The MS Gym Podcast

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December 4, 2019  

Stop Resisting & Start Surrendering: Making the Transition from MS Warrior to MS Strategist

In this powerful Throwback Thursday episode, Trevor will guide you through putting down your mental weapons of MS destruction and surrendering to a more strategic plan to defeat your challenges.

EPISODE NOTES:

- Is your "fight" against MS hurting you?

- Fighting is demanding

- Fighting to maintain who you were

- The secret to healing

- Are you fighting yourself or your MS?

- Fighting to prove your self-worth

- Give up, fight or freedom. It's your choice.

- MS doesn't disqualify you from being loved and worthy

- Picking your fights

- Surrender

- You can outsmart your MS

- A strategy for healing

- MS is now part of your story

Links:

The MS Gym

Brooke Slick

November 26, 2019  

Let’s Talk Mobility Devices. How Your Thoughts About Them May be Holding You Back

If you want a quick shot of inspiration as we head into the holidays, be sure to tune into this week's episode where I share off-the-cuff thoughts on mobility devices and the mind games we play that hold us back from participating in life.

PLUS, you don't want to miss the challenge at the end!

LINKS:

The MS Gym

Brooke Slick

November 20, 2019  

You have MS. Now, Who are You?

In this Throwback Thursday classic from Trevor, he asks the question "What is your MS identity?" Now that you have MS, inevitably, your life is going to change. Are you prepared for those changes? Are you going to be able to take the hits and rebound with a win? In this episode, as usual, Trevor brings the fire as he guides you through the ever-winding road of life with MS.

EPISODE NOTES:

- What's going to change?

- Internal pain and external pain

- Loss of control

- Feeling cast out

- Relationship loss

- The world doesn't condone "taking a break"

- The shock and overwhelm of MS literature

- Choosing not to be a slave to your MS

- When you're not sure that tomorrow will be any better

- Staying connected

- You're healing may surprise you

- Suicidal thoughts

- Moving forward when there is no road

- A winning record

- How to gain wins

- A win is a win no matter the size

- Track your wins for a week

- Victor or victim? Warrior or slave?

- Learning from losing

- What is your MS identity?

- Giving is winning

- What do you want to stand for?

Links:

The MS Gym

Brooke Slick

November 13, 2019  

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT - Binty’s MS Gym Victories

In this episode, Binty, a former pharmacist and mother of two, describes her long road to diagnosis, her discovery of The MS Gym and the subsequent victories that are helping her continue to thrive despite physical setbacks.

EPISODE NOTES:

- The long road to an MS diagnosis and the clear path to The MS Gym

- Trekking poles, AFOs and assistive devices

- The symptoms that affect her most

-  Which MS Gym movement plans she relies on for relief

- Use it or lose it

- Visible victories

- Cooking is a luxury

- Once and done is not the ticket

- Approaching her children about her diagnosis

- CBD oil for sleep and spasticity

- Mindset is everything

- How she handles an MSy day

- Using Trevor's motivational speeches for a boost of inspection

- Remaining active despite MS

- Seeking out social activities customized for your condition

- The power of meditation

- Prioritizing to preserve energy

- Don't be afraid to say "not today"

LINKS:

The MS Gym

Brooke Slick

October 30, 2019  

How to Survive the Overwhelm of the Holiday Season While Keeping Your Mindset and Body Movement on Track by Coach T

This week, we're sharing an epic throwback episode from Coach T where he gives advice on how to navigate the stress, overwhelm and oftentimes obligation we feel during the holiday season. I just listened to the whole episode myself and I've got to say, much like a favorite holiday recipe, it's one part pep talk. two parts straight talk, with a heaping spoonful of motivation and compassion mixed in. Let the festivities begin!

 Episode Notes:

  • Internal stress and external stress
  • The two camps of progress
  • Holiday stress is a global phenomenon
  • The overwhelm and added pressure of the holidays
  • Preparing for potential setbacks
  • The expectations others have of you
  • Staying compliant to your movement program
  • Thriving despite distraction
  • The worst thing you can do
  • Movement is the one thing that counteracts internal and external threats
  • Why putting off your movement meds over the holidays is a mistake
  • Stress of family and stress from lack of family
  • Preparation expectation
  • Asking for help is not a weakness
  • Delegating what you can no longer accomplish with guilt
  • Knowing when it's time to rest
  • Validation
  • Guard your time
  • Dealing with loneliness during the holidays
  • Don't take the holiday drama seriously
  • Remember who you are
  • Keep doing what you're doing
  • Have a good time! Choose to be happy.

LINKS:

The MS Gym

Brooke Slick

October 16, 2019  

THE MS CAREGIVER: Navigating this Critical Role with Realistic Expectations and Grace

EPISODE NOTES:

  • The evolution of the amount of care required over time
  • Failing drugs, failing health
  • When doctors don't acknowledge caregiver input
  • Preserving the patient's dignity
  • Being a spouse and a carer
  • The price a carer can pay if they don't tend to their own healthcare needs
  • Never underestimate how stress can affect a caregiver's wellbeing
  • You can't care for the patient if you don't care for yourself
  • Home modifications to make life easier for the patient and the caregiver
  • When your home feels like a medical facility
  • Handling a patient who has bouts of anger or lashes out
  • The Mirror Theory
  • Not taking a patient's behavior personally
  • The importance of support groups
  • Explaining your situation to family and friends
  • How to approach a child about a parent's illness
  • How organization is the key to your sanity
  • Utilizing white boards and diaries
  • Don't panic. Get help.
  • Planning for the future when your partner has a chronic illness
  • Don't stop planning for the future. Plan differently.
  • Don't lose yourself. Ask for help. You are not alone.

LINKS:

MS Caregiver Support Group

Aaron and PPMS

The MS Gym

Brooke Slick

October 2, 2019  

DEPRESSION - Recognizing and Managing One of the Most Common Symptoms of MS

Depression is one of the most common symptoms of a chronic illness. One half of the MS population will be faced with depression at some point in their journey with the disease. 

This episode's goal is to shed light on depression, not only for the patient, but for the family, friends and loved ones who care for them.

EPISODE NOTES:

- The definition of depression

- How to differentiate between sadness and depression

- What signs to look for

- A testimonial on depression from Tracy Pulkrabek

- When you lose the ability to do the things you used to

- Fear of engaging

- Isolation - What keeps you there

- How to approach someone you suspect is suffering from depression

- When you start to feel like a burden

- Rationalizing that depression is *normal"

- Communication is key

- Listening is essential

- Asking the right questions

- Opinions and judgment

- What NOT to say

- Why "cheerleading" is not always the best approach

- Depression is NOT a weakness

- How medication can precipitate depression and suicidal thoughts

- Figuring out your "why"

- The stages of grief

- Depression is not a linear journey

- Less telling and more asking

- How the MS Gym comment brought Tracy out of her shell

- Being patient with your emotions

- Moving past denial in engaging with the MS community

- Acknowledging that support groups may be one of your most valuable tools to recovery

- Helping Hands Support Groups

- Substance Abuse and Mental Health National  Hotline

-'Review of signs to look for

- Making space for conversation

- What types of medical specialists should you reach out to

LINKS:

Helping Hands Support Groups

Substance Abuse and Mental Health National Hotline - 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Psychology Today

The MS Gym

Brooke Slick

September 18, 2019  

HOW TO APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY* Getting Past the Stigma & Moving Forward with Confidence

Social security disability. It's a benefit we hope we never have to claim, and one so many of us hesitate to apply for. You may be saying things to yourself like...

Will I be able to afford to quit my job if I go on social security disability?

Will people think I'm giving up, looking for a free ride, or that I no longer have any value?

Am I disabled enough to qualify?

Even if I do decide to apply, I have no idea where to start.

In this episode I'll be talking one-on-one with Pittsburgh-based Attorney Dennis Liotta, of Edgar Snyder and Associates.

Dennis has been representing social security disability claimants for over 20 years. For the last decade, he's been recognized as a top legal talent by the well-respected peer review publication, Best Lawyers in America. Add to that his designation as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, out of outstanding lawyers from over 70 areas of practice, and I was confident that I found just the right person to help me tackle this touchy and often complex subject. 

EPISODE NOTES:

- The shocking percentage of initial claims denied

- How being under 50 may work against you

- How preparation can help you beat the backlog

- If your claim is denied and you need to appeal

- The application itself. Be prepared to ask for help.

- Are you disabled enough to qualify?

- What about my pride?

- Workplace accommodation

- What if I'm young or haven't worked very long?

- SSD & SSI. What's the difference?

- What does the social security administration (SSA) consider "disabled"?

- Do SSD laws vary per state?

- Back pay. What is it, and will I receive it?

- Can I work part-time and still receive disability benefits?

- What if you decide to go back to work again and realize you can't do it?

- How do disability benefits effect your taxes?

- One mistake that almost always guarantees denial!

- Does the SSA continue to monitor your health status after you begin receiving benefits?

- The #1 tip for improving your odds of approval

- Documentation. Documentation. Documentation.

- The stigma surrounding social security disability

- The two best ways to apply

- The one way you shouldn't apply

 

LINKS:

Attorney, Dennis Liotta, Edgar Snyder & Associates

https://www.edgarsnyder.com/our-firm/attorneys/attorney-dennis-liotta.html

Social Security Administration

https://www.ssa.gov/

The MS Gym

http://www.themsgym.com/

Brooke Slick

https://brookeslick.com/

NEW! The MS Gym Podcast on Instagram

https://bit.ly/2kX8Fro

*Social Security Disability is a Federal program of the United States government that provides assistance to people with disabilities.

September 4, 2019  

STAY CALM, STAY PRESENT, STAY CONNECTED. Taking Control Over Your MS through Self-Awareness

Coach Trevor's bringing the heat with a motivational speech that will recalibrate your thoughts and get you back on track.

DO ANY OF THESE SOUND LIKE YOU?

Living flare to flare?

Panicking?

Feeling alone?

Wondering how to get out of this?

Think you're backsliding?

Is MS consuming your life?

Then, STAY CALM, STAY PRESENT, STAY CONNECTED. This episode's for you!

LINKS:

The MS Gym

Brooke Slick

August 22, 2019  

WHAT IS HSCT? Everything you wanted to know about the treatment that HALTS (not slows) MS

In this episode of The MS Gym Podcast, the host becomes the guest, when comedic actor and MSr, Damian Washington, interviews Brooke Slick about HSCT (hematopoietic stem cell transplant) for MS.

Brooke, a 6+ year veteran of the treatment, explains what HSCT is, how it works, who it's for, where you can get it done and why it's currently considered your best chance at halting your disease progression.

In addition to this podcast episode, starting next week, you will be able to hear portions of this interview on Damian Washington's weekly YouTube vlog (link below) where he chronicles his journey with MS and Ocrevus as  well as discusses a plethora of MS lifestyle topics.

It's important to note that although HSCT has continued to gain exposure recently, the MS Gym was way ahead of the game when over 2 years ago, Coach Trevor Wicken designed a 30-day "Rebuild" program that's designed specifically for HSCT veterans and available in the membership.

EPISODE NOTES:

- What is HSCT?

- The logistics of HSCT

- The role stem cells play in HSCT?

- The two types of HSCT protocols

- It's all about the chemotherapy

- Safety precautions after HSCT

- Symptomatic improvements

- Criteria for acceptance

- What is EDSS and why it matters?

- DMDs slow disease progression. HSCT halts disease progression.

- How long should you wait to get HSCT?

- Recovery & expectations

- Statistics/success rates

- Does insurance cover it?

- The cost

- Mortality rates

- The best online resources for HSCT information

Damian Washington's Weekly Vlog on Multiple Sclerosis:

https://www.youtube.com/user/DigitalRidiculous

Brooke Slick - https://brookeslick.com/

The MS Gym - http//www.themsgym.com/

HSCT Resources:

General HSCT Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/hsctworldwide/

Russia HSCT Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/404629779644453/

Mexico HSCT Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/mexicohsct/