Thursday, March 24, 2011

Small Compliment = One Happy Girl

For months I have been talking about bettering myself for many different reasons.  There are certain things in my life that I have made a priority since I lost my vision and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Any traumatic experience usually brings people to re-evaluate their life.  For me however, I wanted to make a conscious effort to better my life and my children's.  I started with little things, I made a list of 20 Wishes.  I keep these wishes nearby in my mind as I make decisions.  The most important things in my life of course are my children, my family, my health, my close friends and my students.  I want to be the best me that I can and that required me to eliminate a lot of the unnecessary stress.  I am usually attached to my cell phone and for years it has distracted my attention.  My sister and I spent this past week together and today on my way home she complimented me.  She noticed that I spent my time focused on my and my children and not on communication with the outside world.  I know to some that might not seem like much, but that is something I have worked hard to resolve.  So thanks sis for noticing my "little improvements" on the road to my happy!  So at least this is one little way that I can say I am practicing what I preach and "loving the life I live."  :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Twinkies... ARE 6!

Well, it is so hard to believe that my babies have turned 6 years old.  On March 11, 2005 I welcomed in to the world the most wonderful and challenging additions to my life.  Although they were VERY small, their impact was very big.  I thought I knew what love was before I had children.  Now however, I am truly able to embrace what unconditional love means.  Luke and Kennedy are so funny.  They do some of the silliest things.  Some people would never guess that they are twins because they are so different.  However, their personalities compliment each of them so well.  It is nice that they each get to be one of a kind! :)

This year was their first "big" birthday party.  They celebrated with school friends at the ATA Karate Club that they are members of.  The party was a huge success and fun was had by all.  It was so nice to see the kids and some of their friends outside of the school building and their uniforms having fun.  It was a pretty good size crowd too... 19 kids!!  The kids were so spoiled, their master teachers played games, told stories, gave a lesson and they had pizza and cake! Who could ask for more?

So this year we are officially big kids.  Not that it means they will be responsible for their own needs, never sleep in my bed or solve their own problems... but hey, this is a milestone in my opinion.  Most importantly, I have to keep reminding myself to not sweat the small stuff and to relax and enjoy parenthood.  As fast as these 6 years have flown by, they will be in college before I know it.  I always pride myself in trying to do the best for my kids; their birthday is just another chance to renew that commitment!! I love you two... always!

The Party Crew.. well most of them at least!

Monday, March 7, 2011

M.S. Education Monday - M.S. Awareness Week Begins Soon!

M.S. Awareness Week begins March 14th and I personally find this to be another amazing opportunity to educate more people about the effects of Multiple Sclerosis on not only the patients, but their family and friends as well.  Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that can effect men or women, and people of all ethnicities.  No one is without this diseases reach.  For me, I find it to be alarming how many people know so little about M.S.  Chances are, you know someone who is fighting this disease everyday. 

Today, I would like to dispell some of the myths that I hear most often. 

#1 - You're so young, how could this happen to you?
ANSWER- Well, like many auto-immune diseases, M.S. can effect people at any age.  The most common people that are diagnosed are women between the ages of 30 and 40.

#2 -  You look fine from the outside!
ANSWER- Thank goodness!! Actually, this is what bothers me the most sometimes. Yes, some people who are fighting M.S. have difficulty with their extremities and require the use of a walker, cane or even a wheelchair.  However, those cases are not the most common.  Many people have pretty average lives but their relapses and side effects can be quite daunting.  Most M.S. patients deal with terrible fatigue, nerve pain, headaches and vision changes.

#3 -  Will the shots cure you?
ANSWER - No, the shots will not cure me.  Currently, there is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis.  However, there are many amazing medications on the market that make relapses happen less frequently, and actually slow down the progression of the disease. 

#4 - Why did you lose your vision? This lady I know just has problems with her foot going numb.
ANSWER - Since Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that effects the communication between your brain an your spinal cord, as well as develops lesions on your brain and deteriorates the mylein sheath, many body systems can be effected.  I have met people with a varying level of problems.

#5 - Will you die from M.S.?
ANSWER - Not likely.  It is more likely to die from many other natural causes than the actual effects of Multiple Sclerosis.  M.S. most commonly effects the quality of your life the the length of it. 

So... educate yourself and others.  Get involved with M.S. Advocacy groups or activities in your community.  Whether you donate a few dollars or walk a few mile... your support can make all the difference.  So I dare everyone to "Join the Movement"!