To Me: Before the MS Diagnosis

This is to you.

Right now, you’re living carefree. These words that follow, are the things are the words you’re soon going to need to hear. The previous incidents of falling down and falling down stairs are not incidents of being clumsy. They were most likely warning signs of what was to come. You laughed. The genetic signs were there and it never crossed anyone’s mind- especially yours.

You celebrated being 22. The warning signs are there. Something’s brewing beneath the surface. Signs that shouldn’t have been ignored. You should have been informed about the MS symptoms. You shouldn’t have been brushed off by multiple doctors, it did more harm than good.

Always stay positive. There will be days that you want to give up on everything and everyone. Including yourself. People may act like they understand and you will want to push them away.

Always let someone in your life.

 

Honey Colony Superior Review

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“I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

Honey Colony Superior Cannabidiol Rich Hemp Formula

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from the Cannabis plant and has no euphoric properties whatsoever. This formulation offers all the health benefits of CBD without the feeling of being “high”. (Source: HoneyColony)

I received the Superior from HoneyColony approximately a month ago. When I received it, I was kind of skeptical at first to even try it; so when I eventually did take the Superior formula, I decided to take it at bedtime. This was before I read the entire label and realizing that I could take the formula three times during the day. When taking the Superior formula, the first dose was weird for me, mainly because you have to hold the formula under your tongue for some seconds before swallowing. The taste that stood out to me was a citrusy flavor. While writing this review, I’ve noticed a change in both my nighttime and daytime pain. As someone who works 40 plus hours a week, this is a relief. Also, the best part of it is that I’m no longer relying on narcotics for my pain during the day anymore. I like that the Superior is all natural and with organic botanicals.

My cons with this product are as follows:

  • Small writing on the label. As someone who wears glasses/contact lenses and has difficulty with vision because of Multiple Sclerosis; the label writing could’ve been slightly larger.
  • The taste isn’t bad, however, when someone close to you can smell it and is seemingly disgusted by it, they question why you’re putting it into your mouth.
  • A major con for me is that it is only available in the United States, Germany, Italy, Spain, Israel, Australia and the UK. So, if you want to purchase this product, make sure that you can have it shipped to your location.
  • The price. It’s $92.55 a bottle, which is a punch to the pocket. For three bottles, it’s $262.00, and that is registering as a current sale price.
  • “CBD and Drug Tests:  Unfortunately, it is possible for CBD to result in a positive for THC— much like eating a poppy seed bagel can cause a positive for opiates depending on the type of test. Our products contain .03% THC, well below the federal limit of .3%, but you should use discretion if planning to be tested.  (Source: HoneyColony). As for someone who is regularly drug tested at her place of employment, this is a reason why I’d potentially get fired. It’s troublesome to be advised to use discretion by the company.

 

My pros of the Superior formula:

  • It doesn’t need to be refrigerated and has a shelf life of 3 years.
  • It does not have enough CBD in it to make anyone “high.”
  • It’s completely organic.
  • It isn’t oil. Instead, it’s the only water soluble CBD in the market at the time of this review.

 

I’m extremely happy this formula has worked for me and the pains that come with Multiple Sclerosis. Living on narcotics has been a pain and hassle for me, so I’m glad the HoneyColony has developed something of this nature.

 

If you’d like to check out this product, go to http://www.honeycolony.com to check it out yourself.

I hope my review was an enjoyable read and will help someone find relief like the Superior formula has for me!

 

 

October 9, 2016

This blog post comes directly from my journal.

*12:18 AM*

I’m back to where I’m suffering from insomnia. Maybe it’s because I took a nap earlier today, I have no clue. I don’t know what is going to happen because I’ve taken myself off of all of my medications; even my treatment for MS.

*12 PM*

I don’t know if I’ll end up in a wheelchair, maybe I won’t. I know people talk about depression with this illness but at the end of the day- what isn’t there to be depressed about? If I didn’t have a job to look forward to, I’d probably suffer from major depression. I’ve tried to act normal and act like I’m not constantly in pain. The thing is: I’m not normal, and I’m always in pain.  I wish I could still shoot photos… I just can’t.

*4 PM*

I can’t go to the gym every day like I used to. I guess that could be a good reason to be depressed. I eventually could be depressed, if I don’t get some kind of normalcy back. If that’s even possible.

When MS Drugs Go Wrong

I started Copaxone in May. At first, the idea of giving myself an injection 3 days a week was not going to be my cup of tea. Sure, I’ve taken and given myself allergy shots before this drug, but it was only once a week. I shouldn’t have really complained, I was happy that I was starting any kind of treatment.

Up until recently, the drug was working well and I had no problems with it. Then, last week, when I gave myself an injection, I automatically couldn’t breathe. As someone who also suffers from Asthma, my first instinct was to grab my inhaler and see if that would help. It didn’t. I thought I was going to die.

Turns out– I had a rare reaction to the drug. My neuro suggested I skip the following injection. I have not taken it since the reaction.

Anyone have any suggestions on what I should do or even, what I should look to take besides the injection?

 

Step Forward in MS Research

Terry Wahls knows first-hand what the right diet can do for a person’s health and well-being. It’s been 10 years since she created the Wahls Protocol, a diet that helps her combat the fatigue and physical symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Wahls, a University of Iowa professor of internal medicine, was confined to a wheelchair before she began following the diet she created to treat herself.

Terry Wahls, MD
Terry Wahls

The Wahls Protocol—a diet and supplement regimen based on a Paleolithic diet—led to a dramatic improvement in her mobility.

“In three months the fatigue was gone,” Wahls says. “In six months I was walking without a cane, and after nine months I was biking around the block. A year after I started, I did a 20-mile bike ride.”

Hers wasn’t the first diet designed to minimize the physical symptoms of MS; Roy Swank began studying MS in 1948 and created the saturated fat–minimizing Swank Diet around 1950.

Now, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) has awarded Wahls a $1 million grant to compare the two diets’ effects on multiple sclerosis–related fatigue, a disabling symptom that can significantly interfere with a person’s ability to function at home and work.

The grant is one of the largest financial commitments made by the NMSS to research this year. It is part of a projected investment of $50 million in 2016 to support more than 380 new and ongoing studies around the world aimed at stopping MS in its tracks, restoring patients’ function, and ultimately ending the disease forever.

“The National MS Society is committed to identifying wellness solutions to help people live their best lives,” says Bruce Bebo, the society’s executive vice president for research. “We’re very pleased to support a rigorous clinical trial to test the ability of two popular MS dietary approaches to address the disabling symptom of fatigue.”

Wellness and the strategies necessary to achieve it are high priorities both for people living with MS and for NMSS’s programs and research. For the most part, studies researching dietary approaches to combatting MS have generally been too small or poorly designed to provide definitive conclusions. This new trial will carefully assess the potential impact of diet on the fatigue—and potentially other symptoms—commonly experienced by people living with MS.

Wahls has been studying the effects of diet on MS for more than a decade. She was diagnosed with MS in 2000, and by 2003 the disease had progressed so much that she was confined to a wheelchair and feared she would be bedridden. In 2004, she says, she returned to her basic science roots and spent the next three years researching the effects of food and vitamins on the body.

In the fall of 2007, Wahls put her new protocol into practice, using herself as the first trial participant. Her protocol is a modified Paleolithic diet, which excludes grains, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nightshade vegetables and places a heavy emphasis on vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish.

Within months, Wahls’ fatigue was gone, and she started walking again. Then she started riding a bicycle.

Wahls worked with other University of Iowa researchers to write up a case study of her own results, which they published in 2009.

“Our work has progressed from the initial case study describing the use of diet, exercise, and electrical stimulation in the setting of secondary progressive MS to a small pilot study using the same protocol that I used for my recovery in others with progressive MS, which was published in 2014. We saw the protocol was associated with remarkable improvement in function in others with progressive MS,” she says. “We were able to show that the program was well tolerated and was associated with clinically and statistically significant reduction in fatigue and improved quality of life.”

For the new study, investigators will be recruiting 100 people with relapsing-remitting MS who experience fatigue to enroll in a 36-week clinical trial. Participants will follow their usual diet for 12 weeks and then be randomly assigned to follow the Swank Diet or the Wahls Protocol for 24 weeks. Their health and activities will be extensively monitored during the study.

Swank created his diet after he observed a higher incidence of MS in geographic areas where people ate meat, milk, eggs, and cheese—foods that are high in saturated fat—and a lower incidence in regions that ate fish. He spent more than 50 years recommending this diet to his patients and monitoring their health.

Both diets have been shown to have a positive impact on patients with MS.

 

Resource:

Rossiter, M. (2016). Another step forward in MS research. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from https://now.uiowa.edu/2016/09/another-step-forward-ms-research

Updating 

I’ve been MIA and I’ve noticed a few things…my Twitter page has had an increase in followers and I’m grateful for that. Also, Copaxone is not making a noticeable difference and it’s been like 4 months.

I’ve been working crazy hours and trying to survive the heat. unfortunately, my life has become being extremely exhausted. I hope something changes soon because I’m aware that a lot of MS patients are unable to keep a full time job after their diagnosis.

Hope all is well in the WordPress world!

The Fay Farms Rejuvenation Review

“I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.”

As someone who suffers from Relapse-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS), like most people, I am often looking for ways outside of medication to end my pain.  Whether it be Epsom salts or lavender baths; or muscle cream- I am always trying something. Living with MS, I know reading this, you think you have tried everything out there, believe me, I am the same way. At one point, I was approached to try Botox injections in my legs.

One day, I got an email asking if I would like to try The Fay Farms “Rejuvenation” Lotion and I thought to myself “like this is going to be any better than any of the others.” Let’s be honest here: what would you think if someone wanted you to try an organic lotion for your aches and pains? Would you actually believe that it was going to help after all of the non-success of the other attempts? I have suffered from RRMS for 10 years and quite honestly, I didn’t believe that I was the right candidate for this particular lotion.

The Rejuvenation Lotion contains CBD oil. And not to turn my post into a chemistry lesson that I’d probably confuse you and myself on: CBD oil is one of the cannabidiol oils that are in medical marijuana. This is one of the items that relieves pain but does not give you the high like marijuana. That would be THC.

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When I first received this lotion; the first thing I noticed was the familiar smell of black licorice. I’m not a big fan of the candy, however, found this smell very calming and soothing.  For 8 oz, you get a fair amount for $20; my favorite aspect of the bottle is the pump top. This makes it easier to use and easier to keep clean as well.  On the bottle, it says it is for “deep muscle and joint relief”. I have gotten into the habit of using this after a shower and after yoga or ballet. And to be honest, I haven’t used it that long, so I don’t know if it is making an impact on my muscles yet; however, I do know it does relax me after using it.

I do know that after using it for the past couple of weeks; I will be using the other products listed on the site in the near future. I know not everyone feels easy and ok with using items with CBD oils in it; I can tell you, by word of mouth I have interested others in buying it.

Hopefully, my review can interest you, the reader, into doing the same.

Go have a look at http://thefayfarm.com/p/cbd

You can also find The Fay Farm on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheFayFarm
and on Twitter. Twitter.com/thefayfarm

You can also find me here and on Twitter at @TheMSLife

 

 

Uncomfortable Pain

I haven’t blogged for awhile. Minus the post from a few days ago.

My MS is keeping me homebound; 91% of the time. Since Monday my left leg has turned into what feels like a block of cement. I’m pretty much in a slight state of depression over this. I walk and feel nothing but pain. I want to cry, but I can’t. I’m dragging around my leg and I know people are looking at me, so why go outdoors? Why face the stares?

I have to. Because I do need to make a living while I still can.

Sigh.

Extreme Heat & MS

As we’re soon to be hitting the near 100s this upcoming week on the East Coast; I felt this would be the time to discuss heat and multiple sclerosis.

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“Studies report that about 60 to 80% of people diagnosed with MS show excessive sensitivity to heat. People with this neurological disorder experience a temporary exacerbation of their existing symptoms and also new disturbing symptoms when they are exposed to elevated temperatures. They are sensitive to even a slight increase in their core body temperature (0.25°C to 0.5°C) that may be due to physical exercise or a warmer environment.”. (Wlassoff, 2014).

What happens when exposed to extreme temperatures:

  • Fatigue is a common symptom and it is seen in nearly 70% of people with MS. Premature fatigue occurs in people with MS when they are exposed to even a slight increase in temperature. Weakness, especially affecting the limbs is also a symptom that is perceived during or aggravated by a temperature rise.
  • Central pain is another common symptom that worsens with an increase in temperature. Studies propose that the reason behind this may be the damage caused to the thalamus and the spinothalamic-cortical pathways leading to thermoregulatory dysfunction. Numbness is another symptom that worsens with rising core body temperature.
  • Cognitive functions in MS patients are also sensitive to heat. Memory problems, judgment difficulties, concentration difficulties and problems with other cognitive skills like language comprehension are more pronounced with the increase in body temperature. A recent study pointed out that people with MS demonstrated worsening of cognitive functions in warmer days.

 

Resource:

Wlassoff, V., PhD. (2014, September 13). How Temperature Affects People With Multiple Sclerosis. Retrieved June 10, 2016, from http://brainblogger.com/2014/09/13/how-temperature-affects-people-with-multiple-sclerosis/