Monthly Archives: January 2013

Girls, Girls, Girls

Girls, girls, girls, girls, girls
“Who be the queen of the ball
I know shit like a fly on the wall
So legit, I don’t quit when I fall” Santigold

Today was amazing, and for no special reason; it just was! I didn’t even leave the house. I called my neurologist about my disability insurance forms and I expect he’ll be uncooperative, so that part you’d think would have sucked, and it did; but at the end of the day…I still feel great, pretty resilient. I do not control what the day will bring but, I can control my joy, and I liiiike it.

I did spend a little time reading some MS forums tonight; not too much time. I came across some newly diagnosed MSers. Their stories made me reflect upon my own life with MS, strangely enough, that made me feel good. You can’t take MS away from me without taking all that it has taught me; and if you did that, you would lessen in many ways the quality of my life; and that of my children and my husband. MS has taught me to be patient and more loving, less volatile and more kind. I HAD to become those things, or it would have ravaged my body at a rapid and vicious pace.

Most people stricken with MS are “girls”; we are also born with a certain tenacity, resilience and strength. We do not control what MS will bring but, we can control our joy, and we liiiike it!

"Who Be the Queen Of the Ball"

“Who Be the Queen Of the Ball”

“Who Be the Queen of the Ball”

I’d love to know what you think:

3 Comments

Filed under Mental Well-Being

I Like’em Plumpy

I like’em big, I like’em chunky, I like’em big, I like’em plumpy…my veins, that is!

I’m on my way to have my 5th iron infusion and it’s going great! What can I say; I get snacks, talk to people and make friends. What could be better?

The actual procedure is no big deal. I’m not a big fan of needles, but who is? This is how it works; the iron is in a bag and hooked up to me by way of intravenous injection (IV). My first week was for 2 hours, after that I have one hour for five consecutive weeks. I’m sure that varies based upon your needs. I go well hydrated. It helps my veins plump up; and I want plump veins! The nurses can find them easier that way for the IV, so… I like’em big, I like’em chunky, I like’em big, I like’em plumpy!

I Like'em Big, I Like'em Chunky

I Like’em Big, I Like’em Chunky

COMMENTS: YOUR THOUGHTS:
What do you do to make you medical visits tolerable?
Are any of the MS med.s administered like this? Are they working for you?

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2 Comments

Filed under MS and Fatigue, MS and Iron Deficiency Anemia

“We Are In A Dive!” Iron Deficiency Anemia

“We are in a dive!”We’re CRASHING!

And like Denzel…We’re going down!

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough iron.

Iron helps to make hemoglobin in red blood cells. The hemoglobin then carries oxygen to all of the muscles, tissues and organs in your body. Essentially, without iron, body parts would suffocate (lack of oxygen) and die.
I’ve taken every iron supplement under the sun! They seem to work for a while, but then… we’re in a dive again! WHY?

My mother would say, “That’s easy. It’s because you don’t eat meat. I told you, you need to eat like regular people. You know you NEED a little meat. Everybody knows that’s where it comes from. I bet that’s why you’re always so tired. You ought to eat SOME meat. Come on over, I’ll fix you some liver and onions. “

Mom, you’re right. Eating red meat and organ meat are the most efficient ways to get iron, but I’m vegan so that’s not going to happen. I’ve learned it is possible for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for iron as long as calorie intake is adequate (and mine is not). The key is to eat a varied diet (and I don’t).

I can’t leave out possible absorption issues. Even if I take enough in, my body might not be absorbing enough of it. To help with this, I should have vitamin C with my iron rich food. I’ll keep a bowl of sliced oranges in the refrigerator. Calcium also hinders the absorption of iron; avoid high-calcium foods for a half hour before or after eating iron-rich foods.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-top-vegan-iron-sources.html#ixzz2IaOC5BTr

Another possible cause for women would be heavy menstrual bleeding. Not my issue! (insert Happy Dance here)

And last, but not least, is to have bleeding inside your body. This bleeding may be caused by problems such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, or cancer. This bleeding can also happen with regular aspirin use. Bleeding inside the body is the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia in men and in women after menopause. All I know is, I see no blood and I feel no pain.

To muddy the water; things are more complicated when you have MS. With ANY symptom, MS comes to mind as the first cause.

These are symptoms of iron deficiency that I thought were my MS and ignored:
*easy fatigue and loss of energy *shortness of breath *headache *difficulty concentrating
*dizziness *leg cramps *insomnia

These are the symptoms that didn’t seem like they could be my MS:
* craving for unusual food with no nutritional value (pica): in my case, the chewing of ice (pagophagia)
*cracks at the corner of the mouth (seriously?)
*a”wired” feeling in my legs at the end of the day: strong urge to move the legs, MUST stand, interferes with sleep (restless leg syndrome)

THIS is the symptom that took me to the doctor (eventually):
HEART PALPITATIONS, which I managed to ignored as long as I could. Give away was, falling asleep in my husband’s arms and him feeling what he thought was a cell phone vibrating in my shirt pocket. What shirt…what pocket?
If you don’t have enough hemoglobin-carrying red blood cells, your heart has to work harder to move oxygen-rich blood through your body. This can lead to irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), an enlarged heart, or even heart failure.

Read more on iron deficiency anemia: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ida/signs.html

Now what?
Plan of action: get more iron A.S.A.P. with iron infusions and then…
colonoscopy/endoscopy. We’re looking for blood.

WE’RE GOING IN!

Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington

“WE’RE IN A DIVE”

And I’d like to thank Denzel Washington for his cameo appearance in today’s post.

COMMENTS, tell me your thoughts:
Have you ever missed a problem because you “thought” it was something else?
If you are a vegan, how do YOU keep your iron up?
Have you ever been infused? How did that go?

2 Comments

Filed under MS and Fatigue, MS and Iron Deficiency Anemia, MS and Nutrition

MS: My Mind-Body Connection

The house is SO quiet; I can hear the hum of emptiness. The holidays are over, and as of yesterday my husband and I are “empty nesters”… I think; does being off at college count? I’ll tell you what, it’s the first time in twenty years that we didn’t have to “close the door”. It was AWESOME!

I’ve got to take immediate action to fill the emptiness. In the three weeks that the house was filled with holiday energy and family I experienced improvement with my MS relapse that I can measure. It’s exciting and supports the Mind-Body Connection Approach to healing. As I researched this approach, I discovered that there is much more to it than I first thought.

MIND-BODY CONNECTION

(BODY)Observations at start of Holiday break: Legs extremely weak, mobility very unstable. Outside of house dependent upon cane 100%.

(MIND)Changes observed: 1st day home, daughter hugged me and told me quietly she was glad I was doing “okay”. She has clearly been worried and is now relieved. I felt an increased level of concern and compassion. Son home more and he’s very happy. He’s planning to move out, which adds to his happiness. I am going to miss him; I enjoy having his “energy” in the house. Ultimately, both children will leave.

(MS RESULTS) Symptoms observed during last week of Holiday Break: Legs still extremely weak, mobility moderately stable. I have not used my cane at all in a week. Used family members for stability (held daughters hand). Went out alone! Still have trouble with the “wobbly, drunk” walk but not enough to use my cane. Just slow down, or stop walking, recover…stabilize, and start again.

To me, this is a clear case of a “Mind-Body, Connection” and I’m excited because I have a measurable outcome. The official research is much more sophisticated, with hypnosis, guided imaginary, meditation, visualization and a few more long words. I AM a believer in many of these techniques and if they are given serious time and energy, I’m sure they can be used quite effectively in developing a mind-body approach that fits. It is NOT, I repeat…not, a one-size fits all scenario. I meditate and I just don’t think about it being a part of my M-B healing approach, but it most certainly is. Writing in my journal and on my blog are as well.

If I were my own doctor however, I would insist on more aggressive “mindful” activities. My goal is to continue the positive effects that I am seeing in my body right now. These activities are not the kind that my mind needs to “connect” with my body, for continued healing; to bring me out of this relapse! My mind needs compassionate activities that involve other people and physical touch. My mind needs lots of hugs, maybe small children; photographing a pre-school class. Teaching photography to six year-olds. An art project that I am emotionally invested in, maybe a play. See my son once a week… learn to shoot pool. It is important for me to stay as active as possible and emotionally engaged. Not at ALL one size fits all.

That’s an awful lot of work. Maybe I’ll just get a puppy. I’ve heard that they’re great for filling empty houses and…hearts.

Meet Malcolm!

Meet Malcolm!

Leave a comment; tell me what you think:
Can you put your finger on an event that might have triggered a relapse?

12 Comments

Filed under Awesome Sex, Mental Well-Being, Mind-Body Connection