How to accomplish goals

I think it is important to have goals in life, but they can be a challenge to meet. We all have random things that come up daily, which can create distractions slowing down reaching our goals. What are a few of your goals? These can be short OR long-term goals, but it would be interesting to know. What are the ways you set goals and how do you achieve your goals? Throughout this post, I promise you I will share my short-term and long-term goals, but also ways to achieve your goals.

Understand your Emotions:

It has been proven that our success stems from being happy first, and we are not happy only because we succeeded with a goal. This is because our emotions are in a positive and good place. During times when we are in a pessimistic, glass-half-empty mindset, reaching our goals is less likely to happen and we need to discover ways to step in with our mood and discover new habits of gratitude.

Determine your Purpose:

Our goals tend to line up with our life’s purpose. Achieving our goals will be much easier when we know and connect with this purpose. Some goals require us to be more tenacious, but with the right amount of determination, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to!

Ask yourself one question, WHY?

Intrinsic goals are goals that are not set by anyone but us. It is crucial to understand the meaning of every goal we have and how our life will be more fulfilled once we achieve any of the goals we set.

Write down your short-term & long-term goals:

Take 20-30 minutes to think about the goals you want to accomplish. To clarify, the differences a short-term goal is something you want to do in the near future. This can mean today, this week, or even this month. Long-term goal takes time and planning. These goals are something you want to accomplish in the further out future, such as later this year, early next year, OR maybe in the latter part of 2022. Create a commitment to goals and define whether certain goals require changes or need to be removed because they are conflicting with other important goals.

Set challenging and risk-taking goals:

We might not know this, but at the end of each, we look back at key points during the day. Something that has been found is, the things we followed that were outside our typical comfort zone, involved accomplishing something important to us and provided us with “authentic self-esteem”. The more we push ourselves with challenges, the more we will believe in ourselves.

Changing our password

Every day we are prepared all day by words, scents, and sights around us. Something that never occurred to me is to use these passwords to reinforce our goals by changing our passwords using words regarding our goals and characteristic you want to take on. For example, if your goal is to eat healthily, you could use “health” or “healthy” as a password. If we are constantly reminded of one of our goals because it is one of our passwords, we use daily, we will unconsciously find ways to make them happened because they are at the forefront of our minds.

At the beginning of this post, I promised y’all I would share my short and long-term goals, the way I will try achieving my goals, and why my goals are important to me. My five-year plan for accomplishing my long-term goals, how I plan to accomplish my goals, and the reason why each goal is important to me.

Put An End To Stress

This goal is important to me because I understand how and why stress unfavorably impacts my health. The way I intend to achieve this goal is to continuously remind myself to not stress over things I do not have any control over. A few of the things I do not have any control over are going to the dentist (I have always had an irrational fear of the dentist0 and have avoided them. I can see when I look in the mirror the large amounts of broken teeth. This issue is not due to me not taking care of my teeth but is because of all the steroids I was forced to take during the times the MS acted up. This goal will hopefully be accomplished by the end of 2021 if not before.

Another one of my long-term goals is to write the book I have dreamed of writing. The reason this goal is important to me is that writing a book has been something I have wanted since I was a young child.

I have been the only person standing in my way of achieving this goal It weighs heavily on my mind because I always tell myself that I am not a good enough writer. The ways I am going to accomplish this goal is to continue writing on my blog and improving and building on the skills I already have. I am anticipating achieving this goal within 5 years. This is obviously a goal that takes planning, organizing a plan and pure determination.

My short-term goals are goals I want to achieve in the next two weeks. One of these goals is to create a plan to eat healthier. I can admit that I do not eat the best food and I do not eat three meals a day. The best-case scenario is I have 2 pieces of toast for breakfast, uncrustable for lunch, and dinner either more toast or macaroni and cheese. I know everything on this list is extremely unhealthy and some will say I eat like an 8-year-old child.

This goal is important to me and not because I want to lose weight (which would be nice), but because eating healthy makes you feel better physically and emotionally. I plan to achieve this goal by making a meal plan that includes only healthy foods and no junk food or fast food.

My second short-term goal is to get my house organized and clean. This goal is important to me because a disorganized house creates chaos, clutter, and stress. I am planning to go through the closets, drawers, and each individual room to put anything not being used in a donations bag that will be taken to the nearest Good Will location.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed this post and I am looking forward to reading your comments, and what you goals are. I hope your week is going well and you are staying as safe as you can! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

My Weekend…..

I hope y’all are having a good weekend and you are staying safe. I know we all look forward to the weekend because it gives us time to rest and recuperate from a long week. How is your weekend going so far? Did you have a good week? I do hope last week went well for you and your weekend is everything you want it to be. Last week was a mixture of stress and more stress for me, but at least that is in the past now!

My day on Thursday was a little stressful because it started at a consult with the endodontist that will be doing my root canal next week. I did not like this doctor right away because he was a little rude and extremely offensive. His assistant was sweet and told me that doctor was a straight shooter, but there is a fine line between being honest and rude. I told him right away that I knew my mouth was a mess because of all the medications I have been on due to my MS, mainly steroids when I had a relapse, and I was only concerned with the two teeth that were in pain. Instead of addressing my reason for being there, he went onto telling me I needed a good dentist that was not going to be terrified when they looked in my mouth. For someone that has HIGH anxiety with the dentist, this was not a good start.

My weekend did not start in the best way because our older cat, Sundance was not acting right on Saturday morning. I think it is safe to say that y’all know how much I love my cats and that I would do anything in the world for any of them, so seeing him being lethargic was extremely. Every morning Sundance gets two medications for his asthma and he takes them in a pill pocket, which he never has a problem with because he thinks they are treats. He would not eat the pill pockets and would not even purr like he always does. While in complete panic, I called his doctor’s office. The veterinarian called me back about 15 minutes later and said there was a cancellation and to bring him in. Typically, Sundance fights me when I try getting him in the carrier, but he did not fight me at all. His doctor’s office is only 1-2 miles from our house, so it does not take but a few minutes to get there, but he cries the entire way. Today, he did not make a peep, but I made it in record time because I might have been speeding.

With COVID, owners are not able to go into the office. So, I texted the number when we got there and waited. The vet tech, Sarah, is one of the nicest people I have ever met, and she was there last week when Sundance had to go for his yearly check-up. She came out and with her kind and understanding personality said to him, “Sundance, you were just here baby, what is going on?” Through my tears and hysteria, I filled her in on what was going on. She told me they would take good care of him and that I did the right thing to bring him in. She told me that she understands worrying about my baby because she is the same way and that she has an older cat that is going through chemo. I cannot even imagine how stressful that must be, but I appreciated her kindness and empathy.

After waiting about 15 minutes, but it felt more like an hour, Sarah came back out to explain what was going on with Sundance. She said his heart and lungs sounded great, but he had an exceedingly high temperature of 104.9. Sundance has a UTI, which could have been caused either by the stress of the two new kittens or the car ride last week to get to the doctor’s office. As I said, he hates being in the car and hates going to the doctor and he is a baby about things, especially when I cannot be with him. They gave him an antibiotic by injection, so I would not have to give him more pills. The antibiotic will work for 2 weeks and he should start feeling better soon. They also gave him pain medication, just to keep him comfortable. The vet tech and doctor said he will be sluggish from the pain medication, especially because this is the first time, he has had one.

My poor baby feels yucky

Once I got Sundance home, he just laid around and looked very confused. He still would not eat or drink, but just wanted to sleep and rest. The new kittens, Willow and Penelope tried getting close to him because they seemed concerned, which was sweet to see. I have tried leaving him alone because I did not want to upset him, but I did put his water dish close to him so he could drink when he wanted to.

I have always taken great care of our cats and it was torture seeing him not feel well. I hated not being able to help him feel better. I have never felt so helpless because there is nothing, I can do to speed up Sundance’s healing. I am glad we never had two leg children because I think I would be in the ER every other day. Of course, Sundance is not able to tell me how he is feeling, but I can tell from the look out of his eyes that he does not feel well.

Thank you for visiting my site today and reading what I have written. Please keep Sundance in your thoughts and hope he feels better soon. I will keep an eye on him throughout the night and hope he is back to his normal self in the morning. Sundance has a huge personality and even though he is 10 years old, he still plays like a kitten. I think because of what we went through with Chloe in early February, I am overly cautious and on top of things. I have always been the type that worries, but our cats are like our children, so I worry even more. I will keep y’all updated on Sundance’s healing from his UTI and pray he gets better soon!

I hope the rest of your weekend goes well and you stay safe! I would love to know what you thought about this post and I will respond as quickly as I can. Considering I have been a ball of stress because of Sundance, the only way I can stay calm is to write about it. We all need an outlet in life, and this is mine! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes.

Always, Alyssa

Ways To Cope With Stress

~Happy Friday Y’all~

Unfortunately, I was not able to do as much as I would have liked to have done about stress awareness month because of my tooth issues, but I am going to try not to stress about it. Stress is honestly an issue that plagues my life, but I am trying to get better with it. Logically, I do completely understand that stress causes more harm than it does good, but I have always been a worrier. We have all heard that old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but I am trying to teach my brain to stop!

Chronic stress creates a great deal of physical damage. Stress is also known to accelerate the aging process, raise blood pressure, and the risk of a stroke. This is not to increase your stress, but to bring this issue to a brighter light that cannot be ignored. The good news is there are ways we can train our brain to cope and handle stress better we are faced with it. I hope you will find the following three tips helpful with dealing with stress.

Savor the moment:

Our brain is influenced and absorbs negative experiences far more than positive experiences. With that said, we need to find ways to extend our positive experiences. A few ways you can savor the moment are to take a few extra minutes to enjoy your favorite meal or the snack you love but try avoiding it because of those extra calories. In time we will learn to slow down and appreciate the little things in life, instead of dwelling or focusing on our thoughts and or worries.

Reevaluate your thoughts-

One successful way to combat negative thoughts that arise from an unpleasant experience is to knowingly challenge them by considering alternative causes for the event that occurred. Consider one particular and troubling issue that has been stressing you lately. Instead of dwelling on this issue, reevaluate it by determining a few ways it could benefit you in some way. Maybe this issue has the potential of making you stronger and wiser.

Get out into nature-

Science has shown proof that getting out into nature reduces stress and helps people feel more energetic. This does not mean you need to go find the closest national forest to gain the benefits but could be just adding some “green” time to your day. Maybe get up a little earlier to take a short walk or meditate, or you could take your lunch outside.

I hope you found this information helpful, and it assists in reduces your stress. If you are anything like me, I have lived with stress for almost 40 years and I know it is causing severe issues to my body and health. The only thing stress does for us is create many more problems, which will, in turn, cause additional stress. This will be my last post talking about stress, so I am looking forward to reading your comments and I promise to respond as quickly as I can! This picture is one I printed out so I can see it daily and it makes me laugh! It is the simple things in life!

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you had a great week, and you have a lovely, and safe weekend! Whatever you decide to do this weekend please do all you can to stay safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Random acts of violence

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to hear about violence taking place in the United States. Anytime we turn on the TV there is at least one, if not more awful things happening. We are constantly hearing about mass shootings, cops killing unarmed people (most often black men), or other acts of violence where innocent people are dying Some people have become desensitized to the various amount of hate-filled violence that occurs, which these acts cause others vast levels of distress and despair.

When you combine isolation due to COVID and feelings of despair from the violence taking place, the emotional impact can be extremely intense. Of course, working from home is great, but I do feel very isolated and like I am on house arrest a lot. Situations like what happened with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others murdered by those that are “supposed” to protect and serve, the police cause me to feel anxious and angry and I am not an angry person. The case against Derek Chauvin, the police officer who murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis had me on edge. When I watched the verdict being read it did give me a glimmer of hope, but there is still a lot that needs to be done.

The recent and senseless mass shootings that have occurred in the United States are heart-wrenching. The one on March 16, in Atlanta GA at 3 spas left 8 people dead, 6 of which were women of Asian descent. It has been stated this murder rampage was due to anti-Asian racism, which does not make any sense to me. These women were innocent and simply doing their job to take care of their families. Atlanta, GA is only about two and a half hours from where I live, but these acts can happen anywhere because the levels of hate and racist behavior are exceedingly high. I do not understand why some many Americans have any issue with people of Asian descent because these people are NOT doing anything wrong or causing any harm to anyone else.

Only six days later, on March 22 in Boulder, CO another gunman went on a shooting rampage at a supermarket. This incident left 10 innocent people who were at a grocery store picking up items needed dead. People that knew this 21-year-old gunman said he was prone to anger problems and his arrest record showed where he assaulted a classmate in 2017. It was obvious this person had issues, so why was something not done to help him?

Less than a month later on April 15 in Indianapolis, IN at a FedEx facility a gunman started shooting people in the parking lot before he continued his shooting spree inside the building. This mass shooting left 8 innocent people dead before the gunman turned the gun onto himself. Not to sound insensitive, but if the end result was taking his own life, why did he not just do that in the beginning and leave the innocent people he killed alive?

There are no motives to make sense of these tragic deaths or to make it easier for the 26 families that lost a loved one. Even though there is not anything we can do for those affected by these events, there are ways we can help ourselves to cope better.

We have all been dealing with the pandemic for over a year now, often fearing for our safety, as well as for those we love because this virus is deadly. Then adding mass amounts of violence can shake communities to their foundations. Whether you live in the United States or another country, how do these situations make you feel? Some of us may feel like we are in danger if we just go to the grocery store or other normal activities outside the home. Other common reactions may include numbness and shock, difficulty making decisions, anger, inability to turn off the images seen on the news, tension, anxiety, loss of appetite, headaches, disturbed sleep and bad dreams, and or worry about future mass violence events.

Just knowing about these traumatic situations can be emotionally draining and cause you to feel unstable with typical life challenges. Issues with work, ongoing issues with the pandemic, financial struggles, or just staying on top of our daily activities can feel overwhelming and stressful. Try being kinder, patient, and more understanding with yourself because you are not alone.

Urgent do not forget to take care of yourself. Everyone reacts to these situations differently. It does not matter if an act of violence occurred where you live or on the other side of the world because our mind and body can react as if it were much closer. The following eight tips are ways we can practice self-care.

1. Safeguard your body’s needs by focusing on eating healthy, get proper amounts of sleep, and spending time outdoors.

2. Stay active in ways you are comfortable with. There is no need to push yourself too far and causing any extra stress on your body.

3. Embrace relaxation exercises such as meditation and relaxing breathing techniques.

4. Maintain a consistent bedtime routine to help you relax at night.

5. Collect information regarding the available mental health services and support.

6. Avoid using alcohol and drugs to help you cope.

7. Take the necessary breaks from watching the news on TV and or social media.

8. Give your attention to things you enjoy such as listening to music, walking, writing, other types of arts and crafts.

I know this post was not very uplifting or positive, but these are real issues the world is facing, and they are upsetting me tremendously. I do not like being negative or angry but wanted to bring these issues to everyone’s attention. This was not to upset anyone or ruin your day, so please forgive me.

I want to thank you for visiting my site today and reading this post. I hope you are having a good week and continuing to stay safe! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Been Out Of Sorts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always, Alyssa

Let It Go Friday

~Congratulations! It Is Finally Friday~

Happy Friday y’all! How was your week? I hope you had a great week and you are looking forward to the weekend! I am so happy the weekend is finally here and I have two days of not waking up early and then staring at a computer screen for eight LONG hours! I sometimes think that the computer ends up causing some nasty headaches or maybe it is “some” of the people I have to deal with. You will not be surprised that I do not have any plans for the weekend. I even already did my grocery store delivery, so I do not have to do that. I know I told you the other day that there were a few more posts I wanted to do about Multiple Sclerosis, which I hope to complete this weekend!

Now that the weekend is almost here and the weekend is upon us, it is time to let go of any negative feelings the week may have caused. Our weekends are so short and the work-week is so long, we need to be able to enjoy our weekends to the fullest, but please do so safely. I hope the quote I am sharing with y’all today will provide you with the means to let go of the negative and embrace the positives in life! For all the things we may regret we did during our life, we should use them as learning experiences, not do them again, and let them go. It is important to live, learn, grow, and move on!

I hope your weekend is full of nothing but happiness and enjoyment. Y’all already know that we are not completely out of the water yet with the fears of COVID, so please be sure to stay safe. I would love to know how your week went and any plans you have for the weekend. Unfortunately, I still believe the United States is still going through many difficult and tragic times, but during times like these, we need to do our best to be understanding, compassionate, empathetic, and kind to others. The truth is, we never know what someone else is going throughand their troubled times may alter their personality. I do believe in that old saying “Kill them with kindness”.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed the quote I shared with y’all and do look forward to reading what you thought. I do promise to try responding to all comments as quickly as I possibly can. Also, please know that I will be working on the posts to share a little more information about Multiple Sclerosis. I know March is over and it was Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, but just because the month is over does not mean those living with MS are free of it! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Beat The Heat

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

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

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

Stay Inside:

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

Utilize Cooling Products:

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

Ice Cold Beverages:

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

Cool Down in the Pool:

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

Plug in a fan or fans:

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

Lighten Up Clothing:

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

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

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

Always, Alyssa

Multiple Sclerosis Triggers and Ways To Avoid Them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always, Alyssa

Helpful terms to know

~Terms to know when living with Multiple Sclerosis~

Whether you are newly diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis or you have been living with MS for many years, you already know it is hard enough living with MS. Then adding learning and remembering an entirely new vocabulary makes things even more challenging, and confusing. I know there are times I still get a little flustered when talking to my neurologist or try explaining to someone the way I am feeling. I am going to share some useful terms to try to help make things somewhat easier to understand. Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor or medical professional, just a person that has lived with MS for more than twenty years.

Fatigue is one term we are probably all too aware of. This is one of the most common and important symptoms relating to MS. It has been suggested by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, that this affects about 80% of all people living with MS.

Vision problems tend to be the first sign of MS for many people. This was the way the doctors discovered that I had MS. I think I have told y’all before, I had gone to the eye doctor thinking I was going blind in one eye, but the doctor said as gently as he could that he thought I had MS. I was terrified and only 19 years old, so I was still a child with a naïve mind. Inflammation of the optic nerves is knowns as optic neuritis. This can cause several problems, such as blurred vision, eye pain, and/or blind spots.

Brain fog is not a medical condition, but a term that is used to explain certain symptoms affecting the ability to think. Brain fog can make thoughts seem cloudy and you are not able to think clearly. This might cause you to feel confused, disorganized, and/or find it difficult to focus or put thoughts into words. This is also sometimes referred to as MS brain, cog fog, or cotton brain.

Slurred speech is often due to the loss of coordination of the tongue, lip, cheek, and mouth muscles. This loss of coordination may also result in trouble swallowing.

Loopy, which can be best described as feeling tired and/or almost like you are drunk.

Jelly leg, which may be referred to as jell0o legs or noodle legs. When experiencing jelly legs, you are legs will not work correctly.

Hallway pinball is when your walk is weaving from side to side. With MS, your legs may sometimes feel wobbling, weak, and tired. You might lose some control of your legs and when walking down a hallway, forcing you to bounce back and forth from side to side like something you would see on a pinball machine, hence the name.  

Wooden leg or legs is a phrase that is used to describe the stiffness in the legs.

Foot drop is a term used to explain weak muscles that make it difficult to lift the front part of your foot or feet as you walk.

One major symptom of MS is chronic or acute pain. Shooting pains are typically acute, which means they come on suddenly, intensely, and then disappear. Pain is something I have battled with for the past 20 years and it does not get easier with each year that passes. However, I will not allow the pain that my life is plagued with bring me down and will always try to continue pushing through it, no matter how awful it gets. Truthfully, the pain does get worse when it rains or I am stressed. Lhermitte’s sign is a type of shooting pain. This is a sudden sensation that mirrors an electric shock passing down the back and into the spine and might radiate out into your arms and legs. This is usually triggered by bending your head forward towards your chest.

MS hug is a type of hug I never want. This term describes a constricting pressure surrounding the chest or waist area. It feels like there is a snake around you and just continues to squeeze or at least that is how it feels to me. The pain involved with the MS hug can range anywhere from mildly annoying to extremely annoying and tends to come along with a burning sensation. An MS hug is caused by spasms of the muscles between the ribs.

Spasticity, also referred to as spazzy. This is a common symptom of MS and can occur in any area of the body, but most commonly is in the legs. With this, the muscles might feel simply tight or can be extremely painful. There are two types of spasticity:

1. Flexor affects the back of the leg and upper thigh.

2. Extensor which affects the front of the upper thigh and inside of the upper leg.

Twitchy means you are experiencing twitching from spasticity.

Considering MS affects the central nervous system, the pins and needles sensation is common and most often felt in the limbs. This has been something I have dealt with for years and it is not easy to deal with. Even though I am on a high amount of Gabapentin, I do still feel this every day of my life.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you found this information helpful or at least made things a little clearer. Believe me when I say, I understand how hard it is to remember every term used in the medical field and I have learned more by sharing this information with y’all. I think we can all continue to learn more, and we can help one another with this learning curve. I would love to read your comments on this post, and I will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Tuesday Madness

Hello Tuesday, my friends! I was not able to do my typical Motivational Monday post because I have been dealing with a nasty migraine for over two days now. The worst of this evil migraine was Sunday evening into Monday, but it is trying to let up a little now. Work yesterday was awful because looking at a computer screen only increased the pain I was having in my head, but I still did the best I could. I was supposed to have a meeting yesterday afternoon, but thankfully the meeting was postponed until this afternoon, I am not sure how well I could have dealt with a meeting with the migraine.

Of course, I endure pain every day of my life and the only pain I am not able to handle well is head pain. My husband was SO attentive and kept getting me fresh ice packs to put on my head and was willing to do anything else I needed. An ice pack typically helps relieve my head pain, but it was hardly touching the pain. When I say nothing provided any relief from the pain, I really do mean NOTHING at all even lessened the pain!

Considering it is still Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month and I have lived with this illness for over 20 years, I am planning to do a few more posts about MS. I know I have mentioned my first neurologist to y’all before. Dr. Kaufman was the first doctor I saw for this unpredictable and irritating disease. No matter how much I fought him and/or gave him a hard time, he never gave up on me. The man had the patience of steel and a heart of gold. His Nurse Practitioner was also a gem and was very compassionate. The two of them as a team were one of a kind and I will never forget either of them.

I did learn some sad news about my previous neurologist over the weekend. Overall, he is fine and healthy but lost his wife to cancer. This nice, loving, compassionate, trustworthy, and amazing man is one of the BEST and I hate to know he has gone through another tragedy in his life. It does not seem like the man cannot catch a break. I sent him a message with my condolences on Facebook, not that he checks those messages, but I did ask the former NP that does stay in touch with him to let him know he is in my thoughts and that I miss him. Then to give him a laugh, I asked the NP to tell him if he moves to the city I live in I will pay for his house, if he will treat me!

Once my evil migraine finally started to settle down and I thought I would be able to finish the post I was working on, my legs, feet, and hands started to misbehave! They decided to work together to create the annoying tingling feeling, with a touch of pain! When this happens, there does not seem to be anything that will relieve the problems. I guess I should be used to this by now, but unfortunately, I am not!

Yesterday was busy at work, which must have been a fluke because today is not at all busy. I am going to try finishing one of the posts about Multiple Sclerosis that I started and will hopefully finish it today, but we will see! To be honest with y’all, I do have a slight and manageable headache, which I think is a result of stress. My legs, feet, and hands are still misbehaving, but it is not as bad as it was last night, and I think is because of the rain we are having today.

Thank you so much for visiting my site today. I hope you are having a good week, feeling the best you can, and staying safe! I do look forward to reading your comments and 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