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Showing posts from February, 2017

The ABC's of MS

It's here! Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month! Just like last March, I pledge to post a blog every day this month in order to raise awareness of that MonSter hiding in the closet. Multiple sclerosis is often an invisible disease that affects 2.5 million people around the world, 400,000 of which are in the United States. MS attacks the protective covering (myelin) that surrounds the nerve bundles.

MS Warriors fight every day for a space in "normal".

I hope my alphabet is helpful.

A is for attitude. Being a MS Warrior requires adopting and maintaining a healthy attitude. Learn to sort through the priorities. Not everyone is going to "get" it. We have to be positive.

B is for balance. We all have a plethora (love that word) of responsibilities on our plates, but we need to look for the proper balance, both mentally and physically.

C is for Common Sense. This is the Monster's nemesis. When in doubt, look inward. Contrary to popular rumors, common sense is NOT dead. …

Celebrate the month of March. My personal awareness campaign.

Last March I vowed to blog for thirty days in support of MS Awareness Month. It got "hairy" at times and I didn't always have the best stuff to write, but I accomplished my goal. I realize now (and probably then) that it didn't really matter if I waxed poetic. My efforts attracted the right attention: media, social awareness, a sense of "family" among the MS Warriors who read my blog.

It is time to do it again. 

On Wednesday, March 1, I will begin my 2017 thirty day awareness campaign. Make sure you "tune" in.

See you here!

Thirty Days of MS Awareness Coming Your Way. Ideas welcome.

Awareness – Together We Are Stronger
Last march I committed to posting a blog post every day in March to raise awareness of MS. Although I have yet to see much information in the media about this for 2017, I am taking it upon myself to repeat my commitment.

Starting Wednesday, March 1, I will be posting a blog every day in the on the of March. That's  lot of planning and posting, friends, but it is my mission. Since March is my birth month and the green month of St. Patrick's Day, this ids a gift to my self.

I am looking for ideas for my daily post. Although this blog was originally created to share my journey with the MonSter, I have been known to include a variety of topics...I mean, life isn't ALL about MS, right? 

So far, I plan to discuss books and share some of my reviews. If you follow me at all you know of my passion for the written word. But, I am not the authority on books, so I welcome any suggestions. In fact, if anyone is interested in forming an on-line book clu…

Heaven received a special Warrior this week.

No, no, no, no, no!!!!
I open this morning's newspaper and see it: the obituary of a girl younger than I. Dead after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. 

All of medical science preaches that mutiple sclerosis does not kill us. Right? We may become disabled because of complications that are directly a result of MS, but our disease is not a killer.

But, there is is...Barbara dead at 55.

I realize with an increasing horror that I knew her. She was the bubbly greeter at the area MS Self-Help/Support group meetings that my mother I attend when I was initially diagnosed. Barbara, obviously younger than I, a mother of small children at the time, was on fire with enthusiasm. I really do not believe she was denial; she simply wanted to know more and she needed to share with others newly diagnosed. But, Barbara had had time to partially accept her destiny and wanted t present a positive front. 

As a newborn MS Warrior, her urgent need to reassure and envelope me into the fold was over whelmin…

Ouch! So this is pain of MS?

Since my diagnosis in 2001, I have read repeatedly about the physical pain associated with multiple sclerosis. Call it naivete, call it stupidity, call if just could fortune, but I never knew what that meant. The only physical pain I could identity with was the result of a fall. My parts just didn't hurt otherwise. 

I guess it took sixteen years, or maybe it is my advanced age, but the physical pain has finally caught up. For several weeks I have suffered off and on from a weird burning sensation of the "woman" parts. No, it is not an infection, and no, I so not have any sort of communicable disease. Sure, it could have something to do with post menopause or the fact that my body recognizes my true age even if my mind does not. It is really weird. The best way for me to find relief is to not wear undergarments or tight pants. It (the discomfort) hangs around for a few days, and then, just as quickly, is gone. I really do believe that it due to highly sensitive nerve endin…

The Old Drive-In

Today I am not writing about MS. Today I am handing you a gift.
I have reviewed books for Readers Favorite for years, just for fun; since my retirement this has become more serious than a past-time. I actually earn a few bucks for doing what I love most: READING and WRITING. It is the perfect job for me.
Yesterday I read a novel that I cannot get out of my mind. Never having heard of the author before, my curiosity turned to infatuation. Howard Reiss is my new favorite author. Of course, I tend to gush bout the last book I read until another good one comes along; but I am totally serious. Reiss is an awesome story teller and I cannot wait to get my hands on his other work.

Reviewed by Lisa A. McCombs for Readers Favorite Mitch and Sandi had the perfect life: gorgeous city apartment, two pretty children, a lucrative income, and the world by the tail. And then…Mitch’s law firm went belly up…and his father …

What NOT to say to a person with MS

It has happened to you. You know it. Maybe you are guilty of the same thing; empathizing with someone else's pain.

It's a common reaction and one that all humans program as a response to another's complaint.

That doesn't make it any better, though.

Maybe it is because this morning I am plagued with chills, have a killer ear ache, and just do not feel well, my patience with folks who insist on attempting to be in my shoes is at a low. My immediate ailments are NOT due to MS, but (unfortunately) the multiple sclerosis tends to magnify any physical (or mental/emotional) interruption in daily living; so, YES, I probably feel worse than the normal person. Interestingly enough, though, with my current physical state, my walking gait is rather impressive today. Funny how the body compensates.

So, I plan to blunder through my day with as much bravado as I can muster. Today is bowling day and my day with Mom. So, I must overcome, breathe the other way, and push through this thing. …

Do you push yourself?

There is no doubt about it. Entertaining the MonSter is hard work. We MS Warriors are always on call. There is no room for a "time out".
Yet, it is emotionally and physically impossible to be "on call" 24/7. Or, is it?
The first thing we have to do is get our head in the game. Last week I fully realized the physical pain associated with MS as I fought with my legs to move and my hands to grasp. I succumbed to tears when no one was looking. I allowed myself to consume massive amounts of junk food as a ridiculous placebo to my pain. I found myself snapping at my son and my husband about trivial things, and basically just didn't care about their feelings. I mean, couldn't they see I was in pain? Weren't they aware of my condition? Why did they want my compassion about their own snuffly nose and  weather related aches and pains? How could they forget that I dealt with much worse on a daily basis?
And then, it dawned on me that my personal reaction to life was…

You might be contagious.

Struggling with a writing topic this morning, I stumbled across this little video by Pastor Phil Waldrep that instantly caught my attention. The message is direct. It is simple. It is so true.

Often times when announcing my relationship with the MonSter, the concern for contagion is posed. No, one cannot contract multiple sclerosis by contact with a Warrior. Multiple Sclerosis is not a contagious disease. People do not get MS; they have MS. This is a preconceived condition that has noting to do with washing your hands or covering your mouth when coughing. MS does not spread like the flu. MS just is.

But our attitude does spread, affecting everyone with whom we come in contact. So, in answer to that question of contamination:
"No, MS is not contagious; but attitude about it is.

Take a peek at Waldrep's message and concentrate on being contagious.