Sunday, November 19, 2017

Multiple Sclerosis: My unwanted life partner

It's my favorite time of year! I love The holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. My wonderful husband and I are hosting Thanksgiving this year for our families in our new home. I couldn't be more excited to host everyone and enjoy a wonderful meal. 

I'm thankful for so many things - Josh, our dog Tully, our family and friends, our beautiful planet, red wine, heels. I could go on! But there's one thing I'm not thankful for: having MS. 

Every year I rally my family and friends to raise funds for MS research. There is no cure for this disease. It also happens to be one of those invisible diseases - so while I look great on the outside (thanks in advance for all the compliments ;) ), there are things going on in my body that are making me crazy at any given time. 

Last Tuesday, I started experiencing my third major exacerbation, or attack. This attack has been completely different from anything I have experienced with MS so far. Typically I deal with fatigue - not just being tired, but physically hurting because I can't concentrate on a task for more than 30 seconds. I also deal with tingling and numbness. My first attack happened in 2009 when half of my face went numb for about 3 weeks. My second attack happened in 2012, my body went numb from the legs down. 

This third attack is completely different. It's pain. Last Tuesday, my right arm started to ache. I brushed it off as sleeping on it poorly and went about my day. When I woke up on Wednesday, it was more painful. I took some ibuprofen. It didn't help. I started researching pain and MS. I wasn't quite convinced it could be related. After waking up on Thursday and the severity of the pain was a 6 out of 10. It was getting worse. By Friday, it was an 8 and accompanied by a burning sensation in my arm. I slept 2 hours Friday night. I spent my time researching pain and MS and what kinds of pain are associated. I've self diagnosed myself with a type of pain called Dysesthesia. I don't know how to pronounce it, but the definition is exactly what I'm experiencing: an abnormal burning or aching sensation. We'll see what my neurologist has to say :)

Pain fucks up your quality of life. I haven't been in a very good mood this weekend. I've smiled, I've laughed, I've finished painting my newest DIY project: a dresser. But I feel like throwing up because I am in so much pain. I also feel like I might spend the rest of the day crying. I bought icyhot yesterday as a temporary solution until I see my Neurologist. I'm also making an appointment with an acupuncturist. 

I am not thankful for having this BS disease. I try to stay positive and strong. This attack, I am not strong. I am not positive. I am really, really pissed off. But having MS has made me thoughtful and empathetic to everyone out there in the world. Everyone is fighting a battle you don't know about at any given time. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Oh my pod! Floating!

I am always up for new challenges and trying new things. So when my sister in law told me about a year ago about this new craze called floating, I thought it would be fun and relaxing! Basically you float in a warm tub of water that has at least 1,000 lbs of salt dissolved into it. Why did it take me almost a year to try it out?

At the time, I was planning a wedding. Then we moved, went on a mini-moon, adopted a dog, went on our honeymoon, started a new job and started looking at houses. It's been a wonderful year and things have finally started to slow down a bit, so I started looking into floating again! Bought a Groupon and scheduled my float. Let me break it down for you, and then I'll cover what I liked and didn't like.

The Prep: 
I arrived 15 minutes early as requested to get a tour of the facility and watch a video about floating. This covers the do's and don't of floating. It's pretty self explanatory - don't go to the bathroom in the float pod, float on your back not on your side/stomach, don't get water in your eyes.. etc. 

The facility I went to has 3 floating rooms. Two of the rooms are equipped with pods, or isolation tanks with giant filters attached to them. One is equipped with a large tub. 

After the tour, I was escorted to my floating room. I was using one of the pods. The room was dimly lit, and soothing music (which you get to pick) was playing in the background. I chose a meditation track and it was fabulous!

So before you get into the tub, you have the option of wearing silicone earplugs and I opted to do that. After a quick rinse in the shower, into the tub I went. 

The Pod:
I stepped into the water and immediately felt the buoyancy! It's a strange feeling and I imagine the only comparison is to that of being in the dead sea. Which I haven't been, just a theory. I left the top of my tank open about 6 inches. I'm not claustrophobic, it simply helped me relax. I also opted to keep the tub light on during my float. 

I finally situate myself to a floating position I was comfortable with and my mind is full of thoughts and questions. Why do I keep hitting the sides of the tub? I love this relaxing music. So... in here for 60 minutes, that's a really long time. I'll be honest, it was uncomfortable for the first 15 minutes. I started to focus on my breathing, and the rest of the time was really nice! It was a new and unique way to meditate and relax. 

Before I knew it, my 60 minutes was up! I reluctantly got out and hopped in the shower to get all the salt off. Once I was read to leave the room, I went to the prep room and dried my hair and had a cup of vanilla rooibos tea. 

The woman who owns the business I went to is extremely knowledgeable and it was nice to ask her some of the questions I had after the float. I would certainly consider floating again!

So on to what I liked - and didn't like. 

  • It was a new way to meditate and relax for an hour. Yoga has the same calming effect on me. I think these two together will be a great way to stay balanced and clear minded.  
  • The owner was very knowledgeable and was able to answer my questions
  • Shampoo, conditioner and body wash is provided. Though, it's basic and I would recommend bringing your own. 
  • My biggest concern: the pod is not drained and sanitized between floats. It is triple filtered. They say the salinity of the water is enough to ensure no bacterial growth and even so the triple filter would kill anything, but I'm still a bit skeptical. But, essentially public pools are WAY more disgusting and we've all gone in one of those!
I would absolutely go again. They handed out a welcome bag with additional information about The Float Factor, a small bag of Epsom salt and a tea sample. So, have you tried the floating craze? What are your thoughts?!

Monday, May 23, 2016

bikes, bikes, bikes

The weather in Wisconsin tonight is perfection. As soon as I got home from work I changed into my biking outfit, filled up my water bottle, snapped on the helmet and off I was! Delafield has amazing biking trails. Scenic, peaceful and bustling at the same time, and plenty of paved miles to explore. Here's my outfit: 

The fanny pack is obviously my favorite part. Tonight during my ride I was thinking about a few things... 

  • My wedding. Getting married in two months, so excited!!!
  • Eyelash extensions are literally the worst when you're biking @ 16 mph
  • The fantasy-land puketastic bachelorette is on tonight. Do I watch Jordan Rodgers or Netflix and chill?
  • What is Netflix and chill?! 
But, more seriously, I had some major concerns during the bike ride. 

First up: people are @$$hats when it comes to stopping for pedestrians/bikers/dog walkers. I mean there are clear signs that say yield for pedestrians in crosswalks. What the F, I'm just trying to be my healthiest me and all you drivers out there are trying to kill me when I'm simply trying to cross the road? Don't be one of those people. Stop for the bikers! 

Next, I'm looking for some advice. We'll see who can help me out! I need a good pair of sunglasses, specifically a pair that's good for biking. My current fave sunglasses: a pair of amazing aviators. But they're not exactly made for biking - bugs are constantly flying through the middle part into my eyes. Share some good brands with me. Huge plus if they're polarized. 

That's it for tonight! 

Xoxo, B

Friday, March 4, 2016

I'm back, b*tches

Forgive me, blogger, for I haven't blogged. It's been almost three years since my last entry. We have TONS to catch up on.

So let's talk about what's been going on since July, 11th 2013. I've done a million things. No, literally, I have. Probably more. Here are the important things:

I bought a lot of shoes
Went to Mexico (twice!!)
Moved in with my boyfriend - we live in Delafield and we're snobs
Took an amazing trip with my sister to Door County, and I cannot WAIT for our next trip!
GOT ENGAGED to the love of my life <3 (best day of my life!!!)
Took a girls trip to NYC
Stood up in my younger brothers wedding
Took a trip to Boston with my fiance

It's been a wonderful past few years! I haven't had any serious issues with my MS which is amazing!!! But, some things did change. One - my medication: in November of 2014 I started taking Gilenya. It's a pill. I take it every day, which is a much better option than taking a shot every other day. The shot became so painful and I the bruises it gave me? Ew, stop. The pill is much easier. I still have really tough days... sometimes I find it hard to hold a conversation with someone. It's a new issue I have encountered. While I know exactly what I want to say, processing the thought through my brain and getting it out isn't always easy. I've noticed this in several conversations lately, and simply hope no one else does.

Let's stay in touch! I'll be back soon

xoxo, B

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I'll have another...

My blog has been dying out lately, and I don't like it! Though, I feel it's been so spontaneous with little meaning to my readers except for the fact to keep you in the loop on my life and everything fabulous about it. It's mostly just fun for me, but I like to keep everyone as entertained as possible.

That said... I am going to be taking another blog in a different direction, but keep this one here for my nearest and dearest ones that I don't bore too much! XO you know who you are, I know who you are and I love you more than anything else. You all have had an amazing impact on my life and shaped me to be the person I am today... Confident, loving, friendly, sophisticated, crazy and loyal. It's taken years to mold me into the many things that I am, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

My next bold move is making me question a number of things. The last several months, I have been my biggest fan. Honestly, if you're not your own biggest fan, who is going to be? Anyways, enough about how conceited I am. I don't like questioning things. I'm a straight shooter, I know what I want... and then again now I am feeling that I am not so sure about it!. Yikes bikes.

Well, onto it. I'll keep you posted my loves. XO -B

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How summer feels

Summer is my favorite season. There are many reasons why I love summer as much as I do... warm weather, sunny days on the beach, open toe shoes showing off hot pink polish, ice cream cones, teeny bikinis, sun hats, camping, swimming, reading magazines about the best trends of the year, ice cold beer on a bar patio with friends, ice cold beer on a boat, ice cold beer anywhere. 

That list could go on and on. Nothing beats summer. But more than anything all summer, nothing beats watching an amazing firework show light up the night sky over Lake Michigan. It just puts a smile on your face for a few minutes. 

As a child, I am sure I said something along the lines of "ooohhhhh look at the boom booms!" On second thought, probably not. Make sure you give yourself an opportunity to enjoy fireworks in the near future. #permasmile

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sh*t my friends say...

My friends are ridiculous. In a super amazing, hilarious way. In one night, the following 6 quotes came out of these women's mouths...

  • I want to be roofied
  • I want to be a dog so people buy things for me
  • I like crack
  • I'm a sloppy pen pal
  • I think I should be polka... dot. Polka dot. 
  • Penis sandwich
I'll be making a youtube vid in the same fashion as the "sh*t (insert specified group here) say" vids.