Saturday, July 24, 2010

Doing Something Different ...

Yesterday I took my boys to the park to fly kites ... There wasn't nearly enough wind, but we went anyway. I have to be honest ... I normally am so busy that I often don't take time for the little things with my kids. I know ... it's terrible, but it's true. I had a full day & was agitated & couldn't relax. Normally at this point I would probably get on my computer to shut off to the world & continue to be irritated & frustrated inside. Instead, yesterday, I decided to get the boys out of the house & go enjoy the beautiful day!

Sometimes it's the little things that put everything into perspective. As I sat there at the park listening to the boys laughing & running around trying to fly the kites, it made me realize how I need to have more of their spirit! Life hasn't hit them yet ... they don't have a care in the world & are open to experience what the moments in life bring them. I realize that I am always so busy in my mind that I often don't get to experience those little things in a day that can bring so much joy! In  those moments at the park yesterday, I got to leave my worries for a time & just "BE" with my boys! It's funny, my day seemed to take on a new direction ... I wasn't irritated & frustrated anymore ... but rather, I felt blessed, thankful & at peace.

Perspective really is everything! "Choosing something different" in a moment can change ones perspective on what it is they are going through! I have found this to be true with my MS. I could look at this terrible disease as a death sentence, give up & stop truly LIVING ... or I can choose to see it as a blessing! A blessing? Yes I said it ... a blessing! Because of this disease I have met many new friends who are struggling with the same issues & I can relate to them. I have been able to connect with "old" friends who are also on this same path. Maybe, just maybe I can help someone else with my story who is going through another challenge in life. Hopefully I can give people hope through my story. I believe if I am open & can share my life maybe someone out there can find something they can relate to & move forward in their own life! We are all given the life we have, so why not try to do something with it? There is only one me so why not BE ME & share it with the world? Who knows the effect my life can have on another ... what may seem small & insignificant to me in the moment may be the world to someone else!


Yesterday, taking the boys to the park to fly kites was the world to them ... Little did I know it would be the world to me too! ♥

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Making a Choice or Someone Making It For Me ...

My husband & I have known eachother for 18 years and he has been big into to health and exercise ever since I have known him. He has been working in the health field for the past 10 years & it was painful for him to have to watch how quickly my health was declining. Watching me paralyzed with information & not making steps for myself as far as treatment, he took it upon himself to research for me. I had become so bogged down with information that I became even more confused as to what I should do to deal with my disease, so for him to research for me was such a blessing. He researched for several months & kept coming to the same conclusion as to what I should be doing.

At this point I was exhausted ALL the time. All I wanted to do was sleep. A normal day for me was to wake up in the morning get kids & ready for school. Once they were out of the house I would often go back to bed for 2-3 hours to sleep. If I stayed up then by 11 or 12 I would go back to bed for a few hours before I had to pick up my kids from school! If I didn't get this nap in the morning or afternoon I was in bed after I got the kids from school for a couple hours. I could no longer clean my house in a day. It had to spread out between several days & quite frankly a lot of things just NEVER got done ... There was just no energy to do it. I am the type of person that always has a to do list in my head. I feel good when I am accomplishing things ... if I am not in this place it is very easy for me to become depressed. Being in that place adds to the already exhausted feeling & creates a monster of moodiness!

In January 2008 my husband finally came to me & told be that he had ordered me a bunch of supplements. In my mind I thought ... "I am already taking supplements & have been for years, why on earth do I need anymore?" I didn't say anything to him about it, but when they came I took them knowing that they would not hurt me, but would only be good for me. I was NOT expecting to notice anything or feel anything from them! About two weeks after starting on these new supplements I remember calling my husband at work, as I was waiting to pick up my kids from school, and telling him, "I think this stuff is actually working." As I sat there waiting for my kids it dawned on me that I was not tired. You see I always slept in my truck while I waited for my kids to get out of school & that day I was NOT TIRED!!!! I sat there reflecting on what I had accomplished that day ... I had cleaned my WHOLE house, done laundry & sent several emails for work & I WASN"T TIRED!!!!! It felt almost too good to be true!

It's been over a year now that I have been feeling like the "old" me! It feels AMAZING!!!! ... it is one thing to feel amazing, but the question of feeling good & wondering what is happening inside my body is another thing. Could it be that I was just feeling good, but the MS was really getting worse ... more lesions? more inflammation? could I be on the verge of another attack? These were all the questions that went through my mind.

I received great news on my birthday between my last two MRI's, the first one taken before I started this new supplement "regime" & one a year and a bit after gave me some of the answers to those questions. The results: I have NO new lesions & ALL of my old lesions have decreased in size. For today that is GREAT news to me. Am I cured? NO! Do I feel great? YES! ... and knowing that this is where I am is ok with me! I only have today & today I feel good, so I must choose to live it, because I do not know what tomorrow will bring!

I got the results of my last MRI on my birthday & this is what I worte ... it was one of the greates gift I could have received!

Birthday Wishes .... Monday, March 22, 2010 at 10:04pm

Today is my birthday! I'm not saying it to get any more wishes or to get attention ... Every year I get older I have a more difficult time with the "DAY." I guess you can say that I don't like getting older & therefore I don't like birthdays! ... so why am I writing anything about my birthday then???

Today was a different kind of birthday ... probably the best birthday I could have ever asked for. I didn't win a million, didn't get any big fancy presents ... Today I received something invaluable ...

In 2005 I woke up one day & had double vision ... it lasted for 3.5 weeks. A scary place to be, not knowing what was going on and of course worried about the worst. After seeing numerous Doctors & Specialists & undergoing test after test it was finally determined that I had Multiple Sclerosis. I received the news in February 2007 & by this time I was dealing numbness in all my extremities, terrible debilitating fatigue, cold feet & hands, an inability to sleep, extreme emotional ups & downs ... I struggled to keep up with both my home & work. For someone who likes to check off my list & get things done, this was a difficult place to find myself! Emotionally it was difficult to come to terms with the fact that I wasn't able to do all the things I had always done. The fight with depression was very real for me.

For my husband it was difficult to see me struggle with all of these things & so it became his mission to try to help me help myself. Through his dedication & research he helped me start a natural treatment plan in January 2009. I was consistent & stayed the course with it not knowing how it would help me. Within two weeks I started to feel noticeable changes in my health & over the past year I have seen my health turn around in amazing ways.

This past January I went for another MRI. I go every year for them so they can see if there are any changes in the amount & size of lesions I have in my brain & spinal cord (It's one of the markers they use to see if there is any progression in my disease). Today was the day I had to go & get the results of that MRI! Why I booked it for my birthday I can't say for sure! (If you are going to get bad news you probably don't want it to be on your birthday!) I felt anxious and began questioning whether or not the improvement I felt would be shown in the results of my test.

So the present this year is that I have no new lesions ... & the icing on the cake ... the lesions I do have are smaller! ... It may seem small & insignificat to some, but to me it is HUGE! ... I have hope & the knowledge that I am healthier today then I was last year & that my disease, for today, is not progressing.

So to say I had a great day today would not even come close to how I feel ... in fact I don't think there are any words that describe the feeling in my heart! I am blessed!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Beginning ...

For years I have struggled with low energy issues. No amount of tests and Doctors could determine that anything was wrong with me. I just accepted that this was they way my life would be, after all my mother has struggled with extremely low energy all my life, so why would I be any different? A common thing I heard was people asking me if I was "OK?" or telling me how tired I looked. I HATED it, because it just confirmed the feelings I was already having. Quite frankly it became rather depressing to feel this tired all the time. I made excuses as to why I was so tired ... stress, having 3 young children, poor sleep at nights ... anything that I could blame it on really!

On a Friday in October 2005 I woke up, tired as usual. It was time to get my kids ready for school. I believed I must have had sleep in my eyes because my vision seemed a bit off. I kept blinking trying to clear my vision, nothing seemed to work. At this point my vision wasn't terrible, it just wasn't quite right. I drove my kids the 1/2 hour drive to school ... still blinking trying to make my vision better. Over that weekend my vision continued to get worse. By Sunday morning I couldn't help but feel like something was terribly wrong. I drove myself & my 3 kids down to the eye doctor at the mall. After testing, it was determined I was having an issue with double vision. The Optometrist could not tell me why this was happening & referred me to a Neuro Ophthalmologist. It took two weeks to get in to see her. In the mean time I was suffering from headaches because of the vision problems. I was having difficulty functioning in my day to day life. My parents came to stay with us to help out. This vision problem lasted about 3.5 weeks.

The Neuro Ophthalmologist was the one that first dropped the idea that maybe I was dealing with MS. There is no history of the disease in my family. I really didn't know anything about the disease other than my good friend from University had MS. The Dr.'s advice was to get rid of the stress in my life & start taking care of myself! ... She scheduled me to go for an MRI. Unfortunately living in Canada this can take a long time ... 6 months to be exact! I left her office with lots of questions!

On my way home from that appointment we were in a terrible car accident. This started more issues ... numbness in my arms, hands, legs & feet. My sleep became much worse ... at night I was only sleeping for a couple of hours at a time & then I would wake up from the numbness in my body. The fatigue worsened ... Have you ever been so tired that you just want to cry? ... Well that was me ... in the morning it was all I could do to pull myself together & drag my body out of bed. The exhaustion affected not only how tired I felt, but my mood too.

In the meantime I was referred to a Neurologist at the MS clinic. She did all the usual stuff ... testing my balance, coordination, etc. My MRI results came back & there was not enough lesions to make the diagnosis so she sent me for a second MRI this time of my spine. I was also scheduled for a spinal tap. Finally in February 2007 I got the news ... I did have MS.

What a shock & blow ... I was way too young to receive this life altering news. Could I ever get my health back? Would I continue on the downward spiral that I seemed to be on??? My Neurologist wanted me to start meds right away. I had watched my friend in University on MS meds & the side affects were so bad that I just couldn't see myself living my life like that. Obviously I wanted to make the best choice for my health, but what was it? Everyone & their dog had a cure for me & advice on what I "HAD" to do for myself. The information and advice was overwhelming and confusing. I felt numb to what was happening to me & just wanted to escape the reality which I now seemed to be living in. I stayed in that place for some time ... not doing anything really & not making a decision regarding what I would do to take care of my health.