Recently I was cruising around the internet super highway, otherwise known as the World Wide Web, when I suddenly stumbled into the facebook police upon entering my home page. I soon realized that facebook had issued a cease and desist order for using the friend request button on too many occasions where I didn’t personally know these individuals outside of facebook.
Alright let me be honest here, and admit, that I really didn’t know the people I was friending on a personal level. But this kind of leaves me wondering just what social media is if you can’t go out and meet and socially interact with other people in this manner? I have used facebook and other similar sites to make friends with people from all walks of life from all around the world which is what I thought this was all about in the first place, am I wrong in this assumption?
In my opinion, I feel that I had a very good reason to make the requests that I was making to the people that I was making them too, we all belong to the same exclusive club in that, we all suffer from the debilitating disease called Multiple Sclerosis. And anyone who shares the MS experience with me, I consider a friend, no matter if I have met them personally or not. When I say, “I feel your pain!” to anyone in this group they know I literally mean it! And that brings a little bit of peace and understanding to all of us who share this unfortunate autoimmune disorder.
Many years ago I was told that if you don’t have a solution to the problem you’re complaining about then it’s just whining. And so, here is what I would like to suggest to facebook as my solution, please add a second option like a, consider request, where the person can accept you as a friend or just ignore your request and after, let’s say 48 hours, the request would just automatically drop off of their page. That way no ones feelings get hurt but still leaves the door open for people to make new and lasting friends with others from around the world.
Finally, just so everyone knows, you can friend me no matter who you are and I will accept your request, and if someday we end up having a difference of opinion, that’s ok because we would never have had the chance to find a solution if we were never allowed to meet in the first place. And to me, that is what social media is all about. Friend me all you want, and if you choose to unfriend me in the future, that’s ok too!
I am always amazed when I put a clear plastic or glass container of water with tea bags in it out to brew in direct sunlight at just how many people ask me what I’m doing? And to those people who have never had sun brewed tea all I have to do is just let them try it and they almost always admit that it’s the best iced tea that they’ve ever had. If you’ve never done this the process is very simple: Put six or eight tea bags, depends on how strong you like your tea, in a one to two gallon clear plastic or glass container and put in direct sunlight for at least four hours. That’s it, refrigerate and serve over ice. Be careful of glass it’s heavy and obviously will shatter if you drop it.
My personal favorite kind of tea for sun tea is decaffeinated Celestial Teas because they have a naturally sweet fruity flavor that doesn’t need any added sugar. However any kind of tea bag will work just fine. And if this turns out to be a really hot summer, which is what the weather people are predicting, then there is nothing better to cool off with then ice cold sun brewed tea!
Recently I wrote about a case of spontaneous remission that occurred with a friend from the past and I would love to be able to track her down and see how she’s doing now. But I doubt that’s ever going to happen as our life paths were quite different and she could be anywhere in the world.
However writing that piece reminded me of something else that one of my Neurologist’s said a few years back during one of my appointments. She didn’t question at all that I had been diagnosed with MS as I had a few lesions in several of the Magnetic Resonance Image scans that I brought along with me to our first meeting. I was excited to have her as my Neurologist as multiple sclerosis was her specialty and she only took certain patients so I felt lucky to get her.
It was something she said after looking at my brain scans that surprised me as we started talking at our appointment. The very first thing she said was that she was quite surprised that I had any symptoms of MS at all. Of course I was extremely curious to know why she felt this way so she explained that my MS lesions were all, as far as she could tell, deep brain lesions and that most people with these kinds of lesions did not have the typical MS symptoms. And in fact many of them didn’t have any symptoms at all. And in my case she guessed that I must also have some unseen damage in my spinal column as well that spinal scans didn’t show. She continued by adding that she wouldn’t be surprised if at some future point my MS might go into a long period of remission as this was something that she had encountered in other patients. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened yet but I’m still very hopeful that day will eventually come to pass.
With all of that said, I think that it is very important for anyone who has Multiple Sclerosis to have a talk with their Neurologist about just where on their MRI’s their lesions are showing up and what that means for their own long term prognosis. It may not change anything but I do think that it’s important to know and may add some information about your future MS progression. Remember the information about Multiple Sclerosis is changing everyday so cross examining your Neurologist may be something to consider especially if you haven’t done so for awhile!
Researchers have contemplated for years that Multiple Sclerosis may have an environmental component to it. Whether or not it’s the main trigger or just one of many factors that happens to fall in just the right order to disrupt the immune system is what scientists are currently trying to determine in an effort to eventually be able to break the chain of this devastating disease.
One thing that has gotten quite a bit of scrutiny is our body’s reaction to heavy metals in our environment with mercury being at the top of that list. The reason for that is simple; the symptoms of mercury poisoning are very similar to those of Multiple Sclerosis. And mercury is, and is becoming, ever more prevalent in our ecosystem. It’s in our water, our soil, and even in the air we breathe each and everyday. It’s becoming an environmental disaster as it combines with other compounds in the ocean as it increasingly builds up in the fish and the plants that we eat everyday. And the vast majority of this newly released mercury is being caused by one factor, the burning of coal for our vast energy needs.
There are still some people who do not believe that coal is having a global effect on our weather patterns. But no matter how you view the climate exposure to the burning of coal, the end result does mean, pouring vast amounts of mercury and other heavy metals into the air where it finds its way into everything else that it comes into contact with. And if you are a person with MS this cannot be considered, by any means whatsoever, a good thing.
I realize that we just can’t produce the energy that our country needs without burning some kind of fossil fuels but we have vast reserves of natural gas and still a healthy supply of oil that can be used until other alternatives can be developed and employed. But we have to learn to live without the worst of these environmental polluters, and that’s coal.
The DVD’s in the picture above are about coal, its use, and its extraction, if you’re interested in seeing them. You can find most of them at any local library or they can order them if you ask. And if you have MS, or any autoimmune disease, this is as much about your personal health as it is about the planets!
Rachel Carson, the author of the book Silent Spring, is often credited with having started the modern day environmental movement. Her work with the United States Government from mostly the 50’s through the 60’s was primarily researching the effects of pesticides on both humans and wildlife alike. And her findings were what she used to write her book.
If you have any interest in a quick, about an hour, video about her life then I would encourage you to check your local library for the film, Rachel Carlson’s Silent Spring. The film touches briefly on her work in the government but is more about her own life though I think it is still worth seeing. In fact I was so impressed with her work overall that I think Earth Day should be renamed Rachel Carson’s Earth Day and be recognized around the world as a holiday and certainly a national holiday here in the US. And how many women’s holidays do we now celebrate?
Now what does this have to do with multiple sclerosis? The pesticides that are used today are mostly created to sterilize the females of whatever insect you’re using it on unlike those first generation pesticides that were developed to attack the insect’s nervous system. And with that in mind I would love to see most peoples faces as they watch one scene in particular from the film where a pesticide truck is actually fogging several tables full of kids and there parents while they are eating lunch outdoors. The foggers clearly are telling these folks that this is a completely safe practice with no adverse health effects to worry about. And this just kind of makes me wonder, since I was a kid through all of those years, if perhaps my own eventual diagnosis of MS might have in some way been a direct, or indirect, result of this kind of thinking. Especially when you consider that many researchers today believe that some kind of environmental factor could be at least partially to blame for the onset of many autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis. They don’t actually think that these kinds of events cause the disease in question but they are starting to seriously consider if environmental issues like this may kick start the immune system into an adverse reaction to other factors such as a gene irregularity. We may never know, but I think it’s worth considering!
Scroll down for other articles:
MS and spontaneous remission, MS and vitamin D3, Can MS burn itself out?