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!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Have I Had MS All My Life?

I often wonder when MS first came into my life? Maybe it first showed up on that day, I felt too tired as a teen to continue band practice. Or maybe it was the piano lesson that I just couldn't quite finish learning. Every teenager feels stress growing up. Maybe, my stress over all of this and forgotten or lost books were actually MS moments!
But, I'm not angry, after all, it could have been worse. OK, I'm lying, I am angry! But, getting "hot under the collar", is not healthy for a person with MS. Instead, it would be better to wrap a Cooling Cloth around my neck and stay cool and calm. I admonish myself, don't get sore about what has happened in life. However, I realize having MS fulfills the definition of the word sore. 
  1. : causing pain or distress a sore subject b: painfully sensitive
  2. : attended by difficulties, hardship, or exertion
  3. : angry, irked, a sore loser
MS is a painful, tender, sensitive, irritated, infection or affliction" of the central nervous system. Yes, having MS gets on my nerves! How ironic one of the main symptoms of MS is numbness, as well as, pain and sensitivity.
Nevertheless, I realize, I do not have to feel angry about what has happened, it is a choice. I will choose to take a deep breath and slowly let it out, releasing all soreness and hurt inside of me. Then I can say to myself, "Let it be. MS has no control over me".

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The MS Recovery Diet Continues

I am still on the MS Recovery Diet. I have loss about 10 pounds. I am pleased that I am losing weight. However, I am concerned about losing muscle. I am not an exerciser but I think the time has come to move forward with that requisite to achieve total recovery.  The diet is helping with the food sensitivities and digestion. Now it is time to start retraining my body to function physically. I can walk with a walker. I do use a power chair when I go on outings that require walking distances that I feel would be too tiring or time consuming. I walk at a very slow pace concentrating with each step. My right leg and foot are difficult to move with each step forward. The command to the brain is a mental chant; lift, kick, step forward and shift. My left leg moves normally for the most part. However, the average person has taken three steps to my one, without thinking! I have been told recently that I am walking faster and my posture is better. I think my posture may have improved.
In the book, "The MS Recovery Diet", by Ann D Sawyer and Judith E. Bachrach, there is a section on the importance of exercising. I highly recommend that you read this book. There is a lot of valuable information on MS and exercise that is addressed. But for me the first exercise, to roll over in bed, meant the most. Because, at the worst and most difficult days of MS, that was an impossibility.  The exercise is compared to a baby's first steps with basic movements, which seems logical. We all have seen a baby turns his head, focuses and then lifting the shoulders and turning it's body rolls over on the tummy and vice versa. But, remember these are exercises, so use caution and start with just a few attempts. Then gradually increase as you become more comfortable. Another word of caution, if you are on the bed, be sure you have room to roll and not fall off the bed. You may need someone to watch you at first. If no one is around, set up a barrier on the edge of the mattress or bed.
So, let's get rolling! Follow my progress, the goal is to crawl by the end of the month.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Managing Stress Without feeling like Scrooge

It is hard to gear up for all the extra activities during the Holiday Season and manage MS fatigue. Planning is the key to success in this quest.
Use every tool available like:
  •          Online shopping can be a great time saver.
  •          Use your own computer or a computer at the library by signing in with your internet email address and account provider
  •          Save energy and stress by avoiding crowds and shopping at your own pace.
  •          Save money. You can print coupons for in-store and online shopping
  •          Be sure to use Retail Stores discount sales codes when available at check out with online shopping
  •          Retailers often offer Specials to online shoppers that are not available in stores
  •          Look for Free Shipping Offers 
Saving money and staying within your budget, no matter how small, will empower you and give you peace by narrowing your choices.  A well designed shopping plan stimulates creativity. The people on your list will appreciate and remember the thoughtful, meaningful gift. 
Follow us on Our Blog, MS Scars 2 Stars, Twitter and Facebook the next few days. We will post ideas and money saving and easy to do tips!

Merry Christmas
Paula Joiner

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Almost Time to Sum Up the Year

Gee, can one believe that it's almost year end? I have tried a lot of different things this year to stay ahead of the MS Monster. I am still on the diet. I can say it has made a difference in the way I feel. Thinking of ways to enjoy food without eating from the forbidden fruits was extremely challenging. I have become a much better cook. I take time to add spices and enhance the flavor of whatever I am preparing. I have also lost weight, although not intentionally but by not eating fast foods, sugar, dairy and saturated fats. Great bonus to trying to heal yourself naturally. Over the holidays, I ate a lot of food. Instead of feeling bloated and uncomfortable I was just satisfied, yet full. I know if you looked at my menu, you probably wonder how. Well, what you don't see on the menu are the ingredients that are added to each item to enhance the flavor. For example, the turkey was a free range boneless turkey breast. I stuffed it with a rice dressing made with 2 types of mushrooms and brown rice. Lots of other ingredients like poultry seasoning, and the usual vegetable additions celery, onion, garlic. However, it needed the holiday touch, so in goes the pecans, golden raisins and gluten free bread. There is more to this recipe, like chicken stock,  salt and pepper and, olive oil for sauteing. There is a recipe for the rice dressing that I changed to suit my diet. Another example, use cornstarch to thicken the gravy instead of flour. 
The holidays are filled with tempting dinner parties and festive occasions. Let me encourage you if you are on the diet to stick with it. Just be creative and remember to enjoy the things you can have fully.