Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)


MS offers all sorts of vitamin D’s, if you look closely

Multiple sclerosis and vitamin D seem to be interrelated. Certain experts have suggested that vitamin D deficiency may raise a person’s risk of developing MS. Others insist vitamin D can affect MS disease exacerbations and progression, as vitamin D is believed to boost the immune system and provide a host of other health benefits.

Some say proper vitamin D absorption may be an issue for those with multiple sclerosis. MSers always seem to run low on vitamin D, except during those times when we take massive mega-dose prescription levels of it. So something’s not quite right.

The whole vitamin D/MS connection still needs some deeper description and development. But doctors seem pretty convinced that MSers need more frequent testing and higher doses than most other folks. And, whenever tested, most of us routinely receive low results for vitamin D levels, even in midsummer, when we may sport suntans.

OK, that set me to thinking. Although those living with multiple sclerosis may be challenged to achieve and keep appropriate levels of vitamin D in our systems, many do tend to develop high levels of other essential D’s.

A dozen vitamin D’s for MSers

How about these vitamin D’s, which seem to crop up in lots of MS warriors?

  1. daring
  2. dauntlessness
  3. decency
  4. decisiveness
  5. dedication
  6. depth
  7. determination
  8. devotion
  9. diplomacy
  10. discernment
  11. dreams
  12. drive

Who’s feeling better already?

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Side-to-side eye movement may help memory, but it makes me wanna hurl.

Call me dizzy, but this idea makes me reel. Let’s blame the MS MonSter and his vile vertigo.

Researchers have said horizontal eye movements may aid recall. Apparently, studies have indicated that 30 seconds of side-to-side eye movement seem to encourage both sides of the human brain to work more closely with one another. That is supposed to help with memory.

Studies, including one conducted in 2007-2008 at Manchester Metropolitan University in England, led to the findings. Researchers differentiated between retrieval and recognition memories, according to a report in Live Science.

Can this strategy help the MS warrior, if multiple sclerosis seems to be stealing some short- or long-term memories?

That’s hard to say, especially as many of us battle frequent bouts of vertigo. The rapid switching of visual focus can set us reeling with dizziness. Toss in a little optic neuritis in one or both eyes, and the whole picture changes.

Still, this side-to-side eye movement trick may be worth a try … on a less-than-terrible MS day. Remind me to remember that when I can’t find my cell phone or my glasses.

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Off to a running start

I’m in this for the long run. That’s true of any MS warrior. Anyone who battles the beast every day knows the grueling warfare, the seemingly uphill battle, and the nearly constant challenges of living with multiple sclerosis. And we celebrate the victories we enjoy – whether it’s walking to the car or running 10 miles, buttoning a blouse or biking around the block. Wins are wins, so we roar heartily when we earn ‘em.

In an earlier post, I shared about the 1,000 Mile Challenge to Hike/Walk/Run 1,000 Miles (running from June 6, 2015 to June 5, 2016). I joined and started logging the miles. Here are my results for the first three days:

Yes, this pie chart looks pretty much like a pumpkin.

So do I (at this point), but that’s gonna change, as I measure more miles. I’m counting on it. I want to whittle my waistline, while marching faster than the MS MonSter. Although I am a tortoise in sneakers, I am grateful to be vertical these days. And I am running faster than all of the horn honkers and caterwaulers in cars, who gawk and grin and mock and swerve on the roadways.

I like the challenge of trying different things and wondering whether it's going to work or whether I'm going to fall flat on my face.

Win or wobble, I'm on it.

Whether I feel like it or not, I’m gonna keep running … or jogging … or plodding. Even if I have to stop and walk a bit, I am thankful to be up and moving. And I only have 987.2 miles to go.

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I'm gonna run 1,000 miles for MS

Color me crazy. (I know. MS is all in my head, right?) I just joined a 1,000-mile challenge. But I have a whole year to rack up those miles (running or walking). That comes to approximately 2.74 miles per day – if I run every day for the next 365. I am pretty sure I will skip a day, every now and then, but I generally run more than that when I go. So it should work out OK, if the MS MonSter behaves.

It’s called the 1,000 Mile Challenge to Hike/Walk/Run 1,000 Miles, and it runs from June 6, 2015, through June 5, 2016. That means it started today – but it’s not too late to join.

Participants ante up $19 apiece (or $39, if you want the event tee shirt). Signup includes membership in a private Facebook group, monthly rankings and statistics, and a personalized certificate of completion at the end.

50% of the registration fee benefits the charity of the participant’s choice (based on a list of dozens of charitable organizations on the event site).

1,000 Mile Challenge participants keep logs of miles on charts and report them monthly for credit.

From the listed charities for the 1,000 Mile Challenge, I selected the National MS Society. So I am running for MS in the next 365 days. And, God willing, I’m gonna hit that 1,000-mile mark.
As of today, I am 5.6/1,000 of the way there already.

I’m also signed up with Charity Miles, using a free smartphone app. Every mile leads to a sponsor donation to charity. I’ve run to benefit Special Olympics – at least until Charity Miles adds the National MS Society.

And she’s off -----

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Ay-ay-ay! Celebrating another unchanged annual brain MRI

Oh, baby. Thank God. I love a good medical report!

Just had the whole MS workup again, including the annual magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) thing and a neurological exam and a consult with the multiple sclerosis specialist.

And my MRI shows no change – for several years! That is great news!

The unchanged MRI does not indicate I no longer have MS. It doesn’t mean I don’t have relapses or ongoing nagging MS symptoms. I do.

But it does mean my brain shows no new MS lesions (scars) from the MonSter’s attacks.

Good news indeed. I’ll take it.

This happy medical report makes the pre-dawn hospital arrival and the 45 minutes of MRI tunnel clanging and banging and table shaking well worth it.

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