Different types of Multiple Sclerosis

types_of_ms_chart_largeAs y’all already know, Multiple Sclerosis is a very unpredictable and for some debilitating illness of the Central Nervous System. With MS, the immune system eats away at the protective covering of the nerves. MS disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. Multiple Sclerosis does not discriminate and can attack anyone no matter race or gender, but it is diagnosed 2 to 3 times more often in women than men. Multiple Sclerosis does affect each person differently, so no single person even if they have the same type of MS will experience the same exact symptoms. With that said I would like to take this moment to give a description of the four different types of Multiple Sclerosis.

Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, (RRMS) is by far the most common form. This type is 80-85% the initial diagnosis of MS cases.  RRMS involves clear episodes of inflammatory activity and well-defined attacks of new or recurrent symptoms. The patient will typically experience partial or even full recovery between the episodes. Symptoms do vary between each individual, but some well know traits are: tingling and numbness, visual loss or changes in one or both eyes, fatigue, weakness and balance problems. It is important to know what your baseline is on all these issues so you can communicate any changes with your specialist.

Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, (PPMS) is another type that is less common. Ms_progression_types.svgThis type is composed of only 10-15% of all MS cases.  With PPMS neurological functions are impaired and become more significant as the disease progresses. Patients will experience occasional plateaus in the progression, but symptoms can also worsen with no relapse between them. There is less damage done to the brain with PPMS, but more damage done to the spinal cord. Symptoms that can come along with PPMS are problems walking, stiff legs and trouble with balance. Like I have already said, it is so important to know what your baseline is with anything to do with your health, so when there are changes you are able to communicate those changes with your specialist.

Secondary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, (SPMS) is actually the next stage of Multiple Sclerosis. I have already shared with y’all that I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was only 19 years old, so this year will make 19 years for me. Time flies because it feels like it was just yesterday when my specialist flipped my world upside down telling me I had this illness. Reports indicate that 50% of those with RRMS will develop SPMS within 10 years and 90% will develop in 25 years. SPMS is similar to RRMS, but may or may not involve the occasional relapse. Symptoms with this progressively worsen and may include bowel and bladder problems, weakness and coordination issues, stiff and tightness in legs, fatigue, depression and problems thinking.

MS SymptomsProgressive-Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis, (PRMS) is progressive from the beginning.  With PRMS there will be clear and acute relapses with and without recovery from the damages. The illness will continue to progress between relapses. Symptoms that are associated with PRMS are muscle spasm, weak muscles, chronic pain, vision changes, dizziness and decreased bladder functions.

All those years ago when I was first diagnosed I did a lot of research on Multiple Sclerosis. Now it was a long time ago, but I do not remember reading that RRMS can possibly progress into SPMS in a matter of time. Sadly it was not until recently I learned that I did not know everything I should have. It was not completely my doctor’s fault for not sharing this with me, it was mine for not learning and or remembering this information. Talk about being a little shocked when I found out it does not necessarily matter if I take the medication I am supposed to in order to slow the progression down. This illness has a mind of its own and can progress no matter how hard you fight it. Maybe that sounds a little negative, but I guess the truth is reality is not always positive. 

I know many of you already have a lot of knowledge regarding Multiple Sclerosis, but I have a goal to raise awareness for everyone! This is an illness that crept its way into so many lives, completely uninvited and just will not go away. I want to believe that fight for a curesomeday there will be a cure and our lives will improve drastically. I look forward to the day that I am not dealing with massive amounts of pain, headaches, numbness, that annoying tingling feeling and vision issues. Until that day comes though, I will continue to live my life and enjoy it as much as possible. I will continue to do my best to help and motivate others that are struggling with illnesses and other issues in life. I want to be able to bring positivity into the lives of others to combat the world of so much negativity. I would love to believe it only takes one person to change another person’s  life!

I hope y’all are enjoying your weekend and feeling well! Again the weekend went by pretty fast, but I was able to get my hair done and some cleaning done in my house, which was a fantastic feeling! It is so helpful being able to take short breaks in between cleaning the house because if I didn’t, it would make me feel absolutely horrible with additional pain!

Thank you for visiting my site today! As always I would love to hear your comments on what I have shared. Being able to read your comments and respond builds a great and supportive network that we all need. I hope the rest of your Sunday goes very well and you are able to rest up for the week ahead! Sending y’all much love and comfort!!

Love 2

 

Always, Alyssa

Advertisements

Real truth behind it

Good DaysIt really seems as though no day is exactly the same living with Multiple Sclerosis. I have good days, where the issues I deal with are there but tolerable. On these days I can pretty much just ignore the realities of this illness, which is fantastic! I do not like to dwell on the fact that there is no cure for MS, yet! I enjoy and appreciate my good days with bearable symptoms. On my good days I do my best to do things that I either want to do or need to do without having to push myself further.

Then there are the bad days, which take a little extra effort to do normal easy tasks. On bad days my pain levels will rise above the tolerable limits causing me to move a little slower and need a few extra breaks along the way. I try to not allow additional pain to affect my life too drastically but find ways to alleviate it some. I will utilize my heating pad more than normal and maybe take more Advil. I also try to stretch more to not allow my muscles to just stay tight. I will say that my mood is a little altered on these days but not too horrible.back on track 100

Unfortunately all my ideas for stopping the pain before it gets too far does not always work which turns my bad day into a terrible day! Today was one of those days. While at work I felt my back, neck, shoulders and legs gradually start increasing with pain. I did not panic and just tried alternating my heating pad from my back to my legs and stretching my back and neck muscles. I even tried getting up from my desk to move around a little hoping I would not start hurting even more. Regrettably nothing I did helped and I started feeling so much worse. I have been trying to increase my hours at work but I was not able to today. I ended up coming home to rest because I was in so much pain it was making me nauseous. Honestly, I was pretty disappointed because I did my best to keep pushing myself to make it through 7 hours at work. I did almost make it but could not handle it any longer. My mood is vastly different on terrible days because I am so irritated with the pain and it is hard to be around anyone. I prefer to just be at home in a nice comfortable and quiet atmosphere.

I do not understand why some days I can handle the pain issues but some days are SO completely unbearable. I thought that maybe it was related to the weather changes. It did go from freezing temperatures to relatively mild temperatures. Last week it was 17 degrees with snow/ice and this week it is 60 degrees with sun! I think that is a pretty Stars can't shinedrastic change and it has always taken my body time to adjust. How am I supposed to adjust to such rapid changes and be able to feel normal?

The truth is bad days come and go without any warning, they just need to be taken in stride! The bad and terrible days can be very discouraging but it is so important to not allow them to deter us from the good days that are ahead! I have honestly had a horrible day with pain but I am hoping tomorrow will be a better day. Thankfully I am home resting comfortably with my trusty ole heating pad, husband and loving cats! 

I hope y’all had a great day today and are feeling well. Thank you so much for stopping by my site today! Even though I have not had a good day, I am still trying to remain positive as I hope y’all are as well! Please leave comments below and I will respond to you just as quickly as I can! I hope y’all have a fantastic evening. 

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

Winter in the South!

closedHappy Wednesday Y’all! It has actually snowed in the south, which closes everything down! I am definitely not complaining since my office was closed today, but will it close again tomorrow due to the icy roads we will have? I do believe it would be the logical and safe thing to do, I just wonder if they will see things the way I do!

I am not a huge fan of the cold weather as it does cause me so much additional pain, but it was really pretty to wake up to see snow falling! The snow has blanketed the cars and ground which is a beautiful sight, as long as I do not have to go out in it or try driving in snowdayit! I am not saying I can not drive in the snow, but my car does not see things the same way I do. However, I do not believe anyone can drive in the ice, which is what things are going to result in tomorrow!

I do believe we have one good snow fall every year! Considering I did grow up in the north a couple of inches would really not mean too much but it does in the south! The south does not see much snow, so I do not believe we have the necessary equipment to handle much if any!

Yesterday I kept saying we were going to have snow today and I do not think anyone believed me! I even sang my made up snow song in hopes for the snow and it worked! Maybe I need to make up another song for my office to be closed tomorrow, so I do not have to try to drive with icy conditions!

Just to give y’all an update on how I have been feeling physically. I have noticed that I do seen better daysstart feeling much worse as the day progresses. My pain and headache issues will be fine in the morning until about 2:00 in the afternoon, but then everything starts to come back. I will slowly start to get a headache and my back and leg pain will hit me hard. This would be the reason why I am not back to my normal full-time hours at work yet, my body just can not handle it. I really am hoping that someday soon I will be back to as normal as I can be and work a full day. Prior to my most recent flare up I could easily work 8 or more hours a day and be fine, but now after 6 hours I am in bad shape. I have been trying to push myself a little further each week and now I am working 7 hours, which has been working fine. If I am able to come home and rest comfortably my pain will subside some! 

I hope y’all are having a good week so far! Thank you for stopping by today to read my thoughts for this fantastic Wednesday! As always your comments are very much appreciated and I will respond to you as quickly as I can! Remember to always do your best to stay positive because y’all know I believe it make dramatic difference in life! I hope y’all are feeling well today and stay feeling well! Sending much love and comfort to all of you!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

Essentials for Chronic Illness

Sunday 1When you are first diagnosed with a Chronic Illness, what are the first things that go through your mind? I know when my doctor told me I had Multiple Sclerosis I thought my life was over! I was young and only knew it was a debilitating illness with NO cure insight. I lived the first year after diagnosed in denial and a lot of sadness. But, as I got older I realized my life was NOT over and I could live a pretty normal life! 

I have discovered there are crucial things that need to be done in order to control this disease as much as I can. The most important thing I can do is be positive about life. No matter what I deal with living with MS, it really could be worse. There are about 400,000 people just in the United States that live Multiple Sclerosis, some have a pretty “mild” case of this disease, whereas some have a really aggressive form. Yes, I deal with a lot of pain and some days are worse than others. But, I do not believe it helps me at all to create the lifesit and think about how much I hurt. I think it is better use of my time and energy to focus on the good aspects of life. I do have handicap parking because sometimes it hurts more to walk long distances. However, I do not have a walker or a wheelchair and have full function of my legs no matter how much they may hurt! I deal with a constant amount of pain in my back but shockingly enough a heating pad helps in short-term. 

I have the love and continuous support of a very loving family. I think painful and difficult times would be so much more difficult without love. I value my family more than I can even begin to explain. My husband is here with me day in and day out and will listen to me whenever I need to vent. He offers me SO much emotional support as we all have our bad days when we think that nothing will ever improve. When I have a weak moment and go to him crying because I just want all my pain to go away, he Love heartALWAYS assures me I will be okay and get better in time. He always makes sure I have everything I need in order to be comfortable when I am resting to get well! My husband has an incredible amount of patience and tolerates my stubborn behavior like a champ! My biggest problem is I want to do everything and never ask for help, but he works hard to get me to do less and rest more!

Another essential for living with a chronic illness is, getting the rest your body needs. As I have already made clear, I am really bad at this but doing my best to improve. I feel like I am being lazy when I just sit on the couch watching TV, but there are times I realize that is what my body is asking me for. Getting plenty of rest does not necessarily mean you need to sleep all the time, but it does mean you need to take time to turn your brain off and relax!

It is also essential to reduce stress from your life as much as possible. Life does come with stress whether it be work, relationships, money, health etc but we do have the relaxchoice on what extra unnecessary stress we allow into our thoughts. Is it really important for us to try to solve and worry about the problems a friend or family member might be experiencing? Now it does depend on the problem! If a family member is coping with something they just need someone to talk to someone about, that is perfectly fine as long as it does not consume our life to an unhealthy point. I have the compassion where I always want to help, but I also know there are certain things I can not do anything about and need to take a step back from the situation. 

It is vitally important to love and value yourself. If we do not take care of our own health, we will not be able to be our entire self. Sometimes it is urgent for us all to take a break and think about what we enjoy! It is not selfish to think about what we need in life, which I am honestly still working on!

Thank you for reading and commenting of my thoughts for the day. I hope you had a lovely and relaxing weekend! Hopefully y’all are ready for yet again another Monday. Thankfully, I have a short week so I can only hope it is an easy week as people are preparing for the holidays! As always, stay strong and positive and good things are bound to occur! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

Chilly Sunday

Sunday 1Sunday can be such a nice relaxing day, until you realized tomorrow is Monday. I am really not ready to start another work week so soon! But, it is good to look at another Monday as fresh start to a new week that is full of possibilities! Regardless of the chances for great things to occur, I do not look forward to that nagging alarm going off!

Sometimes weekends are a time to catch up with family, friends and do all the things you were not able to do during the week. But, sometimes weekends are a great time to just catch up with yourself. After we spend all week in an office, it is so wonderful to not have any expectations for a couple of days. I like weekends when there are not any plans made, no expected or unexpected visitors, no must do items and I can do things on my time without watching a clock like I do during the week. Sometimes I think the clock is the enemy and is just there to control us!

This next week I am planning on trying to push myself a little more. I do feel as though I am getting much better and stronger. I do still have a ton of pain but it is almost pain I can handle. Most days now I am not experiencing the pain that would literally bring medak_you_are_braver_than_ to tears. I am still coping with the relentless back and leg pain but there is no use crying over it because that will not help at all! I have made the decision to ignore to irritating pain and keep doing what I want to do and what needs to be done! Making the decision that I am stronger than the pain and the MS is a smart way to handle things!

I hope y’all are feeling well and handle a fantastic weekend! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday as you prepare for an exciting Monday! Okay, I know there is not many people out there that believe Monday’s are exciting but at least it is another day to live your life to the fullest! 

Thank you for visiting and reading my short thoughts for the day! I always welcome and appreciate your comments and will always respond as quickly as I can! No matter what happens in life continue to stay positive, you may not be able to see the difference right away but it makes for positive changes! Much love y’all!!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

 

Another Day Down!

Happy Tuesday 1Today was just another day trying to work towards my goal of increasing my hours. I found that now I am doing better early on in the day, which is opposite that it was a few weeks ago. After working non stop for four hours I started to feel my body start aching and the headache start to slowly come back, but that might have been from staring at the computer for too long. But, I do think overall I am slowly getting better. A few weeks ago I would be crying and hardly able to move because I was in so much pain, but now things are nowhere near that level!

Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day because we have one person out sick and another person whose wife just had a baby today. My small team of co-workers just decreased by half! I told my manager that I was going to try to get to work earlier tomorrow and stay a little later than I have been, but that I would not leave until my half calm and slowof the work was completed. I get pretty determined and ambitious at times! I also told him that next week I am not promising to be back at 40 hours a week, but I would do as much as possible and wanted to just play my time by ear for now. He was very understanding and told me he definitely wants me to be back to work full time, but did not want me to rush myself. I do believe that my manager knows I value my work and want to be able to give all I do 100% but right now I do not have that ability, but I will get there!

I do know already that MS flare ups can last anywhere from a few days to months before all the symptoms have passed. The last terrible flare up I had was probably 8 years ago and I was out of work for 2 months, which was so frustrating for me. I have had a few minor set backs since that last bad flare up 8 years ago, but I only had to miss work a few days before I was back to my “normal” self. I really can not complain because as long as I take care of myself, rest enough and stay on the damn Gilenya, I do not think I will have anything too detrimental happen again for hopefully years. I know I need to learn to relax more and stress A LOT less I am trying, but I am 36 years old so it is hard to change old habits. 

Speaking of learning to relax more and stress less, I started a fabulous book today. My newGet your shit together book, that might end up being what I live by is called “Get Your Shit Together” by Sarah Knight. The key thing that caught my eye right away is she says, “How to stop worrying about what you should do so you can finish want you need to do.” I have a problem when I am always thinking about what I think “needs” to be done and forget the things that I actually want to finish. This book is a very easy and fun read, but I will warn you ahead of time she might use a lot of profanity which I guess the title gives that away. I truly love how real Sarah seems to be as she writes, which I find really inspiring. She does not try to sugar coat what we all sometimes do wrong when we make plans or allow for more  obligations to our lives that are not needed. I am really enjoying this book, so of course I wanted to share this with y’all! 

Thank you for reading and commenting on my thoughts for the day! Now that I am starting to feel better I am able to focus a lot better on my writing. I think there have been a few days that I was all over the place but I had so much building up in my mind and writing is how I can deal with those thoughts! Now that I am thinking clearly I will be able to continue my flash backs of when I was first diagnosed. I hope that what I went through all those years ago will be able to help someone else that maybe dealing with something similar now.

Until next time, I hope y’all have a great and relaxing evening! Take care and thank you again for all of your continued support!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

Day 2 back at work

WednesdayYesterday, my second day back at work was not very successful. I had planned to be at work longer than I was on Monday, but after only 3 hours was starting to feel absolutely terrible. Last night, I could not sleep at all because my pain was so extreme. I ended up not going to work today because of not sleeping and being in too much pain. I am hoping tomorrow will be a better day!

Trying to heal from my most recent exacerbation has been pretty difficult and I do not really know why. I am trying to remain positive because I do believe that is the only way healingto deal with hard times. If you constantly stay in the negative mind-set, things will never improve. But honestly, I have been being positive and getting rest, but things are not getting any better. I guess it is possible that I am trying to rush myself to get well and I am being hard on myself if I can not do something, like going to work today. I know my manager is very understanding, but I just want things to be normal again. I could not even do my daily post yesterday because I felt so horrible. I guess tomorrow is always another day to try again!

I am planning to rest tonight and try turning my brain off for a little while. I will do my best to go back to work tomorrow with my adjusted hours, but if for some reason I can not do it, it is going to be okay. We can not rush the way our bodies feel because all that 6a0120a8df43e7970b01b7c8136efe970bwill do is push us in the wrong direction. It is frustrating to think in my mind that I can do everything I was able to do a few months ago but when I try, I can not do it. Pain is such a difficult thing to deal with. No one is able to see what you are going through and trying to explain it is almost impossible! My husband keeps trying to reassure me that my flare up issues will pass just as they have always done before, I am just having a hard time seeing the light at the end of this dark tunnel. I think it is harder for me this time because this is the worst flare up I have had in the 16 years I have had MS. 

Thank you for stopping by and reading my thoughts for the day. As always I truly love your comments and I do always respond as quickly as possible. Our communications really do make me so happy. I am planning to do a few posts explaining when I was first diagnosed and what I went through, I just have to wait until I am feeling a little better. I really hope y’all had a good day today and I hope you have a great evening!!

Love 2

 

Always, Alyssa