MS, lesions, also known as plaques, are patches of inflammation in the central nervous system in which the nerve cells have been striped of their protective myelin or insulating cover. These demyelinated neurons do not function properly and it is these lesions that give rise to the symptoms of MS.

In relapsing-remitting MS, their is significant recovery as the inflammation dies down. Special maintenance cells called glial cells are responsible for the repair of the damaged nerves. One type of glial cell, called an oligodendrocyte, lays down new myelin and another type, called an astrocyte lays down SCAR tissue.

A STAR is defined as a heavenly body, champion, headliner or a virtuoso. Another definition of a Star is defined as a network whose components are connected to a hub.

My faith in God is my connection and that is how I am "Turning Those MS Scars Into Stars." I am striving to experience the challenge of living with MS as a Blessing, an opportunity to grow in compassion, patience, grace, and love, all of which are blessings - Multiple Blessings Not Multiple Sclerosis!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Can Make A Difference in My MS Symptoms

Multiple Sclerosis is an extraordinarily mysterious, painful and debilitating disease. The symptoms vary from person to person like a Chameleon. I recently discovered, you can live free from MS symptoms.

Maybe it was some kind of exercise routine, that I would not have the strength or stamina to do. (Read my earlier blog on Yoga). Oh, don't mis-understand,  exercise actually has helped me. However, it is extremely difficult to perform when you are fighting MS at the same time. MS is not something that you can turn on or off like a light-switch,  then act like a Gazelle.  I have always wondered how many seated arm curls  must be done to walk across the floor, of course, you're strengthening your core! Funny how the MS seems to have blocked that from my memory - was that 10 or 11?  Oops, lost count, and I have to remember to breathe! Is that in through the nose out through the mouth or was it the other way? Oh well, it doesn't matter, whatever I must do, I'll do it and give it my all!  What would you give to live free from MS symptoms?

What is this new, exciting and profound challenge? The answer was not new, but it was profound and tremendously challenging yet, it was so easy; CHANGE YOUR DIET! That was a surprise to me. I have been on all types of diets: Weight Watcher, California, Atkins and Oprah's just to name a few, but of course, they were just to lose weight. This diet does not fall under the weight lost segment it  is a therapeutic regimen. As I am writing about my experiences with this diet, you will see why I use the term regimen. This is a coherent plan for therapy, a series of steps to be carried out to achieve the goal of living a life free of MS symptoms.

How does it work or better yet, does it work? I don't know  I am only into my 2nd week. The outline for this diet is in "The MS Recovery Diet", by Ann Sawyer and Judith Bachrach. I have had an ELISA food allergy analysis to identify food allergies and sensitivities and am waiting for the results. I can tell you that I have noticed a difference in the way I feel, already.  My blood pressure has returned to a normal range, although I still take medication for blood pressure/hypertension. I have noticed a difference in my feet not swelling as much even when I sit at the computer for hours..  So, maybe I am seeing results already. However, I want to see a lot more results from the aforementioned  for all the dietary changes that I have had to do.

On the list, of the foods that I have eliminated from my diet  before the ELISA test results are:

Sugars, gluten (all gluten grains), dairy products, legume (soy, green beans, peanuts, peas), eggs, saturated fats and yeast. I recently found out that I needed to include oatmeal to the grains that I cannot eat, from an allergic reaction. I have noticed that my body reacts with more sensitivity to anything that I eat. It is either yes, that's OK or no, and you are going to need Benadryl. I am not quite at he Epinephrine shot, yet.

So, I can tell you that  my body is paying attention to the difficult diet. Again, as I posed the question before - What would you do or give to have no MS symptoms.

Monday, October 18, 2010

MS Mean Spirited

MS is the excepted abbreviation for Multiple Sclerosis. However, sometimes those around us may think that it stands for something more like, Mean Spirited.

I recently attended a beautiful luncheon that was provided for those with Multiple Sclerosis. I have to admit I rarely attend these types of events alone but, I had an incentive. Not only was the luncheon held in one of my favorite restaurants in town but  I would also have a new crowd that I could promote my MS website to. How disingenuous of me I must confess, not to first think of the topic for discussion or of meeting other MS survivors and friends. And once again, I should have listened to that small voice that warned that my head and heart were not in agreement. Never the less, I put on my (I can do this game face) and forged ahead.  The "I can do it on my own" determined, energetic, goal oriented attitude can seem aggressive and self-assertive, at times to others.  The not being intimidated by  your circumstances attitude can unknowingly give others the impression of being mean spirited, OUCH.  Eventhough, the stress of coordinating and accomplishing  a solo outing, if you have a disability can be overwhelming and daunting, especially if you usually have a companion to assist you. So we mask it with a I'm tough, I can take care of myself persona which can seem harsh.  I so admire people who have mastered this needed self confidence yet remain soft and gentile while living with a disability.

Much too often I have noticed that whether it is pain, disability, emotional lack of self confidence/esteem or just having a bad MS day we can sometimes be a little discourteous to others around us. We often overlook their need for recognition, patience and understanding even though they are not physically challenged.

It is wise for us to remember the boomerang effect; you sometimes get back what you send out. We may think that the "tough guy or gal" attitude is for our own self preservation and protection. But, by being guarded you may miss an opportunity to connect with someone else in an authentic way to gain pleasant memories if not friendships.

What are some of your thoughts about this complex mental state of beliefs and dispositions that you have observed with a MS attitude?