About Angel Blair

I am a Client Services Specialist here at MSAA. I hold both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Counseling from schools outside the Philadelphia area. I love reading, movies, going to concerts and traveling. Favorite place I've been so far---Disney World!

Some things aren’t easy to see

When it comes to MS symptoms, there is a real variety in what individuals experience. This is one of the reasons why making an MS diagnosis is so challenging. Its symptoms can look different from person to person. No two people have the same MS disease course. This can make it hard to understand exactly how the condition impacts someone. Its uniqueness acts as a detriment at times when trying to explain or educate others about MS. It is assumed that symptoms will look the same and that outcomes will match, but this is not always the case.

One of the most common symptoms of MS can be cognitive challenges. This wasn’t always Continue reading

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A Different Kind of Summer

We are midway through the year, and what a year 2020 has been so far. We haven’t seen one like it before, and let’s hope the second half of the year brings better things. But each day we are now seeing the world slowly start to open back up. That helps instill hope, I think. Like maybe there’s light at the end of this winding, unpredictable tunnel. And while people are re-entering workplaces, stores are reopening, and beaches are populated again, hopefully safety measures and precautions will help keep people safe. Regardless, it looks like Continue reading

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Passing The Time With Some Classics

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect people and places all around the world, many of us are still staying at home and socially distancing from others. This has provided some people with more time they wouldn’t normally have at home. And honestly, a little boredom can come with that too. By staying home we’re doing our part to flatten the curve of the virus, which is great, but maybe just a little different from what we’re used to. So, trying to find Continue reading

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We’re In This Together

It’s quite the understatement when I say that things across the country and around the world are very distressed right now. With the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting lives and dominating most news headlines, the virus has left most feeling anxious and concerned. We’re left with questions and fears. And to top it off, have mostly been confined indoors to socially isolate ourselves for safety. With many things unsettled and unknown, I find comfort in knowing we’re all in this together. Continue reading

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Caring For Your Mind and Mental Health

A common misconception with MS is that the disease affects the body mostly in just the physical sense. This can be true for many diagnosed. However, one’s mental health may be impacted as a result of MS too. MS and its unpredictable nature can create a roller coaster of emotions, changes, and ups and downs for those affected. That kind of ride can impact all parts of one’s mind and body. Understandably so.

It’s not always easy to recognize or bring attention to Continue reading

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Be Kind to Yourself

Is it just me, or does it seem like today’s society isn’t very forgiving or flexible with people? With its rushed, hastened pace and constant expectations on the daily, we live in a climate that thrives on accomplishments and results. It’s great to be productive and accountable to get things done at work and at home. But sometimes enough is enough. We’re only one being in this vast universe and there are times we can’t get everything accomplished in a day’s time. So not only do we Continue reading

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New Year, New Outlook

It’s hard to believe we’re through the thick of the holiday season and into a new decade already! 2020 brings with it the potential to try new things and gain new perspectives, or I like to think that it does. I’m not one for liking change or trying something new but I am choosing to alter my outlook in this new year. It’s just going to take some time and hard work. And even more patience.

I don’t typically make resolutions Continue reading

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Starting New Holiday Traditions

Ah, the holidays. It feels like they came around mighty fast this year—even quicker than years past in my opinion. My husband and I will spend this holiday season in a new home and with that comes the possibilities of new holiday traditions. I look back fondly with love and joy at traditions my family engaged in this time of year. I want to re-create those meaningful and festive times and also create new memories for years to come. Well, let’s just say that’s always my intention.

One tradition my family carried out when we were young was Continue reading

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Genuine Gratitude

As the leaves change colors and fall off the trees and the temperatures drop, most of us cannot help but think of what makes us grateful. Gratitude does seem to go hand and hand with turkey and mashed potatoes and all the other holiday traditions. According to dictionary.com, gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Being part of the chronic illness community, I feel this is one of the loveliest qualities we possess and need to hold onto.

A Genuine Feeling

Gratitude outshines all other emotions. So much so that when you experience it, your smile and eyes shine with genuineness. Hopefully everyone has experienced this feeling at some point in their lives. Close your eyes and imagine one time when you were so thankful and genuinely happy. You may have smiled so hard that your cheeks had gone numb from being so overwhelmed from your love and joy. That moment may have been so touching that even still to this current moment, you cannot come up with the appropriate words to express your thankfulness or gratitude.

Daily Gratitude

I would like to think that most of us experience gratitude daily in even the simplest of things. Some of my daily moments of gratitude are from my dog Lacie, my nephews and family, and when someone holds the door for me. When that happens, I light up and will very excitedly yell ‘thank you!’ out of my appreciation for them and their small act. That moment will usually make my day, and the person may never even understand why I shouted thank you so quickly, but I hope they do.

Tracking Your Gratitude

If you wanted to, you could keep a little journal to help track and find what you are grateful for. In the morning you could write down one or more things you are grateful for or how you will make today great. You could even include a positive affirmation. During your nighttime routine you can write down a good deed or two that you did that day or even some great experiences you had. Of course, you can mix and match or find even more ideas online for doing a gratitude journal if it is something that interests you.

I wish you all the happiest and warmest of holiday seasons to you and your loved ones.

About Me

*waves* Hi MS community, my name is Kelly and I am an intern at the MSAA for the fall semester. I’ll be graduating in the spring with my Associates degree in Human Services. I’ve been disabled now for about 13 years, since I was 17 years old. I am a type 1 Diabetic, and have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum, plus a few other diseases. I use a walker or cane daily. My hobbies include advocating for the disabled, playing video games, and lounging with my dog.

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Holiday Assistance

The holidays can be a magical time of year. There’s a different feeling in the air—of wonder and joy, that feels unique compared to any other time of year. Though the season can evoke much happiness and excitement, it may also create stress and challenging expectations for some. Financial stressors and limitations can be especially difficult this time of year.

Holiday celebrations can symbolize something different to each person. Special traditions and pastimes may not center around gifts or feasts. The holidays can be what you make of them. But it’s important to know that for those who may need a little extra help in carrying out their holiday activities, there are resources available to help.

  • Salvation Army
    • Offers seasonal services and holiday assistance programs to help families in need with holiday dinners, toys, and clothing.
  • The United Way
    • Provides information and referrals for holiday assistance programs in the community.
  • Toys for Tots Program
    • Distributes new, unwrapped toys during the holidays to children in need through community outreach and support efforts.
  • Catholic Charities Services
    • This group and other local religious organizations may offer seasonal assistance based on location. Contact groups directly to inquire of services available.
  • Lions Club organizations may also have holiday assistance programs available in the community.
  • County department offices of family/social services may have additional holiday assistance and resources.
  • Local schools in the community may know of holiday assistance programs for families.
  • Community food banks may also be able to offer holiday assistance programs in the area during the season.

Many community assistance programs have specific application deadlines and requirements in order to receive holiday assistance by a certain time. Be sure to reach out to the resources to see what’s available in your area and how to apply.

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