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Saturday, August 23, 2014


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The Optimist and the Pessimist

“Attitude is Everything”

August 6, 2014
I am an optimist. My husband is a pessimist. If I say “wow, the sky is so blue”, he’ll say “I hate the sun, I like it cloudy.”
They say opposites attract but sometimes I don’t know how I have survived 36 years of marriage with a person who is a pessimist.
My husband and I just got back from a mini camping trip in our RV and truthfully, it really was frustrating. It rained constantly for almost the entire trip, so we were confined to stay in the RV. For me, it was cozy listening to the rain while reading a novel and watching movies. For him, he seemed to complain about everything and didn’t even want to play cards with me.
After being in this situation, I started writing a post about why the need to vent from time to time is essential to your health. This morning I was going to finish it when I came across this article about optimism and pessimism in the newspaper. I felt like it was written for me.
This article is so important, I once again decided to postpone my post-in-process and share this. Not only is optimism necessary to survive life, it is necessary to survive MS. Pessimistic people drag you down, something that is not good if you are trying to cope with a chronic illness.
Optimism trumps pessimism in workplace, life
President Harry S. Truman once said, “A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities, and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.”
Which do you think will reach their goals, live a happy life and achieve their dreams?
Imagine interviewing two people who have identical skills, but one is always grumbling about how unfair life can be, while the other one talks about what wonderful possibilities exist.
Naturally, you would gravitate toward the optimist. If you choose the pessimist, you would be setting yourself up for plenty of aggravation and disappointment, not to mention the negative impact on your staff and customers. Pessimism can bring everyone down, not just the person with the negative attitude.
Pessimism is nothing more than self-sabotage. Expecting only the worst is not being realistic. Realists hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Pessimists can’t imagine the best, so they prepare for the worst. And then if the worst never happens? Pessimists often find the worst possible result simply to prove that their concerns were right.
The question becomes, would you rather be right than be happy? That’s not being realistic, either. That’s being self-defeating. Pessimism can rob you of your energy, sap you of your strength and drain you of your dreams.
Optimism is the remedy. Optimism doesn’t mean pre¬tending life is always wonderful. Optimism means embracing reality. You accept that there will be bad days, but also good days. When you’re grounded in reality, you know where you are and how far you need to go. Once you know how far your goal may be from where you are, optimism can give you the motivation to make plans to get to where you want to go.
Pessimists see life as one problem after another. Optimists see life as one opportunity after another.
How you look at life can drastically affect how much you enjoy your life. Optimists expect the best out of life.
Does it make sense that pessimists tend to blame others or circumstances for their failures?
Optimists help create some of the good they come to expect, so they are probably right more often than not — and they don’t waste time worrying about what they’re not right about. Optimism relaxes people. When we’re relaxed, there is better blood flow to the brain, which results in more energy and creativity in your life.
There is virtually nothing that you can’t do if you set your mind to it. You cannot control events in your life, but you can control how you react.
Do you want to be a pessimist and have no hope for a better future? Or would you rather be an optimist and believe you can achieve a better future?
Mackay’s Moral: Attitude is the mind’s paintbrush — it can color any situation.
Harvey Mackay is the author of the New York Times best-seller “Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.” He can be reached through his website, harveymackay.com, or by e-mailing harvey@mackay.com.
In my situation, I learned years ago how to ignore or escape my husband’s negativity. While I succeeded most of the time, the times that I couldn’t get away from it caused tremendous stress. Not only did the stress impact my MS symptoms negatively, it would make me moody and stifle my motivation to move forward. Fortunately, I am a strong-willed person and almost always found alternative sources of optimism (e.g. friends, enjoyable interests/activities…) to lift me up before I got dragged into the depths of an abyss.
Now, in all fairness, my husband is a great guy and has many positive attributes. None of us is perfect. I am a sensitive person who cries easily or pouts. Personality traits are difficult to change; a person has to recognize a change needs to be made and then take great effort to make the changes. But this is a slow process that requires much patience.
If you don’t live with a pessimistic person, it’s easy to get away from him/her. An optimist living with a pessimist will be a lethal combination if coping mechanisms can’t be accomplished.
I know from experience. And I know that one of main reasons I have survived managing my MS is because I am an optimist. Attitude is everything.
Author/MS Counselor/Living with MS

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A Zombie Goes Down the MRI Tube


Written by: Yvonne deSousa

ms zombie
Earlier this week, someone posted the above picture in one of my FacebookMS groups.
(Sorry, fellow MS’er and poster.  I didn’t want to steal your pic but I really liked it and was desperate for a blog post idea.)
I laughed out loud at the picture and immediately commented that I loved it.  Some of my fellow MS friends agreed.
Some did not.
They respectfully brought up the fact that images like this one can diminish MS, appear to make fun of MS or give people a false sense of what we go through.
I had never thought of it this way and since I respect all opinions, and have a tendency to ponder, I sat with the opposing opinions for a while.  I sat with them right into the next afternoon as I was about to get my 25th MRI.
(Kidding- I haven’t had that many MRIs although it often feels like it.  If it really was my 25th I would be expecting a big present from the technologists.  I think the 25th anniversary is silver which the technologists could NOT give me as no metal is allowed in the MRI room.  Damn, MS got me again!)
Anyway, I did get a little surprise at my MRI place-I have no idea what the official name is- as they have added music to the MRI experience.
People had told me over and over that they have been able to listen to music during their MRIs but I didn’t believe them.  I figured they were just trying to make me jealous.
But apparently it’s true as I was able to listen to music during both days this past week when I was stuck in the tube.
CONTINUE READING by clicking here

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Doctors say hot weather can worsen the symptoms of MS

Doctors say hot weather can worsen the symptoms of MS story image

Doctors say hot weather can worsen the symptoms of MS --

 Imagine that? Doctors telling us what most of us, actually already know

RENO, Nev. -- 

"People become heat intolerant when they have Multiple Sclerosis because the nervous system doesn't work as well when you're hot," said Renown Clinical Professor of Neurology Doctor Melissa Bloch.

Bloch said the effects are intensified because MS patients already have compromised nervous systems. "Getting overheated when you have a disease like Multiple Sclerosis can make you feel worse. It doesn't necessarily cause the disease to progress, but it can make you feel weaker, it can make your vision less clear and can increase your fatigue."

So Bloch advises her patients with MS to avoid going outdoors during the hottest parts of the day. "Stay inside in air conditioning. Exercising in water can be helpful, in a pool or Lake Tahoe is a very nice, cool lake."

She also wants people who have not been diagnosed to pay attention to their bodies and look out for symptoms. "If you've ever suddenly lost vision, had pain behind the eye, if you have a sudden onset of numbness and weakness in one side of your body, those would be signs that perhaps you should get checked out."

Early diagnosis is key for treatment, but Bloch said many people miss the signs. "It's easy if you're a young person who has a little numbness and tingling to sort of write it off as I did too much at the gym, or I slept funny or I sat on my leg funny. A lot of people can explain away their early symptoms."

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of MS, Bloch said you should contact your primary care physician to get checked.

Source: Fox11 - Reno, NV

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Friday, August 22, 2014

The Incredible Pressure To Be Well - a patient's story

written by: 

Shared publicly  -  
I'm am motivated to write this post because a wonderful MS friend of mine is going through a relapse. My friend had a life saving autologous bone marrow transplant about 2 years ago. 

Before transplant she was paralyzed. After transplant she got back to living a pretty normal life. Walking, exercising, even running down her hallway, traveling, moving to a new house, etc....

She has, "malignant MS." Only 5% of MS patients have this particular type. I happened to check on her 2 days ago and heard this difficult news. She proceeded to tell me that she had a relapse, and didn't want to tell anyone for fear of upsetting her friends, family and followers online.

 It was then and there that I thought about what she said. THERE IS THIS HUGE PRESSURE TO BE WELL. Especially after you've had stem cell treatment. For some, a stem cell treatment may be a final hope. Most patients feel pressure to tell everyone around them that they're good! 

I don't think that's always the case. It's a pressure that drains precious energy and causes anxiety. Speaking up, sharing with friends and family is so necessary. 

There's something about "getting it out there," that will relieve and release.  There's freedom in speaking "your" truth in EVERY situation! So please don't worry about raining on someone else's parade. 

Multiple Sclerosis and other chronically ill patients speak up freely! Whether a stem cell treatment works for you, whether a certain drug treatment does or doesn't work for you, every patients' experience is different and adds another important piece to this crazy disease puzzle. 

Every experience is vital information for other patients to have. Share your story! The good, the bad or somewhere in-between and enjoy the freedom that truth brings! 



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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Insurance Companies, Health Care Costs, and the Chronically ill

Written by:  Debbie Petrina

“The Need to Fight Back”
Medical insurance companies are out of control because they have too much control. The same can be said about pharmaceutical companies and other large health organizations like hospitals.
Getting coverage, keeping coverage, being able to afford coverage are huge headaches for us. We need them and they know it. These greedy companies have tremendous power and resources, leaving us at their mercy. They decline truly needed things that our specialists recommend for us.
A fellow MS Blogger, Dave Bexfield, recently won a claim against a large insurance company that wrongfully denied payment for his life-saving stem cell procedure.http://nyti.ms/1oUQ5ZK  His 4-year persistent battle that included the help of NY Times’ The Haggler finally ended with his victory.
A victory that hopefully will inspire many others to follow his lead and fight for their rights. More people need to do this; there is strength in numbers. We are the buyers of their products; our voices and actions against their wrongdoings as a group can impact their control. Especially if we get our victories publicized by all types of media and large organizations; like Dave’s involvement with the New York Times and his social media bombardment that followed.
Fighting for your rights from insurance companies is hard work, especially when you are ill. It requires a tremendous amount of energy, time, patience and often money; things that people—especially the chronically ill–don’t have much of. The frustration and stress that one endures with the phone calls alone can turn the sanest person insane–long hold waits, dropped calls, rerouted calls, not being able to talk to a person… Most people who take on the fight with these big guns eventually give up; these companies count on it.
Those of us who are truly sick and trying to have quality in our lives are getting doors slammed in our faces for things that could help provide more quality or relief. We pay big bucks for our insurance coverage with our limited incomes that suffer because of our disabilities/illnesses.
Give us the benefits we pay for or are entitled to! Blow the whistle when something is just wrong.
 If your doctor recommends a drug, procedure, equipment, etc., make sure you get it.
An insurance company should NOT be the one who determines what’s best for your health—it should be your doctor and you!
 Read your claim statements carefully to make sure they are accurate.
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MS in the News: Invisible Symptoms, a New MS FDA approved med, explaining MS and more

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August 21, 2014..
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