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Multiple Sclerosis

Monday March 2nd kicked off the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s MS Awareness Week.  The Society is asking for your support and involvement to help move toward a world free of MS.  Their website offers many ways to contribute your time, skills, funds or ideas to benefit those with MS.

Are you ready to move it?  Find out how at the National MS Society Website.  Thanks for your help.  Spread the word!

Related Resources:

*  Living with MS?  Thousands of Americans living with Multiple Sclerosis shop at Allegro Medical to find products to make their lives easier.  View all MS Products.

*  Don’t take your ability to MOVE IT for granted.  Read Hey, you…yeah you…MOVE IT to start moving like a kid again.

I don’t want to sound all drill sergeanty, but there are a lot of you that can move a whole lot more than you are, but you’re not.   If you’re tired of feeling stagnant and tight, it’s time to make a change.

Remember when you were a kid?  You didn’t just walk or run… or jog.  You raced, rolled, flailed, wiggled, nodded, skipped, tromped, flopped, kicked and twirled.  You dove, jumped, shimmied, hopped and scooted.  Yippeee!!!  Most of us felt free and happy and full of energy.  Even if you weren’t such a pretty sight, no one thought twice about seeing you snake through the grass, cannonball into the pool or leap through the air.  Even those with limited movement… moved.

Then, life happened.  You grew up.  You stopped moving like that – for fun, I mean.  Now, you move when you have to or because someone told you to.  Where is the fun in that? 

Do any of these situations apply to you?

1.  It was called ‘playing’ when you were little but later it became ‘exercise’.  So you stopped…

2.  Eventually it wasn’t cool to do cartwheels through the living room or shoulder rolls off the picnic table in the park.  So you stopped…

3.  You weren’t very good at organized sports or structured excercise,  or you were embarrassed to try/continue.  So you stopped…

4.  You have a disability that you think prevents you from “moving”.  So you don’t…

5.  Your have no rhythm and feel like a goofball when you dance or do aerobics.  So you don’t…

6.  You used to work out, but now you’re too busy and can’t get back in the groove.

7.  You think you need to join a class or go to the gym for permission to move.

8.  You want to move more, but you just don’t know how or where.

9.  You have a sore back…knees…hips…whatever.  WHATever.

10.  You’d rather sit around and watch tv or play video games.

Okay, I get it.  But c’mon.  Wouldn’t it be nice to move a little, for fun?  It’s time to get out of your head, out of your bed, off the couch and into the groove.  Let’s break it down.

Everyone knows the health benefits of exercise.  There are plenty.  I’m not going to get into that.  All I’m asking is that every time you think about it… just move.  Even if it is nothing more than stretching or adjusting your position.  Or how about breathing deeper?  Try it.  In through the nose, out through the mouth… 

Try waving your arms in the air, or wiggling your butt when no one is looking (or when everyone is looking).  Sing “I like to move it, move it.  I like to move it, move it.” while doing the sphynx across the floor.  Move your head from side to side, or back to front.  Stretch your hands and wiggle your fingers.  Laugh and giggle, expanding your chest.

More?  Scrunch your butt cheeks together over and over while you’re sitting at a stop light.  Do little tummy crunches while you’re still in bed in the morning, before you get up.  Take the stairs.  Park farther away from the entrance.  Walk the course instead of taking the cart.

Next thing you know you’ll be breathing easier and feeling stronger.   You’ll be taking walks after dinner or making up a goofy dance while getting dressed in the morning.   Then you’ll be turning off the tv and turning up the music so you can dance around the house…in your undies (okay, I’m getting out of hand, I know.)  But I tell you, movement is liberating!!  It doesn’t have to be structured or organized at all.  It can be just you feeling like shaking your groove thing.  How’s that for freedom? 

I was moved to write this because this week is National Multiple Sclerosis Week.  Several of my good friends have MS and through their struggles I see what it means to be able to move and how precious it is.  We take it for granted.  The MS Society’s slogan is “move it.”  They are asking people to help them move toward a world free of MS through various opportunities such as “Walk MS”, “Bike MS”, along with donation and volunteer opportunities.   Very clever.  We encourage you to learn more.

What’s got YOU stifled?  For me, although I hike and/or walk every day, I noticed that I just don’t move outside of a certain range anymore.  Hip shaking and arm wiggling are no longer in my daily vocabulary of movement, so to speak, and my range of motion is getting limited.  I don’t take the many, many opportunities I have every day to stretch and kick and twirl.  I don’t make enough grand gestures.  That stops now.  Now, I’m a stretcher and a kicker and a twirler.  Now, I make big, bold gestures.  Join me!  Put a sign on your mirror, you desk, your tv and your fridge reminding you to MOVE IT.

Need some props?  Check out Allegro’s 10 Products Under $20 to Get You Moving.

Right now I’m going to do lunges all the way to the bathroom.  Yes I am.  Here at work, past everyone’s desk.  I will get some laughs, and I’ll probably lose my balance for sure, but what the heck.  I’m moving!!  How do you move it?  Tell me below, please.

Thanks for being an Allegro customer.  We appreciate the business.

People have a real knack for improvising when it comes to getting things done.   Even when we’re weak or disabled we tend to figure out a way to get those cans open, or cut that piece of meat, or finagle those blasted peas into our mouths, even if it means having someone do it for us.  We forget though, or maybe don’t even consider, that there are products designed to do nothing more than make you more independent and make your life easier.  

AllegroMedical.com carries a huge – and I mean ‘hundreds and hundreds huge’  – inventory of Daily Living Aids designed to help everyone — disabled or not — get things done. 

Stop struggling!  Check out these  nifty kitchen gadgets and eating aids.  You might find a product to help you, or someone you love, make life a little easier.  Ahhh. . .

Kitchen Aids

New!  iTouchless products - Check out these stylish, ‘kitchen-forward’ 21st century gizmos including plastic bag resealers, electronic automatic pepper mill & salt grinder, paper towel dispenser, automatic water dispenser, automatic soap dispenser, recycle bins, trash cans and more.  Great gifts. 

High Chair - All-Purpose High Chair with Adjustable ArmsHigh Chair with Adjustable Arms - Sit up high while working at the kitchen counter or sink with this adjustable height chair.   Weight capacity is 300 lbs. 

 

Maddagrip Jar Opener  Jar Openers – I use these all the time.   We have a bunch to choose from, including the Hot Hand Protector and Jar Opener.  It’s a hot pad that doubles as a jar opener.  Neat, huh.

 

Easy-Grip Knives & Utensils - Perfect for weak hands and wrists.  These lightweight, dishwasher safe tools have an ergonimcally angled handle to keep your wrist and hand in a natural position.  Besides the knives, we have a grater, utensil rack, carving fork, cheese slicer, spatula and kitchen shears.  Get them all!

The Rocking “T” Knife is our most popular rocker knife.  It allows easy cutting for people with a weak grasp or the use of only one hand.  Get the carrying case so you can take it with you when you eat out.

See more kitchen knives.

 

    Paring Boards galore.  There aren’t your everyday paring and cutting boards.  Oh no.  They have special doo hickies that stick up and hold your food in place so you don’t have to chase it around before you cut it.  Some of them even have suction cups on the bottom (so you don’t have to chase the board too!). 

 

   Scrub brush for one handed use.  It suctions to the counter so you can clean your vegetables, your dishes, your fingernails or even your dentures!  Please don’t use the same one to clean everything, though.  Please.

 

  Pan Holder - Keep your pans from spinning while you stir with one hand.  Folds for easy storage in your drawer.

 

 Push/Pull Helper – If you have arthritic hands or weak hands, or short arms, or a bad back, use this nifty stick to push or pull oven racks or hot dishes. How about using it if you don’t want to get burned?  That’s when I would use it. 

 

Folding Shopping Cart – Okay, not technically a kitchen gadget, but they sell like hot cakes.  Sturdy, super affordable and cool looking, you’ll whisk goods to and fro for years to come with this baby.   Red or black.  Get both.

Eating Aids

  The Scooper Bowls with Suction are our most popular eating aids.  They stick to the table like glue and they are curved on the sides to allow you to get the food onto your fork instead of dumping it over the sides.  Great for children and adults.  See more scoop plates.

 

  Cutlery – From forks to sporks, angled , built-up, left-handed or comfort-grip, we have what it takes to get the food from your plate to your mouth in the most efficient way possible.  See all Eating Utensils.

 

Bibs – Keep your clothes clean with these mealtime protectors.  Great for both the eaters and the feeders.

 

  All eating and no drinking makes Jack a dry boy, so don’t forget your drinking aids!  Drinking straws, nosey cups, spill-proof Kennedy cups, they’re all here.

Is there someone in your life that could use a little help becoming more independent in the kitchen, or at the dining table?  Think about it and have fun poking around our Daily Living Aids sub-categories.  There is a LOT to see.

Other than that, I hope you have a fabulous day.  Thanks again for being an Allegro customer!

-v

My name is Lisa Hood. In 1992, at only 19 years old, I was diagnosed
with Relapsing Remitting MS. At the time of my diagnosis, a breakthrough
treatment, Betaseron, was being introduced to the medical community.
Betaseron was only available to those suffering from a more chronic,
debilitating form of MS, and even they could only get it by entering a
lottery. Now I’m 34 years old and there are at least five different
medications used to treat Multiple Sclerosis. I tried most of them, not
because I had to, but because I wanted to! You see I have MS, it does
not have me! Since I was first diagnosed, I decided to take control of
my life.

After an MRI of my brain showed scarring on both sides of my frontal
lobe, I was relieved to have an answer: MS is causing the paralysis to
the entire right side of my body. Just as quickly as walking became a
pastime, within a few months I was running. No longer dependent on a
wheelchair but graduating to a walker . . . cane . . .then poof!! I was
walking, dancing, and playing tennis as if nothing had ever happened. It
seemed as if in a flash, I went from being able bodied to paralyzed and
back again and I wasn’t the only one who thought “that’s weird, right?”
I like to call it part of the “Wonderful and Strange” things associated
with this disorder.

For seven years I did not need or want treatment. I would relapse every
once in a while, in a different form; numbness from the waist down,
numbness in my feet or switch it up and the left side of my body was
numb for months at a time. It’s more of an annoyance but, the “Doctors”
called them exacerbations, episodes or flare-ups. Hey, they like giving
things names and that’s okay by me. I have tried different forms of
treatment; Avonex (3 years) and Rebif (3 years). I also changed my
neurologist and for the past 2 years have been feeling better than ever.
Currently, I am taking Copaxone injections daily along with some
medications and really trying to get a workout regime nailed down. I
have my trusty “shower chair” so as to avoid any falling while wet!

In January 2006, my neurologist said, “Lets try something different.
You’re tired and I don’t think there is now or ever will be that pill
that is going to give you the energy you need.” I told her to “Bring it
on!”. I’m always up for a new adventure. Now, this is important, I trust
this woman implicitly with my health. She is more up to date on current
MS treatments than I am and she has only my best interests at heart. No
hidden agenda. She works for me. She is my doctor. Refreshing, isn’t it?
It feels that way to me and I am so thankful she is in my life. So, this
new treatment is low dose Cytoxin and Messna. Chemotherapy! And it has
helped. I only do it every 4 weeks for about 3 months but I have more
energy and feel great.

MS is a different journey for each individual, I try to enjoy mine and
go with the ebb and flow as best I can. I’m also not in this alone and
that is truly a blessing to me. I’m grateful and humbled by everything
my loved ones do for me and with me. I enjoy life. My take on everything
is to have a positive outlook. It sure takes away the stress when you
start with yourself first, then clean house by getting away from
negative influences. Kick the negativity to the curb and let the street
sweeper suck it up and out of your life. I am very fortunate to have the
amazing family and friends that I have. They are super supportive of who
I am. I also have incredible doctors, I ask tons of questions and follow
their recommendations as best as I can. It is very important to remember
the doctor you choose can be changed. He or she works for you, not the
other way around. Ask questions, I can’t emphasize this enough!

Having a fabulous DME like Allegro Medical has helped in meeting my always changing needs for things like shower chairs, grab bars, yoga equipment, (mats, medicine balls, light weights), ice packs (shoulder holder), walking aids and much more.

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