Category Archives: Blog

Quick MS Update

Okay, so I’m feeling a bit better. Who knows what’s going on?! Lolllll…….I need to have a sense of humor about all of this or I will go INSANE. Practicum is spread out so that I’m doing two 8-hour days with rest between them. Seems to be working at the moment and I’ll go with it……Now to head to Atlantic City overnight! Getting a break from everyday life is a great way to practice self-care.

 

Hope you are practicing your own self-care. : )

 

Jen

Can Diet and Exercise Improve MS?

So I’m about to start a new book pertaining to MS and better health: The Wahls Protocol by Terry Wahls, MD. I hafta admit that I’m skeptical about anyone claiming to cure their own multiple sclerosis, especially through diet and exercise alone. However, I’m always open to better eating habits and exercise ideas. This woman apparently was wheelchair-bound and through her own research found a way to recover from autoimmune disease. She can now bicycle many miles….There seems to be a correlation with the Paleo diet, which touts eating more like our ancient ancestors and avoiding some of the modern day food traps (I need to actually read the book to know more about this!).

 

So here goes nothing…. I’ll have more to report when I’m finished….

 

PS: I am slowly getting better over here, too. Feeling about 80 – 85% of my “normal” self since this recent attack began last month. Stay tuned for more on this as well. : )

Quick MS Update!

Hi there!

 

I’ve been outta the loop recently because of graduate school demands, but my academic portion of the program is over so I can spend more time concentrating on this website and my MS journey (thank you if you still find yourself coming to this site– I appreciate the continued interest).

I am currently having an acute multiple sclerosis attack, unfortunately, and I’m trying to hash out things for my final Master of Social Work practicum. Yes, once again fitting MS into my life, but I haven’t had a new attack– to my own knowledge– in about five years, so I can’t really complain. Things have been good. : )

More soon to follow, but I also seem to have a concurrent urinary tract infection, since I have some permanent damage to my bladder functioning……I need to go get some rest and work on conquering this MonSter, fully-rested.

Talk again soon (and I hope this finds YOU well).

XO

Jen

MS and 15 Years In

So I’m trying to be a little more consistent with posting, but again— this graduate program IS KILLING ME. It’s a ton of writing because it’s distance education. Lots of posting and commenting on others’ posts. YIKES. But I think the end result will be well worth it. I’ll be done in about a year: end of August, 2014. And speaking of time, I need to commemorate the 15 year anniversary of my first multiple sclerosis symptom. Not the anniversary of my diagnosis. (I think that occurred, FINALLY, in 2005?) 15 years in and I’m still pretty mobile, although quite tired a lot. But my schedule of work and school is manageable at this point. I have a final practicum starting in January, and I might need to pare down my work schedule, but I’m trying to take it all in stride (SORTA!) We’ll see.

*I hope your anniversary(ies) are points of strength, too, as you battle this annoying MonSter.

MS: In Sickness and In Health

So I haven’t been on here as of late, and I wish I could keep up with the writings, but my MSW program is creaming me! Seriously: I am so glad to be going to graduate school for social work and to prepare to work with others who have MS or any of a myriad of other issues. However, I feel so absolutely drained these past few years. (The program is four years part-time but it sure feels FULL-TIME. LOL) And since my 10th wedding anniversary was this weekend, I thought of how multiple sclerosis has affected my marriage and my definition of “in sickness and in health.”

I hafta admit that certain periods have been rough. I am currently doing well and working part-time as a mental health peer, sharing my knowledge and support to other mental health consumers in an intensive outpatient program.  And I’ve also been doing this grad program. But there was a time when I was barely working and I was not earning social security benefits. My husband and I were really struggling financially, and that can take a toll on any marriage. So can being depressed because of that lack of work. But with a lot of good luck I was able to secure some part-time meaningful employment, helping my depression and anxiety.

More recently I had to say goodbye to a five-hour-a-week job helping a senior citizen. It was only one day a week, but it reminded me, again, of my physical limitations and my uncertainty about staying gainfully employed. It was my husband who had to remind me of how far we’ve come and how I still work 18 hours a week at a less physically demanding counseling job….So we toil again to make ends meet and we always worry about our outrageous health insurance costs (nearly a grand a month for the two of us!), but we seem to bolster each other up during rough times and remind one another of that vow uttered ten years ago: “In sickness and in health.”

MS: Back to School and Work

…So I’ve been off from my Master’s of Social Work program now for two weeks, and I’m kinda looking forward to starting up again tomorrow. My online program resumes and I think I really need the activity: being off too long reminds me too much of my unemployed days when I found myself scrambling for things to do and ways to feel meaningful. I’m also working part-time as a home companion, helping a senior gentleman with his daily activities. This is very part-time right now, so an increase of work to about 25 hours/week— hopefully in a more sedentary area of social services— and some resumed school work will feel good…I am currently feeling fairly well and I’m up for the challenge of finding more substantial work. We’ll see how it goes!…

Summer School

So I’ve been away from this website for a while again, mainly because I’m in the throes of grad school and a clinical rotation. I’m really beat most of the time and I DO think the unpaid clinical portion could be shorter (it’s for a Master of Social Work program), but all in all I’m enjoying the content: HELPING OTHERS.

I’ve also been working for about a year with a senior gentleman. I’m his home companion and I take him shopping, do his laundry, go out to eat with him, and take him to appointments. This has been a wonderful— although tiring— experience and it reinforces my belief that I’m headed in the right direction.

My MS has been relatively stable during all of this, and I’ve been able to do about 25 hours a week of outside work, paid and clinical combined. For this I am grateful. I’m due to see my neurologist again tomorrow, and perhaps get scripts for a new set of MRIs. I did have a slight decline on my brain MRI last year, but I feel this is par for the course given that I’ve had this condition now for about 14 years. I can live with this.

Hope you are stable and enjoying the little miracles that life has to offer!….

 

Best—

Jen

Quick Catch-Up

I’ve been off the radar for quite a long time (noticing that the last post to my personal blog was months ago. CRAP!) I’ve been so busy doing online graduate school as a social work student and also volunteering at my local hospital’s patient information desk. This work had been very fulfilling, and I might add, comical! So many silly things happen at the desk and I really go there now for the entertainment!…Aside from all this I am basking in the fact that I haven’t had– to my knowledge– a new, acute attack in THREE YEARS (when I originally started this website.) I attribute it to the slower pace and the pacing of myself. Sometimes I really want to do more, but this moderation has been good for my health…..If you come across this post as you peruse the internet, I wish you the most optimum health and joy and good fortune! Because life is SO much like Texas Hold’em poker: it requires a little bit of skill and a WHOLE LOTTA luck.

Peace and Joy—

Jen

John Ritter

<a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_lGIKTn_V0hU/SqrDCXHh0FI/AAAAAAAAAkA/GZO6p4MhrTA/s1600-h/ritter.jpg”><img style=”margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 200px; height: 240px;” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_lGIKTn_V0hU/SqrDCXHh0FI/AAAAAAAAAkA/GZO6p4MhrTA/s400/ritter.jpg” alt=”" id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5380327150180225106″ border=”0″ /></a><br />I almost forgot about this little-known fact. I remember when John <span id=”SPELLING_ERROR_0″>Ritter</span>, master of comedy as well as drama, died.  I was doing a brief subbing stint for a middle school and a student casually mentioned this— heard by way of a parent— and I could have been knocked over by a feather. I stopped what I was doing and came to full attention. How could such a vibrant, funny, attractive, and YOUNG guy possibly have died? As it was, MANY similar men and women had met their fates on this day in 2001, and yet something about this comedian’s death really struck me. Perhaps it was the recognizable face.<br /><br />Today I sat at the PC in my library cubicle and loaded children’s books into the database (as usual) when I suddenly came across a Clifford book and my memory was instantly jogged. You see, the character Clifford the Big Red Dog was animated by John <span id=”SPELLING_ERROR_1″>Ritter</span>. This man’s amicable, easy voice came into thousands of children’s homes and brought to life one of their favorite characters. Heck: it’s STILL one of my favorites and I vividly remember my second grade teacher reading Clifford’s adventures to us. What would this big red dog do next? When Clifford came to television, I again began to follow him. The fact that zany “Jack Tripper” infused this character with life was icing on the cake.<br /><br />I have a lot of respect for actors who have mastered both comedy and drama. This is a huge challenge, and I can only think of several— off hand— whom I think have done it well: John <span id=”SPELLING_ERROR_2″>Ritter</span>, Billy Bob Thornton, Robin Williams, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, and maybe Tom Hanks. They’re all that immediately come to mind from my lifespan. “<span id=”SPELLING_ERROR_3″>Slingblade</span>”, one of my favorite movies, demonstrates both <span id=”SPELLING_ERROR_4″>Ritter’s</span> and Thornton’s abilities for the profound.<br /><br />It’s odd to think that out of such a grave, desperate date on the calendar one can lift up a talented, well-loved person from which to draw creativity, vibrancy, and authenticity. And to celebrate exactly why he/she was here. Although we leave under different circumstances, we are all human in our earthly forms and fragile in our collective exquisiteness.<input id=”gwProxy” type=”hidden”><!–Session data–><input onclick=”jsCall();” id=”jsProxy” type=”hidden”><div id=”refHTML”></div>

Repose

I’m relaxing here and thinking about writing….AGAIN! I still read several bloggers’ works, probably because how can one become so intimately acquainted with others’ lives, good and bad, and not feel like a personal friend? Maybe it’s just me! Actually it isn’t, since a few of us have expressed how we feel a continued bond from all of this writing. But I have to admit that sometimes I need to briefly browse posts to keep myself intact. I think it’s possible to be there for others’ support and to also keep something back for one’s own well being and separateness. In other words, it’s important not to become codependent with others’ situations. I’ve been thinking that “blogging” or “journaling” probably doesn’t have any long term studies about the effects on the captive readers. Or on the completely candid writers. I still find the whole genre strange and indefinable. Almost a cross between writing and reality television. Two media intermingled and resulting in (often) a no-holds-barred public life. Hmmmmmmmmm…I think I’m a bit too much of a recluse for it.

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