Saturday, November 13, 2010

Awesome Chat Last Night!

A big thank you to the nine chatters who participated in last night's Delaware Area MS Chat.  Here is a summary of the discussion.

Voice recognition software:  "Robert"  successfully used Dragon Voice Recognition Software during this chat. He was able to speak his comments instead of typing, which opens the door to people with MS who have difficulty typing.  THANK YOU Robert for participating and giving us good information about this tool.

MS Specialist Now in Delaware:  Three chatters are now seeing or will soon see Dr. Jason Silversteen, who spoke at the recent NMSS DE Annual Meeting. Dr. Silversteen comes to DE from an MS Clinic in Texas, and is planning to set up an MS Center in Delaware, through the Christiana Hospital. This news has sent a wave of hope and enthusiasm through our little state.

Medications: Success stories with Ampyra were shared.  Although it doesn't seem to help that much with walking, which is what the FDA approved it for, it does seem to help with fatigue and other sensory issues.

The drug Acetyl L-carnitine has been "prescribed" for fatigue (by Dr. Silversteen to one chatter). This is an antioxidant that is used as a supplement, and is available from health stores or on line.

Holiday Stress:
Stress at this time of year is VERY high on our list of things we'd love to eliminate.  Here of some of the tips we shared:

1) Be clear about your values for the holidays, then prioritize your activities based on those priorities.  For example, if you value family, then plan for activities that include family.  If you value decorations, cookies, or presents, then plan for those activities.  If you have too many things to do, and you DON'T value cookies or decorations more than family, then you can prioritize you activities accordingly.  Now if you value everything equally, then read the results from our chat on DISAPPOINTMENT.

2) Examine your expectations and be willing to accept an IMPERFECT holiday.

3) Be aware of external pressures this time of year, pressures from 'society', family, neighbors, or culture.  Do what you can, but don't "should all over yourself."

4) Beware about doing too much. Many people with MS have fatigue, which is more severe than non-MS people. We have to face reality of our lives, and be clear in our priorities and abilities.  Again, refer to our chat on DISAPPOINTMENT.

There were lots of good comments about dealing with travel, crowds, and demands at this time of year. I hope that we all can remember that we must take care of ourselves first.

Due to the holidays, there will be no second chat in November.
NEXT CHAT: 10 December

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