February Artist of the Month

MSAA’s Artist of the Month features the work of many talented artists affected by multiple sclerosis as part of our annual MSAA Art Showcase. Each month we share these artists’ inspiring stories and beautiful artwork with you as our Artist of the Month. This month, we celebrate Carmella Certion as February’s Artist of the Month. Carmella is from Philadelphia, PA.

Reine du Carnaval by Carmella Certion
“Reine du Carnaval”

About the Artist – Carmella Certion

I am an artist, gerontologist, and marriage and family therapist currently living with MS. It all began with a simple painting of a cat for my granddaughter’s room, after I gave it a mini-makeover last summer during the pandemic. I mostly paint abstracts, land, and cityscapes and I’ve only taken one class. My studio is located in my Philadelphia, PA bedroom where I mostly paint in bed due to a plethora of health challenges. I find painting relaxing and it also helps ward off depression and anxiety, which I suffer from periodically. I love to use bright colors, geometric shapes and texture in my work and my philosophy is simple: Art should be fun!”

To see more about Carmella and the rest of our artists, please visit our Art Showcase. 

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Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll be among the stars.

Every January, most of us ask ourselves and those around us, “What is your new year’s resolution?” But why is this a thing? Is this simply a tradition, or is January truly the ideal time to establish goals for the rest of the year?

New Year’s Day serves as a clean slate. It is such a popular time of year to evaluate our goals because it represents a reset button, a fresh start that has the potential for greatness. My personal new year’s anthem is the song Feeling Good by Nina Simone. Regardless of the intended meaning of this song, the lyrics speak to me around this time of year.

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New Year, Same MS

For most, the new year comes with excitement of what’s to come. For those of us who battle MS, the new year comes with its fair share of worries, challenges and anxious thoughts of what the new year may bring. We reflect on our past year, perhaps your MS got worse, and you’re worried it won’t get any better, or maybe you are finally considered “stable”, and you’re concerned it is too good to be true and you will get worse. However you choose to look at the new year, we all worry one way or another. I am here to tell you that you are not alone.  

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Roll in Fall

Fall is a wonder of its own. One gets to enjoy the significant drop in the temperatures which is a wonderful respite from the sweltering heat in the past months. The kids are settled in their schools by now after the long summer break. It is also the season when daylight savings ends, and we fall in the cycle of shorter days and longer nights. College football is officially on and in full swing.

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Change is Beautiful

Fall is undoubtedly my all-time favorite season. There is something so tranquil about feeling my favorite flannel brush against the cool breeze. The sight of beautiful vibrant leaves falling upon the jack-o-lantern on my doorstep brings color to my world. The scent of freshly baked cookies being carried throughout the house warms me as I watch classic horror movie reruns on the TV. But for a multitude of reasons, autumn this year resonates with me on a deeper, more existential level. It is the season of change, both externally and internally. As we come to adjust our surroundings and habits to correlate with our altering environment, we may begin to reflect inward.

"Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go." text graphic
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Where did the sunshine go?

Big tree and leaves signifying that Fall has arrived, reflecting the title of this blog "Where did the sunshine go?"

Fall has arrived, and it brings many beautiful changes. The cooler weather is typically a welcomed change, comfort food is readily available, and trees change their color to all sorts of gorgeous shades of red, orange, and brown. I personally love the pumpkin overload and watching the rain while sipping on a cup of coffee, but many others find this time to be the cause of sadness, anxiety, and even dread. For many, this drastic change in weather and the holiday season can mean unwelcomed feelings and a need to be extra gentle with ourselves.

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You Know You Have MS When . . .

The day you receive a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis can feel surreal. It is common to be in denial and want to ignore it. But over time, you start to see that your symptoms match what the doctor explained would happen.

For most people, there is a moment when they cannot deny their symptoms or their diagnosis anymore. And life goes on.

To find out more about what that moment looks like, we turned to the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook page. We asked the community to fill in the blank: “You know you have MS when _____________.”

More than 250 people in the community responded. Here is what they said.

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Art perception

What is it about artwork that catches our attention? Is it the colors? Or maybe the artist’s story. As an art newbie, I don’t have knowledge of the proper technical skills or techniques. I don’t know what makes a piece of art great. I have minimal understanding of the intricacies of painting, but what I do know is how it makes me feel.

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10 Ways To Stay Busy In The Winter

Between the cold weather and COVID, it might be a challenge finding fun ways to stay busy in the winter. There’s no need to stare at your ceiling out of boredom. Staying home can be just as fun and productive as putting real clothes on and going out! These 10 ways to stay busy in the winter will have you saying “paaaar-tay!”

Party GIFs | Tenor

·      Call up your friend or a close relative

·      Clean out your closet

·      Give yourself a manicure

·      Read a good book

·      TV time!

·      Start scrapbooking

·      Bake a delicious cake

·      Take up knitting

·      Have a dance party in your pajamas!

·      Virtual Zumba classes

For many people, the mere concept of sitting at home is enough to make you feel like you are swimming in a sea of boredom. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Try out these different ways to stay busy in the winter and see how it works for you!

You might find that you keep the sea of boredom at bay!

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ABCs of the MS Diagnostic Process

ABCs of the MS diagnostic process

A – Ask a Neurologist

Is it MS, or is it something else? If you are experiencing numbness and tingling in your body, these symptoms could be caused by MS. On the other hand, there are many illnesses that easily mimic MS symptoms. To help figure out what is going on, the next step is to make an appointment with your primary care physician. If your doctor suspects MS, you’ll probably be referred to a neurologist for a definitive MS diagnosis.

B – Brain MRI

The MRI scans the brain using a computer, radiofrequency stimulator, and a huge magnet. Good news, MRIs do not expose patients to radiation, and helps doctors get a clear picture of what’s happening in the Brain. The MRI is used to assess the size and location of lesions in persons with multiple sclerosis. Contrast enhancement is often used to help to better assess inflammation and determine if MS is present in the Brain.

C – Consider Your Treatment Options

MS can be treated with a variety of effective FDA-Approved drugs. These medications can be recommended for all three types of MS. There are three main goals of MS treatment. Firstly, is to limit MS activity and development. Secondly, is to lessen the severity and duration of a relapse. And lastly, is to treat MS symptoms. All of these medications are typically administered by a doctor who specializes in MS or a neurologist. To download a list of FDA-Approved MS medications, please click here.

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