Archives for October 2010

Halloween 2010

This year for Halloween I dressed the cubs up and a witch and a princess.  The pictures are blurry because they wouldn’t stay still.



A Family In Need

 Editors note:  I saw that BonniesBows on Twitter was looking for people that would be willing to promote something that she was doing.  I thought sure why not.  I am so glad that I did because it is a great cause.  She sent me this post and told me I could use some of it or all of it.  I decided that I couldn’t say any better than she said it.  If you could please copy and paste this on to your blog it would be much appreciated!!!!!!!!  If you want to donate or buy something to help out this family please follow the instructions in the post!!!!!!
Luke 6:38 — “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
BonniesBows has taken this verse to heart. I have decided to dedicate my ETSY store to help others. God has laid it on my heart to help one of my new twitter friends and I came to the decision that she will be the first of many.
I want to help raise money for a family in need. I am donating 20% of all BonniesBows sales in the months of November and December directly to Dana Sears’ family. Their government has let them down and I pray that God will use me to bless them.
I met Dana through twitter and was moved to tears when I read her story on her blog. As a mother, I was enraged and saddened over what Dana’s family has had to endure. As a mother, I felt a strong urge to protect her family and help them in any way I could. Dana has never asked for anything from me. She’s never complained  or whined about her situation. She has merely stated what is occurring and what her life is like. I admire the heck out of her for all she is doing and has done for her sons. I encourage you to read her words here.
What can you do to help? Simple. Make any purchase from BonniesBows and 20% goes to Dana. You can also donate directly through the paypal button on Dana’s blog. Get a special something for your baby while helping hers.
*Also- please help us spread the word. If you blog- steal as much of this as you want and re-post. Twitter? Link us up! Facebook, Myspace, Message Boards- we will take any advertising we can get!
We can do this guys, WE can help this Mama take care of her babies. If it was your story wouldn’t you want someone to help you?
FREE CLIPPIE TO THE FIRST 10 TO MAKE A PURCHASE!
Dana’s Words:
Hello, My name is Dana Sears & I am Mason’s Mom. Mason was born with Special Needs. At this time we do not fully understand the “Special” but we do understand Mason’s “needs”. Because Mason doesn’t have a diagnoses, Dr’s don’t really know what causes his issues, we do not receive government funding for Mason’s needs. In 2009 Mason received his G-tube, this is a tube implanted into his stomach to allow us to bypass his swallowing. Mason’s feeding costs are around $100 a day, that works out to $36,000 a year, just to feed him. That is impossible for a young family. Mason also needs Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Developmental treatment, Behavioural intervention & tools to help us in our day 2 day life.
Many families with Special needs Children struggle financially due to the extraordinary costs of raising our children. Our Family has gone $64,000 dollars in debt just giving Mason the bare minimums for the last year and a half. We are unable to supply Mason with everything that the Dr’s. and specialists say he needs. We have had help from Variety-The Children’s Charity, they supplied one year grant of $5000 when we were weeks away from having to give Mason over to the Ministry, we had no where left to borrow money from.
I never thought by Blogging my feelings, or our journey trying to solve Mason’s Riddle that I would run across someone like Bonnie. Bonnie is an amazing woman, to want to help my family is more than I can thank her for. I am not good at asking for help, but we are again needing some funds for Mason. We are stuck waiting to hear about our appeal to the government and waiting to hear from Charities. As the next couple of months go by we will be in need of more medical supplies again.
What will we use the Donations for? The specialists have asked for Mason to have a swing that he can use at all hours of the day. Swinging is a long acting drug in Mason’s body, better than any pharmaceutical available. Mason is the happiest when he is swinging. Over time we have purchased most of the parts like the swings, rope ladder, rings, and just need to purchase the lumber and bolts to complete it! This swing will allow Mason to use one anyone type if swing at one time and will sit in a room in our house. Also we need to purchase some more feeding bags, and a few Mic-key buttons. We go through a Mic-key button every two months, these cost just over $400 a piece. On average I spend $30-$45 a week in parking for appointments. This is a huge expense that most people don’t realize. We have one credit card, right now it’s maxed out at $1500 for just parking dues. It’s crazy.
Warm Regards,
The Sears Family
Twitter: DanaSearsFam

Life

Editors Note:  This is Melissa’s post for the week.  I am working on a new button for this feature and I hope to have it ready for next week!  Enjoy!

 
Life has a way of making us feel down, if we allow it, and we often do. Sometimes a friend or a loved one disappoints us. Our life circumstances are not the way we want them to be and we let it get to us. A stressful day at work or at home can lead us down the path of not having a positive outlook. It is perfectly normal to feel let down, sad, and even depressed when we encounter any of those circumstances. Those kinds of things have a way of throwing us off balance and sometimes we need to take some time to realign our thinking. Unfortunately, many of us have a habit of dwelling on those negative circumstances for far longer than we should, and we can become overwhelmed with negative thoughts and emotions.
For the sake of ourselves and our relationships, we should not allow that to happen. For those of us with a high risk for entering a depressive episode, dwelling on negative thoughts and emotions can be a trigger. Even for people without that risk have been known to enter a depressive episode if they spend too much time concentrating on the negatives in their life. At the very least, spending so much time dwelling on the negative can make us cranky, irritable and difficult to live with.
There are things we can do to turn our negative thoughts around. It requires work and effort, but the pay off is well worth it. If we take the time to turn our negative thoughts around, we are often more productive at resolving an undesirable situation. We are able to obtain more clarity about a situation and with clarity comes the ability to make a plan. If a situation is beyond our ability to change, then the clarity can show us that, and allow us to come to terms with it. It can also show us ways we can change our reactions, giving us more choices on how we manage situations that are beyond our control to change.
One of the first things we should do when realigning our thinking from an overwhelming negative thought process to one of that is more positive and productive, is decide if the situation is something that we can obtain control over or not. Once we make that determination, then we can start the process of either implementing a plan to change the situation or implementing a plan to change our reaction. Just getting that process done can be a huge stress reliever, because either option allows us to take some action. For most people, the ability to take some sort of action, immediately makes them feel more positive, and productive.
If the situation is one that we do have the power to change, we need to start figuring out what change we want to take place, and what steps we need to take to get there. For example, if we feel lonely and out of touch with people, we might want to take steps to be more available. We can do this by participating in volunteer activities in our communities, call friends, family, or acquaintances rather than wait for them to call us. We can make plans to have coffee, dessert, or a meal with someone. We could also use the internet to make new or improve social connections. Just because a friendship only takes place online does not negate the positive impact it can have on a life.
If we feel overwhelmed at work, is it because of poor organization on our part or is it a result of poor organization on someone else’s part? In either case there are things we can do. If we are the ones who are disorganized, then we need to do the necessary things to change that.. If it is someone else creating the dis-organization, maybe we could offer to help them to become more organized. If they let us help them accomplish this, then we are helping ourselves at the same time we are helping them. If work is overwhelming and there is nothing we can do about it, maybe if we found ways to be grateful it might help keep our thinking more positive. We could be grateful that we have a job with the way the economy is now. Or we could be grateful that work is so busy, because it might mean we have a little more job security than if it were slow all of the time.
There are always going to be situations where there is absolutely nothing we can do to change it. If we try and control a situation that is beyond our ability to control, then we are always going to feel upset, disappointed and frustrated by it. That means we have the obligation to change our reaction it. In the case of a friend disappointing us, we might need to decide if it is something we can overlook and live with, or if it is something we should bring up to our friend, or if what happened is a “deal breaker”. All of those situations require us to react in a different way than we might normally.
Sometimes people do stupid, hurtful things without meaning to. When that happens they usually realize it after the fact. Would saying anything to the friend cause them more pain and shame, than they are already feeling? Or would it be better to just let things go, and allow everyone to move on? Many times, letting it go is the best reaction in that type of situation. If the friend is unaware of how their actions hurt us, then we should say something to them. Then it is up to them to make the choice to apologize and alter their own behavior or not. Rarely, but it happens, we will have a friend that hurts us so bad that it can be considered a “deal breaker” – something that requires the end of the friendship. When that happens, we should take the time to bring it to their attention and make them aware of the impact it had on us. If, after that conversation they either do not understand or care about the pain they caused, it is time for us to remove that person from our lives. Not to be mean to them, but to protect our own mental health.
Some people find prayer very effective, especially in regards to situations and circumstances they have no control over. For them, it removes the worry from their own shoulders and thoughts, and gives them to God – who is much more capable of handing things than we are. Just the act of turning things over to God is comforting because it is another way we can change how we react to things. It is peaceful and comforting to know that we are not burdened by those things any longer. That peace and comfort allows us to no longer feel frustrated and angry about things we have no control over.
Life happens. It happens in all its glory and pain. It is up to us to make the choices to prevent life from overwhelming us. We have the ability to make those choices, some of us just have to learn how to.

Writers Workshop

I haven’t participated in the writers workshop for a few weeks and I thought that I would participate this week.  I chose to write on  5.) “Keep your face to the sunshine and you can not see the shadow” – Helen Keller.  In what ways are you able to stay positive about something that sometimes brings you down?  I have a few things that bring me down.  The MS and thinking about my daughter that I placed for adoption.  I have several things that I do to stay positive about both of them.  When I sad about the adoption I think about how happy they are to have gotten her and how happy she is.  I also take time to look at the latest pictures of her and see how she is smiling and happy with her family.

Now the MS is a whole another issue. I try not to think about it a lot because it scares me and brings me down.  When I do happen to think about it I always remember that right now I am stable.  I also try and focus on the fact that no one knows the course the disease will take in me.  I could never get more disabled than I am right now.  For the most part I just try not to think about the problems in my life.  I try and focus on the good!!!!!!

Medications

I am going to do a small over view of different MS medications out there and then  for the next couple of weeks I will go into more detail about each of them.  I want to start by saying that there is no cure of MS right now.   There are a few medications that will hopefully slow the progression on the disease.  The first group of drugs are called Immune modulating drugs. They work by keeping the immune cells from interacting with other cells.  This group consists of 3 different drugs they are called Betaseron, Rebif, and Avonex.  There is one other drug that is under this type of medication and it is Copaxone.  This one is made of amino acids and works differently than the interferon’s.

There is Tysabri that attaches itself to the blood brain barrier and doesn’t let immune cells into the brain.  There are several other treatments such as: Novantrone, Cytoxan, Imuran, Rheumatrex, and Trexall.  All of those treatments are drugs that will suppress the immune system.

They will sometimes give a person steroids if the are having an MS flair up or relapse.  I have been given steroids several times and I will always refuse them now.  I don’t think they really didn’t anything but make me gain weight and make my eyes see funny colors.  I can see why they do them but I would rather have some disability than deal with the side effects of the drugs.

I have taken several of these drugs and I will post about how I reacted to each of them that I have taken when I explain them in more detail. As always if you have any questions please let me know!

This is the site I got today’s information from:
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/understanding_multiple_sclerosis_medications/page6_em.htm#inter

Letting Go Of Loneliness

 
“The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.” 
~ Mother Teresa~

Feeling lonely is awful. I think it is even worse when we are around people and still feel as if we are alone. Usually, it is not the fault of the people around us that we feel that way. Most of the time we are the ones responsible for it. It occurs because of mental and emotional walls we have put up. While we may believe that we have a good reason for creating those walls, it does not take away the loneliness they create.

Often we erect our mental and emotional walls to protect ourselves. We may have started the habit with the best of intentions and in the beginning only used our psychological barriers with certain people. However, we quickly figure out how easy it is to do this any time we feel we are in a situation where we might feel uncomfortable. Eventually, this habit feels so comfortable that we spend all of our time behind our walls. Not only does this prevent people from entering our lives, it prevents us from entering theirs. Leaving us alone behind our walls. What started off as a form of protection, becomes our prison.

Since we are the ones responsible for our loneliness, we have to be the ones responsible for making that feeling go away. That means letting go of the barriers that are keeping us emotionally separated from other people. This is a scary process. Not only are we getting rid of something that has become comfortable to us, we are also allowing ourselves to become vulnerable for the first time in a long while. Fortunately, there are things we can do to make this process a bit easier.

1. Acknowledge what feelings you might be trying to hide. Figure out the origin of those feelings. If they are the result of what someone did to you, are you still angry about it? Letting go of anger is difficult, but it is an important part of breaking down our emotional walls. You can talk about them with someone, or write them out.

2. Be honest with yourself and with other people. If someone asks you how you are doing and you say fine, when you really are not, then you are not being honest. You are also denying someone the opportunity to provide you with support.

3. Trust yourself and other people. For people to earn your trust you have to give them a chance. Trust yourself to know who the right people to place your trust in.

4. Take a few chances. Step out from behind your wall – step out of your comfort zone. You will find that if you can push your limits here and there that you will enjoy life more. The more positive experiences you have when you are not behind your emotional wall, the easier it becomes to resist the urge to put it back up.

5. Be patient with yourself. You did have a good reason to create your wall, and you have lived with it for years. It will take some time before you feel comfortable taking it down completely. Think of each baby step you take as you removing another brick or two from your wall.

I have found that as I have let my own emotional walls down, I get a great deal more enjoyment out of life. Being honest about my feelings and my needs has made me feel as if I have to protect myself less than I used to. I am less stressed because I am not always on the look out for who I have to protect myself from. It also has allowed me to create a different type of social network than I used to have, one that is more positive and encouraging.

Phlegmatic- Sanguine


1. Do you prefer to read the book or see the movie?
I try and read the books before I see the movies but there are some movies like the DaVinci Code that they books are too long for me to get through.
2. What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving because people tend to ignore it!   My birthday is around it as well so that helps.
3. Which do you like better – the mountains or the beach?
Neither!  I would rather be at home in bed.
4. If money were no consideration, what vehicle would you drive?
A sweet sports car-A mustang or something like that.
5. What is your favorite cold-weather beverage?
I really don’t have one-I just drink Dr Pepper all year around.
6. How do you communicate most often with your friends: phone, email, text, face-to-face, or Facebook?
I do all of those but I don’t talk on the phone very much because it bugs me.  I spend all day on the phone and the last thing I wanna do is talk on it at night.
7. How do you receive your mail? Mailbox on the porch, at the end of the driveway, down the street, or post office box?
Mailbox at the end of the driveway but I hardly ever get it I usually just get mine off the counter in the house.
8. Of the four basic personality types – sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic, and choleric – which is your strongest? Which is your least evident? (See definitions below.)
Phlegmatic- Sanguine9. What do you miss the most about being 20?
I am still in my 20’s so I can’t really miss it yet and I hated being 20 because it was when I placed my daughter for adoption it was a super tough year to say the least.
10. How long from the time you get up, does it take you to get ready to walk out the door in the morning?
About 30 to 40 mins depending on how fast I move.
11. Who handles the car maintenance and pays the bills in your family?
I do all of it for myself and where I live now they both do it.
12. For those in the US, how many states have you visited? For those outside the US, how many provinces/other countries have you visited?
10 or more-I went with my husband on his truck (he is a long haul truck driver) for a few weeks here and there so I have been to a few.
Personality type definitions courtesy Wikipedia:

Sanguine

The Sanguine temperament personality is fairly extroverted. People of a sanguine temperament tend to enjoy social gatherings, making new friends and tend to be quite loud. They are usually quite creative and often daydream. However, some alone time is crucial for those of this temperament. Sanguine can also mean very sensitive, compassionate and thoughtful. Sanguine personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a little sarcastic. Often, when pursuing a new hobby, interest is lost quickly when it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much people persons. They are talkative and not shy. For some people, these are the ones you want to be friends with and usually they become life long friends.

Choleric

A person who is choleric is a doer. They have a lot of ambition, energy, and passion, and try to instill it in others. They can dominate people of other temperaments, especially phlegmatic types. Many great charismatic military and political figures were cholerics. They like to be leaders and in charge of everything.

Melancholic

A person who is a thoughtful ponderer has a melancholic disposition. Often very considerate and get rather worried when they could not be on time for events, melancholics can be highly creative in activities such as poetry and art – and can become occupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world. A melancholic is also often a perfectionist. They are often self-reliant and independent; one negative part of being a melancholic is sometimes they can get so involved in what they are doing they forget to think of others.

Phlegmatic

Phlegmatics tend to be self-content and kind. They can be very accepting and affectionate. They may be very receptive and shy and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change. They are very consistent, relaxed, rational, curious, and observant, making them good administrators and diplomats.

MS Tuesdays-First Pill

This week I am going to write about about Gilenya which is the first pill that you can take for MS.  This is super exciting because up and til now the only treatments were shots or an infusion.  This is a pill that you take once a day.  I have been looking for information on the drug but it is hard because it is so new that there isn’t tons for information out there yet.  I did find on WebMd the following information:
Gilenya can have severe toxicity. In clinical trials, side effects linked to Gilenya included:

  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Macular edema (swelling of the central portion of the retina, causing distorted vision)
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bronchitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Bradycardia (slowing of the heartbeat, seen only upon first treatment. The FDA panel recommended that patients be required to receive their first dose under medical supervision).

I can’t really say that this is any worse side effects than the drug I am on.  All the new treatments are going to have scary side effect that go along with them.  I also found that two people had fatal herpes infections.  They were being treated at 2.5 times the dosage that FDA approved though. 

 Here are a few other sites that have information on them if you are interested.  I hope this was helpful!
http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseaction/show/pageid/1309
http://www.drugs.com/gilenya.html

New Design & My Latest Infusion

As you should have noticed I got a new design from Jacqui!  I love this one and may keep it longer than the last one lol.  I am finding I get bored easily and love to have new blog designs.  I need to leave it along for awhile because I can’t afford to keep changing it every few months.  So this one will stay for awhile!

I had my infusion on Friday and it went pretty well.  I didn’t take the Benadryl that I usually take because I wanted to see if I could get along with out it.  I am happy to say that I didn’t need it this time.  I did get a headache but that is pretty normal.  The one thing I did notice about this infusion is I was super tired after it.  I hate how I am tired for a few days after and then come Monday or Tuesday I am good to go.  Oh well if that is one of the only things I have to complain about I will deal with it because I am starting to feel better after them again.  It has taken a few months to get back to where I feel better after them.  Now I need to start walking after work so I can lose all the weight I have put on these past few months because I haven’t been able to do much because I was so tired. 

I hope everyone has a great Monday!  I may be missing for a few days because work is super busy for me right now.  I had tons of work left on Thursday and since I am off this coming Friday as well I need to get totally caught up!  Wish me luck!

Wacky Jacqui Designs Sale

I am hosting a sale for Wacky Jacqui’s Designs.  She is my blog designer.  She did the design I have right now and she is working on a new design for me as we speak.  She is super easy to work with and will do whatever you want her to do.  She sends you everything for you to approve before she will use them.  I am a difficult person to please if she can please me enough for me to be getting a second design from her then she is great!  She is offering her biggest package that is usually $65 and she is selling it to people for only $45!!!!!!  This is a great deal!  If you like me design go check her out and tell her I sent you!

The package includes:

The Everything Package    $65.00
• 2 or 3 column design
• Custom background
• Custom header
• Matching font color
• Sidebar titles (unlimited)
• Custom signature
• Custom post divider
• Social network icons
• Convert to a 3 column layout
• Custom blog button
• Matching profile picture
• Navigation bar with text or images
• Matching twitter background
• Favicon
• Deletion of Blogger navigation bar if desired
• Installation
*Can have Post divider/signature combo instead of Custom signature and Custom post divider*