Posts Tagged With: summer

I’m On The Right Track Baby, I Was Born To Survive

Thank you Lady Gaga for those incredible words!

“I’m on the right track baby, I was born to survive.”–Wow. Profound for sure.

Lady Gaga’s song, “Born This Way” inspires me to get up in the morning. It helps me to keep on moving. It’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything and I think a lot of that is because I have had so much up here in my mind and yet not a lot of words or perhaps too many words to process it all. It’s been quite a month. We traveled to lovely peaceful Cambria again and were able to get away for a few days. I had a wacky week beforehand running around (as much as someone who doesn’t like to run and isn’t able to really run with MS and lupus can), then was on the trip and was able to take some deep breaths and let go, and then when I came back I crashed.

Life started getting really hard again when I was back home. The sun started getting more intense as June traveled through its days and the temperatures climbed higher and my body reacted right away to it. As I’ve mentioned so many times before, the summer is the hardest time for me. The heat makes my MS act up and the sun makes my lupus act up and they act up together and that creates what I keep hearing from everyone I encounter the oh so technical term and experience of a “Double Whammy”.


Um actually…NO. NOT GOOD TIMES.

This has happened to me every summer since at least right before my MS diagnosis in December 2002. Summer kicks my butt. I feel like a different person. I wonder if everything has gone “kerflooey” with my body and this is it. This is the big bad ATTACK of all attacks and it’s a “loopty-loop rollercoaster” (phrase given to me by my fabulous Chiropractor last week and I’m stealing it because it is a perfect description) and I’m done for. Except…that doesn’t really happen. What happens is I feel crappy. I start to get the “heavies” a lot more which remind me of heavy fatigue that feels like a dental x-ray vest thingie from the ’80s and that to me is a HUGE reminder of RED FLAGS GALORE to slow down and pretty much stop EVERYTHING. That includes using my brain too much because even overstimulation is a problem. Plus I start to tingle more, my muscles get tighter and achier and have a harder time releasing, I feel more weak, I get the MEGA BLAHS, I just feel gross, my cognitive symptoms really start acting up more than ever and I have a hard time focusing and dealing with numbers (used to be so good at numbers and math in high school and college and THANK GOODNESS I didn’t go into Accounting or something when I was being encouraged to because I’d really be at a loss now), I most often feel like the life is being sucked out of me and I could go on. Then I have these “better” times where I feel like I could get through. I still don’t feel as good as when all temperatures are cooler and my body finally has a real chance to cool down but there’s a calmer plateau to land on for a bit. Then it starts up again and it’s not usually the same as before but different so I have no idea what’s going on EVER.

The point is, life with my poor inflamed body is EXTRA EXTRA HARD.



So right now I’m trying to keep things more simple. Ha! Turns out life is still happening and things still need to get done but I need to go with what my body needs and the lines get blurry there. What does my body need? Does it need more rest? Does it need my mind to stop worrying about how I’m feeling and get a break? Does it need to be cooler? Sometimes it doesn’t like the cooler temperatures because then the lupus starts acting up more and making my joints hurt. Sooooooooo, I’m constantly stuck between a rock and a hard place and there is always a compromise of sorts. There is never a time my whole body (including mind) are happy.

And that’s why I share this Lady Gaga song with you. So much of this song is about acceptance of self. And what’s even more interesting about her is that lupus runs in her family and there has been so much talk that she has lupus but she says it’s borderline lupus. Who knows what that means but to me this song means even more because maybe just maybe she might GET IT.

This video may be just a BIT, yeah JUST A BIT, theatrical and over the top but the words say it all. The message is so clear.


I’M BEAUTIFUL…I’M ON THE RIGHT TRACK (even if it doesn’t feel like it right now)…AND I WILL SURVIVE.

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DUDE!: 85 degrees in Los Angeles, CA on March 1st?!

I mean I get it.  I live in a desert.  Los Angeles, CA is a desert.



I read today that today is the first day of Meteorological Spring.  Did LA skip any kind of spring and jump right to summer?!

Um, my multiple sclerosis and lupus are very mad at you weather.  They have been in a snit for the past few days anyway because it’s been in the 80s but today was just too much.  The sun has also been crazy intense and we aren’t even in the summer months yet.  Plus you jumped from 65 to 80 within a few hours and haven’t dropped below 80 during the day for a few days.

What happened to rainy season?  Are we not getting it this year?  That’s so uncool too.  We already basically live in a drought day in and day out.  We never really get the amount of rain we really ever need and I just heard that yesterday there was a brush fire in Riverside.  Now granted that’s pretty far away from where I live but it tells me we are in big ole trouble this year if this continues.

So this is the part where I start being really sappy nice to you weather because I mentally love you and am fascinated by your whole being.  Can you bring the temperature down about 15 degrees???  I think 70 is fabulous with a light breeze and some cool white puffy clouds in the sky.  Just lovely.  Some birds chirping would be nice too but I digress.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t last 85 degrees.  I get enough of those days during the very long LA summer and have to deal.  But March 1st is really hard to deal with.  It puts a whole damper on me and my life.  The sun and heat fatigue start and well that’s just yucky…


I’ll even deal with 75 degrees.  That’s OK too.

Just some thoughts…you know.

I hope I wasn’t too rude earlier.  It just gets me upset when I’m too hot and too sunned and it takes NOTHING for me to go there and then I get cranky and I don’t like that.  An un-cranky Nahleen is better.

SOOOO YEAH.  I guess I’ve stated my case.

Hope you listened, understand and can help me out…


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WOW! I have walked every day for 150 days!

AMAZING! I would never have guessed that I could do that before Physical Therapy almost 5 months ago. NEVER. And how does that saying go? “Never say never.”

Hey, if that’s true, I’ll say I’ll never lose the weight I want to lose ever. Do you think that’ll work? So I’ll be losing weight from now on right? Ha! If only. But you never know.

I am so proud of myself. I think it’s really paying off. I make it a point to take a walk. It may be 5 minutes or 30 minutes. It all depends on what I’m doing. It may be outside, inside, a walking dance meditation or I march in place. The point is, I’m doing it. That’s almost 5 months of moving my legs.

How cool is that? I have multiple sclerosis and lupus and I have been walking EVERY DAY now for months. I have walked even during this crazy hot summer, through hard times, better times, illnesses and you name it. I have WALKED.

One day at a time!

And I don’t plan on taking a day off from walking any day soon…

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Cheesecake Pie Yumminess!

Last Friday I was looking for creative projects to do for my sanity and I decided I was FINALLY up to whipping up this Cheesecake Pie!

Came out pretty darn good!


As someone with multiple sclerosis and lupus, I’m always looking for creative ways to express myself because otherwise I’d explode into little pieces and no one would like to have to clean that up.  Soooo, one of the ways I do that is to bake and make yummy desserts.  And since it’s summer and intensely hot and sunny I really can only handle making desserts that don’t require baking.  I whipped up this cheesecake pie thanks to an already made graham cracker crust, lactose free milk and a Jello Cheesecake mix.  I got out my mixer and mixed away.  I think I need to come up with more things to mix because I really enjoy doing it!

Anyway, as I mentioned before, I used lactose free milk and that’s because I found out I’m quite sensitive to dairy.  I have also used soy milk in the past and think I will again next time.  It still comes out with a great consistency and I think it tastes better!  I have also been known to put chocolate chips in the cheesecake part and on top.  I highly recommend doing so.  It adds an even yummier flare!

So there you go!  It was nice to be able to make something and use my hands.  Perhaps soon I’ll actually feel up to making a REAL cheesecake.  Hmmm….

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It’s So Hard to Have Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus and…Part 2

….do anything during the summer.

Sure we’ve been blessed with cooler temperatures than the rest of the country here in Los Angeles, CA all June and into July, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t summer.

Summer, MS and lupus mean more intense sun and more heat.  A BAD COMBINATION!

More intense sun and more heat mean my MS and lupus flare up more.

More flare ups mean I don’t feel as well.  They mean that I find myself negotiating every action I take even more and everything takes EVEN MORE EFFORT.  EVERYTHING.

I know this is how it works.  The summer is hot.  There’s more sun.  However, logic doesn’t block the fact that I feel worse.  Logic only seems to help me have answers as to why I feel the way I do.

I tend to either miss social events more or suffer more.  This weekend was a great weekend BUT it was still hard.  I was able to take an Indian cooking class on Saturday night and actually go and EVEN participate–BUT I had to take on the dish that didn’t require heat.  Kinda hard to do but I managed it since there was one dish that mainly needed to be stirred and then put in the fridge.  I still needed to wear longer sleeves because the sun’s UV rays come through windows and can still bother me.  I still ended up standing a lot which was my choice but still tired me out.  Sometimes sitting really isn’t the answer either.  I was still out and away from my home comfort zone and socializing which I love to do but it can be tiring.  It was still an EVENT.

Then Sunday I got up and baked some brownies for a post wedding potluck party.  I do enjoy baking but that required heat.  As much as I could’ve bought a dessert at the store I was up to making them so I did, yet that of course required heat.  Then I pulled myself together and drove to the party which was kinda far away but this newlywed pair is important to me so I wanted to go and support them and I still BASICALLY felt up to it.  I was at the party, wearing my hat, sunscreen, a sunprotective jacket and tried to stay out of the sun BUT it was still very hot, I could still feel the UV rays from the sun in the shade and it was one of those weird times when my MS and lupus were arguing and neither were happy.  Most of the time they will deal with a compromise but this time neither was happy.  With the jacket on I was too hot and my MS acted up.  With my jacket off I was too affected by the sun and my lupus acted up.  So I dealt as long as I could because I wanted to be there and then once I left and was in the car with constant intense sun beating on me through the windshield…


I had an awful wave of what I call “wave of weird” or “overwhelm” where I felt nauseous and too hot and too much sun and felt my body shutting down.  Enough was enough.  The sun was SUCKING the life out of me.  Then I had this crazy wave of emotion come through me and as much as I tried to hold in the crying, I let myself cry and that was what helped the most.  I surrendered.  I didn’t hold it in.  I didn’t fight any longer and I cried.  It didn’t last long but I had had enough.  When I think about it, there was nothing else to do but cry.  Now one thing to note is that there is an “emotion symptom” with MS where MS can cause crazy powerful emotions and sometimes random emotions to happen and you have no control over them.  I do think that was happening a bit–doesn’t happen that often but there have been times I’m pretty sure that’s what’s been going on–but most of it was that I HAD HAD ENOUGH AND I COULDN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.

So once I cried, so many of my symptoms cleared up and suddenly the freeway cleared (I kid you not–different freeway but it was still noteworthy) and I was able to get home pretty fast and crawl onto my bed in the dark bedroom with the AC on and rest.  Boy did that help.  A LOT.

And fortunately I was a lot better after that.  I was just worn out.  My body was quite fatigued.

I feel blessed and grateful to say that I’ve bounced back from the episode pretty well today considering what I went through (still VERY tired), but I wanted to be honest and share with you what REALLY happened to me yesterday–what REALLY happens to me during my bad times.  Parts of me still want to keep this private but I think it’s better to be REAL about this because the SUMMER IS THE HARDEST SEASON for me.  It’s very hard to put this into words but I hope you have a little better understanding of what I deal with.

One day, one hour, one moment, one thing at a time…

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It’s An ’80s Kind of Day Part 10!

10 whole lists of ’80s and they just keep on comin’!

I’m relieved that today is ’80s day because I need some fun, laughs and rest for my arms.  They are feeling very tight today (and for that reason the list will be a bit shorter again).  Hmmm….and on the first day of summer.  A coincidence when it comes to multiple sclerosis, lupus, heat and the sun?  I think not.

Sooooo, what can I find to distract me from my symptomatic woes?:


1. Cruel Summer By: Bananarama

And so to start off the summer right, how about a summer-themed song?  I sure hope the summer isn’t cruel to me (when it comes to my MS and lupus).  And oh my goodness did I love Bananarama back in the day?  Listening to them still gets me going a bit.  Oh yeah.  Their dancing is oh so cool as they walk together.  I gotta admit–I wanted to walk down the street the same way with some gal pals of mine back in the day (and now too) just like they are and they aren’t the first ones to do that strut either.  Did I just see a gas price of $1.48???  Wow, this really is old huh?  Do you think they had as much fun as they look like they’re having?  It’s true.  It was really hard to do any physical work outside in the heat with such big hair.  Wow.  Lucky Mack Truck driver huh?  Bet he thinks he’s gonna get lucky.  Yep.  That’s the Empire State Building in case we forgot.  How many shots of that do we have to see?


2. Ghostbusters By: Ray Parker Jr.

Thanks to a friend online for bringing up this song/movie the other day and saying that she always thought when he sings, “Bustin’ makes me feel good” she thought he said, “Boston makes me feel good” because that’s what I thought too and I haven’t been able to stop chuckling about it ever since.   Fun times!  How could you forget such silliness EVER?!  Ha ha ha!  Hilarious special effects!  Love the people that pop up out of nowhere to yell “Ghostbusters!”.  Tee hee.  Is he supposed to be a ghost?  Get it?!  Love seeing the clips from the movie.  Makes me want to see it again.  It’s been forever.  OK.  Why does he feel more like a stalker than a ghost?  I’m sensing an overall ’80s theme here in my lists of lots of stalkers.  What the heck?  I can’t stop cracking up over this.  Too hokey!  I just have to wonder, is he afraid of ghosts?  I just can’t figure it out.  (Corey–is that Carly Simon in there?–What the?)…So if we don’t know who to call about ghosts then I think we have a problem at this point.


3. She Blinded Me With Science By: Thomas Dolby

Such a unique song.  Awesome.  Had no idea the video had a silent movie feel to it.  Nice.  Oh sure.  She blinded him with science of the “showing some leg kind”.  Funny.  She’s quite the vixen.  I still love to go around and say in the high pitched voice, “Blinded me with science”!  It’s fun.  You should try it.  Oh the randomness is too entertaining.  Loving this!  I tell ya.  It’s pure blasphemy and trouble to be wooed by a woman.  We are trouble.  Oh and I love his eye makeup and glasses.  She’s the violin.  Nice.  Very creative.  Worth the watch for sure!  The doctor gets his “come-uppance!”  I love it!


And thank you to the ’80s for more distracting fun!  My hands and arms are now yelling at me.  Time to rest them!

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