Watcher: Mystery, Murder, Mayhem and a Lady with MS

Finally!  

A FUN read featuring a lady living with MS but not focusing on her MS. Watcher, by Jason Stokes, is a tried and true murder mystery and it just happens that the leading lady has MS.  And those with it will relate as she struggles obstacles with adrenaline us MS warriors know about.  The kind that you dig up from the bottom of your well when your well is empty. The kind that comes from survival, from necessity.  

The story flows freely and frantic enough to keep the adrenaline going and the intrigue in motion. Thoroughly enjoyable and well done, I thought the author had MS because Jason Stokes nails it on what it’s like living with MS, or at least for me.  So many times I thought, “I know that feeling,” only to be swept up by the story and taken off to some ledge to hang on til I turned the page.  Not sure I’ve read that quickly in a long time! 

Any way, I had to share with you all. Need a distraction?  Try Watcher by Jason Stokes.   This Girl with MS sure enjoyed it!     

Click here to purchase

*My opinions and this is not my affiliate link - proceeds go to author* 

Taken directly from Gestalt Publishing:     


What she saw may cost her life.

Teri is a watcher. A silent witness to the lives of others. Robbed of her strength and mobility by a devastating disease, when she witnesses a crime so vicious it forces her to choose between her own safety and a woman she's never met, she'll have to untangle a web of corruption, clear her name and catch a killer before she's the next to disappear.

 

     Watcher was written as a love letter to the MS community and everyone struggling with chronic debilitating disease. A message on every page that though disability can steal your strength, rob you of your physical assets and change how the world chooses to perceive you, you are still strong. You accomplish more before getting out of bed than most people manage all day and that deserves to be celebrated.

    Teri is flawed but she is human, like the rest of us and she is empowered with the indomitable gift of an unbreakable spirit.

FUMS Podcast: Natural Treatments and MS

Wahoo!  A start of something wonderful and new.  

My first joint FUMS Podcast with host Kathy Reagan Young.  This one is about holistic and natural treatments for MS symptoms.  




Celebrating The FUMS Podcast Show's 20th episode, we're talking to Caroline Craven, The Girl With MS, about natural and holistic treatments for #MS. 

FUMSnow.com is the brainchild of Kathy Reagan Young, another MS advocate and warrior.   She has so much great information on her blog.  Her podcasts cover a variety of important topics.  




GREAT NEWS: Caroline is now a contributor to the podcast and will be featured on a regular basis!

We're looking forward to many more of these podcasts.  



What do you want to hear about?   Let us know and Join the conversation!   



CLICK HERE for PODCAST about Natural Treatments for MS Symptoms 


#multiplesclerosis #FUMSnow #takeTHATms!

Interesting Research about Multiple Sclerosis




Oh what a year it has been!  

Here are some great research articles about multiple sclerosis that I wrote for Healthline.com these past years.  Quite a variety and feels good to look back and see how much was accomplished despite fighting relapses all year.  

A healthy lifestyle can and will make a big difference with this disease.  Take time to own it and kick it's ass.  Because it needs kicking.   

All I can say is #takeTHATms.  

Surviving Summer

I wrote this a few years back. Upon reviewing it reminded me of many important tricks. I updated it, except school hasn’t started yet. But it will and in the meantime we can learn tips for surviving summer heat!

“Today is the first day of school for many students.  Wow do they start early!  For us it was always after Labor Day.  To start when temperatures can still reach 100F is not a pleasant thought.  What's worse is that the parents doing all the driving and cooking may have MS.  And, if that's the case, then that can be doubly difficult.

For us in Southern California the summer heat can easily stretch through to the beginning of October.  Usually by the middle of the month we are free and clear of 100F days.  But it's only August 14, so we have at least another six weeks of summer in these parts.“

Here are some suggestions to help us all survive that last warm weeks of summer:

EATING RIGHT:  SUPERHERO SALAD

Cook light, healthy and with efficiency.  High protein and lots of produce can help make the summer more tolerable.  Another trick is the use of some key ingredients such as apple cider vinegar and nutritional yeast.  


"What is best for anyone with a compromised health system is to eat with efficiency. For folks living with MS in the summer heat, this means foods rich in minerals and nutrients, anti-inflammatory foods, and those with cooling or neutral energies." 


KEEPING YOUR COOL:  RITUALS FOR SUMMER


Read this article for tricks that will help you stay calm and relaxed throughout the day while still taking advantage of the long hours. Select the rituals that feel right for you, then create daily habits of them to make the most of your summer.

If the heat is too much - than stay in side and play some video games.  Some of them are actually quite good for us!
Click here to read the which video games can help.  

More articles by Caroline Craven on MangoHealth.com:


How do you say #takethatMS in the summer?  

10 Ways You Can Prepare To Age Well With MS

By guest writer, Anita Fernandes.

Everyone has to make lifestyle changes as they age but for people with multiple sclerosis, this will mean a lot more adaptations and adjustments.
MS often causes “accelerated aging” where you need the kind of care given to people in their 70s while you are still in your 50s. Preparing to age well with MS will help you anticipate and overcome the challenges you will face so that you have a healthier and happier life. 
1. Create a daily routine 
Everyone should have a regular daily routine but when you have MS, your schedule is your best friend. Pushing yourself even slightly can cause fatigue so your daily schedule should focus on conserving energy. For instance, you can use a bath bench when showering so that you don’t get tired. Your morning routine is the most important as this will ensure that you are not too tired and have a better chance of having a good day. A regular routine also lowers your stress levels and improve your mood. Studies show that a positive mood is associated with decreased fatigue. 

Caroline @thegirlwithMs on one of her walks.
2. Learn to adapt 
One of the toughest things about living with MS is accepting that you have limitations. Most people see this as a loss of freedom and so they make choices that have a negative impacton their health. For instance, if heat aggravates your symptoms, you will have to say good bye to your weekly warm soaks. Instead, you can treat yourself to a massage which would be as relaxing and will help relax your muscles. Adaptability skills are very important as progression will bring with it new symptoms. 

3. Never skip your follow-ups 
You may have a lot of reasons to skip your medical appointment – you’re having trouble walking, you don’t have anyone to drive you to your appointment or you are just plain frustrated and fed up. Skipping your follow-ups will have a negative impact on your health and MS symptoms so this is one of those times when you need to force yourself to move. Contact your city office and find out if they offer free ride services for people with disabilities. 

4. Prepare for Progression
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst – cliché but true. One of the best ways to prepare for aging with MS is to prepare for progression. It’s never too early to start researching accessible housingassisted living and adaptive driving. Today, there areplenty of resources for information on aging with MS – everything from home care, transportation, in-home services, home modification and general legal services.

5. Learn to prioritize 
Living with MS requires you to focus on managing your symptoms and you might sacrifice activities that are “not essential” but improve your quality of life. Your health is a priority but hobbies and activities of interest are also important for your mental, emotional and physical well-being. Determine your priorities and then decide which tasks can be delegated to family, friends or helpers. Schedule your day so that you can perform important activities when your energy levels are highest. 

Caroline and Tim visiting the “Wall” at Reagan Library. Do what you can, when you can!

6. Start a health and wellness program early on
Health and wellness programs for people living with MS help people improve their mental and physical health. You can choose from a wide variety of adaptive exercise such as dance, aquatics and yoga. MS Focus offers several free classes or partial or full funding for gyms and wellness centers if required. Health and wellness programs help to reduce the stress and frustration with your limitations and instead appreciate all the things your body can do. 

7. Seek and Accept Help
People with MS are often embarrassed to ask for help and don’t want to impose on others. This is a huge mistake as it can severely impact your health and quality of life. Seek help and assistance as this will completely change your lifestyle and improve your mobility and freedom and allow you to enjoy a wider range of activities. 

8. Give back 
Living with MS requires help and assistance from family and friends. This can make you frustrated and guilty as you start to feel like a burden on your loved ones. Figure out ways in which you can help them as well as give back to your community. This will help you deal with negative thoughts and emotions and improve your self-worth. 

9. Work with a psychiatrist or psychologist
MS is associated with various psychiatric comorbidities including depression and anxiety. MS and mood disorders can cause a vicious cycle where MS leads to psychiatric comorbidities and these disorders have a negative neurologic impact. Working with these mental health professionals will help you learn new coping techniques to ensure good quality of life as you age.  

10. Keep a Positive Attitude
Living with MS means dealing with pain and frustration on a daily basis. Keeping a positive attitude when you have MS can be quite the challenge, especially on bad days. However, it is important that you don’t give in to negative emotions as this can lead to mental health issues. Your positive attitude will go a long way in helping you age well with MS. 
Simple steps like a regular diet, sleep and exercise schedule will help to alleviate your MS symptoms. When living with MS, it is important to work towards overall health and wellness as this will let you lead a more comfortable and happier life. 


That moment when I got to say hi to the beautiful and talented Jennifer Tilly.


Thank you @Everydayhealth for providing this wonderful article by guest writer, Anita Fernandes.  


Author Bio -Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome eating disorders and obesity. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable. 

Conquer MS with Self-Care! Tips and tricks for surviving these Covid Times.

Tips for Surviving 2022 and beyond with MS


For nearly 20 years now I have been battling my multiple sclerosis (MS).  Good days, bad days, every which way days.  I’ve had them all.   

 

I could not walk or see unassisted when the MS struck me.  Now I’m thriving in my own MS way.  It’s not the life I was used to or expected for me, but you know what happens when we have too many “plans”.  Time to let go and let life plan itself. Time to move forward with MS.  My success has been based on a natural, holistic approach to living with a lot of monitoring and help from my doctors. Life skills and stress management have played major rolls in my success.

Times like these we can benefit from learning to move forward...read more

TiPS and TRiCKS to stay healthy and cool this Summer:

Importance of Making a Plan B

Escaping the Red Zone of MS

Cooling and Healing Tips for MS

Join GWMS on youtube 

Radio Show - Tips and Tricks for living better with MS

"I'm newly diagnosed with MS - now what?" 

 

MS Living Well Podcast 9: Cognition and Multiple Sclerosis

MAY 21, 2020

 

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 
 

Dave Bexfield (ActiveMSers.org) along with Kathy Reagan Young (FUMSnow.com), Cathy Chester (anempoweredspirit.com) And many more saved this Girl with MS during some really dark times. And that was before Covid. We have so much love and support out there. Reach out and see what there is to learn. Click here to see the full list of helpers/advocates. We’ve got this!

 

 

The Rocky Ride of MS and What Helped

Multiple Sclerosis is like riding a roller coaster in so many ways. 

This past year has shown a lot of love for this Girl with MS.  Some symptoms subdued, others raised their voices.  But top on my list was meeting so many wonderful people living with MS across the country, in person and around the world via the internet and telephone.

Despite my good year and pleasant holiday, the MS reared its ugly head with a bad case of pseudo bulbar affect or PBA.  One minute laughing, the next in tears.  I just call it the funk.  And it got a holt of me bad the other day. 

The fact it's the end of the year caused a bit of the emotions. Focusing on what did not get done in 2019 led me down a path of quick depression.  Even healthy people have to give themselves a break, but the pressure and disappointment that one can put on themselves can be debilitating.  And that's where I found myself.  

You know what helped?  All of these MS advocates and friends Read more...

Football season is a coming, not sure what it will look like but I’m getting ready.  Love my Oregon Ducks and Puddles!  #takeTHATms!
Take the Self-Care Challenge! 

Self-Care is vital in our fight against MS.  What can we do for ourselves?  Life skills lead to better health. One of these skills is to learn to quiet the mind... read more

Potential natural treatments for MS 

Alternative Therapies for MS  

Why me?  managing anger in MS
 

Surviving the Covid Quarantine

Life as an MS patient brings enough uncertainty and stress. 
These last five months have created challenges upon challenges. But it’s also provided opportunities.  I started a sourdough starter as did many people. I can’t eat a lot of gluten as it affects my MS in a bad way but it’s been fun making stuff for the family.  More importantly is that I posted two great resources to learn more about living with MS during Covid.  One is by the awesome @CathyChes at The Empowered Spirt and the other by Dr. Terry Wahls and the Wahls Group.  Did you know that elderberry during this time may not be a good thing?  So much to learn....read more...


 
Take action to potentiate your wellness. 

Other natural treatments for MS symptoms.
 
Keep on Moving if and when you can! It took me awhile to build up my strength after some time off. And this heat will have me down for awhile, but enjoy the little moments and all achievements.  

10 Ways you Can Prepare to Age Well with MS
by guest writer Anita Fernandes

Conquer MS with Self-Care:  GUT HEALTH

Much research has been done regarding gut health and MS.  And let’s face it – our guts are not healthy!  When we take pills by swallowing they have to compete with every other bacteria in your stomach and gut.  This can be a detriment for folks living with MS.  
 

Precision medicine, DNA and MS - Oh just spit in the tube!

What does saliva have to do with MS?  

Many people with MS are inspired to help others with their illness by being part of medical research.  People living with MS can help with research from clinical trials and all the way to the other end of spectrum, filling out surveys or spitting into a tube.  

I am one of those people.  Everyone is different and this is a very personal choice.  One of my goals in life is to help others with MS so my decision was made early on - how can I help MS research and have fun learning more about myself? With this in mind, I decided to use my DNA for research. And I joined the #SanoCommunity.  

Is MS Genetic? 

Is MS genetic?  Is it inherited?  Well, it is complex according to Patrick Short, CEO, Sano Genetics.  But there is a genetic factor that can dis-regulate the immune system.  There are many genetic aspects that can affect ones tendency toward MS.  I cover more of this in my article, "New Research Shows MS May be Genetic in Some Families," originally posted on Healthline.com.    

How genetic is MS?  How much does the environment affect MS?  Many of these answers can be found via Sano and their research.   

Other non-medical conditions become available in Sano's personalized reports.  I found this super interesting, learning about reactions to certain foods, or response to stress, or allergy tendencies.  I'm now curious how my family compares to me!  

By participating in research and sharing your DNA data (totally your choice!) you are helping the researchers better understand the genetic element of conditions like MS   The goal is to be able create precision medicine based on DNA and solid clinical research.  

The Sano DNA Kit Reveal! 



What does DNA have to do with MS and our health?  Time to think of the future folks, time to think ahead and what may become reality.  

I greatly appreciated this interview by Kathy Reagan Young (FUMSnow.com) and Patrick Short (SanoGenetics.com) to better understand DNA, MS and Personalized Medicine:



Privacy is key

Once you sign up on Sano and upload your DNA data (if you have it, it is not essential for signing up) it is your choice to say "yes, share my data" or "no, don't share my data".  The control is in your hands.  Most other groups will sell your data.  Sano uses the data for research if and only if you approve.  

Visit the website to learn more: 

  • Check out reports!  

Explore the Sano Blog - Personal stories about living with people living with MS you know and some that are new.   #ArdraShephard @trippingonair and #EliseOsmond from Australia.  Click here for the #SanoCommunity stories! 


 

The 5 "P's" of Personalized Medicine


When I first heard of the five "P's" of personalized medicine, which was just yesterday, I thought, WOW, this is the ultimate self-care tool.  Imagine being able to predict or prevent MS, or make a more precise diagnoses.  Personalized and targeted intervention may not be far in our future.  And all of this creates a more participatory role for patients.  Self-care.  Patient stories. DNA.  An interesting mix.  


Prediction & Prevention of disease

more Precise diagnoses

Personalized and targeted interventions

a more Participatory role for patients

So many questions to ask, things to learn, and eyes to open.  Thank you Patrick Short, Kathy Reagan Young with FUMSnow.com, and everyone at Sano who is rocking the MS world with their hard work and dedication.  


Connect with SanoGenetics, Patrick Short and more! 


Thank you for joining the #SanoCommunity, engaging, and commenting.  We love to hear from you across platform and look forward to hearing about your DNA experience!   #takeTHATms!