Multiple Sclerosis (MS), This Is Now (Posts)

Can You Say Yum?

Food is One of my favorite things! If you are of the same mind, I have a simple and delicious, multiple sclerosis healthy, recipe.

I have recently done some reading about the Mediterranean diet. Many of the foods that are included in the Mediterranean diet are conducive to foods recommended for M.S. sufferers, containing omega 3’s, heart healthy oils, a variety of vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Here is a little ditty that I put together a few weeks ago. It Brought accolades from my hubby which doesn’t hurt! I hope you try it and let me know what you think!

I boiled 1pound of medium size, deveined, shell on, frozen shrimp. Why shell on? Well it isn’t mandatory, but shrimp cooked with shell on have more flavor. I peeled the shrimp then sat them off to the side until I was ready for them. I added 2 table spoons of olive oil to a skillet with some sliced white button mushrooms and 1 to 2 cloves of garlic. I added 1/4 cup of white wine and 2 tables spoons of fresh Lemmon juice and about a half teaspoon of salt. I also like to put in a couple of table spoons of capers from a jar. They just give it a little more depth of flavor, plus some added salt. I sauté for a couple minutes. Finally, I add the shrimp. They are already cooked, so just make sure they are heated through! Don’t over cook them. No one wants rubbery shrimp! Fresh shrimp may be used. There is no need to prepare them ahead of time. Just toss them in when you are finishing up the sauce. When they turn pink, it is done.

It is your choice whether you choose rice or pasta. I suggest whole grain pasta or brown rice. My favorite is whole wheat fettuccine! The sauce goes further. There is always a chance with rice that it will quickly absorb all the sauce. If you measure out one serving of rice instead of going free style, you will be fine. With Pasta, the flavorful sauce will gently coat the noodles and leave you with a robust, winey, lemony, and garlicky flavor. Yum! There, I said it!

Recipe

Kathy’s Lemony Garlic Shrimp!

  1. 1 pound medium frozen shrimp, deveined and shell on. Boil until they turn pink. Rinse in cool water. Then peal.
  2. Two Table spoons olive oil
  3. One to two cloves garlic
  4. One cup sliced white button mushrooms
  5. Two table spoons jarred capers
    1/4 cup white wine
    2 table spoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8. 4 servings whole wheat fettuccini
  • Instructions

    Heat 2 table spoons olive oil in a low to medium heat skillet. Add garlic, mushrooms and capers then sauté until garlic is fragrant and mushrooms are el dente. Next add the white wine, lemon and salt. Toss in the shrimp. Cook until the sauce is warmed through.

    4 large servings

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    Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

    What I do know!

    Hello, I want to welcome you to my blog! My name is Kathy Gau. I was diagnosed with Relapsing and Remitting Multiple Sclerosis approximately 3 years ago. I don’t pretend to know everything about M.S.,but I have learned a lot! So, this blog is about what I do know!

    What I know is that with Multiple Sclerosis and all of the hurdles we face, you just can’t take life too seriously. If you do, you will spend a whole lotta time crying. Well, maybe not crying, but whining, brooding, thinking and rethinking about how your life has changed, or is changing. With this blog, I hope to add a little positivity and even some fun to Continue reading “What I do know!”

    This Is Now!

    7 Things That MSers Should Do when Looking For Employment!

    Have I mentioned that I am looking for work? It used to be so easy! I was the person that walked into a place and said, “Oh, I see you are looking for some help!” And before I left, I had the job! Well, actually that only happened once. Still, it was much easier before my Multiple Sclerosis symptoms became noticeable. Now, I may get an interview relatively quickly, but the moment I walk in with a cane, you can feel the mood change. Not sure it is my mood or theirs.

    I had an interview recently. I could tell it went well! I was open about my walking issues. I certainly couldn’t hide them. The school was in a very rugged area. It was in an older building, overgrown, hilly, broken cement stairs. I still felt I could handle it as long as I was careful. Once you were in the building it was fine. It was obvious that the interviewer would have liked to hire me. Sadly, that doesn’t make up for the fear of possible legal issues if I was to fall.

    It became evident that if I wanted to work, it was necessary to re-evaluate my process.

    Here are some ways that I discovered to improve employment chances for any one with mobility issues.

    1. If your mobility is interfering with your job hunt. Take a look at your experience. It is easy to look at most recent history, but don’t forget your your past history as well. Have you worked with the public? Have you had retail experience? Are you familiar with computers?List everything you can think of. It will open your eyes to al of your skills.

    2. Ask yourself, “what could I do with my skills? Is there a possibility of doing office work, receptionist, even part time retail? Try not to limit yourself. Think outside the box!

    3. Is there a way to improve your skills? Possibly you could take a computer class, or a basic business course?

    4. Do not forget about talking to friends and former associates. They know you, your skills, and most importantly, they have seen your ethics, your diligence and are very likely aware of skills you haven’t taken into consideration!

    5. Think about going part time. It has become apparent that employers want to avoid paying benefits. Therefore part time employees are more appealing. Even being hired for a few hours can get your foot in the door. Before you know it, someone will call in sick and you will become your employers new favorite employee when you save the day!

    6. Have you considered your own business? There are many possibilities! Are you creative? Think about eBay or Etsy. What about cooking? Have you got a killer salsa recipe or cookie recipe that you could market to friends. Do you have academic skills or music skills. How about tutoring? This route will possibly be more work, but could also be more rewarding and a path to new possibilities!

    7. Most importantly, remember that work should not define you! Do not forget the wonderful things that make you who you are!

    What’s next?

    It is my thought that for myself, it is necessary to be productive in order to feel complete! So yes, I am taking my own advice! I will keep looking for work while investigating new directions. I am intrigued by the possibilities!!! I hope I have provided some motivational ideas and some support for people going through similar hurdles!

    This Is Now!

    Can I Just Get A Pass!!!

    Multiple Sclerosis is a strange disease. Symptoms can appear in a myriad of ways. In some cases the legs are first affected. In others, it maybe their arms or balance, even vision or speech. The list goes on. Sometimes the disease is invisible.

    The majority of people start out with Remitting Re-occurring Multiple Sclerosis. In this phase, it is entirely possible to have no outward signs of the disease. Other times a cane or some other form of assistance may be needed. It can be a real internal conflict. Am I disabled? Am I only sometimes disabled? Or, does it depend on a doctor’s opinion?

    For myself, walking can be a struggle depending on the day. Often my concerns are tripping and falling because of a toe drag and weakness developed over time. I do walk a lot. It is my main form of exercise. The nice thing is that when I choose to exercise, I can pick a location that feels safe for my particular issues. poor weather as well as traffic congestion while walking can send my anxieties through the roof. Therefore I thought it might be time to discuss with my physician the possibility of getting a disabled parking pass or permit. My General Practitioner replied with a smug, “ I don’t think that it s necessary yet.” I was quite surprised! So, the next time I saw my neurologist, I again posed the question. His response, “It is good for you to walk!” Ok. I get that! I walk everyday fore exercise in an environment where I feel secure in my abilities. It is a far different story than when I am navigating traffic or in climate weather. Thus, the reason for the title of this blog!

    I copped a bit of an attitude! In general, I am a pretty positive person, but this made me want to revert back to my three year old self and throw a temper tantrum! Not so much because of not getting the parking pass, but because this disease is not fair! Those of us with M.S. get to watch our bodies slowly deteriorate and possibly turn into a vague memory of what it once was!

    Therefore I declare, all persons inflicted with said disease shall receive a “Pass”.

    1. A Parking pass for whenever or wherever said recipient of disease chooses.

    2. A pass to the front of the line at any grocery store, bank or other task oriented duty.

    3. A pass to request any family member, at any time, to assist and/or complete said chore without complaint.

    4. A pass for premium seats at any entertainment venue for self and guests accompanying? Why not?

    How about a pass for a monthly pedicure? Since the flexibility to reach my toes is dicey at best! Ok. Now I am just being silly! But really, there are times when life is just hard, harder yet when your body doesn’t do it’s fair share!

    Truth, most people with M.S. are likely to deny any unnecessary assistance. It is partly our pride and stubbornness to give in to the disease. I wouldn’t call this a bad thing, but it can on occasion work To our detriment. Can you say OUCH?

    Still, it would be so nice to have the option. Do you need a pass? I would love to here both your serious and silly ideas!

    Santa, can I get a pass?
    This Is Now!

    What If It Isn’t About What You Can Or Can’t Do, But HOW You Do It?

    When your body doesn’t behave in the way it used to, it’s easy to stop doing things. I’ve said It before. It is important to focus on what you can do, as apposed to dwelling on the things you can’t do. Still true, but I have another thought! With a few adjustments, can you still do some of the things you have previously crossed off your list because of your MS symptoms?

    I had an epiphany of sorts when I was given the opportunity to go to Germany. It was a place that I had never been before. I had no idea if I would ever get there again! In Rhotenberg, I found myself struggling up huge rock stairs in order to hike around a medieval wall encircling the city!(If you ask me,the term stair was questionable!) In Neuscwanstein, I made my way up a rather daunting hill, in order to tour Neischwanstein castle. The castle itself was a challenge too! I had never imagined that I Would be able to navigate the many flights to the top!

    At home There is no way I would have pushed myself this hard. Why? There is not a particularly good reason. Certainly there is less motivation at home, but mostly I found the real culprit was Fear. What if I fall and injure myself. Or worse yet, what if I can’t do it at all? I didn’t let fear stop me when I was traveling and thought I might not get another opportunity to see a castle or hike around a medieval city. So why do it when I am back in the throws of normal life?

    Oh I know, there aren’t many medieval cities or castles here, but there are Hills to climb. Stairs to scale, bikes to ride, canoes to paddle! Most of these activities are completely possible with a bit of assistance. There was a time while on a vacation in Hawaii that my group decided to do an outrigger excursion. Just incase you have not done this, I will explain. The group mans each side of the canoe. They then run as fast as possible into the ocean while quickly jumping into the boat and paddling like heck! The guides then direct you to catch a wave and ride the surf in! It was So much fun!!!

    Ah, but I had a surprise as we began our dash to the ocean! It was early enough in my disease that I had no idea I was unable to run! Well, we gallantly headed in to conquer the ocean! Whoops, I was nearly left behind! My legs just would not go that fast!

    Guess what! Without missing a beat, the guides stopped, put me in the canoe and again headed for the ocean! It was amazing and I am so glad I didn’t miss it! Had I been aware of my issue, I am certain that I would have just skipped it! What I learned is that something as small as explaining your situation might allow you to participate in activities you were sure would be impossible!

    A similar thing occurred on a trip several years later. I wanted to go snorkeling, but was fearful that once in the ocean I wouldn’t be able to get back out. For most people with MS the water is our friend. We are able to move almost as fluidly as if we didn’t have the disease. Unfortunately with muscle weakness it is not the same story when you are dragging your body back out of the water. Well I made it a point to discuss my concerns with the captain! I found out that the boat was designed perfectly for people with mobility issues like mine…..problem handled!

    I am aware that there may come a time when it will be physically impossible for me to do these things. But until then, I plan to put away my fears, quit thinking about what I can’t do and focus on HOW I can do it! Hope you will too!

    This Is Now!

    Damn It! I Still Wanna Be A Rock Star!

    Yes, I must confess. I am a 54 year old woman and I still dream of jammin’ with The Stones! Believe it or not, this “not so young as I used to be” lady, was once in a Rock band! Oh, and I could do a pretty good Stevie Nicks too!

    Now, I haven’t been in a band for ages, but I do have some residual skills. I can play the guitar. (Mostly by ear) I can carry a tune. (Not like I used to) I even picked up the mandolin a couple years ago! But, something happened when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. At first I was definitely in denial, but something else occurred when I could no longer deny the symptoms. I began to lose confidence! I started to change. I viewed myself differently and other people viewed me differently too! You can see it! It’s true, some people look at you with sympathy or others look away…..or do they? Maybe it’s just my insecurities talking again. Either way, things changed. My motivation to do things dwindled. Then I lost a job. Maybe because of MS, maybe not? It is easy to blame others, especially with the mood I was in! It hurt! I had to get myself out of this painful place.

    That is when I decided to channel my inner rock star! I was not sure how I was going to do this. None the less, I was going to start. I did a little self evaluation. I definitely needed an attitude adjustment! Light bulb moment, I needed to be thankful for what I could do! I did not want to, but I did it anyway. In relatively short order, it became evident that the things I had stopped doing were not all because of my disability, but more because of the funk I was in. Absolutely understandable, but not ok. to stay there.

    I had to be more social! I needed to focus on my physical well being and it was essential to do the things that brought me joy! A daily walk, making the effort to reconnect with friends were at the top of the list. Magically these two went hand in hand. You’d be surprised who you meet when you are not sitting in the house. I started practicing the guitar and mandolin again! These were the things that had the ability to make me forget my woes and just be happy! I began recalling more things that I had loved to do, but along with the rockstar, I had put them away too! Now I have a “to do list”, not of chores, but of pleasures! My self evaluation led me on an unexpected journey, though a much appreciated one. Have you put away your inner rock star? How about taking a look?

    I’m relatively sure I won’t be doing a duet with Bono anytime soon! Then again, maybe I will! Anyway, for now, I am not going to forget that girl with the big dreams! Probably won’t put on the leopard print jacket and Lycra pants anytime soon, but Damn it! I still wanna be a Rock Star!

    This Is Now!

    Help! My Cat Is Trying To Kill Me!

    Have you seen the cartoon where the little baby is crawling all over A construction site and at every turn he just misses being hit by a 2 x 4 or falling off the edge of a sky scraper? Somehow that little baby manages to come out unscathed, still sucking happily on his pacifier. Sometimes I feel a lot like that baby. Minus the part about coming out unscathed. Oh most of the time I am no worse for ware. Other times I find myself explaining to the barista (who couldn’t care less!) that my husband isn’t beating me. Let’s just say, my name is Kathy and I am an oversharer!

    If you have ever suffered with mobility issues, you can probably relate. You know, maybe you are cooking dinner and step backward to get the grated cheese and land on the cat! The cat comes out fine, but you are sitting on the floor wearing the cheese! This is a humorous analogy of what can happen when you just can’t recover your balance like you used to.

    More likely is the example of walking across the grocery store parking lot, stumbling over a crack and getting a fat lip or broken nose. I’m sorry to say that I have done both, which is why I find it important to think about safety. People with MS have many different symptoms that can occur. Among these are join stiffness, balance problems and even vertigo. More common yet is the MS toe drag where muscle weakness and nerve damage cause the toe to droop down and catch on anything that may be in the way. I have learned the hard way and discovered that it is important to take every opportunity to maintain your safety! Not glamorous, but it is practical.

    Last summer I had a series of falls in a matter of a few weeks. One in particular occurred on the Fourth of July. I was feeling particularly good, no joint pain to speak of. My daughter and I decided to make a quick dash to the store to pick up some forgotten items. All was well until while rushing to the car I caught my toe on a crack in the pavement. Because I was hurrying, I didn’t just fall, but instead landed on my face! I looked up stunned and my daughter just said, “Mom, your nose!” I knew it was bad! After getting in the car, I looked in the mirror. My nose was literally smooshed to the side of my face! A trip to the emergency room ensued and my dear husband Ray, began insisting that I use my cane.

    I didn’t listen. The next day, I promptly tripped in the grass at the park. I got off lightly this time, only a sprained pinkie finger and a scolding from my husband.

    The next incident was in the parking lot of the Pharmacy a few weeks later later. My bruises were just fading from my face smashing injury. Ray and I were bantering because again I had not brought my cane. Unbeknownst to me, a child had lost his sock in the parking lot and I found it! Fearing injuring to my face I turned my body side ways and instead whacked the crown of my head on the pavement! It was a hot day, the pavement was scalding! I had a concussion and couldn’t get up because of my leg weekness! My poor husband and the woman that happened to get caught up in the Malay, were perplexed because I kept yelling, “I’m burning, I’m burning!!!” Finally they realized I was talking about the heat of the cement and helped me struggle to my feet. Yes, there was another trip to the emergency room involved and a splitting headache, but no third degree burns!

    If these examples of my stubbornness don’t prove my point, I don’t know what will.

    Maybe you don’t use a cane like I do, but what I am suggesting is that if you do, use it. It is humbling: but well worth the hit to your ego. I have found that using a cane is not just an aid to assist you in walking. It causes you to be aware of every step you’re taking and yes, it may slow you down a little. Both of which are not a bad thing. Walking with a cane, in a sense, forces you to be more diligent.

    I often go for walks, usually in safe places like the mall. When I do decide to venture to walk outside I make sure to take my husband with me or a friend. And yes, I always bring my cane! I hope you will too!

    Indoor walks are safe, but out door walks can be infinitely more more pleasing to the eye and uplifting to the mood!

    Here are some pics from one of my recent excursions!