Category Archives: Health

A case of the Mondays? Almost.

I tried really hard not to let Monday be the way Mondays can be, overwhelming and all. I think I did okay, despite it trying really hard to kick my butt.

I have a recurring muscle spam in my left shoulder and it was back with a vengeance today. When the pain is in full force it radiates all the way down my left arm, and it makes anything but standing up straight extremely painful. So resting was even hard to do. Go figure.

So I spent a good portion of my day trying to calm the spasm. Ice, Epsom salt baths, heating pad. Nothing has really worked, only made it somewhat tolerable.

But while that was the bulk of my day, I did have some positive moments. My new contact lenses came in the mail. And I made chicken noodle soup for dinner, which happens to be one of the few foods my entire family enjoys. So that made for a pleasant dinner time as we all just enjoyed the food and each other’s company. Still, we have leftovers, come on over! ūüôā

Oh and my sister and I chatted our excitement about our upcoming appointment to get the matching tattoos we finally decided on after talking about for years (pardon the run-on). More on that later, and if later enough, with pictures!

Thanks for listening, folks. It means the world to me.

When you realize you have the power to change

In some of the circles I associate with, people with MS will¬†often say, “I have MS, but MS doesn’t have me.” It’s a statement meant to convey courage and¬†determination that MS will not keep them down. They are not willing to admit defeat. And while I’m not one of those who often repeats that phrase, I definitely agree with the sentiment.

However, I came to¬†a realization about a month ago. In some ways, MS did “have” me. Sure, I still smile and make jokes, and I don’t complain much about the invisible symptoms I’m experiencing. But on some level I was still letting the diagnosis limit me.

I’ve never been a fan of running, but I do acknowledge the benefits of it. My siblings are runners, one cousin, a few friends. They all thoroughly enjoy the experience of it. Also, my son loves to run, and we’ve talked over the past year about running a 5k together.¬†I know¬†my body can’t run a 5k at this point,¬†but¬†I haven’t been training for it. Why? Because I was scared. Mostly scared of losing my balance mid-stride and falling flat on my face, but also afraid that on the last lap my nerves would decide to stop communicating with my feet and I would¬†not only fall, but land myself in another full-blown relapse.

There are so many problems with this thinking. One, I’m letting fear make the decision for me. I don’t care for making any decisions out of fear, ever. Two, there is absolutely no record, that I know of, of exercise causing an MS relapse. It just doesn’t happen.

And I don’t know how I came to this realization exactly, I just remember that I did. And when I did, I got mad. But only long¬†enough to let it motivate me to do something about it. So I decided to make a commitment¬†to getting on the treadmill DAILY, and we would just see how it goes. Treadmill running is not ideal, but it works. I get to stay home, so I can run in my pajamas (and I do, believe me). It doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside, so there is no room for excuses there. And there are handles to hold onto in case I start losing my balance. It’s a win all around.

I’ve been running for 3 weeks minus most of¬†last week (self-diagnosed bronchitis) and I’m feeling stronger already.¬†My energy level definitely feels more balanced than it was. Also, I’ve lost 3 pounds I didn’t expect to lose, so that’s an added bonus. Love it when my pants fit better! I’m on¬†a couch to 5k program. It’s supposed to be 3 times¬†per week, but I’m doing it every day because I know it would feel like I’m skipping a day and then I would just lose momentum. So that’s victory #1.

Victory #2 involves the training of our dog. It’s actually a lot of little victories, so I’ll save that explanation for another post later this week. I promise I’ll try to make it sound as exciting as I feel. I guess if you have any idea how much I have hated this dog (but don’t anymore), you will be able to share in my excitement. So stay tuned, folks! I’m still here!

MS buttkicking

Most days I feel like I’m kicking butt. Today was not one of those days. My butt got kicked. It wasn’t a super hot day, but it was humid, and I was working in the house without the air conditioning on. I let myself get overheated, and here it’s 9pm and I’m calling it a night. My feet are burning, my legs are twitchy and slow to respond, and my balance is shot. I fell once already today, but then again as I was walking down the hallway (thank goodness for walls). Most days I am able to forget I have MS. Then it creeps up and reminds me it’s still here.

Not to worry. A night of rest will serve me well, and I will keep moving forward. Because I may have MS, but MS will never have me.

Dehydration is dangerous

I had an interesting conversation with my cousin yesterday about water. We humans don’t drink nearly enough water. I would guess that most people walk around severely dehydrated, and don’t even know it. Why don’t they know it? Because no one told them that our bodies¬†need it, and lots of it,¬† in order to function properly. Or maybe they know, but don’t care. They feel fine, or¬†only have minor issues that they can’t directly link to dehydration. Well, I have good, smart doctors who tell me that I need to drink water, and that it can heal a lot of my issues. And it’s true!¬†I’ve been really intentional the last few weeks about drinking plenty of water and it’s paying off. I lost weight, my blood pressure is back to a healthier range, and I’ve been far less irritable (just ask my husband).

So, it’s jungle hot in Michigan these last few days, and my poor impatiens in my front porch planter are thirsty flowers. But in the heat and sun, they are even more so. They need it to live. I water them every day, but today they were looking really sorry. They were shriveling up and threatening to quit on me. So I showered them with a couple pails of water to see what they do.

That’s how I felt today. I didn’t drink enough water yesterday as I was away from home – at my big brother’s wedding! Yay! – and I had a feeling I would pay for it. I did. I woke at 6 am this morning with a massive headache that would not let up. I was shriveled up and threatened to quit, but instead I got right up and chugged some water, packed the kids’ lunches for zoo camp, and of course went back to bed. But nap #1 did not bring relief. It took a lot more water, another nap, and finally I resorted to a dose of naproxen sodium (out of desperation). It is just past 4 pm and I am finally feeling human again.

I checked on my flowers, and they¬†are perking up too. We’re all kinds of perky around here! Drink your water, folks! Stay hydrated!!