Tag Archives: Estizer Smith

MS: I’m so over it!

I’ve often returned to blogs to find that there are no new posts for long stretches of time and I find myself wondering… what happened? Where are they?

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I don’t want to sound too final but, that’s kinda why I’m signing off, and explaining. Yes sir re… I’m over it. For two years I’ve used my blog to keep my cognitive skills sharp (ironic, since it’s my MS that causes me to have cognitive issues in the first place). I know as much as I need to know about this disease, probably too much, and I’m walking away.

I’ve always found it healthier to keep my distance…stay away. I realized and accepted many years ago that it is going to do whatever, whenever it wants. I have been blessed with Relapsing Remitting MS. I have been very aggressive about the disease modifying drugs, diet and lifestyle choices. Each of these I believe are the reasons for my good fortune. I have slowly recovered (and sometimes quickly) from each of my relapses without the use of steroids. Please… don’t get me wrong, sacrifices were made. If I had continued to work, this would not have been the case, not even close. It would have been necessary with many of my relapses to use the steroids to recover more quickly. By not working, my lifestyle changed. My body gets what it needs; time to recover, rest, and reduced stress.

The sacrifices are more my husband’s than mine. As the person with the illness, I expect to suffer. I cannot walk away. It follows me. He has a choice, always.

Here is where I want to tell him:

“Thank you”

Spoken Word Video

Title of poem: “A river for Kevin”

Venue: Busboys and Poets, Hyattsville, Maryland

The MC for the night, E-Baby Poems was awesome! Did you see him come back to me when he saw that I was nervous XOXOX

 

My new blogging interest is…marriage. I want to encourage others to “Get married. Stay Married, and Be Happy”. So please, check back from time to time to see how I’m moving along with it.

 Comments: I always look forward to reading them and responding.

 Take care!!

10678757_Busboys

MS…I’m so over it!

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Filed under Ilness and The Arts, Long Loving Marriages, Riding Out a Relapse

LOOK Ma…No Relapse!

An extremely stressful few weeks WITHOUT an exacerbation .WooHoo!I am here to report that I made it through and I feel like it was without a doubt, due to my regular Mindfulness Meditation practice.

Black-woman-meditating1

This is how I’ve found meditation to work: Consistent practice builds up my resistance to stress which is sometimes present in daily life, like, getting kids off to school or going to work. Stress however, is not something that we can always predict, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the holidays, or a divorce. I have found that I am most resilient against these sometimes sudden and large stressors, as a result of my Mindfulness Meditation. Does it always work? No. I believe that my last relapse was triggered by one of these large life stressors. One that I never would have even suspected of being able to reek such havoc but, in hindsight I realize that I had let my meditation lapse.

I feel the need to clarify here that “Meditation has Nothing to do with Religion” ( As explained here in a video interview with Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra) As a young person, that thought would have made it impossible for me to take advantage of its stress and overall health benefits. Although many different religions incorporate meditation in their practice in different ways, it is not a religious act.

Note to self: Let’s keep a disciplined practice…disciplined.

Comments:What have you found to be helpful in your stress management?

References used below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

http://www.mayoclinic.org

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Dr. Wahl , save me from myself!

Part One “The Beginning” (FULL STORY-click here)

I got a head start; lost ten pounds…before MS kicks in. Weight management was important. I could control NOTHING about my MS, but I could control everything about my diet…right?

Part Two “I’m the Picture of Health” (FULL STORY-click here)

Fast forward 20 years, throw in lots of diet and drug research. I became a meditating yogi and I’m the picture of health…right?fruit.tree

Part Three “Damn this Disease” (FULL STORY-click here)

It’s getting worse, I think : / Dr. Wahl to the rescue. She’s a Doctor who also has MS. She looked at myelin on a cellular level to see what chemical compounds it would need to rebuild. Then she examined food items that are available that would give us THOSE chemicals compounds. Well, check out her (click here) Minding Your Mitochondria diet for yourself  and tell me what you think.

Part Four “Could I be at risk for Orthorexia?”  (FULL STORY-click here)

It’s an eating disorder where people obsess over healthy food. I’ve been called lots of things, but never this one. To change the error of my ways and be more GANGSTER I’ve actually eaten some salmon and (drum roll!) Beef liver. Picture me gagging right now!

ALERT! If you’ve been vegan for 15 years or so, be sure you take thisenzyme

before you eat thisliveredI am obviously taking Dr. Wahls diet to heart. I worked myself into a Vegan corner because I deemed it to be the best dietary choice…for me. I’m seriously questioning its health sustainability for me at the moment as my health seems to be in decline. I’ll do what I have to. By any means necessary, even eating liver. I can do it!

ABC News, “Good Morning America” is discussing Orthorexia, video link below.

VIDEO: When Eating Healthy makes you Sick

COMMENTS:

Illness or not, how have you used nutrition to try to control your health? What did/do you depend on?

Have you ever changed back??

What do you think of Dr. Wahls diet?

Have you EVER heard of Orthorexia?

 

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Filed under MS and Nutrition, Uncategorized

Missing You

On June 22, I had a post suggesting that I would be blogging less. Well, that’s ridiculous. I still think and write through the eyes of my blog. I see everything through the eyes of…how can I blog about that, or, that should be a blog post or, hmmm, I wonder how I can make that INTERESTING? So I guess this means I’ve missed you, even though I haven’t actually gone anywhere, and “you” is, my three friends, two of whom I talk to weekly.

FINE! What I really miss obviously is…blogging. Researching stuff, learning stuff, being fascinated, and having a good reason to surf the internet! MS, is my excuse, and guess who I found today??

Tamia! One of my husbands favorite artist, and can you see why? She’s talented…of course! LOL

He was also the one to tell me that Tamia was diagnosed with MS.

This saddens me, but from my own experience, I know this definitely is NOT the end of the world. She is still quite HOT and she inspires me, and my husband too! Tee hee hee 🙂

COMMENTS:

Now, nice little break! Back to the point. What do you like to do? (me…I know I’ve gotta remind you after all that hotness, writing) What do you use as your excuse? (me? blogging) Annd you definitely don’t have to have MS to answer this :/ Jump right in!

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MS: Motivation from Montel Williams

I have found several interviews in the last few days with Montel Williams, talk-show host, who also has MS.

Montel Williams interview about MS

Montel Williams interview about MS

I found them very motivational and wanted to share this on with you today.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpmKTMObICE&feature=youtu.be

Can you relate to Montel’s experience with MS?

COMMENTS:

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Filed under MS and Depression, MS and Exercise, MS Drugs, Uncategorized

MS: “Denial or Determination?”

I’ve shrouded myself in denial since I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1994.denial You know: I can do blah, blah, blah, because I’m really not that sick, and when that didn’t work, sheer determination was used. And I know I am not alone. So how are we MSers to know when this approach of denial or determination no longer works for us? Confession: my brain told me early on that this new job of school bus driver would be too much, but my heart said, “No”. My heart said, “Keep going, look at all of the ways that its been good for you. Everything will be fine. Give it more time, and whatever you do…don’t quit.” Well, at the end of the day, my brain won. My heart was a punk and simply gave in…literally.

Due to my heart “thing,” Takotsubo, described in my (click here) last post…I had to make the decision to resign from my new “almost job” effective immediately. I say “almost” because I was still in the training phase and was JUST about to move on. THEN, I would have been a school bus driver. Truth is, my Takotsubo was a gift. It took the decision regarding whether I could handle this level of stress out of my hands. I’d worked for the last 5 months changing every aspect of my life so that I could re-enter the work force. This, evidently, was not the best portal.

Listening to our bodies is the answer to the first question asked: How are we to know when the strategy of denial/determination is no longer working for us? If you’re not paying attention, or if you don’t trust yourself and your feelings, then maybe your body will yell at you like mine did.

It’s time to get back out there with a new sense of determination. determinationI’ve learned that not giving up means not settling for one or the other. It’s whatever works best at the time. As long as I’m listening to my body, I don’t ever have to decide.

COMMENTS: Have you found yourself reaching a goal due to either of these strategies? Have you found yourself attempting to reach a goal and ultimately having to give up? Did you start with something new? How did you do that?

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MS: Hug, Heart Attack, or NEITHER!

You heard me. Neither! I went blazing into the emergency room and it was neither.

WTH is Takotsubo. Commonly called Broken heart syndrome?

I’ll tell you, it’s something that feels, looks, and sounds like your neighborhood HEART ATTACK.  Which is by definition: blockage in the hearts arteries. Well, like I said on the table…I’m not having a HEART ATTACK! I’m a Vegan! OK, I’m sure there might be a Vegan somewhere in the world that has had a heart attack, but I’m not the one. Let me remind you…I have MS and that is WHY I’m a Vegan. Not that I think my dietary choices will cure MS. I make those choices to put myself in the best possible position of good health, if anything else arises. There will be no clogged arteries, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc. So when Mr. Nurse kept barking heart attack…I KNEW HE WAS WRONG!

There was however, the little problem of my lower left ventricle not pumping properly, like there was something blocking it, but there was nothing there. Hell at this rate, I coulda had the cheesecake after all!

MS Hug is a symptom of MS. It presents as much like a heart attack, as the real thing, chest pain and all. The pain can extend around one side or the other, or completely “hugging” the torso. I’ve had this to happen a few times over a three week period, off and on (click here to read that post). The very first time, I sat in my car in a sweaty, breathless, panic. I told myself to relax and that this was NOT a heart attack, it was that “Hug” thing I had heard about. In hindsight…that was a dumb move. What if it had been a heart attack? I told myself that the next time it happened I would go to the emergency room just to be safe. Glad I did.

Now let’s talk Takotsubo. This condition has only been recognized for the past five years. It is stress induced and 90% of all cases are postmenopausal women. Menopause reduces a womans estrogen and estrogen is known toplay a part in protecting the heart. These women now become particularly vulnerable.

There you have it. I experienced Tako…you-know syndrome.

I started asking around. Three women that I know have experienced this and they had no name for it. My general practitioner admitted that she had to look it up. She had never heard of it either.

That’s me…a real Trail-Blazer!

thaufire

Links  to information you may find helpful…I did!

Mayo Clinic-Heart disease in women: Understand disease and symptoms

Mayo Clinic-Hormone replacement therapy and your heart

Comments: Do you know of any women who may have experienced Takotsubo?

Have you experienced an MS Hug? Tell me about it.

 

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Filed under MS Symptoms, Stress Management

MS hug or HEART ATTACK!

MS Hug or Heart Attack?

1:30 Home for lunch,  going back to work.

1:31 Heart pounding, chest pain

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Ultrasound of my heart.

1:35 Left arm and hand hurt, radiating pain left from middle of back.

1:36 Pain increasing, using right hand to support left hand for relief.

1:36 Thought …WOW this hurts a lot. I’m okay, relax, take deep breathes. Back to work. Simple afternoon planned. Go.

1:50 Leave for work.

1:54 Nauseous, driving. Pull over. Pain sky rockets, call husband. I’ll be home, take me to the emergency room please.

2:06 Emergency room. Wheelchair.

2:08 E.R. check in, Husband gives insurance information and symptoms, parks car.

2:11 Toddler staring at me from Dads arms. My pain must look very scary to her. I force a smile.

2:12 Enters Rapid Response team. They whisk me away

I HEAR:EKG

I THINK:EKG not invasive. Sticky things on chest. No pain. Pain now …waaay over the top.

I HEAR:Heart Attack, Morphine, Nitroglycerin

I HEAR: Have you had any aspirin today? Swallow these.

I FEEL: Shirt coming off, sticky things going on.

I HEAR: Heart Attack.

I SEE: Husband listening to nurse.

I SAY: What do you mean HEART ATTACK? I’m not having a HEART ATTACK! Honey…this hurts.
I HEAR: You’ll feel better soon, morphine, nitroglycerine, Heart Attack.

I SAY: I can’t be having a heart attack, I’m a VEGAN!

I SEE: Mans unfriendly face close to mine with paper in hand.

I HEAR: SEE THIS! This says, in all ways, you’re a VEGAN having a HEART ATTACK!

I THINK: Screw you.

I SEE: Friendly face very close to mine saying, don’t worry, you’re going to see LOTS of people in the room doing LOTS of different things. It’s okay, just relax.

60 seconds later my clothes evaporate.

I THINK: WTH!

I SEE: My jeans moving toward my feet. No snaps, no buckles, nothing.

I THINK: OMG! But wait…my panties?! What if my period is on?

I SEE: Panties floating away, still inside jeans. No period. Thank you GEEZUS! Hello menopause.

I HEAR: Arteries blocked/ look inside/ heart working? Heart attack

I SAY: How?

I HEAR: Catheter/ groin/ artery/ heart/ look.

I THINK: Chest/sternum/ not cracked open /okay.

I SEE: New face, friendly, close to mine.

I HEAR: I’m Scott. I’ll be your bartender for the rest of the day.

I THINK: Morphine. Smile.

I SEE: I’m covered with a sheet.

I FEEL: Levitated.

I SEE: My toes, my husband, Scott, random people in hallway.

I SAY: My toes are really pretty. Honey, I need a toe ring.

I HEAR: Nothing.

I Feel: No pain.

heart. cathetermed

Can you see the catheter in my heart? The hook. Look closer. AWESOME

MS HUG or HEART ATTACK

Comments:

Have you ever experienced either?

What do YOU think it was?

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MS: You make me wanna “Sweat Like A Girl”!

A few weeks ago, I went to a very nice dinner hosted by Gilenya at “The Marble Head Chowder House”. A Neurologist and MS Specialist spoke for a short time about MS and then for an even shorter time about one of the new disease modifying therapies, Gilenya. It’s a pill that has pretty much the same efficacy as all the others pills, however it’s one pill a day, not two.

For half of a second my interest was peaked, and then they mentioned its heart concerns and the special care that must be given when first taking the drug.

Hmmmm, maybe not :/

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sure my Tecfidera is twice a day but I’ve had zero side effects and if I did, heart health would not be one of them.

I did however, meet some really nice people. There were sisters who both have MS; talk about partners in crime. Another woman who brought her 2 siblings so that they could have a better understanding of the disease; I can’t take ALL of my siblings anywhere all at once, it’s too embarrassing. There was one other woman who like me, brought her husband. That couple talked a lot about Hippotherapy which I found fascinating. They convinced me that it was beneficial! I wish I could convince my Insurance Carrier of that.

All in all we had a great night! I think we should get together again and have a mini support group. Next time we should meet somewhere more exciting…I dont know, maybe for a class at “Sweat Like A Girl”. It looks like fun. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

We_Can_Do_It!Comments:

 

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Filed under Mind-Body Connection, MS and Exercise, MS and Oral Medication, MS Drugs, Uncategorized

MS: De-stress strategies when you are a TEN

My stress level this morning on a scale of one to ten, was a TEN!
I’m happy to say that I knocked it out of the park! I can’t control how much stress comes my way but, I can control how I respond.Black-woman-meditating1 Do I internalize it, or not? Honestly, in some cases, stress does break through. Usually family stuff, but even that is better controlled with strategies. But work? I don’t think so!
So, what did I do after a horrible morning? When asked to stay extra time (because it would look good to my employer) I said yes, then gave it a second thought, and said, no. I recognized that I was already a TEN and knew that going home to decompress would be smarter. I then drove home, sat in the garage and talked to my husband (who was at work) for 10 minutes about my morning. Talk therapy and support. I eventually came inside the house, and now this…writing.journal50019628_n I had actually written this in my head, while sitting in the car decompressing. Once this is written I’ll do 30 minutes of Mindfulness Meditation, eat lunch, take a nap and head back to work, making sure to stop for a frappaccino on the way.

COMMENTS: What would bring you down from a TEN?

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Filed under Mental Well-Being, Mind-Body Connection, Riding Out a Relapse, Stress Management