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Showing posts from 2021

Pick Your Battles

Pick Your Battles Life is not always a picnic but it’s easy to chase away those pesky ants if you pay attention to what is within your ability to control. Years of living as an MS Warrior have taught me who and what is truly important to a happy existence. People are going to talk no matter what. Society loves to criticize. Even when they have no clue what they're saying. I’ve been accused of faking my illness when my accuser preferred a more sensational explanation. “You say you’ve got MS but it looks like you’ve just had too many drinks!” I could not control her reaction to my stumbling gait nor was it worth the time of arguing. I am who I am and MS is what it is. The thought of clueless onlookers matters not. It can be hurtful, yes, but “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”; or so I’m told. While we cannot control the reactions, decisions, and behavior of others, a secret weapon of every MS Super Hero is that we CAN control our own. Choose your battles. What influences do you

OBSESSIONSIONS not of the sexual persuasion

OBSESSIONS not of the sexual persuasion Recently my household acquired an exterior security camera system. We now can spy on activities behind the house, in front of the house, and to the far side of the house. Now, keep in mind that our house is tiny. It at one time was probably considered rather fancy since it is a hand-built, river rock stone cottage unlike the majority of coal mining homes in this community. Photo by Ibiza Ibiza Ibiza on  Unsplash I love my little stone cottage and am not complaining about the extra protection; but, zounds, every neighborhood cat, errant bird, or fast-moving street traffic sets the crazy thing off. I actually don’t monitor it. My husband does. Constantly. And he reports it play-by-play. As if he was covering a football game. Daily. Yep, he’s retired and driving me bat-crap crazy. He’s obsessed with his new toy. Blink is his latest best friend. I guess I need to add it to our Christmas Card list? I’m just not that concerned with the added security.

JusT NOT FeeliNg my Best

JUsT not Feeling My BesT It’s one of THOSE days. Foot drop is really P…..g me off. Balance has taken an unexpected vacation. And to top it off, I get to go to every lady’s favorite doctor visit tomorrow morn. Yep. It’s mammo time for Lisa. Yeehaw! Photo by National Cancer Institute on  Unsplash Look at that technician smiling like this is the most fun ev-er. Or is she laughing ‘cause that’s not her mammary being pancaked at early o'clock in the morning? So, with March going out like a lion tonight (71 degrees yesterday, snow forecast tomorrow), this is my April Fools Day gift. Not funny. But, seriously, getting a mammogram is probably one of the most important medical tests. Don’t forget to schedule yours. Because of COVID, mine has been re-scheduled twice. If you have had one of the vaccines, this article may interest you. I had my second vaccine in mid-February, so I think I’m safe to proceed. Doctors urge women to delay mammogram until 4–6 weeks after COVID-19 vaccine https://w

Walking in the Sand

I WILL Walk in the Sand MS Awareness Month 2021, Day 30 Photo by Loren Biser on  Unsplash I’ve mentioned the word goals several times this month and it got me thinking. I’ve worked hard at physical therapy and in-home exercises since March 1 without giving much thought to a personal physical goal. I now have a goal. In September I am going to the beach with a group of friends. I don’t really care for the beach anymore, but I love my friends and am hoping I won't end up being a party pooper because of the heat and/or my inability to walk well. They assure me this will not be the case and that I’ll be set up on the water’s edge in a beach chair and umbrella, personal cooler, and coconut drink. If incontinence becomes an issue, I can just pee in my seat and no one will be the wiser. (Too much info? Sorry, not sorry. that’s my reality.) If the heat gets to be too much someone will carry or roll me to across the sand to the elevator in our HUGE beach house. What I do once there is up t


ARE YOU GETTING SQUEEZED? MS Awareness Month 2021, Day 25 Do you ever feel like there is not enough time in the day to accomplish all that is expected of you? Before my retirement several years ago, I had no idea how my daily hours could be so full. Would it ever calm down? When was it my turn to breathe? Photo by Robert Thiemann on  Unsplash Six years later I am still trying to fit it all in. I admit most of my responsibilities are self-inflicted. I’m not happy if I’m not working toward a purpose. need to know I am moving forward and making progress. Unfortunately, there are times when we get stretched too thin and need to step back. For some folks, this is a welcome reprieve. It feels like punishment to me. During my devotional time early this morning, I came upon an article that spoke to this very issue. The author urged us to alleviate the pressures of our daily existence handing it all to God. “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need…” 2 Peter 1:3 By eliminating

Migraines and Multiple Sclerosis

MIGRAINES: IS IT MS, OR WAS I BORN WITH IT? MSAwareness Month 2021, Day 23 Photo by Anh Nguyen on  Unsplash Please accept my apology for missing a day in my pledge to post every day of the month of MS Awareness Month. I think this is the first time in years that my promise hasn’t been fulfilled. Lately, I have been plagued with migraines. I sincerely hope that you have never been afflicted. A migraine isn't just a headache. It is accompanied by blurred vision, nausea, tremors, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, even vomiting. It simply is NOT your run-of-the-mill headache. According to, 3.3 million people in the United States are living with Chronic Migraines. If all of those people made up a city, it’d be the 3rd largest city in the US! Migraine causes and triggers Why do people get migraines? There are many potential causes, here are some of the most common: GENETICS Studies suggest that half of the risk for migraines comes from your family history. If


THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUNDS OF SPRING!!!!!!! MSAwareness Month 2021, Day 20 Photo by Katherine McCormack on  Unsplash This has been a LONG, LONG two winters. It’s is difficult to believe that the world has been under quarantine for basically over fifteen months. I am grateful EVERY day for another opportunity to greet the morning. Gratitude is an important driving force in our mental, emotional, and physical health. Even though the thermometer measures below 30 degrees in my little neck of the woods this morning, the sun is shining to welcome this fresh season. My job today: Put away all of my winter decorations and resurrect spring pretties. I’m ready. I don't do a lot of holiday decorating (except for Christmas), but I do like to bring in each season with corresponding dust collectors. So, goodbye snowmen. Hello, flowers and bumblebees! Lisa, Lady With the Cane                                                                                    

Have Fun!

What do you do for fun? MS Awareness Month 2021, Day 19 Photo by Chang Duong on  Unsplash Fun means different things to different people. I’ve always been a rather reclusive girl. I love reading, writing, knitting, yoga, and playing musical instruments; all of which are basically solitary activities. They bring me joy. They are stress-free and can be set aside when I am done for the day. The only drama that exists is what I make. As time goes by I have added socialization to my list of fun things to do. We have a mountain camp and have developed close ties with other folks in the campground. These relationships have spilled over outside the campground. In September a dozen of us are going to the beach together for a week. We’ll share responsibilities and visit much like we do when we’re camping; actually, the biggest difference will be the setting. The point is our relationships have grown into a more family attitude with the common interests we share. We have fun together. Not only i

Day 17 MSAwareness Month 2021

I hope you’ve given some thought to your purpose. Maybe your purpose is to be cute like this doggie. Maybe your purpose is to care for your own furry friend. If you are the sole provider of your family, that is a demanding position. Maybe you feel like you have no purpose. You are wrong. Living with a chronic disease tends to isolate folks. Just because we are sick doesn't mean we want to be ignored. We are still the friend, the family member, the neighbor that we always have been; adjustments to our living style may be different after diagnosis, but we are still HERE. A friend of mine is living with terminal cancer and hospice has been alerted. I received a call from her a few days ago requesting a visit. When I asked my husband if he wanted to go with me, he paled and furiously shook his head. He didn’t want to see her in her current state. This made me sad, but I also understand what he meant. It’s hard to see a once boisterous friend shrunken by disease. I don’t think God is gi


FINDING YOUR PURPOSE MS Awareness Month 2021, Day 16 Photo by Ian Schneider on  Unsplash What drives you in life? What encourages you to rise every morning? I love books. When I younger I would often get lost in a book and forget to sleep. I remember at the age of nine or ten hiding beneath my bed covers with a flashlight and Trixie Belden, reading just one more page before my mom caught me. Since my family always lived out somewhere, book characters were often my only friends. I didn’t mind then and I don’t now. For the past twenty years, I not only enjoy visiting friends in print; I am also passionate about creating new characters to share my time with. My love for the written word became my life’s work as an English teacher/librarian and now an author! I get out of bed every morning anxious to get back to fictional friends. They challenge me. They energize me. They make sense of this crazy world even when there is no sense to be made. I love having a purpose and that is the reason


P = PURPOSE MS Awareness Month 2021, Day 15 Photo by Jen Theodore on  Unsplash AND THE IDES OF MARCH. There are so many things in life that frighten us. As MS Warriors, we live with the worst: The MonSter. He’s not hiding under the bed. He doesn’t live in the closet. Our MonSter walks daily by our side. Our MonSter has a purpose. That purpose is to create havoc. Our job is to fight back. With a purpose. PIL (Purpose in Life) is an area of research that focuses on the communication between the mind and the body. An individual’s purpose relates directly to physical and mental health. Jewish physician Viktor Frankl says “Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life. That is why man is even ready to suffer, on the condition, to be sure, that his suffering has meaning.” Years later researchers James Crumbaugh and Leonard Maholick created a scale that measures life purpose. They wrote that PI includes “1) believing that life has meaning

SundayFunday: MSAwareness Month 2021, Day 14

                My Sunday To-Do List Photo by  Kelsey Chance  on  Unsplash MY  Count my blessings Let go of what I can’t control Practice kindness Listen to my heart Be thankful for what I have Just breathe! Amen — Kelly’s Treehouse I love Sundays. Prior to the Pandemic regulations, my brother, Mom, and nieces spent the afternoon after church holding a Game Day. As we slowly meld back into that fun routine, my heart is happy. Today my oldest niece is visiti n g from North Carolina. She organized the day with most of the participants ready and anxious to meet at the card table. We’ll eat junk food or whatever goodies my mother prepares. We’ll laugh. We’ll share our latest accomplishments or disappointment. We’ll agree to disagree in the strong competitive nature that makes us who we are. Above all, we’ll be together and thankful for it. Have a blessed day, Lisa, Lady With the Cane t  my blessings Let go of what I can’t control Practice kindness Listen to my heart Be thankful for what I

Thank your Muse

Keeping my muse close to my heart. MS Awareness Month 2021, Day 13 Life is short so keep it sweet. Last week I lost my writing companion, my confidante, my muse. Carmen came into our lives nearly seventeen years ago. She sat with me as I penned my first YA novel (Abby,); she celebrated with me when it published; she criticized me when I refused to write a book about multiple sclerosis, but high-fived me when that eventual book was released and won national attention. Carmen snuggled with me at night and talked to me often, teaching me just how verbal a Calico can be. It’s been a challenging few days without her, but her memory remains and for that I give thanks. We all need a muse, a reason to continue, a support system. Find yours this weekend and give thanks. Keep moving, Lisa, Lady With the Cane                                              

E = Exercise

E = Exercise MS Awareness Month 2021, Day 12 Photo by Bruno Nascimento on  Unsplash MS WARRIORS: You are not trapped. You CAN get better. There is no better medicine than movement. How many medical professionals have told you this? Very few is my guess. I’m not discrediting the intelligence of your medical team, but prescribing exercise doesn't support the lifestyles of many BIG PHARM advocates. Exercise will not cure multiple sclerosis. There is no cure at this time. Exercise CAN help relieve the stress of living with the Monster. When I was diagnosed in 2001, I was walking 3–5 miles a day and had been for over a year, even when pregnant. I felt great. My body was toned. My mood mind was toned. My mood was toned. I basically lived a toned life. Enter multiple sclerosis. The MonSter moves to the beat of its own drum. The MonSter cares not if we are toned. I missed my daily walks. As a former aerobics instructor, I was educated enough in physical fitness to know there had to be oth

MS Awareness Month 2021, Day 11

MS Awareness Month 2021, Day 11 Photo by Brett Jordan on  Unsplash E=EXERCISE, EAT, AND SLEEP According to Dr. Adam Kaplin, “routine is the way you keep yourself steady in unpredictable times.” I feel certain that every MS Warrior experiences periods of unpredictable times. Some more than others. I also believe that routine is imperative for maintaining a successful life. My advice is to find a schedule that keeps you accountable while offering the stability of consistency. Create a routine that works for you and practice it until it becomes a necessary part of your day. I learned the value of this practice from a fellow writer. Shaunta Grimes founded Ninja Writers to support, educate, and encourage other writers. While her focus is of course on writing, her daily planner also includes daily responsibilities. She advises her followers to accomplish chores in ten-minute increments: writing, reading, reviewing, editing, exercising, cooking, resting. She tells us to do a load of laundry

MS Awareness Month Day 10

MS Awareness Month 2021, Day 10 Photo by Kyle Glenn on  Unsplash D= Don’ take your frustrations out on others. Sometimes we are not aware of the effects of our actions or words. It’s human nature to react without thinking. Living with a chronic illness tends to isolate us from good manners when we are in pain. It’s no one’s fault we feel discomfort from multiple sclerosis. It is also no one’s fault we have this disease. Multiple sclerosis cannot be “caught” nor is it something we choose to have. It’s a waste of time to place blame for your condition and complaining won’t make it go away. I’m not telling you to sit back and not take action against the MonSter. Complaining about it, though, solves nothing while making a bad situation worse. Go ahead. Accuse me of being a “Happy-happy joy-joy” ( ) kind of person. I don't mind. If you didn’t do it pre-COVID, don’t do it now. If you find yourself doing it now, STOP. W can’t stop our disease,

MS Awareness Month 2021, Day 8

MS AWARENESS MONTH 2021, DAY 8 Photo by  Gemma Evans  on  Unsplash Good Monday morning! I know Mondays are notorious for being the worst day of the week, but Monday is actually my favorite day. It’s a fresh start. The possibilities are endless. You’ve re-grouped over the weekend and are ready to say “Let’s do this thing!” First of all a quick review of the ABCs for Good Mental and Emotional Health: A= Ask for Assistance B= Breaks C= Communicate I hope you have found a su c cessful way to incorporate Dr., Adam Kaplin’s advice into your life. Keep in mind that as with anything adjustments may be necessary for what works for you. This brings us to D= Don’t. Don’t self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, food, or any excessive or unnecessary substances. Self-medication can easily turn into self-harm. Now that's not to say that alternative treatments can’t help. There are many acceptable supplemental treatments out there. Once again, do what works for YOU. Multiple sclerosis is a disease trea