The calm before the storm,fun stuff….NOT

As most of you know I live on the gulf coast. Panama City to be exact. It’s a really chill beach community. We are known to get hurricanes or tropical depressions every year. Some years are better than others.

I remember first coming to this sleepy little town from NYC and thinking holy shit, this is like a vacay every day. It’s relaxed and everyone treated me with Southern hospitality. I LOVED it!!!!!

About five months after we got here hurricane Opal hit. Holy crap I was scared. I had a 3 yr old and a 6 yr old at the time and was truly concerned for our safety. That was a hell of a storm. Turned out to be a Cat4. Luckily my sister was here and guided me through it. I was a NY’er through and through. I had absolutely no clue what a REAL hurricane was.

Since then I’ve been through many storms, after that one we haven’t had any that neared Opal’s severity. At least until now that is. The weather people (sometimes inaccurate) are saying this may be worse than Opal. I truly hope they’re wrong.

During Opal I wasn’t sick. I was healthy and considerably younger, although with my boys grown, at least I don’t have to run behind little ones. I do still worry about them constantly. I suppose a mommas job is never done.

So back to the hurricane heading this way, his name is Michael and he has the fine folks of Bay county acting like the world is ending.  I’m not saying they don’t have a right to be concerned, but the whole vibe of this area has gotten a bit hostile. Kind of reminds me of Black Friday shopping. Everyone’s pissed off and ill tempered, as well as driving like lunatics. I keep thinking, Come on folks we’re all used to this; let’s act like we have good sense. It is worrisome that this may be worse than Opal, but if anything, MS has taught me that I can deal with just about anything.

Yesterday the hubby and I went shopping for supplies. Shelves were bare, but we got some supplies. Later in the day my son David called telling me not to worry, he had me covered, and did he ever. Lance, I and the pups are hunkered down.

With having Multiple Sclerosis for the past 14 years, I am very, very familiar with how my body can act the fool when bad weather has arrived. Here’s a link regarding preparedness I thought you all might find useful:  Weather preparedness

So while we’re bracing for this shit show of a storm, I have my hair up and pearl earrings on. I’ll let you all know how it goes. Wish me luck and say a prayer

Keep in mind every day is a special day

Most of you know of my peaks and Valleys with MS. To say I have ups and downs would be an understatement. Not looking for pity just stating the facts. Sometimes when dealing with a chronic illness such as MS it can be easy to lose ones self.

Over the last 14 years I have had times where my illness was very much at the forefront of my existence. Where I have kind of stood in the shadows waiting for a better day to come. Just an FYI; sometimes you have to force that better day.

It occurred to me the other day when I decided to start blogging about fashion that I had recently let shit slip. I have been putting limited effort into my appearance. I hadn’t even been wearing my dearly loved pearls.

For anyone looking for a classic look, pearls would be a go to. I have pricey pearls as well as not-so-pricey pearls. You can really go either way with it and it’s still a great look.

A lot of women are afraid to sport them because they are seen as dressy. This is NOT true!!!! I have worn pearls with casual dresses as well as jeans and shorts.

Why do we save things for a special occasion? Every single day is a gift AND a special occasion. Every day that we wake up should be celebrated.

Am I saying wear your best accessories to the gym? No I’m not, they would get sweaty and you would look silly. I am saying wear them when you can.

In the past I’ve worn my pearl earrings on the golf course.

I’ve worn them going to dinner with the hubby or hanging out with my boys.

I’ve even worn them in the hospital.

I know, it may seem a bit ridiculous, but even while having plasmapheresis I wanted to be me. I always try to stay true to myself. Some days are harder than others, but there is no more special occasion than being alive.

I remember my Oma (grandma) saying she was saving certain things for a special occasion. Why do that? It seems to me, folks wind up not celebrating their life while they’re here. Meanwhile, they’re keeping certain articles in pristine condition only to hand them down after they pass.

I’m not handing anything down that I haven’t truly enjoyed. Sorry…not really.

So while the hubby and I didn’t do anything earth-shattering yesterday and I wasn’t dressed to the nines, I had on my pearls. It was a fun day and I felt good about myself wearing them.

While this disease can get the better of us every now and again, as well as be ugly and down right gross at times, we should still celebrate our life. All the while, appreciating the gift we’ve been given . Wishing everyone a fantastic Monday.

The inmates are running the Asylum

You guys all know I have three dogs and a cat. I had four but old Mr.Wiggles had to be put down. He was nearing seventeen and in a lot of pain. Kind of like me tired and in pain.

While it broke my heart to have to do it,  I finally acted like an adult and had my sweet boy put down. That was almost three weeks ago. I haven’t written about it until now, because to be quite honest it still brings tears to my eyes.

You see that pup wasn’t just the family dog, he was my deceased husbands dog. I know it’s silly but in my head he was a tie to my dearly departed. Having to put him down was hard on me as well as my boys. We all took it hard but my eldest seemed to really be overwhelmed with grief. I think if the truth be known he was grieving his step dad Bob.

Sometimes adulting is just plain hard. My boys were willing to do whatever and pay whatever to keep that old boy going. I was going along to get along, I was letting them make a decision that really wasn’t up to them. I finally got the courage up to do the deed. In the past Bob handled such matters, it was nice not having to deal with those things. The last day before putting Mr. Wiggles down I thought, what would Bob do?

Then it came to me like a flash of light. I thought to myself, there’s no way in hell he would allow for this boy to go through this. I called the boys and told them I was putting Wiggles down, I followed that statement up with if Bob was alive he wouldn’t go for this dragging things out nonsense. He would have loaded the old boy up and handled it with no questions asked. He was that kind of man and now it was my turn to be that kind of woman.

End result was Wiggles drifted away peacefully with me and my boys there. Knowing he was loved like family. I truly hope when it’s my time I go as peacefully as he did.

Now I’m left with the three amigos and the cat. All of you know how near and dear I hold my furry children, but damn it can a girl get a break every now and again?

This morning was crazy in my house. I had a rough night filled with nerve pain and spasticity, leaving old Al cranky and very tired.

My hubby tended all of them, letting me sleep in. I wound up having to take pain meds as well as MMJ last night. That was no bueno, I hate taking that much medication, but sometimes shit (MS) just gets stupid.

I woke to dingy Daisy (I only call her that when I’m not happy with her), barking like it was mid day – it wasn’t – and Vivi kneading my shoulder.

Did this make for a happy Al? NOPE!

I do have to say Hamm and Sampson had been perfect gentlemen.

They’re all fantastic animals, all doing a specific job. Hamm and Sampson are the protectors. Daisy is my service dog fetching my phone and worrying over me like a nursemaid. The cat? Well she’s a cat and will NOT conform. She always has a look on her face like she’s running the show but letting me think I do. To be honest I think they all run things and have Lance and I beautifully trained.

On that note I’m going to get my happy arse out of bed and try and get on with the gettin’ on. My hubby is in the kitchen being the Sunday DJ, Playing this little dittty. He totally knows how to get me up. Happy Sunday folks. Blessings from my family to yours.

Following fashion rules and feeling good about yourself

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I awoke this morning with a haze in my head and noodles for legs. Did I do anything to earn that feeling? Did I over do it yesterday? Absolutely not, the biggest thing I did was decide to start talking about fashion in this blog.

Sometimes MS can just be that way, some days we are semi human, moving about like everyone else. Other days we’re spent before our feet even touch the floor.

Today is one of those days. Today I didn’t tend my pups, but instead laid in bed. Lance took care of them. He’s a good man, picking up the slack when I’m a spent beotch.

Afterward we laid in bed drinking coffee and reading the headlines. Eventually Lance decided to do more trim work on the house and I attempted to get up and get moving.

At around 9:00 am I called my eldest. Today is our every two week pedicure date. I LIVE for this little luxury he treats me to. I mention to him that I’m going with white on my toes. He says NOOOO it’s fall. I tell my boy I am absolutely doing white.

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While I do follow some fashion rules, like dress your age , and never wear something you’ve worn as a teen after turning 30. I don’t follow the whole not wearing white in the winter months rule. I’ve always thought that was silly to limit yourself because of the time of year.

Another rule I find to be silly is the sequins only at night. I love throwing bling into an outfit regardless of what time it is. Some rules were just made to be broken. So by golly, I’m going to break them.

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My thinking is if I like it, it makes me feel good, and I’m comfortable with it, then damn it, I’m going to do it!

Comfort is always a big consideration for me. Take today for instance. I have a chill about me. While it’s well into the 80’s, I have goose bumps and shiver every now and again. My plan for an outfit today included Bermuda shorts, white sleeveless t-shirt with a long sleeve denim shirt on top and white flip flops to show off my pedicure.

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The layers of this outfit will allow for the changes my body will go through during the course of the day. The denim shirt will keep me warm enough and the sleeveless shirt for when I get too warm. After all it is 87 degrees outside and I don’t want to get over heated, which adds to fatigue.

My big tip for this entry is if you suffer with heat/cold intolerance, be prepared. For some reason dr’s tend to concentrate on heat intolerance, even though there are a bunch of us that suffer with cold intolerance as well. Those with body temp issues have to think ahead. My other tip would be wear what makes you feel good. But always…I beg of you always make sure clothes are age appropriate. You don’t have to show off your goodies to still be seen as attractive the older you get.

Now that I’m home and in my comfy attire, I’m going to perch on my couch like I do when having a day like today.

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Wishing you all a fantastic weekend!

Self perception, disability and fashion

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I’ve talked about Chronic illness in my blog quite a bit. Ive talked about the fatigue, the blurred vision, the drop foot as well as constipation I’ve dealt with while having Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve talked about my progression in going from RRMS to SPMS. I have touched gently on the blow to self esteem some suffer with when dealing with this hideous disease.

While I’ve shared some very personal experiences that I have gone through, I don”t think I really delved into how much of a mind f*ck it can be. In all honesty it can be quite the roller coaster ride if you let it get the best of you.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you guys that I haven’t cried my eyes out on occasion as my disease has progressed, because I have more than once. I admit my own perception of myself has been negative at times. Not being able to go and do as you once did can be crushing. Having people stare at your cane or when you have to use a scooter to get around the grocery store can really deplete your sense of self worth. Not to mention the countless times I’ve shuffled around the house wearing my cheetah slippers and bathrobe with my hair pulled up in the crazy side ponytail.

After all there are times my skin feels like it’s on fire from nerve pain which makes the thought of putting on clothes a no go. I have nerve pain that touches the soul at times, but even on those days, I’ve beat myself up over not looking my best.

I’m reminded of something my youngest has told me over and over again when I’ve shared something negative. He’s said “Mom don’t even put that in the air”. I have to say when he’s told me that it’s always put things in perspective. In other words don’t give that negativity power.

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This gives me pause for thought, why do we hold ourselves to such self deprecation? We should never be our own worst critic, but instead we should build ourselves up.

In my group I always tell my members I’m their cheerleader. If anything, I want them to know that when they don’t have the strength to cheer themselves on, I’ll do it for them. We all have insecurities, especially when dealing with a debilitating disease; but we’re all rockstars in our own way. I’ve heard MS referred to as the snow flake disease, because everyones disease is different. While I can still walk with the use of a cane, I know that some can’t. On the same note, while I need a cane or have had to use a walker in the past, some have never had to experience that.

I remember when first having to use a cane some 12 or so years ago, I made it my mission to have a fabulous selection of canes to choose from. The first one I got was from a medical supply company. Needless to say it was less than fashionable. It was adjustable and just plain ugly. I remember thinking well this isn’t very vogue. I was embarrassed to use it. Since then I started ordering my canes on line. I have a bunch of them now, including one that’s a sword cane. It was given to me by a dear friend who was the assistant chief at the police department I dispatched for. It’s one of my favy canes, but I really don’t use it because the weight of the sword inside is enough to throw my already bad balance off kilter. I have to say being a crip isn’t the best situation, but if I have to I’ll be a fabulous crip.

My point to this is we’re all beautiful and all have a gift to give others, if anything just with our presence. I read in a meme once that said ” I’m not chronically ill, I’m chronically fabulous” We should all have that mind set, because we are ALL chronically fabulous. If anything, chronic illness mixed with disability is not for the faint of heart.

Mixing things up with fashion and MS

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While dealing with the whole MS bullshit, MRI’s, fatigue, pain yada yada, boo-boo. I’ve been mulling over different activities that can keep my brain functioning at a semi-cognizant level. While I’ve always been a quick thinker and even considered a mover and shaker on occasion, I know that now I’m at a slower pace. This stresses me out!!!!

Everyone that knows me knows that I will not take that lying down. I blog regarding my ups and downs with MS, I have my MS group where we have light humor as well as informative posts . I feel there’s more I could be doing with my free time. More to keep my brain working at an acceptable level.Mixing things up   Sofaking sick and tired of MS

While talking to my eldest, he suggested blogging about fashion. Him and my youngest have always thought I was a sharp dresser. Little do they know, I pretty much follow older classic looks; looks from the 50’s and 60’s where women looked put together. I’m not going to say I don’t lounge out on occasion, but for the most part I really do like following fashion. I like it, but never go full throttle into a trend. I’ve always put my own spin on a look so that it would suit me best.

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So in addition to blogging about MS and the freak show it can be, more times than not, I am going to blog about different fashion trends and products I’ve found to be useful. I think it may be a fun time for me. We’ll see, it will be something different to mix up the daily doldrums of retirement.

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Ive taken to doing more Instagram and following some that I feel are fashion forward. Feel free to follow me on Instagram at: mswithmissalex

 

I’ve found this little gem that I’m going to pass on to you. Its a great little app that I really like. It helps you find what stores certain pieces are available.
With all of that being said, my must-haves would be mules. They are super cute, comfy and stylish. Although I miss my heels horribly, I can still be stylish shuffling along.

Wishing you all a fantastic Thursday. As always I’ll end this with; do something nice for someone, it could make a difference in their world.

Along for the ride.

This morning for once our sweet pups let Lance and I sleep in. Woot woot! I can’t really complain though because these days my hubby tends the dogs in the morning. I still wake up from hearing them bustling about. Daisy always runs in and licks my face as soon as she can get in the bedroom.

That is my girl for sure. She’s a hell of a service dog and is really coming around. I’m very proud of her. She is so in tune with me and I love it. If I’m having a bad day she is all over me like a worried momma. I love all my pups but she really is special.

It being Saturday my sonny boy David took me for my pedicure.  He takes me every two weeks for a pedicure and a massage. Really him and Jake spoil the shit out of me. You guys are probably tired of hearing about my kids, but I have to say them, my hubby and my pups keep me going. Even on my worst days I can count on at least one of them making me laugh.

So David and I went for our pedicures. The ladies all speak in their native tongue and look to me to see if I understand them. I have been mistaken for Asian in the past so I get it. I’ve heard tell that we have Filipino in our blood line so I can see why they might think I understand them. Sure hope they’re not talking smack about us. lol

We had fun but I petered out pretty quick. I had to go home and lay down for a while. My batteries aren’t what they used to be.

Around 3:00 Lance put in to play golf. I knew there was no possible way I could pull this off. I was bone tired, there was no way I could even attempt to swing a club. Plus, my legs were a bit wonky with foot drop etc.

I told him he could go and have a good time. He looked a bit bummed to be going alone. Then I got to thinking I was being a bit selfish, I wasn’t in horrible pain or anything just dead tired. I figured I’d ride and get some air while watching him play. He was happy with this plan. So we did. It was beautiful out and we enjoyed it. Even if I couldn’t play I was still in the moment with him.

So even if we can’t do as we once did we can still be part of the moment even if it’s just cheering our loved ones on.

My son told me today that him and his bro and some friends may be going to Italy in December. The old momma would have gotten a bit unnerved about them not being around for the holidays.

My thinking these days is go and do and live it like it’s your last. I want my boys to experience everything they can in life. None of us are promised tomorrow, we all have to make the most of all we can, when we can.

So while I couldn’t play today, and was just along for the ride, I made the most of it and me and the hubby had a good time and made a memory.

That is what life is all about!