I'm on a mission to change the trajectory of what a life with MS looks like but I need help. When I was diagnosed with this disease over 22 years ago, the future looked dim. There were only 3 disease modifying drugs(DMD) available to slow progression and they all involved giving yourself painful shots.There are now at least 16 DMDs thanks in large part to the work of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) and the support they get from kind donors like yourself. If you haven't already, would you please consider a donation to my fundraising efforts? Even a small amount can add up to make a big difference in the life of someone living with this often debilitating illness. Personally, I'm not sure what I would've done without the NMSS and all the research they help fund and the services they provide. Thank you all for your continued love and support in this battle of a lifetime. Together we can make a difference.
I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about, shopping for and eating the "right" kind of foods. I try to maintain a gluten and dairy free diet, getting as many fruits and vegetables into my body as possible but I have a major sweet tooth that is impossible to deny. Most days I don't crave sugar until after dinner so I won't deprive myself of something small but lately I've been going overboard on cookies, specifically the yummy, chewy chocolate chip ones from the Costco bakery. We all know that a healthy diet is important for everyone but is especially crucial if you have a disease like MS. Certain foods like red meat, gluten and dairy can cause inflammation in the body exacerbating already debilitating symptoms. Everything in moderation is my mantra but my willpower has been waining lately. Today is a new opportunity to do better so I need to stop beating myself up about overindulging while acknowledging that A cookie at the end of the day will not derail otherwise healthy eating habits.
I'm still working on manifesting my greater self every day by overcoming some self-sabotaging behaviors I've acquired over the years. I am someone who craves routine but am really trying to recognize what needs to change in my life so I can become the very best version of myself. I walk a fine line everyday between pushing myself out of my comfort zone while recognizing that my physical body has it's limits because of MS. I find myself getting defensive when well-meaning people offer suggestions on ways I might improve my circumstances thinking that they couldn't possibly understand what it's like to live with a debilitating disease. I recognize that these limiting beliefs I have about myself are not serving me because I'm letting my ego get in the way of possibly improving my situation. My malfunctioning body restricts me enough without me adding to those limitations with a negativity. My legs might not work as well as I'd like but my arms are still strong. I might have trouble sleeping at night because of spasms but I don't need to be anywhere first thing in the morning most days anyway. I may not be able to do all the physical activities others can but I still can get some exercise in everyday. The point is that no matter your circumstances a positive, can-do attitude is crucial to improving your quality of life..
Over 3 years ago, my doctor prescribed low dose Ambien to help with my sleep issues, a very common symptom of MS. When I traveled in late January, I didn't have my medication so I dealt with a racing heart and violently jerky limbs vowing to taper off this strong drug as soon as I possibly could. With the help of a powerful tapping meditation and lots of patience with myself, I am happy to announce that I am 5 days clean, hopefully on my way to being rid of this addiction. I have been beating myself up for ever getting hooked on this drug to begin with but the ironic part is that once I tapped into the reasons I might have troubles resting at night, it was easier to forgive myself and move on. A good night's sleep is not a luxury but a necessity for me as all my symptoms are exacerbated when I'm tired. I told myself that I wasn't addicted to Ambien but to a good night's sleep as justification for staying on this drug for too long. I am not passing judgement on anyone else that may need medication to sleep especially those dealing with an ongoing illness but I'm excited to finally kick this bad habit of mine to the curb.
That little inner voice we all have is constantly telling us we are not good enough, that we should be further along in our life or that we're doing everything all wrong. I used to think that little, critical inner voice kept me going on days when I didn't feel like I could take even one more step but there's a fine line between staying active and healthy and pushing my body to exhaustion. I am a Type A, classic overachiever type anyway so my inner voice can be extremely harsh. My little critic is constantly reminding me that I am different, that everyone is watching my wonky walk and that if I only exercised more often, ate better and tried a little harder, I would be more powerful than MS. This thinking is not helpful but is instead keeping me stuck in a vicious cycle of self recrimination. I would not treat my worst enemy as poorly as I've treated myself so I'm really working hard on self love and acceptance while continuing to do everything in my power to stay on top of an awful disease that will take me down if I let it.
Hello World. This is a blog we created to give any one affected by MS in any way a constructive way to communicate with others going through the same challenges.