Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Attitude is Everything

I'm new to the MS community, with being diagnosed just last year, but I know one of the main tools we all have is our attitude. I find myself 'unfollowing' MSers on Twitter, because nearly everything out of their mouths, or rather 'Tweets' is negative. It drives me up the flippin' wall!

Newsflash: MS doesn't kill you.

I've watched friends and family struggle to say good bye to those they are close to. Most of the time it's from a struggle with cancer or a sudden accident that takes someone too soon from this world.

MS doesn't do that. We aren't counting the days from our diagnosis to fill as many items on our bucket list. Yes, we might be limping, falling, or mumbling while going through life, but thank God we have the opportunity to finish life.

Maybe I'm on a soap box, maybe I'm offending you, and to tell you the truth, I really don't care. If I'm offending you by my rant, please take a look at yourself and understand that attitude is everything in this uphill battle we fight every day.

Here's how I stay positive:

I'm thankful for the things and people I do have. I'm thankful for the support system that constantly surrounds me day to day.

Turn lemons into lemonade. I've heard the saying "when life give you lemons, stuff them in your bra to make your boobs bigger" - I love it! It make me laugh and really puts things into perspective. I only stuttered 3 times during the meeting at work today, better than falling 3 times! (BAM, that's how you do it).

Reward yourself with a nap. I work a full time, corporate job and then come home and cook nearly every night. I consider myself an overachiever if I'm able to do a load of laundry during the week. On Saturdays and Sundays, I snooze during the day. I rest, that keeps me happy and motivated me for the next week.

Lastly, and the most important thing, I exercise. I know what you are thinking, this is usually a depressing activity. But for me, it works. It usually relieves any headache I've been fighting the whole day and gives me a ton of energy. I walk or run until my body yells at me! Believe me, this is the best way to strengthen your outlook on life. I also pray during my runs, usually that I don't die (seriously) but also thanking God for the strength and ability I have to run. It drives me to finish and helps with my attitude for days to come.

Sorry, but I'm not sorry for my rant on attitude. We are surrounded by bad news every day, we need to support one another instead of constantly posting and tweeting negativity.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

5 Sources of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is something that most Multiple Sclerosis fighters have to take in supplement. I take 5,000 unites of Vitamin D a day. I couldn't tell you if it works or it doesn't, but I always try to soak up the nutrients in what God gave us.

Here are a few ways to increase your Vitamin D intake everyday.

Soak up the Sun
I know, we aren't supposed to get too hot or else things start feeling funny, but soaking up the sun is the best way to get these vitamins. Here are the best ways to do it while staying cool:

  • Take a Swim
  • Sit in the Shade
  • Sit inside but a window
  • Use a portable fan
  • Purchase a FroggTogg - These are amazing!
  • Include short increments of inside/outside to stay cool

I LOVE mushrooms! I can't get enough of them. I prefer them cooked over being raw in a salad, but I usually always have them on hand. Some of them are a source for what MSers need, Vitamin D. Below outlines each type of mushroom and the units of Vitamin D in each. 

Source: Mushroominfo.com
Fatty Fish
I don't eat much fish, I eat shrimp and shell fish, I just don't cook much fish. I love fried fish (freshwater bass), but I just can't fill up on a tilapia filet, not to mention, my husband usually isn't too thrilled when I do cook fish for dinner. He's more of a meat 'n potatoes type of guy. 

However, there are some ways to get Vitamin D by eating fish. These include canned tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel. 

Sign me up for the canned tuna, who doesn't love a tunafish sandwich? 

Fortified Foods
These include foods or drinks that have Vitamin D added to them. Think about Milk, Cheese, Cereal, and orange juice. When including these in your diet you definitely need to check the label and make sure that there is Vitamin D added to these products.

This is what I take every night, and probably what many of you take, but also consider fish oil and cod fish oil under this. All of these can be taken as a supplement and will serve as a way to get the Vitamin D that your body really needs.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

We All Have a Story - My Mother's Story

This is a guest post from my mother.

My daughter has been desperately attempting to have me write for her blog, so I finally put everything together. We all have an MS story and I wanted to share mine with you.

I was around 42 years old when I had come down with the worse case of pneumonia I had ever had. I was sick for days and unable to even care for my family. I had never been this sick, but I pushed myself to drive to Houston (nearly a 2 hour drive) to watch my daughter perform in the marching contest.

I never missed a performance and figured that I would be able to endure it. I was terribly wrong.

Soon after my bout with pneumonia, I had began tripping, falling, and breaking numerous dishes in the kitchen. I blew this off as being clumsy and needing to pay more attention to picking up my feet. I actually never put 2 & 2 together until after the MS diagnosis, my clumsiness wasn’t my fault at all, thank the good Lord!

A few short weeks pass by and the tingling began, you know the kind that you pray to go away? The kind that you try to move your arm in every position just to get some relief? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. However, I didn’t let it phase me, I am an active parent with two children, a sophomore in high school & one in college. I really didn’t have the time to worry.

Self Diagnosis: Pulled Muscle

I just told myself, this is age and I can’t let it get me down. Until, my hand began to get worse and worse, so bad that it drew up into a fetal position.

Of course, my family started to notice and encouraged me to see my doctor. (In the back of my mind, I knew something wasn’t right, but I was never prepared for what they told me)

Starting the dreadful process of visiting your PCP, being referred to a neurologist to be quickly sent to get an MRI because of the reality check he had given me.

A stroke? Wait, I’m 42, that’s impossible. I had made myself believe it was a pulled muscle.

What a blessing that the MRI results came back with no indication of a stroke, however, there were some other issues, and that’s when it became even more real.

Something was wrong, something that they didn't know yet. The feeling of the unknown in itself can scare you half to death. 

After going ‘round & ‘round with my insurance company, I had to have 3 MRIs of only a certain amount of inches at a time, as that is what the insurance would approve.

The day finally came for me to go back to the neurologist and visit about the results. We all know that if the results are good, they tell you over the phone, but if they aren’t they make you come in. So I knew I wasn’t getting any good news. That’s when he said it, “It looks like MS.”

I looked at him thoroughly confused and asked quietly “What is MS?”

After giving me the scientific run-down of this beast of a disease, I began the next step in the process where they test you for everything under the sun to rule out things like Lupus, Celiac, and third-world diseases that no one has ever heard about…

Because he was still uncertain, I ended up having a spinal tap, which was no picnic. Can you imagine the fear of not moving while they stick a huge needle into your spine, it’s probably one of the worse pains I have ever felt. 

This came back positive for MS and I was referred to my current MS specialist in Houston. It’s been nearly 9 years since my diagnosis and I fight this disease every day. Some days are good, and some days I just need to sleep.

I keep my mind focused on what is important in life and thank God everyday that MS isn’t something that will kill you, just a hurdle (or two) you must jump every day. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Introducing...My Sweet Mother!

I just can't contain myself, I'm so excited to share with everyone that I have finally convinced my dear mother to write some blogs on topics that I just can't cover. She has some experiences that I haven't yet had and I want her to begin sharing her journey on the blog!

Everyone clap for her, it takes alot of courage to write something and throw it up on the interwebs! 

You can begin to look for her guest posts soon. They will cover a large spectrum of topics including the below points.

Her MS Story - Everyone's Got One, So Let's Hear It! 
The Switch - Taking a Chance with Gilenya 
Ways that She copes in a Super-Stressful Job
MS & Horses - This is so interesting to me, don't miss this post! 
Older Kids & MS
Copaxone - The Scary Side Effect

I can't stress to you how cool this is going to be, we are something pretty rare within the MS community. We are going to do her perspective/my perspective of some stories, so stay tuned! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Is it me or does a good Michael Jackson song put you in the kind of mood when you just want to get off your butt and clean the whole house? Maybe not, but you like his music right?

I just love MJ, he makes me want to roll my windows down in the car and sing at the top of my lungs, and I can't get enough of his Beat It song! 

Man, I love it! 

The more I think about it though, I want that to be my motto, what I live by everyday. 

There are definitely worse things that I want to say, but this is light and helps keeps your perspective while fighting MS. 

Just Beat It MS! Get out of my way, I have a life to live! 

But, it could also be for those times when fatigue is eating away at your body like the plague, you know the days when the dishes have been sitting in your sink for 4 days and you just pray nothing is growing. Take a stand and #JustBeatIt! 

What a great attitude to have in life, we can get through tingling, fatigue, those blasted headaches, and just life in general. 

I can beat it, I can thrive with this! 

So, add this hashtag to your Tweets, Facebook posts, and G+ status - It's happening! 

We will BEAT this one day at a time! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Life's Not Fair

I sat in my Sunday School class listening to our teacher go on about how life's not fair. I wanted to stand up and scream at the top of my lungs kicking and screaming about my life. I have so many personal examples that I could give of how things aren't fair. From sudden deaths to selfish affairs, sometimes life just sucks! 

My MS is not fair. I'm 25, why do I always feel like I'm 84? I can't wrap my mind around the truth some days. I sometimes have bursts of energy where all I can do is finish a task I've been trying to complete for weeks, and that is now something that's exciting for me! 

It's so frustrating to watch others destroy their perfectly healthy bodies with drugs and alcohol. Why can't they see what they have and embrace it? Their health is something I wish I had and something that I took for granted the 24 years before being diagnosed. 

It's simply not fair and it literally makes me want to scream. Sometimes, I want to smack them across the face for their irresponsibility, surely I'm not alone in this. 

But what if we take what's 'not fair' in our lives and use it as an opportunity.

My MS sucks the life out of me some days, it literally hurts. But what if I can help others with MS or another chronic illness by being able to relate to this invisible disease? 

Perhaps, there's a reason for this diagnosis. Perhaps there's a purpose in this for my life.

I won't look back in 5 years and think hmmm what a waste of an opportunity that God gave me to serve as a witness in a struggling community. I won't waste the opportunity to build awareness of MS and what we suffer with. 

When you think about it like this, it doesn't seem so unfair right? 

When opportunity knocks, bust down the door and wrap your arms around it. There's a reason that we suffer, even if we can't see it at this moment. 

Let's take 2014 on with a smiling face not looking back and think of what we should have done or could have done with our opportunity.