Migrations!

Hello! I’ve been completely out of the loop for a while, and for that I apologize. I’ve moved (not once but TWICE, 2400 kilometers and into a new province!) I’ve gone on Long Term Disability, and right now I’m in the process of migrating my blog to a new site. Hopefully I won’t lose any information, but since I have to cut-and-paste everything into the new blog I’m just going to apologize now for missing stuff. Eventually I’ll redirect http://www.unhasty.com to point here, but until that time I’m just … well, cutting-and-pasting the old stuff into the new blog. It’s giving me a great opportunity to see the information I posted here ages ago, and haven’t looked at in a while. It’s good stuff! In the meantime, I’ll turn off the “publish to Facebook and Twitter” so you won’t be inundated with new notifications for old information. Sorry about that.

Hobbies, Compromise, and MS

I LOVE to sing! I’ve always wanted to take voice lessons, but growing up in a small town meant that opportunity didn’t exist. So now that I live in a city, I’m taking advantage of some of the opportunities here!

I’ve been taking private classical voice lessons for almost two years now, which means I started as an adult after I was diagnosed. I’ve seen too many people say they’re too old or they can’t start something new because they’re sick, but if you don’t start now then when will you? All we have is now!

Anyway, my teacher is amazing and she lets me occasionally take a break from classical to get into pop or random karaoke, which is perfect for keeping me interested and engaged. So far I have 3 songs prepared at roughly performance level, and I’m learning another one right now called “Apres Un Reve” by Gabriel Faure, who I think is one of the most brilliant composers of all time. He’s not very well known, apparently because he wrote “art songs’ (single stand-alone compositions) rather than operas. Here’s an instrumental version of Apres Un Reve performed on violin by Joshua Bell:

 

I just want to point out that you don’t need to be exceedingly mobile to sing. MS doesn’t mean you can’t have hobbies, and it certainly doesn’t mean you should give up the things you love! It just means you’ll get really good at compromise. One of my compromises is that a lot of my voice training involves learning to sound like “healthy me” even when I’m fatigued or battling cold and flu-type symptoms, which I am half the time. I don’t need to sound better than anyone else, I just want to do justice to the songs that I’m singing. I want to be able to sing in a way people can hear the beauty of the song itself, the brilliance of the composition. And maybe one of these days I’ll post video of me singing, and you can let me know if I’ve succeeded!

Live Life, Don’t Just Deal With It!

You may have noticed that I haven’t been very active here lately. For a few months, actually. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I finally feel like I have an explanation that makes sense.

It’s important to me to be authentic, to allow myself to feel whatever I’m feeling and not to attempt to sugarcoat everything. I believe energy moves in cycles and it’s important to value and respect both the up cycles and the down ones.

I’ve been in a down cycle for a while. I actually had a relapse and I’ve been off work for a month, but I’m getting better and I’ll be back to my normal 13-hours-with-commute job next week.

When I say “down cycle” I don’t mean depression, I literally mean my energy is down. Fatigue and an inability to concentrate have been really debilitating issues for a few months.

I haven’t posted because (1) I didn’t feel like I had anything positive to say and there’s more than enough negative out there already, and (2) posting non-positive stuff about MS depresses me, and I didn’t want to go there.

I’ve been thinking about how to write for this site in a way that’s fun instead of boring or depressing. I’ve come to the conclusion that I should just write about me, about my whole life and the lessons I’ve learned overall, not just about MS. I mean, my life is about living, not just about dealing, right?

So please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a woman of wealth and taste! Well, not so much wealth, but definitely expensive taste lol! I’m a dreamer who loves to sing, draw, rearrange furniture, play in the stock market, and putter around the kitchen. Having MS has taught me a lot about compromise, but it does NOT mean I have to give up doing what I love. That’s what “Be Unhasty” is all about – learning to make time for what’s really important. Maybe I lost sight of that for a while, but now I’m back and I’ll be talking about living a full life, not just dealing day to day with a disease condition!

Thanks for your support! You *are* awesome!

 

Coping with Multiple Sclerosis

I’ve been looking around for posts or articles or videos that are more positive about MS, and they can be a little tricky to find! There are hundreds of posts out there about how horrible it is, but I want to find different ways of looking at it and dealing or coping with it. Here’s a great article listing five ways to cope with MS. Let me know what you think by commenting below!

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5 Ways to Cope With Multiple Sclerosis

I will never forget June 5, 2008. That is the day I heard the words “You have Multiple Sclerosis” from my doctor. When I got the diagnosis I didn’t cry. I think I didn’t cry because I wasn’t really sure what Multiple Sclerosis was. Unfortunately it didn’t take me long to learn. Shortly after my diagnosis, I had a relapse which prevented me from walking, dressing myself, feeding myself, and from doing a lot of other daily routines. Fortunately, my relapse ended, but unfortunately, I had a few more. The following is 5 ways I found to cope with Multiple Sclerosis

1. Get a copy of the ‘Voices of MS’ Documentary DVD. I had been diagnosed a little over a year before picking up a copy of this DVD. It was recommended to me by an acquaintance who has MS. This documentary features others who have Multiple sclerosis (including David Lander who played “Squiggy” from the television show Laverne and Shirley). The people in the documentary talk about what brought them to their diagnosis and how they live day by day with it. This is not only a great DVD to watch to help you cope, it is also great for your friends and family to watch as well.

2. Understand this diagnosis is also hard for your loved ones. If you have just been diagnosed or have had MS for a while, I am sure you have a lot of unanswered questions. Sometimes, especially when having a relapse, it is easy to feel all alone and feel that no one understands what you are going through. While those close to you may try to understand, they may have a hard time because they do not fully understand what the disease is or are in denial about it. It is very important that you sit down with them and answer any questions they may have and explain how it affects you.

3. Make sure your Medication is right for you. When you are diagnosed, the doctor will usually prescribe medication that he or she feels will help you the best. Unfortunately, the medication initially prescribed may not be the right one for you. Always make sure you are fully aware of any side effects it may have. Always let your Neurologist know if you are experiencing any of these side effects so he or she can put you on something else. The only way to really know what medication is best for your situation is by trial and error.

4.Join an online or offline support group. I feel this is one of the best ways to cope with MS. Why? While friends and family may try to understand the situation and help you, they may not fully understand what you are going through. Do a Google search to see if there are support groups close by. If not (or if you do not wish to go to meetings) do a search for online groups. Not only will it help to connect with people who have MS, you can also get updates on new medications and guidance from others who have gotten disability.

5.Watch for the warning signs of depression. At some point, a large percentage of people with MS get depression. This is either caused by the disease itself, the stress of dealing with the disease, or from the medication. If you have sadness that lasts for a long period of time, it is imperative that you talk to your doctor as they can look into treatments that will help you. If you are suffering even with treatment and feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to, please visit call 1-800-SUICIDE. You can also visit http://suicidehotlines.com for specific state and international suicide hotline numbers.

The above are just 5 of the many ways to cope with MS. In addition to the 5 tips above, the best way to cope with Multiple Sclerosis is to remember that it is not a death sentence and it is possible to live a normal happy life.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Madison_Gregory

Managing Multiple Sclerosis – A Vimeo Video Series

I found these amazing videos on Vimeo, which means they’re publicly available and totally legal for me to post here on my blog (for as long as they’re up, anyway lol!)

Please watch, enjoy, and comment!

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5. Learning To Manage MS from Michael Yonchenko on Vimeo.

This is part 5 in the series, “Introduction to Multiple Sclerosis”.

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Great Reaction to MS Diagnosis – “Oh Thank God!”

The effects of Multiple Sclerosis touch daily activities, care givers and intimacy with spouse from Brokers Alliance on Vimeo.

The first signs of Multiple Sclerosis: dizziness, blurred or double vision –No family history-MS is not a death sentence.

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This is a video of a radio interview with Susan Kelly, an RN who has MS and volunteers with the National MS Society, with some great stuff coming out. They talk about how a diagnosis of MS is definitely preferable to a brain tumor, how to “manage your energy bank,” and how she and her family manages her MS. She keeps a very positive and humorous attitude and it’s really awesome to hear!

How To Change Your MS Story

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Have you ever noticed how the “stories” you tell yourself can impact your attitude, your energy levels, and ultimately your health and recovery? I’ve thought about this a lot, so I decided to talk about it!

What’s your favorite “story” that you keep going back to? The one that comes up every time you start feeling down or under the weather? Once you notice it, try to rewrite it to make it more positive. Just change the wording – instead of “I’m too tired to do this” change it to “I am really looking forward to going to sleep as soon as I finish this task.” Rewrite your story with yourself as the Hero! Why not!?!

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Haha! Yes, I had notes, and I’m looking down at them probably more than I should. I use notes a lot since I sometimes have a hard time keeping my train of thought going in one direction, so when I have something specific to talk about, I write parts of it down first. Hopefully I’ll get better at this as time goes on!

Woot! I’m Featured on Another Blog!

This is so cool – I’ve connected with another lady who has MS and runs a fantastic site at http://www.brassandivory.org. (Don’t worry – if you click it’ll open up in a new window and you can still look around here later.)

Anyway, she links other blogs to her site, and she linked me! How cool is that? She also runs the “Carnival of MS Bloggers – a bi-weekly compendium of thoughts and experiences shared by those living with multiple sclerosis” (her quote) that I’ve submitted an article for.

This is her blog past linking “new MS bloggers” to her site:

Brass and Ivory – my shout out!

This may seem narcissistic, linking from my blog to another blog about my blog, (say that five times fast) but it just made me feel really good about reaching out to people with my blog, and knowing there are people out there who appreciate it. So yay!

Stay Positive with MS!

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It can be really challenging not to let it all get to you. Here I lay out a couple of easy tips on how to “conjure up a positive attitude in the face of MS weirdness” – they work for me, so give them a chance and they may just work for you!

Haha! Watching this I see how often I tilt my head back as I talk, and perhaps I should be more mindful of giving such a view up my nostrils! Ignore that please, and just concentrate on the message!

Project for Awesome – Youtube-er against MS

Caution: Fluffee drops the F-bomb in this video so if you are offended by the F-word DON’T WATCH the video. Just go to the link I’ve posted below to donate to the MS Society of Canada directly if you want to help support their efforts against MS.

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I love “Project for Awesome!” Fluffee is a bit of a goof but he does a good job of laying out how MS can affect people’s lives. I wonder if he’s sold his piece of chair yet? Or the beanie lol?

If you want to donate directly to the MS Society of Canada, click the link below to be taken directly to their donation page. It’ll pop up in a new window. Spend some time checking out the rest of their awesome site while you’re there, too!

Click here to donate to the MS Society of Canada directly