May 11, 2016:
Hello, my MS Warriors!
I came across this article, and thought I would share. It’s an article about chocolate . . . something that I think is safe to say the majority loves. I found it to be a lighthearted article that I hope you enjoy reading . . .
Research has already proven that one of the biggest factors in Multiple Sclerosis, as well as many other diseases both autoimmune and otherwise, is that of inflammation. It is becoming apparent that this one indicator of an MS attack is what may be the biggest factor in why people suffer from the debilitating effects of MS, which is why a recent study about chocolates amazing ability to reduce inflammation in both heart attack and stroke victims caught my eye.
This study was done on older adults, and to be fair here, it had nothing to do with multiple sclerosis but the study did show the amazing ability of flavonoids, which are found in chocolate, to decrease inflammation throughout the entire circulatory system as well as the brain. And since the brain is nothing more then a cluster of neuron tissue, which is what MS attacks, I think it’s only safe to assume that chocolate would also significantly reduce inflammation in the nervous system as well.
And this study was done with people who were eating about half of a regular cheap store bought candy bar each day made of mostly milk chocolate and not the darker higher content of cocoa chocolate bars that you find in many health food stores. These chocolate bars cost significantly more then what you pay at your local convenience store and have far less sugar in them, but the flavonoid content of them is many times higher then what milk chocolate contains, which is very little.
If you are unaware of what flavonoids are, you may have heard on the news in the past that drinking either grape juice or red wine is healthful because of the high amount of flavonoids found in them. It’s thought; that maybe the reason why Italians can eat such a high fat and carbohydrate diet without the same incidents of heart disease that we experience in this country is because of the daily glass of wine they consume at lunch and/or dinner. And the flavonoids in chocolate bars with a cocoa content of at least 50% and higher is many times higher then what is found in even a full glass of red wine. Another natural food that is also extremely high in flavonoids are dried cherries which are actually prescribed by dieticians for many ailments to also fight, or counter, inflammation throughout the body. So if you can find a candy bar with 80% cocoa that also has dried cherries mixed in as well then that’s all that much better and they do make them because that’s what I eat but they cost anywhere from $2.50 to $4.00 dollars. However you only need to eat four or five small pieces to get a large dose of the beneficial flavonoid content which means one candy bar can last a week.
In my opinion this is one of the best things that you can try on your own to see if it may help in reducing some of the effects of multiple sclerosis and the accompanying inflammation. And let’s face it the worst outcome you could experience is that nothing changes accept you have something to look forward to each and every night, either after dinner, or before you go to bed.
By Bill Walker
Wishing you the best,
October 13, 2015:
I came across Jolene Engle’s words of encouragement this morning, and had to share this with you as I believe in everything she says. I’ve been asked how do I stay so positive dealing with such a frustrating disease, and I always say that attitude plays a big part of it. But, what’s even more important is my relationship with God . . . it is God that gets me through every day. He is my rock and definitely my fortress. And, it is because of Him that I am able to keep such a positive attitude.
I hope you enjoy Jolene Engle’s story as much as I did.
Cheers to good health,
5 BIBLICAL ESSENTIALS TO PROTECT YOUR HEART FROM GROWING BITTER
BY JOLENE ENGLE
My tired and overwhelmed body had just two boxes left to unpack. I was so thankful they were tiny. Written on them in my handwriting, read, “Framed Photos”. Not giving any thought to the contents inside, I opened them up.
Each small frame I took out displayed a photo of a small face. Photos I hadn’t seen in years. One photo was of me and Eric as newlyweds- so happy and not a care in the world. Others photos were of my sons when they were babies and toddlers. And now they are 14 and 15 years old. ￼
My life and their life flashed before my eyes when I saw those photos. I packed that box back in 2009 and haven’t unpacked it until now. Back then my life was in full blown financial ruin and I was on the road to cancer. It was a tough time with tougher memories.
The trials have come to an end but the memories are still there.
As the unexpected tears welled up in my eyes, I mourned our losses. The loss of my health, the loss of our time, the loss of our home and business, the loss of relationships, the loss of our dreams.
I was emotionally overwhelmed with what I saw. Those photos represented years of walking through what seemed like a desert wasteland of my life.
The memories of all my health treatments flooded my mind. The pain and the suffering.
All the years of uncertainty coupled with fear as I looked out toward our future. The moving and packing and moving again.
Hot tears flooded my eyes and ran down my cheeks….
And the negative emotions filled my mind.
Ms. Bitterness and Hard-Heart were camping outside at the door of my heart waiting for me to invite them in. And I could hear Ms. Angry and Self-Pity chattin’ right behind them. The four of them were beckoning me to welcome them into my soul.
I didn’t fight back the tears when I saw the photos, and I’m not fighting them back now as I share this story with you because honestly, I have bigger battles to fight, namely, my sin.
The sin of bitterness, a hard-heart, anger, and self-pity. These are all emotions that do nothing for me or for the body of Christ. And because I was made by Him and for Him, I need to deal with my feelings and move on because the Lord wants to use me.
Of course it is okay to mourn loss, but for me to welcome harmful emotions to take root in my heart is like putting out a welcome mat that says, “Satan, please deprive my soul of all future joy and hope.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but this is not the type of Christian woman I want to become. I don’t want to live life in a defeated state and I don’t want to live life without purpose.
If you know grief like I do, we’re in good company because Jesus knew grief, too.
He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Isaiah 53:3
Now, if you and I were sitting across from one another at a table chatting, I would speak these words to your soul…
You are not alone in your pain. You may feel alone, but you’re not. Jesus is with you. Walking with you. And He’ll never leave your side.
Christ will take your mess and turn it into a masterpiece. Just let go of the control and fear and let Him lead you.
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 (NLT) ￼
5 BIBLICAL ESSENTIALS TO PROTECT YOUR HEART FROM GROWING BITTER
1. Hold on to hope.
God knows your pain, after all, He is the one allowing it in your life. Don’t rule Him out of your situation. It is in His nature to do miracles. Watch and wait for the miracles to unfold.
But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. Psalm 71:14
2. Cling to joy.
It’s easy to experience joy when life is smooth sailing and peachy keen. But when it’s not, you’ve got to seek out joy and the only place you’ll find it is by abiding in Christ.
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. Psalm 5:11
3. Be a vessel that He can use so you can pour out into the lives of others.
A self-centered vessel doesn’t do much good for the Kingdom of God. And if you, the vessel, happen to pour out tears in the process, that’s okay. Your tears show that you’re a real human being. Others can relate to your hurting heart.
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. Acts 9:15
4. Speak the Word of God into your own soul and into the souls of others.
Scripture soothes a sorrowful or fearful soul, and it magnifies the Lord in the process.
5. Who are you here for? Who do you live for?
Ask yourself these questions everyday and they will determine your focus and priorities. Your answers will determine your heart motive and your heart motive will determine whether or not you’ll give bitterness a place to reside in your soul.
Lift His name even in the midst of your pain. When you do this, your heart (emotions) won’t have time to feed on the weed of bitterness.
Trials are designed to make us better not bitter. Being that God is a gentleman, He gives you and I free will in which path to take. Choose wisely, saint. Choose wisely.
Live a poured out life for Christ,
April 6, 2015:
10 Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts: Positive Thinking Made Easy By Michelle Uy
“See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” ~Dalai Lama
Even though I’m a yoga teacher, I still find it’s easy to fall prey to negative thinking. Having negative thoughts play out like a movie can only bring you pain, something that I’ve experienced many times throughout my life. Negative thoughts drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become. I like the imagery of a small ball rolling along the ground, and as it rolls, it becomes bigger and faster. That’s what one small negative thought can turn into: a huge, speeding ball of ugliness. On the contrary, a small positive thought can have the same effect blossoming into a beautiful outcome.
I’d like to share with you an example of how one small thought can turn into a very negative experience. I have lived on my own for the last ten years. Obviously during this time, I’ve grown accustomed to living in a particular way; I have my routines with cooking, cleaning, and living happily in my place. My boyfriend of two years, who I have had a long distance relationship with, will soon be moving here and we will be living together. Lately, I’ve had negative thoughts of moving in with him knowing that my living routine will have to change and we will have to create a new routine together. Unfortunately, I’ve already jumped into the future and have had thoughts that we will not be able to come up with a living arrangement that will make us both happy. In my mind, I have seen myself already getting angry about our cooking and cleaning situation. He came for a surprise visit this past weekend and boy, was it a surprise for him. We had a miserable weekend together. I did not enjoy his company because I was already angry with him, and he was confused and equally frustrated with me. What could have been a really fabulous weekend ended up being a painful and heavy weekend.
When we start to have negative thoughts, it’s hard to stop them. And it’s much easier said than done to shift your focus to positive thoughts. But it’s the only way, especially if you want to avoid going down a path that is painful and unnecessary. Here are ten things I did to help overcome my negative thoughts that you can also try:
1. Meditate or do yoga. One of the first things I did was head to a yoga class. It took my focus away from my thoughts and brought my attention to my breath. Yoga is also very relaxing which helped ease my mind. Yoga helped me stay present to my experience so instead of jumping to what could happen, it brought me back to the now—the only moment, the most important moment.
2. Smile. I didn’t do much of this during the weekend so I literally had to bring myself in front of a mirror and force myself to smile. It really does help change your mood and relieve stress. I also felt lighter because it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown.
3. Surround yourself with positive people. I called a friend who I knew could give me constructive, yet loving feedback. When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, talk to people who can put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thinking.
4. Change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive. For example, instead of thinking, “We are going to have a hard time adjusting to our living situation,” think, “We will face some challenges in our living situation, but we will come up with solutions that we will both be happy with.”
5. Don’t play the victim. You create your life—take responsibility. The way I was thinking and acting, you would think I was stuck. Even if our living situation becomes unbearable, there is always a way out. I will always have the choice to make change happen, if need be.
6. Help someone. Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person.I decided to make a tray of food and donate it to the Salvation Army. It took my mind off of things and I felt better for helping someone else.
7. Remember that no one is perfect and let yourself move forward. It’s easy to dwell on your mistakes. I felt terrible that I acted this way and that I wasted our weekend. The only thing I can do now is learn from my mistakes and move forward. I definitely don’t want to have a weekend like that again.
8. Sing. I don’t remember lyrics very well and it’s probably the reason that I don’t enjoy singing, but every time I do sing I always feel better . When we sing, we show our feelings and this provides an amazing stress relief.
9. List five things that you are grateful for right now. Being grateful helps appreciate what you already have. Here’s my list: My cats, health, a six-week trip to Asia, a new yoga class that I’ll be teaching, and for my mom’s biopsy coming out clean.
10. Read positive quotes. I like to place Post-It notes with positive quotes on my computer, fridge door, and mirror as reminders to stay positive. Also, I’d like to share with you a quote by an unknown author that was shared in a meditation class that I attended: Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny. Happy positive thinking!
To good health,
September 9, 2013:
FUMSnow.com shared this, and I thought it was fantastic . . . enjoy!
Looking for a way to help people understand your multiple sclerosis? This should help. Very moving – and very true. Thanks, Nicole Whelan, for sharing this article.
by Christine Miserandino www.butyoudontlooksick.com
October 28, 2012:
I thought you would enjoy the following inspirational message received from the Brave Girls Club:
Everyone has a different journey … so different, in fact, that new lessons can be learned every single day from each other’s journeys. Your friend’s journeys are different from yours, your children’s are different too . . . your parents also went on an entirely different journey than the one that is meant for you.
That is why it is so important not to compare, criticize or complain. We often have the tendency to compare the worst of what we are living through with the best of what others are enjoying. Everyone has the exact path, with the exact battles and the exact joys that are meant for them. We all learn in different ways . . . and we can all learn so much from each other, too.
So . . . live YOUR life. Love YOUR life. Make the most of YOUR life . . . and whenever you have the chance to meet another fellow traveler along the road of life . . . lend a helping hand whenever you can . . . an encouraging smile or a kind word or two. Be happy when good things happen to others and show compassion when difficult things come along . . . remind those you know that ALL of it is good . . . all of it.
All of it is meant for our growth and our ultimate joy.
Keep being the fabulous YOU that YOU are.
Wishing you the best,
August 23, 2012:
I received the following blog post from Kathy with www.FUMSnow.com, and loved it so much that I had to share it with you. Enjoy!
Reunions and Multiple Sclerosis
My high school class reunion was 2 weeks ago. It was fantastic. I was so looking forward to seeing a bunch of people that I shared a very tumultuous, fun-filled, angst-ridden, rollercoaster of a time in my life. There are no friends like old friends. They know everything about you – and they like you anyway! I’ve gotten to know a bunch of people via Facebook recently that I didn’t really know very well in high school. I was in a graduating class of 632!! Catching up, hearing how everyone’s doing, honoring those who are no longer with us – it’s all good for the soul. However, it had been 10 years since our last reunion – and I was diagnosed 4 1/2 years ago. Obviously, I hadn’t seen a lot of these people since my diagnosis – and a lot of them have only heard that I have a disease – they may not even know what disease or anything about it. So – I was a bit nervous going in. I had a dress, got my nails done, the whole deal. What would they be expecting? Would anyone ask about the MS? Should I initiate that conversation with people? Is it more uncomfortable for people if I talk about it – bring it up – or if I don’t – elephant in the room. It was nerve wracking thinking about all of it. I told my best friend (since we were 11!!) Cathy that I could only have a drink or 2 the whole evening because if I teetered at all, everyone would assume it was the MS and feel sorry for me. The pity thing – HATE IT!! How to avoid it?
All that silly worry for nothing. I often tell other people that worry and guilt are both wasted emotions. They don’t change a thing – they can only produce more of each, they feed into each other and don’t contribute to a solution or a good outcome. So why couldn’t I take my own advice? I should have. Everyone treated me just like they did the last time I saw them: like an old friend they wanted to catch up with. There were many hugs, a few toasts, lots of pictures and – maybe a little to prove my health – I danced. I danced a lot – using all of my body, because right now – I can. I don’t know if I’ll be able to at the next reunion – but you know what, neither do any of them. MS isn’t really all that different from life in general – maybe just a speeded up version. It gives us the reality that we all share – sooner. Everyone knows that they will slow down eventually, that they may end up in a wheelchair, that they may be dependent on others, that they may be ill, that they will die. So really, MS just brings that reality that we all share into sharper focus – sooner. In that way, it’s really a gift. So many people waste time and opportunity because they have so many “some days.” Those of us who have a diagnosis are all too aware that our “some day” may never come. So – we have today – and what we do with that today is up to us. I’m so glad I went to be with those wonderful old friends. The love and support that they gave me will help me everyday – especially those days that aren’t so good. And may I suggest to each of you as well, when you get the chance – dance. That may mean tapping your toe, turning around in your wheelchair, or closing your eyes and remembering a time when your mobility allowed you to dance. But – however you do it – dance. And reach out to an old friend. You may be just what they need to make their today a good one. Bet it will make your today better too.
July 9, 2012:
My mom sent me the following emails the other day sharing her correspondence with Matt Patrick, a radio host on NewsRadio 740 KTRH in Houston, concerning his thoughts about Mitt Romney riding behind Ann Romney on a jet ski.
Good job, Mom!
WOW!!! This has been on my mind all week since I heard Matt Patrick criticize Mitt Romney for riding behind Ann on a jet ski. I sent him this email this morning & he actually read it to all 740 listeners. I think this has touched “thousands” of listeners. One for Kelly & Mom!!!
—– Forwarded Message —– On Jul 6, 2012, at 6:32 AM, “Betty Fite” wrote:
Matt: I truly enjoy listening to your program every morning. I usually agree with your feedback about political issues, etc. However, the other morning you were making fun of Mitt Romney because he was riding behind his wife, Ann, on the jet ski. Do you know the first thing I thought of when I saw that particular photo? That Ann was having a “good” day with her MS & it was great seeing her actually able to “ride” the jet ski with her husband’s support. My daughter, Kelly, was diagnosed seven years ago with MS. She is now 41 years old. Because of her MS, she is physically restricted in everyday activities we take for granted. I am happy when she can walk around without using her walking sticks or her transport chair. I am happy when her “fatigue” level is low & she can somewhat participate in family outings. I would give my right arm, anything, to take this disease away from her. Maybe you as well as other listeners should familiarize yourself with MS & it’s symptoms. Don’t allow others to see Mitt as weak because he isn’t driving the jet ski…see him for what he truly is…a loving husband supporting his wife.
—– Forwarded Message —–From: Patrick, Matt To: Betty Fite Sent: Friday, July 6, 2012 6:45 AM Subject: Re: Listener Email from www.ktrh.com
Thank you so much Betty! I read your email on the air. I am sorry if I sounded like a neanderthal.
MattMatt Patrick NewsRadio 740 KTRH The 9-5-0/KPRC Houston, Texas (713) 212-8131 WTAM 1100/Cleveland 700 WLW/Cincinnati mattpatrick.iheart.com mattpatrick@Clearchannel.com firstname.lastname@example.org
June 21, 2012:
One of my uncles shared this with me, and I had to share it with you. I found it to be very touching . . .
I am so proud to be an American!
Subject: Flash Mob At Gate 38
“Honor is a hard term to describe. It doesn’t have a color or weight or shape.
If someone were to ask me what honor looked like, I’d probably struggle with what to say.
But something happened on May 23, 2012 at 9:31 a.m. at Gate 38 of Reagan National Airport that might change that.
A flash mob of sorts broke out. But not like you’ve seen on YouTube with highly choreographed dance numbers or people singing a song in unison. In fact, virtually all of the participants of this “flash mob” didn’t know they would be participating until moments before it happened.”
Maybe the America we know is still alive and proud in spite of what the media would have us believe.
June 15, 2012:
I loved reading the daily truth from the Brave Girls Club this morning, and thought you would enjoy it, too:
A little bird told me . . .
Dear Sunny Girl,
Try not to think about all of the things that you have to do for the next year or the next month or the next week to get to where you are hoping to be. But try to just think about today. Try not to get overwhelmed by big bills in your mailbox or a long weight-loss journey or a chronic illness or a difficult relationship.
and just think about how to do it today.
There’s no reason to worry, or wonder or make yourself sick with “what if this happens?” kinds of feelings, Just do what you can do today and then let it go. Do your best and let that be enough.
All you can do is all you can do and there’s no more that you can do. But you CAN choose to do that “all” with a smile on your face and an optimistic attitude and peace in your heart and even a funky little dance in your step, knowing that you did everything that you could and that tomorrow you will do all that you can again, and that it will be absolutely enough.
Be at peace. Be happy. All is well.
June 5, 2012:
I read the following on The Self Healing Coach, and found it to be very profound:
April 13, 2012:
While watching Neil Cavuto on Fox News on Friday, April 13th, he gave a very inspirational opinion on Ann Romney and her journey with MS. It was so moving, I had to share it:
So Ann Romney doesn’t have any real life experiences?
Doesn’t know a thing about difficulty?
…that her gilded life has shielded her from the day-to-day concerns of average folks?
Now, you would think after Hilary Rosen spouted that nonsense, we would be done debating this nonsense.
But you’d be wrong.
Here to pick up the shovel and happily dig an even deeper clueless pit…no less than the president of NOW, the National Organization of Women…Terry O’Neill.
…happily chiming in that neither Ann Romney nor her husband, for that matter, have the, and I quote here, “Kind of life experience and if not, the imagination, to really understand what most American families are going through right now.”
What the hell does that mean?
“Life experience” and “imagination”?
I suspect either would be news to Ann Romney.
…whose charmed life raising six boys, no less, apparently couldn’t prevent her from getting cancer.
And only a few years later, multiple sclerosis.
The odds of getting both in one lifetime, are about as daunting and rarified as living in that supposedly cushy one percent…times a thousand!
I should know.
Because full disclosure here…I too have had cancer. And I too have MS.
Now, I’m not saying this not to get your sympathy…although it’ll be coming in handy If might rub you the wrong way or if I can get out of work at home.
But to remind these mindless, heartless critics –Let’s get back to Ann, stick to the issues, and stick all this other nonsense somewhere else.
And for God’s sake, show a little empathy.
Walk a mile in Ann’s supposedly designer moccasins.
Not fun. Not easy.
And take it from me. Kind of painful. Kind of tiring. Kind of a drag…knowing your body is slowly recoiling into a physical shell of what it was, and you can’t stop it. Not what you were and not what you will ever be.
Every bit of energy slowly sapped.
A lot of important details over time not so slowly ripped.
…forever pondering the imponderable, over what is incurable.
I don’t know about Ann, but I would gladly give up a lot of the stuff I own…to get rid of this damn, draining, almost humiliating disease that I have.
But then I wake up. And I have to move on.
Only difference is…Ann does it with a smile.
And a hug.
Even on those late campaign nights when she proudly introduces her husband to the world, for every primary, every caucus, every night, every time…when I suspect Ann Romney would sooner just plop down in bed. I know I would.
But not Ann.
I’ve known much poorer folks who’d stop everything for a hangnail.
That doesn’t make them bad.
But assuming there are somehow “classes” to pain. Well that’s very bad. That’s very sick. And that is very wrong.
Courage is not defined by the cash in your wallet.
I suspect, more, the strength in your heart.
I also suspect that a world looking at this supposedly charmed couple, refuse to see much past the charm…
Maybe because the husband is reluctant to talk about how he stopped everything…everything to help make his mate better…the ultimate test of a marriage.
And how so many others facing far fewer hardships, just up and quit on a spouse…the all too familiar outcome in all too many wealthy, celebrity marriages, gosh, lots of marriages…once ding’ed…soon divorced.
But not these two. And clearly, not Ann…who recently told me the craziest thing. She was grateful for the pain.
ANN ROMNEY: The one thing that this disease has been for me is that it has been a wonderful teacher. With that comes an ability for compassion for others that are suffering. And for me, I just want to make my family bigger. Those that are suffering from ms or from cancer or from any disease, I feel like I just want to throw my arms open and say welcome to my family. And welcome to the place where I’ve been.
So this isn’t left or right for me. This is right and wrong.
I guess I’m showing my bias for a woman who knows a thing or two about difficulty…and whose body reminds her every day of the fragility of life.
No matter your wealth, no matter your class.
…which says volumes about her class.
And volumes more about her critics’ lack of it.
So well said!!!