The Truth About Endometriosis 

Endometriosis a condition that only affects women and can change their lives forever. Why am I discussing this you ask? Well, along with other conditions I have talked about this month, March is Endometriosis awareness month.  A lot of people have heard of the condition but don’t really know what it’s all about. Or how if affects a women’s life. So today I dove into some research about Endometriosis (Endo) so I could share with you. 

What is Endometriosis? According to the Endometriosis Association, Endometriosis is a painful, chronic condition that affects at least 6.3 million women and girls in the U.S., 1 million in Canada, and millions more around the world. It occurs when the tissue that which lines the uterus (tissue called the endometrium) is found outside the uterus. It can be found in the abdomen on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and ligaments that support the uterus; the area between the vagina and rectum; the outer surface of the uterus; and the lining of the pelvic cavity. Endometrial growths may include the bladder, bowel, vagina, cervix, vulva, and in abdominal surgical scars. 

The Endometriosis Association says that “the misplaced tissue develops into growths or lesions which respond to the menstrual cycle in the same way that the tissue of the uterine lining does: each month the tissue builds up, breaks down, and sheds. Menstrual blood flows from the uterus and out of the body through the vagina, but the blood and tissue shed from endometrial growths has no way of leaving the body. This results in internal bleeding, breakdown of the blood and tissue from the lesions, and inflammation — and can cause pain, infertility, scar tissue formation, adhesions, and bowel problems.”

What causes Endometriosis?

According to Endometriosis.org “There is no known cause of endometriosis but it is highly likely that certain genes predispose women to develop the disease [6]. Thus, women have a higher risk of developing endometriosis if their mother and/or sister(s) are also affected [7]. It is possible that age when the menstrual period starts, other gynaecologic factors, and environmental exposures influence whether a woman is affected. Whereas evidence has been weak with regards to exposure to dioxin (an environmental pollutant) [8] some evidence now supports exacerbation of its symptoms due to PCBs.”

What are the symptoms of Endometriosis?  

-Pain before or during periods

-Pain with sex

-Infertility

-Fatigue

-Painful urination during periodsds

-And possibly diarrhea, constipation, nausea.

Who is affected by Endometriosis?

It is estimated that’s endometriosis affects nearly 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years (ie. usually between the ages of 15 to 49). However, endo could start as early as a girl’s first period, any may not resolved by menopause, especially if the woman has scar tissue or adhesions from the disease and/or surgery.

How is Endometriosis diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Endo is tricky, because it will not show up on any CT Scan, X-Ray, MRI or Ultrasound. Other than being diagnosed by the symptoms, which is hard to do because the symptoms on Endo could also be the symptoms of many other things. The only really way to diagnose Endo is surgery. This is done laparoscopically. They go in and take a look around and if Endometriosis is found they can take care of those spots while they are in there. 

How is Endometriosis treated and is there a cure?

At this time there is no known cure  for Endo. However,  endometriosis can be treated effectively with drugs. That being said most treatments are not suitable for long-term use due to side-effects.  Surgery can be an effective treatment, as they remove endometriosis lesions and scar tissue, but success rates depend on the how extensive the disease is and the surgeon’s skills.  Some say pregnancy is a cure because pregnancy may relieve symptoms,  but in the long term this is not a cure for the disease. Hysterectomy, with removal of all the disease at the same time, may relieve symptoms, but had not proven to be a cure  either. Removal of the ovaries when they do the hysterectomy increases the chances of pain relief but also causes the patient to go into immediate menopause.

It has been thought at times that Endo is an autoimmune disorder, however this has not be proven at this time. 

-Amber

Facts about endometriosis

http://www.endometriosisassn.org/endo.html

My Letter to Lupus 

Dear Lupus, 
You came into my life with asking, without an invitation. You came in and made it known by all that you were GOING TO BE THE CENTER OF ATTENTION. Who asked you to come? Who asked you to come into my body and take my life away?? I sure as hell didn’t. 
Looking back you made yourself known and reared your ugly head the first time when I was in highschool. Although no one called you that. They just said I had mono forever. I always wondered why the simplest tasks made me exhausted and the people around me could go for hours. It was because of you LUPUS. 
You went away for several years for the most part and I was grateful. Then again in my head I wondered why I could never stay up as late as kids my age or couldn’t run like the kids my age etc. it was bc of you. Damn you.

Finally five years ago you officially made your move. You moved in for good. Although we never discussed this. I never agreed to this. I didn’t give you a key or clear out a drawer for you. Instead you just made yourself welcome. Since that day long ago. You’ve made my life or a good part of it a living hell. I have lost several friends because they think I don’t want to see them or that I’m just full of excuses as to why I don’t want to go out to the bar after work. Or because they simply don’t understand when I say I’m tired it’s not just lay down and take a nap tired it’s pure exhaustion. The one thing you’ve taken away from that hurts the most is the fact that I can’t see my baby sister play most of her games. Because of the heat. And it literally has broken my heart. 
You came and brought along uncontrolled pain (at times) long term steroids (leading to weight gain) inability to be in the heat or sun, sleep issues, and a plethora of other very undesirable diseases that go hand in hand with you. I can’t thank you enough for your generosity. You’ve done enough. Now go away and take all the “gifts” you’ve brought with you that are also not welcomed here.

One of the reasons I hate you the most is because between you and your friend endometriosis I will no longer be able to carry my own baby. And I’ve never wanted anything more than to be a mother. But because of you, your side effects of the drugs I take to treat yoh and your friend endometriosis that’s no longer possible. My lifelong goal gone in a second.

You can also take adrenal insufficiency and Hemiplegic migraines with you. Because of the three of you I had to quit my job and move home with my parents. Because you were all being so mean. My blood pressure would stay in the 70’s and 80’s and I spent more time in the ER than one person ever should because I thought I was having a stroke.

I’m tired of all of you. Tired of the medications, the depression, the anxiety and most of all the pain.  I never asked any one of you into my life, yet you are all here. You have changed my life in so many way I can’t even count. I’ve lost the majority of my local friends. I can’t finish my dream degree to teach nursing school because of you and can barely hold down a job. You need to pack up and get the hell out of my life! GO. GO I tell ya!!

I live by the verses.

Philippines 4:13 I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

-Amber

Product Review 

Two weeks ago I received the AMAZING products in the above picture to try out, from the lovely ladies at the ETSY shop ORGANICskincareByTNS. Almost every product they sent I totally fell in love with. 

They sent me their facial moisturizer, vitamin C Serum, Facial Toner, Shampoo/Body wash for her, body butter, magnesium lotion and Muscle Rub.  

The only product I wasn’t a huge fan of was the lotion. For me personally it was to oily. I run a little more on the oily side of the spectrum so it was just a little much. It was however very nourishing and made my skin feel really soft.  

The magnesium lotion was great. Helped with pain, and also I felt like it help me sleep a little better. On the bottle it says to rub on your belly for a good night sleep. And the couple nights I did this I felt like I slept better. 

The muscle rub is FANTASTIC. It works just like Icy Hot. But to me it doesn’t have the strong smell that Icy Hot does and it didn’t burn like Icy Hot. But it made my muscles feel better. Less sore. Anything I can find like this is a treat bc at times I can take less medicine bc of products like these. 

The Moisturizer, Toner and Vitamin C Serum are amazing. I had never used a toner before this one so I don’t have a lot to compare it to. But every night after using the combination of three my fave felt so smooth. And my complexion has been so clear since starting with these products. The moisturizer is very thin and not oily at all. I like that it is thin bc I can wear it under my makeup everyday and not feel like my faces is caked with product. All of their products have a very natural smell to them. Which is another thing I liked. I don’t like creams and serums that have a strong smell because I am more prone to get headaches from products that have a strong smell. 

Last but definitely not least the Shampoo/Body Wash for her. This stuff is truly fantastic. It’s non sudsing so you don’t need a lot. And it really cleans your hair. I was actually able to go 8 days without washing my hair.  And it wasn’t until the very last day did it even begin to look slightly oily. (I don’t wash my hair but about twice a week anyway bc the more I wash it the more oil my and greasy it gets. So this was great!!!! And it works just as well as a body wash. My skin was soft and very clean. And again you don’t need a lot to do the job. One of the best parts other than it being organic is that there are no artificial scents in this product. So the smell is nice and fresh without being overwhelming. This one I’ll be buying more of for sure!! 

 I actually can’t wait to try other products that these ladies have. I have tried many moisturizers and face prouducts and this line is by far my favorite for many reasons. These products are truly organic and don’t have any dyes or coloring in them. And they just feel good on your skin!!!  

April was so great. She offered y’all a coupon code that can be used in their ETSY shop(will not work on their product website). Below is the code and it’s conditions for use; 

25% off all available products on purchases of $35 or over, valid thru April 30th

the code is: THEWORLDSEESNORMAL25
I highly recommend you go check this shop out. You will NOT be disappointed by the products. 

-Amber 

The Real Story- Depression and Suicide

Suicide and depression are topics that no one wants to talk about. But they real. And it’s something we need to spread awareness about.  As well as spread awareness on how people can get help when they feel like suicide is their only option.  According to the CDC there were nearly 43,000 suicides  in the US in 2014 and nearly 1.3 million suicide attempts. That averages out to avoid 113 suicides each day or one every 13 minutes!  That same year suicide was the 10th leading cause of death.  That number is very shocking! 

Depression, which is often times a contributing condition to suicide affects a large part of the population. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America there are about 15 million adults affected by depression in 2016. That 15million is about 6.7 percent of the population of those over 18 years of age. That is a HUGE number. Think of all the people you know, now think about how many of those people have admitted they do or have suffered from depression.  I would take a guess that you can’t think of more than a handful who have actually admitted it.  While looking at statistic it’s found that people who suffer from a chronic illness has a much high orevelance for depression than the average person.  The question is why is such a huge problem something that so few will talk about!??

Patients with chronic medical illnesses have been found to have two- to threefold higher rates of major depression compared with age- and gender-matched primary care patients.Rates of depression in primary care patients are between 5% and 10 %,8 whereas prevalence rates of depression in patients with diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD) have been estimated to be 12% to 18% and 15% to 23% respectively. (8)

People who suffer from depression may be seen as funny, outgoing, kind, cheerful and sweet on the outside. But on the inside they are filled with turmoil. They are oftentimes sad, and anxious and the last thing they want to do is be around people. As long as they can they will put on a brave face and pretend like nothing is wrong! Why? Because depression is often seen as taboo. Or as someone just whining and wanting attention.  And many times the person suffering from depression doesn’t talk about it because they don’t feel like they would like the response they would get from others. Or they just simply don’t realize that they are depressed (or as severely depressed as they are!)  Most people have no idea just how serious depression can be. Nor do they realize the problems depression can cause. 
Depression doesn’t always look like it is portrayed in the movies. People don’t just lay in bed for days and not shower. Depression can appear in many different ways.  Acording to the Mayo Clinic Website the following issues can all signs of depression. 

-Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness

-Sleep: early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep

-Whole body: excessive hunger, fatigue, loss of appetite, or restlessness

-Behavioral: agitation, excessive crying, irritability, or social isolation

-Cognitive: lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide

-Weight: weight gain or weight loss

-Also common: poor appetite or repeatedly going over thoughts

So by looking at this list it’s clear that depression has many faces.  Now that we know what depression could look like, let’s take a look at what can happen as a result of untreated or poorly treated depression. Untreated depression can lead to many issues like problems at work, relationship issues, and it can slow down the recovery time for illness. Depression can also increase the chance of risky behaviors like alcohol &/or drug addiction.  A study was recently done with those who have clinical depression who also have had a stroke or have heart disease. They found that the patients with depression had a harder time following physicians orders and coping with their illness. They are had a more difficult time making healthcare decisions. Another study showed that those who are depressed have a much higher risk of dying in the first few months after having a heart attack.  

Do men and women react differently to untreated depression?  Yes, men often times will exhibit fear, anger and violent behavior more often then women. In addition a depressed male may make more bad decisions and participate more in reckless and dangerous activity like reckless driving or unprotected sexual activity. 

How do you treat depression? What are the options?  Well, there are a lot of options for treatment. One of the biggest, other than medications, is therapy. It is thought that is the client can sit and talk to someone who isn’t invested, like family or friends, it will be highly beneficial. As they are able to get their feelings out and talk about things they wouldn’t want to, or feel comfortable talking to their friends and family with. Options for therapy include: Cognitive behavioral therapy, Behavior therapy, and Psychotherapy. Another option for treatment is medications that fall intothe following categories: SSRI which eases the symptoms of depressed mood and anxiety. (Zoloft or lexapro). Antidepressants which prevents or relieves depression and elevates moods. (Wellbutrin or Effexor). Anxiolytic which can Relieve anxiety and tension. May promote sleep. (Buspirone). And lastly Antipsychotic which Reduces or improves the symptoms of certain psychiatric conditions. (Abilify) 

According to Web MD nearly 90% of all who commit suicide have a history of clinical depression or some kind of mental health issues. Many times those who die by suicide also have some sort of addiction, like alcohol or drug addictions. Depression is a risk factor for suicide along with the list below. 

RISK FACTORS FOR SUICIDE:

-One or more prior suicide attempts

-Family history of mental disorder or substance abuse

-Family history of suicide

-Family violence

-Physical or sexual abuse

-Keeping firearms in the home

-Chronic physical illness, including chronic pain

-Incarceration

-Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others

Those are risk factors that can lead to suicide. Now here are warning signs to watch for in someone you think is very depressed and possibly suicidal. 

WARNING SIGNS:

-Always talking or thinking about death

-Clinical depression — deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse

-Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights

-Losing interest in things one used to care about

-Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless

-Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will

-Saying things like “it would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”

-Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy

-Talking about suicide or killing one’s self

-Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

-Be especially concerned if a person is exhibiting any of these warning signs and has attempted suicide in the past. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, between 20% and 50% of people who commit suicide have had a previous attempt.

So now we know what depression may look like or present itself. And that depression along with other issues are a risk factor for suicide, We have also looked at warning signs to watch for in someone who is depressed or possibly suicidal. But how we can we help prevent suicide? 

First and foremost if you have a person in your life that is talking about suicide ALWAYS TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY!!! If you can sit down and talk with the person face to face. Find out if they have an actual plan. But don’t argue with them about their plan or about suicide in general. Talk with them and make sure that they know you care about them and that you are listening. You should ALWAYS AVOID statements like “Oh you have so much to live for!” Try to find out if the person has ever received mental health care and if they are currently being treated by a mental professional. And if the person has a real plan and you know that they will most likely implement that plan do your best to get them help as quickly as possible.  

Where can I get help for a suicidal friend or family member?  Locally you can always take them to the nearest ER. Or if you don’t feel comfortable transporting or they will not allow you to, you can always call your local law enforcement.  They have been trained and know how to talk to and deal with a suicidal person.  You can also call the suicide help line Call 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) or the deaf hotline at 800-799-4889.  You can call these number anytime day or night. There will always be someone on the other end to help you. 

Depression is a serious condition and should not be looked at or treated lightly. Like noted above 90% of all the people who commit suicide have depression or some kind of mental illness.  In this post you were provided with the signs and symptoms of depression, risk factors for suicide and behaviors to watch for that often will precede suicide. If you have any questions or concerns alway contact your primary health provide or a mental health provider. And remember to never blow off someone who is talking about committing suicide because they may actually take those actions.  

-Amber 

Resources:
1. https://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
2. http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5672782

3.http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/29569/1/the-real-reasons-we-are-silent-about-depression

4.https://www.gstatic.com/healthricherkp/pdf/major_depression.pdf

5.http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/untreated-depression-effects

6.http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-recognizing-signs-of-suicide

7.https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide-datasheet-a.pdf

8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181964/

Product Review 

A few weeks ago I reviewed awesome products from Louise from LouisesSewingBasket on Etsy. She was kind enough to send me a port pillow and a recovery pillow. I started using them both last week in the car and I love them. The port pillow is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a small pillow that you Velcro around the seatbelt to protect your port. It also works nicely to keep the seatbelt from rubbing your neck!  It’s so handy and easy to use. And it’s nice to have that protection from the seatbelt for your port. Especially if it is new or sore.  And the recovery pillow is fantastic too. I have been using it in the car behind my back. It’s just the right size for to put down in the small of my back to help alleviate some of the back pain I feel when in the car for long periods of time. I have also tried sitting on it and it works great that way as well.  Both pillows are machine and washabke and come with instructions on how to do so.  Louise has a ton of different fabric choices to choose from so you can match the interior of your car or have a little fun with color. Louise herself is very very sweet and super easy to work with. And she is always quick to respond to emails sent to her shop.  I would highly recommend you check out she shop and her pillows!!!  I absolutely love both of the ones I received. 

Louise was kind enough to offer my readers a coupon code. Below is the coupon code and the information needed to use it. So go check out her Etsy shop. 

You can add it to the shopping cart when checking out. It is a $1.50 off the full purchase of any order in my shop that is $5.95 or over.

 Coupon code: AMBERBLACKBURNREADERS 
-Amber 

World Down Syndrome Day

Today is Worldwide Down Syndrome Day. Why you are ask am I writing about this. Well, simply because everyone has probably known at least one person or one family that has been affected by Down syndrome. And we need to spread awareness. According to research there are approximately 200,000 cases in the US alone every year. And is something that can happen with any delivery. Down Syndrome is caused by the baby having an extra or copy of the 21st chromosome. Everyone has 23 pairs of chromosome. And for whatever reason a person with Down’s will have an extra copy of the 21st. That extra chromosome then causes alterations in the baby’s development. Those alterations cause the changes we most likely expect in someone with Downs.  
A person with Down’s usually has low muscle tone, a small stature, an upward slant of the eyes, and a single deep crease across the palm of the hand. These are the most common characteristics of people with Down’s. Each person with the Syndrome may have a variation of each of these characteristics or none of them at all. It has been said that nearly one in every 700 babies in the US will be born with Down Syndrome. That number makes it the most common chromosomal condition. 
There are three types of Down Syndrome. 
1. Trisomy 21 (nondisjunction). Down syndrome is usually caused by an error in cell division called “nondisjunction.”  Nondisjunction results in the embryo having three copies of chromosome 21, rather than the usual two.  Prior to or during conception, a pair of 21st chromosomes in either the sperm or the egg fails to separate.  As the baby develops, the extra chromosome is replicated in every cell of the body.  This type of Down syndrome,in most common and accounts for 95% of cases. 

2. Mosaicism (or mosaic Down syndrome) is diagnosed when there is a mixture of two types of cells. some of the cell will contain the normal 46 chromosomes and some will contain 47.  Those cells with 47 chromosomes have that extra chromosome 21. Mosaicism is the least common form of Down syndrome and accounts for only about 1% of all cases of Down syndrome.  Research has shown that those with this type of Down syndrome can have fewer characteristics of Down syndrome. 

3. Translocation. This type of the Syndrome accounts for only about 4% of cases of Down syndrome. The total number of chromosomes in the cells remains 46. However, an additional full or partial copy of chromosome 21 will attache to another chromosome which has been found to usually be chromosome 14. The presence of the extra full or partial chromosome 21 causes the characteristics of Down syndrome. 

The cause of Down Syndrome is still unknown at this point. We know what happens, but we don’t know what causes the chromosomal abnormalities.  The only thing that has been linked is advanced maternal age. After the age of 35 your chance increases to 1 in 350 births and continues to increase from them. At the age of 20 your chance is 1 in 2000 births.  There is a slight link with heredity but even then your chance is only about 1% to have a second baby with Downs. 

As people with any condition there is a change for life altering complications. Babies(older children and adults) lives can be complicated by heart defects, leukemia, infectious diseases. They tend to have a low immune system so this puts them at a higher risk for pneumonia and other illnesses. They can also develop seizures, dementia/Alzheimer’s at an earlier age than most, sleep apnea and obesity. 
As for the treatment of Down Syndrome, it will vary from baby to baby and depend on the degree of the Syndrome. Most babies will need therapies (physical therapy, occupational therapy or even speech therapy along the way. And some will require special education when they get to be school aged. And as far as medical care it will depend on the baby. Many will require heart surgery at some point. Others won’t require any special treatment. There are also a lot of support groups, both in-person and online for the mom and families. These will give the families other to talk to who have been through a similar situation. The better understanding and treatment for these babies has greatly increased their life expectancy. In 1910 people with Down’s had a life expectancy of only 10 years. Now with the advancement in care and understanding of the condition the life expectancy has increased by 50 years. And it is though that a person with Down Syndrome can live to be 60 years old. And I’m sure as more research is done that this will only continue to increase. 
I have only provided you with a brief description and treatment options for this condition. But there are TONS of great resources that can be found online. I will place the resources I used to write this at the bottom of this post. 

Help me spread the word about Down Syndrome on this World Down Syndrome Awareness day. 
-Amber 
Resources 

http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/What-Is-Down-Syndrome/

https://g.co/kgs/SFhJLs

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/down-syndrome/basics/complications/con-20020948

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month.  So I thought I would do my part and bring awareness to another awful autoimmune disease. I decided I wanted to cover the following topics in the blog.   What is MS? Who gets it? What are the symptoms? How is it treated? And what can we do to raise awareness? So let’s jump right in. 

Per the Mayo Clinic no one is really sure of the cause of MS. But it is considered an autoimmune disease, in which the body attacks its own tissues. “In this case the immune system destroys the myelin, which is the fatty substances that covers and protects the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.” MS is a disease of the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS consists of the brain, optic nerves (which control the eyes), and spinal cord. The destruction of the myelin causes reduced communication between the brain and the nerve pathways. 

Due to the above noted destruction of myelin and the fact that in involves the nerves and the spinal cord. Common MS symptoms are: visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, and various levels of impaired mobility. More specifically MS can cause pain in the back or the eyes.  Tremors in the extremities may also be present.   They can have all sorts of problems with their muscles from cramping, to the inability to rapidly change motions, or could have involuntary movements, muscle paralysis, muscle rigidity, muscle weakness, problems with coordination, stiff muscles, clumsiness, muscle spasms, or overactive reflexes. It can also cause sensory issues like pins and needles,  difficulty with taste, reduced sensation of touch, or uncomfortable tingling and burning. And can also cause issues with bowel and bladder control.  This list is not all inclusive. There are a ton of symptoms that can be present in someone with MS. 

It is estimated that about 2.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with this disease. This number can only be estimated because it is not a disease that the CDC requires physicians to report. Also because the symptoms can sometimes be so vague. Most people who are diagnosed with MS fall between the ages of 15 and 50. MS is not something you you can “catch” from someone who has it. Although it does seem to have a heridatry link.  At this point there is no cure but researchers continue to try to find one.  

Right now the main treatments for MS are physical therapy to treat the muscle and balance issues. A neurologist is usually the main dr to treat Ms and will do with immunosuppressive drugs to suppress the immune response that causes the condition. As well as treating the patient with steroids to treat some of the symptoms and hopefully slow the progression. It is also recommended that people with MS see a counselor of some kind to help deal with the changes in their functioning and changes in lifestyle they are dealing with. 

Since there is no cure we all need to do our part to raise awareness. Simply because it can affect anyone. It doesn’t see gender or race.  It’s simply a dysfunction of the persons immune system. We can raise awareness by getting involved with or donating to the MSAA. The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. They are the leading resource for those with MS. They have many functions. They provide resources to people with MS, they fund research for MS and education for those newly (and not so newly) diagnosed with MS. One thing we can all do easily is wear orange during the month of March to raise awareness. As orange is the awareness color for MS. 

I have provided the link to the National MS Society. On that page there is more information about raising awareness and the things they are doing to do so. http://mymsaa.org/news/ms-awareness-month-2016

This was meant to be a brief but educational piece about MS and how we can raise awareness. I hope it opened your eyes a little on how many people are affected. And also give you an idea of how this disease affects those who have it. As well as provided you with resources to help raise awareness of this horrible disease. 

-Amber
Resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/symptoms-causes/dxc-20131884

http://mymsaa.org/news/ms-awareness-month-2016

Winner. Winner. Winner

The giveaway for the Lupus Necklace has ended and Barbara Kline is the winner.  Please watch for future giveaways on this blog!!

Barbara if you are reading this I sent you an email regarding the prize and the information I need from you!!

-Amber 

PRODUCT REVIEW 

Some of the products I received to review were from ETSY shop FarmHouseCandlesKY. Not only were the owners Tyler and Ava just the nicest people, they were great to work with. And they have amazing products to boot! 

Okay, I know you are thinking candles?? Really?? What’s so special about candles?  Well, for starters I find candles to be very relaxing. I burn them when I take a bath and many days just because. So it’s important to me to find a good quality candle. And the candles from Tyler and Ava’s store are just that!!!!  They all made from soy so they burn so much cleaner than the average everyday candle. One cool features that is unique for this shop is that the wicks are wood. So not only does it burn cleaner, but you get this cool crackling sound while you burn the candle. Their scents are also spot on and truly amazing!!  They were kind enough to send me Vanilla, Peach and Lavender candles and Sweet Pea and Snickerdoodle wax melts.  Each were true to form and smelled just like they should. It’s been hard to choose what to burn because I love them all so much!!! 

One thing I expect from candles is the scent to fill the room, without totally overpowering it!  And these do just that. The vanilla and the snickerdoodle smell like you’ve got something freshly baked. And the peach, well like a peach. And the lavender is so relaxing. I have enjoyed burning it solely in the bathroom when I bathe, to help me relax at the end of a long day!!  Another great feature of these candles is the burn time!!  It is fantastic, and much longer than most candles. I bet I have burned my vanilla candle for 8hrs or more and still have half of it left. Something you don’t find with comercially made candles these days. 

These are the best candles I have found in a LONG time. And this shop will have a long time customer in me!! They have all the qualities I want in a good candle! Long burntime, burns clean and amazing smell!  If you are a candle lover I highly suggest you check them out!!  

Tyler an Ava have been kind enough to give me a COUPON CODE to provide to my readers for your next purchase. SAVE10 will get 10% off of your first purchase!  So hurry on over and check them out, because this code will only last till the end of MARCH!   You won’t regret it!! 

-Amber

NECKLACE GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am doing to a giveaway for this awesome Necklace Donated by Stephanie McElroy owner of the Etsy Shop HeelLilies.  Giveaway starts at 4pm Today March 13, 2017, and will End Saturday March 18th at Midnight.

TO ENTER:

1. You need to click on the link at the top of this post. (Mandatory)

2. Comment on this post (here on my blog) telling me how long you have been struggling with Lupus. (Mandatory)

3. Follow my twitter account(if you have twitter) Which is Lupiewarrior511 (not mandatory) 

4. Check out and like The World Sees Normal on Facebook and like the page. (Not mandatory)

Winner will be selected Randomly and Notified Tuesday March 21, 2017.

Good Luck to All