A Year of Self-Care, Multiple Sclerosis and Covid Quarantine

Well, that was crazy. Here's to a more settling year - one of SELF-CARE

Staying safe and sane are my two goals.  

Covid and the quarantine brought out some interesting thoughts, actions and behavior over the past year.  Some of it fun and new, some of it not so great. 

I dabbled in cooking and sourdough, in painting and drawing, and in self exploration.  

A few friends passed this year and tragedy struck many. My life was getting me down but I started flipping it around and finding some peace again.  

These are just a few tips I'm using to get started on the right track this year.  

1.  Make a List - I made a covid bucket list and now I'm onto my next one. Of course I make lists for everything because my memory is not the best.  But this was just a list of things I wanted to try during quarantine, like the painting and artistic side that doesn't get to share itself as much.  

2. Create a Mantra -  I created this one to help me through the coming year:  "I see myself healthy and strong this year. I hear myself saying positive thoughts and words of encouragement to myself and others. I am open to using this time to learn new things and love myself with compassion." 

3.  Find Community - While it can't be done in person these days, community support is vital to our mental well-being.  There are several options online for finding virtual friendship with others living with MS - you know, the ones who get us?  I run a community on the Belong.life app, BelongMS, called Girl with MS.  Click here for the app.  I find this a safe place to be where we can ask a lot of questions and get answers from those living with MS. They also have a variety of channels to explore.  

4.  Set Boundaries - When a bunch of people are quarantined in one house, well, that can be a little annoying. Maybe a lot annoying.  It's important to set boundaries and ask for help. They might include a "do not disturb" sign, or a limit on the amount of cooking and chores that need doing, asking for help and communicating can help with this trick. Set time aside for you and your health. 

5. Connect with your Doctor - Make sure you are in connection with your doctor and adhering to vitamins and medicine. I found it very easy to slip into some bad habits about taking my supplements. I've kicked myself around and no more procrastinating! But when things were slipping I called my neuro and we spoke. I was experiencing extreme anxiety and he helped with some medicine and by listening. I needed those ears to hear me. 

6. Be Kind and Patient - This is a message for us and for others. Let's cradle our hearts in our hands and love ourselves unending. Let's be kind to ourselves and patient. Let's take this energy into the world and create a positive aura around us.  We can do this.   

7. Social Media Neurologists - There are several top notch, international renown neurologists with youtube channels, facebook pages and podcasts, all of which have clinically researched information. Meaning they know their stuff and have the expertise to back it!  

Here are some of my favorite folks to follow on Twitter:  

1. Dr. Barry Singer - @drbarrysinger
Neurologist and Director of The MS Center for Innovations in Care in St. Louis, Missouri. Learn more at MS Living Well.  

2. Dr. Brandon Beaber - @Brandon_Beaber
Neurologist and MS Specialist.  Author of the book, “Resilience in the Face of Multiple Sclerosis”

3. Dr. Aaron Boster  - @AaronBosterMD
The Boster Center for MS in Columbus, Ohio.  Leading expert in MS who is always sharing awesome tips! 
Dr. Boster helped me understand high-dose biotin in this interview and article posted on my blog.  Click here for his YouTube Channel

4. Dr. Jaime Imitola - @DrJim4MS
Director of University of Connecticut Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology work for a cure integrating stem cells, genetic and immunity.  Dr. Jaime has helped me with many of my Healthline articles. He knows his stuff!  

Here's a podcast with me and Dr. Singer. I needed a reminder about cognition!   

MS Living Well Podcast 9: Cognition and Multiple Sclerosis

Barry Singer MD, Director of The MS Center for Innovations in Care interviews:
Caroline Craven aka The Girl with MS is a certified life coach, writer and motivation speaker. Her writing focuses on articles in health journalism and highly rated blog. Her blog post topics range from personal experiences, research-based articles, recipes, life hacks and resources.

Click For Apple Podcasts

Click For MS Living Well Podcast 

There is so much more we can do but this is a start.  Take care of us.  Healthy eating, exercising, mental stimulation, rest, asking for help, seeking medical advice, and finding support.  These are all part of the self-care regime.  

I’ve also been enjoying my Cubii!  Remember that easy to use adaptive treadmill. Well, it’s one handy tool right now.  Cubii has special classes you can take online:
  • Carrie'e Cardio
  • Cubii Pyramid with weights or water bottles workout
  • Cubii functional fitness with Anne
  • Get your water bottle or weights ready for a Cubii workout 
Click here to join the facebook classes online!

Click here to learn more about Cubii

Well, this is my game plan for 2021. Join me and let's do this!   

My journey with MS Parts 1, 2, 3 - Going Rogue in Guatemala

New Podcast!

Diagnosed in 2001, it’s been awhile. Remembering how it came about in Guatemala and what I went through reminds me of how far I have come.

Thank you Jessie Ace and @DISabledtoENabled for hosting me on their podcast. Jessie Ace is amazing and lives with MS. She’s a bright light in this world and I feel blessed to be a part of her program.

“Twenty years ago couldn’t walk or see unassisted. Today she is thriving and helping thousands of people with MS learn to thrive too. Her award-winning blog (Girl with MS) shares tips and tricks that she’s picked up as a certified life coach, motivational speaker, health journalist, and MS advocate. Years of studying alternative and holistic nutrition and lifestyle skills have given this Girl with MS a chance at life again.

ENabled warriors, please help me in welcoming to the show the amazing… “

Caroline Craven

: We chat about her Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis, how it happened, and what medications she takes for it.

Wednesday: We chat about how she started a blog that helps so many people(and how Facebook shut down all her pages overnight!)

Friday: Find out Carolines answers to the not-so-super-quick secrets round - find out about her hilarious Halloween costumes!


Want to WIN a copy of Jessie’s  best selling ENabled Warrior Symptom Tracker? 

Jessie’s book is called the ENabled Warrior Symptom Tracker Book. The book helps people with chronic illnesses to manage and track their symptoms, allows them to instantly spot triggers, and allows for accurate notes to be recorded and given to doctors. 

It contains:
  • Monthly Calendars
  • Appointment Diaries
  • Menstrual Tracker
  • Exercise
  • Goal setting
  • Daily sheets for positivity and growth
  • Food and hydration diaries
  • Medication/supplement tracker
  • Treatment tracker 
  • Medical quick notes for easy reference in appointments
  • And a 1 and 3 month graphs to record information on for your doctors.
There is also a bundle included with the book too which includes an ebook on how to remember everything, cheatsheets for how to get more time in your day, bookmarks to allow you to mark the pages, 'I AM' positive statement cards, in-depth symptom, and pain tracker sheets and extra graph sheets for easy use.  

Enter the giveaway by going to www.mybookgiveaway.com to enter your details in Facebook messenger (lookout for a link that will pop up!) 

Or if you’re impatient (like me) and want yours now, Claim your discounted book from www.enabledwarriors.org/st

* B O O K  C L U B *
This week's book:
Lance Armstrong - It's not about the bike. 
Get your copy here: https://amzn.to/3k69GHb

Stay #ENabled and #takeTHATms! 

P.s. It's not the cards we're dealt that matters, it's how we play the game that counts ;)