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  • Writer's pictureGina M. Oakley

Self-Care: 21 Days to Reset Good Habits

Days 10 & 11: March, MS, & Me




Hello! Thank you for sticking with me through your 21 day habit building journey. I hope you are getting more and more accustomed to whatever habit it is you are adding to your life.




WHAT IS MS (Multiple Sclerosis)?


The Mayo Clinic defines MS as: “Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).”


See full Mayo Clinic definition HERE


Imagine a phone cord you’ve had for a long time and have used too many times. The tubing around the wires of the cord starts to wear off, and you can see the wires within.




The same type of damage to the protective tubing (or coating) happens to the CNS (Central Nervous System) nerves in the brain and/or spine of someone with MS. For that reason, MS is very literally different for every single person living with the disease. Symptoms caused by MS depend on which area of the brain or spine encounter myelin damage.


Myelin: The protective coating (or tubing) around the nerves in the CNS (Central Nervous System)


So, March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. There are roughly 1 million people living with MS in the United States and approximately 2.8 worldwide, according to the Cleveland Clinic (See full report HERE).


Send a high five to someone you know living with MS. It’s not easy, and a little love and support goes a long way.


MY MS JOURNEY


I started my MS journey in 2014, but it took several months before I was officially diagnosed.


There is no way to test for MS, so instead doctors have to test for any other possible diseases and by process of elimination determine it is MS.


Some of the testing is bloodwork to rule out things like Lupus or Crohn's Disease. Depending on a person’s symptoms they may select specific things to test for that match what that person is experiencing. Other testing I had to go through to get to my diagnosis included:

  • 5 day steroid infusion (this helps lessen the severity of the symptoms)

  • Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap)

  • Blood work- Lots of bloodwork

  • Brain and Spine MRIs- several of these for comparisons

  • Neuro examinations

And more.


BASIC FACTS ABOUT MS


  • Every person’s symptoms are different

  • THERE IS NO CURE

  • THE CAUSE IS STILL UNKNOWN

  • There are medications that can be taken to ease the symptoms, but they are not guaranteed to work and cost $50,000+ annually

  • MS never goes away

  • MS is almost always invisible

I choose to fight every day knowing it’s okay to rest sometimes too. My goal is always to keep accomplishing things, succeeding, learning, and bettering myself to show others struggling from MS (or other chronic illnesses) that they can do it too. The downfall is that this has made me insensitive to excuses non-ill people give for not achieving. I’m working on that ;)


Thank you for your support! You can help by supporting someone you know with MS through fundraising, walking for awareness (ours is a virtual one in early April), and showing grace because you often can’t see an MS person’s pain.


Throughout March I will share facts and ways to support for MS Awareness.


Visit my author website HERE to learn more and view our Team Super G





YOUR PROGRESS


What goal or habit are you working on this month?



How is going for you?

Take a moment to reflect and track your progress now.


Getting back to a healthier lifestyle feels great. It took longer than I would have preferred after having a baby, but that’s okay. I know each person is different, and my delay was mostly medical. It doesn’t matter though, we are keeping our eyes forward, right? Without dieting, simply by getting back to healthier habits, I’m down a collective 28.5 inches. If you look back to my first 21 day blog, it’ll explain why measurements are greater than weighing.


Anyway, I promise you don’t need to diet to get healthy. I’ve been a nutritionist and trainer, as well as an athlete and general health fanatic for a very long time, and it is really much simpler than doing some crazy fad diet. Eating real, clean, delicious food is a great place to start! If you do need a little more help, you can check out some of my favorite resets and “back on track” help HERE.


Thank you for reading! See you tomorrow!




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