Saturday, November 5, 2011

Omhu. This is a totally rad walking stick!


I feel compelled to let you know about this great deal on a really groovy walking stick made by Omhu (Danish for “with great care”).

First, let me describe it a bit. This is not your ordinary cane. When I look at this walking stick, I see bicycles and Scandinavian furniture. And this is intentional. Omhu brings style and a bit of happiness to the walking stick, a nice departure from the usual medicinal looking ones. Rad, right? The wood is all natural and toxic free. The shaft is painted with American bicycle paint and there are six colors available. Mine is turquoise. And, when you lean it against the wall it doesn’t slip because of the grip strips in the handle. The tip has great traction because Omhu uses the same material used in high performance athletic shoes. It is simply really, really cool.
Non slip grip strips!
6 awesome colors available!
Great traction!
I got my Omhu walking stick at fab.com at $50 off! What a smokin’ deal. This is a great purchase for any MSer who wants to walk around with a bit of style. And, they have MS orange!

Now if only I can avoid getting my Omhu walking stick tangled in the legs of my loved ones as they walk beside me!

To buy your Omhu walking stick, go to fab.com. 45 days left for the sale and there are only 9 left!

For more information on Omhu, check out their website.

Be well everyone.

Christie

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hup ECTRIMS!

Hup Holland! I just had to throw that out there as a daughter of Dutch parents. I also threw it out there because in Amsterdam, the ECTRMIS has started! This is the biggest MS research conference ever with 7,000 people in attendance. Our friends Julie Stachowiak and Kate Milliken are there and will be providing updates as the conference happens.  

I love this quote from Timothy Coetzee, PhD when Kate Milliken spoke with him the day before the conference. It sums up perfectly why it is so important that this event is happening:

“We know more now about MS than ever before and we can actually become more precise about how we treat MS so that we can specifically target the immune system, or perhaps think about repairing the nervous system and even take it to the next generation of stopping the disease forever”.  

Be sure to check the National MS Society blog page where the updates will be posted...[read more here].

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Live Wednesday Night! "Humor Me" on mslolradio

Friends,

Be sure to check out tomorrow's blogtalkradio program "Humor Me: Finding the funny while living with MS" on mslolradio hosted by our friend Amy Gurowitz. I am not sure about you, but I definitely use humor as a coping mechanism for living with MS. Amy's guests do too so be sure to listen in for a few chuckles. Oh! One more thing. I'll be on the show too!

Please follow this link for more information MSLOLRADIO "Humor Me: Finding the funny while living with MS. You are invited to call into the show to share your funny stories and laughs.

See you there!

Be well,
Christie

Monday, September 26, 2011

When is it Time to Get the Blue Placard?


I knew it was only a matter of time before I made a very important decision. To do the handicap placard or to not do the handicap placard. That is the question. I have been wrangling with this one for some time, always coming up with reasons as to why my perfectly (dis)abled body does not need to be rescued by a privileged parking space. That’s how I see it.  Here’s why.

First, my symptoms are never that bad. At least that’s what I’ve always told myself. I can park in any spot in the parking lot of Bed, Bath and Beyond and capably walk to the front door. This always leads me to my second point, which is that I really do not want to take a handicapped spot away from someone who needs it more than me. How on earth would I be able to live with myself if I drove my car atop the asphalt spot painted with the universal disabled symbol and actually took it from someone else? I am not sure I could live with the guilt of stealing a spot when I feel perfectly fine. This line of thinking always ends with the forever silent, unmentionable realization that I am a disabled person who might need assistance one day too. 

Nope. Not this MSer. My third point I always think is a strong one. I need the exercise. Walking. Walking is good exercise. The farther out I park the car, the more exercise I will get. I often reason with myself. I do not need to shrink my already limited exercise routine by decreasing the steps per minute that would come from parking so close to the entrance of the mall. Ha, ha! Good one.

Lastly, the place where I need assistance the most is at work yet I adamantly tell myself that I am not ready to come out with my diagnosis to my office mates. Parking in the handicapped area will clearly force me out of the MS closet. I know what you’re thinking, ‘o readers of mine. How much of a secret could it really be if I write publicly on this blog? Minor detail. I remain inflexible. I cannot get a handicapped placard. Everyone will notice me stepping out of my car parked in the blue zone right in front of the office building entrance. It will be so immediately obvious. There is no way to avoid it. Everyone knows what kind of car I drive and they do not have a clue that I live with MS. I always ask myself questions. How is this going to work? Am I ready for this or should I dream up a story that I am recovering from a very serious bike accident? People will believe me, right? Yes I realize that keeping up with a story like this will be difficult and has the potential of getting completely out of hand as I will be forced to describe every elaborate detail of my crash. Besides, I can’t wear a fake cast forever. On the other hand, parking is so limited at my office that many of us are forced to park on a dauntingly steep hill that is an exercise routine all in itself. 300+ steps from the office front door to the top. I counted one day. I still conclude and tell myself: more points to add to my third reason above if I don’t get the placard, right?

This all changed with my recent relapse. Just last week my MS took me by surprise and rewarded me with new numbness, from my waist down. Not full numbness but enough to give the impression that I should probably stop drinking at noon. This is when I decided it was time. I wrote it down on my task list: fill out DMV form for disability placard.  I will let you know how my first parking experience goes when my pretty blue placard arrives in the mail. Stay tuned.

In the meanwhile, I am sure many of you have had similar experiences. I would love to hear from you, to hear your story. How was your experience in getting the disability placard?

P.S. If you live in California, you can fill out the “Application for Disabled Person Placard or Plates” through this link:  Application for Placard.

Best always,
Christie

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Don’t Miss the Party!

I recently read an article about chronic pain and social isolation and was reminded that living with chronic pain, while it does stink, should not have to interfere with having fun. For me personally, I get my energy from being around my peeps so I don’t like to miss out on the festivities just because I don’t feel good. Sure, I have good days and bad days and I am aware of my limitations but mustering up some energy to spend time with my loved ones always makes me feel a wee bit better.  And, besides, the party is a great distraction from my chronic pain. Jeanne Faulkner of Quality Health put together some good tips on staying socially connected while living with chronic pain [read more here].

Be well and don’t miss the party!

Best always,
Christie

Monday, September 5, 2011

More Beating the Heat Tips

A few weeks ago I posted some great tips in beating the heat, courtesy of our friends at Pacific Coast Chapter of the MS Society, and recently learned about more ideas as some MSers deal with heat waves and extreme humidity this week.

Beat the Heat Tip #8: don’t want to swim at pool parties? Dip your legs in the water instead. I am not comfortable donning a bathing suit in public so I opt for sitting on the ledge and resting my legs in the water. It feels so good, especially when it’s 100 degrees outside! Now if I can just get the cannon bombers to stop splashing so much and reduce my anxiety about getting pushed in so my hearing aids don’t get wet, I’d really feel nice. Yelling “I’ve got $10,000 worth of equipment in my ears, don’t you dare push me in!” always seems to dissuade the soon-to-be pranksters.

Beat the Heat Tip #9: @LickingtheHoney mentioned my blog post recently on Twitter (thanks!). Here’s what she wrote: “@lesionjournals Love keeping cool tips. UK climate makes this easier, but I find I can't beat wet hair.” Great idea, thanks!

What are some of your tips in beating the heat? Let us know! 

Best always and stay cool! 

Christie

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Will my medication turn my hair green?

Me, grateful that my hair is not green
My hairdresser told me last night while I was getting my hair done that she thinks my medication has affected my hair color (yes, I dye my hair but I really like to think of it as an artful expression because I really only have chunky caramel highlights). This she told me as she peeked under the shiny foil folded in-between my hair follicles, the hair color burning my scalp. When I heard this I thought to myself, “Shit. Does that mean my hair is turning green? This will not bode well at the office on Monday. Who’s really going to take me seriously with my new look as I present to my VP the financial impacts of the latest company strategy? Will he focus on my bright green hair or on the ROI?” I had to ask, “My hair’s not turning green is it?” She calmed me and replied, “No, it’s just taking longer”. Well that was a relief to hear but begged the question, should I be more worried about my hair turning green or the fact that my cheeks turned lobster red from sitting under the dryers for too long? I think we MSers are not meant to be cooked quite like that. 

Best always,
Christie

Saturday, July 30, 2011

How to Beat the Heat

Great tips for beating the heat came through on Tweeter this past week, from our friends at the Pacific Coast Chapter of the MS Society. And, they reminded us “…heat generally produces only temporarily worsening of symptoms and does not cause more disease activity or damage to nerves”. The tweets below are great reminders on how to stay cool. Thanks for sending these out mspsc and stay cool everyone!

Top 7 Tips to Beat the Heat:
  • Beat the Heat Tip #1: Drink plenty of fluids. Water is the fluid of choice. Avoid caffeine as this acts as a diuretic.
  • Beat the Heat Tip #2: There are a number of cooling products including vests, neck wraps and bandanas available for purchase.
  • Beat the Heat Tip #3: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting and breathe-able clothing. Wearing light colors can also help.
  • Beat the Heat Tip #4: Make sure to do your outdoor activities during the cooler times of the day, usually early morning or evening. 
  • Beat the Heat Tip #5: Try an aquatics class. Check out some options in your neighborhood. 
  • Beat the Heat Tip #6: Don’t want to spend the money on a cooling product? Try a wet towel stored in the refrigerator or cooler.
  • Beat the Heat Tip #7: Try pre-cooling. Soak in a tub of cool water for 20-30 minutes before heading outside.
(slapping forehead) I suppose drinking gallons of coffee and wearing flannel yesterday was not a good plan.

P.S. most electric companies offer discount programs for MSers. After all, AC is a blessing during these fiery months! I just downloaded an application from SDG&E’s website: sdge medbaseline program.

P.P.S. Did you know? The cost of an air conditioner is tax-deductible with a document from your physician. Thanks for letting us know mspsc. I did not know this and gaining this knowledge right now was perfect timing – we need a new AC!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Watch my new video on WEGOHealth.tv!

I recently participated in a new project with WEGO Health called WEGOHealth.tv – it’s a different kind of online video platform dedicated to presenting the authentic voice of the online community by sharing advice, information and wisdom from Health Activists. 

The videos on WEGOHealth.tv are all about getting at the heart of the conversations we have here, putting our mission into motion and brining our passion to life.  
I invite you to take a few minutes to watch my video and share it with others in the community: http://bit.ly/mCsZ9b. We had fun filming and you're sure to enjoy it. 
I’d love to hear what you think! Is there another video we should make about questions we’re seeing in the community?
Best always,
Christie

Monday, June 27, 2011

How do you cope with fatigue?



I am not even sure how I deal with fatigue. At times, I don’t think I deal with it all except to lie down and rest. You know the feeling, right? It can feel as though we got knocked out from having walked into a brick wall. Sans bruises. No amount of caffeine in the world is enough to perk us up although I do try with triple skinny lattes.

I live with the added benefit of stressing that my fatigue is truly a time waster. My mind spins around and around, ultimately helping me reach the decision that fatigue = doing nothing…I feel lazy…I want to get out…do some gardening… I want to ride my bicycle… walk along the ocean…take some pictures…maybe make a painting…fat chance…too fatigued…I feel like an MS blob. Argh.

When I slow down to think about it, I know what is best. “Listen to your body”, my good friend Mel always reminds me. So I try to relax, grab my book and listen to the sound machine soothing me with ocean waves but the squawking seagulls I hear just brings me back to my circling neurosis, reminding me that I would much rather make a walk along the ocean. To hear the waves in person, live from beaches of sunny San Diego. I remind myself to work a little harder, continue reading and before I know it, I fall asleep.

So, my friends. How do you cope with fatigue? I would love to hear about your experiences and tips too!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Walking the Uneven Streets of Buenos Aires


I recently vacationed in Buenos Aires, my first trip abroad since my MS diagnosis! I had good days and bad days during our two-week stay and sometimes found myself getting stressed and anxious just simply walking down the streets of Buenos Aires since they are uneven with cobblestones and very crowded.  Allow me to share the state of my psyche one morning as we walked from our apartment to the subway station:

The uneven streets of Buenos Aires lurk below


[Christie] Another beautiful and sunny morning in Buenos Aires!  My legs feel wonky this morning, burning and unsteady with every step, so I feel like a drunk and it is not left over from the Malbec we drank last night.  These cobblestones will be tricky.  It’s a good thing I don’t wear high heals because I would fall constantly.  Instead I wear Keens, the most stable and comfortable shoes in the world.  They really handle the cobblestones and make me steady and ready to walk these uneven streets of Buenos Aires.  I like that I have two pairs.  One brown. One black. Squish!  What am I stepping in?  It’s just a little poo, which seems to be everywhere.  There are a lot of dogs in the uneven streets of Buenos Aires usually accompanied by a dog walker and leashed with thirteen other dogs. That’s potentially a lot of poo and this makes me wonder why I haven’t stepped in more. My sweetie tells me, reading from the guidebook, ‘it’s against the law in Buenos Aires if you walk more than sixteen dogs at a time.’ Hearing this makes me ponder how something like this would be regulated.  Maybe Buenos Aires has a special Dog Walkers Unit, DWU, counting the number of dogs per walker.  I imagine the DWU officer asking a dog walker ‘is that little terrier with you, the one peeing on the tree?’  It’s time to cross the street and we wait for the green figure to appear and tell us when it is it safe to go.  In the meanwhile, I notice the enormous piles of trash on the street corner.  And I ask, ‘don’t they have trash collectors in this city?’ I am suddenly reminded that the garbage workers are on strike.  No wonder there is so much trash on every street corner of Buenos Aires. It smells and I stress and I realize that I have more obstacles to maneuver: cobblestones, poo and now piles of garbage and my legs still feel wonky, burning and unsteady with every step. Green light!  We cross.  Oh god.  I freak, ‘why are there so many Argentines coming at me?’  My left eye is whacked, compromised, de-saturated and blurry, and I cannot rely on it to keep me on the straight and narrow. These Argentines are really moving fast! Suddenly, I am forced to use only my left eye since my right eye is now blocked by the figure of an Argentine as we cross the street together. My heart beats harder and my pace quickens. Shadows appear on the cross walk, from the nearby buildings and trees, and the anxiety builds up as I continue walking, in the dark now, refusing to take off my sunglasses because they’re prescription and I am near sighted. As I walk in the dark with these fast moving Argentines I try to figure out, ‘is that one person or three people coming towards me right now?’  Once across the street, I throw out my right hand, drag it along the graffiti stoned walls of Buenos Aires, to keep me steady and ready on these uneven streets. I really don’t want to fall down.  It’ll hurt. I remember what my good friend Mel always says when walking, ‘look ahead. Plan.’ I now look ahead.  Construction coming up! Big Hole! I walk around, quickly and carefully as I try not to fall in.  That would be embarrassing if I actually fell in.  I imagine my loved ones asking me as I recover in the hospital, ‘Christie, how did you manage to fall into the underground of Buenos Aires?’  And I think about how many bruises I’d likely get!  I have enough bruises from all the things I’ve already bumped into:  subway doors and turnstiles, café chairs, and the door handles of the apartment.  I do not need more. It’s not pretty. So in order to avoid more I focus and I plan.  I look ahead for the dangers that lurk on the uneven streets of Buenos Aires.  Cobbestones, poo, garbage and big holes in the streets.  We head to the subway (Subte) and the entrance is wicked intimidating: steep, very steep steps leading into a dark hole. I put my hand out, on the railing and start walking down the stairs. I tell myself, ‘don’t think about the germs and toxins that are caked on the railing.  Just focus and plan on getting down these steps safely’. My hand glides along the railing. Eww!  Germs and toxins.  Good grief.  But, I make it!  We are in the Subte station yet the train we want disappears into the dark tunnels of Buenos Aires. Shit. So we wait on the platform for the next.  I look around and notice that there are a lot of people down and around here.  A lot of Argentines take the Subte.  I begin to niggle.  I hope this crowd doesn’t knock me down.  I am not stable today.  Next train arrives.  Holy Crap!  It’s jammed pack.  How are we going to squeeze on board?  I watch the young man in front of us try first but he gets cut off by three other Argentines the last of whom gets his butt cheeks caught in-between the closing Subte doors as he tries to squeeze onto the already over crowded train.  He gets in, cheeks and all, yet the coat tails of his jacket stick out in-between the Subte doors as the train pulls away into the dark tunnels of Buenos Aires. Decidedly, I’m not squeezing these cheeks on a crowded Subte train.  That’ll feel weird.  Besides, my butt is much larger than his and I’m likely to cause an uproar if the doors try to close which will likely lead to a protest in the streets of Buenos Aires as these Argentines like to protest.  We board the next train which is just as crowded as the other and I smoosh in-between swarms of Argentines who hold me up with their arms, legs, bellies, butts and shoulders and I ask myself, ‘am I even touching the ground?’  All I can do is giggle.  Really giggle. I am the only one giggling on this train, aside from my sweetie, and this makes me giggle more.  The Argentines are not finding this the least bit funny. Suddenly I have to pee.  I hope there is a bathroom at the Evita museum.  Instead.I. Just. Hold. It and silently thank the Argentines who do not laugh for holding up today because I needed some support.  
After walking the uneven streets of Buenos Aries, we squeeze onto the crowded Subte
Despite all this niggling, it has not tainted my wanderlust and I can't wait to see more of this world! How about you? What have your travel experiences been like since your diagnosis (or for your MSer)? I'd love to hear from you!

Best always,
Christie 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Day I Met Phil of the “Amazing Race”

That's me with Phil of "The Amazing Race"!!!

April 25, 2011.

It was a great day, that 25th day in April, the day I met Phil Keoghan of the “Amazing Race”. He is seriously such a cool guy and a huge MS hero!

I got this chance to meet Phil (yeah, we’re on a first name basis, he’s my new MS BFF) with my good friend Sandy J at the screening of his movie “The Ride”. This movie was incredible. It documented Phil’s journey across the US of A on his bike and he raised over $500,000 for MS!

Me with "The Goths" of the Amazing Race
When we entered the movie theatre lobby, we were greeted by two “Amazing Race” contestants, Vixen and Kent (aka “The Goths”). What a great surprise! They were really nice and even gave me a hug! Phil was in the theatre before the movie started, snapping pictures with VIP audience members. Initially I was bummed because we were not VIP audience members and I wanted nothing more than to meet Phil in person and give him a present. No. One. Else. Was. Allowed. To. Enter. The. VIP. Area. Shit – now what? Sandy J stepped up and led me straight over there. We marched past the moviegoers, ducked the photography light boxes, walked past the photographer and stood in line to meet Phil. No one resisted. MSers are so nice.

Chatting with Phil Keoghan
Within moments I was standing next to Phil. Cool! We chatted about my diagnosis and a bit about the gift I made for him – a T Shirt with a simple message: 2.5 million people in the world live with MS. Phil seemed really bummed. Not about the gift but its message, “I thought it was only 2 million”, he said. Nonetheless, he told me that I had a “great attitude and that you seem to be handling things quite well”. I gave him my card and, upon looking at my profile picture printed on it, the one of me screaming my head off, he said, “that’s a great picture. I love it. It just about says it all, doesn’t it?”

We weren’t allowed to use our own cameras to take photos but someone in charge grabbed mine to snap some anyway. And, I also got a professional shot with Phil. “Make sure you show the T-Shirt”, he said.
Phil checking out my present!

I was thrilled. When he later addressed the audience, moments before the movie started, he gave me a shout out. He told the audience that he didn’t realize 2.5 million people live with MS and that a young woman gave him a T-Shirt with this message. His assistant held it up for all to see. How cool is that? Again, I was thrilled. 


Best always,
Christie



Sunday, May 29, 2011

How Do You Stay Positive with MS? A video clip.

Some months ago my good friend Mel and I filmed a series of videos for WEGO Health’s latest project, a conversational web video series led by health activists. Wego Health TV just launched its beta/testing phase. It’s password protected but I'll help you out (username: hello, password: welcome). Be sure to check out your favorite MS stars - let me know what you think! 






Best,
Christie

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Meet Phil from The Amazing Race, in person!!!

I love the Amazing Race. I have watched every episode and always wondered if I could be a contestant to win the $1m. It's all very exciting. And, I've always thought, "Phil is such a nice guy". Well, he's more than a nice guy, he's an MS hero. Why? He is traveling from San Diego to Miami to host screenings of his documentary "The Ride", about his amazing cycling journey across the US of A. The best part? He raised over $500,000 for MS. 


So, if you live in or near San Diego, Seattle, Atlanta, Knoxville, Houston, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Washington DC, Orlando or Miami, you have a chance to meet Phil in person and watch his film "The Ride". Click here to purchase tickets and, if you live in San Diego, I'll see you there!


Best always,
Christie

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Personal Health Disclosure - Do You or Don't You?

WEGO Health recently polled the health activist community about personal health disclosure. They asked folks last month to “Finish This Tweet” on this important topic in 140 characters or less.

“I do/don’t disclose my health status b/c ______________”

Check out the image below to see what some of us had to say or click here.  This sparked some good conversation and folks really opened up.

My response? I don't disclose (at work) because I don't want to be misunderstood. You know I am going to ask you to share. Do you or don’t you disclose? Curious minds want to know. 

Best,
Christie

Courtesy of WEGO Health Blog. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

MS = never forgetting your sense of humor

It's MS Awareness Week! And, today MS= never forgetting your sense of humor! This was recorded at the breakfast table as we asked our nephew "do you know what MS is?" Click here to hear Gavin's message.


Best,
Christie

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

10 Things You (Do Not) Say to Someone Who Has Multiple Sclerosis

Hi Everyone,


I just came across this post via facebook and thought I would share. I don't hear these things often from my loved ones but I suspect other MSers do. No bueno. When someone close to you says these kinds of things, it can hurt.


*10 THINGS YOU (DO NOT) SAY TO SOMEONE WHO HAS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS*

10. MUST BE NICE TO SLEEP ALL DAY
9. YOU'RE LUCKY YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORK
8. I CAN RELATE
7. JUST TAKE SOMETHING
6. JUST TRY HARDER
5. JUST BE POSITIVE
4. YOU JUST WANT ATTENTION
3. IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD
2. IT COULD BE WORSE
1. BUT YOU LOOK (GOOD)



Next week is MS Awareness Week. Give your MSer a hug.


Best,
Christie

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The MS Buzz #9


The MS Buzz #9 now available! Last week’s chatter? Cognitive disfunction, CCSVI, speech difficulties and new hope. Click here to check out the tweets!  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Staying in work with MS - Marlo Donato Parmelee



I just love Marlo! This is a great video she made on working with MS. As many MSers know, it can be challenging to "come out" at work. I have not told my employers that I was diagnosed with MS (unless, of course, someone at my office is reading this very post right now then the cat's out of the bag). Yet, if I watch this video over and over, I suspect I will find the courage to talk about my MS more freely at work. Marlo is super strong!  I am always so impressed with her strength and dubbed her one of my heros after reading her book "Awkward Bitch", in which she talks a lot about her experience with staying in work with MS. What a super hero!


Best,
Christie

Monday, February 21, 2011

The MS Buzz #8

The MS Buzz #8 now available! Last week’s chatter? PML infections, MS in the workforce, and the geography of MS. Click here to read more.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

How I Met Flo Fox

Well, I didn’t actually meet Flo Fox but did recently read about her and grew a particular fondness for her. You see, Flo Fox is a photographer (like me) who lives with MS (like me) in New York (that’s where I’m from). Sure the similarities stop here. I wasn’t on an NBC talk show, I haven’t had Joan Rivers visit me in my apartment and I wasn’t a friend of Andy Warhol. No matter, this is beside the point. After reading her story in the NYDailyNews.com article written by Clem Richardson, she became one of my heroes because she does not let MS get in the way of accomplishing what is most important.

Here’s how.

Flo Fox’s MS has confined her to a wheelchair and she cannot hold her camera because her fingers have frozen over themselves. She is also blind in one eye. But a photographer she still is because she gets folks to click the shutter for her, under her direction. She simply tells whoever is with her how to shoot and from what angle.  Cool right?

I haven’t shot many pictures lately and I really have no excuse. I think I have told myself over and over that my hand hurts too much, that I will drop my camera, that I cannot see properly to shoot effectively. Flo Fox, my new hero, has taught me that you must work through the challenges and not let MS get in the way of doing what makes you happy.

She is absolutely right. 

Do what makes you happy and do not let MS get in the way. 

Thanks for the inspiration Flo Fox!
Trying Their Wings, (c) 1986 Flo Fox



Some of my favorite quotes from Flo Fox:


“You know my greatest loss when I became disabled? I can’t even give people the finger anymore”. 

“I’m still alive. When you become disabled, you don’t waste time. You only do what is important”.

“A doctor told me that when you are diagnosed with MS, you can either get depressed or be euphoric. I decided to be euphoric”.

”People can be strong no matter what. I try to set an example by taking the negative and making it positive – both in life and in my work.
“There’s a lot of heaviness. You just take a deep breath, take funny photos, and not give a shit.”

And, check out her NBC interview with Tom Snyder: Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder

  

Monday, February 14, 2011

The MS Buzz #7

The MS Buzz #7 now available! Last week’s chatter? Non-traditional MS treatment, Vitamin D, Flo Fox and more famous folks with MS. Click here to read more:  The MS Buzz #7.



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Go Outside!


"Go Outside" by Christie Germans

This past Sunday was one of those days I could have easily stayed home all day, in my comfy clothes. My symptoms flared up, rewarding me with brain fog and wonky legs, making me feel tired. And, I had tons of projects I wanted to hang out in my home office to work on not the least of which was getting starting with on-line traffic school.  And, I’d been in my PJ’s since Saturday. There’s nothing wrong with that right? I had assured myself that I was perfectly content in never leaving the house. Until my sweetie encouraged me to make a walk along the beach in the afternoon, if I was up to it. Yes, I was, but said, “If we don’t leave now, I’ll never go”. I knew that I needed to get outside and I knew that I would love being outside.  I peeled off my cozy clothes and put on a fresh set and hopped in the car.
It was gorgeous down by the beach! Blue skies, sunny and mild; a perfect San Diego day. We took off our shoes and spread our toes in the sand. Ahhh! So nice. So relaxing. “This makes me so happy” I thought.  While we walked down the beach, my sweetie and I talked about how important we thought it was for MSers to get outside, to get some Vitamin D, to get some fresh air, to clear the head and move our bodies.  After all, some studies suggest that high doses of Vitamin D may help reduce relapse rate of Multiple Sclerosis, right? This was my daily dose.  The sunshine of San Diego.  Alright. I know what you’re thinking. It’s so easy for me.  I live in sunny San Diego and the weather down here is awesome. But, no matter. I used to live in the cold, cold weather of NY and little RI so I know it can be done! So, in honor of this gloomy month of February, let’s bundle up and go outside! Call a friend, grab your mittens, don’t forget the dog and breathe in some fresh air. 






Best,
Christie

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The MS Buzz #6

The MS Buzz #6 is now available! Last week's chatter? MS Pain, 2011 Neuro Film Festival, MS Fatigue Webinar and Phil from the Amazing Race! Click here to read more: the MS Buzz #6.

Monday, January 31, 2011

What Gives You Hope?


Hope, for all of us, is out there. It is a matter of finding it. Some of us find hope in personal relationships, in the arts, in the MS community, in religion and/or on-line.

I find hope in the kindness of others and remembering to pay it forward.


Best always,
Christie

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The MS Buzz #5

The MS Buzz #5 is now available! Last week's chatter? Depression in MS, the Romberg Test, the benefits of MS and the latest MS drug news. Click here to read more: the MS Buzz #5.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My MS Survival Guide - Tip #6 Pilates!


Hi Everyone,

Last month I posted my MS Survival Guide: How to Improve Coping Skills and Tame that Monster! That monster being that crazy person I can sometimes turn into if I do not manage things appropriately. So, in addition to Breathe, Meditate, Grieve (still working on this one), Improvise and Journal, I would like to add tip #6, Sign Up for Pilates!  

6. Sign up for Pilates. Balance, body awareness, stress reduction, flexibility and strength.  These are good things right? I should say so which is why I just signed up for my first Pilates class. I must admit, however, that I am a little bit nervous. I niggle about what may happen while I’m on the Reformer. Will my Lhermitte’s fire up? I am not in the mood for the spine buzz thank you very much. Will my body heat up and cause my legs to burn? Will I have enough energy? Definitely some downsides. Luckily, the upsides outweigh all this and I am looking forward to having Pilates work wonders for my stress and, in turn, work wonders for my MS. I am ready!  I’ll let you know how it goes!

P.S. Active MSers has a great article on Pilates and MS. Click here to read it.

Best,
Christie 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The MS Buzz #4

The MS Buzz #4 is now available! Last week's chatter? MS Fatigue, Gilenya, new trials and a book review. Click here to read more: the MS Buzz #4.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The MS Buzz #3

The MS Buzz #3 is now available. Last week's chatter? Musical chills, Babinski Sign, new MS target, Foods for MS and more!



Sunday, January 9, 2011

What Inspires You?

















What inspires you to smile?
What inspires you to thrive?
What inspires you to cope?
What inspires you to laugh?
What inspires you to continue?
What inspires you to exercise?
What inspires you to hope?
What inspires you to simply survive?

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