Friday, April 30, 2010

Family and Friends

THE CLAN

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." -- Jane Howard

I know the walk was a few weeks ago but I wanted to devote an entire post to my family and friends. The pictures above are of my family. I have an amazing family! I bet I'm one of the few people who can say that their entire family (except my grandparents who live in FL and MI) did the walk w/ me. Isn't that amazing? I feel so blessed that so many people care enough to walk w/ me and to support me. I hope they all had a good time too!


FRIENDS

"Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget." --unknown

Above are pictures of my friends. I have SO many amazing friends. I am so happy that so many of you could come out and walk. I had friends from high school, college, a few different jobs and old roommates who walked with me. And I had many other friends who couldn't walk but showed their support by donating. I am truly blessed to have such great friends who are their for me. Taylor - special thanks for my beautiful orange necklace. I wear it proudly.


THANK YOU to all of you who were there. I had such a great day with so many of my favorite people all in one place. I'm still amazed that we've raised $10,500 and are still expecting a few matching donations. You should all be very proud that you helped to raise so much. The Bean Team Rocks!!!!

How do you spend Friday nights?

For me Friday nights mean shot night and I don't mean the kind you drink although that sounds like a lot more fun! A lot of people have asked me about my medications/treatment for MS so here is all you ever wanted to know (and probably more)!
I take Avonex. Avonex is an injection that I have to take once a week. The good news is that it is only once a week. The bad news is that it is an injection (a.k.a. shot). And yes I have to give it to myself! Avonex has to be kept cold. Once a month I get a shipment of 4 injections that arrive in a cooler. Then I put it is my fridge right along with the food and drinks. There have been weeks when the Avonex is the only thing in my fridge! :)

Above is what it looks like. I get the injection, 2 needles and an alcohol swab. I lay it on my counter b/c it needs to warm up for about 30 minutes. It makes it less painful if the injection is warm when I do it.
So it is hard to tell from the above picture but here are the 2 needles I get. The one with the green bottom is HUGE. It is really thick and does not look like it would be fun to stick in my skin. The one with the white bottom is a bit thinner but still pretty long.

So one of the drawbacks of Avonex (besides the fact that it is a shot) is that it can cause "flu like symptoms" also known as feeling like you were hit by a truck. So I always take 4 ibprofen before doing my injection. That along with being well hydrated usually helps me feel better. For the first year of doing the injections I got REALLY sick. It literally came on fast and felt like a hard core flu and then within hours would be gone. So strange. Luckily I haven't had the side effects as bad lately so hopefully my body has finally adjusted to the medication.

Now it is time to prepare my thigh for the shot. I wipe the area with the alcohol swab. Warning- if you don't like needles you may not want to look at the next picture.

Then I stick the shot into my leg (don't worry I didn't take a picture of that)! Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it bleeds and sometimes it doesn't. But the best part is that after I do it I can smile because I don't have to do it again for another week!

And of course I throw the needles away in a special sharps container! So that is my weekly routine. Hopefully someday I'll be able to take oral medications. But for now Avonex is working to prevent major flares and hopefully stop the progression of my MS.


I am not being compensating by Avonex to write this post. The above information contains my thoughts and opinions only.

Monday, April 26, 2010

"I Walk for Auntie Jodi"

The Bean Team's Littlest Walkers (a.k.a. "Riders")

Peyton and Ella, my nieces, walked for the 2nd year in a row. This year Peyton is almost 2 1/2 and Ella is 14 months. Carter, my friend Joana's son, walked for the first time. He is 11 months. Last year he was in Joana's very pregnant belly! I love the fact that children can be involved in this event and learn at such a young age that volunteering and giving to a great cause is FUN! They had a lot of fun. They are going to be poster children for MS Awareness!

Trying to get a good picture of three little ones is not easy. At least they are all sitting! I decided to have special shirts made for Peyton, Ella and Carter. They looked so cute in them. On the front they said "I Walk For Auntie Jodi" and had a picture of jelly beans and then below that it said Boston MS Walk. On the back across the top they said The Bean Team and had the number 10 below it for the year - 2010.

I just love these two SO much! Again trying to get a picture with both of them smiling is not easy. And holding both of them wasn't easy - my arms were getting tired so we had to take the pictures quickly so I could put them down!!

Ella modeling her shirt and orange pants!

Peyton even had the MS logo painted on her face!

Carter looking a little sleepy!


Next year these three will be even bigger (of course) and I'll have to get the creative juices flowing early to come up with a really cute shirt for them to wear! Ideas are welcome. . .

Special thanks to our other littlest walkers - Adam, Grace and Will!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

2010 Boston MS Walk



The Bean Team walked for a second year in a row. The team grew a lot this year! We had beautiful weather which was really great. As of walk day the Bean Team had raised over $10,000. I am completely amazed with that total especially since it is still growing. Everyone did such a great job with fundraising and I'm really proud of my family and friends.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Milford Daily News article

On Saturday, April 10, 2010 there was an article in the Milford Daily News newspaper. Check it out!!

http://www.milforddailynews.com/features/x905416293/Franklin-woman-with-MS-hopes-for-cure

FRANKLIN WOMAN WITH MS HOPES FOR A CURE

By Ashley Studley/Daily News staff
Posted Apr 09, 2010 @ 11:45 PM
Jodi won't let a chronic disease like multiple sclerosis get her down.
Almost two years after her diagnosis, the Franklin woman will walk for MS on Sunday to raise money for what she describes as a curable disease.
"I think there is a cure in my future, in my lifetime," Jodi said. "The more money there is for research, the more we can figure out what causes this - and cure it."
Jdoi, 33, woke up one September morning in 2008 feeling a little odd.
"My foot was numb, so I thought I had slept on it funny," she said. "As I was getting ready, I was blow drying my hair - and as I brushed my hair, I realized my neck was numb."
She didn't think much of it, though, and went into work at Act of Love Adoptions agency in downtown Boston anyway.
After explaining the peculiar feelings to her co-workers, Jodi said they convinced her to see a doctor.
She met with a neurologist at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Brighton the next day.
"I was a little bit more freaked out because the numbness was all still there, and in my face at that point," she said.
Her doctor ordered an MRI and discovered she had multiple sclerosis, a disease that attacks the central nervous system.
"I was just in shock for a while. Even though I had numbness going on, I still felt pretty good," she said. "It's a weird thing to hear you're going to have chronic health issues when you're young and healthy."
Though Jodi  now has to give herself weekly injections of Avonex, a medication that slows down the progression of physical disability, she said always looks at the bright side and tries to make the best of it.
"I have some muscle weakness and some numbness, and adjusting to doing weekly injections is a big thing," she said. "I'm adjusting to trying to take better care of myself - making sure I get sleep and stay on more of a schedule. I'm much better at getting to bed early and getting a good night's sleep (now)."
Though she said she experiences silent symptoms like fatigue, the strangest adjustment is being the one to ask for help.
"I'm a social worker, so by profession, I'm doing things to help other people," she said. "I've always been active in volunteering for causes and organizations. For the first time in my life, I've focused on me."
Jodi   and her family participated in the Walk MS Boston event last year, and raised $6,000 for research.
"It was a really hard thing in the beginning, being comfortable asking for money not for someone else, but for an organization helping me," she said.
This year, her team - named the Bean Team after a childhood nickname (her dad called her Jodi Beans) - has raised $7,000.
Paula of Milford is impressed with her daughter's positive outlook.
"She was diagnosed late one afternoon and admitted to the hospital. By the next morning, on my computer were Web sites with information because she knew how upset I was and she wanted to help me," Paula said. "She's just a super kid. She took the bull by the horns and ran with it. She never complains - with all that she goes through, she never complains."
Jodi 's parents, brothers, cousins, nieces and friends will participate in the three-mile walk Sunday, which starts at the Harvard University Athletic Complex at noon.
Jodi  said she's passionate about finding a cure, and will continue to look on the bright side.
"That's a really amazing thing when a crisis happens, you see people rally around you and stay supportive," she said. "It's been 18 months and I still have people asking me how I'm doing. It's amazing to know they're in my court for whatever I'll need."
To find out more about Jodi  and the walk, visit main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/jodi.
Ashley Studley can be reached at 508-634-7556 or astudley@cnc.com.



Am I really doing this??

So here goes nothing! I've read blogs for years. Many of my friends and clients have them but never did I think that I would have one! As I fundraised for the Boston MS Walk this year I realized what a great tool Facebook was and it got me thinking that maybe a blog would be a good way to connect with people and post updates about my life with MS.

I plan to share pictures from the Boston MS Walk and other events that I attend. I hope that my supporters will enjoy following and receiving updates about The Bean Team!!