Living life with a chronic illness is definitely not easy. But I do my best to push through all the barriers this illness puts in front of me! In my heart and mind, I believe maintaining a positive outlook on all situations in life will carry us through to much better times! I hope you find the information that I provide both helpful and inspirational!
As y’all already know March was Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. Even though March is almost over, MS for me and everyone else living with this illness will continue to battle with the challenges that come along with it. With that being said, I do want to share a few additional posts to further explain the struggles that Multiple Sclerosis creates.
One thing common with those with Multiple Sclerosis is heat intolerance. Simply taking a hot shower, spending too much time in the sun, or possibly making a hot meal because the stove and oven can make the kitchen extremely hot. The reason people with MS are sensitive to heat and temperature changes is that MS causes nerves to lose their conductive coating, which is referred to as a myelin-sheath.
Heat issues may cause a person with MS to have an escalation of symptoms such as dizziness and/or increased heart rate. I am going to share 6 tips that may help you to defeat the brutality of the heat enemy. Some of these tips might seem like common sense, but they are important to mention, or at least I think it is.
Logically, this makes perfect sense, but the warm summer months are closing in on us relatively fast and this needs to be very well understood. Staying inside with the air conditioner or at least fans may contain MS symptoms. Be sure to pay close attention to the forecast and avoid outdoor get-togethers when it is too hot. It will be much better for you and your health to stay inside when the temperatures and humidity increase because you do not want the symptoms to get too awful.
Utilize Cooling Products:
There are numerous cooling products available online and in stores. The MS Society has cooling vests, wrist, ankle, neck, and head cooling packs. These are fantastic cooling packs that can help you to tolerate the heat and even make picnics possible. Something as simple as a cloth dipped in cold water and applied to your head can make a remarkable difference in the way you feel.
Ice Cold Beverages:
On those insanely hot summer days, there is nothing better than ice-cold water with or without lemon. It is amazing what powers and benefits can be had with liquids. Aside from an ice-cold beverage, you may also experience relief from popsicles, ice cream, or frozen yogurt. To save time walking to the kitchen at night and searching for something cold to drink, try freezing a bottle of water and place it beside your bed. This will provide you the much needed cool down without leaving the comfort of your bed.
Cool Down in the Pool:
As the temperatures start increasing, spending time in a pool when possible can give you the cooldown needed. Not only will a pool help you cool down but provide you with some exercises that can be done easily and without high impact on your body that might cause you extra pain. For additional cooling powers, keeping your wet swimsuit on after leaving the pool can be wonderful because it will also keep you nice and cool!
Plug in a fan or fans:
The fan you use does not need to be high-tech or fancy to offer you cooling benefits. A simple oscillating fan that is easy to move to other rooms can provide you great and fast relief from the evil heat. A ceiling fan helps to circulate air, which can give useful relief from the heat as well.
Lighten Up Clothing:
It can be astounding how our choices of clothing can make a considerable difference. Thinking in layers of clothing when we get dressed might serve you as a benefit. Dressing in lightweight and easy to remove clothes allows you to remove layers, as necessary.
I hope the information provided in this post was helpful for you. In the southern state that I live in, I can speak from experience on how awful the heat makes me feel. It typically starts getting a little too hot for me in April and previously when I did leave the house, I would be overheated just walking to my car. A few years ago, I did reach out to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and they sent me a few cooling products that are phenomenal, and I am thankful to have them. Of course, over the past year, I hardly leave the house, but hopefully, things will become safe again soon.
Thank you for visiting my site today. I know I have been a little off with my typical posts, but life and fatigue sometimes get in the way. I would love the opportunity to read what you thought about this information and will do my best to respond to all comments as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!
~Terms to know when living with Multiple Sclerosis~
Whether you are newly diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis or you have been living with MS for many years, you already know it is hard enough living with MS. Then adding learning and remembering an entirely new vocabulary makes things even more challenging, and confusing. I know there are times I still get a little flustered when talking to my neurologist or try explaining to someone the way I am feeling. I am going to share some useful terms to try to help make things somewhat easier to understand. Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor or medical professional, just a person that has lived with MS for more than twenty years.
Fatigue is one term we are probably all too aware of. This is one of the most common and important symptoms relating to MS. It has been suggested by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, that this affects about 80% of all people living with MS.
Vision problems tend to be the first sign of MS for many people. This was the way the doctors discovered that I had MS. I think I have told y’all before, I had gone to the eye doctor thinking I was going blind in one eye, but the doctor said as gently as he could that he thought I had MS. I was terrified and only 19 years old, so I was still a child with a naïve mind. Inflammation of the optic nerves is knowns as optic neuritis. This can cause several problems, such as blurred vision, eye pain, and/or blind spots.
Brain fog is not a medical condition, but a term that is used to explain certain symptoms affecting the ability to think. Brain fog can make thoughts seem cloudy and you are not able to think clearly. This might cause you to feel confused, disorganized, and/or find it difficult to focus or put thoughts into words. This is also sometimes referred to as MS brain, cog fog, or cotton brain.
Slurred speech is often due to the loss of coordination of the tongue, lip, cheek, and mouth muscles. This loss of coordination may also result in trouble swallowing.
Loopy, which can be best described as feeling tired and/or almost like you are drunk.
Jelly leg, which may be referred to as jell0o legs or noodle legs. When experiencing jelly legs, you are legs will not work correctly.
Hallway pinball is when your walk is weaving from side to side. With MS, your legs may sometimes feel wobbling, weak, and tired. You might lose some control of your legs and when walking down a hallway, forcing you to bounce back and forth from side to side like something you would see on a pinball machine, hence the name.
Wooden leg or legs is a phrase that is used to describe the stiffness in the legs.
Foot drop is a term used to explain weak muscles that make it difficult to lift the front part of your foot or feet as you walk.
One major symptom of MS is chronic or acute pain. Shooting pains are typically acute, which means they come on suddenly, intensely, and then disappear. Pain is something I have battled with for the past 20 years and it does not get easier with each year that passes. However, I will not allow the pain that my life is plagued with bring me down and will always try to continue pushing through it, no matter how awful it gets. Truthfully, the pain does get worse when it rains or I am stressed. Lhermitte’s sign is a type of shooting pain. This is a sudden sensation that mirrors an electric shock passing down the back and into the spine and might radiate out into your arms and legs. This is usually triggered by bending your head forward towards your chest.
MS hug is a type of hug I never want. This term describes a constricting pressure surrounding the chest or waist area. It feels like there is a snake around you and just continues to squeeze or at least that is how it feels to me. The pain involved with the MS hug can range anywhere from mildly annoying to extremely annoying and tends to come along with a burning sensation. An MS hug is caused by spasms of the muscles between the ribs.
Spasticity, also referred to as spazzy. This is a common symptom of MS and can occur in any area of the body, but most commonly is in the legs. With this, the muscles might feel simply tight or can be extremely painful. There are two types of spasticity:
1. Flexor affects the back of the leg and upper thigh.
2. Extensor which affects the front of the upper thigh and inside of the upper leg.
Twitchy means you are experiencing twitching from spasticity.
Considering MS affects the central nervous system, the pins and needles sensation is common and most often felt in the limbs. This has been something I have dealt with for years and it is not easy to deal with. Even though I am on a high amount of Gabapentin, I do still feel this every day of my life.
Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you found this information helpful or at least made things a little clearer. Believe me when I say, I understand how hard it is to remember every term used in the medical field and I have learned more by sharing this information with y’all. I think we can all continue to learn more, and we can help one another with this learning curve. I would love to read your comments on this post, and I will respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!
June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. For June, the goal is to raise awareness, further educate those unaware about migraines and headaches, and show support to those that deal with these issues. Due to the vast about of information and to try to maintain length, there will be other posts with even more information about migraines and headaches.
Migraines are the third most common disease globally estimating 14.77% of the world’s population suffers from migraines. Approximately 38 million United States citizens deal with this pain. Of the American’s that battle with migraines, about 85% are women. The vast majority of migraine sufferers experience an episode once or twice a month, more than 4 million others endures chronic daily migraines. It is an exceedingly debilitating condition causing not just a simple headache but can come along with nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances, utmost sensitivity to sound and, light and tingling or numbness in the face. Nearly 25% of migraine attacks may include an aura, which is a visual disturbance that lasts less than an hour.
Unfortunately, children can be affected by migraines. Of the children that experience migraines they typically have their first episode before age 12. Even though at younger ages boys suffer more from migraines than girls, once in the adolescent year’s girls end up dealing with migraines more than boys of the same age.
Migraines are a crucial public health concern, but they continue to be misunderstood, under-diagnosed, and under-treated. More than half of migraine suffers are never diagnosed properly. Many that suffer do not pursue medical attention for their pain because like individuals battling other chronic illnesses, there are extremely high costs for medical services, minuscule support, and restricted access to proper quality of care.
While we are in National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month it is important to recognize the International Classification of Headache Disorders, published by the International Headache Society, which used to classify more than 150 types of primary and secondary disorders.
I will begin with primary headache disorders which are divided into four groups:
1. Migraines- I briefly touched on this at the beginning of this post, but allow me to give a slightly deeper description. A migraine headache is distinguished by throbbing and pulsating pain caused by an activation of nerve fibers residing within the walls of the brain blood vessels that travel within the meninges. Just to quickly explain, meninges are the three membranes lining the skull and vertebral canal and encloses the brain and spinal cord.
Migraine headaches are repetitive episodes of throbbing pain ranging from moderate to severe in intensity. These typically affect one side of the head at a time. If an episode goes untreated it can potentially last anywhere from 4-72 hours.
Various factors can trigger the migraine cycle to begin and could differ from person to person, but may include sudden weather or environment changes, too much or not enough sleep, strong fragrances, emotion, stress, overexerting yourself, loud noises, motion sickness, low blood sugar, skipping meals, tobacco, depression, anxiety, head trauma, hangover, certain medications, hormonal changes, and bright or flashing lights. The cause in 50% of migraine sufferers were foods and ingredients. A few examples of the foods and ingredients that can trigger a migraine are aspartame, caffeine, or withdrawal from caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, aged cheeses, monosodium glutamate, numerous fruits and nuts, fermented or pickled goods, yeast, and cured or processed meats.
The four phases of a migraine, which all can be apparent during an episode, are:
1. Premonitory symptoms occurring up to 24 hours before developing a migraine. These symptoms can include food cravings, incomprehensible changes in moods, unmanageable yawning, fluid retention, and escalated urination.
2. Auras occur in some people causing them to immediately before and during the migraine see flashing or bright lights. Other people may experience muscle weakness or a feeling of being touched or grabbed.
3. Headaches can start and gradually build in severity, ultimately becoming a migraine. However, it is possible to suffer a migraine without a headache.
4. Postdrome can occur after a migraine, which is when someone feels exhausted or confused. This phase can potentially last up to 24 hours before the individual feels healthy again.
Besides the two main types of migraines, I will provide details on; there are eight others forms people may experience. I will share only the names of the additional types in this post but will do another post with the details in the next few days. The eight other types of migraines include Abdominal migraine, Basilar-type migraine, Hemiplegic migraine, menstrual-related migraine, Migraine without headache, Ophthalmologic migraine, Retinal migraine, and Status Migrainosus migraine. The following are the details regarding the two main migraine types.
1. Migraine with aura, also known as a classic migraine. Symptoms can show about 10-60 minutes before the headache begins and last no more than an hour. The symptoms may include visual disturbances, difficulty speaking, numbness, or muscle weakness on one side of the body, a sensation of tingling in the bands or face, nausea, loss of appetite, heightened sensitivity to light, sound, and smell.
2. Migraine without aura also knows as a common migraine. The symptoms with this type include headache pain that happens without warning and typically felt on one side of the head, nausea, confusion, fatigue, blurred vision, altered moods, and an intense sensitivity to light, sound, or noise.
The most common type of headache is a tension headache, which was previously known as a muscle-contraction headache. This type of headache suggests the role of stress and mental or emotional pain triggers pain and contracting muscles in the neck, face, scalp, and jaw, missed meals, depression, anxiety, not enough sleep, or sleep apnea.
The pain that accompanies tension headache can range anywhere from mild to moderate and anything in between. Typically this feels like constant pressure is being forced onto the front of the face or to the head or neck. It can also feel like something is being tightened around the head and is felt on both sides of the head. Those that suffer from tension headaches may become very sensitive to light and sound, but do not go through the pre-headache aura that comes along with migraines. Tension headaches will begin to fade once the period of stress or other related causes ends.
Tension headache tends to begin during adolescence and reach the utmost activity in the 30’s. These headaches do affect women somewhat more than men.
Tension headache has two different forms:
1.Episodic tension headaches happen between 10 and 15 days each month and can last anywhere between 30 minutes to several days. Even though the pain is not disabling, the intensity of pain tends to increase with the regularity of the episodes.
2.Chronic tension headaches often happens more than 15 days monthly over 3 months. The pain involved with this form of headache is consistent over days or even months, it is felt on both sides of the head and can become extreme and disabling.
Both depression and anxiety can be the source of tension headaches. These can occur in the early morning or evenings when conflicts at home or work are expected. The various other causes include posture that strains the head or neck muscles, degenerative arthritis in the neck, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Cluster headaches are the most extreme form of primary headaches. This form of headache involves unforeseen, exceedingly painful headaches occurring in clusters. They typically occur at the same time of day and night for several weeks at a time. Cluster headaches affect one side of the head, frequently behind or around one eye, and may lead up to migraine-like aura and nausea. The pain involved peaks 5-10 minutes following the onset and persists at the same intensity up to 3 hours. Some will endure restlessness and agitation, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, and increased sensitivity to light, sound, or smell.
Cluster headaches can start at any age but typically begin between 20 and 50 years old. This form of headache commonly affects that smoke more than those that do not smoke and is seen more frequently in men than women. Cluster headache episodes do not last as long as migraines. Ordinarily, people will have 1-3 cluster headaches a day, with 2 cluster periods yearly, possibly separated by months free from any symptoms. Cluster periods are commonly inaccurately thought to be allergies because they do occur seasonally, normally in the spring or fall. It has been suggested that inconsistencies in the body’s sleep-wake cycle could be a cause of cluster headaches.
Thank you for visiting my site today. I am sorry this post was so incredibly long, but there is a lot of important information that needs to be shared. In my next few posts I will explain the miscellaneous primary headache forms, secondary headache disorders, treatments and diagnostics. I do hope the information in this post was helpful and offered some sort of comfort. Personally, I deal with migraines and tension headaches far too much and understand many others do as well. I want to encourage your comments because I know they will be amazing and even help others, including myself! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, and many positive vibes!
An exacerbation of Multiple Sclerosis can also be referred to as an attack, a relapse or an episode. All the terms all mean the same thing which is the occurrence of new symptoms or worsening of an old symptom. These range from mild to severe enough to interfere with a person’s ability to function in daily life. The exacerbation will follow the following criteria:
Previous symptoms become more severe or new symptoms have started to show.
Symptoms last longer than 24 hours, commonly lasting days or weeks.
A total of 30 days has passed since the start of the previous relapse.
Healthcare provider has ruled out all other possible causes for an exacerbation, including infection, heat, and stress.
It is critical to know when this is happening because early treatment can help reduce the impact on the person’s body. It must be known that no two exacerbations are alike and can change slightly.
The reason an exacerbation occurs is due to the immune system attack on the myelin sheath, which then causes slow or interrupted neuronal signals in the brain and spinal cord. An exacerbation can consist of balance problems, coordination, eyesight, bladder function, memory or concentration problems, mobility, fatigue, weakness, numbness or needle-link sensation.
Mild symptoms such as fatigue, numbness, and needle-link sensation could potentially improve on their own and not require treatment. More intense issues could be considered a severe exacerbation which could include vision loss, extreme weakness, and poor balance. During a severe exacerbation, a person’s daily activities could be affected and a short course of high-dose corticosteroids may be recommended by the specialist.
The high-dose of steroids helps reduce the severity and duration of the exacerbation. Even though steroids work well with the exacerbation, they can also have some rather unpleasant side effects including increased appetite, weight gain, fluid retention, high blood pressure, irritability, confusion or delirium, increased risk for infection, and easy bruising.
Symptoms for each person with Multiple Sclerosis are different. Being aware of common triggers for an exacerbation is vital for each person to know and even though symptoms can occur without any notice it is important to try avoiding certain things the best one possibly can.
4 Common Triggers for an Exacerbation:
Stress- Part of living with an illness like MS is emotional stress which can lead to other common MS symptoms such as depression. Stress does have the potential to lead to additional MS symptoms such as fatigue and confusion. It is a crucial part of MS treatment to have a good and solid support network of people that can help out both physically and emotionally.
Fatigue- Sleep is essential for those with Multiple Sclerosis. Small issues like lack of sleep can trigger MS symptoms. It is very important to have good healthy eating habits, sleep well, and getting exercise daily which will help combat MS fatigue.
Infection- Infections cause about one-third of all exacerbation. Urinary tract infections are very common because some people with MS have reduced bladder function. Any infection can weaken the immune system; even the simple ones like a cold or the flu and cause an exacerbation. It is extremely important to avoid being around sick people, but when it is unavoidable be sure to wash hands frequently.
Heat- Infections leading to fever can be something to worry about considering increased body temperature is a very common trigger. MS symptoms, especially tingling gets worse in the summer because of the heat. It is predominant to get into the air conditioning or take a cool shower to reduce heat symptoms from occurring.
Thank y’all for visiting my site and reading about what an exacerbation is. Speaking from personal experience an exacerbation can be awful and also frustrating. Even though I do know that steroids help the episode duration be shorter, they cause my mood to change so much that I have a hard time with them. They cause my temper to come out much faster than it normally would and also cause me to feel edgy and unable to sleep.
For any of you that have experienced an exacerbation and were put on steroids, how did the steroids make you feel and did they help the episode not last too long? Also, if you have anything you would like to add to this, please let me know. I always want to spread the awareness as much as I can because I think it is important. Even in 2020 I do still think there are a lot of misconceptions about MS and people are very quick to judge, which can cause feelings to be hurt. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love , comfort, and many positive vibes!
In a previous post I shared with y’all that my recent MRI results showed improvement and there were NO new lesions, which is great news! I felt so incredibly relieved with these wonderful results, but for some reason which I am sure is probably stress related, I still feel an incredible amount of pain and burning in my legs/feet. This pain and burning sensation is constant and unrelenting, which is nothing more than frustrating.
Trying to continue doing all that I want and need to do become trying because it seems like not much really help the issues I continue to struggle with. I feel that my body is trying to hold me as a prisoner from my own illness. Isn’t there normally parole from prison? Unfortunately parole has not been offered to me, so maybe that means I have not showed good behavior! I know I do not listen well to my doctor (whom I do my best to avoid to at all costs), but I also continue to ignore the advice from the Nurse Practitioner (NP) that I actually like and respect, considering she worked closely with my first specialist that I just loved! During the MRI results reading with the NP, she encouraged me once again to try things to reduce my stress, considering she seems to believe that is where my pain is stemming from. I am do not agree with her completely on this, but maybe she is right.
Avoiding stress in the world we live in seems completely impossible to me, but maybe and not very likely I am wrong. I mean you are not able to turn the TV on without interruptions from the government, spewing nothing but lies! It is impossible to be out among people without one them mentioning some lie they heard on the news that they of course believe. Avoiding stressors that I have been aware of for a long time is possible, but then through no fault of my own they seep through and then cause me nothing but frustrating feelings. I have even tried to ignore the stress-factors, but all that does is bottle up hostile feelings which tend to come out in rather terrible and unhealthy ways!
Now considering my MRI results indicated improvement, I am left to wonder if the pain and burning sensation that will not let up is just my life. This is what makes me feel that I am nothing more than a prisoner in my own body. How do you break-free when nothing seems to help? All that seems to be happening is the walls are growing taller and more impossible to escape from.
Even though the issues I continue to face are frustrating, I will continue searching for the light I know is there somewhere. There must be an end to the pain and burning sensation and in time I am sure I will figure it out. However, by the time I figure out ways to end the pain and burning I am probably going to be very elderly and in an assistant living home, in which they will have to deal with me! I definitely feel bad for those individuals!
I would like to thank y’all for stopping by my site today. I always appreciate you reading my thoughts for the day and leaving your amazing comments! I hope y’all have had a nice day and I hope you are feeling well. Please remember that I will respond to all comments as quickly as I can, as I really do enjoy the open communication we have. As always I am sending y’all LOTS of love and comfort!
Good afternoon and Happy Friday Eve y’all! How are you feeling today? I really hope your week has been very pleasant and you are feeling as wonderful as you possibly can! Do any of you suffer from migraines and how do manage them? I have dealt with migraines/headaches since I was a child and still can not find a good way to control them. I guess I think they are something that is completely uncontrollable! The migraines/headaches I get way too often make it impossible to do anything at all. The only thing I can do is lay down in a dark and quiet room with one ice pack on my head and another at the base of my neck. This is just a miserable time!
There are several different types of weather related migraines, that you really can not control. Unfortunately we can not change the course of mother nature.
Extremely Dry Conditions
Bright Lights and Sun Glares
Barometric Pressure Changes
It has been painfully hot and humid where I live, which is only causing me LOTS of fatigue and terrible headaches/migraines. It is crazy how much barometric pressure impacts the way we feel. High or rising barometric pressure may indicate better weather and rising temperatures, but also increased humidity levels. High humidity is an extremely common trigger for a migraine to occur! Falling barometric pressure is a signal that storms are on their way. The more severe the storm is going to be, the more significant and rapid the changes will be. A complete change in pressure levels may only take a few minutes, but those that suffer with migraines/headaches will be among the first to know about the changes. Both high humidity and extremely dry conditions only exacerbate dehydration, which can and will cause additional migraines/headaches, which in only one reason why it is so important to drink plenty of water.
Being exposed to both bright lights or sun glares can activate something known as photophobia. Photophobia is a painful sensitivity to light and can create some massive headaches/migraines. Personally I have found that the fluorescent lights at work tend to be the main reason for many of my headaches. When I first got to work this morning all lights were turned off and I felt fine. About an hour later someone in my office decided we needed those horrible lights turn on and shortly after that my migraine started to ease into the place it felt it needed to be. I still do not believe the lights were necessary as we could see just fine with the nature light coming in through the windows!
Thank y’all for visiting my site today! I am always so thankful and appreciative for your continued support and amazing comments that I do always respond to. I hope y’all have a nice peaceful evening and are as happy as I am that tomorrow is Friday! Fridays are so wonderful because then the much desired weekend follows! As always I am sending y’all LOTS of love and comfort!
Good morning Y’all! I hope you have a great day! Do you already know what your pain triggers are? If you do you are ahead of the game, but if you do not it is okay, we are all always learning every day! I am going to share with you some pain triggers that may actually surprise you, but they are so incredibly common for all of us.
Holding onto your anger can actually cause back pain. The more tight-lipped we are when something causes us to feel angry; the more tension is felt throughout our spine causing unnecessary pain. Whether you have ongoing back pain or even aches from lifting too much, holding onto anger will without a doubt increase your pain. My goodness does this explain a lot for me because I am one that hates confrontation and will avoid it like it is the plague! Sometimes I will just sit there and brew over something, but never share with anyone that I am angry with them or another situation, which is a very unhealthy trait of mine. Either talking to others about the anger we feel or even just writing out the emotions will help tremendously.
Your Trusty Smartphone:
Who would have thought that this easy and convenient device could actually add to the pain we feel? Our smartphones make it so easy to stay connected to family and friends and also to surf the web anywhere we may be. But think about it, how do you hold your phone while you are chatting? We all tend to be on our phones while multi-tasking to take care of other need to-dos. During our amazing multi-tasking abilities, we have a tendency to hold our phone between our neck and shoulder, which can easily cause tightness and pain in the strained areas. Also, think about how you hold your phone while web browsing and or texting! Being in a hunched over position for an extended period of time can cause a great amount of pain.
Here are some easy ways to use your smart phone that will cause you less pain:
If you know you will be chatting for longer than a few minutes, which we all are probably guilty of, try using a headset or Bluetooth. This can make it so you can enjoy your phone call and not be forced to cradle the phone with your shoulder causing yourself unnecessary pain!
When browsing the web or texting, hold your phone at eye level so you are not straining your neck by looking down.
Thinking the Worst
Catastrophizing is an irrational thought that some of us have, which is believing something is much worse than it really is. Honestly, I am very guilty of this most of the time. Andrew Bertognoli, PhD, is a San Francisco based psychologist with the Spine Care Medical Group says “Emotion and pain are processed in the same area of the brain, so if you’re anxious and stressed, it’s natural to feel physical pain. That’s not to say your pain is emotional, it’s just that there’s an intersection of the mind and body.”What an incredibly true statement! I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt, whenever I am stressed or angry my pain drastically increases.
Skimping on Sleep:
Most of us have so many things on our to-do lists that we want to get done, from going to the grocery shopping to finishing the laundry to cleaning our house, but we often put sleep at the very bottom of our list. Putting sleep at the bottom of our to-do list is in all reality causing us to suffer even more. There have already been numerous studies about how much sleep an adult should get every night, but each individual is equipped so differently and have different needs and probably none of us actually get an adequate amount of sleep every night.
During sleep our bodies makes human growth hormones, which is needed for tissues repair to ease our pain. Those that suffer from chronic insomnia have nearly three times the risk of chronic pain. If you suffer from lack of sleep, a few possible ways to sleep better are:
Get more sun in the morning. The morning sun exposure helps recalibrate our internal circadian sleep clocks.
Daytime exercise. Some mild exercises can work as a stress reliever and eliminate additional thoughts built up in our minds.
Turn down the thermostat in your bedroom. Sometimes cooler temperatures while sleeping, can allow you to be more comfortable. Whereas if you are too warm, you can’t get comfortable enough to sleep and then toss and turn.
Try sleeping with a white noise machine. White noise machines have been proven to be a great sleep aid, so it is worth a try!
Your Work Area:
Most people do not think sitting at a desk can actually be a major pain risk because it is not strenuous, but it is painful! Your posture at your desk and the way your work area is arranged can and does cause people so much pain! Most workplaces do now offer ergonomic desk configuration services. So if you start to notice you are in more pain while at work, contact your Human Resources Department so they can give you directions on what needs to be done to have your work area more ergonomically suitable. This may work wonders for you and make your work day far less painful!
For the computer you use while at home, there is something you can do to decrease any pain it may cause! You should always make sure the top of your monitor is at or slightly below eye level, so you are not straining your neck by looking upward at the monitor.
Whether we want to be or not, we are social creatures by nature. Loneliness can lead to depression and in turn depression can cause pain. I am of course not saying you should not be choosy about people to confide in because it is important to be comfortable with whom you choose to share your life with. If you are already in a committed relationship, share your feelings with that person.
Thank you for visiting my site today and I really hope this information was helpful to you! It always amazes me what can actually cause the pain we already live with to be even more intense. Reducing the pain we have is a wonderful thing and maybe even possible or at least for some of it! I do try my best to correct the issues that I recognize, but I am only human and just can not work miracles! I encourage your fantastic comments and I promise to respond as quickly as I can. Please remember that I am always sending you LOTS of love and comfort!
For the past few days I have been dealing with a lot of pain and discomfort in my legs and even in my arms. I have experienced this sensation many times over the years, so I was almost immune to it and did not allow it to alarm me too much. In all honesty though, as the days and feeling continued it just started to become quite annoying and incredibly uncomfortable. Nothing but my trusty heating pad seems to alleviate this feeling of pain, which is just VERY frustrating. So I decided to share a little information with y’all about spasticity, which I am sure most of you already know about!
Spasticity is feelings of stiffness and various ranges of involuntary muscle spasms. This is extremely common with those living with Multiple Sclerosis. Spasticity could be as mild as feelings of tightness of the muscles or so severe that it causes painful, uncontrollable spasms of the extremities, most commonly in the legs. Spasticity can cause pain and tightness in and around the joints and cause intense lower back pain, which is horrible to manage! Spasticity can be triggered by a number of things like sudden movement or position changes, extremes in temperatures, humidity or infection, but can also be aggravated by tight clothing!
There are different types of Spasticity are:
Flexor Spasticity involving the hamstrings which are the muscles on back of the upper leg and hip flexor which are the muscles at the top of the upper thigh. The hips and knees are bent and difficult to straighten.
Extensor Spasticity involving the quadriceps and adductors which are the muscles on the front and inside of the upper leg. The hips and knees remain straight with legs very close together or crossed over at the ankles.
There are treatments available for this possibly painful situation. Treatments are on an individual basis, but for any treatment it is important to work closely with a specialist. Some treatments may include certain exercises recommended by the specialist, changes in daily activities, medication or a combination of all three of these options. The two most common antispasticity medications are Baclofen and Tizanidine. Baclofen is a muscle relaxant that works on nerves in the spinal cord. Tizanidine works quickly to calm spasms and to relax tightened muscles. All medications that can be used, can and will work differently with each individual person, which is why it is SO IMPORTANT to always consult with a specialist and report all side effect experienced.
**Important Disclaimer** I am not a physician nor am I in the medical field, all information I am sharing is based completely on my own research and personal experiences, so please if you are experiencing anything to do with spasticity consult with your physician.
Thank y’all for visiting my site today! I hope this information was interesting to you and if you have any comments, please do not hesitate to leave them. I love being able to read your comments and I do always respond as quickly as I can. If any of you have experienced this feeling and have found a good way to relieve the pain and discomfort, please let me know!! I hope y’all have a great day and are feeling well. As always remember I am sending y’all lots of love and comfort!
On March 20th, we should have been graced with spring weather, but it seems Mother Nature had a difference of opinion! The first day of spring was rather warm, but then the days that followed were very chilly and some even had snow! Spring time snow just does not seem right to me, but I guess we will never understand how nature works. Spring is “supposed” to bring on the blooming of the trees and blossoming of the flowers adding so much beauty to the world! New life is given to nature and new beginnings are created all around us. The amazing and various colors of flowers give an incredibly artistic sight for us to see. Even the trees, which most think are just green, have a variety of different greens brightening up our surroundings! Of course the days delay the darkness of night by having a few hours longer of daylight and sunshine!
The days ahead are finally showing some signs of spring like weather. I really do hope that spring will stick around a while before we are bombarded with the summer heat! Summer is great for going to the beach, but when you live hours from the beach it is not always so fantastic! When it is 100 degrees out with high humidity, you literally can not walk from an air conditioned building to your car without being drenched in sweat! With the way Mother Nature has been acting, it is hard to say what summer is going to be like. There were a few days in February when the temperatures were in the upper 70’s, which is highly abnormal! I do not think it is healthy for temperatures to go from nearly 80 degrees to the next day being in the upper 40’s that is too drastic of a change.
How is your spring going so far? Are y’all having spring like weather or are you experiencing the tail end of winter still? I know I have said this before, but my body does not respond well to dramatic weather changes. I definitely do not handle chilly rainy days well at all. Do you feel like cold rainy days worsen how you feel? But in all honesty, we can not control the weather and just need to do what we can to keep living! Never allowing an illness that is strongly affected by weather is hard, but we are all so much stronger than that!
I recently did a post about pain management doctors and how I feel about them. I do understand there is a huge issue right now with people abusing pain medications and doctors do not seem to have the man power to know which of their patients are not just after some type of high, but actually just want to live a normal life without pain. I feel like there is a lot of judging going on right now with people who live in pain and go to pain management. These patients should not be labeled as an addict or anything else that is demeaning. No one in their right mind wants to go to the doctor for anything, but they surely do not want to sit in a doctor’s office while they are in pain and wait to be seen. These people would much rather be at home where they are comfortable. So those that go through the struggles of getting to the doctor’s office and wait are suffering and in need of relief. I do not want it to sound like I am placing all the blame for the opioid crisis on the doctors and government, but they both have a lot to do with the issues at hand. I will never think that those that have a legitimate reason for going to pain management because of an accident or illness should be punished further. It does not seem fair to add more pain and suffering to those already under much stress from the pains they go through every day!
I always appreciate you stopping by my site and I love reading your comments, which I will respond to as quickly as I can. We are all entitled to our own opinions and they all matter! I hope your weekend is going well and you are able to enjoy every moment of it! Sending y’all lots of love and comfort!
Good evening Y’all! I am carrying on with MS Awareness Month sharing more information with you about the illness. Have you even analyzed what was going on in your life when you had a MS Flare Up? In a way I guess I have, but still never made any changes to what was going on in my life. I know it will not be any fun and might be a little painful thinking back to your most recent flare up, but what was going on at that moment in your life? I will tell you that the major flare up I had this past October was completely and 100% due to stress. Below are some very common triggers for an MS flare up.
a. Emotional stress can lead to a very common MS symptom, depression.
b. Stress can lead to additional fatigue and confusion, probably from lack of sleep.
a. Sleep is very important for everyone, but it is vital for those with MS.
b. Most people with MS have a lower reserve for energy, so small tasks can be exhausting.
a. Infections cause about 1/3 of all flares up.
b. Due to reduced bladder functions in some MS patients, Urinary Tract Infections are very common, which in turn can cause a flare up.
c. Even a slight cold or the flu can initiate a flare up. This makes it very important to seek medical attention at the first indicator of a cold or the flu so you can get in front of the ailment before things get worse.
a. Increased body temperatures, whether due to the weather or having a fever.
b. Symptoms, like tingling and numbness tend to be more intense during the summer because of the outside temperatures. It is important to stay in the air conditioning as much as possible or try things like cooling vests.
Not all MS flare ups are going to need to be treated with steroids. Lord knows, for any of you that have had to be on them they are miserable. Even though I know steroids help shorten the flare up, I will do just about anything to avoid them! Typically issues like tingling, fatigue and mental fogginess will go away on their own, especially once the trigger has been eliminated. Unfortunately there are more severe MS symptoms that can affect mobility and vision that will require a short course of steroids. Each person does need to learn what triggers the various symptoms that take place during a flare up. Sometimes it is easy to acknowledge what your triggers are, but an entirely different situation addressing those known triggers.
Do you know what triggers any flare ups you have had in the past? Do you think there was a way to avoid this flare up if any behaviors had been altered? I do believe if I could learn to manage my stress a little better, I could possibly avoid many flare ups in the future. I can acknowledge what my triggers are, but I have a problem making changes with the issue, which is normally stress. This is not a good excuse for not making changes, but it is in my nature to worry about people I care about and feel an overwhelming need to help them through their problem or problems. I always want to fix whatever issue or issues my loved one are experiencing. Even though logically I do know that I am not able to fix everyone else’s issues, but should really focus more on my own life I do still try. This does not fix whatever my loved one is going through, but just causes me so many more issues with my health and an increase in my pain.
I want to thank y’all for visiting my site today. As always, your comments are very welcomed and I will respond to you as quickly as I possibly can. I know this information is probably well know already, but I hope that it reminded you to be mindful of your own health and try to know what could be possible triggers for you. This information about flares and triggers is not just isolated to MS, but can also carry onto other illnesses. All illnesses can have triggers that cause that illness to rear their ugly heads. I hope y’all have a nice and relaxing evening. As always, I am sending you lots of love and comfort!