Tag Archives: ms medication

Positive Attitude equals a Positive Life?

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/how-your-attitudes-affect-your-health

The article in the link above is a great one, that says many of the things I believe, regarding having a positive attitude to life. It says that having a positive attitude to life and to ageing can help you to in fact live a longer life, and who wouldn’t want that? Probably people who are hating the life they’re living might not want it, so I guess they’re bringing what they want, then.

If you have a negative attitude to life, and don’t look forward to the great things that are there for you to see, experience, and if you instead get out of bed dreading the passing of the day, every day, well you may well not have to endure you life for so long. But having that attitude is a dreary way to go, that’s for sure.

My general attitude to life is to find the good things and enjoy them, and to find ways to minimise, improve or otherwise make better, the bad things that are there. I am an optimist and am happy far more times than I am unhappy. I also have things planned in my future to look forward to, good things, things that can lead to even more good things. I have great friends, and my family love me. I know I am a lucky person, a very lucky person.

This luck in life I have seems to affect my health as well. I have a chronic illness, MS (Multiple Sclerosis) that can habe many bad effects on the lives of people with it. I have certainly had some of those bad effects, but I am almost always able to have only minimal ill effects from my MS. I am on a medication that seems to work well for me, when many other affected people have far worse results from the same medication.

I have no proof that my positive attitutude is positively responsible for this result, but I’m sure that it helps in some way or other. Expecting things to work well, and being greatful when they do, these are tools to keep myself living a good and positive life. Do you believe your attitude is responsible for how you are, living with MS? I’d love to hear about it, if you do! Feel free to leave a comment here.

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MS Fatigue – More then just Being Tired

If you know someone with MS, you may have heard them say they’re suffering from fatigue, meaning MS Fatigue. If you don’t have MS, but replied that you get fatigue sometimes too, you have proved that you don’t understand.

When you have MS, being a bit tired can be fixed up by a sit down for a while, the same as anyone else. When you have MS and you’re fatigued, that bone deep desperate, that sets in and just won’t go, then you know what fatigue truly is. This kind of fatigue, MS Fatigue, will need more than a sit down ‘for a while’ to get over it. It may need a few hours sleep at the end of the day, and then a good night’s sleep after that.

This linked article describes it well. Some days, you know you don’t have a full tank, and you won’t be able to get anywhere close to where you may have wanted to go. Or as far as other people want you to go. Maybe the next day, you could do it, but with that crushing fatigue, you know you have to stay home and rest.

It’s a frustrating thing, for both the sufferer and for their loved ones too. I can imagine it’s frustrating if you employ someone who has MS, and sometimes can’t get done the work you want them to do. Be assured that person is frustrated too, and isn’t just casually staying home, or working slowly. The issues need to be properly explained to employers, I think, but I know some people keep their MS diagnosis, and just try to ‘soldier on’.

For me, this was not an issue. I left the full-time paid workforce after the birth of my some nearly 22 years ago. I’ve done some paid work since, but only part-time, and not much since I was diagnosed with MS in 2010. I’m a writer, and some of my writing brings in some money – but not a lot of money. Fortunately, I am living with my husband who is also my carer. He has enough money for the three of us to live a reasonably good life. I’m eternally grateful for that. If I had money stresses in my MS life, Id be in a much worse position.

I also do volunteer work, related to writing. I have great friends, both other writers, and assorted others. I plan my time, staying home if fatigued, but getting out and about when I’m feeling good.

That’s how my MS life goes, I’m doing lots of interesting things, but I know that could change at any moment. I’m living a relapse free life, going well with my current medication now. Next week though, I don’t know I’ll still be doing as well. and I have no way of knowing what the next week may bring. By good planning, and by listening to what my body tells me, I’m doing well. I don’t take advantage of it though, and I do my best to eat the right things, and to do some exercise. If I look after my body, I hope my body will keep doing the right thing for me.

MS and Stress, the Terrible Combo!

If you stress about having MS, you can make your MS worse – isn’t that a cruel thing? But if you have MS, you quite likely have many issues and problems that go with trying to live with the symptoms of this chronic illness. So, if you check the internet, and other references, you will see there is a very strong link between this combo.

When something like MS enters your life, you can see it as something that is going to wreck your life, and fight angrily against it. Or you can give in and bow to the inevitable problems you see will affect you. Either way, you will still have MS, and you will make choices in life – medication, treatments and so on that you certainly hope will have a good impact on the illness.

Stress is a multi-faceted thing, and even good experiences can be seen as stressful by the body. The build up to an important but good thing is still stressful for your body. This, in terms of MS, can lead to your symptoms from MS getting worse. This was shown to me back in the first year of my diagnosis. It was the day for the launch of my first poetry collection. There were many people there, family, friends and interested others. Things were going well, the book was launched and books were being bought and I was signing them for their new owners.

A great day, and surely not a reason for my body to pack up with things all going well, you might have thought. My body thought differently. By the end of the day, I was leaning heavily on my walking stick, my husband and anything else there to be leaned on. My walking was as bad as when I’d have my initial collapse, but I was smiling and proudly happy. In my head I was happy, but my body read that level of happiness and excitement as stress, and it was behaving that way. To the body, stress is stress, whether happy stress or sad/bad stress.

I’ve been working at removing stress from my life. Things happen, and I accept them happening, or change them for better things if I can. I aim to continue breathing calm and slow, and I take time out to do nothing much at all, as often as I can. I’m not a religious person, but I have a strong reverence for the works of Nature. I have Nature meditations, where I just go outside and be at peace with Nature. The clouds and the birds, the trees and other plants and all of the creatures, we are all there, just there and doing what we are doing. No further thought needed. We are all being there, in the present moment, doing what we are doing …

I am slowly learning to live in the moment, and I feel so much better for doing that. Things happen, and I can accept them happening … Good things, bad things, while there is life, things will happen. If I feel I want them to happen in a different way, and I have the power to change them, then I do what I need to do for that to happen. If they are beyond me and I can’t change them, I try to just accept them. It’s still a work in progress, life is not perfect, but for me, life is pretty darned good!

I think it would be a good thing if people with MS were prescribed stress-reduction sessions, instead of or in conjunction with medications. That is my idea of proper help …above the fish pond

Not Raining on My Parade!

Today I had an appointment with my neurologist. I knew I would have to sit and wait, well beyond the time my appointment was supposed to be. I was ready for that, with a book to read and my mobile phone to play with. A good doctor will always have lots of people sitting down waiting to get to see them, because they will be willing to talk more than a set length of time.

Earlier, last month in fact, I’d wondered out loud whether I actually needed to have this appointment. I’m feeling good, looking good, doing well with my MS medication – Gilenya. These little capsules, that I’ve been on for nearly two years, are doing the right thing for me, with no noticeable side effects.

So I waited with my husband, reading my book and fluffing about online with my electronic device. Then it was my turn to go in and talk to my neuro. He asked me a few questions, which I answered, then I asked him some questions, which he answered. I was shown a picture of my last MRI, which had white fluffy bits that he said was my MS, but that Gilenya was holding it at bay, and preventing relapses. I said I was glad about that.

The upshot of all of this was that we decided I didn’t need to see him again for two years. I’m happy about that. I can wasted my time more comfortably at home. And when I’m at home, I can get coffee whenever I want. So two years with no neuro visit, unless something crops up. My GP will be the one in charge of keeping an eye on things for me, not my neurologist.

My GP’s office is ten minutes away from where I live, not an hour’s travel by car away. I’m happy to travel that shorter distance. I know I have to keep an eye on things, with assistance from my GP. He’s a nice guy, I’m happy with this new situation.

If my life wasn’t going along so well, I know I would be able to keep in contact with my neuro. The sun is shining on my life, even though the skies are doing their winterish best to chill the happiness out of me. While I can do the things I want to do, and remain able to step out to do my writer/poet things, then my life is a sunshiny life. I hope it remains like that for a very long time …