Running on Empty

Have you ever been in a car which has run out of gas? If you haven’t, the car slows… you may coast a bit, but quickly movement putters out. For many people with MS, fatigue can be much the same, one minute you are moving around and then suddenly the momentum changes and your energy level drops. For some people, they may even feel that to take one more step or motion is too much and may need to immediately sit or rest.

In a car there is a gauge which shows you when the gas tank may be getting low, people are not so easy to read. Some people may even feel as though the internal gauge is broken.

So, what can you do to try and prevent your engine from stopping?

Some quick energy conservation tips:

  • Listen to your body
  • Plan for your day (try not to plan too much)
  • If you can, try to schedule rest breaks into your day or activity
  • Talk to your doctor about your experience

For more in depth information on MS Fatigue see the following link: https://mymsaa.org/about-ms/symptoms/fatigue/.

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Preparing for a Doctor’s Visit

Okay, so we all go to doctor’s appointments… and we have to get there early, in order to fill out paper work… and while we’re filling our paper work in the doctor’s office waiting room, we have to try and ‘remember’ everything that we need to write down for the doctor.

So I’m going to share some things that I do, in order to prepare for a doctor’s visit… without forgetting information that needs to be shared.

For starters, I keep a journal. In my journal I keep note of any changes in how I’m feeling or how I’m reacting to medication. It’s also very handy, when I need to write down a question I want to ask my neurologist, and if I don’t write it down right then… I’m going to forget, even if I tell myself that I won’t.

Something I always have on me when I leave the house, (as well as at home saved on my computer), is a medication list. This way, if something was to happen and I have to go to the ER or anything like that, my medication list is always with me.

I can also say that I would be completely lost, if I didn’t program alarms on my phone for upcoming appointments, and to even take my medications! Yeah it’s annoying, but I don’t forget!

Having a list of my medications as well as my journal of how I’m feeling and how I’m doing on medications, etc., really helps when I go to see my neurologist. It also cuts down time that I have to fill out paperwork, which can sometimes be troublesome as I also have issues with Upper Limb Spasticity (in my hands) mainly in the summer months, so it’s not always “easy” to fill out paperwork.

One of the benefits  from keeping things written down  in my journal is that, my neurologist can see what triggered me not feeling better… like I stated earlier, my spasticity gets worse when it’s hotter outside, so I know what has caused the increase in my spasticity. (Mind you, I live in Central Texas, and it’s almost always hot here… so let’s just say “hotter”… like today’s “Real Feel” is 102 Degrees Fahrenheit.)

Now, I don’t carry around a small notebook with me anymore, but I do use my phone to keep notes on how I’m doing. You have to enjoy and embrace technology these days, as the famous saying goes … “There’s an APP for that.” (MSAA does have a mobile phone app, My MS Manager, which offers a journaling feature) It’s all true.

One last tip, if you’re the type of person to forget things easily, like I am see if your doctor would mind if you brought a voice recorder to your appointment. This will allow you to  play back the visit and conversation to yourself when you’re at home. This is especially helpful if your doctor answered some of the important questions you had been waiting to ask.

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National Fruits and Veggies Month

veggiesJune is National Fruits and Vegetable month. While we should be eating fruits and vegetables every month out of the year, June is merely welcoming back the garden-fresh produce that we’ve missed all winter long. The biggest part of eating right for summer is listening to what your body tells you about what it wants to eat. As you approach these summer months, do it with fruits and vegetables in your belly and in your fridge. Stock up on vegetables rich in color. Maybe have a bowl of fruit for a snack instead of chips. Encourage your friends and family to join you in your venture towards a healthier lifestyle!

Cantaloupe, watermelon and tomatoes are great fruits to help you stay hydrated. Great summer vegetables include summer squash, sugar snap peas, corn, bell peppers and onions. Eggplant, zucchini and green beans make a great source of dietary fiber.

fruits and veggies

Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse: It is full of vitamin C, calcium, fiber, and vitamin A.
Carrots are a good source of fiber, which helps to maintain bowel health, and aid in weight maintenance.
Watermelon, which is especially terrific this time of year, offers a juicy, sweet taste and high water content, while packing in antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium.
Grapes aid in the maintenance of healthy blood pressure. Eating the whole fruit instead of consuming the juice contains the added benefit of fiber.

Tips for your wallet: Fresh produce is more affordable when it is in season. Also, look for weekly specials on fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and veggies. At a restaurant, always ask what vegetables, including salads, are available as substitutes.

What fruits and veggies will you be adding to your diet this June?

watermelon

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