On the last day of Pain Awareness month, check out the “State of Pain” in Michigan report. The report was picked up by the Associated Press and media outlets around the country heralded Michigan’s resources for accessing pain treatment and management. http://wnmufm.org/post/mi-agencies-address-chronic-pain-management
Read the recommendations of the Michigan Advisory Committee on Pain and Symptom Management; and all the best practices and pain self-management tips here: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-35299_63294_63303_45947—,00.html
Myasthenia Gravis Awareness month came on the heels of grieving my dear Papa’s passing. A minor flare in symptoms served as a good reminder of the mind-body connection. Even though I am consoled by the blessings through his life and his last days, with recognition of facial muscle weakness and inability to draw a deep breath, I made a conscious effort to say out loud each morning and before sleeping,
“I am well, I am well…All is Well”.
As I affirm that I love every working muscle and every muscle needing a little encouragement, wellness settles into body and soul.
With only four days left of MG Awareness month, I invite you to “Like” the Facebook “Coraggio—Lesson from an Italian Grandmother” page, and while there grab some courage and join me in shouting, “With Courage I Can!”
Extreme heat can worsen symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis.
But did you know that extreme cold can also exacerbate symptoms of this neuromuscular disease?
After diagnosis, it was suggested I to try to select my environs as if a hothouse orchid – moderate temperatures.
With the sub-zero wind howling against my window tonight, this Southern-Italian-blooded girl rather imagines the viticoltore (grapevine grower) who caringly selected the spectacular setting in this photo for his beloved crops. Nestled along the Naples, Italy, coast, near the homes of cousins Flavio and Daniela Starnone, the soft Mediterranean breeze soothes the plants from the summer heat. Yet the caretaker of the vines knows the modest winter temperatures will nurture the purplish globe fruit to optimal sugar content and succulence—without bringing harm.
Tonight I am reminded to care for myself as the viticoltore does his grapevines. It is okay to turn the thermostat up a couple more degrees, nestle under a fluffy comforter with my photo album, and convey myself to a sunny seaside stroll between the rows of a Neapolitan vineyard. Salute and stay warm!
For those of you who struggle for hope this day…I reflect on the hope of the rosebud outside my window. As darkness fell each night this week I yearned for it to bravely endure despite frosty air. At dawn’s first light I rushed to glimpse—Yes! Vibrancy amid the grey!—its endurance brought me amazement’s inspiration.
A Rosebud’s Hope
The hope of the rosebud, that no matter how dark and despairing the night, it must continue, to bring the full potential it bears. For the bud knows that by its mere existence at the break of the dark, desperate struggle, its exquisite beauty and miraculous endurance will shine inspiration upon all whose gaze it greets. Hope. Always Hope. Spero sempre.
Need a dose of inspiration or hope?
The 2013 Coraggio award is presented to a woman who was diagnosed several decades ago—before there were many treatments for Myasthenia Gravis. Despite being hospitalized for months she faced her situation with tremendous courage. Her amazing career and extraordinary MGFA volunteer efforts stems from her philosophy of:
“…maintain a positive attitude about yourself. Always keep the faith and have hope for a better tomorrow – especially when it appears MG is controlling your life.”
For the first 15 years after diagnosed, she lived without knowing another MG patient, thus she made her it her mission to connect others with MG. She used her MG diagnosis to change the world for better—her positive energy and determination resulted in connecting hundreds of people so no patient or caregiver would feel alone in figuring how to live with MG. Today, because of her courage and resolve in the face of an otherwise devastating illness, we have the local MG Foundation Great Lakes Chapter and several regional Michigan support groups.
To Esther Land, never a more deserving award winner—Bravissimo!
The Trifecta of Italian Fall Harvest
Figgy Friday – Fresh Fig and Almond tarts (gluten-free!) – Phenomenal harvest from sister’s fig tree
Sour Saturday – Making Limoncello with Uncle Mikey (ready in time for holiday gift-giving!)
Savory Sunday brunch – Fall Harvest Fritatta – thick bed of full-bodied tomatoes and unearthed garlic bulbs; topped with red pepper cubes and ribbons of fresh basil!
I am grateful for the gift of this day: celebrating the 80th birthday of my father, Pasquale Francesco,
and noticing his eyes fill with tears, as surrounded by every one of his children and grandchildren, they bowed their heads for Grace before the meal and spoke gratitude to God for his wisdom and love these many years.
Lisa Gigliotti is an attorney who has lived for more than twenty-five years with severe rheumatoid arthritis and serious myasthenia gravis. Through those years’ thirteen major surgeries and use of a wheelchair Lisa has maintained a fulfilling and positive life.Read More