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Monday, September 20, 2010

Mind Control

Hello All, I see Dr Beall in the morning. I suppose for a follow up from last time. Not really seeing a reason to go since I don't need is assistance right now. Thank God Summer is over!! This Summer was brutal on my body. I tell people that I slept the Summer away and I am not totally exaggerating. The heat & humidity trapped me inside the house and brought out new symptoms like the MS Hug. My flare-up lasted from the end of June until the end of August. That's a long run and I certainly wasn't ready to give up, but MS was a worthy opponent this time.

I am feeling better as far as fatigue goes. Fatigue is probably one of the hardest things to deal with from MS. The pain, when it rears it's ugly head, is definitely tied for first place. When I am not exhausted or in pain, I find it easier to face the rest of the challenges of MS. For example, lately I have been experiencing tremors more often. While noticeable it isn't bothersome enough to warrant more meds or to make life more difficult for me. I just kinda roll with the punches or go with the flow. Love the cliches today?

I was speaking with a good friend of mine recently, who doesn't have MS but faces her own health challenges. We have recently re-connected due to our shared experience of our own bodies rebelling against us. In this conversation we both concluded that while the physical limitations are challenging, and we have to be creative to live our daily lives, it did not compare to the mental or cognitive lapses some people can experience. I have had these cognitive issues in the past and blogged about them here. Times where I was disorientated or couldn't think of the word I wanted or slurred/stuttered or simply was trying to listen to a conversation and feeling the whole time they must be speaking in a different language. These episodes scare me more than the physical.

If my MS path leads me to a wheelchair then I will adjust, I will deal with it and move forward in my life. I am in no way implying that having to use a wheelchair temporarily or permanently wouldn't be upsetting. It is definitely a cry worthy moment. I would work through it though. If the mental or cognitive issues became permanent, I don't know if I could deal with that as well. With physical there are all kinds of tricks and aides to assist a person. If you can't type there is a vocal recognition software called the Dragon that'll type for you. Can't Walk? There are canes, walkers & wheelchairs. Hands shake or experiencing spasticity or loss of manual dexterity? There are meds and physical therapies to help overcome or lessen those limitations for you.

The mental problems have been proven to be less when you keep your mind sharp & active by doing things that continue to challenge your brain. Some people like mind games like Suduko, or crossword puzzles. Something to stimulate the mind can help. No matter what though I will never give up being the person I am.

I do have a new symptom that appeared about a week ago. My right leg has been either very rigid and hard to walk on or it makes me walk with more of a swagger. If you see me I may exaggerate this just to get a laugh. I call it my "Standing Worm Move". Like that old dance move from the break-dancing era people did on the floor. I've perfected it and do it while WALKING! Ooooooooo, Aaaaaaaah. I know. I am impressive. ;)

This week I have decided to try something new. I haven't really been combating my MS physically in any way so I have 3 goals for this week. First, I will take my Provigil, anti-fatigue meds, every morning & afternoon. No matter if I am tired or not. (I usually only take it if I have slight fatigue. If I am really tired I don't bother.) Second, I will drink 8 glasses of water a day. I used to do this, but with bladder issues, etc, I have gotten away from it. Water is good for you and it is a good start to better my health. Lastly, I will follow my MS Yoga DVD, that I have had since March in the wrapper, to help me get in better physical condition. I am curious to see how I feel in a week.

Today, I put all three of my goals into practice. I felt good. Pretty decent actually. Still have a tremor and a messed up right leg, but I felt good. I stood and glued Box Tops for the elementary school for 45 mins while the kids did their homework. Stood. Did you get that? I stood for all that time without having to sit down. I helped with homework and cooked dinner. In fact, when all was said & done, I was in the kitchen for an hour and a half with no break to be had or needed. I budgeted my time like I always do, but I felt almost normal. MS normal. This is good.

This MS Yoga DVD will be good for me. It has different levels so you can adjust how you're feeling that day. Also it has a restoration segment to help calm you & let go of stress. Bonus! Some of the positions were quite amusing. Several times I scoffed and said out loud, "Are you kidding me?" But they always had an alternative way to do it, just in case you couldn't fully reach the position they were describing. Hubby was in the other room saying, "I don't know if you like this dvd or not, but it looks pretty good to me from over here!" Pig! Men. Always checking out women and thinking dirty. I laughed though. Hey, as long as he still looks at me that way, I'll take it.

In the end, I am looking to keep as much control of my mind as possible. So these new steps may be the key to helping me? If anyone is looking to control me in any way, they should know better. The only one getting any mind control over this body is me, me, me!

Here is a link for the DVD I am using:

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