Tag Archives: aleve

One Pill or Another; Not Gonna Getcha, Getcha, Getcha

A tale of multiple sclerosis


I dropped a pill while I was driving.

My fault for multi-tasking.

So what if I was driving, texting, eating pizza, grabbing the pill AND trying to open my water bottle?  My neuro-psychological testing did show that my multi-tasking skills were pretty much shot.


Before you panic, I’m exaggerating.  I wasn’t really texting and was only thinking about eating pizza- perhaps for lunch.  And I was stopped at a red light.  But there were people behind me when the light turned green and so I couldn’t locate and pick up the little pill within the 5 second rule that claims that no matter how disgusting my car mat was, I could still swallow the damn thing.

5 seconds was not enough time to even pull over, park and find the pill and so I decided to leave it be.   The problem was, that was the only pill of that prescription that I had with me.

I had put it in a little plastic case and now it was under my brakes, hanging out with old M&M’s and stale cracker crumbs.  (You know those commercials that say M&M’s don’t melt in your hand?  Well, let me tell you, they do melt on your car mats if the temperature hovers over 90 degrees and you’ve stepped on them a time or two.)id-10046558

If I had brought the pill bottle I could just grab another one but I hadn’t brought all of my prescriptions with me.  I couldn’t.  Where would I put them?  I drive a Camry, not a mini-van.

This little bit of clumsy means I would go without that pill for one day-no biggie.

But it was.

See, this particular pill is one I take because my MS disease modifying drugs give me wicked aches, which means I need to take Aleve to help combat them.  Aleve gives me wicked bad heartburn which, it turns out, is not only terribly uncomfortable but dangerous in constant measure.  The pill I dropped was a prescription super duper antacid because Larry the Cable Guy has no idea how difficult MS heartburn is compared to his regular old tailgating heartburn.

Who knew the guy was such a wimp?

I spent the day with the horrible heartburn which meant no pizza for lunch which meant nothing really for lunch as I couldn’t remember foods mild enough to eat that my stomach would tolerate.   I did try.  That chocolate shake seemed mild enough but no….


It seemed silly to stop somewhere and buy over the counter antacids because for one, they are lame and for another, I’ve got about four open bottles at home and what a waste to buy another. In fact, the bottles I have I probably did buy on the road one day after messing up the prescription one.

By the time I got home I didn’t know if I should take the pill so late in the day. I mean a fresh one, not the one combined with beach sand and gravel.  It was supposed to be a shot night which meant no Aleve which meant screw doing my shot which meant there went my Mon/Wed/Friday schedule I tell my MS nurse I stick to.

I had plans the next night where I wouldn’t get home until late which meant if I did the shot then, Aleve or no Aleve, my next day would be ruined by post shot aches-the later I do my shot the worse the aches are.  And so it goes.  If I missed that then I would be really off schedule on the important drugs all because I dropped a slightly less important one.

id-100374013This is one of the ways MS likes to mess with me.  Dropping a pill shouldn’t be a big deal in the grand scheme of things.  But it does cause some altering and resetting and re-balancing and re-figuring for the next 48 hours or so.

It reminds me of the time I borrowed my friend’s GPS and accidentally took a wrong turn.  The device freaked out and started stating RECALCULATING in seriously important letters and tone.  It was kind of funny how upset it got; I started purposely taking wrong turns just to shake it up a bit.

This is what I needed to do with my drug taking schedule- RECALCULATING!  RECALCULATING!

And in this case it was just a pill due to a pill due to my MS shot!  I can’t even think about what would happen if I dropped one of my actual shots.


(Well, probably nothing- they have a little cap on them that keeps them sanitized until you plunge them into your butt or arm or tummy or wherever….   You could drop one into a well, rappel down the side of the well, fish the shot out -all of which you would do because those things are ridiculously expensive- and still stab yourself with the injection.)

So what does this little tale have to do with MS?  I offer it to explain the unusual way MS insists on taxing our minds, keeping our brain cells working so to speak.  That constant RECALCULATING is exhausting!

And people wonder why my MS friends and I are so freaking tired all the freaking time!!!

PS   Does anyone want to help me clean my car?  There’s some free M&Ms in it for you…id-100135056


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MS Legs a Walking

Multiple Sclerosis checks out a nature trailID-100105023

Lest you think that this blog hiatus has been solely for resting and being a sofa bum, I offer the following experience.

(Yes I know most people use the term couch potato but due to my issues with veggies, I offer sofa bum instead; which is silly as potatoes are a veggie I actually like.  You can turn them into French fries and chips.)

Anyway, I truly did mean it when I said I was going to use this time to better balance my life and better take care of myself.

I’ve been better at drinking water and better at making myself a salad every day; a good salad with dark leafy greens including spinach, tomatoes, red kidney beans and olives. Olives are a veggie too right?  Of course I pair this salad with delicious, high carb pasta but I’m getting there.Picture 94

As fall has progressed the serving size of salad has grown and the serving size of pasta has shrunk.  Maybe by Christmas I will be ready to incorporate other vegetables?

Then there was the exercise issue, or should I say no exercise issue, which I knew I needed to change. I read an article about several lesser known nature walks within a half hour drive from me and I vowed to explore each one.  Some day.

One sunny, warm autumn afternoon I decided that was the day. I would start easy by walking the trail closest to me, one I had walked before but only partially and not for a very, very long time.  I had lunch, took my lunch meds with water and then tied my sneakers.

As I headed out, it got cloudy.  Spooky cloudy. It occurred to me that since it was the off season the trail might be deserted.  That could be creepy.  Halloween was coming up and thoughts of slasher films and true crime dramas filled my mind.Picture 93

But I wasn’t to be deterred.  I remembered the toy laser gun key chain I found outside my apartment.  I had let it lie on the sidewalk for days so the child who lost it could claim it.  When no child did I scooped it up intending to give it to one of my young friends.  But I hadn’t yet and it made a nice hideous sound. I decided to take it with me as an alarm to scare away any possible scary people I might meet.

The walk was beautiful.  Why didn’t I spend more time here?  From the bluff at the start of the trail you could see the marsh, the ocean, sand bars, sand dunes, birds and all kinds of cool nature like things.  Even without the sun the view was bright.

I needn’t have feared being alone; there were many other normal looking people walking the trail as well.  I followed the path trying to ignore the fact that water would have been a good thing to bring with me.  I still wouldn’t be deterred and kept walking.ID-100283659

But soon the water I had drunk before leaving started to catch up with me and I increasingly needed to pee.  This trail is so well kept that there was even a public restroom at one of the parking lots; a restroom that was closed in the off season.

I’m ashamed to admit this but I’ve never been a pee outside kind of girl.  Growing up attending constant beach parties I should have been.  But back then I just got good at holding it.  It was why I switched from beer to wine- wine isn’t as bladder obnoxious as beer.  I could go for long stretches of time with no problems.

Ahhh, but back then I was young and strong and so was my bladder.  We used to get along pretty well.

No worries, I thought. It looks like I’m almost to the end of the trail. That was good as my legs, much better at walking than standing even at this particular MS stage, were starting to ache.  I thought having a walking stick would make it easier for me but there were none to be found; I had been looking. Every branch was either too big, too small or too attached to a really old tree.ID-100146491

At one point I passed a woman also walking.  She had a bottle of water AND a cane.  She had prepared much better than I did but I bet she wasn’t carrying a toy laser gun key chain that makes a really loud noise.  Hey lady- how prepared are you??  Do you really think that large group you are walking with will protect you when Jason or Leatherface come running towards you?

I was just about at the parking lot where I could get in my car and get home to a real bathroom, more water and rest.   But then I saw a sign that said Red Maple Swamp. I was intrigued.  I had never heard of this before.  Maple made me think of maple syrup which made me think of pancakes which made me wonder if perhaps there was an IHOP hidden somewhere off this path.


So what if “swamp” made me think of the show Swamp Murders that produces a dead body at every swamp imaginable.  There was just something about this path that made me want to explore it further.

I walked on.  I heard a spooky, creaking noise.  I kept walking.  I thought I saw a bear.  I grabbed my laser gun.  That would protect me.

Then I remembered that there aren’t really bears in my area.  Coyotes sure, but coyotes aren’t big and super furry are they?

It was enough to make a normal person turn around. Yet, I didn’t.  What was the draw that the Red Maple Swamp had on me?ID-100120550

Was it just the fact that this particular trail had a boardwalk with bridges and benches and even a fallen tree that I had to crawl under?  A tree blocking a path should be another sign that “your walk is over.”  But weirdly, I kept on.

I thought of resting my now hurting legs by sitting on a bench but I knew my bladder would revolt.  Luckily, it didn’t know that I was unnecessarily extending our time away from the nearest toilet.  If it had its way it would have done its thing on the side of a tree.

The trail ended on the other side of the swamp and I didn’t see any bodies or breakfast diners anywhere.    I walked back as fast as I could and miraculously managed to make it home before any attacks or accidents could take place.


Here is what I learned from this exercise venture.  Water is good.  A cane is not bad.  A toy may not be necessary.  Plan well.  And perhaps, stay focused.  Just because a sign makes you think of breakfast and TV does not mean it will lead you to pancakes and your sofa.

Still- it was a beautiful walk and after taking two Aleve I felt good.  Perhaps I am getting somewhere with this exercise thing…..

PS  For my MS friends who require wheelchairs, walkers or scooters, I’ve discovered that several walking trails in my area are accessible.  While the Red Maple Swamp trail was not, many are.  This fact is not only good to know, but good to help keep me inspired to get outside and get moving.  Now if I can just keep it up!!!ID-10087362 (2)

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Sunny D is Not Just a Drink

A new multiple sclerosis sting


I’ve been lucky so far on this MS journey, at least when it comes to pain.

There are many different types of pain, manifested in many different ways, to those of us living with multiple sclerosis. How can there not be since MS is basically something no one knows what, attacking our nerve ending which are responsible for all types of sensations?

For me, for the most part, the pain I feel, physical pain I mean, comes in the form of super duper achy aches.  Give me two Aleve and a prescription medication for heartburn since Aleve shreds the heck out of your guts and I’m usually good to go…ID-100326652

That was until just last week.

I wish I could say that everything that happened last weekend was a conscious decision on my part.

I wish I could tell you that I had the natural vitamin D vs. potentially cancerous sun rays discussion going on in my brain.

I wish I could say that when I looked up at the partially cloudy sky I made an educated decision.

I wish I could tell you that I actually thought about MS or pain or my skin or the sun.

But honestly, there was no room for these thoughts on this particular Saturday.

And why should there be?  It was barely spring.  And it was a yard sale.


Some acquaintances had decided to hold a yard sale right in my own rented backyard.  Being the downsizing cheapskate I believe I am, I asked to join them.  That way I could make some money, get rid of some stuff, and wouldn’t have to even advertise- they already did!

I got up early and carried my boxes outside to join my new friends.  And it was actually fun.  I enjoyed their company and tried not to get too freaked out when their junk sold way better than my junk.

I kept hydrated and smiled and peddled my wares and enjoyed the early May breezes and was generally pleased with how it all went.

I thought $40 (mostly in quarters and crumpled singles) was all I got from the morning.

ID-100142636But I was wrong.

The next day I noticed another gift.

It was a wicked sunburn on half of my body.

Not even the good half.

By half my body I mean one bright red arm and one arm still pale as ever.  Way paler than it should be considering the hearty Portuguese stock I come from.

At least my face was spared the half and half look. And by spared I mean that both sides of my nose as well as the tip were sporting the “Rudolph on one foggy Christmas Eve” look.


But what was even worse than the reindeer games image was the pain.   It was the pain that caused me to notice the sunburn in the first place.

Waking up the morning after the yard sale my right side felt like it was on fire.  I’ve had sunburns before- I grew up on a beach.  But never had I hurt like this.

What was really horrible was that the sharp, spiky pain seemed to radiate from inside my body, likely from the nerve endings themselves.  How did the sun’s powerful rays penetrate through all my fat cells all the way down to the nerves?

My whole right arm felt completely useless and it hurt like a motha… well, let’s just say it hurt a lot.

I had never felt throbbing quite like this before and it wasn’t long before I had something to blame.


It wasn’t, of course, my fault for not remembering to use sunscreen or for not noticing that what sunscreen I did have had expired five years prior.  No, this was the fault of multiple sclerosis.

Just like climate change, world hunger, communism, capitalism, consumerism and any other “ism” you can think of, my sunburn was now added to the list of things I blame on MS.

Only MS can mess up what was a fun day outside on a somewhat cloudy morning and turn it into a new level of pain and unattractiveness-trust me, the Rudolph look only looks cute on Rudolph.

But even in this unfortunate, new issue, I was fortunate.

While MS sucks and is horrible and does horrible things and causes even more horrible things, sometimes, just sometimes, it calms down for a while too.  Two days later and the hurt was mostly gone and the redness was a little less bright.


And somehow I actually missed the whole disgusting skin peeling aspect that follows a sun burn.  And so, in this too, I try to be positive.  The worst of this new symptom had passed and lesson learned.

Perhaps I could go on to try to better appreciate the sun this summer.  Especially since now I had $40.

That should be enough to buy some decent sunscreen.


Hope all of you my friends are having a safe and healthy fun start to the summer season!  

To get you through do what I’m going to go- grab some sunscreen, ice water and the nearest AC!


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Two Years Later- Still December Dates

An MS’er looks at the calendar


While this blog was written two years ago, since I just returned from the same trip, and dates do not change, I thought I would offer it to you again.  Mostly because I am way too wiped out to come up with anything new this week….

It’s the Monday morning after a month long stay in another state, visiting relatives.   My family and I had returned late on the previous Thursday evening.   The next day it was all I could do through my fatigue to go to the post office and pick up the collected mail.

(I had written about after travel stress and mail previously- check out the blog post from last year’s trip, Its On My List.)


I spent the weekend alternating between resting and going through the mail, resting and sorting the mail, resting and paying late bills, and resting and responding to other mail.

Before I stepped into the shower this Monday morning I looked at my calendar and saw written for today, 12/17/12, “confirm insurance, get approval and schedule MRI.”

While I was gone, changes had been made to my insurance and I knew getting this straightened out was the day’s priority.  Yet in the shower, the date was bugging me.  There was something more to 12/17, but what?

It didn’t help that December dates are pretty busy for me and not just because of the huge holiday that everyone knows about and adjusts their month around.

(You know you do- even if you don’t celebrate Christmas you are making plans as all your favorite places are closed that day!)

It’s also a birthday galore month for me (besides the big guy’s of course.)


This particular December month is filled with the birthdays of one nephew, two cousins, an aunt, a niece-in-law who is also the mother of my two great nephews, a friend turning 40, another friend who turned 40 last year,  a third friend who I thought was turning 40 as my MS brain completely forgot we celebrated her 40th last year with the other friend who turned 40, and a fourth friend who is my same age but who I can never remember if she is younger than me thus hitting my age this month or is older and is hitting the next dreaded year first.

At one point I discovered that a cousin-in-law I have grown particularly close to this past year also had a birthday this month that I almost missed-thank goodness for social media birthday updates.


While watching the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary Pay per View concert at a friend’s house, I was reminded that Keith Richards birthday was coming up (12/18/43 for those who would like to note it on their own calendars.)

I have always been a Stones fan and think Keith is the coolest of the cool and one of the most talented undead humans on our planet.  But remembering his birthday is a bit extreme for my taxed brain.

Perhaps I remembered because I had listened to the audio CD of his autobiography Life this past summer. Still, retaining the actual date is random.


(Speaking of MS as this is an MS blog, did you know that Keith had a beloved aunt who suffered from MS?  He has a real understanding and sympathy for what living with MS is like.  How much closer to perfection can this rocker get?)

And I don’t care what all these folks say, they must have gotten ripped off from the birthday fairy or Santa Claus when they were kids.

Anyway, what is up with 12/17? There is that whole end of the word thing but that is scheduled for 12/21.


I finished the shower and made calls and miracle of all Christmas miracles, the calls went smoothly and I scheduled my next MRI.  It wasn’t until evening while I was writing on my calendar a reminder to stop taking Aleve 4 days before the MRI (and already bemoaning what an achy miserable blob I will be those days) that it FINALLY occurred to me what it was about 12/17 that was bugging me.  12/17/09 was the day I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Here is one of the many weird ways MS works. Every MS’er I know (me included) automatically remembers the day of their diagnosis. I can recall the date of diagnosis quicker than I can recall my social security number.

Yet, looking at the calendar on the exact day, and doing MS related errands involving this sucky anniversary, I couldn’t get my head around why this date was flashing like a black flag in my tired MS brain.


Oh, but the memory the understanding of the date brought.  Three years ago I was a hurting, exhausted, smoking, depressed, stressed mess working in a job I generally enjoyed but was the root of a lot of the stress.  And I was barely walking.  Yet I was trying to focus on the spirit of the Christmas holiday despite MRI’s and doctor appointments.

Today I am less hurting, not smoking, less stressed, not depressed, better walking, not at that job, less of a mess.

I’m still freaking exhausted ALL the time though and am about as sick of dealing with fatigue as folks are sick of hearing me whine about it!!!

I have discovered skills that I didn’t know about three years ago (writing and public speaking but I guess referring to them as skills is really up to readers and the few audience members I have encountered thus far.)


And clearly, I am still as spacey as I was back then as evidenced by my spending the day trying to figure out why this day was standing out even as I repeated the same day to MRI people scheduling my three year MRI!

Here is another thing that has not changed.   In 2009, the most important date was the one coming up the following week.   Even through the pain and the fear about what was wrong with me, 12/25 was the most important item on my calendar.

If it is all the same with you, I will continue to focus on the biggest date of the month.  So for the others (12/3, 12/3, 12/5, 12/15, 12/16, 12/17, 12/18. 12/19, 12/24, 12/27, 12/28, and 12/29,) your dates are ok on my calendar.

But the one that brings me the most joy is 12/25.

Merry Christmas Everyone and whether you celebrate Christmas itself or not, a healthy, blessed holiday season to all……


PS  Helpful holiday gift hint- MS Madness!  A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis makes a fun gift for everyone!


Things That Go Ouch In The Night

MS weirdness, MS dancing, MS news and a favor


If you are like me, then you are used to unexplainable MS aches, pains, and strains. There are so many that I have stopped trying to count. And I have definitely stopped trying to figure out what causes them.

I just take one (or two,) Aleve tablets (my personal favorite of the over the counter meds,) and try to move on, perhaps whinnying or complaining if I also happen to be super grouchy that day. (Please see my prior post about mood swings titled, Call Me Oscar.)

And, so you don’t worry, I will tell you that I do know relying on Aleve is bad for your tummy; hence why I have prescription heartburn medicine that I take along with it. (Why isn’t it called tummyburn?)


That’s the way MS rolls; one drug takes care of one symptom but causes another, and so you take another drug to combat that symptom and so on and so on and so on…

But back to the aches, pains, and strains. I am more fortunate than some of my other MS friends in that the pain MS throws at me isn’t too terribly horrible. But because it is MS, it insists on being weird.


Just so my brain doesn’t get too complacent, multiple sclerosis decided to toss something new in the mix, just to shake things up. For the last several nights, when I wake up for one of my many, many middle of the night trips to the bathroom, I awake filled with all kinds of aches, pains, and strains. Stabbing sensations in my legs, throbbing feet, headache, sore throat, brutal ear aches- in both ears no less- or any combination thereof.

I tell myself that this is not MS. I must be coming down with something (virus, cold, fever, infection, malaise, etc.) and in the morning I will make an appointment to see my doctor. And, also luckily for me, MS fatigue overtakes MS weirdness and I fall back to sleep.


When I wake up in the morning, I (of course,) run to the bathroom again. I take my thyroid pill, (a whole separate diagnosis, a whole separate drug issue,) and since I can’t eat or drink for 30 minutes afterwards, I go back to bed. In that time the aches, pains, and strains seem to go away. I become convinced I dreamt the whole body of issues. Too often the headaches stick around and I will take my Aleve, but otherwise, the virus seems to be gone.

This has been going on for several days. I’m a pretty intense dreamer- am I dreaming the whole thing? Does the dream me have an ear infection or strep throat but the awake me is healthy?

Is it a mix- are some of the symptoms MS related and the others viral? But I am on an anti-viral medication (for fatigue-figure THAT one out,) so how does that work? Do my meds run out in the middle of the night and that is why everything comes at me then? If so, how come this just started recently when I have been on all of this same stuff for years?


Since it happens at night, and night is when the monsters come out, is this just a medical monster mash designed to help me get ready for Halloween?

You might suggest I visit a doctor to discuss this but how can I go see a doctor when by morning I don’t have any symptoms for him to look at? Am I going crazy? How else can I explain this latest weirdness?

Oh wait, that answer I’ve got. If it’s medical and it’s weird, it must be multiple sclerosis….


On to DWTS– what an incredibly beautiful and emotional night it was. I have been a fan long before Jack Osbourne joined the cast and I think this night of the stars recounting their most memorable years was the best ever. But Jack discussing his MS diagnosis only 2 and a half weeks after his daughter was born was beyond touching. His raw emotions as a father combined with his fears for his future health brought the ballroom to tears. He then danced a flawless waltz.

I was so moved I almost forgot to vote. Luckily, I came to my senses and managed to get my votes in!


Memorable MS quotes of the evening-

“If you don’t have bad, then you can’t appreciate the good,” Jack.

“Your hand sort of goes in a peculiar way,” Len.

“You even managed to get your bum under control,” Bruno.

Vote for Jack Osbourne and his partner Cheryl Burke by calling 1-800-868-3402 up to 60 minutes after the show on Monday nights or by logging onto ABC.com or Facebook.com/votedwts up to 24 hours after.

Now for the big news, followed by a big favor! It’s official, the title for my upcoming book is-

MS Madness!

A Giggle More, Cry Less Story of Multiple Sclerosis

It is scheduled to be released in February 2014, just in time for National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month! I can’t wait to share with all of you the story of the several months before my diagnosis and the year that followed, a story told with honesty, frustration, inspiration and, of course, my own unusual sense of humor.

If you haven’t done so already, please consider liking my professional page on Facebook, Yvonne deSousa.com where I will regularly post status on the release date, preorder information, book signings and a contest!

Thank you all for your amazing support!







I’ve Fallen and I Don’t WANT to Get Up

MS Wipeout


Fido pushed me.

Fido is the name of my portable air conditioner that lives as my personal puppy during the summer months. He provides hours of relaxation and bliss this time of year, but needs constant attention and is very high maintenance.

I was walking by him during one of the hottest, most miserable days of July when he suddenly leapt out and tripped me. I’m not sure if he did it on purpose or not.

Perhaps he senses that I will be moving soon to an apartment with a real air conditioner and thus will no longer appreciate him. So he decided to act out. Sort of like when one of my dog owner friends stays out a little too long and comes home to find doggie presents in her expensive, new shoes.

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Whatever reason Fido had for pushing me, I was down. The heat misery had added to my MS balance (or to be more accurate, no balance) issues and lack of coordination. I fell over Fido and over the edge of my bed, and landed roughly on the floor.

Things hurt. A lot.

I could see the bruises forming on my arms from where they hit stuff as I went down. This summer had me looking like a four day old banana with all kinds of bruises covering my clumsy body.


Fido seemed to feel bad as he hovered over me, blasting super cool air in apology. How can I stay mad at his cute, little pathetic face?

While I was lying on my floor, I realized I just didn’t want to get up- who says I have to? As much as things hurt, they were going to hurt wherever I went, whether I got up or not. So I stayed where I was and let my mind wander, once I got past the hurt and annoyance at Fido.

I let him breathe cold air on me and thought about how, specifically, he made me wipeout. Which then lead to thoughts of the TV show Wipeout. Which then lead to thoughts of an MS edition of Wipeout. Wouldn’t that be fun? I started to picture how this new network hit would go.


The thing about multiple sclerosis is that it affects each of us differently. And for some of us, it is an invisible illness which makes people insist there is nothing wrong with us. How many people have asked me how MS affects me and then shaken their heads at all of my bruises thinking, how come this girl is such a klutz?

It is for this reason that I often don’t use my handicapped parking placard unless I really need too. But some days it is a help. Yet, I get out of my car and drag my achy legs to the store only to have people shake their heads at me and toss me dirty looks. Even if my difficult walking is obvious, people seem to look at me as if I am walking that way on purpose.


I have thought maybe I should get a cane just to advert the dirty looks. Perhaps using a cane would prevent a fall like the one that lead to my lying on the floor pondering all of this, except that my falls are fortunately random and rare.

In the craziness that is multiple sclerosis, I can’t imagine being wise enough to have a cane with me when I am actually about to fall. I would likely fall on my way to grabbing the cane and swear even louder.

Since I look healthy, I am not sure if I would be allowed to enter the MS edition of Wipeout.

For those of you who don’t know, Wipeout is a TV game show where athletic but crazy people try to win money on what is described as the world’s largest obstacle course. These folks must successfully bounce across the giant inflated big balls, dodge automated punches while quickly stepping across a high platform, try not to be knocked down by a sweeper arm and complete many other feats to win the money.


These obstacles have a total MS feel, even just by their names alone; Sucker Punch, Dreadmill, Dizzy Dummy, Cookie Cutter Swing (cookies, I’m totally in!), Tumble Towers, Slippery Stairs, Butt Kicker. I swear the producers must have someone with MS in their family.

If you falter on one of the above obstacles, you fall into a pool of water. Hello, Aquatic Therapy is recommended in the treatment of MS!


And with so many of my fellow MS’ers practice in issues similar to the above, I bet many would do well. But if I showed up to compete, I would probably be deemed physically fit enough to enter the regular Wipeout show.

But here is where my MS would be a hindrance on the course. Brain fog would set in at some point and I would totally forget what I was doing.

How did I wind up on this big bouncy thing?

I would likely make my way over to the Dizzy Dummy and try to lean against it and take a nap. If I fell on the course, I would leisurely float in the pool and just rest. And maybe rest some more….

Lying on my floor I was just about convinced that I should write to the show and ask for an entry form. Floating in a pool, whether or not I made it up the Slippery Stairs, sounds quite lovely.


But another MS symptom kicks in, that of the obnoxious bladder. I am forced to get up and I do so gently. Where is the Wipeout pool when I need it? I take care of my bladder, empty Fido’s bladder-heaven forbid I should go to the bathroom and ignore him, and pop an Aleve for the pain the fall has caused. I am pretty sure nothing has been seriously injured.

Next I do what I do so well. I pat Fido’s cool head and collapse in front of him yet again.

This time I manage to land on my super soft bed…..

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Image courtesy of [Grant Cochrane] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [imagerymajestic] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Grant Cochrane] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Maggie Smith] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Resolve This!

An MS’er attacks the New Year


Happy New Year everyone! Hope you have had an excellent start to this first day of 2013.

Yes, oh particular ones, I do realize that today is the 11th and thus eleven days after the first official day of the year. But my question is, says who? The Mayans?

I have chosen to start the New Year and my New Year’s resolutions today for several reasons.

1. I had way too much chocolate and goodies still leftover from Christmas to even attempt any healthy eating plan. Unlike my thinner friend who decided to start her resolutions on 12/29 to get ahead of the game (New Year kiss-ass,) I choose to be a rebel and just start later. I also resolved to waste less, so I would be immediately failing if I threw out the good stuff. My friend had help in that department. Her four, pretty much grown kids, who were home for the holiday helped her devour her treats. I was forced to tackle mine almost completely alone.

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2. The end of the first official week of the New Year was filled with two afternoons of MRI’s, for which I needed to refrain from taking my wonder drug, Aleve, for several days. (More on what I Iearned from the MRI tube in a future blog.) Without my over the counter pain meds, the aches were miserable and I resolved to do nothing but lie around my house and whine about them.

3. As you can see from the above, this year I resolved to take my health and ‘get fit’ plan seriously. So I seriously chose a good day to start- the 11th, the Yvonne deSousa official first day of the New Year! A brief Auld Lang Syne to all!

If you happened to be following my ‘get fit’ plan over the summer, you understand that it takes baby steps to achieve healthy new fitness goals. Little by little, I have been sneaking better habits in and have figured some things out along the way that may help all of you in your ‘get fit’ journey as well.



1. One regular size Mounds candy bar is not the equivalent of two servings of fruit.

2. Kale is the best veggie in the world but eating eight bowls of Portuguese kale soup is not the healthiest way to meet your veggie requirements.

3. While super delicious, Reeses Chocolate Peanut Butter Pumpkins are not actually made from pumpkins and thus, don’t count as a fruit serving.

4. Cinnamon is an excellent spice and very good for you. But shaking just a little on ice cream, puddings and baked goods is the least effective way of adding it to your diet.

5. Just because something is in the yogurt section of the dairy case and starts with Yo, doesn’t mean it is the same as the yogurt the experts all tell you to eat. Apparently the stuff that comes with mini M&M’s and Oreo cookies are not the best in yogurt options.

6. Since dark chocolate is good for you, one would assume that milk chocolate is even better as it has milk in it. Apparently, that is not the case.

7. Turns out calories consumed by eating raw cookie dough really do count.

8. Vegan and vegetarian are considered by some to be politically incorrect words these politically correct days. The new appropriate phrasing is “plant based diet.” This I discovered when another friend and I attended a class on “plant based diet” cooking. (See, I really am trying.)

The class was held in a small, quiet room in a doctor’s office, and was just beginning when my friend called to tell me that she was late as she couldn’t find the place. I did what any good friend would do and gave her the best directions that would help her find it.

“It is directly across from McDonalds on Main, you know the Mickey D’s we went to last month to pick up the Frappes.” Despite the offended looks I received from the instructor, I did take home some good recipes.


Over the fall, you, readers have been concerned about me as well and have sent me some helpful information. One reader and dear friend recommended a book called the Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book that I purchased and have leafed through several times. I swear one of these days I will actually read the words written in it, I really will.

Another reader mentioned the website www.skinnytaste.com and honestly, it looks really good. And I heard from the founder of the website www.msdietforwomen.com and that looks really good too. Guys, you are on your own on that one.

I also discovered the website www.crazysexydiet.com that is geared towards people using healthy foods to fight cancer, but has the same good for you basics we all need. I was at first pleased when I read their list of 9 Foods You Should Never Eat and discovered that I only ate 2 of them- two didn’t seem that bad. Then I realized that Portuguese bread and Italian bread are considered white bread so damn, there were three things on the list I need to cut out.

Not to forget the other part of any person’s ‘get fit’ plan, is the fact that you must drink lots of water. It is not that I have an aversion to water, I just forget to drink it. I usually remember right about the time in the evening when I remember to take my “so I don’t pee all night” pill, which of course, is too late to start drinking water.

And then there is exercise. Another reader sent me info about a website www.crankyfitness.com    The concept of this site is that if exercising makes you cranky, the website can relate.

What all of these things seem to say is that the basic plan should be to eat more vegetables and fruits, no processed foods, much, much, less meat, sugar, and flour, drink water and exercise. I am on it!

I have charged the batteries in my Wii and have the ingredients for my first recipe, a Ham, Brown Rice and Peas casserole for WHICH, I am going to substitute kidney beans for the ham and exchange half the brown rice for farro to add some good grains.

I can do this! Want to join me?


Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [sattva] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net