Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How do you feel?

Here it is -- almost Thanksgiving, with Christmas not far behind. The Christmas Season is a time of celebration and happiness, but it is also a time for intense depression and disappointment. MS tends to cause your feelings to dip toward depression, but here's an idea. Write about it.

MSF and Hunter House are hosting a "Focus On Your Feelings" Holiday Giveaway. In 200 words or less, tell about the emotional impact of MS on your life. Choose your format or style, prose or poetry, and talk about depression, denial, acceptance; tell your story. Ten winners will be published on both the MSF and Hunter House web sites, and they will receive an autographed copy of MS and Your Feelings by Allison Shadday. Ms. Shadday, an MSer herself, counsels MSers as well as writes.

Send entries by Dec. 1st to editor@msfocus.org and include "Focus on your Feelings" Holiday Giveaway in the subject line. Please include your name, the date you were diagnosed, your age, city, state, telephone number or email address. Winners will be contacted by Dec. 15.

Good luck!

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

MS and the Healthy Place

Here's a good site to visit. Healthy Place is a community that provides information, support, and the opportunity to share experiences. This page has a link to Health U's interactive lecture series about MS. Registration is required, but it is free. You must watch the series in order without skipping, but you can review one you have already seen.

There are other links to articles on all types of topics, including medication options and alternatives, cognitive impairment, bee sting therapy, fatigue, the possible relationship between MS and epstein barr syndrome and many others.

The sidebar also includes links to chat rooms, bulletin boards, and diaries.

Check out this site. There's something for everybody.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

MS and Research around the Globe

MS is global. The MS International Federation has launched an Arabic-language site with basic information, contact details, and other resources in the language. This is the first in a series of language sites in the MSIF World of MS.

Does your family seemed plagued by autoimmune diseases? Here is a descriptive study of this susceptibility within MSer families, and the possibilty of a link to a specific gene.

One study is examining the value of nurses specializing in MS cases. Further research will study if specific interventions are more beneficial for specializing nurses.

For more new research news, visit the MS International Federation.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

MS Myths

We don't know the cause, there is no cure, and your symptoms are different than mine. After an often long and difficult path to diagnosis, the statement that you have MS is often greeted with the question "What is MS?" Friends and family don't know either.

Everyone seems to have assumptions, but are they correct?

The National MS Society lists nine common myths about MS, then dispels our misconceptions. This is a good article whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with MS for awhile.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

My Caretaker

My favorite upright Garry is my caretaker. I do not pay him, but I would and it would be worth it.

Sometimes when I am twisted, he untwists me. He gives me morning shots, brings my pills with ice water, takes me to the doctor, does numerous things to make my life easier than it would be without him. I don't want him to think I take him for granted. I know he is here and he will help me with big things, with small things, with whatever I need and a few extras.

I appreciate you, Garry, not only for the things you do for me, but the gentle, loving way you do them. You say you are honored, but you honor me.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

MS and Breast Cancer

This is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I wrote a post on Vicki's Blog saying early detection saves lives and a cure will be found through research. MSers understand these premises. Early treatment has significant results and research will find a cause, better treatment, and, yes, ultimately a cure. Add a pink ribbon next to your prism ribbon of hope.

MS is a devastating chronic disease, but it is not a guarantee against cancer. Do the right thing and get a mammogram. But prepare yourself and realize that as in everyday life, MS adds an extra challenge.

If you are in a chair the mammography equipment can be adjusted for height, but the chair, especially if it is a scooter, adds awkwardness to an already awkward position. Balance problems may result in the need for repeated attempts before a good image is captured. Now, the other breast! Repeat height adjustment, awkward positioning, be still for the imaging.

A mammogram may be inconvenient and not much fun, but it is important. Get one.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Let's Plan a Dinner

MSIF invites us to host an MS Global Dinner Party on (or around) Saturday, February 24, 2007.

This dinner party is to help promote awareness and support the work of MS societies around the globe. You choose the type of event you want to host -- what about a barbecue, a picnic, a games evening, or an intimate family dinner. Your national MS society may already be involved.

Read about previous global dinner parties. There are pictures and stories about events around the world, including Kenya, Australia, and Switzerland. This year, Canada hosted the most different parties.

For more information about being involved in an official MS Global Dinner Party, click here.

Be a host and join the global MS movement, then send your story and pictures. There is plenty of time -- start to plan for dinner in February 2007.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Get Ready to Vote

Step 1: Register

There is still time, but not much. If you are not yet registered, NMMS will be glad to help. Hurry! Apply for a mail-in ballot if you might have a problem getting to the polls. I always do.

Step 2: Get Ready

NMSS has information on current issues and on how incumbents voted on bills supported by NMMS.

Step 3: Vote

Mail your ballot or go to the polls. Early voting begins pretty soon – next week in Texas.

Make your voice heard. Vote!

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Atlas of MS

The Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) has developed a database of accessibility of resources for diagnosis and treatment of MS globally. The Atlas of MS website was launched August 14, and by September 14 more than 10,000 queries were made by people from 90 countries. Wow.

blue=complete red=in progress

Some popular queries concern the availability of travel insurance for MSers, treatment information in Europe, and the number of MRI machines. The database currently has information on 60 countries, but the data gathering is continuing. Register with your MS role, your country, and your email address to access the information.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Be All You Can Be

You do not have to join the Army to live by the motto.

Helen Keller (1880-1968) said it earlier:

"I am only one. But still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do."

Good advice.

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