Juicing

get-attachment-41CHEERS

I haven’t seen the films, read any of the books or even seen Dr. Oz when he has talked about it and I love Dr. Oz, even if it’s for nothing more than his energy and excitement about things other doctors and talk show hosts shy away from. I didn’t do more than listen when a friend told me about how she had recently learned so much about nutrition and that juicing was taking her a step further in her healthy transformation. It wasn’t until the high school receptionist, after watching months of poor health taking it’s toll on my daughter’s education, starting talking to me about how she had seen the films, Dr. Oz, and read the books and that daily juicing had made a difference in her life. She really feels that incorporating freshly juiced vegetables and fruits into our daily routine will help my daughter feel better and get better. She pointed me in the direction to get started by explaining the different types of juicers, places to find recipes online and tips that she has learned through trial and error and I followed her lead.

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I bought the juicer that one of the films shows, a few books recommend and the school receptionist has and a lot of fresh produce. It’s not hard but there is definitely a learning curve. I am not only trying to find the right combinations that taste good but also the best way to prep and feed the produce through the juicer. The more expensive juicers do the best with getting the juice, especially with the leafy greens, but there are tricks that help the less expensive juicers do so, I just had to find them. I’m still looking and learning but it’s fun and it’s healthy.

Do a Google search and you will find a ton of articles about juicing helping people with autoimmune diseases and message boards with testimonials about how much better they feel and some even writing that they have been able to stop some of their medications. Can drinking the fresh juice of the right fruits and vegetables stop the progression of Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, or will it help fight the fatigue and ease my daughter’s angry, painful joints? I don’t know. I do know that it will give our bodies nutrition that we don’t get enough of and that is good for everyone, especially for those who don’t feel well most of the time. Like I said, there’s a learning curve and we’re still working on figuring it all out but until we do, we’re drinking what we make and it’s not bad. I will write about juicing again, in few months, and hopefully I will have progress to share.

Three Little Birds

reggaetwitterActually just one little bird but how can I pass up an opportunity to include Bob Marley?!

I’m talking about Twitter. Years ago, I decided to join in what everyone seemed to be doing and created my account. I tried but it ran away from me. It seemed to be so much moving so quickly and my exhausted brain and fingers just couldn’t keep up, or so I thought. Almost four years later, I’m on Twitter and more than that, I’m using it and seeing its worth rather quickly. Several months ago, I joined again to be a “follower” of my daughter’s band and I was just and only that. I didn’t look around and I definitely didn’t reach out pass a few celebrities that I think are funny. This was all done in about fifteen minutes and that was all I thought it would ever be…until it wasn’t.

I didn’t even remember my user name and had to have my password sent to me when I decided to sign in a few weeks ago. Needing information and hoping for support with my daughter’s new battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis took me back to Twitter which is ironic because it was her band that brought me back to it last year. Now, I am following some really knowledgable and inspirational people and I am learning! While I am still fueled by an anxious need for knowledge, I hope to one day become help to someone on Twitter as others have been for me. I am still learning all the ins and outs and dos and don’ts but I am going to stay this time and continue to grow. Today, I am feeling Bob’s words….”Don’t worry about a thing,’Cause every little thing gonna be all right.” and I am grateful….for Twitter.

Reaching for Christmas

A%20Charlie%20Brown%20Christmas%20coverChristmas this year is proving to be difficult. While Christmas pasts have held some level of mental fatigue in both the years before MS and the years since, I have never been denied any of my Christmas physically…until now. The weekend after Thanksgiving is when we decorate. There are three Christmas decorations that are a part of Christmas that really matter to me and are traditions that I don’t want my family to be without – the tree, the Nativity and the mantle. I know these things are not the important parts of Christmas but, as a mother and a homemaker, they feel important to me. They are my contributions to my family’s Christmas. Unfortunately, my body is having no part of Christmas this year and decided to take it out on the tree first. Whether it was trying to balance on the ladder, keeping a breakable ornament in my hand and off of the tile floor or being able to use my arms and legs long enough to get things done without going numb I failed. After a few days, I naturally began to stress and feel guilty that it wasn’t done which only makes it worse. While it isn’t certain if stress can cause a relapse, it does worsen symptoms and can do so rather extremely. This made for a rather pathetic cycle. It took me almost two weeks to finish our tree! I still have to get the mantle done which isn’t anywhere close to the job the tree is and the Nativity is really just a matter of finding the right storage box but I know that it isn’t going to get done today and most likely tomorrow. As I was feeling pathetic getting the tree completed I kept seeing the Charlie Brown Christmas tree and every time my body failed in someway I saw Lucy pulling the football away just as Charlie Brown was going to kick it.

Election Day, MS and Bull$#!T

Today is a day that is really important to me. As a woman, a mother and a Multiple Sclerosis patient  there are important issues that will drive me to the ballot today. First, it really wasn’t that long ago  that women weren’t allowed to vote in The United States so not doing so, in my opinion, is disrespectful and sad. There are also a lot of women’s right issues being considered by both candidates.

As a mother, I want the college education that my children have earned academically to be affordable. There is talk that the interest rate on student loans will go up depending on the victor of the day’s event. I don’t know how our country can be better if our children don’t get good educations. We want to be industry leaders in science and technology yet we don’t want to make the decisions and sacrifices to get there. It benefits us all no matter whose child figures out the next big thing or a bunch of not so big things. I’m willing to pay into that.

Lastly, I hate to ever say that I like someone having MS but the fact that both President Obama and Mr. Romney have been touched by this disease through family members gives me hope. Unfortunately, my hope seems to be getting suffocated by all the bull. First, our system of government makes it hard for things to really change. Our healthcare system is badly broken and the changes that need to happen will become victim to the people we elect to change them. The President’s family member with MS has passed on so I can’t say for sure if he really sees and knows the burden that MS puts on those inflicted physically, emotionally and fiscally. Mr. Romney’s wife has MS and so I’m sure he’s seen physical tolls of the disease and I hope he has tuned in and acknowledged the emotional struggles. I’m going to assume he has. Where Mr. Romney loses me is the financial stress and burden of MS. Being rich and having MS is a whole world of different from even being middle class and having MS. Trying to compare and truly see the space between the rich and the poor with MS takes me past anger to genuine despair. I’ve been denied insurance twice since my diagnosis almost four years ago and denied medication coverage twice while having insurance. Even when things have been at their best and I’ve had both insurance and drug coverage my copays have been ridiculous. My disease modifying medication costs $43,000 a year. Add MRIs, doctor visits and other medications and you can see that MS isn’t cheap! Our savings account has dropped over 50% in just under four years. Too bad there isn’t a light at then end of this tunnel and too bad that while people argue points that pander to one of the two political extremes people, like me, are trying to keep their balance, squelch a headache and keep some body part from going numb due to the stress of changes that needed to be made yesterday. Still, I honor my right and I do choose to believe that what I am doing today will help the future to be a little brighter, even if it’s only instilling the importance of it all in my children.

Isaac’s MRI

The Weather Channel just showed a picture of Hurricane Isaac and likened it to an MRI, circling the eye of the storm the way an MS lesion would be circled. So, here I am writing about Hurricane Isaac, Multiple Sclerosis and stress. Isaac has me very stressed. My son just moved to New Orleans Wednesday to start his freshman year of college. At midnight he will be in lock-down in his dorm. From what I am hearing, they will most likely lose power and there will be flooding. I’ve been glued to the TV all day, checking email and facebook for updates from the university and receiving and making necessary phone calls. He is hundreds of miles away. Piling on top of this is the fact that my son is fighting his own immune system and has been dealing with horrible symptoms. He has Rheumatoid Arthritis. The day before he left he struggled to pick up a glass. Stormy weather for him is what stormy weather is for me- horrible. All my symptoms return or worsen. He has debilitating pain and muscle weakness. He takes multiple medications to fight his disease, two of them suppress his immune system. He is sick and coughing and that worries me because it’s easy for his body to develop an infection, especially now that he won’t have access to doctors and medicine. This stress has my body numb and my muscles tight. It also has me thinking about how MS is like a hurricane, even when you know they are coming, they never let you know what they’re going to do once they have fully arrived and they always leave damage behind.