not enough air
  • Feeling choked
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Dizziness, light-headedness or feeling faint

Social Anxiety is also referred to as Social Phobia. Now we all can get nervous in social situations, especially when we are meeting new people or if we have to give a speech, but we somehow manage to pull through those uncomfortable situations. When people who have social anxiety are faced with similar situations it can lead to very intense anxiety, which can be extremely overwhelming. Even in the most ordinary everyday situations, people with social anxiety may fear of being judged, criticized, laughed at or humiliated in front of others.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often heard of when soldiers come home from war, but it can happen to anyone that has experienced a traumatic event in their life time. A traumatic event could be a car accident or another serious accident, physical or sexual assault, war or torture or a disaster such as a fire or flood. After a traumatic event a person may feel intense fears, helplessness or horror. Even though anyone can develop PTSD after a traumatic event, people tend to be at a greater risk if the event involved deliberate harm such as physical or sexual assault or they had repeated traumatic experiences such as childhood sexual abuse, especially when done by someone they knew and were close to.

Word cloud for Obsessive-compulsive disorderObsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can create unhealthy patterns of behavior that may cause difficulties in normal daily functions. A person without OCD could be leaving their house to go to work or another type of outing and start thinking they left the lights on, which will cause them to go back inside to check the lights quickly. However, a person with OCD in the same situation will go back home to check the light, but feel they need to check the lights repeatedly before they are comfortable to leave again. 

There are various signs and symptoms of OCD that I am going to share with you.

  • Obsessive hand washing or household cleaning to reduce an overstated fear of contamination
  • Overwhelming need to perform tasks or place objects in a particular place or pattern
  • Repeatedly counting items or objects such as pavement blocks they are walking on
  • Obsessive fear about harm occurring causing them to repeatedly check windows and or doors to be sure they are locked

I would like to thank y’all for taking the time to visit my website today and I hope this information was a true benefit to you! As I said earlier in the month, May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I wanted to share as much information as I can about the different illnesses that people could be faced with. It is so important to be as understanding as you possibly can when dealing with people because you really never know what they are battling in their lives. 

I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend and were able to do everything you wanted to do! Getting ready for a new week can be exciting to have new opportunities or it can be upsetting as you just do not want to go back to work! But, however you are feeling try finding the positive in what a new week can offer you! Remember good thoughts create good vibes for everyone!! As always I am sending you lots of love and comfort!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa