Monday, May 23, 2011

What should be a defining moment?

I have had many moments in my life that I felt defined me as a person.  I think that lately I have just had a lot of time to decide what I am going to allow to define who I am and what I am not.  For those of you that have followed my blog over the past few months may know that I am a Maria Shriver fan.  I really love her book entitled "Ten Things I Wish I'd Known..." I am sure that if Maria were to write that book today one of her ten things may have changed.  I wonder would she have changed her chapter about marriage to a chapter entitled "do not trust your husband".

Please do not think I am a man hater, but trust does not come easy to me.  I know now that I made mistakes before I ever got married.  There were several warning signs that I chose to ignore.  I refer to this as lessons learned.  However, I think Maria had it figured out and even her marriage was not safe.  For example, #4 on her list was that "Your Behavior has Consequences".  She states several times through that chapter that no one is responsible for your choices as an adult but YOU.  #5, "Be Willing to Fail", personally or professionally.  And last but not least, #8, "Marriage is a Hell of a lot of Work".  (Sidenote, she wrote this book in 2000).

So, why do I care? Well I just like a good story like most people and this headline of Arnold's dual life has quite frankly pissed me off.  Maria is a well accomplished woman, and not just by birth-rite.  She was not afraid to fail, to fall in love, or even challenge public opinion.  And even with this recent tragedy she has held her head up high, publicly supported her children and continued to uphold her classy reputation.  So, I hope this is not a defining moment in her life to others... I would hate to think that if we Google her ten years from now that one of the first things we see is "Arnold cheats on Maria with chubby housekeeper and makes love child outside of his picture perfect marriage."   

But on a happy note... the new season of the Bachelorette started today!!! Love it! I will post about my favorites later this week! :)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What do you know about Vitamin D?

There is so many important benefits of Vitamin D.  As I continue my education on factors that can cause the development of M.S., many studies show significant signs that Vitamin D is more important that we ALL may realize.   So, I thought I would share a little information with my friends!

Most people assume that the purpose of an adequate amount of Vitamin D is only related to bone health. However, Vitamin D has effects on many tissues and might worsen or even cause many medical conditions (including M.S.).  But before you run to purchase some supplements, understand that blood tests are necessary to evaluate your Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D regulates calcium absorption which helps maintain bone health.  Recent studies have discovered that "D" effects other tissues however and has has important effects on nerve, muscle and immune cells.  Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, multiple forms of cancer and infertility.

So who needs to be concerned? Well, I suggest that women ask for this simple screening at their next "yearly" physical.  Do no use supplements blindly because supplements do come with a risk.  Long-term high doses of "D" could lead to the risk of certain cancers or impaired kidney function. Allow your doctor to gauge if you need additional Vitamin D and how much.  And, this dosage may need to be adjusted as the seasons change.  Why you ask? Vitamin D is the "sunshine" vitamin.  Sun exposure allows your body to make its own Vitamin D.

People with MS should stay informed with the rapidly changing information regarding the effects of Vitamin D and how it could improve your general health.  And, due to the possibility of the preventative effect of Vitamin D on inherited risk of MS, people with MS should talk to their family members, siblings and their children about having their Vitamin D levels screened regularly.

For more information, read more online at
"Vitamin D: Dastardly, Dandy or Debatable? by A.C. Bowling MD, PhD"

Friday, May 13, 2011

Its just a bump in the road....

Well I have sat here in my home since Tuesday deciding whether or not I wanted to blog about this weeks events.  Two things were haunting me...
1. I don't want anyone to pity me.
2. I do not want to accept the reality of the situation.
But, I have found that I gain great insight and release from writing.  It has been so therapeutic for me and I receive compliments regularly so I decided to go ahead and write.

On Friday I began to see a circle in my eye.  I thought it was strange so I called the doctor.  Since I had a routine appointment scheduled for Monday they said to not worry and we would take a look on Monday since I was feeling fine.  So, I went to my appointment and heard the words I never wanted to hear again.  "Sarah, it is happening again."  All I could come up with to respond was, "Ok."  When my doctor said it was happening again what he was saying was that my brain was bleeding into optic cavity, my optic nerve was inflamed and that there were cells clouding the vision of the left eye.  In one week, my vision in the left eye had reduced from 20/55 to 20/100.

Several factors were surrounding what course of treatment would be the best option for this "relapse".  If you recall, I had surgery to remove the Kenelog steroids in February because they had caused me to develop Glaucoma.  Although I am fully healed from the operation, the doctors determined this would be their last resort.  The second option was to put me on high dose oral and i.v. steroids.  And this is exactly what they decided.

So, I have received i.v. steroids (Solumedrol) and are taking oral steroids (Prednisone) for 6 to 8 weeks to gain control of the inflammation and allow my body to absorb the bleed.  These methods were highly effective for me in August and I am very optimistic they will be this time as well.  I just need to maintain a positive attitude so that I do not let my emotions take control of my situation.

I knew when I was diagnosed with M.S. that this disease came with flare-ups, annoyances, pain, a ton a medicine, and many other complications.  I guess I was just hoping I would be that case that didn't have a flare up for years and responded miraculously to treatment.  However, I am grateful to still be fully functional and independent.  My children love me no matter how I feel or what is happening with me.  Please love the life you live.... you never know what can happen tomorrow.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mom offers a good reminder...

So I was talking to my mom on the phone while I was trying to decide about taking off work for  my children's field day.  After all, this is there 1st Field Day at their new school but I had a few obstacles before I could just make the decision.  First, my school was supposed to go skating.  What substitute in their right mind is going to take my crew skating??? Second, I had used all of my paid time off when I was on medical leave so it was going to cost me. Then my mom reminds me, "I think it is important that Luke and Kennedy know that sometimes they come before your job." AHA! Mom is right.... We always knew we came before her job.  We called 400 times a day, rode our bikes and then eventually drove our cars to her office for absolutely no reason. It never seemed to phase us that she was working but she would kick us out of the clinic when she was really busy.  So the moral of this post is that my kids come second to my 22 "other kids" enough.  They deserve to have their Mom at Field Day!

I will post pics later, they are having a "All Around the World" theme.  Each class will be presenting a production from another country.  Luke will be performing an Australian Dance.... this ought to be good.  Kennedy couldn't seem to remember what her class was performing??!!  Obviously she wasn't very interested in participating!!

Love the life you live....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Its not just rain... its an all out FLOOD!!

Arkansas has had some very interesting weather over the past few weeks.  First, we started off with a few tornado's, terrible wind, and hail.  Then, it began raining.... and has not really stopped since last week.  Thankfully today was bright and sunny and we all received some much needed Vitamin D.  I am one of those people who is effected by gloomy days.  My mood tends to get a little gloomy too.  So, as all of us Arkansans wait for the river to crest to see what happens next, I guess I will look at all of this weather with the glass half full attitude and be thankful we are no longer in a drought??!!??

Here are some pics that are my favorite examples of Arkansas's weather devastation:

I don't think this Cavalier works as a boat....

The river runs through it.... So sad.

So, as you sit and reflect about whatever kind of day you had... just be thankful that it is not your car overtaken by water or your town washed away by the river. Love the life you live... and by all means, try not to sweat the small stuff!