Volume 2, Issue 4 (Winter 2003)
One Monterra Court, Rockville, Maryland 20850 · 301-838-9555
Yes, I know this newsletter is late and I am sorry. Rest assured that it is shorter than most as another will be coming early in the year. Contributions for 2003 will be listed in the upcoming newsletter. Thank you in advance to all those who did think of us.
OK, that said, let me make it crystal clear what will make this the MS Center we want it to be: MS participants and their families AND funding. WE NEED BOTH! I am in a constant search for new Board Members who are go-getters and can make this happen. Unfortunately, I can only do so much.
It is up to our fellow MSers and our community to help us to find more participants, funding and the Board Members to make it all happen. If you or anyone you know fits any of these qualifications, please let them know about us and ask them to call us. We have so far to go and need your help to get there.
We have been approved! The Combined Federal Campaign is in full swing. All government employees who contribute to the fund can help us simply by designating #7499 as their charity of choice. If you know anyone who works for the Federal Government, please pass this information along before the campaign ends. We thank you in advance for your efforts.
Avonex and Betaseron
Avonex has recently introduced a pre-filled syringe which eliminates all mixing. The syringes still must be kept refrigerated. They are working on an autoject but no release date is available.
In January, Betaseron will introduce a syringe filled with diluent eliminating one step of the mixing process. A new autoject will be sent out to fit the new syringes. Medications should remain at room temperature.
Winter Class Session
Registrations are soon to come. Please don’t leave them lying around but send them in ASAP. The more, the merrier!
Need to Get Out More?
So, you have MS. So, at times you feel really down about it. That’s understandable – we all have our mood swings. Do you want to do something about it or let it take over your life?
There is NO reason to stay locked up and sedentary. Resources abound. Our exercise classes, support groups, family activities and lectures are great ways to push yourself to get out.
We live in a great location where museums and culture abound. Almost all places are handicapped accessible and can add enormous dimension to your life. NO EXCUSES!
Even transportation issues can be overcome. Ride-on and Metro Buses have lifts. Handicapped parking can be found in most parking lots. The metro is very handicapped friendly and last but not least … there is always Metro Access.
See our article entitled Help, Help for more ideas. It’s your choice. Let the illness control you or get out and do something to enrich your life.
Who’s Your Advocate?
Picture yourself as a scientist, trained to see a problem, classify it and fix it. What happens when the problem is hard to classify and there is not a solution? Now you know how a neurologist feels.
Patients come to them with symptoms. Once the Neurologist diagnoses the problem as MS, they are left with a predicament … how best to keep this patient at their current level of progression while a cure is being researched. Is it a surprise that the answer is frequently to see them periodically but to mainly utilize your family Doctor?
What if you don’t know if a symptom is MS or an illness? What if you are dizzy and your family Doctor thinks you have an inner ear infection while you are actually experiencing MS vertigo? Who keeps track of what medications you are on for what ailment?
YOU DO! Doctors are humans and can only work with the information you give them. It is up to you to keep a list of all of your medications, a file of your exacerbation, symptoms and when they occurred. Most importantly, it is your responsibility to keep copies of both your MRI scans and the reports written about them.
Don’t get caught without your history. It is up to you to maintain your records and keep track of when you should be treated. If you don’t feel well, check with your Doctor.
We are in great need of volunteer support. There are tons of ways in which you can help the MMSC with minimal effort. We will do all printing and are always willing to discuss reimbursement of applicable costs.
Do you golf? How about hosting a golf tournament?
Do you bike? How about a Bike-a-thinned?
Here’s a favorite – a Pooch Walk
Would you consider holding a dinner for power friends who may donate?
Have you ever held a Tupperware, Pampered Chef or Lingerie party?
Car washes and bake sales are fun and profitable
Like our restaurant outings and want to help plan one? Great! Call us.
We’d love to hear your ideas. All events where proceeds come to the MMSC are hugely appreciated. Please clear everything with us first and do not use our name without our permission. Helpers, you are awesome!
Not Another Tie??!!??
OK. It’s going to happen. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or holiday, people are going to ask what you want. You don’t really want another toilet plunger, pair of slippers or ironing board cover, do you? Make it simple. Tell everyone that you want donations in your honor made to the Montgomery MS Center. You’ve done your good deed, they’re happy and you don’t have to look happy over another ridiculous gift.
Hints from Heuga
SCHEDULING EXERCISE DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON
We all have busy schedules which seem to escalate during the holiday season. Our already hectic calendar becomes jam-packed with parties, shopping and travel. This often does not leave much time for exercise or recreation.
Exercise or physical activity is important in maintaining your hysical and psychological health. The benefits of exercise are well documented through research as well as individuals who report “feeling better” with their exercise program. At The Heuga Center we have heard many of these stories and continue to encourage those with multiple sclerosis (MS) to be physically active to the best of their ability, to utilize exercise as a therapeutic ritual. A therapeutic ritual in the sense that exercise is beneficial and therapeutic and it is ritualistic because it is consistent. This is a time during the day which can act as an “anchor” in which no one can take that time away. There are a lot of uncertainties in life, and utilizing MS as a therapeutic ritual allows consistency despite these uncertainties.
Therefore, we strongly encourage you to take time out of your busy schedule to make time for your personal health. Set specific times for your exercise program and remember that this is YOUR time which no one can take away. Be consistent and listen to your body. Try not to miss more than two days in a row and maintain a comfortable exercise intensity. No pain, no gain is a thing of the past. In order to maintain your health, it is not necessary to work so hard that you become fatigued. In fact, your exercise program should “energize” you.
If you are having difficulty getting motivated, exercise with someone or going to an exercise class. It has been shown that group exercise increases adherence to an exercise program.
Whether you are a long time exerciser or just starting out, scheduling your exercise sessions during the holiday season will provide greater success in maintaining your health. Best of luck!!
Online Shopping Mall
Remember that you can shop at your favorite stores for the holidays and raise money for the MMSC at no cost. Simply go to the shopping mall on our web site and shop for all you need all year long. Thanks.
Temple Beth Ami
Once again, we can’t thank the folks at TBA enough for their support and kindness. Our funding does not yet permit us to have our own location and the space they allow us to use is invaluable!
New Email Addresses
We are in the process of correcting our email list. If you have recently changed your email address and have not notified us, please leave a message on our phone or send us an email. Thanks.
Why Take Feldenkrais?
Feldenkrais, Awareness Through Movement is re-teaching your body how to move after it hasn’t for awhile. Kathleen McIntyre speaks of her experience:
“I do believe the first time I experienced Feldenkrais was tow years ago at a special class for the MMSC. All the participants got on the floor to do some specific slow muscle movements of their arms and legs. The overall effect seemed beneficial. I did not pursue such activity at that time because I was already involved in MMSC’s water exercise and yoga.
Last September, Karen, whose thinking has caused me to ponder said, ‘Kath, I think you ought to look at this’ – this being a series of classes on Feldenkrais taught by a physical therapist schooled in and committed to this way of viewing muscle movement. The process includes a sequence of movements designed to help the brain re-establish pathways to functionality.
The classes are taught for those sitting in chairs as well as some time given (if applicable) to floor work. I find it helpful because it pushes me to focus on small increments as part of the whole. I find that Feldenkrais blends and augments my water exercise and yoga.
American Girl Fashion Show
There is nothing like a happy young girl’s face staring at her idol on a runway. Thank you to all those who volunteered at our American Girl Fashion Show. Bravo to our many models:
Thanks also to the following vendors who contributed items we so desperately needed:
Drink More Water
UMD, Shady Grove Center
We couldn’t have done it without all of you!