Scoliosis Awareness Month!

images (13)Over the years I have known people that live with scoliosis. I remember there was a kid in my high school that had a very aggressive type which left him wheelchair bound. Then while working in a pediatrics unit in the hospital I came to know several children that had different forms with various severities of scoliosis. I did know a little about this illness many years ago scoliosis awareness monthbut it wasn’t until my ❤ mother received the diagnosis that I dove into research a little more. I hate that it sounds like I am just like most people, who do not know much about an illness until it affects someone they love because that really isn’t me. I did do some research when I saw children struggling with this disease, but of course I had forgotten many details.

June is Scoliosis Awareness Month, so I want to share some information I have learned recently about this disease. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), Scoliosis scoliotic-spine-normal-spine_0affects 6-9 million people, which is about 2-3% of the population. This illness is characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine. Just like all other ailments, there are different types that also have different severities involved. Something interesting I did recently learn is, it is  the speed and mechanism of the progression plays a vital role in determining the type of scoliosis any individual is facing.

I want to first start by explaining the three different categories there are with scoliosis.

  • Idiopathic- The cause of this is either unknown or there is no single factor contributing to the development of this disease.images (17)
  • Congenital- This typically results from a spinal defect that is present at birth and normally is detect at a much earlier age than those with Idiopathic form.
  • Neuromuscular- This is a spinal curvature which develops secondary to some type of neurological or muscular disease, such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, this type does progress faster than the other forms.

I also want to share with y’all the seven different types of scoliosis.

  1. Congenital Scoliosis- This form is very rare and only affecting about 1 in 10,000 Xray - block and hemivertebrae_movednewborn babies. This does result from spinal abnormalities that develop in the womb. Fetal development malformation of the vertebrae is the most common cause. This may form from partial formation of certain bones or the absences of one of more bones in the spine. This can lead to sideway curvature of the spine, but can also cause a child to develop additional curves in the opposite directions. The symptoms of Congenital Scoliosis include: tilted shoulders, uneven waistline, and prominence of ribs on one side, head tilt and an overall appearance of the body leaning to one side. There are several diagnostic tests that can be done to confirm the diagnosis of scoliosis which include: EOS Imaging, x-rays, MRIs and CT scan.
  2. Early Onset and Adolescent Scoliosis-With Early Onset Scoliosis symptoms are presented prior to age 10. When children under age 10 are facing Scoliosis, it scoliosis-intervention-stagescan affect more than just their spine and can actually lead to malformed ribs which can affect their lung development. If the curves are mild, children with early onset scoliosis do not typically show any outward sign of spinal trouble. However, symptoms for these children include having uneven shoulders, asymmetrical contour of the waist, uneven hips, tilted head and leaning to one side. Treatment for children under the age of 10 is extremely important because they are still forming. Unfortunately lack of treatment can contribute to lung and heart problems that could lead to death due to heart and lung disease.
  3. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis- This is one of the most common forms of scoliosis, which affects 4 out of 10 children between the ages 10-18 years oldimages (17) Spinal growth starts to slow by age 10, so when there is already a significant degree of curvature, the curve may continue progressing into adulthood. There are many theories about this type, which include possible hormone imbalances. 30% of patients with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis have a family history of scoliosis, which suggests there is a genetic link. Most, but not all people do not experience pain or neurologic abnormalities and can even look normal. The symptoms come in the form of uneven shoulders, a rib hump or a leaning torso and can be associated with lower back pain.
  4. Degenerative Scoliosis (De Nova Scoliosis) – This is an adult late onset or de novo scoliosis which affects more than 60% of American’s. This is directly caused from imageage-related degeneration of the spine and those with no prior history of scoliosis. This is most commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 50. With this there is a sideways curvature of the spine that develops slowly overtime. Basically, this is the natural consequence of aging and the degeneration of joints and discs in the spine. The uneven degradation of the discs and joints can cause the spinal curvature to be more cobbangle-56a05ed35f9b58eba4b02649pronounced on one side. Commonly develops in the lumbar spine or lower back forming a slight C shape. According to the Cobb Angle, when the degree of sideways curvature exceeds 10°, it is diagnosed as Scoliosis. Symptoms include: dull aches or stiffness in the lower back, radiating pain that spreads to the legs, tingling sensation and weakness in the legs, frequent muscle fatigue, lower back pain, sharp pain in the legs that occurs while walking, but may subside during periods of rest.
  5. Neuromuscular Scoliosis- This type is a type of Idiopathic Scoliosis. This Scoliosis-Treatmentdevelops secondary to various other disorders of the spinal cord, brain and muscular system. The spinal curvature occurs when the nerves and muscles are not able to maintain proper alignment and balance of the spine and truck. The issues that can contribute to neuromuscular scoliosis are: Myelodysplasia, Cerebral Palsy, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Freidrich Ataxia and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Unless the spinal curvature becomes pronounced, there really is not any pain involved.
  6. Scheuermann’s Kyphosis- There are some differences between Kyphosis and maxresdefaultScoliosis that I would like to try explaining.  Kyphosis is defined as a forward rounding of the spine, whereas Scoliosis is defined as an abnormal curvature of the spine when being viewed from the front. Kyphosis typically affects the cervical and thoracic spine, where Scoliosis affects the lower and lumbar spine. Kyphosis does develop secondary to structural deformity in the vertebrae. The early known symptoms include: poorscoliosis-signs-and-symptomsposture, back pain, muscle fatigue and stiffness in the back. The symptoms remain fairly consistent and only worsen over time if the case is severe. One final piece of information regarding this disease is Kyphosis is typically diagnosed during adolescence.
  7. Syndromic Scoliosis- This is a form of scoliosis that develops secondary to other syndromes. It is commonly linked to Retts Syndrome, Beale’s Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Osteochondrodystropy and various connective tissue disorders. Symptoms for this do not typically cause pain, but can cause discomfort and possibly images (16)some pain sitting when it is more severe.

Please forgive me for the length of this post. Y’all know that I try to keep things short, sweet, to the point and easy to read, but there was just so much important information I wanted share about scoliosis. Of course receiving this diagnosis would be quite scary and upsetting, but finding the right doctor that you trust will help to manage this disease. I do believe that staying positive and fighting for your own health is the only way to handle this diagnosis or really any diagnosis! It’s 2019 and I would really like to believe that science is improving and illnesses can be made easier to live with.

I really want to thank you for visiting my site today. I hope this long post provided youfd44ae30de3651ed37f779074b265b7f with information that whether you are the one dealing this disease, have a loved one who is or really just offered a slightly better understanding about this disease. I always believe it is important to educate ourselves on different issues, so we can have a better understanding to what others might be coping with! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of    love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

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❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

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It wasn’t meant to be easy

life has a funny wayLife has a funny way of throwing random things in our direction when they are least expected and often VERY unwanted. It definitely isn’t easy, but these are the times we must pick ourselves up, dust off the difficulties and strive to carry on!

For the most part, I think that the troubles we get faced with happen to remind us just how strong we truly are. We all go along through the motions of any given day and never stop to give ourselves the much deserved credit for the accomplishments we have made. Our daily routines have become so embedded into our minds that we just naturally react to every situation in the best way possible. Sometimes things will work out right the first time around and other times we have to try again! The best way to handle these situations is, NEVER GIVE UP! As long as we choose to not give up and remain determined to succeed, we will never fail.download (3)

What happens when something occurs that was so unexpected; it throws major a wrench in our day to day activities? Of course the process we need to go through may be challenging to figure out, but our minds will lead us in the right direction, if we just listen to our own intuition.

Sometimes life becomes more like a movie that is just set to automatic repeat, or at least it is for me. Monday-Friday every day is the same, which is perfectly fine and preferred. What some might call boring and predictable, I call calm and drama-free! With all the insanity that goes on in this world, who really needs additional drama? I actually love coming images (14)home to be greeted by my ❤ husband and two adorable cats❤! We eat dinner while watching our favorite shows and then just spend good quality time together. I will read, write or crochet in the evenings, so it is very calm, happy, and peaceful!

When I stop to think about how precious life is and how quickly things can change, I am thankful for what I do have in my life. Sure maybe life may have been easier if I didn’t have MS, but I do and I choose to continue living! I try to NOT think about what could have happened or what should have happened because really, what is the point? 63449-Life-Has-Many-Ways-Of-Testing-A-Person-s-WillAnything that did happen did so for reasons I may never know and that is okay. Hell, if it was not MS it may have been something far worse.  

My heart breaks for the people out there that do not have the faintest idea of what actually makes them happy. It almost seems as though these people got lost somewhere along the way and never managed to find themselves. I cannot say they did not try, but I might say they gave up the search. I have known people that went through some pretty severe depression, but even in their darkest hours knew a couple images (15)things that did bring them joy. Of course, those joys did often get shadowed over by their negative thoughts and bad situations, but they were still able to recognize a few positive things in their life. Unfortunately, I have also learned that I do not have the power to turn someone’s mind around when it is clouded with depression. In times like these, there is only one person that can create happiness and that is themselves. For instances, my mother has been struggling lately and neither herDPere-vWAAAeBey husband nor myself can make her truly happy, she needs to do that on her own. I hate to put that so bluntly, but it is the truth and I do think that any legit therapist would agree with me on this for anyone.

The sad reality is life can be harsh and painful, but it is how we handle it that counts. Challenges happen to everyone, no matter how you are or where you live. Unlike so many other things in this world, hard times do not discriminate and will try destroying anyone images (16)and anything that stands in the way. The good news is, if you never surrender and continue fighting back, those hard times will move onto its next victim.

Thank you so much for visiting my site today! I do encourage you to take a moment to leave a comment because I love knowing what you think of what I share. I hope you are having a pleasant day 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!

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❤Always, Alyssa❤

Fellow Blogger Recognition!

huge shout outGood morning y’all! I hope your week has started off well and of course I hope you are feeling the best you possibly can! I would like to pick back up with recognizing fellow bloggers that I truly find amazing. The ones I have already mentioned, I hope you have been able to visit their sites as I am sure you will enjoy as much as I have!

The spectacular lady I want to bring attention to today is Angela at https://fuckms.ca/. Angela lives with Multiple Sclerosis in Canada. This courageous woman has been through her fair share of struggles that would have discouraged most people, but Angela continues fighting a good fight with so much strength and determination!

Now, living with any chronic illness is a struggle in a country, like the United States for instance, thatyou are incredible doesn’t offer “free healthcare” and instead charges SO much money for it and still doesn’t cover everything, but it is still very demanding in a country that does offer free healthcare, like Canada. Angela went through hell and back with her employer, which is a real shame! I mean, it is hard enough to deal with MS day in and day out, but to also have to battle with an employer that has absolutely NO compassion or understanding makes it even more difficult. It really seems that when others do not understand an illness, they just fear the unknown and don’t care to learn more about it. I call this behavior pure ignorance, but I am sure most of us have dealt with this at some point in our life. I actually feel sorry for them because there isn’t any help to cure this horrible behavior.

sending lots of loveWith the hard times I have faced over time, I always find the honesty Angela shares very uplifting and inspiring. Angela is one of the most real and kind people I am ❤ honored enough to call a friend, 😊even though we spell things slightly different!😊 Just kidding Angela! I do remember a few months ago when I made a relatively negative, but honest post  because I was dealing with some terrible MS issues. Angela ❤ was kind enough to email me directly just to check on me. This was so touching and actually restored my diminished hope in humanity.

I strongly urge you to, if you have not already visited Angela site https://fuckms.ca/ to never-let-a-stumble.jpgcheck her out! I think once you do, you will see how creative, talented and truly encouraging she is, there will NEVER be a day you will regret it! The amount of understanding Angela has is pretty amazing! I have and always will appreciate Angela for the woman she is! Angela,  I am ❤ thankful for the friendship we have created and hope you will never forget that I am always here for you❤!

imagesI would like to thank y’all for visiting my site today. I hope you have a lovely day today! I do look forward to reading your comments and do promise to respond as quickly as I can! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort and many positive vibes!

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❤Always, Alyssa❤

Motivational Monday

monday is a state of mindGood morning y’all! I hope you had a nice weekend and you are ready to start a brand new week that will be MUCH better than last week! Y’all already know last week wasn’t the best for me, but everyone has been so incredibly supportive by sending kind messages my way❤. I want to thank y’all for being SO encouraging during my difficult time. I did spend my weekend trying to rest, but not being all that successful because my mind is still spinning! You have my Monday to shineword that I am not going to focus on the past and just move forward to better times, after all everything happens for a reason and nothing really nothing is an accident❤!

Even though my mind has been in a tailspin, I do still believe we should all start our Monday off with a positive mind! The quote I want to share with y’all has so much meaning to me and maybe it is because of what I have gone through, but I think I would still find it meaningful if nothing bad had occurred. thomas edison

I am looking forward to reading your fabulous thoughts on this quote! I do believe y’all  always have great views on everything and tend to provide great input! Seriously, y’all have been ❤ truly amazing ❤ during this past week and really everyday! I am so honored that I have made so many supportive and ❤ caring friends with my blog.

I hope y’all have a great start to your week and you are feeling the best you possibly can! Please know that no matter how I am feeling or what I might be going through, I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort and many positive vibes!

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❤Always, Alyssa❤

What are the struggles & benefits of living with a chronic illness?

Struggles and benefitsThe struggles of living with any chronic illness are numerous and endless. So many chronic illnesses come with various issues that might be difficult to treat, which can and does lead to SO much frustration. Through many visits to several different doctors, we are caught up in SO much medical debt, because the United States does not offer free healthcare like ALL other developed countries offer! For instance, I am required to see my MS Specialist to try slowing the progression of my illness down, but have to see another specialist to treat the pain issues! It does not make any sense to me because the pain is a direct result of the MS, so why it is my MS specialist can not treat the pain as well? Oh that’s right, because there is an opioid epidemic so anything related to pain needs to be monitored by a painchronic-pain-chain-diagram specialist who only sees me for 3-5 minutes every 2 months! Do you really think the pain doctor actually specialized in pain or they just could not hack it with being a real doctor? That might sound a little cruel as I am sure this “pain specialist” passed medical school, but seriously there are no medical schools out there that really specialize in pain!

Another struggle those of us that are living with a chronic illness faces is dealing with the dreaded insurance companies! We all know these insurance companies only see $$ dollar signs when they see our information come through! They know our medications cost a small fortune, so therefore we pad their paychecks with the many medications we are required to take. I know that my Gilenya alone without assistance would cost around $1500 a month and that is with insurance! Who can afford that on the wages we make? That’s right NO ONE can and quotes-to-inspire-people-with-chronic-illness-RM-alt-722x406therefore our conditions would worsen drastically over time! Do the insurance companies care? NOT AT ALL! I do believe that the insurance companies and government work together so they can be very well off in life without any regard for human life! Now with the talk among the government, some of us many worry that we will lose our expensive insurance in the near future. I do sincerely hope that I am wrong about this though, but that is honestly what I think is on the agenda!

Some of us may worry about the struggles of working a full-time job, as many of us probably can not afford to work part-time hours! Even if we are able to work a schedule with reduced hours this can not only be a financial burden, but also causes nonsenseYou-Dont-Look-Sick-722x406 judgments from co-workers! The comments that are made can be extremely frustrating and offensive, but we are doing all we can in life! I know that all of us would prefer to be able to tolerate full-time work, but when we are not able to we are doing the best we can and should not be looked down on! As you can probably tell I have heard the comments made about working ONLY 6 hour days, but I am pushing myself to do this!

Another struggle some of us may face is fun times with parking! Some of us may have handicap parking, which should be making our lives easier! However, some may look perfectly normal to the naked eye. We may suffer from something know as an “Invisible Illness”, which of course we feel but NO ONE sees our struggles! They may make butterflies-cant-see-their-wingsignorant comments about someone who looks completely normal parking in a handicap parking space. Rude comments have been made towards me and it did hurt my feeling terribly! But it has now been a few years since I was given the handicap parking, so I have had many experiences that I want to forget ever happened. Now days I do not allow negative comments to get to me as much and just feel sorry for the people making the ignorant comments and even worse for their children to grow up in that horrible environment because they may end up just as ignorant!

Fatigue and migraines are somethings I know many of us deal with almost daily! Both of these can be relatively difficult, but we handle them the best we can! Now I do not get migraines daily, but I get them enough to understand how hard they are to cope with.Background concept wordcloud illustration of fatigue Fatigue on the other hand I struggle with daily! I normally begin feeling much fatigue around 1:00 every day which is why I get into work earlier. For some reason, I feel much better earlier in the day and worse as the day progresses. It does not matter what time I wake up, always around 1:00 I feel like I need a nap!

OH WOW I almost forgot, I did say there were benefits to living with a chronic illness! The benefits are often very difficult to find, but they are there somewhere deep down. When living with an illness has NO cure it can make us more sympathetic, empathetic, and compassionate to what others might be dealing with at any moment in life. It may falling down is how we groweven give us the opportunity to meet others that understand our struggles and also offer support to others living with something similar! It may take work, but we are able to build strong networks with many others that can be very beneficial to all that is involved. Through the blogging community, I have been able to build powerful and valuable connections with SO many very incredible people who I have come to care so much for! I am truly thankful for all of my blogging friends and feel we might not have met if it were not for the chronic illness!

I sincerely appreciate you visiting my site today and always encourage your comments as they are fantastic! I hope y’all have a lovely day and you are feeling the best you can! Please remember that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love❤ and comfort!

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❤Always, Alyssa❤

Thank you!

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I really want to thank y’all ❤for all of the amazing support you have provided me through my amazing journey of starting this blog! I remember when I started my blog in July 2017, I knew literally nothing about the blogging community! The only thing I knew was I loved❤ to write and I wanted to help others but also really wanted to raise awareness about Multiple Sclerosis. My intentions have always and will always be to encourage and inspire others to live their lives to the fullest, no matter what struggles they are faced with. Everyone experiences some kind of struggle throughout their life time whether it be a chronic illness, knowing what really makes you happy, moving to a new city, career changes, loss of a loved one or anything else that may bring you down. As silly as this may sound, I have always wanted to bring sunshine☀ to the darkest of days for all those in need. 

I really want y’all to know that I am always here to offer support whenever you need it! We may live in different cities and even countries, but I am just an email away! I hope here for youyour weekend has been wonderful and now you are ready to start a new week with a fresh start! Thank you for visiting my site and leaving great comments! I do really enjoy the conversations I have had with so many of you! I honestly view each of you as great friends! As always I am sending y’all LOTS of love❤ and comfort!

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❤Always, Alyssa❤

800 + Followers!

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

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

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

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

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❤Always, Alyssa💕