This is a pretty awesome rap about multiple sclerosis. There are a couple of exaggerations, which are noted in the video, but still a pretty good explanation about the disease.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, then you’re aware I have multiple sclerosis. If you’re new to the blog, well, I have multiple sclerosis.
I was diagnosed in July 2011, about a week before Alaina’s 2nd birthday. But my symptoms started about two months earlier, when I was rushed to the hospital after having a seizure. You see, one Sunday afternoon I had a wicked headache. I told Matt I was going to take a nap in hopes of sleeping the headache off. An hour or two later, he heard me yelling. When he went to our bedroom, he saw me in the middle of a tonic-clonic (used to be called Grand Mal) seizure. (Having viewed videos of people in the middle of a tonic-clonic seizure, I feel so bad for my husband. These are incredibly scary things to watch. I’m sure I was scared during, but I don’t remember anything about it, so there’s that. In fact, I don’t remember anything about the rest of that day. It’s all gone.)
He called 911 and paramedics came to take me to the hospital. Doctors thought I had viral meningitis. They ran lots of tests to look at my brain (including in MRI) and to find the virus, but no luck. As part of my follow-up care, my primary care physician referred me to a neurologist. Since they had never identified the virus and I had been having other MS symptoms since leaving the hospital — namely, pins and needles in my hands, which I was blaming on my anti-seizure drug — she started putting the pieces together and suspected MS. An MRI, taken eight weeks after my hospital stay, confirmed her suspicions.
In eight weeks since the first MRI of my brain, I had a couple of new lesions on the brain, as well as other lesions that had shrunk or grown. They call this waxing and waning of the myelin sheath — and it isn’t good news. Basically, my immune system was attacking my myelin sheath — in other words, my body was attacking my brain.
“Neurons are the structures in the nervous system that allow us to think, see, hear, speak, feel, eliminate and move. Each neuron is made up of a cell body and an axon (the extension of the cell body that carries messages). Most of the axons in the central nervous system are wrapped in myelin, a substance rich in lipids (fatty substances) and proteins. Like the coating around an electrical wire, myelin insulates and protects the axon and helps speed nerve transmission.” – from the National MS Society
When the myelin sheath is damaged, the signals from the brain aren’t transmitted as effectively. The brain and/or spinal cord, doesn’t work properly.
MS is a very personalized disease. My MS is very different from my friends’ MS — but there are some commonalities. Some of the most common symptoms are fatigue, memory loss, the MS Hug (where it feels like something is wrapped tightly around your trunk to the point it causes pain), pins and needles effect, optic neuritis (a diminishing of vision until partial blindness occurs — for many MS patients it is temporary) loss of sensation in your extremities, loss of control of your extremities. The list really does go on and on. However, seizures aren’t a “normal” MS symptom, which is why the doctors at the hospital didn’t immediately think MS.
Fast forward 2 1/2 years to now: I’m doing pretty well. I’m on a daily injection therapy called Copaxone. Its goal is to keep you in remission and extend the amount of time between relapses, also called flare-ups. I haven’t had a relapse since my original episode. *knock on wood!* I battle fatigue, but if I listen to my body and don’t overextend myself, it is manageable.
In case you’re wondering why the drug I’m on just tries to buy you time between flare-ups: There is no cure for MS. Right now, scientists don’t know what causes MS — they have isolated some commonalities among people who have MS, (for example, having mono or shingles as an adult seems to increase your chances of developing the disease) but they haven’t found the smoking gun. So the therapies, just try to minimize the attacks.
One of the things I’ve done since my diagnosis is try to raise money and awareness about MS. I’m a co-captain of a Walk MS team called The Word Herders. My friend Jennifer started this team after her diagnosis in 2010. April 2011 was the team’s first walk — and I was there. A month later, I was in the hospital and two months after that, I was in the MS camp with her.
She is the chairman of the Central Arkansas MS Walk for the second year in a row — go Jennifer! And I’m once again on the steering committee. We’re planning a fantastic walk for next month!
So I’m ending my story post with a couple of pleas. Please join the Word Herders on Saturday, April 12 in Little Rock’s Riverfront Park for the MS Walk. Its about a mile, so you don’t have to be in good shape to walk it. It is a wheelchair-accessible route. Click here to sign up.
If you can’t join us (or be a virtual walker!), then please consider making a donation. The money all goes to the National MS Society. The society is very involved in research and in helping people with MS. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation.
I also invite you to check out the Word Herders Auction Page on Facebook. Each Sunday/Monday, a new batch of goodies (think handbags, jewelry, watches, artwork, etc) goes on the auction block. The auctions end Saturday evening.
Last of all, wear ORANGE on Saturday and Sunday. And if someone asks you why you’re wearing ORANGE, tell them you want to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis!
Margarita Mama (Heidi) and I were very fortunate to get a sneak peek of The Main Cheese on Monday night. And according to the restaurant’s website, you can go check it out for yourself now! WooHoo! Cheese for everyone!
Like Heidi, I have been sooooo excited about a restaurant dedicated to cheese. I love cheese in so many of its varieties, except for bleu cheese — just never been a fan of that one. And grilled cheese has always been one of my favorite sandwiches. So The Main Cheese sounded great to me. I’m pleased to report that it didn’t disappoint.
Heidi and I decided to split an appetizer and then try different sandwiches and desserts so we could give you guys a better picture of the restaurant. What can we say, we’re givers.
We started off our meal with the Caponata, which included eggplant, diced tomatoes, black olives, capers, garlic and basil, and was served with pita chips. The Caponata was our second choice — we both really wanted the Artichoke and Cheese Dip.
The Caponata wasn’t my favorite. It was served cold and I think it might have been tastier at room temp. Also, the pita chips were seriously too hard and thick. It was very hard to bite them, which isn’t a good thing when you’re eating a messy dip.
Next up for me was The Big Dipper sandwich. I love a good roast beef sandwich with au jus to dip in. This one was pretty tasty. The roast beef was sliced thin, which is always a good thing in my opinion. The homemade au jus had a great flavor — yum! I do wish there had been a little more provolone cheese on the sandwich. I would say The Main Cheese used about the same amount of cheese on their dipper as everyone else does on theirs. I wanted more cheese from a cheese restaurant! So the sandwich was very good, but didn’t cross over into the realm of truly special. More cheese please!
I think I might be one of the few Southerners in the world who doesn’t like coleslaw. So I swapped my coleslaw for seasoned chips and a dipping sauce. Oh my word, those were some tasty chips! They had a little kick, but not enough to require one to guzzle a glass of water. They were crisp, but not burnt. All in all, definitely worth the extra $1.
I also had a bite of Heidi’s Gulf Shores sandwich. That was heaven on a plate, y’all. There was so much delicious cheese and seafood in each bite, I’m drooling a little bit just thinking about it. And the fries were also delish, definitely worth that $1.50 substitution charge.
Now it was time for dessert. I admit, I had been dreaming about The Main Cheese Donut since I first read about it. I love donuts and I love cheese — but the two of them together. I was curious and determined to try it.
It didn’t disappoint. A young man at the table next to us described it as one of the best things he had ever eaten. He wasn’t exaggerating. A glazed donut was cut in half and toasted, with cheese (I think they were using fontina last night) melted between the two halves. I don’t know WHO thought a donut and cheese would go together — but they were a genius. The sweet and the cheesy goodness were the perfect compliment. Yum!
All in all, my meal at The Main Cheese was really tasty and the staff was really friendly. They have a small, but good, beer and wine list — my Blue Moon went well with everything I ordered. There were a couple of small tweaks I’d make to certain dishes, but for a soft opening, The Main Cheese seems to have already worked out a lot of the kinks. I’m already making plans to go back and take the family.
Heavy metal meets jazz?!?!?
I’m a child of the 80s. As such, I grew up listening to Guns N’ Roses — and “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” was always one of my favorite GNR songs. There have been several covers of this hit — and of the ones I’ve heard, most of them have been pretty awful.
But this one is really something special. This is how “Sweet Child O’ Mine” would sound all jazzed up, 1920s-style. Scott Bradlee (Postmodern Jukebox) and Miche Braden get the credit for this ear candy. Read all about the project here.
So what do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down?
My little pink lady!
Poor Alaina caught a stomach bug last week. On Tuesday night, she was a very sick little girl — vomiting and diarrhea. Wednesday she stayed home with her Daddy. On Thursday she stayed home with me. On Friday, we sent her back to daycare only for her to be sent back home because the diarrhea was continuing. *sigh*
So I called the doctor’s office and learned that we had been doing everything wrong. All of the foods that we had let Alaina eat were too harsh for her tummy — PARENTING FAIL!
So Friday was clear liquids. Saturday, Sunday and Monday were largely BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) diet days. She started eating normally on Tuesday.
So what greeted us this morning? You guessed it, the diarrhea is back. *GRRR*
So back to Pedialyte and the BRAT diet for little miss.
And the WINNER of Little Rock Mamas and The Promenade at Chenal’s “Dinner and a Movie giveaway” is Patty!
Patty’s number was randomly chosen by a online Random Number Generator.
Her comment: Worst (maybe best) Valentines: We moved ourselves to Little Rock on Valentines Day umpteen years ago. It rained, we were exhausted and celebrating Valentines was not happening, but we are still here and I haven’t packed a moving truck since!
Congratulations, Patty! We hope this Valentine’s Day is better — no moving and no rain!
So an Australian band has weighed in on the great breastfeeding in public debate.
I think the chorus is particularly catchy: “Everyone knows that new mothers are exhibitionists (exhibitionists). They’re taking every chance they get to ruin your day with tits. Pretending their little ones need some comfort or a feed, they’re taking every chance they get to ruin your day with tits.”
You get the drift.
Little Rock Mamas and The Promenade at Chenal have teamed up to offer you a few ideas for what to grab for the man in your life, as well as your kiddos, this Valentine’s Day. Don’t worry dads, we didn’t forget you — we’ve got a gift suggestion that is sure to make mom smile.
Finally, we know that Valentine’s is also about giving us an excuse to have an all-too-rare date night. We’ve got a suggestion for a romantic meal out or where to get some ingredients to make a home-cooked meal that is truly Cupid-worthy.
*Psst, we might also have a giveaway (or two!) buried in this guide, so keep reading!
Crazy 8 is one of my favorite places to shop for children’s clothes. Their clothes are adorable — and so reasonably priced! Plus, they tend to have lots of sales, which makes this thrifty mama very happy! Speaking of sales, their Valentine’s Day items currently are 25% off and other previously marked down merchandise is $9.99 or less. (Shown here at full price.)
Justice is packed full of clothes for tween girls and has TONS of toys and toiletries that will make the perfect Valentine’s gift for the apple of your eye. Who can resist the big eyes on that teddy bear? They also have a couple of good sales going on right now — 40% off the entire store (good through Feb. 5) and up to 75% off clearance items (good through Feb. 4).
Apple is sure to have something that will make the gadget-lover (male or female) in your life very happy. As someone who has been researching the best activity tracker/fitness monitor, I was pleased to see that Apple carried a variety of brands in several sizes. Of course, they also have tons of items that will make your iPad more versatile.
Kenneth Edwards Fine Jewelers has so many pretty, sparkly things. One of my favorites was the Posh Mommy line of engravable jewelry. I don’t know of a mom who wouldn’t get a little teary-eyed to receive one of these necklaces or bracelets.
Now, let’s talk dinner.
Strippaggio Olive Oil & Vinegar can certainly provide you with some wonderful ingredients to get you on your way to a delicious Valentine’s meal. Are you looking to make something savory? Or maybe you want to make a yummy dip for fresh-baked bread? No problem.
But what about dessert? They’ve got you covered there too. Don’t believe me? Check out their recipe for a Dark Chocolate Blood Orange Cake with Blood Orange Ganache, which uses their Blood Orange Olive Oil and Tangerine Balsamic in the recipe. Wow, that just sounds beyond decadent!
YaYa’s Euro Bistro has been voted Most Romantic Restaurant in Little Rock by Little Rock A-List. And the food (diver sea scallops, filet mignon, lamb chops and shrimp risotto) sounds simply divine. Even better, you have a chance to experience all of that for FREE! YaYa’s is giving away a $100 gift card that comes with reservations for two on Valentine’s. Go here to enter — and hurry, you only have until Feb. 3!
But wait, there’s more!
Little Rock Mamas has a little dinner and movie giveaway of our own. We have 2 movie passes for the Chenal 9 Theatre with IMAX and a $50 gift card from The Promenade at Chenal, which is good at any of their restaurants or stores.
To enter our giveaway, leave me a comment below telling me about the BEST or WORST Valentine’s Day you’ve ever had. I’ll randomly choose a winner the morning of Friday, Feb. 7.
Note: This is a compensated post; however, all opinions are mine. I also helped pick out all of the items in this gift guide. After I was done, I might have done a little shopping of my own.