Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Knowing what to be grateful for

I get “A Quote of the Day” from the website “All About Gratitude” (http://www.AllAboutGratitude.com ) and love it. Gratitude is a recurring theme in my own writing and I believe that when it comes to being happy, it makes all the difference in the world. I also believe that many, if not most people, don’t know what to be grateful for.

Paul Taubman of “All About Gratitude” found this on the internet. I thought it was worth sharing. Enjoy!

I am Thankful:

For The Mess To Clean After A Party Because It Means I Have Been Surrounded By Friends.

For The Clothes That Fit A Little Too Snug Because It Means I Have Enough To Eat.

For My Shadow That Watches Me Work Because It Means I Am Out In The Sunshine

For A Lawn That Needs Mowing, Windows That Need Cleaning, And Gutters That Need Fixing Because It Means I Have A Home.

For The Teenager Who Is Complaining About Doing Dishes Because It Means She Is At Home, Not On The Streets.

For The Taxes I Pay Because It Means I Am Employed.

For All The Complaining I Hear About The Government Because It Means We Have Freedom Of Speech.

For The Parking Spot I Find At The Far End Of The Parking Lot Because It Means I Am Capable Of Walking And I Have Been Blessed With Transportation.

For My Huge Heating Bill Because It Means I Am Warm.

For The Lady Behind Me In Church Who Sings Off Key Because It Means I Can Hear.

For The Pile Of Laundry And Ironing Because It Means I Have Clothes To Wear.

For Weariness And Aching Muscles At The End Of The Day Because It Means I Have Been Capable Of Working Hard.

For The Alarm That Goes Off In The Early Morning Hours Because It Means I Am Alive.

And Finally, For Too Much E-Mail Because It Means I Have Friends Who Are Thinking Of Me.

- As seen on the internet

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.

Monday, March 8, 2010

What will you do?

The National MS Society has declared March 8-14 “National MS Awareness Week” and the MS Foundation calls March the “National MS Education and Awareness Month”. With that said, the question is “what will you do?”

Over the past few years we have become increasingly involved with the National MS Society. What I have learned from that involvement is that most everybody wants to help. They just don’t know what to do. Below are a few suggestions and I hope they will help you.

Join one of 600 MS Walks taking place from coast to coast
Better yet, join our team, the JiggyWiggits on April 18th at the Greater LA Walk around the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Walk is a great way to spend the day and participate in raising money to find a cure.
Click here to Join or Donate or Find A Walk Near You

Become an MS Activist
This is easy to do, free and makes a huge difference. The more voices we have, the more we are heard. The more we are heard, the better the research funding, legislation, services and more for people living with MS.
Be an MS activist.

Be a volunteer
Volunteers are needed and make it all happen. They assist with all the big events (The Walk, the Bike Ride and Challenge Walk) and with individual support and activities (Peer counseling, financial aid, referrals and resources).
Click here to Volunteer

Learn something new and share it
There is so much to know and so much information available that it is impossible for any one person to stay on top of it all. Fortunately, the National MS Society does a pretty good job of that. But having the info on their website is not enough. It needs to be read and shared with others. Learn something new about research and treatments and share it with someone you know.
Learn Something New About MS Research and Treatment

Join an MS Support Group
If you live with or are caring for someone with MS, then there is probably a Community Support Group near you. These groups provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas on living better with MS. Join the community. No one has to go through this alone.
Support Groups In Southern California
Find a Chapter of the MS Society near you.

Host your own fundraiser
Carwashes, bake sales and lemonade stands. There are a million ways to help raise money for research and treatment of MS. All you need to get started is to click here:
Host your own fundraiser

Ask somebody to donate to the cause
For many people, fundraising is a four letter word. But after years of experience, I know how to make it easy. Ask the people that you give money to for help. Ask your doctor, lawyer or accountant to donate. Ask your insurance agent, electrician or plumber to help. And, if you ask everyone that you give money to for a donation, they will do it. It is a very simple concept. “You wash my back and I will wash yours.” But if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So do it today. Send them to our link. You’ll feel good and they will too.
Click here to Join or Donate

The first step is to increase awareness. With increased awareness comes increased funding. With increased funding comes a cure. We can all be a part of the cure for MS. The only question is “What will you do?”

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Pill That Is Not Hard To Swallow

This entry is specifically for people with MS.

Today I was contacted by a representative from Acorda Therapeutics to talk about AMPYRA, the newest drug to be approved by the FDA specifically for people with Multiple Sclerosis. The drug is designed to improve walking speed and ability. They want to get the word out to our community and have contacted several bloggers to help them do that. That’s where I come in.

I am also uniquely qualified to talk about this drug because its main ingredient is 4-aminopyrodine (4-AP for those in the know), which I have been taking for the past several years. The good news about 4-AP is that it works. The bad news is that it is not an FDA approved drug, is only available through compound pharmacies and insurance companies won’t pay for it. Now all of that is changing.

To varying degrees, many of us with MS have difficulty walking. In clinical trials AMPYRA helped improve walking speeds by as much as 25%. Having taken 4-AP, the main ingredient in AMPYRA, I can tell you that I walk better and feel stronger when I take it and that is a good thing. Keep in mind that AMPYRA is not a substitute for one of the disease modifying drugs and will not impact the course of an person’s MS. But it will improve walking ability for many who take it.

Were there side effects? Yes, there is a risk of seizures and we knew that when I started on the drug. At first I took 10 mg a day. No problem. Then 20 mg a day and then 30 mg a day. No problem. Then I took 40 mg and BAM! I had a seizure that night. I dropped back down to 20 mg. a day and haven’t had a problem since.

The recommended dosage is 10 mg. twice a day. There is no evidence of incremental benefit with increased dosage, so don’t take more or you might have a seizure! Also, do not take AMPYRA if you have kidney or renal problems.

Here is what they won’t tell you…..4-AP is a leading brand of bird poison. It causes seizures in birds and that is what keeps them away. Who figured out that it might be good for people? I love modern medicine.

Acorda Therapeutics, the company that is marketing AMPYRA, is making the product very affordable for almost everyone. Like many drug companies, they have a program for the uninsured and under-insured who qualify, to receive the medicine at no cost. For those of us with insurance, the company has agreed to limit our co-pays where allowed (Sorry Massachusetts residents) to $40.00 per month. This is much less than what I pay the compounding pharmacy each month and that’s a good thing.

To learn more go to:
Or watch a video from the National MS Society at:

Walk better. Then sign up to do one of the more than 600 MS Walks taking place from coast to coast. Bring a friend or join us. You, and your friend, will be glad you did.
Join Us At National MS Society - Walk Event:

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.