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

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

As you read this post, please be advised that I am not a medical professional. The information in this post is based on the research I have done since being diagnosed with this disease 20 years ago. The one thing about this disease that is important to understand is, it is extremely unpredictable and everyone, no matter what type of MS they have experiences it different. It does not matter if two people have the same type of MS, everyone experiences and deals with it differently.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that means that the body’s immune system attacks its tissues. This is a very unpredictable disease, and everyone experiences it differently. In this post, I am going to explain the four different types of MS and the distinctive characteristics of each type.

Radiologically Isolated Syndrome (RIS), is not considered part of the MS path, but has been utilized to categorize those with abnormalities on the brain and/or spinal cord that are consistent with a lesion of MS, and do not have any current or previous neurological symptoms or abnormalities discovered on a neurological exam. Many individuals had an MRI due to symptoms, such as headache, and revealed lesions appearing similar to those found in MS. During a study in 2020, it was uncovered that more than half of individuals with RIS will develop MS within 10 years.

Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) is a path of MS. CIS is referred to as the first occurrence of neurologic symptoms, which last at least 24 hours. This occurrence is caused by inflammation OR demyelination in the Central Nervous System (CNS). CIS can be classified as monofocal OR multifocal. Monofocal is when a person experiences a single neurologic sign or symptom that is caused by a single lesion. An example of this is an optic neuritis attack. Multifocal occurs when a person endures more than one sign or symptom caused by lesions in more than one area. An example of this is an optic neuritis attack and tingling in the feet. An important thing to be aware of is, just because an individual experiences CIS, it does not mean they will develop MS. The healthcare provider faces two challenges with diagnosing CIS:

1. Determining if the person is experiencing a neurologic episode caused by damage to the CNS.

2. Determine the chance from the damage the person is experiencing is a form of demyelination that will develop into MS.

Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) is the most common and the type I was diagnosed with 20 years ago. Approximately, 85% of individuals with MS are originally diagnosed with RRMS. This type of MS has evidently defined the attack of new or increasing neurologic symptoms. The attacks are also referred to as relapse or exacerbations and are followed by periods of partial or complete recovery, which is also known as remissions. While there is not any obvious progression of the disease during a remission, symptoms may disappear or some of the symptoms may continue and become permanent.

RRMS can be further described by inflammatory attacks on myelin, which is the layers insulating membranes surrounding nerve fibers in the central nervous system (CNS) and the nerve fibers. Throughout the inflammatory attacks, activated immune cells cause small, restricted areas of damage that create the symptoms of MS. Considering the areas of the damage varies, no two people will experience the same symptoms at any given time.

Those who have RRMS tend to have more brain lesions and more inflammatory lesions that appear on the MRI scans. Individuals are often diagnosed with RRMS in their 20’s and 30’s but can also occur in both childhood and later adulthood. Women are diagnosed 2-3 times more often than men.

The symptoms of RRMS can and normally are different for each person, but there are some common issues. The most common symptoms for RRMS are fatigue, numbness, vision problems, spasticity or stiffness, bowel and bladder problems, and issues with cognition. It has been suggested that a transition from RRMS to years SPMS typically will take place in people who have lived with RRMS for at least 10, but this does not always happen.

Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS) is another type of MS. This type of MS usually follows a period of the relapsing-remitting disease, the levels of disability gradually increase with or without evidence of disease activity.

SPMS is basically a second phase of the disease. Individuals with this type of MS may or may not ensure relapses caused by inflammation. However, the disease slowly changes from the inflammatory process like seen with RRMS to a consistent phase classified by nerve damage or loss.

Before the availability of disease-modifying therapies, some studies suggested that 50% of those diagnosed with RRMS would shift to SPMS within 10 years, and 90% would change within 25 years. The many different medications that are available in 2021 have provided a positive impact on disease progression. However, experts say it is still too soon to know the extent to which these disease-modifying treatments will change or slow the transition to SPMS.

Considering the transition from RRMS to SPMS is a gradual process, the healthcare provider will not know when exactly it occurs. The challenges the healthcare provider faces is establishing if:

1. The worsening is permanent, but some damage remains after the inflammatory attack ended, meaning the individual is experiencing an RRMS disease course.

2. OR the disease continues to get worse, but the individual is no longer enduring an inflammatory relapse, which would indicate the person has transitioned to an SPMS disease course.

The fourth type of Multiple Sclerosis is Primary Progressive MS (PPMS). This type is classified by worsening neurologic function from the onset of symptoms without early relapses or remissions.

Each person that lives with PPMS will experience this disease differently. Commonly, PPMS may have short intervals when the disease is stable, with or without a relapse or any MRI activity, as well as duration when there is increasing disability occurring with or without new relapses or lesions on an MRI.

PPMS is different from RRMS and SPMS because it does not include the same issues with inflammation. Although people with PPMS have fewer brain lesions than those with RRMS and SPMS, they do tend to have more lesions on their spinal cord. Typically, people with PPMS experience more problems with walking and may require more assistance with everyday activities.

From my own experience with Multiple Sclerosis, I was a terrified child when I was diagnosed. I was only 18 years old and did not know much about the disease. In my naïve childlike mind, I was going from being diagnosed to a wheelchair and then death. Yes, I was diagnosed, but did not end up in a wheelchair yet. I think it is extremely important for anyone newly diagnosed to do research, build a strong and honest relationship with a neurologist, and have a strong support system. It can be a scary and terrifying diagnosis, but a normal life can still be lived, especially one the right disease-modifying treatment is found!

Thank you for visiting my site today. This is my first post about Multiple Sclerosis for MS Awareness Month. There is so much information out there about this disease and I only wish I had this when I was diagnosed all those years ago. I can remember how I felt because I was alone in the exam room when I heard the news and it felt like the room was spinning out of control. I did not want anyone to know I had MS, but that was rather silly. Now days, I am open about it and want to help others that are dealing with this disease. I want y’all to know, no matter how alone you feel, you are never alone! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes! I also want you to feel free reaching out to me any time if you ever need any extra support and help!

Always, Alyssa

Pick Me Up Thursday

~It Is Finally Friday Eve~

How has your week been so far? My week has been an emotional roller-coaster. I told you earlier in the week that our older cat, Chloe, had been diagnosed with early-stage kidney failure a few years ago and seemed to not be doing so well in the past few days. Initially, her doctor’s appointment was scheduled for today, but on Tuesday night I noticed what looked to be blood in the litter box, so I called the vet frantic and requested her an earlier appointment. My husband and I took her to the vet yesterday morning to have her checked out. They drew blood, sent the blood for testing, and gave her fluids, and sent her home with us. I am supposed to hear from the doctor today before noon and if I do not, believe me, I will call them! The one thing the doctor said is that Chloe is getting older and with her kidney failure, she might also have a thyroid issue, which is treatable. Waiting for answers is torture, but hopefully, we will not get awful news.

Considering, this week has been difficult for me at least, I think we could use a little pick me up to get us through one final day before the weekend begins! I am hopeful that the quote I am sharing with y’all today, will provide you with the energy and optimism to get you through to the weekend. We all go through challenging and even tragic times in our lives, but I have confidence that we can make it through just about anything. I do believe that the combination of love and peace provides us with strength.

None of you are going to be surprised, but I do not have any plans for the weekend. Do any of you have anything planned? Whatever you decide to do this weekend, please make sure you stay as safe as you possibly can! I am looking forward to a quiet and peaceful weekend giving me the time to give Chloe LOTS of love. I will also plan on trying to help my mother through the difficult news she received on Wednesday. Once we got home from Chloe’s appointment, my mother called to tell me her mother’s doctor gave her a month to live. I feel for my mother, but her mother (yes, my grandmother) and I are not and have never been close.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed the quote I shared and I look forward to reading your comments. I do promise 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

Inspirational Wednesday!

Halfway Through The Week!

We are finally almost through the week and I am thrilled about that! This week has felt long for some reason. I hope y’all are having a great week though and you are looking forward for the weekend, which is getting much closer each day! Even though I do not have any plans for the weekend, I am still looking forward to not having to wake up early and sit in front of a computer for more than 8 hours a day. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that I am able to work from home, but that also means work and home are pretty much the same thing, it just gets a little confining.

While things around the world are still so uncertain and unpredictable, I think we need additional inspiration, motivation, and much more kindness! This was one reason I decided to add “Inspirational Wednesday” to my blog posts. I am hoping the inspirational quotes I share on Wednesday inspire you and provides you a little extra comfort! Of course, I think the quote I am sharing today is very inspiring because we all deal with something challenging in life and we must keep going. I do believe that everything in life happens for a reason and tends to happen at the right time. What do y’all think?

If y’all are following what the experts are predicting about COVID-19, you already know they believe we are in for more difficult times ahead of us. The numbers are consisting increasing and the deaths are way too high. I have admitted this to y’all before, but I am an overly sensitive person, so when I hear someone speaking on the news that lost a loved one to COVID, it breaks my heart. My husband and I stay home, and when we must leave the house we are taking all the necessary precautions. Neither one of us are ready to lose the other or anyone else in our family. I am saying this to reiterate to y’all to PLEASE continue doing what we all need to do! All of us can protect one another by simply wearing a mask!

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you enjoyed the quote I shared and I hope you are all having a great week! I am sorry to always sound like a broken record with my pleads for everyone to stay safe, but we all have the opportunity to save another person’s life, and that includes our own! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Inspirational Wednesday

We are halfway through the week!

Happy Wednesday y’all! How has your week been so far? I do hope your week is going well and you are doing what you can to stay positive. We are in times right now where it can be easy to be exposed to mass amounts of negativity, but I do believe there is a way to find the positive in most situations no matter how unclear they are. I think we can offer each other strength and support!

Now that we have made it through half the week, I think a little inspiration to get through the remainder of the week. I find the quote I am sharing inspiring and encouraging because no matter what we face each day, someone else has probably been through much worse. Basically, I think no matter what we are forced to deal with, we have the strength and power to make it through!

We are heading towards the weekend and only have a few days left of this week. I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to the weekend ahead! Unfortunately, my birthday is Wednesday and our anniversary is Thursday and we both work. However, I am hoping my husband and I will be able to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary safely from our home together over the weekend, I guess it is the new normal way to celebrate! Do y’all have any plans for the weekend? I know whatever y’all do you will be safe because you are logical and intelligent!

I would like to thank y’all for taking the time to visit my site today! I hope the quote I shared with y’all was inspiring and will help you make it through the rest of the week. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Inspirational Wednesday!

We are halfway there!

Happy Wednesday! How has your week been so far? I hope you are having a great week and you are staying safe! For those of you that read my post from yesterday, you already know my week has been long and frustrating. I am making some changes though so that the same old things will not bother me anywhere near as much as I have let them previously. It is important to realize what is important in our lives and what isn’t, but also what we can change and what will never be different.

I have been thinking that I want to do more with all the amazing quotes I have found over the years. I already do Motivational Monday, Pick Me Up Thursday, and Let It Go Friday, but I want to do something on Tuesday and Wednesday as well. I have a name for Wednesday “Inspirational Wednesday” but still, need a name for Tuesday, so if you have any ideas I would love to know!

For my first ever “Inspirational Wednesday” post, I hope the fabulous quote I have will offer you some inspiration! There is so much going on around the world right now and it can be pretty scary, so I think if we can have a little more positivity and inspiration throughout the week it might help our week go by a little better. We must all remember how our mental attitude and ways we spend our time can be either beneficial to ourselves and the ones closest to us OR do the direct opposite and it cause more issues.

There have been many horrible things happening in the United States where we can’t seem to go one week without an unnecessary person being killed or critically injured by police. I thought when I was younger that the police were here to protect and serve, not kill unarmed and innocent people. Unfortunately, it seems that times have changed and not for the better. I hope that something will change with this because no one should die at the hand of someone that is “supposed” to protect! No child should ever have to see their father gunned down by police!

I hope you have a wonderful and safe day! We have almost made it through the week and only have a couple of days left until it is the weekend! I know this post had several different parts, but the part about justice is because I am so tired of seeing that another innocent person was shot and killed by a police officer. You would think after the massive riots that occurred, the police would be on their best behavior, and also with COVID-19 still being horrible things would have stopped, but it hasn’t. We need to support the people that can’t stand up for themselves and support them twice as much!

I do love reading your comments so I hope you will leave one for this post and let me know what you think! One thing I will ask y’all again is to please do what you can to stay safe, I do not want any of you to get COVID-19! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Tuesday Requires More Energy

Only Tuesday & It Has Already Been A Painful Week Emotionally!

How is it only Tuesday? It feels like it should at least be Thursday! Many things have occurred already for me that have been both physically and mentally painful. Stress always causes additional pain, but this is ridiculous. Of course, weather can also increase my physical pain and Mother Nature can’t decide if she wants to rain or be sunny, so it has been both within minutes of each other.

I have always been the type of person that thinks of everyone and anyone else long before myself. I will not lie to you and say I am trying to fix that about me because I am not. I am trying to eliminate stress as much as I can, but that is extremely challenging for me. Sometimes it seems like stress comes in several different storms and on many different levels of severity. I am not naive enough to think I can fix other people’s issues, but I cannot help trying to alleviate some of other people’s pain and heartache. Truthfully, it does not work and I know that will never change.

With all that said there is a beautiful quote I thought would be good to share with y’all. This might help y’all if you are having a difficult or frustrating week. Or it might just make you think about someone else that might need a little support and love from someone that cares! Sometimes while it is necessary to spread the love to others, it is also important to show yourself a little love as well! I would love to read your thoughts on this quote, please!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by my site today and read what I have wrote. I hope the quote I have shared with y’all will have some meaning to you and prove you with positive feelings. I hope your week is going well so far and truly hope you are continuing to stay safe. I hope you will never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Donations do help!

NMSS_FY20_YE_Interstitial_r1_mobileI think y’all already know that I have battled with this unpredictable, not so fun autoimmune disease known as Multiple Sclerosis for almost 20 years. For nearly half of my life, I have wanted to not only help others struggling with this disease but also do all I can to help find a cure or at least find easier ways to get through this life.

I may not care much for the news because there is hardly ever anything positive being reported on, but I have heard about how awful the treatment of Amazon workers is. Even though I do find it disgraceful for anyone to be mistreated so we can shop, I am also still a guilty Amazon shopper. Although I am sure there are many issues within the company that starts but doesn’t end with the owner’s corruption and poor treatment of employees, at the same time this company has good as well.

Everyone that shops on Amazon have the opportunity to choose a charity they want to download (5)raise money for through Smile Amazon. The Amazon Smile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the charity of your choice. I received an email at the end of last week informing me that the charity I chose, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society received $258, 617.47 year to day in donations because of Smile Amazon. Of course, it still upsets me to think that any Amazon workers are mistreated, but I am still thankful for the donations made to a cause so close to my heart. I can only hope 41jnsvmBEML._SY365_BO1,204,203,200_the donations Smile Amazon has made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will help find a cure for this awful disease.

I have been somewhat familiar with The National Multiple Sclerosis Society since being diagnosed all those years ago but recently wanted to know more. I was very interested to find out how this organization began and what more they were doing. I was completely blown away to discover this organization was brought to fruition from one woman full of determination, Sylvia Lawry.download

Ms. Lawry was one of four children to Jacob and Sophie Friedman. While she was in school at Hunter’s College pursuing her law degree, Ms. Lawry’s younger brother Bernard began experiencing visual and balance issues. It was at this time these symptoms were proven to be early signs of Multiple Sclerosis. The family tried for years without success to find a cure for their imagesdear family member. In 1945, the strong-willed and very determined young lady, Ms. Lawry, placed a small classified notice in the New York Times, “Multiple Sclerosis. Will anyone recovered from this disease please communicate with patient.”

Once she received more than 50 replies, Ms. Lawry realized more funds for research, treatment and finding a cause were desperately needed. On March 11, 1946, she pulled together 20 of the nation’s most honored research scientists to form the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.27b889827d7b041c766fd1b5e7ba47fa

As Bernard’s health continued to worsen, she was seeing there were millions of others like her brother that needed help. At this time she gained assistance from Senator Charles Tobey from New Hampshire whose daughter was fighting against Multiple Sclerosis.

Until her dying day February 24, 2001, she continued her war on Multiple Sclerosis. She was a huge loss to the organization, but her legacy will never be forgotten. She did so much to help discover more about this disease and I believe all of us living with Multiple Sclerosis, should always be thankful for this amazing woman!

348sThank y’all for visiting my site today. I hope this post was eye-opening and helpful. Even though we may not be able to help with these causes as much as we would like, if you shop on Amazon or know someone that does, you can set it up so the company will donate portions of your purchase to any charity you want! I hope you have had a lovely weekend and you are ready for the holiday next week. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of     love ❤, comfort and many positive vibes!

 

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❤Always, Alyssa❤

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Fight the battle & Win the war!

images (2)Living life with a chronic illness that brings on pain is not easy, but letting that pain win the battle should not ever be an option. Of course it is easier said than done, but isn’t it worth trying? There might be days that it hurts to even get out of bed, but just lying in the bed solves absolutely nothing because the pain will is still there later on.

There are things that can be done to fight against the pain we may feel. Now this is just howlove your life more than you hate your pain I think and what I have tried training my mind to think and believe. It is amazing what we can trick our minds into believing! The things that work for me might not work for anyone else, after all we are all different. Sometimes simply taking a nice hot bubble bath can make a HUGE difference! I think it is something about the calming feeling of the warmth that eases my aching body. Of course, my doctor has told me numerous times that hot water isn’t 579ef8182e48d1ac880303bd79cb9696good for me because it is not supposed to mesh well with Multiple Sclerosis, but it helps me. It is just like while at work my heating pad becomes my best friend!

For me, as crazy as this will sound, if I try to keep moving I feel that my pain actually lessens. It does not make a whole lot of sense to me because I would think when it pain resting would be way more beneficial. I often think when I stop doing something like cleaning, doing laundry or any other household chore, my pain settles in and I feel so much worse! 

I also find it helpful to keep my mind preoccupied, so I do not have time to even think about images (5)pain I am feeling. This could be reading a good book, writing either on my own blog or commenting on another’s, watching some mindless TV show (my favorite is General Hospital, which I know sounds insane) or even watching a good movie (my favorites are anything from the Fast & The Furious). Little things can create a distraction for the mind and possibly alleviate our pains, even if it is for a short time.

Anyone that lives with any type of chronic illness understands that it can and does create various challenges. I think it is extremely important to discover ways to deal with these challenges and never stop searching for new ways to manage difficult times. I know I have mentioned Web-Ad-3this before, but I strongly feel the only way to fail is to give up.

The promise I made to myself years ago when I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis was to never allow the illness defeat me. With a much more mature mindset now, I still value what my younger mind thought during one of the hardest times in my life. Nineteen years later, I will still keep this promise to myself.

Do y’all have any special ways you deal with your pain issues? All of us that struggle with this can understand one another and offer very valuable advice to each other. It does make me sad that anyone has to deal with constant pain, but at the same time it makes us so much dont-give-up-galaxy-hold-on-hope-Favim.com-1428490stronger! WE can fight this battle together and WE can win the war together!

Thank you so much for visiting my site today. I am sorry I missed my normal Motivational Monday quote, I was dealing with a massive migraine and wasn’t able to do it. I hope this will make up for that! Not only do I hope what I have shared beneficial for you, but also reassured you that you are not alone in the fight and we can win the war together. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

love-2-e1526867753936

 

❤Always, Alyssa❤

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❤