Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Summing Up MS Awareness Week

Sorry it took me a couple of days to get on here and thank you all for your support and participation last week for MS Awareness Week. I am so touched from all of the things you guys did to join the movement. Here are some of the highlights of what you did last week:

Joined "Nicole's Angels" MS Walk Team....
Cecile Ashby, Melissa Gattis, Liz Ginn, Natalie Hodge, Kiley Muthig, RoseAnn Rapp, Mark Reagan, Melissa Reagan, Rene' Reagan, Renee Reagan (Courtney, I know you said you signed up, but you're still not on the roster, you should probably check on that)

And some of you have already made donations and/or raised donations....
RoseAnn Rapp, Renee Reagan, Kathy Alexander, Karen Brown Hutcheson, Brenda Mitchiner

Karen Brown Hutcheson lives all the way in Chicago, IL and found out what she could do to raise the awareness in her area. She's going to do the Bike MS: Tour de Farms Ride 2008 for the National MS Society's Greater Illinois Chapter. THANKS KAREN!!

I know I didn't name everyone because most of you participated ALL week by doing the daily tasks: signing up to join the movement, writing letters to Congress, signing up for a walk or bike event, donating to the NMSS, and most of all spreading the word. And I can't thank you enough!

I really wasn't sure what kind of response I would get after e-mailing you EVERY day for one whole week. I thought I would probably drive you nuts, but most everyone responded WONDERFULLY! I've never felt so supported:)

I got so wrapped up in all of the activities for MS Awareness Week I didn't even realize Sunday, March 16th was the 1 year anniversary since I was officially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Can ya'll believe that???!!!

"I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Day 7: Suport the Society

It's the last day of MS Awareness Week!! And you know we were going to ask you for money at some point:) Well, that's today's task...Support the Society: Every donation moves us closer to a world free of MS. I made my donation to the National MS Society!!!

There's a couple of things you can do as far as donating:

Option 1: Go to this website and either write a check and mail it to the address given or you can just donate online: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/donate/index.aspx

Option 2: Go to my homepage for the MS Walk in September and donate through me and my team, Nicole's Angels:

Option 3: A good friend of mine from college is riding in the Dallas Sam's Club MS150 and he's dedicated the ride to me. His team name is Team Auwesome and they're even going to wear patches with my name on them!!! He's super sweet and is trying to raise money for the NMSS, check out his site and donate through him:

It doesn't matter how you go about it, just please make some sort of a donation to the NMSS. Even if it's just $20, that $20 can help bring us closer to a cure!! I thank you in advance for your generosity and support!

This is your last task!! I will try to post tomorrow with all of the wonderful things you guys did throughout the week. I thank you all for everything and for all of your support:)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Day 6: Make your Mark

Just finished my task for Day 6, Make your mark: Make your mark against MS and share it with the world, or tell your story on Face of MS. I told my story on the Face of MS. Here's the website:


It's really easy, you just go to the website, enter some information about yourself, and tell your story of how MS has effected your life. You don't have to have MS in order for it to effect your life. You can tell a story about someone you know that has MS....like me:) or maybe someone else you know.

It takes about a week for them to get your story up and running online, so you won't see mine or your's yet, but I'll be looking for everyone's next week!!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Day 5: Find Opportunities to Volunteer

TGIF!! Today's task is really important.....Find Opportunities to Volunteer.

I've already signed up for mine! I'm traveling to La Grange, TX on Saturday, April 12th to help Continental Airlines serve lunch and dinner to the riders in the BP MS150 during their pit stops. Doug and I are trying to find somewhere to stay the night so we can also serve breakfast Sunday morning before the riders start their last leg of the ride. The BP MS150 is a HUGE event, so I'm sure they need a lot more volunteers to help things run smoothly. And you don't necessarily have to go to La Grange....it starts in Houston Saturday morning, the riders stay the night in La Grange, and finish in Austin on Sunday. So, you have 3 different locations to choose from to volunteer. But, you don't have to volunteer at the BP MS150 there are plenty of other opportunities throughout the year!

Here's a link to the National MS Society's website to check out other opportunities to volunteer. Here's the Lone Star Chapter which is based out of Houston:

Here's the link to the NMSS main page in case you're not in the Houston area you can check out where your local chapter is located and what volunteer opportunities are available near you:

Let me know what you guys plan to do. If you find something you want to do to volunteer and have no one join you, let me know and I'll be there!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Expect 2 more posts from me with Saturday and Sunday's tasks, it's the last two!!

"There aren't enough days in the weekend." ....isn't that the truth!!! :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Appointment with Dr. Rivera

I saw Dr. Rivera, my MS doctor, yesterday. He wanted to discuss my eyes and my vibrating tailbone.

He said the vibrations in my tailbone could have been a small relapse. But, because it went away on it's own, he wants to treat it conservatively for now and leave it be. If it starts up again I'm supposed to call him and he may want to do another MRI to see if any new lesions have formed.

As for my eyes, he is going to discuss my case with Dr. Tang, the neuro-opthamologist who referred me to my current retina specialist that has me on the drops. He's going to let Dr. Tang know what's going on with me and see what her thoughts are on being on the drops for so long. Depending on what Dr. Tang says, I may need to see her again or she may want to refer me to another retina specialist to get a second opinion or we may just leave it be and keep on doing what we're doing now. Dr. Rivera did say though that it's pretty common for MS patients with uveitis to be on some sort of eye treatment, usually drops, indefinitely. So, I'll let you all know once Dr. Rivera gets back to me regarding his talk with Dr. Tang.

All in all though it was a pretty good appointment. I don't have to see him again for another year, so next March, unless something happens between now and then.

Day 4: Spread the Word

We're half way through MS Awareness Week, only three more days after today!! Today's task is the easiest of all....Spread the Word. All you have to do is e-mail your friends and family to let them know it's MS Awareness Week. In fact, I've sent out an e-mail to most of you already to forward on to everyone you know!! Every voice matters!!

I know it's not easy to understand what someone with MS may feel like. Since today's task is to spread the word, I want you guys to check out an awesome video that will help you get in the "shoes" of someone with MS and maybe understand what MS patients go through at times or even on a daily basis for some. It's kind of corny at first, but watch the whole thing, the best part is the second half. Just turn your sound up and click the play symbol in the center of the video screen.


To check out more videos from the "Moving Forward Film Festival" click on the link below (there are 4 others that are ALL really good):

One of the biggest difficulties in dealing with MS is trying to explain to your friends and family how you feel. There's really no way for them to understand completely, but hopefully the videos can help a little. Let me know what you guys thought of them!

Once again, I've made it super easy for you guys to complete the task for the day:) And thanks again for all of your participation. I have a good feeling Nicole's Angels will be even BIGGER this year!!

Until tomorrow.....

"Spread the Word."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Day 3: Sign Up for a local Walk MS or Bike MS Event

It's Day 3 of MS Awareness Week and you guys are doing AWESOME so far!! I'm so excited with all of the e-mails I've recieved letting me know what you guys are doing to participate this week. Quite a few of you e-mailed Congress yesterday to encourage the increase of funds for MS research, you guys ROCK!!

Today's task is SUPER easy!! Sign up for a local Walk MS or Bike MS Event. "Nicole's Angels" are back!!!! I've already set up the page for the MS Walk in Kemah, it's not until September 20th, but it's never too early to sign up. It's free to register for the walk, but you can make your donation now if you want to or you can wait....either way you know I'll get it out of you :) But definitely sign up today to walk!! We had an awesome turnout last year, in fact we had the largest team there! And we raised a whopping $4,529.00!! So, this year I raised the goal to $5000.00, I'll probably increase it though because I know we can do it!! Feel free to start your fundraising now!! If you're not sure whether or not you want to walk with us, check out the pics on my blog I posted on September 10, 2007 to see how much fun we had last year!!

Here's the link to my MS Walk page so you can sign up, feel free to invite your friends and family to walk too....the more the merrier!!


If you don't want to walk, then find a BIKE MS Event to ride in. Here's a link to all of the upcoming walk and bike events: http://txh.nationalmssociety.org/site/PageServer?pagename=TXH_events_homepage

I can't wait to check back at the end of the day to see how many teammates have already joined me!! Thanks for your support:)

"Walking gets the feet moving, the blood moving, the mind moving. And movement is life. " ~Carrie Latet

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Day 2: Contact your members of Congress about important MS research

I just finished my action to join the movement for Day 2 of MS Awareness Week and it feels great!! I sent an e-mail to Representative Al Green (D-TX 9th) asking him for his support to increase the funds for MS research. You too can write a letter.....it only takes a minute....seriously!! The link is below:


The letter is already typed up for you. You just enter your name and location, etc. and it sends it for you!! You can add your own story or words if you want to or you can just send the generic letter that's already typed up for you.

Please do todays task, it takes no time and should make a huge impact if everyone participates. We've got to keep the funds going for MS research so we can find a cure. Do you want me to have to complain about my injections forever??? :)

Thanks everyone for your support and participation. I've already got several e-mails from friends and family letting me know what they're going to do to join the movement this week. I'll be posting a list at the end of the week to share with you what everyone is doing to help.

Have a terrific Tuesday!!

"Research is creating new knowledge." ~Neil Armstrong

Monday, March 10, 2008

MS Awareness Week - March 10th-17th, 2008

Okay, it's here.....MS Awareness Week starts today and goes through next Monday, March 17th! It's time to make yourself and others aware!! Here's a link to the "Seven Days of Action" page to find out how you can do your part all week. It gives you one small task to do each day to make a HUGE difference and move us one step closer to a world free of MS.


I'm going to do my part each day, please do yours....it won't take much time at all and it's for a great cause! Even if you can only do one of the tasks, that's better than none:)

I'm going to try to post a blog each day this week to help raise the awareness and let you guys know what I'm doing each day. Today I made the commitment to the MS Movement and to participate in the "Seven Days of Action."

Please feel free to share with me what you're doing to raise the awareness of MS. You can e-mail me at nicreagan_2003@yahoo.com. I may even post your e-mails here on my blog to help motivate others to contribute to the MS Movement.

Sidenote: Please say a special prayer for me on Wednesday. I got a call from Dr. Rivera's office, my MS doctor, last Thursday and he wants to see me regarding a letter he received from my eye doctor last week. That's all they told me, so this makes me a little nervous. However, I'm hoping he just wants to see how I'm doing and if there's anything he can do to help with the symptoms in my eyes. We'll see! I'll let you know how it goes.

In the mean time....do your part!! And join the MS Movement!!

"Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Huge Improvement"

So, I went to the eye doctor on Monday and received good news. She said the huge floater was gone in my right eye and the inflammation in my right retina had decreased greatly. The inflammation in my left eye is almost completely gone. She said it was a "huge improvement" from last month's visit! I'm still on the drops at the same level, she said next month she'll consider decreasing the drops, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

I finally called my MS doctor to let him know about my vibrating cell phone in my tail bone. I spoke to his nurse and she said I don't need to come in, but it's great that I called so they can make a note in my chart to keep track of the date and time that the buzzing occurred. She said since I could pinpoint exactly when it started and since it's decreased significantly over the past week, I probably just strained my lower back lifting the groceries and aggravated some nerves, maybe even caused a little inflammation. The buzzing only happened once on Monday and once yesterday, so that's good. If anything new develops or the buzzing intensifies or becomes more frequent I'm supposed to call the nurse back and let her know.

Glad I could deliver good news today:)

"Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower."

Monday, March 3, 2008

Is there a cell phone in my tailbone??

Today there is good news and bad news. We'll start with the bad news.....It all started last Monday, a week ago from today. I went grocery shopping and as I was putting my groceries into my car I had to strain to lift a bag that had both the laundry detergent and the dishwasher detergent, so it was a little heavy. Right after I set the bag into my trunk and stood up, I felt this vibrating sensation in my tailbone area. I seriously thought my cell phone was vibrating in my pocket, so I checked it and realized it wasn't my phone that was vibrating. It was my tailbone!!!! It felt like an intense buzzing vibration, luckily I had no other symptoms with it other than some lower back pain from straining to lift the bag. However, I was nervous to go to bed that night because I was afraid I'd wake up and not be able to feel my legs. The buzzing lasted consistently until Thursday. By Thursday, it was off and on buzzing and by the weekend it was just a few times a day. So far today I haven't had it yet, but it is still early in the day. I know I should probably call my MS doctor and let him know, but I may see how the rest of the day goes before I call. Pretty weird though!

So, for the good news now....I know in my last blog I was pretty down in the dumps, but I'm happy to say the optimistic more hopeful Nicole is back:).....for now. I'm going to research through the National MS Society's website for some sort of meeting or gathering that discusses the emotional side of dealing with MS. I remember when I was first diagnosed I received all of the pamphlets from the doctors and the drug companies explaining how they are there to help us physically and emotionally. I never really understood how much emotional support one with MS may need. I know what I go through with the ups and downs emotionally is totally normal for people with MS, but maybe I can get some insight on how to deal with it. I do appreciate all of you that sent me the awesome inspirational and encouraging quotes and for those of you who kept me in your thoughts and prayers, you guys helped pull me out of my pessimism. I am so thankful for all of you:)

I have a follow up appointment with my eye doctor today, so keep your fingers crossed that the inflammation in my retinas has decreased. I'm now prepared to stay on the drops indefinitely, but I'd like the peace of mind that the inflammation has improved since my last visit. I'll blog again this week to let you guys know how the appointment went.

PS-MS Awareness Week is next week, March 10-17! I'm trying to get something together to do my part to make more people aware, maybe you guys can think of something to do too to help out.....even if it's just giving someone my blog address and telling them to read it!

"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back." -Maya Angelou