Pain, Pain, go away…

The past week or so has been rough for me. I have been experiencing the MS hug, extreme fatigue (I’ve only felt it this severely once before), weakness, stomach problems, muscle spasms and shaking, and pain in my limbs, back, and chest.

I’ve been in contact with my doctors, so they know what is going on. My neurologist said I could be having a worsening of symptoms because the injections are working and as my nerves get a chance to heal they are misfiring more rapidly, and that it will pass in time. Other possibilities are an underlying infection causing a flare up, or an actual flare up. So I am really rooting for the first option!

When I get this sick I have noticed that my anxiety seems to use the time to take center stage in my thoughts. I start worrying that I will never feel better this time, that people think I am just lazy and don’t understand what I am going through, I worry that I am dying. I know that none of those things are true. That they are just the negative ideas and words of my anxiety. But it’s hard to just stop those thoughts when anxiety can be SO LOUD.

I know that I am stronger than this disease. I have bounced back from this before, and I will do it again. I just wish there was a little more certainty around Multiple Sclerosis. The unknown is a very scary thing. But I am arming myself for battle with my armor of blankets, my shield of heating pads, my noble steed Sir Mac N Cheese. But the most important thing I have to help me fight this battle is the love, positive energy, and caring actions and thoughts of my husband, family, friends, and all of you!

Let’s keep fighting this thing!

-A

The Power of Words

Today I have been thinking a lot about the power of words. I obviously have a passion for the written word (or I would not be blogging!), and anyone who knows me knows that I have quite the strong relationship with spoken words as well. I have never been the type of girl who holds her tongue and yes, it has gotten me into trouble more times than I can count, but I do not resent this quality I have.

Words and language are such a powerful gift that we have as humans. It’s one of the things that separates us from the other animals in the animal kingdom. Language is something that humans are drawn to. From our first words to our last, it is so present in our every day lives. We use language for communication, entertainment like theater, music and poetry. We can fill someone’s heart with love and comfort with just a few words and with the same amount we can tear someone down, or hurt them more than we know. Words are so powerful.

“Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if youSay what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave” – Brave, Sara Bareilles 

I talk a lot. Anyone of my family or friends will tell you that. I’ve been jabbering away constantly practically since I came out of the womb (seriously, the doctor told my mom that I had a LOUD cry, which is saying something coming from a man who delivers babies every day of his life…).

I’ve always been the type of gal to say what I think, even if it’s not what other’s want to hear. As I have matured and grown older, however, I have learned how impactful my words can be. It has not changed the fact that I still speak my mind and speak my honest truths, but I have learned to be careful not to be harmful with my words.

I am not always successful with this. I have said things I regret, have hurt people with my words. I have regretted not being brave enough to say something that should have been said. I am not proud of this. But we are all human, we all make mistakes but we are learning. What is important is that we recognize this and work each day to get better at communicating with love, compassion and honesty. All we can do is try.

I think it is easiest to forget how impactful our words are when it comes to those we are closest to. That includes the words we think and speak to ourselves! I want to challenge myself to be conscious of the words that I not only say out loud, but think. I want to challenge myself to communicate with my loved ones in a way that is focused on love and understanding, especially when we have a disagreement. Hurting someone with your words is not going to help you, maybe in the moment you will feel better. But you are actually hurting yourself and the ones you lashed out at. After the adrenaline rush wears off and the sense of needing to defend yourself ebbs away you will be left with guilt, regret, and sometimes, embarrassment.

You cannot take back words that have been said, good or bad. There is no magic spoon to scoop them back into your mouth. Once you send them out into the universe they are there. Forever.

Someday, when all that is left of us is our words, I hope that I will have left people with more smiles on their lips, laughter in their hearts, and peace in their souls.

-A

Sunshine Blogger Award Nominee!

First off, let me just say that I am beyond honored and grateful to have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by a blogger I have looked up to and found inspiring since the day I first came across her blog, Alyssa-  fightmsdaily.com.

Alyssa’s blog has inspired me in so many ways. Not only that, but I learn something each time I read her blog. Whether it be about her life experiences and the lessons learned though them, new ways to bring positivity into my life, or how to feel powerful and strong even though I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease!

So, thank you, Alyssa! And if you haven’t already, please go check out her blog for some positive vibes in your day fightmsdaily.com !

So what is this Sunshine business? 

The Sunshine Award is about recognizing bloggers who contribute positive, uplifting and inspiring energy to the blogging community. When I started blogging I was looking for a creative outlet for all of the new emotions and experiences I was going through with a new diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

I was also looking to find people who could understand the things I was feeling and the diagnosis I was trying to come to terms with. Little did I know I would discover a whole MS Family that has welcomed me so warmly into the blogging community. It’s amazing to feel so connected and close to those that are all the way across the globe, or just the next town over! I love you blogging brings us all together!

I have also found some truly inspirational blogs from people who are beyond passionate about what they do and what they love!

Once nominated, a blogger is asked to:

1) Write a post in which they thank the blogger for nominating them and link back to their blog.

2) Answer the 10 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3) Nominate 5 other blogs.

4) Give them 10 questions to answer.

5) Notify your nominees and display the rules and The Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

So here we go!

  1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because this past fall I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I was having a hard time emotionally dealing with the diagnosis. I have always been passionate about writing ever since I was a young child. Through the recommendations of my therapist and my husband I got the idea to start writing again. I felt like blogging would be a great avenue of positivity for myself. I would be able to connect with others in the MS community, as well as spread awareness and my personal experiences with both MS and Anxiety/PTSD.

2. What is your greatest inspiration in life?

My greatest inspiration in life is when I see people doing acts of kindness or spreading love to one another, even in the smallest ways! In a world full or so much violence, fear, and hatred those moments of human compassion truly remind me what we are on this earth for!

  1. What is one country you would love to visit?

I would love to visit South Africa. I am very passionate about animals and wildlife. I have always been fascinated by big cats and elephants! So, I would LOVE to be able to visit a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa someday! Did you know that when an elephant looks at a human it releases the same chemical in its brain that a human brain does when it sees a puppy or something else cute? Elephants think we are cute!

black elephant on brown and green grass during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  1. As a child, what did you dream of doing for a living?

As a child I dreamed of being a Broadway actress! I actually pursued that dream, up until my anxiety made it difficult for me to continue, a couple of years ago. I have

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my bachelor’s degree in Theater Performance and have a special place in my heart for classical theater (wassup Shakespeare). Some day when I have my anxiety back under control I would love to return to the stage by either directing or acting again!

 

  1. If you could choose any superpower, what would it be?

Definitely flying! I have dreams about flying all the time and it is so freeing and fun! Plus, I could travel wherever I wanted to without being stuck on a plane!

  1. What are your top five blogging necessities?
    1. Positivity
    2. Honesty
    3. A little bit of humor 😉
    4. Creativity
    5. Passion

 

  1. What is one interesting thing about you that people do not know?

I rode horses my whole childhood! I was quite the little equestrian…

Special shoutout to my mom and dad for watching a 10 year old ride around “barrel racing” at what, I am sure, can only be described was a snails pace, with the grace of newborn giraffe.

  1. What do you love most about blogging?

Meeting new people and connecting with people all over the world who share similar life experiences, interest and passions as myself!

  1. If you had to listen to one song on repeat, what would it be and why?

Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader  I just love that song, it’s one of those songs that makes me happy every time I hear it. I dare you to listen to it and not start shakin yo booty to the beat!

  1. What is your biggest fear?

That I won’t live my life to the fullest. I am learning to live in the moment and experience the joy that each moment in life has to offer. I just feel that there are so many amazing things to experience and places to see.  I hope that I can experience all of them in my lifetime!

My turn to nominate! 

Now it is time to nominate some fellow bloggers for the Sunshine Award! I am pretty new to the blogging scene and I apologize if you have already been nominated for the award.

The bloggers I chose have struck me with passion, love, and made me feel so welcomed here on the grand blogosphere!

Please do not feel obligated to write a post if you do not have time (or hell, if you just don’t want to!) but I would love to read your responses to my questions if you do! Just know, either way, you have taught me, inspired me and made me smile through your blogs!

Hannah – mymultiplesclerosisandme.wordpress.com

Anita – discoveringyourhappiness.com

Brenda – brendamueller.com

stumblinginflats.com

Hannah – hannahelizasite.wordpress.com

Again, thank you to Alyssa for nominating me, and thank you to everyone who has read my little blog and made me feel so welcomed and loved in this community!

Nominees, here are your questions! 

  1. What is a trait about yourself that you are most proud of?
  2. What is a good book you have read recently?
  3. What is a piece of advice that you were given that you will never forget?
  4. What is a song that always cheers you up?
  5. What is a fond memory that you have?
  6. What makes you feel empowered?
  7. Who inspired you to begin writing/blogging?
  8. What is your go-to relaxation activity?
  9. If you could meet a character from a book who would it be, and why?
  10. What made you smile today?

 

I hope everyone finds a reason to smile today and feels the positive, healing, energy around them!

-A

MS, Sushi and Heating Pads

I just want to thank everyone who reached out to me after my last blog post where I talked about the discomfort I have been feeling lately. Learning to trust my body again Hearing people who have experienced the same symptoms share their stories with me is so comforting.

Another thank you to those who reached out with words of comfort, or just letting me know they are sending good vibes and prayers my way. All of these things are like medicine for my soul!

MS can feel really lonely at times. I know that I am very newly diagnosed, but I already have felt the loneliness and loss that comes along with the diagnosis. I’ve felt it when I have been too sick or too fatigued to attend a social outing with friends, I have felt it when I have to leave a dinner or hanging out with friends and family earlier than everyone else because the room is spinning and I am afraid of getting sick in someone else’s home. I am afraid that some day the invitations will stop coming. Just because I don’t end up going out doesn’t mean that I don’t want to. I truly appreciate the invitation. It means you haven’t forgotten me, that you still want me around (even though I might not be my usually bubbly, outgoing self some days), it means you haven’t gotten bored with me always being sick. So thank you.

Today I went out for lunch with my sister and two good friends for her birthday. We had sushi and it was lovely. I have a lot of food allergies (wheat, soy, nuts, sesame, dairy) but praise the lord, I can still eat rice, seaweed and fish! Yes, my options are a bit limited and I have to make sure the restaurant can accommodate my sesame allergies before ordering, but I still get to enjoy a good salmon roll every now and then!

It was great to catch up with my sister and our friends. It was one of those moments where I forgot I had MS and was just enjoying myself. I also treated myself to a manicure today as my husband and I are getting photos taken together tomorrow! I can’t wait! I’ve never had professional photo shoot like this and it’s not supposed to be too hot tomorrow, so it should be a blast. Lastly, I stopped at the local Chuck & Dons and got my dog a new bone. He’s a 100lb german shepherd/husky mix and it’s been raining for a whole day so I figured I would do us both a favor and get him a rainy day treat 😉

I am still experiencing some issues with muscle pain and tightness (I think I’m receiving a nice little “hug” from MS) but I went to Target yesterday and got myself an electric heating pad for my back and that thing is a miracle worker! My issue now is that I am in a constant battle of giving my back some relief from the pain and getting too hot and making myself feel fatigued and loopy. So I am alternating between the two. I can’t complain, at least I found some temporary relief for my back pain! Now I just need an ice pack to cool myself down!

Now for the stuff that really matters: Sparrow Mom and her babies have taken the great leap of faith and flow from the nest. It’s so touching watching my little fluff babies grow up and fly off to live lives of their own! I have put a “for sale” sign in the African Daisy’s and am currently accepting applicants for a new tenant. Rent free, just no eating my succulents!

 

 

-A