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!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Following the MS Diet

I am now entering the 4th week of the diet. There is a lot to learn about this new way of eating, it is a life style change as well. Eating fast food is not an option, meals preparation takes time and planning. The planning start with a grocery list. A well stocked pantry is a must have.  Fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and grain feed lean meats or wild game are all OK on the diet.  As I lean more about what I can and can't have, I discover there is nothing like the first few weeks or months of this diet. In order to find your food sensitivities you must remove all of the suggested items from your diet. Eggs, (all products containing eggs), gluten ( all products containing flour), legumes (all vegetables in a pod and this includes soy bean products), dairy, (all animal milks and their by products), yeast, and sugar.
I have also learned that keeping a detailed journal of what you eat  is very important. The symptom or reactions to the foods that you eat should be recorded. This also requires planning. Make sure to have a small note book for logging your entries. I am sure a look back by date will be interesting as time goes by.
The holidays pose a special problem. It seems as though we have conditioned ourselves to believe that over indulgence and overeating go hand in hand with holiday celebrations. Again, be prepared with array of the healthy choices that are available to you. Like Nuts taste extra special when coated with honey. For a spicy change use a little oil and chili powder blend to taste. No matter what your favorite flavor, it can be added to the permitted mixed nuts and seeds. Be sure to add in dried fruit as well. Yum!
Dr Swank's book has some great recipes but use caution, not all the recipes apply to this strict start-up. As time goes by the other foods can be added if tolerated. So, be creative and enjoy all the foods you can have.


Butternut Squash Soup Served w/Brown Rice or Popcorn
Roasted Turkey Breast
Baked Sweet Potato Casserole Topped with Pecans
Greens (Mustard and Collard)
Roasted Corn on the Cob

 Baked Apple Crisp w/ Frozen Vanilla Coconut Milk - I'm sure the Pilgrims did not have a la mode desserts!
Please share with me your ideas. I would love to hear them.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Where is the Encouragement?

Has anyone ever noticed that encouragement is a rare commodity? There is something to be said about the person who has managed to incorporate this virtue into their daily lives. I know, I would like to know the person that  unsolicited will give positive feedback. If you have to ask, then you are only getting an agreement or confirmation on what you already think. But if the complement is given with no strings attached, then it is an encouragement.

Encouragement gives hope to someone. When someone says, 'you're not alone' or 'I know how you must feel', with sincerity; it is a perfect gift. Especially, when the encouragement is given with no expectations of receiving an encouragement, in return.  Encouragements are not always spoken, are they? An encouragement can be a kind gesture, a charitable action that gives someone support. The "like" item is one of my favorite things on Facebook, it gives a thumbs up to others. On Twitter it is the re-tweet feature that gives validation to others. Blogging has a special kind of community of people who follow you. I think another lost kind of encouragement is the welcome to the neighborhood. It is so easy to connect with others in the social media world, I think we sometimes forget to add, nice to meet you.

 In the future, I will look for opportunities to encourage others.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

MS and the Diet

This is the latest of my 'The Diet and MS' adventure.

I am currently in my third week of the diet. Today is not a particularly good or bad day. I feel at a loss from the high of caffeine and sugar.  I can say it is not a craving, but it is more or less an absence of the familiar practice, of having a cup of hot, sweet and creamy coffee. I thought that I would miss bread more, but that is not much of an issue because the starch of bread can be replaced with rice or potatoes. EGGS are a real significant problem! I got an egg substitute, and I can not wait to bake with it. There are lots of gluten free bread mixes, but most would require an egg or two. Therefore, often there is a solution to the problem, if you keep an open mind. I look forward to testing the egg substitute.

The information on 'The Diet and MS' seems to be an extremely hot topic for discussion. The National Multiple Sclerosis posted this Clinical Trial Alert recently on 'The Diet and MS' on their website Research section, MS Trial Alert, "MS Trial Alert: Investigators in Oregon Recruiting People with Relapsing MS for Study of Effects of Low-fat Diet on MS Disease Activity; Travel Costs Covered" posted on Oct 29, 2010. Read more about this study in the following link:
I am  thrilled that this type of research is being proposed. This is a random assigned, rigorously controlled,  clinical trial study of the effects of a Low-Fat Diet on people with Relapsing  MS. I am not sure if it is as restrictive as the diet that I am on. 

Please let me know what you think about 'The Diet and MS'.