For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been diagnosed with ‘Benign MS’. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have very real symptoms caused by the lesions (I do), but it means that I have a ‘mild case’ that probably won’t get any worse than it already is, or put me in a wheelchair. I have fatigue, balance issues, cognitive difficulties, speech problems, and problems with nerve pain in my legs among other things. These symptoms can come and go depending on environmental issues, stress, illness, etc.
I have been struggling with debilitating fatigue lately, and at times, very bad headaches. It really makes everything I do an effort and steals my motivation, my creativity and my joy. The fatigue often keeps me plastered to the couch for much of the day. Multiple Sclerosis is different for everyone who has it because the lesions are in different places on the brain, which control and affect different parts of the body. One of the most common symptoms to all who have it is the fatigue.
Much of the time, I am able to push through my symptoms, then I get slammed with something and I wail to Bud, “I just don’t know what is wrong with me,” and then he reminds me that maybe it is the MS.
This is not a post about MS. It’s an explanation as to why I haven’t been blogging much, as well as an explanation for the weirdness of this post.
This blog was meant to be about the property we just bought, the progress we make as we fix it up, and eventually, our life there as we settle in. Until then, I’m lacking for subject material, so what follows is a hodgepodge of what is going on with me.
(Found on an Internet Wallpaper Site)
I don’t know what the protocol is for giving credit to the many photos that are shared on the Internet. Sometimes they are shared on Facebook, Pinterest or forwards in email. If I see one that moves me, or which I want to use as background on my computer, I’ll save it in a folder. I don’t save obvious personal photos from blogs. I’ve had some of these pictures for years. I don’t have many of my own photos to share today, so I’m going to use some I’ve collected. Those are noted with ‘found on the Internet’.
Photos for my blog are what hold up much of my blog posts. Either I haven’t taken any, or the are deemed ‘not good enough’ by myself. I’ve always read that you need photos on your blog to draw people in. I can see how that is true. I see so many beautiful photos on blogs of people who have a ‘life’. I can’t compete. I know I have those things around me here somewhere, I just need to find them and learn how to capture them. I’m planning on taking a photography e-course soon, and hopefully share some of what I learn with you.
I have been struggling with a bit of depression (another symptom that many people with MS deal with from time to time). I had a really bad reaction to anti-depressants years ago. I’m always looking for natural cures for things, and I stumbled upon the following site which deals with vitamin therapy, and I’ve started taking Niacin and more Vitamin C, along with the others, such as Vitamin D, that I normally take.
What I found most fascinating was the use of high doses of Niacin to treat depression. Here is a short video about Niacin’s use in treating depression:
If you want more info on Niacin in treating depression and other neurological problems, here is a fascinating (but much longer) interview with Dr. Mercola interviewing Dr. Andrew Saul about his use of Niacin.
I generally enjoy cooking, and no matter how bad I feel, I always cook from scratch and try to prepare healthy meals (because I want to feel good), but I don’t always have the creativity or motivation to make them look good or take a picture of it. I had a few good days recently and was inspired to make a pretty meal.
I don’t have any real recipes for this meal, so here is basically what I did (if you are interested):
Chicken with Mushrooms:
1) Put the chicken in a plastic bag and pound it with a rolling pin to tenderize.
2) Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
3) Put a tablespoon of butter in a pan and brown both sides of chicken breast on medium high heat.
4) Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
5) Add a little more butter to the pan and sautee mushrooms.
6) When the mushrooms are done, add a tiny bit of water to deglaze the pan and get all of that brown goodness off the bottom of the pan.
7) Add some heavy cream to the pan, and stir until it starts thickening. Add salt and pepper to taste.
8) Add chicken breasts back to the pan and flip to coast with gravy. Heat until chicken is hot and done.
9) Serve on a bed of raw spinach.
1) Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds and pulp with a spoon.
2) Turn halves of squash upside down (cut side facing down) into a casserole dish with about ½ an inch of water.
3) Bake on 350 degrees for about an hour or until soft.
4) Flip the halves right side up. Put a tablespoon of butter in each half, with about a teaspoon of Sucanat (or brown sugar) in the middle. Sprinkle some extra on the sides.
5) Put underneath the broiler for about 15 minutes.
This might not be considered to be healthy to some, depending on which diet you follow, or what your thoughts are. Right now, I’m trying to avoid wheat. It makes me feel bad and puffs me up. Other than that, we cut out most sugar, processed foods, legumes and wheat. For us, butter and cream are ‘good fats’.
I have always wanted to keep a journal, and have always failed miserably. I’m not sure why. My handwriting is atrocious, no matter how hard I try. It’s also physically painful to write for long periods of time due to the MS. I love spiral notebooks, and I have a boatload of them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started a journal in one of them. I usually rip out the pages of the previous failed and aborted attempt when I start a new one. I don’t know why. It’s pieces of my life that I just threw away because it wasn’t good enough or perfect, I guess.
I found some journal software that I really like! There is a free version, and a professional version that you can try for 30 days, and then purchase. You can add videos and pictures, as well as clips from the internet into it. You can also add sticky tabs which are stagnant for each day with the professional version.
It’s called I-Diary Daily:
(Found on the Internet)
A while back, I started a Gratitude Journal. I have gone back to it from time to time. It was inspired by Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts.”
I totally agree that it helps to count our blessings and be grateful for and focus on the good things in our life…to pay attention to all of the little details we so often miss in each day. I had trouble with the book. The last chapter was ‘out there’ and it bothered me so much I immediately threw the book in the trash after I finished. You should read it and come to your own conclusions. I think the general idea is a good one. Counting our blessings, and looking for the small gifts in our everyday life that we are blessed with makes one a happier person. She states the statistic that people who keep a gratitude journal are 25% happier than those who don’t. I believe it.
In my new I-Diary I have re-started my Gratitude Journal.
Another thing I am including in my I-Diary is a daily prayer. Wow. I pray off and on all day. I pray on my knees far less than I should. Writing my prayers down has been a real eye opener!
One of my favorite quotes is,
“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” – E.M. Forster
I have problems speaking, partially because I am an introvert, but these days, the MS has affected my speaking as well. The words have trouble formulating in my brain and making it out of my mouth sometimes. With writing, the words come bursting forth. The above quote is so true for me. Why am I so shocked that my written prayers are the same way? I am expressing my deepest thoughts to the Lord on paper in a more genuine way than I ever do when I pray in my head or out loud. This is some kind of breakthrough for me. If you’ve never tried writing your prayers down, I urge you to try it…especially if you consider yourself to be a better writer, than speaker.
I just started reading Stormie Omartian’s new book, “Prayer Warrior.” All of her books have touched me deeply, and set me back on the right path when I have been in a spiritual slump. Her books, “Power of a Praying Wife,” “Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On,” and “Lord, I Want To Be Whole” turned my life around during very dark periods in my life. If you have never read one of her books, I highly recommend them.
I believe prayer is so important. I have Stormie Omartian’s prayer booklets for ‘Power of a Praying Wife” and “Power of a Praying Woman,” and I have seen so many of these prayers answered. All of her prayers are based on scripture. All of the prayers are in the books, but she also has ‘prayer booklets’ which are only the prayers, and make it more handy to use the prayers on a daily basis.
If you pray, I am requesting your prayers right now. I’m very discouraged, and down spiritually as well as physically.