About Michelle Walsh

Diagnosed in 1991 when she was 18 years old. She flew actively as a Flight Attendant for many years and moved into Inflight Management and worked full time for 14 years until her MS made it unable for her to work anymore. Michelle has also had venoplasty for her CCSVI and most recently had the TVAM and Stem Cell procedures in California. Michelle first became a mom in February 2007 and now has 3 children and is looking forward to sharing more of her stories on her MS journey with us at MomsWithMs.org. Michelle loves to public speak and is a big fan of dark chocolate.

It’s a New Year

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Happy New Year to all of you. Now that the craziness of the Christmas Holidays has winded down now I’m paying for it with my MS still in the 3rd week in January.  I try to pace myself as best as I can during the holidays season but I know I still over do it which is why my body is telling me now ~ SLOW DOWN. I have been suffering with really nasty chronic fatigue some days in conjunction with nerve pain. The kind that is so bad that I know you can relate to where you have a shower/or bath and by doing this activity it ends up wiping you out physically and you need a nap after because you have used up all your energy.

The challenge I seem to be facing with my young children these days is they don’t understand why I am so exhausted.  Its hard for me to help them understand the difference from when they are tired and when I am tired. Big difference between their fatigue and mine. I try to explain it as best as I can in their way they can understand it but sometimes trying to understand the kind of chronic fatigue we experience is even hard for adults to understand.  

I try to plan the upcoming week so I can rest up before the busy days.  When I mean rest up I mean these quieter or “down” days are doing the absolute necessities that need to be done and what can wait for another day to be done.  My older two I try to get helping more around the house and this helps with my fatigue.  I don’t think its bad to start asking them to do chores around the house either.  As in my nerve pain the best way I can describe this to my children so they understand how painful this is for me is I tell them it feels like my nerves are on fire and as if they were plugged into the light socket that electrical feeling but way worse.  I am headed back to my doctor next week to try to get this nerve pain under control so cross my fingers we can figure this out.

Do any of you notice your MS symptoms get worse in the winter months?

If so please comment underneath this Blog so we can all share our survival tips.

Regards,

Michelle

 

“I hate your MS Mommy”

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Well winter came much earlier than we wanted in Saskatchewan.  It snowed here so much we beat a snowfall record that was last made 100 years ago.  Today is another snowy day so I thought it was a good day to get caught up on my blog. 

Lately my children have noticed with the weather getting cooler outside how my pain gets worse with my nerves especially in my legs.  I had to search for my long johns the other day as I find keeping my legs warmer and layered up helps this nerve pain a bit.  I am also taking many hot Epsom salt baths to help with the leg spasms.  When it’s a cold day like today is I also don’t like to venture outside if I don’t absolutely have to.  Sometimes this means that we might have to miss an activity or an event the kids want to go to.  I know they understand if I have to cancel or reschedule if I am not feeling well that day but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel guilty about it every single time.   

When these types of situations happen I try to talk to my kids about their feelings because I don’t want them to keep their frustrations in.  My son has said to me before “Mommy I hate your MS”.  Which I reply “I hate it too”.  I think it’s important when our children are older and understand this topic to talk about it with them on how they are feeling.  If my children ever got to the point I felt they were holding back from me I would look into them being able to talk to another family member(with me not physically there) or the schools also usually have guidance councillors.  There are child Phycologists they could also talk to who specialize in children whose parents have an illness that your family doctor can refer them to.  It’s hard to know sometimes when we need to give our children the space or distance to process something or when we need to encourage them to talk to us.  I think not only with a Mom with MS this can be challenging but any mom with any illness or chronic pain issue would come across this challenge. I have tried developing the roots already and I know this takes time so my children can be open with me no matter what they need to talk to me about. Even if that turns out to be something I don’t want to hear.  

If any other moms out there have any good tips on how you handle these situations when your family plans have to change due to your MS flaring up feel free to comment below my Blog I would love to hear from you.

Stay warm this October wherever you are,

Michelle

 

Sensory Overload

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A part of me has bittersweet feelings about my children heading back to school soon. Yes, I will miss seeing them a lot now during the days, sleeping in and staying up late but I defiantly will not miss the fighting, tattle-tailing and constant bickering. LOL

Is it just me getting too old or have you ever noticed that certain sounds annoy you?  I mean this is worse than annoying it literally drives you bonkers!! Have you ever had your kids fighting or playing loudly around you and the music or TV on in the background at the same time and you felt like you were going to spontaneously combust from all these sounds? How about this scenario – you are driving on a field trip and you have 6 kids in the back of your vehicle talking loudly and having several different conversations?  Does this drive you nuts and you wish you could run away from the noise?  Your brain is probably feeling like it is going through sensory overload and it can’t handle all these noises happening at once.

My youngest James who is 3 years old is going through this phase of screaming and I have wanted to crawl in a quiet dark closet to escape this when he does this. I used to just chalk this feeling up to me getting older and not being able to tolerate noisy situations anymore but when I read that this is actually a symptom we can suffer from our MS it made a lot more sense to me why this bothers me so much.

Do you think you have ever experienced sensory overload? Or Myoclonus as it’s called.  I never knew there was a name for what I was feeling or that it is was related to my MS.  Loud noises such as TV or radio, people talking loudly etc. this seem to really get me agitated some days and I could never figure out why until I read this link.

 

http://blog.mymsaa.org/myoclonus-heightened-sensitivity-and-ms/

If you experience this what do you do? Do you have any good tips or suggestions that you have that help you to deal with sensory overload? Please share in the comments section I would like to learn more ways to deal with this.

Hope you are all enjoying the last bit of summer 🙂

Take Care,

Michelle

What kind of vibe do you give off?

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We all know too well how stressful, negative, maddening situations can cause many different reactions in our bodies physically that we then pay for tenfold afterwards.  I have been thinking a lot about how we as Moms with MS have to be more careful than say a Mom who doesn’t have a chronic illness to avoid stressful situations. I had a stressful situation recently happen to me that knowing now how it affected me physically afterwards I should have just left the scene when the non sense started and not said a thing.  It is hard for me to listen to silly immature rants from grown adults who should have known a better way to handle their issues than by releasing their frustrations in a public lynching. I am also not afraid to stand up for myself to say what needs to be said.  However in this case I should have put my health first over this “mother bully” performing her usual antics in our small town.  When it comes to doing the right thing vs doing the right thing for the sake of your health ~ keeping your health protected and safe should trump this every time!

 I have learned the importance of meditation and stress relieving techniques that I try to do often.  You not only need to do these when you need to decompress after a stressful situation but trying to do it every day can drastically reduce every day stressors in life.  Did you know it takes approximately 10 positive comments to override the emotional sting of just one negative comment? From now on I choose to be around others who give off a positive, happy, welcoming vibe because it’s so contagious and uplifting to be around others like this isn’t it?

 Why is a person’s vibe so important you ask?

 This is from the Brainwave Research Institute

 “Your vibe is your energy. The more positive vibes you radiate, the more you will attract the happy, successful, grounded and wonderful people who make life a real joy. People with good vibrations feel trustworthy, warm, inviting, open, friendly and confident. They’re the people that others want to associate with.

By contrast, people who complain, judge, criticize or blame automatically send out negative vibes that repel anyone who is not negative themselves.

A person’s vibe has a very powerful subconscious effect on people around them. You know how a single person can immediately change the mood in a group, right?
It’s because we unconsciously pick up on their energy as well as their nonverbal communication. This automatically alters our brain chemicals. Either the brain signals the production of feel-good chemicals like serotonin or oxytocin, or stress chemicals like adrenaline or cortisol.”

 No matter if you are in large city or a small town we can all name a few “nasty nellies”  who are constantly being bossy, trying to control others, and complaining they are everywhere unfortunatly but learning to distance yourself from this type of toxic person and being closer to the positive, happy people in your environment can make a huge difference in your life.

 “Surround yourself with positive souls and positive vibes come naturally. Your environment influences your experience. Make it a positive one” Author Expherience

Enjoy your month my fellow MSkuteers:)

 Regards,

Michelle

 

 

 

 

 

Join one of our bloggers in a free webinar June 15th, 2016

How do you feel MS has affected your parenting?

Join this important online conversation in our free webinar, hosted by Michelle Walsh, blogger at “Moms with MS”, on issues facing parents with Multiple Sclerosis and learning creative ways to work around your symptoms! Register today at www.genefo.com/webinarms
MS Parenting Secrets
* If you can’t make the session, you are welcome to register and receive the recording!

 

World MS Day May 25th

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World MS Day is soon approaching on May 25, 2016. I found online some very inspiring stories from MS patients all over the world.  Some very powerful words resonated with me from a fellow MSkuteer named Abdelmaseeh from Egypt.

He says “We are examples of how people are living with MS. We are people on crutches, people in wheelchairs and we’re are all living and working. Look at how beautiful life is. The world doesn’t end because we have MS. We show people how they can continue to live with MS. Even though MS has made me use two canes when I walk, it has not killed the love inside me for life and for people, and it has not made me give up. MS doesn’t stop me from seeing the beauty in life.”

I encourage you to go read some of these short stories on here because it helps me when I loose hope to find my way and know I am not alone on this journey http://worldmsday.org/stories/

Sometimes we are having a bad day and it may be hard to find the positive things in our life.  It’s hard sometimes (I know trust me) but I try to be mindful of the good things to help me to not get sucked into that dark, black hole of depression and despair. I am just trying to get through these kinds of days in survival mode so I can get through the day unscathed.

Whenever I am feeling at a low point I always try to remind myself the alternative that I could have it a lot worse and then I remember it’s not so bad and I will get through this bad day. I also know that on low days like this after I get my kids to bed I then go to bed early too because everything seems to not be so bad after a good nights sleep.

Until next month,

Michelle