“I Never Cry” Pain


All I could do was stand and cry. I never cry. Or at least I try the hardest not to, especially in public. But this time it was in public, and I was crying, hard. Because I was hurting.

The pain had been coming off and on for days, but this day in particular was different. On this day it started a little stronger and earlier than normal. On this day, the pain was incredible and more intense. On this day, the pain was unbearable as it flowed around my body. It felt like waves rolling up and down my arms, leaving me totally unable and unwilling to move. I couldn’t concentrate on my work, I couldn’t make sense of any thoughts in my mind. I walked from my office up and down the hallway, trying to get the pain out of my body. Nothing made it go away.

 

Pain in Multiple Sclerosis is real. At one point in time, “medical professionals” thought that pain didn’t impact people with MS. That couldn’t be more wrong. It is estimated that 30-50% of individuals with MS will experience pain at some point during the course of their illness. However, I believe the rate of pain to be much higher than just 50%, I think it can be as high as 80%.

Pain is classified as either primary or secondary pain. Primary pain is caused by disease progression and demyelinization. Primary pain is usually the intense feelings of burning, shooting or gnawing pain. Secondary pain is usually musculoskeletal pain either caused by poor balance and posture, spasticity, unbalanced use of muscles or joints because of weakness etc. Pain in MS can also be classified as acute or chronic pain.

There are many different types of pain in MS. Often times pain and sensory symptoms can go hand-in-hand (as I mentioned last week) and sensory symptoms can sometimes increase and turn painful.

Acute pain:

  • Trigeminal Neuralgia. This is a real pain in the..face. This is often experienced as a stabbing or shooting pain usually felt on one side of the face in the jaw area or cheek. It can be very severe, and last only a few seconds. I can be triggered by a breeze going across your face, touching your face or even chewing. It can be confused with dental pain, but is caused by damage to the trigeminal nerve. Treatment usually includes medication to alter a nerve function, and sometimes surgical procedures if medication does not prove to be useful.
  • Lhermitte’s sign. This is a type of pain that if the neck is moved enough, pain will start at the neck and move quickly down the spine, feeling like an electric shock. This is caused by damage nerves that no longer transmit proper signals. There are several medications available to treat this, also several lifestyle treatments as well. There are postural adjustments that can be done and relaxation techniques that could improve Lhermitte’s sign too.
  • Burning, aching, girdling pain. I discussed these feeling last week when I was talking about sensory symptoms, but there is a large overlap between these feelings on a sensory level then pain level. Burning can quickly become painful, and usually starts out that way. Burning usually affect the legs but can affect the arms as well. Most of these feelings are often worse at night. Sometimes The affected limb is sensitive to touch and can often feel cold. The “MS Hug” is a feeling of constriction felt around the abdomen or chest, and can become quite painful as well. These types of feelings are caused by demyelination and there are medications available to treat them.

Chronic pain:

  • Burning, aching, pins and needles. This type of pain can be both acute and chronic, unfortunately. The treatment for this type of pain when it’s chronic is the same as acute pain.
  • Pain from spasticity. Spasticity can cause many types of issues and pain. Muscle spasms, cramps, tightness in joints are all manifestations of spasticity and can create significant musculoskeletal pain. Medications are available to treat this type of pain and the cause, often anti-inflammatory in nature. Regular stretching and exercise can also be very helpful with managing musculoskeletal pain.
  • Other muscle pain. General muscle pain can occur for various reasons. Whether it is altered gate, compensation for lack of mobility/weakness/pain or any other reason, pain can present itself at any time. Common treatments are medications, massage, acupuncture, ultrasound, physical therapy or heat.

Emotional stress

One of the most under appreciated aspects of pain in MS is the emotional toll it takes. Being in constant pain can hurt physically, but it can also hurt emotionally. Individuals who are in pain are at risk of depression, are more likely to isolate and have difficulty coping.

 

I’ve been in pain in numerous ways with MS. I’ve had Lhermitte’s sign (technically my first symptom), burning pain in my legs, severe pain in my arms and I believe I have had Trigeminal Neuralgia several times recently. I think pain has been one of my most prominent symptoms, unfortunately. I have been on Neurontin and am currently on Cymbalta to manage my pain. AIP has also helped my pain levels immensely as well.

Getting creative with treatments can be helpful when managing pain. Regular exercise and stretching can be helpful when managing musculoskeletal pain, also making sure to maintain a balance of sodium and potassium to deter cramps. Alternative therapies can be helpful as well, acupuncture, cognitive-behavioral therapy, biofeedback, relaxation training and hypnosis can be useful.

 

I found myself in the conference room, staring out the window when my best friend noticed I was there as she walked by. I didn’t realize at first I had been silently crying, but once she inquired about what was wrong, the flood gates opened.

I’M ALISSA!

I help women who have also been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis make specific and personalized diet, lifestyle & subconscious changes so that they can begin to heal their body, reduce disease symptoms, and return to a life they love.hey there,

follow along on Instagram:

Or for when you’re trying to talk yourself out of being sick.. 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️😂😂

Even if you feel fine, try saying a few of these out loud. Feel what happens to your body when you do.

Do you feel an expansion or lightness in your chest?
Does breathing get a little easier?
Just notice the shifts in your body.

I’m not saying we can talk ourselves out of it (illness, flares etc) … but… our body and cells respond to our thoughts.

So how we think about ourselves is definitely in the conversation of how we can take care of ourselves overall. 
🧡🧡🧡

Or for when you’re trying to talk yourself out of being sick.. 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️😂😂

Even if you feel fine, try saying a few of these out loud. Feel what happens to your body when you do.

Do you feel an expansion or lightness in your chest?
Does breathing get a little easier?
Just notice the shifts in your body.

I’m not saying we can talk ourselves out of it (illness, flares etc) … but… our body and cells respond to our thoughts.

So how we think about ourselves is definitely in the conversation of how we can take care of ourselves overall.
🧡🧡🧡
...

37 4
IDK if it’s hot where you live, but where I live, it’s been hot AF.

And you know what that means, you might be seeing an increase in MS symptoms too. 

I’ve been using all the cooling methods, but I wanted to see if there was more I could do. 

Did you know you can use the food you eat to help cool your body temperature too? 

Food can help you stay cool by helping to regulate your body temperature and promoting hydration and sweating.

Some of the foods that help:
🥒Water rich veggies: like cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, celery etc
🍓Fruits: like berries, melons and tropical fruits 
🥥Coconut water and coconut milk
🌿Herbs: mint (mint water is 💯), dill, rosemary, lavender, lemongrass, chamomile 
🌶️Spices: paprika, cayenne, peppers etc

If you tolerate them, add these to your next shopping trip and I hope you stay cool!!

PS— I just dropped my new Eating for MS guide!! 
If you: 
👉🏼 are confused about what to eat to help MS symptoms because of all the mixed messages online..
👉🏼 are stuck in paralysis by analysis because of said confusion, which makes you do nothing cause you’re afraid you’ll do it “wrong” anyway.. 
👉🏼 know you want to eat differently, but the thought of “starting a diet” sends you into a spiral.. 

This guide is for you!!

Comment GUIDE below and I’ll send you the link to download!!

IDK if it’s hot where you live, but where I live, it’s been hot AF.

And you know what that means, you might be seeing an increase in MS symptoms too.

I’ve been using all the cooling methods, but I wanted to see if there was more I could do.

Did you know you can use the food you eat to help cool your body temperature too?

Food can help you stay cool by helping to regulate your body temperature and promoting hydration and sweating.

Some of the foods that help:
🥒Water rich veggies: like cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, celery etc
🍓Fruits: like berries, melons and tropical fruits
🥥Coconut water and coconut milk
🌿Herbs: mint (mint water is 💯), dill, rosemary, lavender, lemongrass, chamomile
🌶️Spices: paprika, cayenne, peppers etc

If you tolerate them, add these to your next shopping trip and I hope you stay cool!!

PS— I just dropped my new Eating for MS guide!!
If you:
👉🏼 are confused about what to eat to help MS symptoms because of all the mixed messages online..
👉🏼 are stuck in paralysis by analysis because of said confusion, which makes you do nothing cause you’re afraid you’ll do it “wrong” anyway..
👉🏼 know you want to eat differently, but the thought of “starting a diet” sends you into a spiral..

This guide is for you!!

Comment GUIDE below and I’ll send you the link to download!!
...

13 3
The soil you grow your tomatoes in matters.
Well, the soil you grow everything matters.

(This is also a metaphor for your mind)

Rich nutrient dense soil = healthy plants 
Soil full of sticks, rocks and a tiny bit of nutrients = unhealthy plants

The foundations on which you build a garden (or a mindset) really matter in the end. 

Which would you choose?

PS- My new Eating for MS guide is here!!
If you’ve ever been confused on what to eat to help MS symptoms, this is for you!!

Comment GUIDE and I’ll send you the link to download!!

The soil you grow your tomatoes in matters.
Well, the soil you grow everything matters.

(This is also a metaphor for your mind)

Rich nutrient dense soil = healthy plants
Soil full of sticks, rocks and a tiny bit of nutrients = unhealthy plants

The foundations on which you build a garden (or a mindset) really matter in the end.

Which would you choose?

PS- My new Eating for MS guide is here!!
If you’ve ever been confused on what to eat to help MS symptoms, this is for you!!

Comment GUIDE and I’ll send you the link to download!!
...

4 0
I shoulda just dunked myself lol.

But save this post to have these tips at the ready.

If you’re an MSer.. you know an increase in temperature can cause our already compromised neurons to work even less effectively than normal.

While we may feel like 💩, there usually isn’t new disease activity causing the symptoms. Rather a worsening of current symptoms, which is also called a pseudoexacerbation.

(Now, if you’re feeling extra 💩💩, and some new symptoms crop up, a call to your doc might be in order.)

There’s a few things I have found helpful for managing the heat:

BE PROACTIVE: Instead of waiting until you’re about to melt, use cooling strategies before you really need them. 
Hopefully this way, you’ll never get to the point where you feel like you may burst into flames.

CREATE AN OASIS: If you don’t have central AC, make (at least) one room in your house a cool oasis where you can hide from the heat.

ACCESSORIZE: Get alllll the cooling products. @koldtec scarves, @releafpack cooling packs (amazing for the back of the neck), an awesome water bottle that keeps water ice cold, personal fans or popsicles!

For me, I can feel ok in the heat until all of a sudden I don’t. Using my proactive cooling has helped a ton.
Also, my heat tolerance has been improving since I have been taking so many steps to improve my health.
I rarely feel tingly in my legs which used to be a warm weather staple for me.

But most of all, make sure to advocate for yourself and your comfort.
You deserve comfort as well as any other person.
Please don’t let fear of “ruining” a summer day keep you from saying what you need.
🧡🧡🧡

I shoulda just dunked myself lol.

But save this post to have these tips at the ready.

If you’re an MSer.. you know an increase in temperature can cause our already compromised neurons to work even less effectively than normal.

While we may feel like 💩, there usually isn’t new disease activity causing the symptoms. Rather a worsening of current symptoms, which is also called a pseudoexacerbation.

(Now, if you’re feeling extra 💩💩, and some new symptoms crop up, a call to your doc might be in order.)

There’s a few things I have found helpful for managing the heat:

BE PROACTIVE: Instead of waiting until you’re about to melt, use cooling strategies before you really need them.
Hopefully this way, you’ll never get to the point where you feel like you may burst into flames.

CREATE AN OASIS: If you don’t have central AC, make (at least) one room in your house a cool oasis where you can hide from the heat.

ACCESSORIZE: Get alllll the cooling products. @koldtec scarves, @releafpack cooling packs (amazing for the back of the neck), an awesome water bottle that keeps water ice cold, personal fans or popsicles!

For me, I can feel ok in the heat until all of a sudden I don’t. Using my proactive cooling has helped a ton.
Also, my heat tolerance has been improving since I have been taking so many steps to improve my health.
I rarely feel tingly in my legs which used to be a warm weather staple for me.

But most of all, make sure to advocate for yourself and your comfort.
You deserve comfort as well as any other person.
Please don’t let fear of “ruining” a summer day keep you from saying what you need.
🧡🧡🧡
...

27 4
Growing your own fruit or veggie is a great way to eat more of them!!

It may seem daunting, but it’s actually pretty easy.

Some easy things to grow if you’re just starting out:

🥬Leafy greens (I’m harvesting my kale here!)
🫛Peas
🍅Tomatoes
🍓Strawberries 
🫑Peppers
🥒Squash & zucchini 
🫘Beans

I’ve grown some type of veggie for years now, usually squash, peas and tomatoes (for Scott lol).

Do you have a garden? That can be in ground, raised or even containers like me.

What do you like to grow?? Tell me below!!

PS- need something to do with the veggies you grow?? 

I just dropped my new Eating for MS Guide, where I talk all about what foods are best for MS and give you some recipe ideas so it’s super simple for you to find symptom relief through food too.

Comment GUIDE below and I’ll send you the link to download!! (And it’s free!!)

Growing your own fruit or veggie is a great way to eat more of them!!

It may seem daunting, but it’s actually pretty easy.

Some easy things to grow if you’re just starting out:

🥬Leafy greens (I’m harvesting my kale here!)
🫛Peas
🍅Tomatoes
🍓Strawberries
🫑Peppers
🥒Squash & zucchini
🫘Beans

I’ve grown some type of veggie for years now, usually squash, peas and tomatoes (for Scott lol).

Do you have a garden? That can be in ground, raised or even containers like me.

What do you like to grow?? Tell me below!!

PS- need something to do with the veggies you grow??

I just dropped my new Eating for MS Guide, where I talk all about what foods are best for MS and give you some recipe ideas so it’s super simple for you to find symptom relief through food too.

Comment GUIDE below and I’ll send you the link to download!! (And it’s free!!)
...

18 6
⭐️Changing my diet!!⭐️

First, like and save this post so you can come back to it if you need.

It took me years to finally be ready to consider changing my diet to help MS symptoms.

It actually took a pretty bad rock bottom moment, but that’s a story for another day.

I get it if you feel like this process is hard and daunting.

Start here:
⭐️YOU DONT HAVE TO CHANGE EVERYTHING AT ONCE
⭐️Pick a meal to switch up, include a few different foods a week or increase protein.
⭐️Get curious about how the foods you’re currently eating are making you feel

Those are just 3 suggestions to get you started.

Want more information about Eating for MS?

Like what (imo) you should include in your diet, how to eliminate foods, and meal ideas??
So that you too can feel so much better in your body and get your life back?

I just dropped a new Eating for MS Guide, full of all the info you need to get started on your own food journey.

Comment GUIDE below and I’ll send you the link! 
🧡🧡🧡

⭐️Changing my diet!!⭐️

First, like and save this post so you can come back to it if you need.

It took me years to finally be ready to consider changing my diet to help MS symptoms.

It actually took a pretty bad rock bottom moment, but that’s a story for another day.

I get it if you feel like this process is hard and daunting.

Start here:
⭐️YOU DONT HAVE TO CHANGE EVERYTHING AT ONCE
⭐️Pick a meal to switch up, include a few different foods a week or increase protein.
⭐️Get curious about how the foods you’re currently eating are making you feel

Those are just 3 suggestions to get you started.

Want more information about Eating for MS?

Like what (imo) you should include in your diet, how to eliminate foods, and meal ideas??
So that you too can feel so much better in your body and get your life back?

I just dropped a new Eating for MS Guide, full of all the info you need to get started on your own food journey.

Comment GUIDE below and I’ll send you the link!
🧡🧡🧡
...

34 25
Or, comment WAITLIST to be notified when it’s ready!!

I’ve been talking to many of you about your questions regarding eating for MS.

There’s lots of confusion about what is “right” and “wrong”. 

Lemme tell you, I’ll answer this in the guide for sure- and it prob won’t be the answer you’re expecting?

Drop any other questions below and I’ll answer them!!

Or, comment WAITLIST to be notified when it’s ready!!

I’ve been talking to many of you about your questions regarding eating for MS.

There’s lots of confusion about what is “right” and “wrong”.

Lemme tell you, I’ll answer this in the guide for sure- and it prob won’t be the answer you’re expecting?

Drop any other questions below and I’ll answer them!!
...

19 7
:: first, comment WAITLIST below to be notified when my new Eating for MS Guide is available!::

When I was first diagnosed with MS I didn’t even think to ask if anything else besides medication would help me.

It didn’t even occur to me that changing my diet or managing stress would also play a part in my disease.

It took a few years, several relapses and failed medications for my BOYFRIEND (now hubby) to ask my neurologist if any diet would help.

And even then, my neuros answer was 🤷🏻‍♂️.

If you also haven’t considered it, let me be the first to tell you:

✨IT’S ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE✨ 
to decrease your symptoms and influence your long term prognosis by implementing lifestyle changes.

What we eat
How we move
How we manage stress
Our toxin burden
Our hydration status
Etc etc etc
all go a long way in helping us MSers live better with MS.

I lived this transformation; from totally exhausted and unable to get off the couch to hiking mountains or playing golf,
I KNOW it’s possible for you, too.

I’m in the final stages of putting together a comprehensive resource on Eating for MS, comment WAITLIST and I’ll let you know when it’s ready!!

:: first, comment WAITLIST below to be notified when my new Eating for MS Guide is available!::

When I was first diagnosed with MS I didn’t even think to ask if anything else besides medication would help me.

It didn’t even occur to me that changing my diet or managing stress would also play a part in my disease.

It took a few years, several relapses and failed medications for my BOYFRIEND (now hubby) to ask my neurologist if any diet would help.

And even then, my neuros answer was 🤷🏻‍♂️.

If you also haven’t considered it, let me be the first to tell you:

✨IT’S ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE✨ 
to decrease your symptoms and influence your long term prognosis by implementing lifestyle changes.

What we eat
How we move
How we manage stress
Our toxin burden
Our hydration status
Etc etc etc
all go a long way in helping us MSers live better with MS.

I lived this transformation; from totally exhausted and unable to get off the couch to hiking mountains or playing golf,
I KNOW it’s possible for you, too.

I’m in the final stages of putting together a comprehensive resource on Eating for MS, comment WAITLIST and I’ll let you know when it’s ready!!
...

29 22
I’ve seen this trend with women under 35 and over 35.. so let’s see if we can adapt this for others living with MS!

Those of you who are living with MS for just a few years ask a question and those of us who have been living with it for many years will answer!

Who knows, this may bomb, but the idea is fun!!

Ask away!

I’ve seen this trend with women under 35 and over 35.. so let’s see if we can adapt this for others living with MS!

Those of you who are living with MS for just a few years ask a question and those of us who have been living with it for many years will answer!

Who knows, this may bomb, but the idea is fun!!

Ask away!
...

40 41
Last week I wanted 0 to do with working out. 

I love working out,
I love being able to lift heavy things and feel strong.
But last week?
Nah, I was all set. 

However.. I have some goals and abilities I want to maintain.

Strength training is one way of the consistent ways I help myself to feel good despite living with MS. 

So I made sure that there wasn’t a reason I didn’t want to workout besides my inner toddler, and lo and behold- there wasn’t.
So off I went. 

I gave myself permission to go lighter and slower, which helped me be successful in doing it at all. 

I often find that when I stop strength training for a while, everything starts to hurt, so that’s obviously not what I’m going for. 

I also have a goal of gaining muscle. Muscle decline happens anyway with age, I don’t need to help it along with not moving. 

✨Following through with my daily habits is a form of self care.✨

If you’re done with thinking: 
“I know what to do, I just can’t seem to do it” 
DM me ACTION and we’ll chat

Last week I wanted 0 to do with working out.

I love working out,
I love being able to lift heavy things and feel strong.
But last week?
Nah, I was all set.

However.. I have some goals and abilities I want to maintain.

Strength training is one way of the consistent ways I help myself to feel good despite living with MS.

So I made sure that there wasn’t a reason I didn’t want to workout besides my inner toddler, and lo and behold- there wasn’t.
So off I went.

I gave myself permission to go lighter and slower, which helped me be successful in doing it at all.

I often find that when I stop strength training for a while, everything starts to hurt, so that’s obviously not what I’m going for.

I also have a goal of gaining muscle. Muscle decline happens anyway with age, I don’t need to help it along with not moving.

✨Following through with my daily habits is a form of self care.✨

If you’re done with thinking:
“I know what to do, I just can’t seem to do it”
DM me ACTION and we’ll chat
...

17 4
Instead of being a lump on the couch, now I can go hiking up a mountain with my husband 
Or walk 8 miles around NYC with my sister 
Or do a workout at the gym
Or shower, go shopping and cook dinner all in the same day 

This is possible because: 
✨Yes, the medication I’m on helps for sure 

But truthfully my life has improved so much because of:

✨My daily habits and lifestyle (my morning routine, my diet, my sleep habits, my workouts..)

✨ But what REALLY moved the needle is actively working to have a mindset that allows me to be flexible with myself, to give myself grace when I “mess up” (aka- when I don’t follow through on a habit)

✨This is a mindset that doesn’t require perfection✨

This allows me to be consistent with the habits- like diet changes or movement programs or whatever else I want to do, which then allows me to see progress (aka: my body feeling better)

Which THEN gives me the motivation and desire to keep doing what I’m doing.

✨This is the secret to “success”- right here.✨
Consistent action + giving yourself grace + noticing progress = motivation to keep going. 

It’s not quick or sexy, its actually rather boring.
But boring is actually way better!! 

If you want a life where you:
Feel good in your body, 
Have energy to spend on your friends and family, 
Don’t think about what the MS symptom of the day will be..

I help you create that life for yourself in my signature program, Holistically Healing MS. 

Today is the last day it’s on FLASH SALE… 
Comment MOUNTAIN below and I’ll send you the details!!

Instead of being a lump on the couch, now I can go hiking up a mountain with my husband
Or walk 8 miles around NYC with my sister
Or do a workout at the gym
Or shower, go shopping and cook dinner all in the same day

This is possible because:
✨Yes, the medication I’m on helps for sure

But truthfully my life has improved so much because of:

✨My daily habits and lifestyle (my morning routine, my diet, my sleep habits, my workouts..)

✨ But what REALLY moved the needle is actively working to have a mindset that allows me to be flexible with myself, to give myself grace when I “mess up” (aka- when I don’t follow through on a habit)

✨This is a mindset that doesn’t require perfection✨

This allows me to be consistent with the habits- like diet changes or movement programs or whatever else I want to do, which then allows me to see progress (aka: my body feeling better)

Which THEN gives me the motivation and desire to keep doing what I’m doing.

✨This is the secret to “success”- right here.✨
Consistent action + giving yourself grace + noticing progress = motivation to keep going.

It’s not quick or sexy, its actually rather boring.
But boring is actually way better!!

If you want a life where you:
Feel good in your body,
Have energy to spend on your friends and family,
Don’t think about what the MS symptom of the day will be..

I help you create that life for yourself in my signature program, Holistically Healing MS.

Today is the last day it’s on FLASH SALE…
Comment MOUNTAIN below and I’ll send you the details!!
...

39 2

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