~Pick Me Up Thursday~

**We Are Finally Almost To The Weekend**

Happy Friday Eve y’all! How has your week been? As always, my week has been busy as ever, which I do enjoy. I never thought I would say this, but I do love my job. I don’t just love my job because I am working from home and the work itself can get frustrating, but for some reason, I enjoy it. I hardly ever take an official lunch break and instead work while I eat something. While there are some people I could do without, the majority of the people are pretty great. I guess it could be because I have not really met anyone I work with and only see them on the video meetings!

With the weather changing and is getting colder, the days might seem a little longer because they are! Hot weather is always very draining for me, but the cold temperatures increase the amount of pain I feel drastically. I am sure the reason for the increased pain in colder weather is because I tense up a lot more, but it is nothing that my small and great space heater can’t help! Considering my husband and I both work from home, and our joint home office is in the finished part of the basement, it gets cold. We purchased a few small space heaters that work brilliantly!

As our week is finally coming to an end, I think a little pick me up is just what we all need. Life in, general, can be stressful, but when you add work, fears of COVID, health, and everything else to the mix it can be overwhelming. I think days when I do not have something that makes me smile and or laugh the days are dreadful. The simplest things can bring a smile to our faces, like both of my cats are full of entertaining surprises, and the adorable groundhog that lives out back always makes my day much better. With that said, I hope the quote I am sharing will make you smile, even just a little!

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you have a great day and you stay as safe as you possibly can. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 numbers are increasing on a steady basis, so we need to be careful and take all precautions necessary. I am looking forward to reading your comments and 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

Been on my mind

~Living Life With An Unpredictable Illness~

I have decided to write about a few things that have been weighing on my mind lately. Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed with life, work, and health concerns. There always seems to be something going on in the world from the political insanity to COVID-19 to mass levels of hatred that is being spread even fast than the virus.

I think after everyone that wanted to vote did so and the counting was finished, there should not be any more talk about it. The voices of SO many American people spoke out and there is going to be a new president starting in January 2021! There is a chance we may have hope now because we are not going to have an immature person that is unable to take accountability for what has happened with this pandemic and is definitely not a leader in the White House.

As for COVID-19, if people would just follow the advice we have all been told for months now, MAYBE there would be more control over the virus by now. Unfortunately, the few times I actually leave my house hardly anyone is wearing a mask. I just do not understand why because I know they must have seen the news and see the numbers on the consistent rise. The virus is NOT a joke. This virus is killing thousands of people every day and it needs to stop.

The hatred that is being spread will never make sense to me. I have said this to y’all multiple times, but I have to say it again, everyone should be treated equally and with respect. A person’s race, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, religious following, and anything else should not matter because we ALL have a beating heart and feelings. No one should ever feel shame for who they are, but instead should be proud. The rage and hate that is filling the United States must end because the death, injuries, and fear are things that never should happen.

I will end my little rant now, but I do want to share with y’all a little about what my life has been like living with an unpredictable illness, especially during the pandemic. Most of you, if not all of you are already aware that this is definitely not easy. Of course, there are good days along the way, but then there are also those days that are more grueling than any others. The truth is there are some days it is challenging for me to even get down the stairs to the home office and begin my workday because my legs hurt terribly and they are extremely weak, but I do manage to get there.

Besides the continuous pain I have from my knees down to my toes, I have massive amounts of pain issues from the middle to the lower area of my back. Considering I have been living with Multiple Sclerosis for two decades, I have learned to live with the pain. I guess it is safe to say that I have learned to not just live with the pain, but also accept it as part of my life. I mean there really isn’t another way because I am not going to allow for Multiple Sclerosis to dictate my life as I want to control my own life. Unfortunately, there is not a cure for Multiple Sclerosis yet and I want to live my life to the fullest I possibly can. After all, I did make my late Poppy a promise 20 years ago that I would NEVER give up and I refuse to disappoint him by not keeping that promise!

Another difficult symptom I have been dealing with more lately is dizziness. Previously, the dizzy spells were random and only a few times a year, but recently they have been awful. Last week, I had two dizzy spells within a few days of each other. The second one happened after my husband and I finished dinner, and I told him before I tried to start cleaning that I didn’t feel right. When I tried standing up and I told my husband I was very dizzy, so he started cleaning up for me. I still attempted to try helping and when I thought I had control of the dizziness, I fell in the kitchen. Of course, my husband came running to my side to make sure I was not hurt. The only injuries were a few bruises to my knees and thankfully did not hit my head. Even after sitting on the floor with my husband for a few minutes, I still didn’t feel like I could stand without falling, so my sweet and caring husband carried me into our room.

I want to thank y’all for visiting my site today and reading this post. Even though I know some of you can relate to this, I wish you didn’t have to because I know it isn’t all that fun. On my worst days something that helps me get through them is I can hear my Poppy’s voice saying “No matter what you are going through in life, someone else is always going through something worse. “ He always told me he believed in me and that I was strong enough to get through anything thrown at me and I know he was right!

I would love to read your comments and promise to respond as quickly as I can. I know sometimes it takes me longer to respond, but that is because I have been working no less than 45 hours a week and sometimes more. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Tranquil Tuesday

~My 20 Year Battle With Multiple Sclerosis~

Many of you already know that I have battled my fight with Multiple Sclerosis for going on 20 years now. Most days I can’t even believe it has been that long and yet I still remember the day I heard the doctor say the words to me “Alyssa, you have Multiple Sclerosis.” I was a 19- year- old girl, alone in the exam room, and was in complete shock. At the time of my diagnosis, I was naïve, scared, and did not know what my life was going to be like. I only knew one person that had MS and she was in a wheelchair. Being so young and clueless I thought I was going to be diagnosed, and then bound to a wheelchair, and then death. I know how ridiculous that sounds now because I have a better understanding of this disease.

Of course, the past 20 years have come with many ups and downs, but not only am I still here to talk about it and hopefully help others living with chronic illnesses. Yes, I do live with various issues, but I have learned to live a fairly normal and full life with all of it. I think it is important to understand that no matter what our struggles are in life, we can learn to make the most of it. Life is short and no one ever said it was going to be easy. I think the more struggles we overcome, the stronger we are.

It has been a while since I have written about Multiple Sclerosis and considering I had an appointment a little more than a week ago with my new neurologist; it might be a good time to write a little about what I deal with day in and day out with Multiple Sclerosis. The real reason I do not write much about it anymore is I do not think it is good to dwell on things we have no control over, but it is important to help others that do not have MS understand what it is all about and others that live with this unpredictable disease to know they are not alone. I say this because I remember when I was first diagnosed, I felt so incredibly and painfully alone.

One of the most important things when living with any chronic illness is finding a specialist that you trust and can work well with. Over my years with Multiple Sclerosis, I have had my fair share of specialists that I respected and trusted, but then there were those I would do anything just to avoid them. The only reason those I trusted, respected, and admired are not my specialist anymore is that they retired. I have only met my new specialist was virtually, but she said one thing that won me over, she knew, admired, respected, and loved my first neurologist. As simple as this may sound, I have been missing my first neurologist since the day he retired. It did take me time to be accepting of him because he was the one that confirmed I had Multiple Sclerosis. The only reason I left the practice he was at is because the neurologist that was taking his place insulted him when speaking with me and this was a HUGE no, no!

During my two decades of living with Multiple Sclerosis, (WOW that sounds like a LONG time), I have faced and dealt with various issues. Of course, some of what I have struggled with have ranged anywhere between being a minor inconvenience to almost unbearable, and everything in between. Symptoms involved with Multiple Sclerosis and any other chronic illness can be different for each individual because we are all unique.

I am sure that most of you know about Multiple Sclerosis because you or someone you know has it, but I am going to take this time to provide you a brief overview, and then I will describe the issues I battle with every day of my life. I will begin by explaining what Multiple Sclerosis is.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that may become disabling of both the brain and spinal cord. With MS, the immune system attacks the myelin, which is the protective sheath covering nerve fibers and creates communication issues between the brain and the rest of the body.

What are the types of Multiple Sclerosis?

Unfortunately, in 2020 there is still not a way to foresee with absolute certainty how a person’s disease will advance and or how fast this will happen. The four main types of MS have been established by the: International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials of MS and were defined as the following explanations.

Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS):

This is the first occurrence of neurological symptoms that are caused by inflammation and demyelination in the central nervous system. Although the occurrence must last for at least 24-hours to be considered a characteristic of MS, it still doesn’t meet the specifications for an MS diagnosis because those that experience CIS may or may not have MS.

It is when CIS comes along with lesion on a brain MRI, which is typically seen in MS, that the probability of the person having a 2nd MRI is high, and being diagnosed with RRMS is very common.

Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS):

This is the most common form of MS with 85% of people being diagnosed originally with it. RRMS is distinguished by undeniably defined attacks of new or increasing neurological symptoms, which are known as relapse or exacerbation and are typically followed with partial or complete times of partial or complete remission. While in remission, all symptoms may disappear or the symptoms may continue and be permanent, but during this time there isn’t any progression seen. RRMS can be further described as either active, which is with relapse and or confirmation of new MRI activity in a specific time frame, or NOT active, as well as worsening or not worsening.

Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS):

Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis is a type when one was initially diagnosed with RRMS and progressed into SPMS. The progression from RRMS to SPMS is due to the increasing worsening of neurological function over time. SPMS can also e distinguished as either active, not active, as well as progression indicating disability accrual over time.

Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS):

Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis is classified by increased deteriorating neurological function from the onset of this disease and without early relapse or remissions. Just like the first few types of MS, PPMS can also be distinguished as active, not active, progression, and without progression. Only about 15% of people with MS are diagnosed with PPMS.

The symptoms for each person living with Multiple Sclerosis might be very different, slightly different, similar, but they will never be exactly the same because we are all very different. I really did not mean for this post to get so long, so I will briefly share with you the symptoms I deal with both daily and or randomly.

The way I discovered that I had MS all those years ago, is because I lost vision in my left eye and went to the eye doctor. Never in a million years did I expect that this vision loss was the start of my journey with Multiple Sclerosis. After going through the MRI to confirm the doctor’s suspicions, I was put on an insane amount of steroids, which even though I completely and utterly detest steroids; they did help restore my vision. One would think I would have been relieved to learn I wasn’t going blind, but I often think the diagnosis was worse than the diagnosis.

Through the years, I have experienced a wide range of symptoms that have varied from mild and tolerable to awful and intolerable. A few things that have been a constant are pain, numbness and tingling, and spasticity. Sometimes I think that if I had one day without any pain, numbness and tingling life wouldn’t seem as normal. My legs always have that numbness and tingling sensation from my knees to the tips of my toes. It can make walking be challenging depending on how bad it is, but normally I am fine with walking. My back hurts every minute of every day from the middle to lower back, but I try not to let that get me down too much. There are times when the mixture of pain, numbness, and tingling can contribute to muscle weakness. I also experience a lot of fatigue and then have a hard time falling asleep. It is an annoying cycle!

Another symptom I have dealt with over the past two decades that is not very often is vertigo. There was a time several years ago when I was having vertigo very bad, but had a doctor’s appointment with my neurologist and drove myself to the appointment. I did well driving when a little dizzy because I managed to keep between the lines. It is insane that I hardly could walk a straight line, but drove perfectly fine! I have also dealt with the MS hug, which is not a huge anyone ever wants. The MS hug feels like there is a huge snake around you and just keeps squeezing. Another issue I deal with at least three times a week is headaches/migraines. Headaches/migraines are a form of pain that I can’t deal with.

Thank you for visiting my site today and reading about my LONG journey of living with Multiple Sclerosis. It has been a long journey and one I never wanted, but one I wanted to give up on 20 years ago. I am thankful that I did not give up and followed advice from my dear Poppy. When I was diagnosed, my Poppy told me that I was strong enough to handle this disease and to always remember that no matter what I am going through, someone else is going through something a lot worse. I have held onto his words all these years and hope that I can inspire y’all to never give up because you are far stronger than you ever knew.

I know this post got a little long and longer than I anticipated, but there is so much involved when living with Multiple Sclerosis. All the challenges you experience throughout your life are making you stronger and therefore you can inspire someone else to never give up! I am looking forward to reading your comments and I promise to 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!

Let’s Begin This Week Off With A Positive Mindset!

Happy Monday y’all! How was your weekend? I hope your weekend was full of relaxation and happiness! Honestly, my weekend was fairly uneventful, and I enjoyed that. I feel sometimes we all need the entire weekend to recuperate from a long and busy week.

With all of the changes that have gone on with the weather, I have been dealing with my typical increased pain. Now, I do deal with this every time there is any changes in the weather, but for some reason Sunday was a lot worse. It is a good thing I didn’t have any plans and didn’t need to leave the house because my legs hurt so bad it was painful to even walk. No matter how high my pain is, I will never sit around and feel sorry for myself because it could always be worse and life if just too short I guess we all deal with health issues and we make the best of it.

Sadly, the weekend is over and we are at the beginning of a fresh new week. It isn’t even easy to say goodbye to the weekends, and my cats especially hate it because now Mommy will be in her home office locked away from them all day long the entire week. Yes, my cats are babies and demand a lot of attention! I almost feel a little guilty that I have to be locked away from them, but it would be nearly impossible because they would both be walking all over my desk, laptop, and the paperwork on my desk. They would amazing co-workers, if they would not try helping SO much!

Now that we are at the beginning of a new week, that is hopefully filled with fantastic opportunities I think we all could benefit from a little motivation! My hope is that the quote I am sharing with y’all will kick start your week with the right amount of motivation, optimism, and encouragement that is necessary to start a week off on the right track! I am looking forward to reading your thoughts on the quote and also how your weekend was!

Oh my goodness, almost forgot to tell you about something truly shocking and amazing happened at almost 5:00 PM on Friday. Y’all know that I had started a new job a few months ago and the work is similar I have done previously. The only issues have been the lack of training and the consistent changes that do not usually make sense. Anyways, the good news is I received an email from a team lead telling what a good job I was doing, and that she and others in management were very impressed with me. This made me feel pretty great and helped build my confidence.

Thank you for visiting my site today and I hope you have a splendid start to your week! I know I have been slower with my responses to your comments, but I promise 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

~July COVID-19 Information~

~The Truth About COVID-19~

I have honestly debated with myself for the past week if I should or shouldn’t write this because I want to steer clear of negativity as much as I possibly can. I must have started and stopped writing this at least 15 times, but I do feel this information is crucial and really needs to be shared as much as possible for the safety of human lives. There have already been so many people that lost their lives because of this virus and things urgently need to change.

My husband is a wonderful man and has always been very supportive of my writing and dreams of doing more with it. For the first time when I explained to him earlier in the week what I was planning to write about he actually deterred me from writing anything negative about the president. Let me clarify this, he did not deter me from writing negatively about the president because he supports him because like myself he doesn’t support that man at all, he just did not want anything I wrote about to negatively impact my life in any way. What I am actually writing about today is so much bigger and more important than a simple man like the president. I am writing about what most people worldwide have lived in fear of for the past 6 months, COVID-19.

There have been many false claims made and a vast amount of important information that was either not shared or it has been forgotten or it was not taken seriously. When the president of a county isn’t taking something seriously, none of his followers/supporters are going to take it seriously either, which in the United States where I live is an enormous problem.

If you are like me and you do not care much for politics, think about what you would think if your favorite musician was not taking this virus seriously. Would you follow how that person behaved or would you think the musician was out of their mind? Now think about how people you know and care for are behaving towards this virus. Do you have family or friends that are not viewing this virus seriously? Thankfully even though my mother supports the president she does understand the severity of the situation we are in here in the United States.

The COVID-19 numbers in the state I live in are steadily increasing without fail. I tend to think it is because I live in a mostly Republican supporting state with only a few exceptions. Recently, I spoke to one of our neighbors at the mailbox and she flat out said that she thinks the virus is a hoax. Of course, I always keep 6 feet distance between myself and anyone else that doesn’t live in my household.

The many things I find irritating when I do have to leave my house, which is not often, is that so many people do not respect others with social distancing and hardly anyone wears a mask. I just do not understand, except that neither the president nor vice president wears a mask. Nonetheless, people should appreciate the science involved and listen to the experts.

Recently, I saw that the United States has been the worst-affected country with more than 3.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 139,960 deaths. It is terrifying how many innocent or uneducated people have had to lose their lives because of this awful virus. How many people need to die before everyone will do what is necessary? It is easy to wear a mask and if they do not have a mask, wear some kind of face covering. It is even easier and doesn’t cost a thing, practice social distancing. Even in the south where I live in the United States, stores have markings on the ground indicating where 6 feet is, but yet many people still can’t maintain the 6 feet that is required.

I think y’all know by now that I am a very emotional person, which explains why it is hard for me to not breakdown in tears when I hear about someone that lost someone they love to COVID-19. It is the people’s life that has forever changed because they have to learn to live without someone they love.

Some spouses have lost the person they promised to love, honor, and cherish for the rest of their lives. Some parents have lost their child or maybe even grandchildren. How can anyone see this and not understand the urgency of wearing a mask, practice social distancing, disinfect everything they touch, and or wash their hands multiple times a day?

Most of you that have read my posts also know that I have Multiple Sclerosis and that I take a medication that weakens my immune system which means that I am at a very high risk of contracting the virus that is causing so much fear and stress throughout the entire world.

I am thankful for the job that allows me to work in the safety of my home. I am thankful for my husband that always supports me and does his best to protect me. I am thankful that my mother and stepfather are aware and staying safe from the virus. I am thankful for the intelligent people the United States has, even if those people are not always listened to because without these people we would not know what we do know about the dangers this virus has the potential of.

I want to ask each and every one of you to stay safe and follow all the safety protocols that we have been made aware of. I completely understand how uncomfortable it is to wear a mask, but I also think a little discomfort is worth your life and safety. No matter what everyone else is doing or how different you might look, please always wear a mask when you leave your home!

I know parts of this post might have seemed a little negative, but I hope you were able to see the positive within my words. I want to thank you for taking the time to read this information and I hope you will always stay safe! I worry about my family, friends, fellow bloggers, all humankind, and animals because animals can get COVID-19 just like we all can.

I hope y’all are having a lovely and safe weekend. I would love to read your comments on the information I have provided. I promise to respond as quickly as I can and within no more than 24 hours. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Coping with COVID-19 Stress

Learning to cope with the stress of a pandemic

For the first time in 40 years, on June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization declared the start of a flu pandemic. The CDC estimated that between 151,700 and 575,400 people died worldwide from the 2009 H1N1 virus infection during the first year of circulation. This virus was detected first in the United States in April 2009 before quickly spreading throughout the rest of the world.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared another pandemic with it being called Coronavirus or COVID-19. Even though COVID-19 was thought to be serious enough for the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic, there were still some leaders that did not heed the warnings and take proper actions.

The same leader or leaders that did not take COVID-19 seriously, spent months saying it was nothing more than a hoax and then claiming it was not even as serious as the normal flu. I find the ignorance and shame it takes to call this deadly virus the Chinese virus simply because it began in China absolutely ridiculous. I mean, no one ever referred to H1N1 as the American virus because it began in the United States, so what gives anyone the right to call COVID-19 the Chinese virus or any other demeaning name they think of?

There is one leader in particular that continues to blame everyone else for the virus but fails to blame the person he sees in the mirror every day for the 129,545 American’s that died because of this virus. Worldwide there have been more than 511,000 people who lost their lives due to COVID-19. We will never know now if only action was taken sooner not as many people would have had to die.

There is no denying the fact that being faced with a pandemic, which has already taken the lives of many, is stressful. Most of us have been overwhelmed with distress and anxiety due to this virus. Although actions such as social distancing are imperative for safety reasons, it can cause additional stress and anxiety from being isolated and lonely.

As we continue undergoing the pandemic of an infectious disease outbreak, there are several other issues that we may experience, including but not limited to the following:

– Fear for your health and the health of your loved ones

– Worry for your financial situation and or job security

– Changes in your sleep and or eating patterns

– Troubles sleeping and or concentrating

– Decline in chronic health problems

– Intensifying issues of mental health issues

– Increased use of tobacco and or alcohol and other substances

Everyone responds to stressful situations differently. Even though we dealt with the H1N1 pandemic back in 2009, I do not remember being as concerned and terrified as I have been with COVID-19. The crazy thing is during 2009, I worked for a hospital system with the Employee Health Department. I had constant interaction with people that tested positive for the flu, but never really worried. Of course, I wore a mask and washed my hands multiple times a day and thankfully never got the flu.

I do realize I am not the only one that remains worried about COVID-10, but I can also understand there is no amount of worrying that will make this situation any easier. Granted even if we lived next door to each other, chances are we wouldn’t be able to see one another and would only be able to offer support virtually. We can do this now and help each other to lessen the massive burdens of stress we are all enduring.

I am going to share a few ideas I discovered that will hopefully help reduce the stress we have all been trying our best to manage.

1. Limit Media Time-

Most people have already proven the ability to practice social distancing to prevent the spreading of COVID-19. With already understanding the importance of social distancing for the good of our health, we should be able to understand why distancing ourselves from the media would be in the best interest of our mental well-being. It seems like the media has 24/7 COVID coverage, which can be beneficial in small doses but can also be very negative causing additional anxiety for those who already had concerns. If you are anything like me (I am so sorry for you), you are already feeling extreme anxiousness. When we are becoming more anxious, we should consider taking a break from all news outlets and the view the news only twice a day at most!

2. Stop Engaging with worry-

Regardless if you are worried about yourself or a loved one contracting the virus or being out of work, the more you focus your attention on the worst-case scenarios, the more anxious and stressed you will feel. Of course, we are not able to stop thoughts from entering our minds, but we can choose to not dwell on those thoughts and instead decide to take action towards solving the problems at hand. I think we are all logical enough to understand the enormous differences between worrying and solving the problems we face. Our mind will often try to bait us into worrying, so we need to avoid taking that bait. Our feelings of anxiety will try baiting us with the many “what if” questions that we need to try avoiding answering because it only leads us down dark and endless roads. During times like these, we need to focus our attention elsewhere and on the more positive aspects. I do know during these stressful times, finding the silver lining might be challenging, but it is there.

3. Do not react to physical symptoms-

Just because you or someone around you coughs does not mean it is because of COVID-19. People have allergies, bronchitis, post-nasal drip, or a common cold and these issues are the much more likely explanation. We all know the seasons can cause numerous issues, so it is best to not assume COVID-19 every time you so much as hear a cough, but being aware of your surroundings and following safety protocols should always be followed. For your mental health and well-being, do not continuously scan your body searching for COVID-19 symptoms. The only things this behavior will do is cause unnecessary worry and intensify our already high anxiety levels.

4. Focus on productivity and newer ways of enjoyment-

Unfortunately, we do not have any control over the crisis the world is experiencing currently and the only thing we can control is our response. How many times in the past were you overloaded with work and maintaining your home, but discovered something new you wanted to try? With how much our everyday lives have changed and we are now living our “new normal”, we might finally through no fault of our own have time for new adventures. We can learn a new skill or fine-tune something we used to do back before life got crazy with work and family. Now is the time to put our attention on creating and accomplishing, instead of the virus and or our employment status.

5. Seize the moment in stress-reducing activities-

There are numerous different things we can try that could help reduce the vast amount of stress we might be experiencing during these trying times. As few ideas may include focusing on the things we are grateful for, exercising our bodies, guided meditation, and yoga are things that may help us relax our minds. Anything we may want to learn can easily be found on YouTube; there are many simple videos to follow along with on just about anything we can think of. Just think, once we are finally past this crisis we will not only have learned something new, but also appreciate all the simple things in life we may have taken for granted before such as dinner out at our favorite restaurant, a night out at the movies, and even something as simple as a haircut.

6. Follow CDC guidelines, but do not go overboard-

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or sing happy birthday or twinkle, twinkle little star, whichever you prefer. This does not mean washing your hands until they are red and dry. In the event soap and water isn’t available, you can use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Always avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and others outside your home. Wear face covering when around others out in the public. Despite what some might say, it is not necessary to remove all your clothing before entering your home.

7. Maintain a sense of normalcy-

During these crazy times, it may be challenging to continue your day as you normally would with some modifications, so this could require adding a little creativity. Before the pandemic, you may have gone to the gym for your workout, but now you have to work out in your home. Instead of dinner out with friends, maybe you have dinner or drinks by a video platform. Continuing life with a structure to our day and any type of an appearance of normalcy will help reduce any additional anxieties.

8. Show kindness for yourself and others-

During a time of national crisis, it is normal to feel anxious and worried. Remember while you are having these feelings, people you know are probably having the same feelings. Reaching out to family, friends, and neighbors who have been isolated, the same as all the rest of us may need a little boost in their spirits. Sometimes a simple phone call will not only heighten our spirits but also improve the person on the other end of the phone mood as well. If you are currently unemployed because of the pandemic, your new job is to have faith that this storm in life will pass and something new will come along and everything will work out for the best!

I meant to have this post out yesterday, but obviously wasn’t able to. For some unknown reason I had a lack in motivation and also continued getting distracted with many other things. I guess maybe it was the mixture of emotions I am feeling for starting my new job Monday. I am not overly nervous or excited; it is pretty much a good balance between the two. I have been out of work for many months now and honestly I have not ever worked from home on a permanent basis. I know I will be able to handle the work from home status well because I have always been extremely organized and disciplined. I did work in the same industry my work from home job is for several years prior to my husband and I relocated and did very well with it. If I am not mistaken the work I am going to be doing is almost exactly the same, but I have heard from a reliable resource that my new company is far more organized than the company I worked for previously.

Thank you for stopping by my site today and I do hope this information was helpful for you! I did only list 8 possible stress relieving ideas, but I do know there are many more and you probably already have some. I do hope you will share your thoughts on this important topic because it will help anyone that reads this. I hope your week is going well, you are feeling the best you possibly can, and you are continuing to remain safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month, Part 1

June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. For June, the goal is to raise awareness, further educate those unaware about migraines and headaches, and show support to those that deal with these issues. Due to the vast about of information and to try to maintain length, there will be other posts with even more information about migraines and headaches.

Migraines are the third most common disease globally estimating 14.77% of the world’s population suffers from migraines. Approximately 38 million United States citizens deal with this pain. Of the American’s that battle with migraines, about 85% are women. The vast majority of migraine sufferers experience an episode once or twice a month, more than 4 million others endures chronic daily migraines. It is an exceedingly debilitating condition causing not just a simple headache but can come along with nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances, utmost sensitivity to sound and, light and tingling or numbness in the face. Nearly 25% of migraine attacks may include an aura, which is a visual disturbance that lasts less than an hour.

Unfortunately, children can be affected by migraines. Of the children that experience migraines they typically have their first episode before age 12. Even though at younger ages boys suffer more from migraines than girls, once in the adolescent year’s girls end up dealing with migraines more than boys of the same age.

Migraines are a crucial public health concern, but they continue to be misunderstood, under-diagnosed, and under-treated. More than half of migraine suffers are never diagnosed properly. Many that suffer do not pursue medical attention for their pain because like individuals battling other chronic illnesses, there are extremely high costs for medical services, minuscule support, and restricted access to proper quality of care.

While we are in National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month it is important to recognize the International Classification of Headache Disorders, published by the International Headache Society, which used to classify more than 150 types of primary and secondary disorders.

I will begin with primary headache disorders which are divided into four groups:

1. Migraines- I briefly touched on this at the beginning of this post, but allow me to give a slightly deeper description. A migraine headache is distinguished by throbbing and pulsating pain caused by an activation of nerve fibers residing within the walls of the brain blood vessels that travel within the meninges. Just to quickly explain, meninges are the three membranes lining the skull and vertebral canal and encloses the brain and spinal cord.

Migraine headaches are repetitive episodes of throbbing pain ranging from moderate to severe in intensity. These typically affect one side of the head at a time. If an episode goes untreated it can potentially last anywhere from 4-72 hours.

Various factors can trigger the migraine cycle to begin and could differ from person to person, but may include sudden weather or environment changes, too much or not enough sleep, strong fragrances, emotion, stress, overexerting yourself, loud noises, motion sickness, low blood sugar, skipping meals, tobacco, depression, anxiety, head trauma, hangover, certain medications, hormonal changes, and bright or flashing lights. The cause in 50% of migraine sufferers were foods and ingredients. A few examples of the foods and ingredients that can trigger a migraine are aspartame, caffeine, or withdrawal from caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, aged cheeses, monosodium glutamate, numerous fruits and nuts, fermented or pickled goods, yeast, and cured or processed meats.

The four phases of a migraine, which all can be apparent during an episode, are:

1. Premonitory symptoms occurring up to 24 hours before developing a migraine. These symptoms can include food cravings, incomprehensible changes in moods, unmanageable yawning, fluid retention, and escalated urination.

2. Auras occur in some people causing them to immediately before and during the migraine see flashing or bright lights. Other people may experience muscle weakness or a feeling of being touched or grabbed.

3. Headaches can start and gradually build in severity, ultimately becoming a migraine. However, it is possible to suffer a migraine without a headache.

4. Postdrome can occur after a migraine, which is when someone feels exhausted or confused. This phase can potentially last up to 24 hours before the individual feels healthy again.

Besides the two main types of migraines, I will provide details on; there are eight others forms people may experience. I will share only the names of the additional types in this post but will do another post with the details in the next few days. The eight other types of migraines include Abdominal migraine, Basilar-type migraine, Hemiplegic migraine, menstrual-related migraine, Migraine without headache, Ophthalmologic migraine, Retinal migraine, and Status Migrainosus migraine. The following are the details regarding the two main migraine types.

1. Migraine with aura, also known as a classic migraine. Symptoms can show about 10-60 minutes before the headache begins and last no more than an hour. The symptoms may include visual disturbances, difficulty speaking, numbness, or muscle weakness on one side of the body, a sensation of tingling in the bands or face, nausea, loss of appetite, heightened sensitivity to light, sound, and smell.

2. Migraine without aura also knows as a common migraine. The symptoms with this type include headache pain that happens without warning and typically felt on one side of the head, nausea, confusion, fatigue, blurred vision, altered moods, and an intense sensitivity to light, sound, or noise.

The most common type of headache is a tension headache, which was previously known as a muscle-contraction headache. This type of headache suggests the role of stress and mental or emotional pain triggers pain and contracting muscles in the neck, face, scalp, and jaw, missed meals, depression, anxiety, not enough sleep, or sleep apnea.

The pain that accompanies tension headache can range anywhere from mild to moderate and anything in between. Typically this feels like constant pressure is being forced onto the front of the face or to the head or neck. It can also feel like something is being tightened around the head and is felt on both sides of the head. Those that suffer from tension headaches may become very sensitive to light and sound, but do not go through the pre-headache aura that comes along with migraines. Tension headaches will begin to fade once the period of stress or other related causes ends.

Tension headache tends to begin during adolescence and reach the utmost activity in the 30’s. These headaches do affect women somewhat more than men.

Tension headache has two different forms:

1.Episodic tension headaches happen between 10 and 15 days each month and can last anywhere between 30 minutes to several days. Even though the pain is not disabling, the intensity of pain tends to increase with the regularity of the episodes.

2.Chronic tension headaches often happens more than 15 days monthly over 3 months. The pain involved with this form of headache is consistent over days or even months, it is felt on both sides of the head and can become extreme and disabling.

Both depression and anxiety can be the source of tension headaches. These can occur in the early morning or evenings when conflicts at home or work are expected. The various other causes include posture that strains the head or neck muscles, degenerative arthritis in the neck, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

Cluster headaches are the most extreme form of primary headaches. This form of headache involves unforeseen, exceedingly painful headaches occurring in clusters. They typically occur at the same time of day and night for several weeks at a time. Cluster headaches affect one side of the head, frequently behind or around one eye, and may lead up to migraine-like aura and nausea. The pain involved peaks 5-10 minutes following the onset and persists at the same intensity up to 3 hours. Some will endure restlessness and agitation, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, and increased sensitivity to light, sound, or smell.

Cluster headaches can start at any age but typically begin between 20 and 50 years old. This form of headache commonly affects that smoke more than those that do not smoke and is seen more frequently in men than women. Cluster headache episodes do not last as long as migraines. Ordinarily, people will have 1-3 cluster headaches a day, with 2 cluster periods yearly, possibly separated by months free from any symptoms. Cluster periods are commonly inaccurately thought to be allergies because they do occur seasonally, normally in the spring or fall. It has been suggested that inconsistencies in the body’s sleep-wake cycle could be a cause of cluster headaches.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I am sorry this post was so incredibly long, but there is a lot of important information that needs to be shared. In my next few posts I will explain the miscellaneous primary headache forms, secondary headache disorders, treatments and diagnostics. I do hope the information in this post was helpful and offered some sort of comfort. Personally, I deal with migraines and tension headaches far too much and understand many others do as well. I want to encourage your comments because I know they will be amazing and even help others, including myself! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

2,000 + Followers

unnamedJuly 17, 2017. This was a very special day and a day that will never be forgotten because it is the day I took a leap of faith into the blogging community and created my first post ever! Year to date, I have shared 622 posts. When I look back over my almost three years of blogging and like many others that are entering the blogging community for the first time felt slightly overwhelmed. I knew very little about creating and maintaining websites, what to write about and what people wanted to read, connecting and building friendships with those I may never meet face-to-face, deciding on a site name, and so much more. The amazing part of this is, there isn’t a right or download (1)wrong way to create a blog and it is all about what you want out of it!

There are so many reasons people want to attempt blogging. Let’s face it putting yourself and your thoughts on any given topic can cause you to feel a little vulnerable because you have no way to know the reactions of another person reading and can only hope what you wrote will sit well. Trusting yourself and believing in your abilities isn’t easy, but this is the perfect way to learn how.

download (2)I went through an extremely deep sea of emotions when I was contemplating whether or not to start my blog. I guess it was a little terrifying because anything I write could be read and then criticized. All I could think of was everyone reading would think what I wrote was awful and if I wrote about Multiple Sclerosis I might be viewed as weak.

Any negative thoughts I had were quickly seen as incorrect. Everyone in this great community is non-judgmental and encouraging. I have never experienced a time when someone had anything negative or rude to say, which is another reason I love what I am doing.

My reasons for wanting to join the blogging community has always been the same and downloadnever wavered. I wanted to be able to raise awareness about Multiple Sclerosis, but also wanted to encourage people to never surrender to any obstacle they faced

I will be the first to say that life can be very challenging. It is easy to want to give up anything things became unbearable. It takes a strong-willed person to go through painful situations one after another, but always picking themselves back up, dust away the pain and then try again.

I am thankful for the fellow blogger who introduced me to WordPress, Catie Beth, who I worked with at a previous job. She has a brilliant blog about fashion, including makeup and hair products and fabulous shopping tips. Catie Beth is an incredibly kind person images (2)and I know you would enjoy her site https://xocatiebeth.com/, once you view it.

I have always loved writing and love the fact I can write about anything I choose on my blog. This has given me the opportunities to building my abilities and knowledge as a writer. I have also introduced me to some of the most compassionate and kind hearted people.

It brings me so much joy to be able to help others when they are going through difficult times in life. It doesn’t need to be an unpredictable illness to make someone’s life complicated because anyone can experience hardships. I has been one of my goals to spread as much positivity as I can and to as many as I can in what can be a very negative world. It is easy to get caught up in the currents of negativity, almost to the point you feel like you are drowning. By doing uplifting quotes three times a week, I hope to be able to provide a life preserve of hope!Spread-The-LOVE-this

When is started my blog almost three years ago, I always had the never-ending support of my husband, mother, and mother in-law. In the beginning my site was mostly about Multiple Sclerosis and what life is like with this illness. Now, I have been able to build my blog into more than solely Multiple Sclerosis. I must admit it is nice to write about things other than the illness I deal with every day of my life. We all deserve a break from our reality at times.

downloadI recently surpassed 2,000 followers around the world and I am very thankful for each and every one of you. It is mind blowing how many friends I have found and look forward to many years of sharing posts and reading yours.

I hope you are doing well today and your week has started off well and you are feeling the best you possibly can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

heart

❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

Ways to get something positive out of confinement & social distancing

coronavirus lockdownThere is a very good chance I lost count of how many days we have been under what feels like home lockdown and social distancing due to COVID-19 pandemic. So many of us are in areas where those that are in charge have implemented a “Stay at home” order, which means do not leave your house unless it is necessary. Never in a million years could I have imagined people are being advised to not go to work, school, or even church due to risks of the spread of COVID-19.

I cannot just sit around the house doing nothing. It is challenging for me to not be unnamed (2)productive or be able to go to the grocery store. Considering how much I detest grocery shopping, I should be thankful for the fact going to the grocery store is not an option for me. I hate being told what I can and can’t do and I might have some very mild control issues. (I know my husband would be laughing about this right now, so I am not showing him!)

To keep what sanity I do have and remain in a good mindset, I have been thinking of things to pass the time and how to view home confinement as a positive thing. I am going to share some ideas I have thought of and encourage you to let me know what you thought of this information and share any ideas you have to get through all this mess.

  1. Remember when you were a child and how much fun you had putting a jigsaw images (2)puzzle together. Enjoy while you reminisce about the excitement you experience when you completed your masterpiece.
  2. Have a little fun and give yourself a manicure and pedicure. It might not be as great as when someone else does it for you, but your nails and toes will be pretty.
  3. Choose an interesting podcast to listen to. There are millions of podcasts to listen to podcastand there’s bound to be something you will enthrall. The link I am sharing will take you to many different podcasts you can check out. https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/saving-and-budgeting/articles/best-personal-finance-podcasts-to-listen-to
  4. Teach yourself a foreign language. There are many apps you can download, which will be very helpful for learning a new language. The link I have shared will take you to a list of great websites that will help you learn whatever language you desire. https://www.lingualift.com/blog/best-language-learning-apps/
  5. Write a letter to a friend or family member to let them know you are thinking about them. Or, think about a time when someone did something nice for you and even thank-you-600went out of their way to help you. Write this person a warmhearted letter acknowledging what they did and why you are appreciative. This caring letter will make the other person surprised and overjoyed.
  6. Over the years have you accumulated insane amounts of Tupperware? I will tell you that I have accumulated a lot! Organizing where your Tupperware is store by size and matching the lids, which will serve you well in several aspects. One, being organizing will help the massive clutter. It is true performing something like this, will give your mind a break from the COVID-19 stress.
  7. Now is a great time to go through your closet and determine what you will wear again and those you will never wear. Many of these items could be given away to 51bAji8JsgLhelp someone in critical need. We are now helping someone else and clearing space I nm closet I know this will sound crazy, but that’s okay! I enjoy organizing my closet and tend to have it in order by color, like from light to dark A little insane, right?
  8. We all have at least one drawer where we throw things because they do not have a designated home. Going through this drawer and either throwing things away or putting them where they need to be will help with decluttering our mind.
  9. Knitting and crocheting can be very relaxing. If you do not know how to either crochet or knit, watch a few YouTube videos to learn how!
  10. Coloring is no longer for kids only. There are many great adult coloring books unnamed (2)available and if you do not have one coloring page, pictures are available online to print and then color!
  11. Maybe it is just me, but I have a ton of makeup I have not used in years and really need to let some products out of the house. We can go through our makeup drawer and decide which products will not be used anymore and ones that will continue being used.
  12. As silly as this may sound, reorganize your dresser drawers. You know there is at least one thing you can’t even remember the last time you wore or used, so it might be time for donating!
  13. Discover new music! YouTube offers many music videos for a wide range of songs. Any type of music you enjoy, you can watch the video, plus Pandora and Spotify will give you more great music to uncover.maxresdefault
  14. Do something silly, like attempt writing with your non-dominated hand and laugh at how awful it looks. You can try training yourself to write with your non-dominate hand which might be frustrating, but could be interesting!
  15. This is a great time to catch up on the sleep we have been deprived of. We can enjoy catch upthe time we do not have anywhere to be and there is no rushing around.

Thank you so much for visiting my site today. I hope the information I have provided will be beneficial to you while we are in difficult times. I am excited to read what you think about my ideas and even more excited to read your suggestions. Of course, we do not know how long we will be in this situation, but we can make the most of a difficult time by working together. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

heart

❤Always, Alyssa❤

Ways to care for your mental health during a pandemic

coronavriusOn March 11, 2020, both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic due to the coronavirus. The coronavirus has affected 192 countries and territories worldwide and 1 International conveyance, the Diamond Princess Cruise ship. It has steadily been causing vast amounts of turmoil in most households around the world.

Only to add the apprehension things have occurred, no one ever thought they would see in their lifetime. Starting with sporting event cancellations, school closings, mass ppe-graphicshortages of personal protective equipment in hospitals, delaying elective surgeries, borders closing to International travelers, malls with either adjusted hours or closing altogether, restaurants only offering take-out, grocery store’s shelves are pretty much empty, employers being forced to allow employees to work from home if the work permits or laying employees off because they can’t afford them,  and I am sure there is more that I didn’t remember.

Even though it will not be easy, we all need to find ways to calm our overactive anxiety and feelings of distress. First, how many times do you check for updates regarding the coronavirus? Second question, how many news outlets, whether it is TV or online news CoronavirusAMUpdatesources? It may help your anxiety and stress levels if you try limiting the number of times you check for updates, such as no more than 2 times a day and NEVER right before bed. It is also very important to choose a credible news outlet for your source. It could provide you additional security to have at least two trustworthy sites because it will allow you to fact check the information.

No matter where we live, we are all in this together and will be until things start to improve. Not to sound negative, but things will probably get even worse before they begin to get better. It is critical to listen to and rely on trustworthy news outlets and WEBREADY_Free-Press-Editorial_Oped_Hannah-Riseman-900x600actual public health experts. It doesn’t matter who the politician is, they did not dedicate their lives to healthcare.

What does your body go through when stress and anxiety reach extremely high levels? What exactly is causing you the most worry? What do you fear the most right now? Is there anything you can do to make what you are worried about easier or end altogether? Allow your mind the time and honesty to answer these questions. Maybe this will distract you some and provide you clarity of your feelings.

The unfortunate truth is we have no control of this virus, but we do have control of what copingwe do and how we cope with major situations. I am going to share some ideas that may provide distractions to relieve your anxious mind.

  • Connect with family and friends via video chat, phone calls, emails, and social media.
  • Yoga- If you have not practiced yoga before and want to start, now might be a good time because learning and trying new things could be enjoyable and a healthy distraction.
  • Meditation- If you have never meditated before, that’s okay because there are numerous apps available that are easy to follow, such as https://www.headspace.com/ and https://www.calm.com/. You could also visit Bella’s website https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/. Bella has many posts about meditation that are absolutely amazing and helpful.
  • Controlled breathing, which is called square breathing. Imagine your breathcoping traveling along a square. Inhale up the first side of the square, count to 3, and exhale. Do this on all sides of the square!
  • Read a good book
  • Watch a comedy
  • Eat familiar foods that you enjoy
  • Free yourself from stress by coloring
  • Form a calming atmosphere with sweet aromas
  • Get out your knitting, crocheting, sewing or any other creative craft you enjoy
  • Take a warm bubble bath to drown your stress away
  • Contemplate with your journal. If you do not have a journal, it might help you to EPIDT6GUCNBRLE5PF4CDD73D4Ystart one now
  • Pour yourself a warm cup of tea
  • Refresh yourself and skin with a facial mask
  • Get a deck of cards, puzzle or board game out to play

We do not really know how long we will continue being in monumental amounts of turbulence. We realize there is so much we do not have control over, such as how long we will be dealing with this pandemic, how many people will suffer because of it, or how our communities will be affected. None of this is easy to accept or even understand, but there are several ways we can reduce our personal risks of obtaining the virus.

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or handCoronavirus-Twitter-card-pic.xc9f75d90 sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth in particular
  • Even if you do not feel sick, stay home as much as you can
  • Avoid crowds and gathering with more than 10 people
  • Avoid all non-essential shopping and travel
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when out
  • To help support your immune system, get plenty of sleep
  • Follow ALL recommendation from health establishments

self careWhile we remain in distressing time we need to not forget to care for our body and spirit. The following ideas are ways we can tend to our self-care while we deal with disturbances caused by the coronavirus

  • Be kind to yourself:

If you’re experiencing depression and or anxiety, go easy on yourself and know you are not alone

  • Maintain a routine as much as you can:

Even though you might be confined to your house, continue your normal sleep, meals, and work schedule

  • Make time for the activities you enjoy:

Read that book you’ve been meaning to start, play games you find enjoyable, cook julyselfcaresomething, and create something or anything else to occupy your mind from the stress you have been feeling

  • If possible get out in nature:

Sunshine and fresh can be beneficial for our mental and physical health. Whatever you do, obey the restrictions that have been put in place, keep your distance from people you may encounter, and avoid crowds

  • Find ways to exercise:

Of course, all gyms and exercise classes will be closed, but you can find alternative ways to exercise. Staying active will help relieve stress, anxiety, and even manage our moods. Get creative with what you are images (2)able to do without equipment, such as using your own bodyweight to exercise

  • Avoid self-medicating:

Be cautious about using alcohol or other substances to control your anxiety and depression

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. I hope the information provided will be beneficial for you and your family. Times are anything but easy right now, but hopefully things will start improving very soon. I hope you have a great afternoon and you are feeling the best you can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

heart

❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

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