Category Archives: MS

Egg Spinach Bake-a sort of recipe

I would love to be a full-time food blogger, but I don’t know that much about food and cooking. What I can do is write about my efforts to cook healthy meals for myself. I have MS, so healthy eating should be a top priority in my life. Eating healthfully takes a bit of time and effort. I don’t have tons of time, or should I say, that I don’t always manage my time well? I need a way to make healthy eating easy. I need to take action without having first devised some elaborate plan that requires the use of Microsoft Project, and an administrative assistant. I have to take baby-steps.

Today, I’m sharing an easy recipe that works for me. It’s a baked egg and spinach meal. I’ll admit it needs a flavor upgrade, but it’s edible and gives me a vegetable serving. That’s not too shabby. This is loosely based on this recipe on epicurious.

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The Common Cold

I’m getting over a cold this weekend. The illness itself only lasted about four days, but the lead up to getting cold symptoms was a week and a half. I blame MS and maybe hormones.

I realized several years ago that I would inevitably have low energy periods each month. I experienced flu-like symptoms (fatigue and muscle aches) without the upper respiratory distress. Every time I made plans to start a regular fitness regime, I would feel not well enough to get started.  Now that I know I have MS, it all makes sense.

You see, the period when I’m coming down with a cold is slightly worse for me than for people who don’t have an autoimmune disease. I’m just guessing. I haven’t done a study. I missed a few days of work last week because it seemed prudent not to overtax myself. I didn’t get a lot of exercise either. I feared that overdoing it could lead to a flare-up.

The only way I can get in better shape when I’m faced with these monthly energy fluctuations is to not skip workouts when I’m feeling good, and do what I can during my less than 100% periods. I’m considering getting in a little strength training every day with some cardio built in. I keep talking about it, but not making a plan. The trick is not to use the lack of a plan as an excuse to doing nothing.

Today, I’m recovering. Tomorrow should be better. I might do some hooping.

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Let’s give this year a try

It’s 2017 and I’m still here, but I sometimes feel like I’m running out of time. The best course of action would be to form a plan. Can I make a plan without the plan itself becoming my primary focus? Or, is that the point? They say that it’s the journey and not the destination, don’t they? Oh, THEY are wise.

Resolve

I gave up on making New Year’s resolution. They set you up for failure. I do however, want to make some changes in my life this year. I have MS, so taking care of my physical and mental health should be my number one priority. That means making more time for exercise, and to do that I will need to put my needs before my father’s needs. Taking time to cook healthy meals is another top priority. Next on the list is my creative practice. I want to continue to make lots of art and jewelry. I want to start selling that art and jewelry. As the list grows, I begin to worry that I won’t be able to manage it all. I want to give up before I start.

That paragraph looked like a bunch of New Year’s resolutions to me. I think it will help if I blog everyday. I know, that’s another item added to the list, but I won’t achieve anything if I don’t keep reaching. This year, I’m taking a journey, and I’ll blog about. That’s the ticket!

sketch

Beginnings of a mixed media work.

This Week

I had the notion that I would be able to work a lot of hours during the holiday break when my husband is not working. Tomorrow is Thursday, and I have worked no days. I haven’t been feeling great this week, so was probably a good idea to get some rest. Still, I was hoping to earn a bit more money than I usually do.

On the plus side:

  • I cleaned the cat room so it’s not quite as disgusting as it was. This is a first step to getting my art stuff organized.
  • I returned the library books I had checked our for my Digital Humanities project.
  • I’ve been doing a bit more art journaling than usual.
  • I roasted some frozen broccoli and almost did a blog post about it–almost.

I’d talk about the stuff that I’m not accomplishing, but I don’t want to dwell on the negative.

I’ve been thinking about trying to do the bullet journal thing again. I know I wouldn’t follow through. It seems like so much work. I think the biggest problem would be my bad handwriting. I would always be judging the look of my journal. Improving my handwriting is another project I’ve had in mind. There’s no reason I can’t get going on that one right away.

I’m writing short sentences. If I had my druthers, I would go back and rework this post. I don’t have any druthers. Here’s a word origin note; Druthers is a 19th-century corruption of the sound of would rather or ruther. That could have been better worded, but I don’t care enough to bother.

Random list of wants:

  • I want to be warm.
  • I want to cut down on sweets.
  • I want to have a plan for working out consistently.
  • I want to write more.
  • I want to think more deeply about dance improvisation.

I deleted the Enso game from my phone, but still have it on the iPad. It continues to mess up my neck. Making digital art on my devices is not helping either.

Abstract digital art.

Digital art made with Dreamscope and Enlight.

MS note: Not a great leg day, but not an awful one. Too much sitting causes a lot of tingling.

At last

I started writing the following a little while ago, but never finished it.

I’m at the hospital waiting to check in for my MRIs. I see the neurologist next week for a 6- month follow-up. She’ll review the MRIs to see how effective the Copaxone injections have been.

The hospital’s main floor is busy. It almost seems like some senior citizens are here on a field trip. It’s kind of unnerving.

This is really not a post about MS, but I’ll report that I had a not-so-great leg day on Monday. I think it was because I didn’t go back to bed for more sleep after Sadie got me up at around 7:30. The last two days have been much better.

I dreamed this morning of two old friends from grad school (UIUC Dance Dept.) I also saw swirling letters or words. When I have these dreams a try and see if the letters are spelling anything, but they fade away too quickly.

Tomorrow is the second to last class of my Library Science grad school career. My application to graduate seems to have gone through, and I’m looking forward to not being a student.

21 days later I’m finally posting

I got an email confirming the address my diploma will be mailed to, so I guess I have graduated. The neurologist said my MRIs looked good and she’ll see me in 6 months. I suppose the Copaxone is working.

This week is dragging. On Monday, I thought that if anyone at work asked how I was, I would say, “I’ve had enough.” No one asked. Tuesday wasn’t as bad, but it wasn’t great. Wednesday was better. It could be that I’m tolerating life better because the arctic air has been moving out. I hate being cold!

If I’m going to get this posted, I need to stop writing. I should have more time to blog now that school is over.

I also have got to stop playing Enso. It’s ruining my neck.

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Enso game

 

 

Is it that bad?

If you pay attention to the news or log on to Facebook you’ll learn about horrible things going on in the world. Sometimes you hear about good things, but the bad sticks with you. It’s like when you get a new shirt, and ten people tell you how nice you look in it, but one person says “that’s not a good color on you.”  The natural tendency is to forget the compliments and latch on to the one negative comment. Why are we like this?

Illustration of blue t-shirt.

If you have a tendency experience depression and anxiety, latching onto the negative is a habit you must get out of. It’s a habit, which for me, could lead to serious health problems. As I learned in March of this year, too much stress can cause an MS flare-up (relapse). A flare-up can result in permanent nerve damage. I don’t want that to happen.

Here are 10 things I can do to stay positive and mentally healthy.

  1. Stay off of Facebook
  2. Write everyday
  3. Breathe
  4. Make art
  5. Make jewelry
  6. Escape into fiction books
  7. Meditate
  8. Exercise
  9. Experience nature
  10. Eat right

If I look back at my life I can see that everything always works out. I don’t have to worry about some disaster happening because a disaster has never happened. Even my MS diagnosis wasn’t a disaster. The Universe takes care of me. I’ve just got to trust it.

It helps to do the little things to take care of myself like going to Goodwill and buying some jeans to replace the ones with holes in them that I won’t stop wearing. Don’t I deserve to be not dressed in rags? Three of my favorite pairs of shoes have holes in them too, so I need to get those replaced.

Here’s something I made on my iPhone with Sketch Club and Reflection.

Digital drawing of butterfly

Butterfly reflected

Breathing, breathing, breathing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it PMS or the MS?

To recap, I was diagnosed with MS in March of 2016. It wasn’t a surprise because I had suspected it for years. I had the tingling, the weakness, the drop foot, etc.

I’ve had a theory that I’ve been suffering from exaggerated PMS symptoms ever since I stopped taking the birth control pill (post hysterectomy). Every month there’s about a week and a half when I feel like I have a mild flu. I need to sleep a lot, my lower back hurts, and my hip flexors tighten. I think these symptoms couple with or exaggerate my MS symptoms and generally make my life difficult.

I’m currently experiencing that phase of the month, but I think things are slightly better because I’ve been working on improving the health of my legs. I do strengh training for the leg muscles twice a week, and I try to walk 30 minutes on the treadmill on most days. The trick is to make sure I work  out during these “fluish” times of the month so I can continue to improve my fitness level. I’ve been drinking a lot more water these days which I think is making a difference too.

I’m not doing great on the diet side of the equation. I haven’t been eating enough food because of the anxiety I’ve been feeling. Thus, I haven’t been getting those five fruits and vegetables every day. The increased Fluoxetine dosage seems to be working now that three weeks has passed. I’m hoping things will continue to improve.

Making art helps ease the anxiety. I’m trying to keep my art blog going as I create. I’m starting to think of myself as an artist. I’ve got two canvases going now. The art journal work has ceased for the moment. I’m sure I’d be more productive if I cleaned off my table. That might happen someday.

Photo of 10 x 10 canvas in progress.

Canvas in progress.

 

 

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