Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No Weapon Formed Against Me Will Prevail---Isaiah 54:17

With everything that is taking place in this world, it's very easy to become depressed or to feel defeated.  Especially if you have been affected by the housing market or if you have lost your job.  Maybe you or a family member has been stricken with illness or you have lost a loved one.  Do not give up or lose heart, God will see you through these times.
God's word gives us answers to everyday problems.  If you do not know God's word, you can and will be deceived by the lies and tricks of the enemy.  You can find yourself believing whatever people say concerning God.  You will end up following the ways of this world rather than God's will. 
In Ephesians 6:13-17, the full armor of God is your protection from the enemy.  We must first gird our loins with truth and put on the breastplate of righteousness"Truth" holds everything together & refers to your integrity.  When righteousness is practiced by the believer it protects the chest and heart from Satan.  The "Shield of Faith" is to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one and the Helmet of Salvation guards our minds & thoughts.  These are our weapons of defense.  The only weapon of offense is the Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.
Why do we need to protect our chest & heart from Satan or extinguish flaming arrows of the evil one?  Why do we need to guard our hearts and minds?    We have an adversary who wants to kill, steal and destroy us.  He wants to use men to oppose God's work.  But the devil is a liar and we do not have to be deceived by him.

When Satan tried to tempt Jesus in Matthew 4:8-11 Jesus used scripture as His weapon of defense.  "You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only."  Satan, as the prince of this world was within His rights to make this offer.  Do not love the world nor the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is is from the world. The world is passing away, and also it's lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17
The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthian 10:4  Prayer is also a major and powerful weapon.  Some examples of weapons formed against us are illness, depression, pain and fear.  Believers, we do not give up the good fight but instead we will be victorious with our spiritual weapons.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is related to autoimmune diseases, depression, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic pain, Psoriasis, Fibromyalgia, and arthritis.
  1. Vitamin D and Calcium work together.  People who suffer from osteoporosis often suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
  2. People who have Multiple Sclerosis such as myself often suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
  3. As we all know, sun exposure is a great way to produce vitamin D. The recommended time of day for sun exposure is between noon and 2:00 p.m. because the angle of the sun is different.
  4. The darker your skin, the harder it is to make vitamin D because of melanin, your skins pigment that gives it color, acts as a natural sunscreen.  African Americans have to spend at least 2 times longer in the sun to make the same amount of vitamin D as a person of Irish or Scandinavian descent. 
  5. Sun exposure also provides a natural high by stimulating the release of "feel good" substances in your body such as serotonin, dopamine and beta endorphins, the body's natural opiate.
  6. The current recommended levels do not appear to be sufficient, but you should always consult with your doctor before you begin taking vitamins or anything else.  Especially if you take medications or have any type of illness or condition.
The recommended dosage is as follows:
Age 0 to 1: 400-1,000 IU per day is safe
Age 1 to 12: 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day is safe
Age 13 plus: 1,500 to 2,000 IU per day is safe
Obese or deficient: 2 to 3 times more than the over 13 age group
Pregnant Women: 1,400 to 2,000 IU per day is safe.
Lactating Women: 2,000 to 4,000 or enough for baby via breast milk 4,000 to 6,000 IU per day is safe.

Multiply the daily allowance by 7 and take once per week or 30 and take once per month.  Vitamin D intoxication will not occur until a person takes more than 10,000 IU daily for more than 6 months. You cannot over dose on vitamin D from sunlight, tanning beds or a UVB producing lamp no matter how much UVB you get.

You can buy it over the counter in 1000 IU or 2000 IU or your doctor can prescribe larger doses if needed. It is good to buy food and drinks that are fortified with vitamin D such as milk, orange juice, yogurt, etc......  If nothing else, make sure you spend enough time in the sun.

Fish oil capsules do not contain vitamin D but are a good source of omgea 3 fatty acids.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mystery Diagnosis

The road that led to my MS Diagnosis was long, scary and very much a mystery!

Jan 007
It started with a tingling sensation in my left hip that can best be described as a bee buzzing around in my hip.  I went to see my primary care physician and he had some X-rays taken of my spine.  The X-ray revealed inflammation in my T10 vertebrae.  This is considered the thoracic portion of your spine which is in the middle region of the spine and the lower region of the rib cage.  My doctor sent me to a neurosurgeon, by mistake.  The neurosurgeon  said that I should've been sent to a neurologist.  It took months to get in to a neurologist and during that time my condition was progressively getting worse.  I had numbness and tingling from my right foot, up my leg to my abdomen and down my left leg.  Not only that but I was struggling with bouts of dizziness to the point where I felt drunk at times. 
March 2007
One night I was so nauseous from the dizziness I started vomiting.  My husband took me to Urgent care.  They didn't really know what to do and there was only so much they could do.  They took my blood pressure while I laid down, sat down and stood up and they checked my urine before sending me home.  They thought maybe I had vertigo from a sinus infection.  I was in ER by the next day because my condition was deteriorating fast.  It was there in the ER that I first heard the words Multiple Sclerosis.  The doctor took MRI's of my brain but it came back  w/o any signs of inflammation so I was not diagnosed with anything at that point.  After about 5 hours I was sent home with only the one thought on my mind, "Could I really have MS?"  The only thing I knew about MS was that Montel Williams had it.  I had no idea how it affects the body.
 My first appointment with a Neurologist was at the end of March.  I was unable to walk very well at all by then and my vision was blurry.  I continued to have the dizzy, drunk feeling daily.  He took one look at me and he could tell by looking at me that something was very wrong.  He apologized that it took so long for me to finally get into his office.  He sent me to the lab where they took about 8 vials of blood to test me for diseases such as lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, Lyme disease, HIV, Gullilan-Barre Syndrome and a whole list of diseases that affect the nervous or immune system.  Everything came back completely fine and normal.  Then he sent me to have a CAT scan of my brain, results were normal.  I also went to see an Optical Neurologist to test my blurry vision for links or signs of something more serious.  Next  he sent me to have a spinal tap, which was very difficult for me since I was too dizzy to move but God helped me find a position where I didn't feel like I was falling long enough for them to retrieve fluid from my spinal cord.  Aha, that was the first key to my illness.  The results showed that there were oligoclonal bands in my spinal cord which is an indicator in diagnosing MS.
April 2007
In order to have a definite diagnosis, there must also be at least 2 lesions in the central nervous system which is basically your brain and spinal cord.  Up to that point, I only had the one incident in my spinal cord.  At that point, he diagnosed me with Transverse Myelitis which means inflammation in the spinal cord or (there's something in your spinal cord but we have no clue what it is).  The only treatment was high dose steroids.  I had to go to the hospital every day for 5 days to receive Solu-Medrol (steroids) by IV.  After 3 weeks  the steroids helped to decrease the inflammation and slowly but surely, my symptoms began to dissipate.
May 2007
After 5 weeks off of work, I was able to return w/restrictions at the end of May 2007.  Most of the numbness went away with the exception of my right foot.  It's not completely numb, but it always feels like I have a band wrapped around my foot near my toes.  My vision in my right eye remained blurry for a long time as well.  I only noticed it when I tried to put make-up on my left eye.  I continued to see my neurologist monthly and things were slowly improving but I never returned to normal. 
December 13, 2007
I had a scheduled visit with my neuro.  I recently had an MRI of my brain, neck and spinal cord as follow up.  I remember being really achy in my shoulders and neck.  When I explained my symptoms to him, I asked him if it could be signs of the flu.  His answer was, "No, it's the disease."  He could tell by the look on my face that I was confused because he had not revealed my MRI results yet.  That's when he showed me my films and revealed that not only did I have more lesions in my spinal cord but they were now present in my neck and brain.  So it was then that I received my diagnosis of MS.  I knew that my chances were 50/50 so I had been doing research about this disease ever since it was first mentioned in the ER.  When I walked out of my doctor's office, I began to cry then 3 seconds later God told me not to be afraid.  He would walk with me and be by my side.
This December will be my 3rd year since I was diagnosed with MS.  I have the relapsing remitting form of MS.

Relapsing/Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) is one of four internationally recognized forms of Multiple Sclerosis.
RRMS is characterised by relapses (also known as exacerbation's) during which time new symptoms can appear and old ones resurface or worsen. The relapses are followed by periods of remission, during which time the person fully or partially recovers from the deficits acquired during the relapse.
Relapses can last for days, weeks or months and recovery can be slow and gradual or almost instantaneous. The vast majority of people presenting with Multiple Sclerosis are first diagnosed with relapsing/remitting. This is typically when they are in their twenties or thirties, though diagnoses much earlier or later are known. Twice as many women as men present with this variety.