Hot Air Balloons, Brain-First and an MS Mindshift

I worked with Celgene Corporation to create this post

OK guys - I’m heading to NY next week to ride in a hot air balloon in the New York City area.  And I’m a little freaked out.  

In my life prior to Multiple Sclerosis (MS), heights didn’t bother me at all, nor did traveling or walking all over a city like NY.  But life with MS is a different story.  

A former rock climber, adventure racer, I am now petrified of heights.  Or at least scared.  I feel as if I’m going to spontaneously combust and end up over the edge.  I don't trust my body any more after the MS.  It has failed me too many times.  

But this isn’t the time to fail.  This is time to thrive!  

Tim and Caroline fly fishing the Los Angeles River

Time for an MS Mind Shift 

A cross country flight, days of fun and sightseeing, and of course the balloon.  Time to get my brain in gear!

So, with your help, I’m going up in a hot air balloon on May 21 in New Jersey near Liberty State Park courtesy of Celgene and their continued support of those with MS.  

And, I need your help!

Did you know that by taking care of our brain we can help our MS?

I’ve lived with MS since 2001 and never really understood the difference between white and gray matter, and what lesions really mean to me.  Until now!  

I have never seen such aexplanation of the importance of brain health and MS.  

For example, “The brain is made up of two types of tissue: grey matter, which is where communication signals start, and white matter—which carries messages from one area to another. MS lesions occur in both of these areas and can lead to the symptoms you experience.”   

Well heck, that is a concept that can be understood.  

When your brain is healthy, the sky can be the limit

The MS MindShift website also recommends focusing on three areas:

1. What lifestyle choices can I make to help preserve my brain and its function? 
2. What can I do about other chronic conditions that may be influencing my MS?
3. What changes to my lifestyle can I make to help maintain my neurological reserve?  

They even have this handy list you can have emailed to you today or closer to the time of your next doctors appointment.  How cool is this?  

Dang...might need to steal this idea.  I’ve already downloaded and am using it to get ready for NYC!  

So far my list of action items include: 
• Meditation & quiet time
• Yoga
• Diet and Nutrition
• Sleep 
• Exercise
• Vitamin adherence
• Keeping up on tasks - making lists as needed.   

I am also reviewing my lifestyle.    

1). What bad habits have slipped in and need to be removed or tamed?    Some of these might include alcohol, tobacco, salt, processed foods, items that bring temporary joy but not many health benefits.  

2) What good habits have slipped away and need to be added and strengthened?  These help us to be strong, and once reintroduced can be easy to keep up:  walking, juicing, cleaner eating, more water, green tea, vitamin adherence.  

Does anyone else experience more fear since their MS?   And if so, what do you do to combat this fear?  

Thank you so much!  Together, we’ve got this. 

Send me your thoughts, ideas, encouragement.  I need them!       



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