Early Parkinson’s Disease

parkinson ribbobParkinson’s disease was first discovered in 1817 in London by James Parkinson as a neurological syndrome. In the earlier years Parkinson’s was referred to as “Shaking Palsy”, in which James Parkinson wrote and published an essay about. As the years and research carried on, Parkinson’s disease was coined by William Sanders but then popularized by the same French Neurologist that founded Multiple Sclerosis, Jean Martin-Charcot.

There are numerous signs that a person may display before they are officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. No single one of these signs indicate Parkinson’s, but if more than one signs are showing it might be important to schedule an appointment with a doctor to be able to rule out Parkinson’s.

  1. Tremors while resting.
  • Slight shaking in finger, thumb or chin
  • Shaking can be normal after exercising and or stress. Shaking can occur with certain medications as well. Shaking should stop once you rest after exercising or calm down after being stressed. Shaking from medication should stop once the medication is discontinued.

2. Small Handwriting:

  • When writing letters have become much smaller than it was in the past and cramped together. This condition is referred to as Micrographia.
  • It can be normal for handwriting to change with age or if you have stiff hands or fingers or are dealing with other conditions such as arthritis.

3. Loss of smell:

  • Trouble smelling foods like bananas, dill pickles or licorice.parkinson
  • It is common for smell to change by a cold, flu or stuffy nose, but the smell will return to normal in when situations heal.

4. Trouble sleeping:

  • Thrashing around in bed or acting out dreams while deeply asleep or sudden movements during asleep.
  • We all have nights we toss and turn instead of sleep, but that is common because we do have good nights of sleep. Quick jerks of the body with initiation of sleep or when in a lighter sleep are common.

5. Trouble moving or walking:

  • Stiff feeling in body, arms or legs that does not go away. Your arms do not swing like they use to when walking. Stiffness or pain in shoulders and or hips.
  • It is normal to experience stiffness if there has been an injury to the arms or shoulder, but if there has not been any injury and the sensation does not go away, it is a good idea to speak to a doctor about these issues.

6. Constipation:

  • Straining to move your bowels is very unhealthy.
  • Not having enough water or fiber in your diet and certain medications can lead to constipation, so once you eliminate or correct those factors, the constipation should clear up.

7. Soft or low voice:

  • Significant and noticeable changes in the voice.
  • Chest colds and other viruses can alter the voice, but will go away and voice will return to normal once the illness is gone.

8. Masked Face: Serious, depressed or mad facial expression on face

9. Dizziness or Fainting:

  • Feeling dizzy or fainting regularly when stand up from chair.
  • Dizziness and fainting can be a sign of low blood pressure as well.

10. Stooping or hunching over when standing up and you used to be able to stand up straight.

Just like when I wrote about Multiple Sclerosis, I was pretty shocked on just how long this disease has been around for. I also found it pretty amazing that one of the Neurologists that was researching Parkinson’s Disease also did much research on Multiple Sclerosis. I fully understand that Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis are vastly different, but they are both Neurological issues that affect daily life, so maybe that is one reason I understand my step father as much as I do. When my husband and I are around him, I am very aware of any changes my step father is experiencing. As a strong nature man I know this disease bothers him because he is not able to do all the things he use to do. This man had a strong passion for model airplanes and loved flying them, but hope and cure parkinsonnow due to the shaking finds it difficult to fly the planes. It breaks my heart to see him suffer and I do hope that cure will be founded soon. Being a man that I love and respect, I will never stop being on his support team! There are way too many people around the world that suffer with this disease, but just like my step father they all keep fighting. I try to offer my step father encouraging words and lift his spirits as much as I can because he needs that extra support. I always tell him how well he is doing and that keeping up the battle against Parkinson’s might be difficult, but will pay off in the long run. Sadly, I can completely relate to how he feels fighting a battle that seems impossible, but giving up will never be an option for either of us!

I appreciate y’all visiting my site today and I would love to read your comments. Please stay tuned for more information regarding Parkinson’s Disease as my next post will be about the different symptoms a person may go through after they have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I have found that there are Primary and Secondary Symptoms Parkinson’s warriors may deal with.

I hope y’all have had a lovely and enjoyable weekend! It seems as though the weather is trying to be spring, but has a bad moment from time to time sending chilly weather our way. I hope the rest of your Sunday is relaxing as you prepare for another new week! As always, I am sending y’all lots of love and comfort!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

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Different types of Multiple Sclerosis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love 2

 

Always, Alyssa

Love & Hate

love_and_hate_are_so_close_by_mishdew.jpgIt seems as though there has been a collision between love and hate in this world! We may find it difficult to find a balance in life when there is so much controversy everywhere we look, but it so important to at least try! I believe some allow themselves to be influenced by hatred and it tends to consume their lives. I can not help but ask myself why this is happening. We all deserve to be treated with love and respect no matter what our personal beliefs are. Why is it that it is so much easier to adopt hate into our lives and abolish the love in our hearts? It is my opinion that if there was even a little more love and a lot less hate the world would be a much better place!love and hate

I am a firm believer that it is essential to be kind to others! We never truly know what someone else is going through in life, but our kind words might be just what they need to change their perspectives. We may not fully understand what that person is battling, but we can at least try to empathize with them. No matter what is on the surface we all have struggles in life and sometimes need a little encouragement! We all want to triumph the struggles we face with dignity and grace! No one should ever be scrutinized for how they choose to deal with their daily struggles but be fully supported with love! 

I hope y’all had a great day today! I am continuously astonished by all of your fantastic comments on my posts as well as your own posts that you share! Each and every one of you have so much strength and passion that is incredibly inspirational! It takes so much resilience to push through chronic illnesses and pain, but y’all do a phenomenally with this everyday! Continue to be positive because as I have said so many times it is so important as it pushes away the all negative from your life! Thank you for stopping by today and please leave a comment on my thoughts for the day! I am always sending y’all love and comfort!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

 

Essentials for Chronic Illness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

Time change confusion!

Fall backI hope y’all had a great weekend! I remembered to change our clocks last night before we went to bed, but for some reason this morning I was so confused as to what time it was. No clue by, but I was trying to set it back again. 

This is by far my favorite time of year. I know it gets dark earlier, but this  of year it is not too hot and not too cold, it is just right! Summers in the south are way too hot! I mean you step out side and you can not breath. Winters can be cold in the south, but they are very tolerable. Even though winters are not extremely cold, I do still enjoy the Autumn crispness and beautiful colors as the leaves fall. There is a calmness, when you look outside and see all the leaves changing colors! 

Today, there has been a darkness outside and definitely a little chill in the air. The crazy thing is, the weather will go from being cloudy and in the upper 60’s today, to rainy in the 70’s tomorrow and then mid-week drop again to the upper 60’s. The fluctuation of the temperatures does not allow our bodies to adjust to the changes, which typically causes me a lot more pain issues. 

As y’all know, I have been out of work for about one month now, battling my most recent 6601871244d8d3798da7c92b540e2044--dont-give-up-quotes-dont-give-upexacerbation. It has not been an easy month, but I am doing my best. I have tried this several times before, but I am trying again to go back to work tomorrow. I will be working  shorter days Monday-Wednesday, and then re-evaluating how I am feeling to determine my hours for the rest of the week. I am taking things slow, so that I do not slide backwards in my healing process. I am hoping taking things at a snail pace will be easier! Even though things did not work out for me before when I tried going back, I did not give up and I am trying again!

I am of course tired of living in pain, but I am learning  to try to almost ignore it. Ignoring the pain is not always easy , but I am just trying to focus my mind on other things. Honestly, some days my pain is so high that I am not able to focus on anything at all! It is almost like looking at a blank page when I try to read my book. I am trying to learn to take things on slowly , even reading in very small amounts, negativejust so I can make it through least a chapter.  I am really hopeful that I will do well back at work tomorrow and hopefully not have an increased amount of pain!

I truly hope y’all enjoyed your weekend and you are ready for the new week to start! I think it is important to start a new week with positive thoughts and not hold onto anything that may be negative from the previous weeks! When you go into a new week with a positive mind-set, it will only be able to bring happiness to your life!  We do all go through possibly long periods of time when we feel like nothing is going to change, but if you want there to be change in your life, you have to do something to make it happen. Unfortunately, things do not change if we just sit by waiting on the changes with all talk and no action.

As always please leave a comment and I will respond as quickly as I can! I have had the opportunity to get to know so many amazing people during my 4 months of doing this blog. I really look forward to getting to know many more people and hopefully what I write in my blog will help, inspire and encourage others when they are going through hard times.  Y’all take care and remember that you are not alone with what you are dealing with in life. There is always someone who does understand!

Love 2

 

Always, Alyssa

 

Importance of a Strong Support System

fight ms butterflyEveryone in this world has something they are going through in their life. Whether you are dealing with a break-up, starting a new relationship, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, financial struggles or getting diagnosed with an illness that has no cure,yet. All of these troubles are difficult to get through if you do not have someone there to help you see that there is hope. Being able to talk to someone you trust about something that is troubling you will not only reduce extra stress but will also help you process what you are being faced with.

Like everyone else, I have bad days. There are times I have come home from working a long 8+ hour day so exhausted and in so much pain that I am just about in tears. I am almost always home from work before my husband, Jon, so I will sit on the couch with our ever so loving cats and vent to them and even cry. As soon as Jon walks in the door he can always tell that something is wrong even if I am not in tears. He will automatically come over to give me a hug and so kindly ask what is wrong. I am able to share with him how frustrated I am about how much my back and legs hurt and that my right arm from my shoulder to my finger tips hurt from typing all day. After listening to all my complaints and trying to help me remember that the pain will get better but I do need to rest in order to get better. I am so thankful that Jon is so supportive, understanding and patient with me during my negative moments. Anyone that knows me, especially him, knows that I am too stubborn for my own good and I am horrible about just sitting back to relax. So he does everything in his power to take care of, listen to me and make sure that I am as comfortable as I can get. 

No matter what we are dealing with in life it is impossible to remain positive all of the time. We all have our bad days. We might feel helpless to a specific situation or we might feel like things will never change or we might even start wondering why me, what did I do so wrong to deserve this much pain and frustration. It is okay to feel like that and it doesn’t make you weak, it just makes you human. My Grandfather, who was a very strong and wonderful man, use to tell me “No matter what you are going through in life, there is always someone else that is going through something worse.” To me, those are some very powerful words to live by. I have always kept that in my mind when I start feeling sorry for myself when I am struggling with pain issues. It is normal to get upset about something but is so important to keep your head held high and remember tomorrow is another day and things will get better!

Thank you for returning to visit by blog. I hope that this post was helpful to everyone. This blog is meant to help keep spirits lifted and even be a resource if you need someone to connect with. Please share this site with anyone you know that is battling an incurable illness or someone who needs help with struggles.  

Hope for cureBest Wishes and thank you for your support,

             Alyssa