Sunday, preparing for next week

Many people do not understand how changes in the weather affect others because it might not have any negative effects on them. During the winter months, the cold weather causes me to tense my muscles more, which causes additional pain. Then during the warmer months, the heat causes several other problems that are uncomfortable to deal with. It never fails when the weather changes with the seasons my body takes time to adjust. It does not just take a few hours to adjust, it can take weeks to adjust until I begin to feel semi-normal.

Currently, the temperatures change daily, and this is not easy for me. Last week there were a few days when the temperatures were mild but rainy. Rain causes increased pain issues, but I can deal with them for the most part. On other days the temperatures were extremely uncomfortable because it was too hot. Unfortunately, next week several days the temperature is going to be pushing 90 degrees, which is far too hot for April.

I have learned how to tolerate different weather better since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over 20 years ago. I will not say it is easy but decided to not let the weather and the MS control my life. I know life is short and feel strongly we must learn to adjust when things get difficult so we can enjoy life to the fullest.

Do you begin to feel different during the different seasons? If you do, how do you manage? Unfortunately, it is only April and we have not entered summer yet. There is no preparing for the ridiculously hot weather, but I will do my best to not be outside in the hot weather. Like I have done previously when I need to leave the house, I will start my vehicle ahead of time, so it has time to cool down before I drive. I already have dizzy spells randomly, but when I am overheated the dizziness is much more intense.

This weekend I have tried to rest and recuperate from last week as much as possible. I can admit that I have not gotten as much sleep as I would have liked, but I did try. Next week is going to be busy and possibly more exhausting than last week was. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon and will need to miss a few hours of work but will be making the time up. I am also planning to work two hours of overtime each day.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you were able to enjoy your weekend. Thankfully, the weekend is not over yet and we have a few hours left to rest or do anything else we desire. I look forward to reading your comments and will 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

Relaxing Saturday

On Saturday afternoons, we do not have to be tied down by work, chained to a desk in front of a computer, and can be doing anything we want, within reason anyway. Most people want to be out of the house and enjoy the spring weather because we have been trapped inside all week long, which is an unpleasant feeling. The sun is shining, and the birds are singing, what is not to love? There is so much to appreciate about the beauty nature offers all of us and we should try connecting with nature as much as we can.

What do you enjoy most about the spring weather and nature? The flowers are blooming creating beautiful atmospheres but that comes along with miserable allergies. The beauty makes the allergy issues worth it😊 or they do for me! Of course, I have allergies year-round, so the springtime weather is not any worst than the rest of the year. I wake up every morning with my sinuses in out-of-control pain, but there is not much a steaming hot shower cannot fix.

Even though I have been trapped at home all week working in our combined home office, I have no interest in doing anything today because the past two weeks have been extremely exhausting. Unfortunately, even though I could have slept in today, I was still up early. My internal alarm clock never fails to wake me at the same time daily. I wish there was a way to turn it off, but at least I am always awake before the sound of an annoying alarm clock😊.

Considering it is the weekend, I wanted to write and read more than I have been able to during this past week. I think it has a lot to do with feeling overly fatigued because I was not able to think of anything interesting or important to write about. I guess there is always tomorrow because the weekend is not over yet😊. Next week, my favorite author, James Patterson has a new book being released. It is the 22nd book in his The Women’s Murder Club series and I have no doubt it will be fantastic. James Patterson is after all and master with storytelling, and I think has a brilliant mind.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you are enjoying the weekend and doing what brings you the most joy! Many people think of Sunday as a day for rest, but I think of Saturday as a day of rest and Sunday to get things done around the house. I look forward to reading your comments and promise to respond to all of them 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

Midweek rain & pain

Happy Wednesday y’all! We have made it through the first half of this week, so we are at the halfway point. How has your week been? I hope you are having a great and safe week. The past few days where I live have had on and off rain, which always makes me feel worse than normal. Of course, when I look at the weather there is rain for many more days this week. The only thing rain does is make my legs and feet, back, and head have more intense pain as if I need any additional pain!

I was planning to do another post about March being Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month, but with my pain being awful I have not been able to yet. Even though I see a lot of rain for this week, I am hoping to be able to do at least one post to explain a little about what Multiple Sclerosis is. Without going into too much detail because my pain is that miserable, I will say one thing about MS, it is the most unpredictable, frustrating, and painful thing I have dealt with in life. Most days I do not get too upset about it, but on the bad days, it feels like a punishment for something I am unaware of.

Recently, I read something about Multiple Sclerosis being more about environmental factors and nothing about our genes. Considering there is not anyone in my family that lives with this disease, I am starting to believe that to be true. I do know already that certain foods increase inflammation and with that being a huge issue with MS, I try avoiding these foods. *I will be explaining this further in another post soon*. I also know for a fact that stress makes issues with MS a lot more intense because it has caused me numerous issues. Weather is another challenge with this mean disease. With all seasons and temperatures changing, my body feels it and does not adapt quickly. Even though I enjoy the sound of rain when I sleep, rain has become one of my enemies!!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I am sorry I was not able to do a more thorough post regarding Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, but I do promise I will do one before the end of this week. I hope you are doing well and having a lovely week. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Overcome the Winter Blue

We all feel differently about the different seasons. Everyone has their favorite and dreaded season. Currently, in the United States, it has been winter since December 21st and does not end until March 20th. Some states face a lot of snowfall and others, such as the southern states do not get nearly as much. The southern states are not equipped with the necessary equipment, so small amounts of snow cripple the area for days.

Unfortunately, no matter where the state anyone is in, winter can cause people to feel unfavorable feelings, such as their sleep being jeopardized which can lead to feeling sluggish and hopeless. It is thought that the causes of negative feelings during the winter months are due to the lack of sunlight, which disrupts circadian rhythms and the levels of melatonin and serotonin.

If you are someone that does not care for the winter months, there are ways to manage your winter days in a better way. The following are some effective ways to try.

Maintain a proactive attitude. Winter is not a surprise because we know it happens every year. Preparing for winter, before it begins with anything that makes you feel good. You might want to join a gym or anything else that helps you to stay active. I know with COVID joining a gym may make you skeptical and I understand that, but there are safety measures gyms are using to keep their customers safe.

Considering there is less sunlight during the winter months, it is important to increase your levels of Vitamin D. One important thing about Vitamin D is that it helps regulate serotonin levels. You can add into your daily routine a Vitamin D supplement, which can be purchased over the counter. The recommended daily amount is 400-800 I.U. There are also foods that are highly enriched with Vitamin D such as fortified orange juice, tuna, eggs, mushrooms, and of course, milk.

Regardless of the short and darker days, continue with your normal schedule. This means continuing to eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep. It also means avoiding staying in bed when it is time to get up, remaining on the couch where you are warm and cozy, and having those late-night snacks. We are all faced with those tasty treat temptations, but we need to think ahead and know how sluggish they will make us feel.

I am just as guilty as anyone else of maintaining a normal schedule and avoiding snacking. The pandemic did not help with the snacking, and I think most people have probably gained weight since the start of the pandemic. Of course, during the winter months, we are mostly wearing baggy clothing which hides the signs of weight gain, but changes can be made for our own good. I am a huge fan of my comfy clothes because they are comfortable and baggy, but then again that is how I like to dress anyway. I guess working from home really did not help that much because I never had to go to an office and get dressed up!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope the information I have shared has been helpful for you or someone you know. I am sure you are glad the week has finally ended and hope you are looking forward to a relaxing and safe weekend. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Life’s Concerns

It is no secret that we have not been able to do anything in several years besides be imprisoned in our home because of COVID. Recently, we were able to get out of our house and the states we live in to celebrate my husband’s birthday. Of course, he loves doing something extremely cold, and I am not that good at, snowboarding. Even though it was bitterly cold and a long drive, it was fabulous to have a change in scenery and freedom from our home.

Now, one small problem is, what do you do when there is a long drive ahead and you despise driving? I never expect my husband to do all the driving a long drive and will always offer to do some of the driving. My husband is aware of my distaste for driving and tries to not have me drive much. I have two reasons for detesting driving. Driving near the huge 18-wheeler trucks is terrifying and it is extremely challenging for me to see at night. My vision causes me to feel worse than a deer in headlights.

As wonderful as it was to be out of our house for the first time in three years, it was still a little concerning due to the increased number of COVID cases. Obviously, being fully vaccinated reduces the risks, but even those that are fully vaccinated have been falling ill with COVID. I prefer to not be another COVID number and worst-case scenario in the ICU fighting for my life. We have made it during all these years with COVID not getting sick, even when our family was.

Dealing with extreme temperatures is problematic for me. I know it is because of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). My body does not acclimate well or fast. Temperatures are one the enemies for me. With colder weather, we can put on more clothing, but it is still a slow process. Then with hot weather, we cannot take off enough clothing to cool down. I have mentioned previously when I deal with colder temperatures, I have heating pads to help and with hot temperatures, I have cooling products that help some.

There will always be challenges in life and we must find ways to handle them. Life is not going to pause because it gets hard. Somedays, life may seem to be painfully long, but logically it is short. We get one chance at life, so making it the best we can is ideal. We need to fight for what we want in life and never give up and surrender to the challenges.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you are having a good week and enjoyed what I have shared today. I am looking forward to reading your comments and will respond as quickly as I can. I hope you are doing everything possible to stay safe! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

It is finally Friday

We finally made it through this week y’all! Happy Friday and I hope you are looking forward to the weekend as much as I am. It has without a doubt been a long week, but it was not too terrible. It could always be worst. Right? This afternoon is my routine follow-up appointment with the pain management doctor, and they are always the same. Nothing changes with the appointment or my pain level, so I am just doing what the doctor orders.

Over the past week, there was a drastic change in the weather. I think y’all already know how much the insane heat bothers me, but the cold tends to have a negative effect as well, especially when it includes rain. I think it might be more to do with when the changes go from extreme heat to cold that my body does not react well to. Of course, the heat does cause my symptoms to be worse than normal. Then the cold forces me to tense up which in turn causes pain to escalate because of the tension throughout my body. I think it would be perfect if the temperatures could be in the low 70’s year-round, but I know that will never happen. A girl can dream though!

Do any of you have plans for the weekend? I know you will not be surprised that I do not really have anything planned. My husband works all weekend and I do not. I will hopefully sleep in past 6:30, but that is if the cats allow it. The little girl that sleeps with me thinks it is her job to wake me up early and has reinforcement from our older cat. They just want treats and to hopefully get comfortable on my lap.

I am not violent in any way shape or form, but there are a few good UFC fights this weekend that we will watch on Sunday morning. In two of the fights, I have my pick of who I want to win, but we will see what happens. I am a huge fan of one of the female fighters, Rose Namajunas. After listening to her story, I learned that we have a few things in common, and through her story she gives me hope to move past events from the past.

There are a few things I want to write about and have had in my mind this week, but I will not make any promises. I am going to try though. It is always challenging to do the posts I want to do during the week because of how exhausted I am after work. So, the weekends are the time I try, and I am not always successful and often fail with this.

I hope you had a good week, and you will be able to let go of anything that happened during the week that caused you to feel negative emotions. The weekends are too short to allow for those negative emotions to impact your weekend. Life and weekends are short, so we need to be able to do what brings us the most joy. I found a pretty quote that I wanted to share and hope it helps you to leave the week in the past and enjoy your weekend! I would love to know what you think of the quote I am sharing!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. Whatever you have planned for the weekend, please do so in the safest way possible. I want to believe there will come a day when the virus is in the past and we can live our lives in a normal way again without fear of getting the virus because I know how hard this is. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

One Day Down & Four To Go

We have made it through one day of this week and only have four left before the weekend arrives again. Yesterday was a busy day at work, which made the day go by quickly. To be honest, even though I do prefer my days to be busy it did cause my pain to increase drastically. I guess it is probably because of the way my desk is and how my hands and arms are for 8 eight hours seldom taking a break. I should know better by now and get up to step away from the desk for at least 5 minutes every 30 minutes. My reason for not getting up walking away from my workspace is because I do not want to lose my focus, especially since as the day progresses, I become more fatigued.

I do have a doctor’s appointment on Friday with my pain management doctor. This is just my routine follow-up I must do every three months, so it is not a big deal. I like the Nurse Practitioner because she is nice and easy to talk to. Considering I live about an hour and a half from the office, she allows me to do my appointments every three months, instead of every two months. I really hate driving on the Interstate because the road is away, and the traffic can be terrible as well. It amazes me how some people got their driver’s license because they never should have!

The weather has been getting cooler with only a few off days when it is warmer than it should be in November. Of course, this week rain is expected at least one day, which always makes things worse for me. The rain causes pain to be much worse and other issues to escalate. Has anyone else noticed changes in the way you feel when it is rainy and or cold?

I hope you had a good day yesterday and you are feeling well What is the weather like where you are living, and do you like it? I know this is not the normal way of my posts, but I am trying to keep up with daily posts and I think writing about things I am going through might be helpful. I also want to get to know y’all better and think this might be a good way to do so. What do you think?

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed what I have shared, and I am looking forward to hearing from you. I promise to respond to your comments as quickly as I can. I know things with COVID are getting better, but I think we still have a long way to go. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes.

Always, Alyssa

Challenges with Multiple Sclerosis

I think y’all already know that I have had Multiple Sclerosis for over 20 years and for the most part I am still going strong. Honestly, some days are worse than others and most issues are triggered by either the weather or stress. I do not like having a pity party but wanted to quickly explain what I think are some of the most challenging aspects that come with this illness. Thankfully, over the years I have been able to get a much clearer understanding of what MS is and what it can do to a person. Crazy as this might sound, this has been good because when I was diagnosed, I was very ignorant to this illness and had an immature mind, but I was young and that is my excuse for my childlike thought process.

Of course, I do know it could always be worse and I am thankful it is not any worse than it is, but that does not mean it is not challenging and frustrating. The issues I am going to explain are not in order because I cannot say one is more challenging than the other, as they can all be grueling. No matter how challenging and or frustrating these issues are, most can be managed or at least I try to ignore them.

Multiple Sclerosis can be incredibly unpredictable, which can be burdensome. Never knowing what to expect or when it is going to strike is unnerving. It is embedded in my mind to have things planned but living with the unpredictability of MS can force plans to be altered or cancelled. Of course, with COVID there have not been many outings planned and I work from home, so life just keep moving along.

This illness is not something new and even though there have been vast amounts of research done, a cure has not been discovered. I dream that a day will come when I wake from the nightmare of Multiple Sclerosis and I will not have anymore pain, weakness, numbness in my legs and feet, dizzy spells, or any of the other awful symptoms caused by MS.

Another issue that can be exhausting is the constant pain I feel in my legs and mid to lower back. This has been something the MS caused since I was diagnosed, so I try to not allow it to impact my daily life too much, but it does still cause difficulties. I would say the leg pain is a lot harder to deal with than the back pain because leg pain makes moving around extremely laborious. The back pain is awful, but most of the time a heating pad helps relax the muscles.

I also experience neuropathy in my legs and feet, which causes an annoying tingling sensation. This issue is not easy to ignore because it is constant. It does not bother me as bad during the day but gets increasingly worse at night. The tingling feels like spiders crawling around my legs and feet and not too much decreases this issue. The neuropathy issue makes falling asleep and staying asleep very challenging.

Another issue I battle with is fatigue. It does not matter how much sleep I get, which is never as much as it should be, I am always tired. I have noticed this gets worse towards the afternoon and I start losing my focus because I am exhausted. I arrange my work tasks, so the most in-depth things are handled in the morning when I am the most alert.

The hug I never want is called the MS hug. Thankfully, this is not something I deal with daily, but when I do it is miserable. It kind of feels like there is a snake wrapped around my abdomen and continues to squeeze. It is uncomfortable and painful. For the past few days, I have been battling with this and ignoring it is not making it stop. However, I do think my specialist is on a need to know and I do not think she needs to know about this because I do not want her trying to force steroids on me as that alone makes me feel terrible.

Although I have lived with this disease for over 20 years, some of the fears I had in the beginning do still haunt me. I wonder will there ever be a cure, how much longer will I be able to walk for until I am in a wheelchair, is this disease going to end my life someday, and many more questions run through my mind. Even with all the unanswered questions, I am still never going to give up and allow the MS to win the war we have been fighting.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you have enjoyed your weekend and you were able to do what brings you the most joy. I hope what I have shared with you today will be give you some comfort and help you with something you are dealing with. I do not normally share posts that might come across as complaining, but I do want everyone reading to know that no matter what you might be struggling with, there is someone that understand. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

How you can stay comfortable during colder months

Multiple Sclerosis is a unique and frustrating illness to live with. When you add in the effects different temperatures can create, Multiple Sclerosis can become three times as frustrating. Each season seems to be followed by different challenges. Of course, the heat acts like kryptonite for Multiple Sclerosis and can cause symptoms to worsen. Unfortunately, extreme heat can also create new symptoms to be exposed. When someone with MS is exposed to heat, they may experience fatigue, numbness, blurred vision, tremors, confusion, weakness, and balance issues.

When the seasons change from hot to cold, those with MS are forced to battle with other issues. Cold weather causes people with or without MS to become tense. The increased tension of the muscles can cause increased spasms, muscles feeling tighter, and difficulties moving limbs.

I have lived with Multiple Sclerosis for over 20 years, and I live in an area that seems to only have two and a half seasons. This may not make sense, but I say this because the temperatures are either insanely hot for about nine months, slightly chilly for about one month, and mildly cold for two months. Some people are fortunate enough to have four true seasons and hopefully experience at least one season where they are comfortable.

When seasons bring on various challenges it is crucial to discover ways to stay well and as healthy as possible. First, we need to allow our bodies time to adjust to the differences, especially when going from extreme heat to bitter cold. This is something that cannot be rushed and will play out according to how it does.

For anyone that lives with the same medical issue as I do, Multiple Sclerosis, I am going to share a few tips that can help you stay both comfortable and warm during the colder months. If your symptoms worsen with colder temperatures, please know this should be short-lived discomfort. The following tips may be helpful for you even if you do not have MS and deal with another medical issue. I have experienced issues with temperatures more than I care to admit, but these tips helped me stay as comfortable as I can.

The first tip I have, please understand will not always be easy. Sometimes when we make simple alterations, it can make hard tasks a little easier. Even when it seems impossible, try to keep moving. Try simple and moderate physical activities, such as short walks or stretching. This tip helps you to burn energy and keep you warmer.

The second tip might take experimenting with different types of clothing. Dressing in layers helps you to stay warm and allows you to remove clothing when you get too warm. The challenges involved in determining the right clothing will be how many layers is not enough, too much, or finally just right! Wearing a hat will keep your head warm. Wearing lined boots or socks will keep your feet warm. Hats and socks will not allow heat to escape from your head or feet, which assists with keeping the rest of you warm.

The third tip I am going to share is that it is important to keep your hands and feet warm. For those of you with Multiple Sclerosis, doctors believe that MS causes blood vessels in the hands and feet to overreact to cold temperatures. To protect your hands and feet from negative effects from cold temperatures, try using hand warmers or a heating pad. REMEMBER to use CAUTION when using a heating pad and to avoid blisters, do not apply heating pad directly to your skin.

On a side note, if you do have MS, you may be at risk for Raynaud’s phenomenon. This is a condition that causes your fingers and toes to lose heat. This can cause your fingers and toes to turn from white to blue to red as the blood starts to flow again. With this condition, you may feel numbness, pain, or feel as though someone is sticking you with pins and needles, which is an awful feeling.

The fourth tip to staying comfortable during the colder months is to warm your insides. During colder months it is easy to have a hot meal, such as soup. Plus, you can sip on hot drinks like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and pour whatever your preferred beverage into an insulated mug. This will keep your drink warm longer and reduce trips to the kitchen to warm your drink.

Lastly, even on those crisp fall days or bitterly cold winter days, getting sunshine can warm you up. Simply walking outside for a short time to soak in some rays from the sun can be beneficial. Getting a little such sunshine can warm you up, allow your body to absorb some much-needed Vitamin D, and may boost your mood.

I am sure there are many other ways to stay warm and comfortable during the colder months, but these are the ones I know work for me. I would love to read any other suggestions you may have of things that have helped you. It is not too cold where I live, but I am sure it will happen in the next few months. Honestly, the temperatures are comfortable right now, if only the rain would not come back. Even if it is not cold, the rain always makes me feel terrible!

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you found the information I have shared helpful, and I am looking forward to reading your comments. I promise I will respond to all comments as quickly as I can, but it will probably be once I am out of work. Please continue to do everything you can to stay safe from the virus that continues to plague the world. I do know the numbers are decreasing as more get vaccinated, but it is still a little terrifying. I hope you never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Doctor’s Appointment & Nasty Rainy Day

Torrential downpour and non-driving people on the interstate drive me insane! I already hate driving but driving in the rain I despise more than I could ever explain. I left work early yesterday to go to my appointment with the pain management doctor, while the hour and a half drive there was fine besides the 18-wheeler trucks, the drive home was terrifying because the rain was so intense, I could not even see the front of my vehicle at times. There was a point that I almost pulled over to try waiting out the rain, but I really wanted to get home, so I continued driving very slowly, which is not like me.

I will never understand why doctors bother scheduling appointments because they are always running behind at least 45 minutes. My appointment yesterday was scheduled for 2:00, but the extremely sweet Nurse Practitioner did not come into the exam room until 2:40. Normally, I would have been frustrated, but like I said the NP is a sweet lady and I like her, so I remained patient and kept myself entertained shopping and writing a little.

These appointments are always so quick, well once the NP comes in the room, but it seems like a long drive. I am just glad she is allowing me to do these follow- up appointments every three months, instead of every other month. Overall, everything went just as well as it always does. She has even suggested a topical medication that might help with the neuropathy my legs and feet deal with daily, so I am happy about this. I do have to wait on the specialty pharmacy to call me back once they deal with the insurance company.

The hour and a half drive home felt like an eternity. Several times during the trip home, it was raining so hard that I could not even see the hood of my vehicle. I did stay in the slow lay, going no more than 40 mph. It was terrifying though because other cars were still speeding and that always frightens me, especially because I know they cannot drive when the sun is shining, and the ground is dry. There were a handful of times I considered pulling off at a rest stop to try waiting for the rain to stop, but I wanted to get home and work another hour to not have to use PTO. Even though it took me almost two hours to get home, I did make it without having an accident. Crazy times driving on an interstate in the south!

Thank you for visiting my site today. This was just giving an update on a doctor’s appointment, but I felt it was something good to write about. I hope you enjoyed it, and I would love the opportunity to read your comments, which I will respond to as quickly as I can. Please remember that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, support, comfort, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa