Coronavirus, Multiple Sclerosis, Health Fears, and Lessons

By Stacie Prada

With the current coronavirus spreading, wellness is at the forefront of the news. I live in Washington state where the first confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 (the coronavirus) in the United States occurred. My neurologist’s office is in Kirkland, the epicenter of the US outbreak. We have a confirmed case in my community, and others are pending test results.

I’m writing this on March 8, 2020, and news updates are frequent. By the time I hit publish on this post, Continue reading

Share Button

The Changes in Me Since My MS Diagnosis: Kinship and Nurturing My Well-Being

By Stacie Prada

Experiencing life events and trauma can change a person. We all experience life milestones and challenges, yet they are so personal and timed differently for each of us that how we react or change is never the same. Losing a loved one or experiencing an illness is different when experienced as a child, a young adult or as an older adult. Our expectations and life skills are different at each point in our life, and what may be life changing for one may be life affirming for another.

As I reflect on how being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and living with symptoms has affected me, it’s difficult for me to Continue reading

Share Button

Celebrating 50 and 50 Years – #50at50yrs

By Stacie Prada

I’m turning 50 this year, and I’m excited. I have genuinely been looking forward to it for years. No exaggeration.

Approaching the half century mark is a big deal. Anyone who lives to age 50 will have experienced many joys and challenges. I think acknowledging the wonderful and terrible things we’ve enjoyed and endured in our lives is a worthwhile assignment. (See my post on My Life List.)

Turning 50 Continue reading

Share Button

Nurturing Relationships After Holiday Gatherings

By Stacie Prada

Family relationships are hard. I look back at decades of immediate and extended family holiday gatherings, and I notice what has changed and what seems like a given. Long-held disconnects or resentments lie beneath the surface and feel ready to erupt at any moment.

Consider as mere mortals, it’s rare to be perfect in these moments. I’ve left family gatherings spending huge amounts of time thinking about Continue reading

Share Button

Expressing Gratitude to Cope with Stress, Build Relationships, and Help Myself

By Stacie Prada

It’s the morning of my MRI scan and neurologist appointments. Leading up to them, I’ve anticipated needing to seek support and to allow myself time to process whatever I learn today. I tell myself that test results don’t change how I’m doing. They just give me more information to consider.

MRI stressThe rub is that I anticipate being sad with any possibility today. I feel worse than I did earlier this year. Eight months ago, I learned Continue reading

Share Button

Deciding What I’ll Do and How Much I’ll Do for My Best Health

By Stacie Prada

In true keeping with not quickly remembering the lessons I’ve already learned, it took me a few months of building frustration before seeing a situation I’m experiencing as something I could approach differently.

I volunteer for our local self-help group, and increasing work and personal health demands are making it harder for me to continue doing everything I’ve done for the past six years. I’d asked for volunteers to help. Some stepped forward and I appreciated their help, but still I felt responsible for more than I can continue.

I was getting frustrated, and resentment was building. I was getting Continue reading

Share Button

My MS Number: We Became Experts at Adapting to Change Before We Knew We Had MS

By Stacie Prada

I’ve started thinking it should be the standard to have our time with multiple sclerosis described with two numbers. It would be similar to blood pressure readings where two numbers have meaning on their own but give a fuller picture of a person’s health when described together. Our time living with MS could be described as the number of years since we were diagnosed over the number of years we estimate we’ve been living with MS.

My MS Number: Adapting with Multiple SclerosisFor me, I was diagnosed Continue reading

Share Button

The Value of Doing Nothing: Same Thing, Different Feel

By Stacie Prada

It’s interesting to me that the same task can feel stressful sometimes and relaxing others. It really shows that it’s not about what I’m doing, rather it’s how I feel when I’m anticipating or doing it. It’s how I judge the task in the moment.

Needing to cook dinner after a long workday may feel like one more burdensome thing that needs to be done, while spending hours in the kitchen baking or creating a new dish on a weekend might be a therapeutic activity resembling meditation for the focus and relaxation I feel.

The same can be true for Continue reading

Share Button

For the Love of Biking – It Really Can Be for Everyone

By Stacie Prada

In a conversation with coworkers years ago, one person reflected on his summers spent in their backyard pool in California.  I responded with excitement and jealousy that he had his own pool when all I had was a bike!  Another coworker who grew up in Hong Kong, exclaimed with awe, “You had a bike?!?”

Wow.  I laughed at my own ignorance to my privilege.  To think she grew up in a large city and didn’t have a bike at all made me realize just how special it was Continue reading

Share Button

Music Gets Me Through: Shaping My Outlook with Intention

By Stacie Prada

The artistry of words inspires me greatly. The ability to express ideas and emotions critically with nuance and creativity moves me to feel deeply. Add rhythm and melody to the poetry of song lyrics, and it becomes something I can use for managing my well-being.

Music is especially useful for coping with any challenge, because it has the ability to replace the thoughts going through my head. If I can recognize when looping thoughts are taking over my mind and mood, I can change my attitude and outlook with music.

Artistry that speaks to me changes Continue reading

Share Button