For years I bought into the advice of the established medical community when it came to treating my multiple sclerosis symptoms.  Every couple of years a new drug would come to market with more benefits and supposedly fewer side effects.  Some worked well and others didn’t.  Each time though there was a shock to my system as my body adjusted.

I knew there had to be a better way to live.  That’s when I started doing research into alternative methods of treating MS symptoms.  One thing that immediately popped up was an alternative diet called the Paleo Diet.

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Besides being physically and mentally debilitating, multiple sclerosis is also a significant financial burden.  In years past it was relatively easy to find coverage that helps to offset all of these costs. There were a variety of insurance plans from a number of national providers that were tailored to those with MS.

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In the early stages of learning that you have a life threatening disease it can be difficult see beyond the dark cloud that often descends upon us.  The sooner you can break this spell of depression the better your life will be.

One of my biggest passions in life has always been travel.  The feeling of visiting a place for the very first time is something to which I quickly became addicted.

My first experience abroad was to Italy in 1998.  Every day was spent exploring the hilltop towns of Tuscany.  But the best part was waking up early and ‘living’ amongst the locals as they went about their morning routines.

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Regardless of how you look at it, life is a challenge.  It doesn’t matter what you do, sometimes you are given news that will change your life.  What you do after that however is up to you.  When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I had a choice.  I could give up, or I could continue living and working towards a life I would be proud to live.  While life is a struggle, I’ve fond that it is what you make of it.  That is why I am constantly finding ways to improve my quality of life.  Whether it be fashion, travel, finances, my career, or in this case cooking, there is a great deal to write about.

Lets take a moment to talk about knives.  In particular let me talk about knife sharpening.  As you would imagine, sharpening knifes is not easy to do with MS.  In fact, I had completely written it off, instead deciding to just buy new knives whenever the old ones get dull.

That isn’t the best way to live though.  I was letting MS get the best of me.  I am more then willing to accept my limitations, but I refuse to be cowed without a fight.  This is about the time I discovered electric knife sharpeners.

You might be like me, and asking yourself “what is an electric knife sharpener?”  Prior to this, I had never heard of them.  Electric knife sharpeners use electricity to sharpen knives for you.  Instead of having to sharpen knives manually, you can instead run the knife through a slot and have the machine do it for you (you can learn more about them in this guide).

Why is this better?  Well first, I don’t have to worry about the repeated movement.  If manually sharpening a knife required only a single action, then that would be one thing.  However getting a knife sharp requires repeated slides, which would be to much with my MS.  The electric knife sharpener on the other hand takes care of this for me.  By removing the hassle of physical movement, I can sit down and sharpen all of my knives.  Call this a small win, but it is still a  win nonetheless.

With the knife sharpener, cooking has become significantly easier.  I love cooking, and cooking is all about having the right ingredients and effective cooking tools.  With dull knives, I would have to repeatedly cut into things before I got all the way through.  More often then not, I would mash something instead of cutting it effectively.  With the electric knife sharpener, cutting has become a breeze.  Between the reduced effort of sharpening and cutting, I have more energy and time to take care of the parts of cooking that truly matter.  Now instead of worrying about me, I can focus fully on the dish ahead.  When it comes to having MS, the above distinction is so very important.  I can maintain control over my life, live my life, and enjoy the time I have now.

Well, it has been a pretty harsh winter over a lot of the eastern US and Canada, so like many people I’ve been daydreaming about warmer places and how I would spend my time there. Hawaii or the Caribbean are at the top of my winter travel list right now, though more exotic places like Thailand or India do have their draw as well. As you, my readers, know I don’t like to let multiple sclerosis get the better of me. In fact, everyone has a cross of some sort to bear and falling into negativity about our predicaments – whether they are mental/psychological or physical just makes them worse. We can still have great lives within our limitations!

So what would I do in, for instance, Jamaica, were I to go there? Plenty! As Jamaica is an island like all of the Caribbean, water is always close at hand. I got to thinking about different water sports and which ones I could and couldn’t do. Scuba is doubtful but some shallow water snorkeling is a possibility. Waterskiing is likely not a possibility without a lot of adjustments, and then only at a pace too slow to be interesting. Surfing is out – most able-bodied people have difficulty with doing that one successfully and gracefully – but, believe it or not paddleboarding is a possibility. I came across this article while browsing. I also found a review site for the best standup paddle boards or SUPs at Maybe I will rename the sport for my purposes – “sit-down paddleboarding”. Apparently it is so much closer to the water than being in a boat. In a small boat you are contained by its hull and your view is partially block by the boat’s sides. On a paddle board there are no protective sides and when standing or even sitting you get more of a bird’s eye view of what’s under you and around you.

Other things I would do in Jamaica would be the usual – lie on the beach, take in some cultural performances and enjoy the local dishes. There is a spicy and simple staple called Jamaican Rice and Peas which I have made successfully at home using my new rice cooker (see reviews of the best rice cookers here: that I’m so proud of! I am very curious to see how the authentic Jamaican-made dish differs from the one made from a recipe on the internet and what side dishes, if any, are served with it. I think rice and beans are sooo healthful and to have as many variations of it as possible is great as it is easy to get bored of the same old same old.

Any way at this stage this is all just daydreaming. I don’t have any actual plans, plane ticket, or reservations, but perhaps next year. At the very least I’ve had some good discussions with friends about all aspects of it and they’ve given me some ideas for what to take with me and what to leave at home and I’ve even got a couple of suggestions for Jamaican recipes I haven’t tried yet; Jamaican patties will be a challenge!

Can someone PLEASE tell me what a sick person looks like? I get so tired of people assuming that because I have a debilitating disease, I’m supposed to look a certain pre-defined way. Well, that’s just not the case. There’s no way to see that my immune system is attacking my nerves. Don’t get me wrong, I experience different issues each and every day, but I refuse to just get in a wheelchair because that’s where society thinks I should be.

Fashion on Steroids

There is one thing consistent with this disease, weight fluctuation. Bouts come and go, but it would be awesome if the steroid treatment didn’t come with swelling. I have to keep 3 different sizes of clothes in my closet, just so I have something to wear at all times. When you have a career to maintain, it wouldn’t look too professional to throw on jogging pants and a t-shirt.

Knowledge is Power

Since my diagnosis, it seems like I’m a sponge; I can’t learn enough. This is a strange little disease that I have. There’s no cause or cure, but a whole lot in between. Everyone should be proactive about their health. I’m always trying new things, but not before I first talk to my doctor. It seems that most people believe that the doctor has a pill for everything, that’s just NOT the case.

It’s All in Your Head

This disease is real; it’s not a figment of my imagination. However, I do believe that my determination has a huge impact on how I feel everyday. When I mix determination, exercise, and diet, I feel indestructible most of the time. Of course, some days are easier than others. I learned the hard way that wearing myself out, mentally or physically, can be worse than doing nothing at all. On my bad days, I still force myself to get up and walk, even if it’s only to the mailbox. Yoga always seems to relax me.

You Are What You Eat

It seems that my cookbook collection has done some collecting of its own, LOTS of dust. I don’t cook anymore, I only eat raw foods. With MS, it’s all about inflammation, so I decided to fight fire with fire. What better way to fight than with nature’s own anti-inflammatory: Fruits and Vegetables! Juicing removes fiber from the food, making it easier to digest. Check out this review for a great juicer: Use Coconut Water with the juices; it’s the planet’s most hydrating liquid.

By using this anti-inflammatory diet, I can expect:

1. my nerves to start healing
2. increase in energy
3. clearer thinking
4. improved sleep
5. symptom decrease

Now that I’ve tried juicing, I can’t imagine EVER going back to the food pyramid that I learned back in elementary school. I NEVER thought that I could feel this good again.

Love/Hate Relationship

Like with anything else, there is good and bad. I am talking about the food that my body reacts to.

The GOOD foods that I need most to continue feeling like this new person are: Ginger, Turmeric, Sweet Potato, Wild Caught Salmon, Papaya, Shiitake Mushroom, Broccoli, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Blueberries, Peppers, and Chilies.

It’s so hard for me to say this, simply because these were once my favorites. That is, until my body put a screeching halt to them. The BAD foods that I must stay away from are: Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Margarine, Deep Fried Foods, Dairy Products, Red Meat, Artificial Food Additives (Ex: MSG), Wheat, Gluten, Alcohol, and Refined Grains.

At this point, I feel like a drug addict; I know that I was addicted to the wrong type of food. I just hope and pray that I can stay on this diet. It’s definitely worth the little suffering I’ve done without food.

Having multiple sclerosis or MS does not mean it’s the end of my life. It hampers me from doing some tasks that I have been used to doing, yes; but there are plenty of other things that I can still do. I particularly like the idea that everything can be done online these days. I shop for clothes and household items online and have the items delivered at my doorstep. This lessens the amount of driving and standing and walking that I have to do. Multiple sclerosis can be a debilitating condition, but the good part about it is that it does not rob you off your life. You can still do the things you want and still spend time with the people you love. It’s just a matter of making adjustments that you can live with.

I’ve met with quite a few people who have multiple sclerosis and while the acceptance part was the most difficult to begin with, they all shared how they manage to live their days as though everything was normal. Their lives did not stop because of the diagnosis, and most continue to be a professional, a wife, a mother, a teacher or a student. I have heard a particularly inspiring story of how one can get into aba approved online paralegal programs at this site. Another member of our support group was still young when she was diagnosed with MS. This woman wanted to badly to pursue her studies and still become a veterinarian. Instead of moping around, she took the time to look up online vet tech programs and found it at She enrolled for the program and is now spending a lot of time learning as well as applying what she is learning hands on at a vet clinic. She hopes to open her own practice some day and set up an animal shelter.

As you may already know, being with pets and animals is therapeutic. It allows the body to heal and at the same time releases stress  and tension. Some cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy are made to interact with dogs or other animals to help them get through the stress of the treatment. This woman from my group, let’s call her Miss A to protect her identity, wants to establish something like that in her community. She said it would not only be for cancer patients, but also for those with other kinds of illnesses such as MS.

While most of the things can be done online, nothing beats human interaction and even affection from pets. It makes the load seem lighter and there’s a support group to help you through particularly rough days. No matter how strong you are or how invincible you see yourself to be, there will be days when sadness and pain will weigh you down. For these times, you’ll need to count on your friends and family for support and a little cheering up. If at some point, you feel that it’s too difficult to move or walk around, don’t be ashamed to use a wheel chair or a chair lift inside your home. It is important to keep yourself comfortable.

Laser hair removal has grown to become a very popular method of reducing hair permanently. Women have been using this for nearly two decades and now more and more men are employing the method to do the same.

If you suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, then you know that heat can worsen the symptoms and cause blistering or other skin damage. So what about laser treatments like laser hair removal? Is it safe for MS “patients”.

Truth is that modern lasers don’t generate as much heat as the older models. Now that is good news for us but you should still let your doctor or technician know about your condition and preferably before setting your appointment with them. Make sure you inquire if their laser has built-in cooling. When at the clinic, do cool your skin with ice before and after the treatment. Make sure you wrap ice in a cloth and don’t leave it on for too long or it will have a similar burning effect as too much heat has on your skin. If you follow these simple steps you’ll be fine.

You know how tedious and painful waxing can be and how time-consuming shaving is. To spare yourself the energy you should consider opting for a laser hair removal procedure. Or better yet, order an at home hair removal laser and get rid of the unwanted hair at the comfort of you own home. Whichever way you decide to go here’s 10 things you should know about laser hair removal.

1. Best for dark hair and light skin

Laser hair removal works best for people with dark hair and light skin. Therefore those with red, gray or blonde hair might not be able to see such great outcomes from this procedure. This is because lasers basically target the pigments in the hair and not the hairs themselves. Furthermore, some of the machines are not compatible with tan or dark skin tones. This is because there is very little contrast between the pigment of the hair and that of the skin.

2. You cannot pluck or wax before the treatment

When you have set the date for your first laser treatment, you will have to refrain from your normal hair removal routine. The hair follicles must remain in the proper stage of growth before the removal of hair. The logic is simple, if you do not have hair for the laser to eliminate, then you will not get the best results.

3. Limit your exposure to the sun

You should limit the amount of time you spend in the sun and also stop using the self-tanning lotions for a while. It is recommended that you stop about three weeks prior to your treatment. This way you will have enough contrast between your hair and skin for the treatment to produce the results you are looking for.

4. Shave before the treatment

As contradictory as this might sound, you should shave before your treatment. You cannot wax or pluck but you can shave. Run the shaver slightly over the areas that are going to be treated, this will enable the laser to focus with more precision on the hair follicles.

5. The pain

Managing unwanted hair is usually a painful process especially for those who wax. However, with this procedure you will be able to get rid of the hair permanently and it is not all that painful. There is slight pinch but then it is not as painful as many people want to imagine it is. Here’s a great article comparing the painfulness of waxing versus lasers.

6. You have to go for several appointments

You cannot get rid of the hair permanently in just one session. Or rather, you will not be able to get the results that you are looking for after just one session. You have to go for several sessions at least three of them to get all the hair completely gone.

7. The costs

The costs of laser hair removal are considerably high but then again it all depends on where you go for the procedure. Some clinics are going to charge you a fortune for the treatment. On average one session costs between $200 and $300.

8. Hair removal is permanent

Some people think that laser hair removal is something that you can correct over time. This is the only permanent hair removal treatment. Therefore, do not clean your head with it for movie audition or your beard to cast yourself as a cancer-patient and then think the hair will grow back. It is completely permanent. Once the hair is gone it is not coming back again.

9. It is not 100% effective for all people

There are some very fine hairs that might not be detected by the laser regardless of how many times you go for the treatment. As such, laser hair-removal is not always 100% in terms of effectiveness. For some individuals it will work well but for others not so much. A bit of hair will remain behind.

10. Expect some post-treatment irritation

Reddening of the skin or some other kind of post-treatment irritation is likely to occur (read this article about possible risks). You should not worry about it too much. A pack of ice on the area will help keep the irritation away. Staying away from the sun and other hot places but also drinking lots of water will keep the irritation under control. In a few days it will be completely gone.

Getting your own credit card is its own rite of passage. Like any tool, it can be used well or it can be used poorly. Credit cards are very easy to use to buy things, but it’s not so easy to pay off the debt. After a surprisingly short time, you can find yourself in a lot of debt if you are not careful. You can end up paying a lot of money in interest and fees. These tips will help you manage your credit cards to avoid getting into that situation in the first place.

Don’t worry if you have a lot of credit card debt. With the proper discipline and advice you can pay down the debt over time. If worse comes to worst, you may need the services of a bankruptcy attorney to represent you in bankruptcy proceedings such as this one in Corning, New York. Declaring bankruptcy has its own issues, but it may be a viable option for you. There may be unforeseen circumstances that force you to spend more money than you have available. Remember that you are not alone. A lot of people in the United States carry credit card debt.

The first tip is to always remember is to always be aware of the money you have available. If you don’t have enough money to pay off the credit card bill each month, you should really think about whether you need to make the purchase at all. You will need to discipline yourself and your spending habits in order to control the debt.

Second, leave your credit card at home and only use it in dire emergencies. After all, if it is not in your wallet or purse, you don’t even have to think about using it.

Third, keep in mind that there are huge consequences of having credit card debt that you can’t pay. One of these consequences is that your credit score will also suffer. If you have bad credit, you will find that many doors are closed to you. You may be required to pay a deposit up front when setting up utilities such as electricity or when you sign a cell phone contract.

Another issue with bad credit is that you may have a hard time finding a place to rent. Most landlords will check your credit history as a part of the lease application. You will probably end up paying more of a deposit than someone with good credit since you may have to pay the first and last month’s rent as a deposit in order to move in.

A side effect of using your credit cards wisely is that you should be able to save money. I don’t need to explain to you that having money in your bank account for emergencies is a good thing. Plus, you will feel good about yourself.

Hopefully, I have taught you enough about how to manage your credit card properly so that you don’t get into trouble in the future. If you start off using your credit cards wisely, you can avoid all the headaches of getting into unnecessary debt.

One of the most important things to remember, particularly if you are suffering from a serious illness or disease of any kind (as I am), is that it’s important to treat yourself once in a while. I think those of us who have survived or live with a serious health condition understand this better than most. Prior to my diagnosis, I was always a very careful spender – a penny pincher, if you will. I always had the idea that I would save up as much as possible so I could enjoy my later years. Now that I’ve been diagnosed with my type of MS, and knowing that my Relapsing Remitting MS could turn into the fatal Secondary Progressive form of MS at any time, I’ve learnt to just try and enjoy life rather than worrying too much about money.

Obviously, I’m not encouraging anyone to spend irresponsibly – people should always try to live within their means. In my situation though, it’s equally important to understand that money is only a means to an end – not an end in itself. So you shouldn’t feel guilty if you want to treat yourself to something nice once in a while. People in similar circumstances to myself will understand this, but for those of you who aren’t suffering from a potentially life threatening illness, it’s an important lesson to take to heart. Spend within your means, but when you do spend, you shouldn’t feel bad about it – and every once in a while it’s not a crime to buy something nice for yourself.

So, basically that entire introduction was my own justification for my latest jewelry purchase. One of my friends is really into crystal healing, and while I don’t really buy into any of this pseudoscience stuff, I was planning to buy myself a new piece of jewelry anyways. If I could buy myself a necklace that contained a gemstone that can supposedly be helpful to my condition, it wouldn’t hurt me to try. I looked around online and found the infographic at the top of this post (image credit to the site: Semi Precious Stones Guide). It has a really good overview of the various gemstones that can be used for jewelry. I also talked about it with my friend and she said that I should think about buying something of the Quartz variety.

I decided to buy an Amethyst pendant necklace on Etsy. I’m a big fan of purple anyways, so I hit two birds with one stone. The purchase set me back about $700, but I’m incredibly happy with my choice – the necklace just got shipped to me and it’s really a remarkably beautiful piece. Obviously those of you who follow this blog know that I’m something of a fashion hound. There is a small ring that links the necklace chain to the amethyst, and this ring is made of 18k gold encrusted with 7 small diamonds. The amethyst itself is also pretty stunning.

So, girls (and guys I suppose) – life is short. If you haven’t treated yourself to anything nice lately, go out and splurge on something awesome, something that you’ll really treasure. If you’ve been following this blog at all, the one thing you’ve probably taken away from it is that you never know what’s going to happen to you in life. The best you can do is to try and lead a happy and fulfilling life – and if a special jewelry purchase one in a while puts a smile on your face as it does mine, you shouldn’t feel guilty about going for it.

When I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I thought it was the end of the world. If it wasn't bad enough that I had to deal with the symptoms day in day out, I was suddenly faced with the possibility that I may one day in the very near future lose my ability to control my limbs altogether. I have never been more afraid of the future than at that particular moment.

In the weeks that followed, I became very depressed. I felt like everything that I have ever dreamed of and worked so hard to achieve has been crushed to dust. I didn't have the willpower to continue living so when my parents told me that they were taking me back home with them to Atlanta, I didn't put up a fight. I quit my job and left the city I called home for my entire adult life.

When I got back to my hometown, I pretty much cut myself away from the world. I refused to accept visitors and would decline any invitation to meet up with my childhood friends. I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that I was inflicted with a disease that not only would lead to the deterioration  of my bodily functions, it also had no cure. All I kept thinking about was how unfair life was and how I have never done anything to deserve such a punishment. At some point, I even believed that cancer patients had an advantage over those afflicted with multiple sclerosis because they at least had the chance to fight. Of course, I take that back now that I know that there's life after being diagnosed with MS.

The turning point for me was when my best friend  and neighbor Christine came back from her extended trip abroad and threatened to hack off my bedroom door with an axe if I didn't let her in. I knew that she would actually do it so I opened my door. Unlike the other people who knew that I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Christine didn't show an ounce of pity when she saw me. Instead, she berated me for thinking that just because I was sick I had the perfect excuse to hole up in my bedroom and wait to die. After hours of crying, talking, and some more crying, I promised her that I would get my act back together starting tomorrow.

To cut the long story short, I went into extreme makeover mode in the following weeks. I got my unevenly spaced teeth fixed by a cosmetic dentist who specializes in veneers in Atlanta. Initially, I only wanted composite veneers but when he told me that porcelain veneers in Atlanta (click here to learn more about them) are relatively cheaper in the long term, I decided to go for it. Aside from getting a Close Up smile, I also overhauled my wardrobe. Hey, if I was going to be sick I should at least do it in style.

After all of that was done, I was finally ready to go back to my doctor's office so we could figure out my treatment plan. As it turned out, I could actually live a very normal life despite my disease so I went on a quest to do just that. Today, I am once again living in my own apartment which is only 10 minutes away from my parents house. Instead of going back to the world of employment, I decided to pursue my dream of becoming my own boss so I put up a small business in our area. 

Communication with the outside world is something all of us crave, no matter how mobile we are or not. Over the past few months I have been testing some gadgets that I would never have thought of using. For today I want to focus on two of those which have really improved things a lot.

Using a cell phone or smartphone while I’m out of the house is becoming more difficult as the mobility and dexterity of my hands diminishes. This has been very frustrating until a friend of mine suggested that I simply get a 3G enabled iPad and use Skype or some other VoIP service for phone calls. I could also use it for web browsing and email, as the keypad is large enough by default.

There are also some great built in features for easier accessibility, which I am still experimenting with a bit. But so far it is really good. I can use headphones for privacy and with the large screen and keypad I find it a lot easier to send messages and actually dial the correct numbers.

I can even get incoming calls either through Skype or through FaceTime, which is really great. While I do tend to use a lot of mobile data, I have got a great contract with ATT and my costs are really not that high. One trick is to also look out for free Wi-Fi which is available almost on every corner. So if I know I want to have a longer FaceTime chat I simply look for some free Wi-Fi.

A similar problem I have faced at home with my Panasonic home phone. The buttons are quite small and menus difficult to navigate. I still use the home phone a lot because I have friends and family overseas and I like staying in touch with them other than just by email.

I was looking for some sort of solution and while I was doing my research I came across the site For the most part the phones they review are not really that suitable for what I needed. But then I saw their recommendations in the cordless phone for seniors section. And then it clicked; what I needed was large buttons and an easy to navigate screen. And they had some really good suggestions. I went for the Clarity model and so far I am really happy. It was easy to set up and the buttons are much larger, so they make it easier to find the right contact or key in the correct number.

At the moment I think I have my communications problems mitigated and I can stay in touch with all of you out there. This whole experience has led me to start looking into other technologies that might make life easier for me and others in similar situations. What I would like to hear from my readers is any suggestions you might have, especially ones that have really made a difference. These can be high-tech or low-tech. As long as they have made an improvement, that’s great.

One of my best friends, Katie, has been trying to convince me to do more fitness, and I don’t mean just any run-of-the-mill gym class, but the latest fitness craze called CrossFit.

The official CrossFit website describes its workouts as an efficient way to improve your fitness levels, without having to invest in a huge amount of equipment (see Instead, you could join one of CrossFit’s gyms (Boxes) for a monthly fee. During my research I also found some people referring to CrossFit as a cult for fitness fanatics and others concerned by a number of possible safety issues when trying to conduct the exercises.

With all this in mind, my friend Katie insisted I come along to the next session with her to see firsthand if this is something I could get into on a regular basis.

As we traveled, Katie explained a number of aspects of CrossFit that sets it apart from a standard gym and other training schools.

  1. A WOD – This stands for “workout of the day,” and everyone completes the same workout during the training.
  2. Cross Training – The training is a mixture of weights, cardio, gymnastics and other torture activities designed to work different muscles at every session.

All of this sounds horrid, however I believe fitness is going to play an important role during the next stages of my life and I want to be in the best condition possible. I think it would also be helpful if I have support not just from my friend Katie, but also others at the gym who can give me help and advice along the way.

During my first induction day I met a number of regulars and the owner of the Box, Jason. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, which made my introduction much easier. After speaking with Jason, his advice was to tell the group about my condition, not for sympathy, but so people could understand my limits and give me additional assistance during my sessions.

My first two weeks were difficult. I struggled with the weights and thought some of the activities where beyond my capability, but everyone insisted the majority of people do find it difficult at first, and it has nothing to do with my condition.

Four months later I now feel like an established member of the CrossFit team. I have changed my diet, increased my sessions to three times a week and purchased a custom pair of CrossFit Nano shoes – Click Here.

A number of friends and family think I am doing too much and CrossFit is a step too far, but I think the opposite: CrossFit has given me a fitter body, a more positive outlook and a large number of new friends who want to help me.

I have never been into fitness before now, and I didn’t realize it could be so much fun. If I could give any young person a piece of advice it would be to embrace fitness or a sporting activity, as you get a lot more out than what you put in — trust me.

When you suffer from any type of disease the best thing that you could do for your morale is to continue on with your daily life.

I spend plenty of time at home and I like to be hands on with the cleaning chores. However, being this independed can sometimes result in severe pain when you suffer from multiple sclerosis, especially when your house is as big as mine!

I was recently told by a close friend that I should have a water softener system installed as it would make cleaning easier and quicker. After taking action and buying and installing a salt-based system, I noticed that my friend was indeed correct! Cleaning has become a joy rather than a chore and in this post I will reveal why.

The water which is supplied to our homes allows us to clean whenever we feel  it’s necessary, and depending on the type of water you’re provided with, cleaning tasks may be easier or harder to complete.  You will either have treated water or untreated water running through your pipes, and when it comes to cleaning – using treated water is more advantageous.  Most of the water supply comes into our homes as hard water and for this reason owning a water softener system is more of a necessity rather than a desire.

Ive been documenting some of the changes that i’ve noticed since having a water softener installed:

Soap curd is no longer present – Lets be honest: the use of soaps and detergents cannot be avoided during the cleaning process, but why are we always left with those frustrating soap curds?

Hard water forms soap curd (also known as soap scum) which leaves an ugly mark on surfaces that hold dirt. The objective of cleaning is to ensure that dirt is eliminated and the surfaces remain spotless, so less soap curds mean a cleaner house.

Once a system is softening your water effectively you will notice that soap curds are all but a distant memory of the past!

Preservation of washing equipment – Hard water is full of minerals which corrode fabrics and other common items used for cleaning such as sponges and cloth wipes. Cleaning with corroded equipment takes three times as long and leaves you with an imperfect clean.

Now that Im using soft water to clean, my cleaning equipment seems to be doing a better job and lasting much longer!

Fabric color does not fade – The essence of cleaning is that you leave the white as white can be, and the fabric feeling soft and flexible. This can only be achieved with soft water as hard water minerals tend to stain fabrics and bleed out colours prematurely.


Soft water seems to be taking great care of my fabrics and colors so far.

 ‘Lather’ when cleaning – As I mentioned earlier, soft water reduces lime scale and without lime scale soap is able to form a nice lather easily during cleaning. Soap lather in cleaning water dramatically speeds up the cleaning process and leaves you with a more satisfying clean. Additionally, you will  notice that you will use less of your detergents and soaps while cleaning with soft water compared with hard water.

Cleaner silverware and glassware – The best approach to cleaning silverware and glassware is by using treated water: it rinses off without leaving any dull spots or water marks that are noticeable from a distance. When you use soft water, your dishes are left sparkling and shining like the day you bought them.

As you can see, i’ve been thoroughly enjoying the benefits of my newly installed water softener and cleaning has become faster and more satisfying than it once was. Since my water hardness is extremely high, the plumber recommended a salt-based system, as they are the most effective water softener systems on the market. In finding the right system for me, I visited an online hub called the Water Softener Critic, browsed through some online water softener reviews and had it delivered and installed within a week.

I usually correspond with my sister in Connecticut about once or twice a month, either by phone or by Skype, and we often trade gossip, recipes, and family news. I love to hear her news as it reminds me that life goes on despite my illness, and I was particularly delighted to hear during our last conversation that her two sons, my nephews, have both acquired new jobs.

Davey, the youngest, just finished his electrician’s course and apparently the teacher of the class was so impressed by him that he got his previous construction company to hire him on. I didn’t know much about the job, so I actually phoned Davey to congratulate him and he told me all about it – apparently he works on lots of different projects, both in terms of new buildings and renovations of older preexisting buildings.

Right now he says he is working on a new elementary school nearby, and it sounds like he really enjoys the job. He says that a lot of his work now involves checking the requirements and guidelines of older buildings – fifty to a hundred years ago, many of the safety implements we have now to prevent fires and discharges didn’t exist, so he gets to visit a lot of older homes in the city to check the wiring and replace them. I know his previous job was in retail, so he really appreciates the ability to travel and every job is different and involves a lot of problem solving.

A safe job choice

I was a bit worried about him at first – I know what it likes to be electrocuted, and I had a terrible premonition, but he told me that his job is actually very safe. There is a lot of new training and tools they use to check voltages and wattage, so there is no risk of danger. It was a pleasure to hear the excitement in his voice, and I hope he continues to excel at it!

My other nephew George works as a dialysis technician. Many people end up having trouble with their kidneys, either from injury or from illness, and as a result their kidneys can no longer filter and clean their blood. Instead, many of them go to a dialysis clinic or a hospital where a dialysis machine helps to clean their blood in place of the kidneys. It sounds like a really interesting career choice, and he’s managed to find full-time employment at a small clinic near his apartment. It sounds like an interesting job, and pretty easy, but also one which affects the lives of others in a really positive way, so I’m very proud of him. I don’t know how much dialysis technicians make, but I think that one nephew will now be earning slightly more than the other – Davey says that there is no end to the number of houses and available contracts, so he should be able to make as much money as he wants. As for George, his job is much more stable relatively speaking, but the wage is slightly lower.

I had my first Multiple Sclerosis (MS) episode back in 2005 (the harsh formal diagnosis would soon come later). Naturally, I can always remember it going well.

I remember working long hours that always made me feel overwhelmed, stressed, tired, and depressed. We were just having a new business phone service put in at the office due to our original one being taken out by the hurricanes that year. So that was another thing I had to deal with. Little did I know after all these hurricanes, my body was also dealing with its own storm.

I decided that I needed to take some time off so my partner and I set off to Canada for a week. When I woke up on the first day of our vacation I had numbness in my feet and a few parts on my legs. I felt frozen in bed. I didn’t know what was wrong.

I decided to visit a local doctor in my hometown when we returned from our short break, to see if she could work out what was going on. She was extremely blunt and honest. ‘This could be just a slipped disc or even multiple sclerosis. You need to see a neurologist‘.

Was she crazy? I thought. MS? Isn’t that a disease that puts a person in a wheelchair? Distressed, I took her advice. I quickly booked an appointment and headed out to see a neurologist who offered me a very unpleasant spinal tap. It seemed that I had lesions on both my spine and brain. The spinal tap fluid had shown the protein that neurologists look for in MS patients.

The neurologist put me on a course of steroids to help with my numbness and tingling. He told me it was highly likely that I had multiple sclerosis. An unpredictable, incurable, chronic and possibly disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system and interrupts the stream of information in the brain and from the brain to the body.

I was at the age where most women who have this disease have already been diagnosed. The fact I have now ended up with it is a mystery, and still is. Since being diagnosed, I tried to discover more people to talk to who were also living with MS, like me. It seemed to be the one thing that really kept me going.

Later in 2007, I had now been formally diagnosed after a few mild exacerbations, I soon decided that I wanted to discuss my diagnosis to others and help other people like me who unfortunately had this disease. It was never been my aim to be the poster girl for Multiple Sclerosis, but I the desire to be someone who can help and assist others in identify, and living with the disease.

Nowadays. I’m very happily married and have two beautiful girls. I’ve recently been working full time for the same company now for over a decade. We did eventually get that phone line installed!

I am not lying when I tell you that I’m the happiest I’ve been in so long. I believe a certain part as to why I am so happy is that I quickly learnt almost 10 years ago that life can change so rapidly and without warning.

True, I live with MS. There are constant ongoing reminders that my little immune system isn’t the best, and I know that the illness is unpredictable and can strike at any time. I don’t want others to pity me or feel sorry for me. If I put a face on an illness which can help others who are unfortunately diagnosed too, then my willingness to discuss this disease is all worthwhile.