Wednesday, February 24, 2016

MS'ers Weight Loss Journey with Weight Watchers Week 6

Yes, I joined Weight Watchers online six weeks ago now. I joined online to assist in my weight loss journey. I find it is much more difficult to loose weight while I fight the MS Monster within. Looking back on my past, in my younger years in school at track meets and such. It is easy to recall how I struggled physically with exercise or activity. I thought I was just out of shape or over weight at the time. Now I realize that the struggle and silent fight to stop my activity inside my body was everything but normal. As it seems the MS Monster, doesn't like my body being stronger than him. Suprising he knows the fight is on to get him in that box and lock him in there! 

Online is great now with the connect support you can get from others. It isn't the same as attending meetings in person. So I decided to attend the local meetings 3 weeks ago. Wednesday is our weigh in day and there is no meeting this week, being tonight. So weighed in on my scale which gives the same results. I am down 5.1 lbs. in a week. Thinking it's more due to having strep throat but I'll take it anyway. Total weight lost is 8.9 lbs. Yay me! ⭐️

Thursday, February 11, 2016

3 Reasons why I have a hard time in public with MS

MS and Living Life
Hey, There!

Last night I went to my first WW, (Weight Watchers) meeting in like two years. I was very apprehensive to go.  I had mixed feelings while I was on this twenty-minute drive.  I was feeling very unsure and may be experiencing a little anxiety.  

First of all, that I had to go to a "meeting" just to get this weight off that I gained due to my trial medication for depression. I had been going to Weight Watchers off and on since 2004.  Feeling disappointed in myself that I couldn't lose this extra weight on my own.  In turn, telling myself that; "I shouldn't be so hard on myself. That going to the meetings in the past gave me friendly support from others who want to lose as well. The local meetings did actually help keep me more accountable. 

Secondly, I knew there was going to be a new leader and well as new members. ---- New members? ------ Thinking, that there will probably people going that I had known from the past years. ------ Yes, maybe a little anxiety was going on? Living in a small northern Ontario community, everyone knows everyone. 

Let me explain why I was getting freaked out a little. You see, since my last major relapse. In which I got my original diagnosis of MS, this Monster had also taken parts of my memory.  In scenarios like these, it takes remembering who people are or were. I always see the face, but to remember who and where they lived? How were they apart of my life in the past? Well, the MS Monster has taken a big part of that memory from me. Remembering things that took place, people I once knew and sadly, sometimes even people I have recently met.

Sometimes, I do feel comfortable saying; "I am sorry, but how is it that I know you?  I recognize you. However, I just can't place how I know you?" Which sometimes in these cases, the situation goes downhill quickly.  As the person has no idea that I have progressed in any illness and becomes questionable. You can see the disappointment as  they showing discussed in their facial expressions. Often not even realizing it.  All due to the fact I can't remember them and I should. Oftentimes they quickly expose our dealings and that they were a major client of our families business in the distant or recent past. Sometimes it hearing their story tweaks my memory.

Ninety-five percent of the time I feel embarrassed and upset because of their unknown reaction I had seen.  Not only with myself not being able to remember, but their own reaction of feeling unimportant.  Then I explain why I don't remember them and apologize to sooth their quick judgment. 

Trying to ease the situation, their reaction is to brush it off as though they too have memory issues and that it is all a part of old age. Then they openly explain how we know each other. I have learned that when this happens it is their lack of knowledge of the disease itself and see that they are the one feeling bad. They by saying this are only trying to make me feel better about the whole situation.  Making others feel bad is never my intention at all.  These moments are the ones that make me feel most uncomfortable with having this MS Monster living within me. Other times introductions and meetings go smoothly without incident which comes to such a big relief to me.

Thirdly, when I am out there are when a few people find out what it is that I have they automatically think of someone they know who has Multiple Sclerosis. Then quickly spits out negative comments. I am now aware that they think they are trying to make me understand that they know what it is that I am going through.  Little known to them, that they are only just hurtful and negative comments.   Saying things you should never say to someone with MS.

Comments like: 
  • "But you look so good, how can you be sick?"
  • "You're not in a wheelchair or have a cane yet, you are doing so good!"
  • "I know someone with that and they are; in a wheelchair now, can't talk, and now needs extra care." 
  • "So and so died from MS."
  •  "My nabour has that and she now can't drive" or "lost her job because she can't work." 
  • "All you need to do is eat better and exercise"

  • "Did you hear about "so and so" they were cured. Why don't you try what they did?"

Knowing their intentions are not meant to be, curl or mean.  However, each case of MS is different.  I understand that they many are truly trying to be nice. Only trying to make me feel that they understand what I am going through and not alone. Speaking for many others with MS these comments are actually offensive. 

I use these moments to try and educate others on what Multiple Sclerosis is and how far they have come with gaining knowledge about it.  How close they have moved toward finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.  I also reassure them that those of us that are our own advocates of MS are on top of the research that is happening at any moment of any time.  Most of us who have MS, know more about what we have, how to manage it and what new treatments have come available then our own family doctors.  Keep in mind.  Our family doctors don't just specialize in one illness but help treat many illnesses.  I am truly grateful for my family doctor and her staff, as they are always there for me and are quick to help when I am having MS issues or a flare-up.

In conclusion to my first meeting. I feel that it turned out well.  We had enough people join that our meetings could run until the middle of April.  Sad that I had to pay for my meeting membership even though I had an online membership.  I did see a couple women that I do know and hadn't seen in a long time. I also got to meet our new leader, who seems quite nice and positive. She is more than willing to answer questions and help us in any way. I am looking forward to our next meeting in a week. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

MS is a life changer!

Today, I start and write with a heavy heart. Not because I have lost a loved one or someone dear to me.  But just realizing myself, of how much Multiple Sclerosis has quietly taken from me.  Their is so many things I want to do, so many things I use to enjoy and took for granted.  

"Don't take any day for granted. "

I look back and I see how I lived life to the fullest.  I loved helping everyone and always tried to make someone smile. I put all I had into what I was doing whether it was taking the kids to do something or helping someone out with something. I put all I had into my career no matter what I was doing at the time. 

"Give it your best or don't do it at all"

Now, that was a place I never gave up on either.  I did so many things I enjoyed. Reflexology, Computer Training, Web Design, Bookkeeping and then I got my AZ drivers license to not only do the office work of our construction company, but I wanted out in the field, out with our customers. I had also gained my the Heavy Equipment Licenses I needed to qualify to work with these machines but, also get them too and from the jobs. I loved entertaining.  We would have BBQ’s and pool parties, evening campfires in the summer. Our friends and their kids would be over and our kids with their friends.  It was like Grand Central Station pretty much most of the time. I look back and see how happy I was and what a great life I had been living.

"Don't look back, you can't go back there. Look ahead!"

Lately, this dam disease has had me really thinking about what it has taken from me. From our family.  Now thinking, I did all of those things without even thinking about how I would get it done, I just did it. Never, thinking about how I would feel while doing it. If I could even follow it through with out being drained. Even possibly pushing myself to of total exhaustion. Ending up sleeping for days or even having a flare up that might leave me disabled in some way. Oh, how my life has changed yes.

Some of our stuff

Today, I experienced my family stepping in changing plans, without me. Plans that I had been looking forward too for days and was so excited. These change in plans, where quick and took me off guard.  My emotions quickly grew within me, as I broke down and cried as I tried explaining to my husband, that they where making me feel that they felt I was incapable and inadequate, as tears ran down my cheeks like a river.

He reassured me that was the last thing they wanted me to feel. That they see what I can handle and what I can’t.  He reassured me, they where under unforeseen circumstances that came up for them, that they where only worried for my health and didn’t want my health to worsen. 

I do however, realized how I need to sometimes,  swallow my pride and except that I have to live with this illness.  That they too are living with this illness. We are learning that, I can not fight it. 

With this, I realize that my family is actually growing up and are only trying to help me out just as I want to help them. This makes me see that the most fulfilling job was raising my children. I must have done something right. Why? Because I see that they know sometimes they now have to also look out for me, just as I have them all these years.

I don’t look for pity, nor for others to feel sorry for me and my family, as we live with this disease. I just am trying to share so others grow awareness of that his is an invisible  disease. For some it can be managed. That is exactly what I am trying to do.

Got this somewhere off the Internet It was on my computer.

Have you something that has changed your life? Let me know in the comments in how you deal with these changes.  I would like to hear from you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

MS Has Made Me

Today I am thankful for my family I have and have put here.....

Let us just say; My in home and out of house ...... family. 

At this time, I have a husband of 28 years, whom I love dearly. 

One; A 25 young business family man, with a thriving, cute, energetic little boy bundle, I call; "Nannas' Super Star".  Who looks just like his Dad.  He's carefree and delightful as both his parents. 

Two; A 22 year old daughter and her mate, with a fur baby. He is not pro-ceived as, "just a dog!" . Having a personality of a well behaved child.

Third; A 21 year old young family man/ volunteer fireman,  of a beautiful, smart young girl,  who is, "Nanna's Princes". Caring and comical like her father and with a cuteness if her mother. 

I can not say enough of how much I love and am proud I am of them all.

They all work so  hard to make ends meet, just as many of your families do. I can not explain how much they  mean to me. But just to say, they are my life, is an understatement. 

I ; wake, breathe eat and thrive from the presents of each of them and their family. They give me the reason I breathe and keep up the fight, not giving up or give in to my daily struggles. Some days I pop in to see them, just to re-energize my being. 

 I can't phrase and give them enough credit for the lives they have created for themselves as well as those who love them and enjoy their presence. I am so proud of not only who they have grown to become but,  the lives they have created with their families  and friends. 

I know I am their mother and I reserve the right to brag about them. You know, if it was not for them,  I don't know I would not be who and where I am today, mentally and physically. 

My husband who thanks me  often and keeps reminding me, that it is I, who keeps our family together.... though tears and laughter. Good times and bad.

Please understand, having a chronic illness like Multiple Sclerosis, it has changed our lives. Once so young and now living their own journey. They are all that I have to hold on to, who give me hope for my future. 

They are who push me forward each  and everyday, through thick and thin. They are always here for me when I need  hand, or just to let me know they are thinking of me throughout their busy lives. 

This is my family. I am so proud and thankful to be gifted to have them in my life. MS has made me slow down, enjoy the small things in life and cherish those around me. That includes, all of my family.