5 things to help you when dealing with illness & being thankful for the little things

I was talking to a co-worker, the other day. I was sharing how many boxes I had to use to store my 2017 files. Normally, I use about 6. This year, I have already filled up 11 boxes & have more to go. We were talking about how blessed we were to have had a lot of work last year.  It also made me think about my mama & how she thought about work.

If you are new here, you may not know, but my mama passed away in 2002. She had multiple sclerosis. She was a wonderful person, not to mention the best mama in the WORLD. She became ill in her early 40s. So when I hit my early 40s guess what I thought was going to happen to me?? Yep. I got past it & thanked the Lord for it.  Looking back, I learned so many lessons while she was sick. It was a terrible time for our family. But we stuck together. One of the things I remember about my mama was that she worked hard. She worked at home & she worked an outside job. Once she got sick, I can remember on many occasions talking to her about work. There were times I would come in after work & be so tired. She would always tell me to be thankful.  She would say,

” Be glad you can go to work. I would just give anything if I could.”

That has really stuck with me through the years. I think of that when I get stressed or aggravated, at work. I am so blessed to have a good job & thankful I am healthy enough to go to work. When you get sick & tired of work & think how hard you must have it, just remember there’s those out there who would love to be healthy & able to hold down a job. Now that I look back on all those times when my mama was sick, I think of lessons I learned. And that’s something I want to say today. If you are going through a sickness of your own or someone else you love, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Keep moving. Oh, it’s ok to stop & have a moment here & there. But look for the opportunities to do good.  You will do no good living on the corner of gloom and doom. Yes, it’s a tough deal, that no one wants to deal with. If you use your time to count your blessings & look ahead, things won’t be so grim. At one time, Mama was on the one at church, that you called to report announcements. She would take them down & give them to my Dad for church. She loved talking to people & letting them know they had our support. Find something you enjoy & keep going.

2. I learned just because you have a pain, doesn’t mean you have to be a pain. The nurses & nurses aids that cared for my mama always loved her. She hated to be in the position she was in. And she deeply appreciated those doing for her what she could no longer do for herself.

3. Never lose sight of God. In times of trials, it is so easy to question God & want to know why. There are no real good reasons why bad things happen to good people except that we live in a fallen world where the bad comes with the good. Accept it. It’s reality. We all deal with things we wish we didn’t have to. Keep your faith in God alive & well. Sometimes it’s all we have. Mama went to church even when my daddy would have to get her ready, pick her up & put her in the van, & push her in with her sitting in a wheelchair. That is true love for God.

Job 2:10 Shall we indeed accept good from God & shall we not accept adversity? (NKJV)

4. Look for the happy times. Illnesses are awful. But there is good in everything. I got to spend lots of quality time with my precious mama those last few years of her life. We learned to look for the little things, in our day, to help us make it through. Like getting the mail, the nurse coming, an unexpected guest, cooking special dishes, receiving cards from friends & family or ordering out. I can say, most of the time she kept a good attitude. Which I believe her thankfulness helped keep her grounded with her illness.

5. Keep your sense of humor. I can remember a lot of different times when mama would say, “Don’t that beat all?” Then she would laugh about whatever mess we had gotten ourselves into. Because, bless my heart more times than not, every time we tried to do something I would end up making things twice as hard as they really were. Things that were normally easy, was tough, when she was bedfast. Washing her hair was a total mess sometimes. Because how do you wash someone’s hair in the bed? I usually ended up getting her soaking wet. She would laugh & say she never thought she would have to swim with her gown on.  Laughing would help break up the monotony of the reality of what was really going on.

 Ephesians 4:28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.(KJV)

I hope you are having a blessed week. It’s been very rainy the past few days. And cold. We have thankfully been in the house! I hope you are somewhere sunny, with balmy wind hitting you in the face. I won’t be too jealous! Until next time, I should be going, because I should be washing clothes.

Click on the free printable to download scripture memory cards for encouragement.

 

photo credit: http://www.meetpenny.com, pinterest

 

 

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My favorite love story & I sure hope I get some chocolate for Valentine’s Day

love biblet

Valentine’s Day is just right around the corner.  Do you have plans?  I know lots of people celebrate their love this time of the year. I think that’s great.  However, showing your love for someone should be all about how you live every day.  Because you never know when the other person may be gone.  Which brings me to one of my most favorite love stories of all.  The one about my Mama & Daddy.  I will try my best to not let this be drawn out.  I will also ask your patience as I squall like a baby the whole time I am telling this.

As most of you know, my mother passed away in 2002 from complications of Multiple Sclerosis.  Leading up to that, I have to tell you, she was so sick.  My Daddy had some choices to make.  He could either stay around & try to take care of her the best he could or he could tuck tail & run as fast as he could.  Well, he hung around.

Up until her sickness, they had been that couple.  You know the ones.  The ones that had it all together.  The ones that people went to for help.  The ones that were always there to support others.  The ones that loved everybody.  They were “the preacher & his wife”.  Don’t get me wrong.  Just like any couple, they had their problems.  But in the end, they were right there for each other.

My Daddy got the job as caregiver far too early.  When Mama was hurting & sick & tired of it all & she would call him to her bedside to pray for her, she would say,

“Just pray.  Pray for me to go.”  Well, good grief.  Most people would have fell apart right there at such a request.

My Daddy has always been the positive one.  He would say,

“You shouldn’t say that.  Just think of all the treasures you are laying up in heaven.”

Confused at where he was going with this, she replied,

“What in the world are you talking about?”

“Well, “ Daddy explained. “you being sick, has been a blessing to others.  Just look at all the good deeds people have done because of you.  Our friends & family are here all the time, bringing food, paying visits, calling to see if you need anything.  You are helping people to store up treasures in heaven.”

With that, she said, “Then store you up some treasures in heaven & go get me a bowl of ice cream.”

Daddy would get her ready for church, pick her up, put her in the van, & push her in sitting in a wheelchair.  Some Sundays when Daddy finally made it to church with Mama, he would be exhausted.  But he never complained.  He worked 3 jobs so that he could make enough to pay for Mama’s medical expenses.

He got up every morning & made her breakfast before he set out on his 1st job.  Not something frozen, warmed up.  Homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, sawmill gravy, bacon, country ham, or sausage & fresh brewed coffee.

BREAKFAST

Daddy learned, from Mama, how to make the best biscuits in the world.  He would be in the kitchen hollerin’ how much of what needed to go in the bowl. And she would be telling him, from the bedroom, how to make a well out of the flour & put the liquid ingredients in the middle of the bowl.  That’s how my Daddy learned how to make the buttermilk biscuits, I would put them up against any granny’s out there.  They. Are. That. Good.

how-to-make-homemade-biscuits-7When she finally had to go in the nursing home, he went to see her EVERY day.  She had fresh flowers in her room, from him, at all times.  On Daddy’s request, the manager at the local Hardee’s would make sure Mama had a smoked sausage & biscuit, day or night.  If anything was wrong or amiss, it was my Daddy’s name my Mama was calling.  When you ask Daddy how he did it all, he will kindly tell you he didn’t have to do it.  He got to do it.  Mama & Daddy loved each other before she got sick.  But their real love story came after she got sick.  That’s when the rubber met the road, so to speak.  When the cream rose to the top.  That’s when it really counted.  It was a true, Godly love they had.

man

The one God said was between a man & woman.

My Daddy stepped up, out of love & honor, for my Mama.  And she let him.  That’s my favorite love story.

Lord have mercy, I am an emotional wreck after all that.  But it’s ok.  I wanted to share it with you all.  Now that I’ve bawled my eyes out, I should feel better.  I hope you have a beautiful Valentine’s Day.  One with chocolate & the like.  I should be getting some chocolate.  When I say should be, I mean hope someone gets me some because, if I don’t receive any, I will be purchasing some.  Just for the comradery of it all.  Here’s wishing you chocolate kisses & Russell Stover heart shaped candy boxes filled with chocolates this Valentine’s Day.  Until I get my own Valentine’s candy, I will be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: http://www.mydiaryyourstory.blogspot.com,www.raleigh.corpcaterers.com, http://www.diyready.com

 

World MS Day – May 28, 2014

world ms day

Yesterday was World MS Day- so I pretty much messed that up.  Because I am telling you about it today.  A day late.  Oh well, such as my life.

As many of you may be aware, MS is a disease that took my family by surprise, about 30 years ago.  In the mid 80s, my Mama started having all kinds of crazy things happen to her.  She was losing feeling in her legs & hands.  Her memory was failing her.  She had chronic UTIs.  She was having back problems & other assortments of painful ailments.  And she was only in her early 40s!  After many doctor visits, much worry, lots of praying, & a plethora of medical tests that we had never heard of in our lives, Mama was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Thus, began her journey & ours with her, as the long road home.  It was not pretty, convenient, or anything that she ever imagined doing.  However, we learned, out of all the things in life you can really do something about, sometimes, your health is not one of them.  We learned we loved her & each other more than we could ever know.  We stuck together & supported one another.  My Mama, Daddy, brother, grandmother, & I had people come out of the woodwork to help us.  People that were right there with us, until she passed away May 24, 2002.  For that, we will be forever grateful.  You just can’t handle all of this by yourself, ya know?  It was a humbling, painful, heart wrenching, exhausting, loving, heartbreaking, beautiful something you never want even your worst enemy to go through kind of experience.  And I did not know the World MS Day of recognition- for all these wonderful people was yesterday.  Serves me right.  I am just awesome like that.  Anyway, I got on the website, which you can go to here.

I did give my One Wish.ms day i

 

 

 

Maybe you might go over there & honor these folks, too.  May I just say may God bless the people with this disease & their care givers.  I love all y’all.

Thank you for taking time to stop by today.  I am always glad to see you!  I hope you have a good rest of the holiday week (this is Friday, right?) No wait.  I’m not sure.  I have to be going now, I will be much better off washing clothes!

Remembering Tawanna

bridge                                                                                                        Photo credit sevennine Marc Hodges

It has taken me a few days to get my thoughts together on how I want to do this post.  Our family had a dear cousin to pass away unexpectedly, about two weeks ago.  She was in a car accident.  She was taken to the nearest trauma hospital, where she fought to live.  But then, God had other plans.  One of my favorite reminders right now is this:

God’s power to restore is stronger than Satan’s power to destroy.

One of my favorite scriptures is

Job 2:10  Shall we accept good from God & shall we not accept adversity?

We accepted the precious time with her that God gave us.  We must learn to accept the finality of her being gone.   With these things in mind, I wanted to write a post in hopes to pay tribute to a wonderful soul.

The first memories I have of her are when I was about 13-14 years old.  She is a cousin by marriage.  At the time, though, it was at a friend’s house that I became acquainted with her.  The first time I saw her, she was sitting at their kitchen bar, smoking a cigarette (which was the norm in our world back then) talking, & laughing.  There was a little blond headed girl, of hers, that was running around the house.  It would not take long to know she doted on that pretty little lass.  She was funny, outspoken, & always a work of art to be around.  In the next few years, she became more of a shining beacon in my life.  While I was in my teen years, I spent a lot of time with her.  Even though she was 7 years older than me, we never really noticed.  She was always there with a listening ear.  I had my fair share of boyfriend problems (like any teenage girl).  She was there to listen & to plot their demise.  It was also a delicate time for me with my family, as well.  This was the same time my mama was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Anything that my dear friend ran across, about this unknowing disease, she would pass along to me.  She would always write notes on the news articles, letting me know, no matter what, I was loved.

I will never forget her helping me one time, get ready for prom.  My mama was in the hospital.  I was telling her how I did not know what I was going to do.  I had never been to the prom before.  I had a dress, but that was as far as I had gotten.  She put her arm around me & told me not to worry, that we would take care of it.  The day of the prom, she did my make-up, my hair, my nails, & made sure I looked presentable for the occasion.  It wasn’t so much the make-up on my face or hairspray in my hair that I remember.  It was how I felt.  She made me feel like I was important, loved, & cared for.   She always had a way of making others just feel that way.  I remember her husband coming home from work & of course being so sweet. Making over me before he turned all his attention to the little blonde haired girl.    I don’t really ever recall my friend saying she wanted to be embedded in people’s minds.  But she was.  She was the kind of person that makes marks on people’s lives.  An unconscious unspoken effort to make you feel loved & to remember Tawanna had been there.  And you did & we have.

She was crazy about her daughter.  I remember one summer, I wanted to take her to the park to play. My friend thought that was a lovely idea.  First, though, I had to prove I was a fit driver.  With my friend in the passenger seat, I made several trips around town, cautiously attending to all laws of the road.  After that day, she deemed me worthy to transport her little darling.  To the park I went with the little blonde headed girl!

My friend was always happy & smiling.  And when she wasn’t happy & smiling, well, you knew the why, who, what, & when of all of it.  She wasn’t much to hold back.  She never tried to be something she wasn’t.  She had a light heartedness about her.  Someone you don’t easily forget.  She had her own ways of thinking.  She did not look at things in the same way that most of us do.  She was different.  How boring would the world be if we were all alike?  She was educated.  She held a degree from the University of Mississippi.  That was nothing to brush to the side.  She had a brilliant mind.  She was adventurous & gypsy at heart.  There is a whole other story of who she was, if my husband were to be writing this.  Growing up, she was his best friend.  He knew the intents of her heart.  They were good.  Sometimes.  From what I am told, together, they were a force to be reckoned with.  In her defense, his intentions were not always good either!  As they got older, it did not matter how long in between times he had seen or talked to her.  When they met back up, it was like they picked right up where they left off.  Kindred spirits.

It may seem cliché that this song written by Paul Simon came to mind with the passing of her from this life.  She was too young to go.  Only 48 years old.  She was a beautiful & loyal friend to many.   I read through this song & it seemed fitting.  We all need a bridge over troubled water, from time to time.  It’s part of our walk here.  Even still, some things about her life may have not been so pretty.  She had her struggles.  Don’t we all?  Sometimes life is hard for no reason at all.  I have found in life, you can dwell on the good or the bad.  I choose good.  In her true form, she was exceptionally good.  When you read over these lines, take a minute to let the words sink in.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I’m on your side
Oh when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you

I’ll take your part
Oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Sail on silver girl, sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine

Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Songwriter
SIMON, PAUL

Knowing Tawanna was like being on a ride.  Sometimes it was tumultuous & scary.  Sometimes it was laughing from your belly, having the time of your lives.  Sometimes it was wondering what was coming up next.  But no matter what, at the end of the day I always knew she loved me & her family.  Even though the ride was full of twists, turns & jolts of lightning, we can all say we were better for having bought a ticket.

Sweet blonde headed girl- I read something in one of your Facebook posts that hit home with me.  You were telling people what they could do to honor your mother.  You said,

“Words mean a lot to me.” 

That statement was a defining moment for me.  Words mean a lot to me, too.  That’s why I get so up in the air, disgruntled when people use them loosely.  I have a big tendency to take things to heart.  I know you do, too.  If I hear words, good or bad, whether they are said with meaning or not, that’s a big deal to me.  I take words very seriously.  I hope as you have read this, you know I mean these words.  I loved your mama.  She always held a special place in my heart & always will.

Thank you for stopping by today & helping me pay respects to our cousin.  I had the blonde headed girl read this before I posted it.  She told me something that made my heart happy.  She said her mama did not get to go to her own prom , because she was expecting her.  I am so thankful I got to spend that time with her fixing me up for my prom.  It just makes it more special.  I pray you have a blessed day.  If you get a chance, please say a prayer for our cousin’s daughter & family.    I know they all would be grateful.  I have to be going now, because I should be washing clothes.

How to make it in a hard time

Bible-Verses-On-Faith-Romans-4-20-22-Waterfall-Landscape-HD-Christian-Wallpaper

Sometimes when I have a problem, I let it take me over.  It’s all I think about.  I just can’t get it off my mind.  I want to talk about it, whine about it, be a bit dramatic about it, contemplate “why me”, &  so forth & so on.  I walk around with a cloud over my head, tensed up, perhaps not very friendly, & then inside the pit of my stomach, it starts to burn.  I begin to feel bad all over.  I get to thinking nobody has had this bad of a situation EVER! Then, I hear a voice in the back of my head, (which is my mama, God rest her soul).  She always would tell me,

“Get ahold of yourself.” 

Now, what does that mean, you may ask?  Well, my sweet southern mama had her fair share of problems.  At what most of us call mid-life, she found out she had Multiple Sclerosis.  For years, she fought this disease with such grace.  She never relented or let on that she had given in to what life had set before her.  She “got ahold” of herself & the life changing event & did not let it overtake her, as a person.  It’s so funny.  We respected her & loved her so much, that even being bedfast, she still told us all what to do.  And we did it, because even though her body was weak, the fire the Lord put down in her was not.  She showed us that even though you are right in the middle of a bad situation, it does not have to take ahold of you.  Morals & character surface when troubles make themselves present.  Let me tell you, my mama had strong Christian convictions & proved to us that living it was the only way to survive.  She never held a pity party for long.  She encouraged us to follow suit.  No matter how out of sorts things got, with the MS, she showed us the Lord had a plan.  She strongly believed He was the healer.  She did what the doctors said, but in the end, she showed us God has the last say.  The message was when you live for the Lord, no problem you have is too big for Him.  There is nothing that you & Him can’t handle.  No matter what happens it’s for the greater good.  We may not see it right then.  However, it’s God’s time, not ours.

There were some people in the Bible that thought they had problems.  One that comes right to mind is Peter.

Peter denied Christ. 

Jesus told him by the time the rooster crowed, he would deny Him three times.  (Matthew 26:34) Peter thought that was crazy talk.  Until it happened.  Historically, it is said, the 3rd time Peter denied Jesus, Peter looked across the way & locked eyes with the Lord.  If that is true, can you imagine what a rush of shame must have come over him?  After that he went out & wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:75)  Not just a silent, tearful, moment, but bawlin’ his eyes out.   Don’t you reckon Peter thought he had created himself a big problem?  Poor Peter, I’m glad the story did not end there.  Peter got through that awful experience & went on to serve the Lord with great eagerness.  He did not let a tragedy paralyze him in the work Jesus needed him to do.  He repented, “got ahold of himself” & went on.   Thank goodness there is life after problems.

When Mama was sick, we thought we had problems.  Big, huge, frightening problems that we did not know how to handle.  But you know what happened?  Every time we turned around, there was someone there willing to help.  Sometimes it was someone sharing their story to let us know they had also been through a similar trial, so we would not feel like we were in this by ourselves.  Sometimes it was a homemade cake or meal cooked.  Sometimes it was a wonderful helper to relieve us & sit with Mama while we tended to other things.  Sometimes it was a friend with a listening ear.  In the whole ordeal with her, I never remember feeling like we were alone.  It gave us a greater thankfulness & faith in humanity & how God works through people.  It strengthened our faith in the Lord, as well.  Would we have learned & appreciated all of this, had we not been through this experience?  I’m going to say probably not.  Was it a wonderful & beautiful thing?  Well, if you would have asked me that back in the middle of all of it, I would have absolutely said no.  Now, though, I see so many blessings that came out of it, I just can’t keep it to myself!  In this storm of life that came our way, I want everyone to know how good God was to us.

Today, I hope you know if you are struggling with a problem, you are not alone.  I am here to tell you everybody on the face of this Earth has a struggle.  If someone says they don’t, don’t you believe them!  We are here to help each other.  If you stretch out your hand to help someone, you will be blessed for it, as well.  Sometimes it can be hard to admit we have things in our lives that are not so great.  However, when we open up, we find a whole lot of support from people, that we never would have imagined.  As Christians, we are not told we won’t have problems.  We are just given the tools to know how to handle them.  What can you do to help someone?  Start by smiling at someone today.  That may just be all it takes to melt their heart & make their day more bearable.

I have so enjoyed you stopping by today.  I hope you are getting that menu ready for your Thanksgiving dinner.  We will be hosting another breakfast & dinner at our house, for our family & friends.  There are 13 of us now (that just includes my husband, kids & their families)   I just can’t put that off on somebody else to try & feed us!  My brother & his family will be coming from a faraway land, 200 miles south of us, as well.  Miss Neenee has only asked 241 times when her cousins will be getting here.  I hope each & every one of you have a happy & healthy Thanksgiving holiday.  As for me, I have to be going now, because I should be washing clothes.

 

Introducing a new resource for Multiple Sclerosis-Healthline

Healthy Life

Not everyone is blessed with good health.

There, saying that, I will say, at this moment, I am very fortunate to have good health.  However, my mother was not so lucky.  Somewhere around the age of 43, my Mama was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  When she found out, it was like a closet was open & all of this stuff came tumbling out.  The variety of sicknesses she had throughout the past 20 years, finally made sense.  She had bouts with chronic kidney infections, back problems, fatigue, tingling sensations, & weakness.  Sometimes these things would put her in the hospital.  Once she was diagnosed, it’s like a light went off.  That’s what all those things were, over the years….. MS.  Sadly, back in the 70s & 80s, there was not a lot known about MS.  The day the neurologist told her she had MS, is seared in my mind.  I was 15 years old & in the waiting room, with my grandmother, when Mama & Daddy came out the door of the doctor’s office.  She was crying, which she did not normally do in front of people.  Daddy was helping her along, because she was having an episode of this stuff & could not walk very well.  She had some pamphlets & said the doctor told her she had MS.  Good Lord, we didn’t know what that was or how to find out what it was.  We had a medical book of sorts, that had symptoms in the front & diseases in the back.  She found a short one page explanation about Multiple Sclerosis in it.  Other than things in newspapers & magazines, that was all the information we had (and there wasn’t a whole lot of that.)  Remember, this was long before the internet.

Thank the Lord for people like Maggie & her bunch at Healthline.  Healthline is a wonderful resource to check symptoms, find information about specific illnesses, and share with others your journey of afflictions.  This has a team of REAL doctors that “reviews every original article that contains medical information for accuracy, appropriateness of medical language, and proper characterization of the findings. An editor then edits the article for style, flow, punctuation, and readability. Finally, the story moves from editing to publishing, where it is converted to HTML and published to the site.”  If I have a question, in the middle of the night, when I can’t talk to my doctor, this is the kind of place I would like to be.  Healthline has a lot of different resources to offer folks.  The website is not just for sicknesses, but also how to stay well.  Most importantly, it has a wonderful section covering Multiple Sclerosis.  My Mama lived 15 years, after she was diagnosed.  I would have loved to have had access to this, when she was living.  However, it is a terrific tool for us to use now.  Early detection of Multiple Sclerosis is a great thing.  It gives you so many more opportunities for treatment.  Maggie contacted me & asked if I would be interested in adding Healthline as a resource on my blog.  “Well, thank you, Maggie, I would be tickled to death.” I am going to put a link to this website to my side bar.  That way, if you forget what the name of the awesome website is, you can always come to visit my blog & find it on my page.

I appreciate you stopping by today to hear about this newfound resource of mine.  I believe we should take care of each other.  If we can’t do that what good are we?? Jesus said Love thy neighbor as thyself (Mark 12:31) & I love ya’ll!  That’s why I could not wait to pass this on to you.  Hope you are having a good day.  As for me, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

National Multiple Sclerosis Day – It’s today!

National MS Day

I had no idea there was an actual Multiple Sclerosis Day! I have the deepest respect for those who have MS.   My Mama had MS, so I am a first hand cheerleader for anyone with this disease.  I know MS normally shows up in people in their 20s & 30s. I did read a story about a girl who found out she had MS at the age of 19. She is such a brave person.  Please take time to read her story of courage & hope here.

So thankful for the people who have come up with this idea to honor these precious folks with MS.  I am so glad you came by to visit with me today. I have to be going now because I should be washing clothes.

MS connect

 

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness week March 11-17

ms monthMarch is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month.  March 11-17th is MS Awareness week.  My Mama had MS & died at the age of 55.  There have been many developments & break-throughs with MS, since she was diagnosed.  Here are some questions & answers, that you may find interesting,  about MS:

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord). It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. This means the immune system incorrectly attacks the person’s healthy tissue.

MS can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness and more. These problems may be permanent or may come and go.

Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although individuals as young as 2 and as old as 75 have developed it. MS is not considered a fatal disease as the vast majority of people with it live a normal life-span. But they may struggle to live as productively as they desire, often facing increasing limitations.

Who gets MS?

Anyone may develop MS but there are some patterns. More than twice as many women as men have MS. Studies suggest that genetic factors make certain individuals more susceptible than others, but there is no evidence that MS is directly inherited. MS occurs in most ethnic groups, including African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics/Latinos, but is more common in Caucasians of northern European ancestry.

How many people have MS?

More than 2.1 million people are affected by MS worldwide. Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not require U.S. physicians to report new cases, and because symptoms can be completely invisible, the prevalence of MS in the U.S. can only be estimated. The Society continues to advocate for the establishment of a national registry that will track the number of people living with MS and has made a commitment to re-evaluate the current prevalence estimate and investigate the process by which an updated estimate can be identified.

What are the typical symptoms of MS?

Symptoms of MS are unpredictable, vary from person to person, and from time to time in the same person. For example: One person may experience abnormal fatigue and episodes of numbness and tingling. Another could have loss of balance and muscle coordination making walking difficult. Still another could have slurred speech, tremors, stiffness, and bladder problems.

Sometimes major symptoms disappear completely, and the person regains lost functions. In severe MS, people have symptoms on a permanent basis including partial or complete paralysis, and difficulties with vision, cognition, speech, and elimination.

What causes the symptoms?

MS symptoms result when an immune-system attack affects myelin, the protective insulation surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Myelin is destroyed and replaced by scars of hardened “sclerotic” tissue. Some underlying nerve fibers are permanently severed. The damage appears in multiple places within the central nervous system.

Myelin is often compared to insulating material around an electrical wire; loss of myelin interferes with the transmission of nerve signals.

Is MS fatal?

In rare cases MS is so malignantly progressive it is terminal, but most people with MS have a normal or near-normal life expectancy. Severe MS can shorten life.

Does MS always cause paralysis?

No. Moreover, the majority of people with MS do not become severely disabled. Two-thirds of people who have MS remain able to walk, though many will need an aid, such as a cane or crutches, and some will use a scooter or wheelchair because of fatigue, weakness, balance problems, or to assist with conserving energy.

Is MS contagious or inherited?

No. MS is not contagious and is not directly inherited. Studies do indicate that genetic factors may make certain individuals susceptible to the disease.

Can MS be cured?

Not yet. There are now FDA-approved medications that have been shown to “modify” or slow down the underlying course of MS. In addition, many therapeutic and technological advances are helping people manage symptoms. Advances in treating and understanding MS are made every year, and progress in research to find a cure is very encouraging.

What medications and treatments are available?

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society recommends that a person consider treatment with one of the FDA-approved “disease-modifying” drugs as soon as possible following a definite diagnosis of MS with active or relapsing disease. These drugs help to lessen the frequency and severity of MS attacks, reduce the accumulation of lesions (areas of damage) in the brain, and may slow the progression of disability.

In addition to drugs that address the basic disease, there are many therapies for MS symptoms such as spasticity, pain, bladder problems, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, weakness, and cognitive problems. People should consult a knowledgeable physician to develop a comprehensive approach to managing their MS

Why is MS so difficult to diagnose?

In early MS, symptoms that might indicate any number of possible disorders come and go. Some people have symptoms that are very difficult for physicians to interpret, and these people must “wait and see.” While no single laboratory test is yet available to prove or rule out MS, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a great help in reaching a definitive diagnosis.

Read more on diagnosing MS at www.nationalmssociety.org

miss my mom

 

Where your treasures are……

bth_praying-hands

II Corinthians 12:7-10

When my mother was in the last stages of Multiple Sclerosis, she used to call my Dad to her bedside.  “Pray for me.”  She would say, “I am so tired, I just want to go.”  My Daddy would pray for her, then he would try to lighten the mood.  He would tell her that her illness was helping her to lay up treasures in heaven.   That by her being sick, it was allowing others to do good deeds for her.  And by that, she was allowing God to work through her.  He would tell her, God even allowed the Apostle Paul to have a thorn in the flesh. 

II Corinthians 12: 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

With that she would reason, if God wanted her to have this disease, He would take care of her.  Just as Paul reasoned in

II Cor 12: 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

At this point in the conversation, my mama would tell Daddy “Then, go lay up some treasures in heaven & get me some ice cream!”

We never know what God has in store for our lives. However, we know where to turn when the storms of life get rough.  He is the one & only hope that we have.  During the holidays I miss my mama more than ever.  But I do find comfort in knowing what a strong faith she had. At this time of the year, let us remember, with thanksgiving & hope the wonderful blessings God has given us, no matter what our circumstances.  Christmas is a time of giving.  We should be mindful that the giving of ourselves, for the work of the Lord, is most important.

I have loved having you stop by & visit today.  Please come back again soon.  I have to be going now because I should be washing clothes…..