This will be a short one tonight. I spent an hour updating my symptoms page for the September 1 headings. I have to do this tonight, because I am having carpal tunnel surgery tomorrow morning. I still have lots to do and want to be in bed by 10 pm. My friend is here at 7:15 am. Still need to clean Miss Kitty’s sand box, do the dishes, take care of the garbage, chop some veggies and then I think I’m good to go. Got a lot done today already. Cue Rocky music. Check out the Symptoms page, I had a lot to say.
OMG! I just made the mistake of looking at the procedure online for the first time. I was looking for a picture to use for the tonight’s blog. Saw that and was going to cancel tomorrow (a first). You know, I’ll just leave this up to the Power’s that Be and whatever, que cera, cera, what ever will be will be. And I am not putting those pictures up! I’ll put a nice serene one instead.
I am not feeling prepared for this surgery coming up. I haven’t been able to get myself to get things done. Not that I haven’t had the chance, I think I’m feeling that it is more than I feel that I can deal with. This diet is so very complicated and I will be minus my right hand for mostly two weeks in terms of chopping and opening covers and other things, I’m sure more things I miss my right hand for will dawn on me as I discover them. In the mean time, I need to spend tomorrow, pre-chopping vegetables and bagging them. I will go to the grocery store again, but have to wait till next week or this weekend if I am faring well. I need to do my laundry tomorrow and I am exercising my full routine tomorrow morning. Tonight is a meeting I need to to go to at 7 pm. I burst a blood vessel in my eye straining with cheap glasses. I broke my prescription glasses in half when I dropped them on the floor a month ago. Had to wait till September to have it covered. All this month, I’ve been dealing with these glasses. Which, honestly, I’ve been grateful for, they’re better than reading glasses, these are three way. But, not strong enough and of course not my specific prescription. My eyes are hurting.
Let’s see, operation Thursday, preparation and exercise tomorrow, eye glasses, next week (Monday I’m thinking), groceries? Whenever. I feel the chances of disciplining myself with Wahls Protocol level III are nil. However, I’m asking my Higher Power for guidance and help. So, I am sure the way will be provided and it will all fall into place. That’s where I am at today!
Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/bunch-of-assorted-colored-woven-rope-42416/
Today is super hot. I didn’t spend much time outside. But, on the way to other places, I didn’t melt going from the car to the door, which would’ve happened in the past. I helped my son pack to move in his not air conditioned apartment. His apartment doesn’t have sunlight beaming into it, so not to bad and I did need a fan to ensure that I stayed cool. Overheating is not something I will test when I need to be productive. On the whole, I feel like a million bucks. I was scheduled to exercise this morning (I am rigid with my schedules), but made the decision to cancel and slept till 9 am! I am up every morning around 5/6 am. Obviously, I needed the sleep. Then my son called to visit, which turned into packing at his house. Glad I didn’t go exercise. Got to visit with the grandson:
I am going to the gym Wednesday morning, a day early, whereas Thursday is my carpal tunnel surgery. After which, I will need to get creative with my exercise, can’t swim, can’t lift weights. The two things I do. I can still stretch and I can spot train with the weights. I will need to walk without my cane. The incision will be in the palm of my hand, so, not an option. This will cause a first for me to go out without the cane. I will document how that goes. Healing won’t be as bad as many said, I was told by others, that while healing, I wouldn’t have the use of my hand at all. But, the surgeon said, I can use my hand, but won’t be able to lift weight, or do repetitive things and to not put it anywhere where it can become contaminated, like a pool. The surgeon said while I definitely have carpal tunnel, he said, that I also have secondary damage not typical of carpal tunnel, something neurological. He said that most people have a turn around of 90%, however, in my case, it may be more like 60%. He explained that what is left after the surgery will be MS or the stenosis in my neck. I’ve been hearing that for years. Before my second spinal fusion, that surgeon said that after surgery and healing, “Whatever is left is MS”. The ongoing story of my confusing neurological illnesses. It will be interesting to see what will be left and a real relief to finally get the pressure off my hands, even if it won’t be 90%. I’ll take the 60%. Normal recovery for this surgery is two weeks, not bad. Then I get to do it again with the other wrist. After which, I can start rehabilitation for my left drop foot. I am being put back together, piece by piece by piece.
Spiritually and Academically:
My blog is my blank slate and I write something everyday, some days are better than others. The blank slate is also symbolic of the power of thought, determination and drive to create my own future that is not dictated by the frequently wrong status quo. It begins with a thought and writing it down makes it tangible. I went over last night’s blog and fixed as many of the grammar mistakes that I could. I hope the Grammar Police will forgive me and allow me a little slack. As stated above, I write every single day (not an excuse), however, I must go over what I wrote at least ten times and some days I am too tired to continue corrections and I publish. That was pretty bad last night, though. Don’t worry, I wince at them too.
My brain is driving me crazy. I’m happy, that’s for sure, but the awakening, if you will is leaving me wanting to say every single thing that comes into my mind. Its like having been in a dark, dank cave for nine years and then, a step out into the sun, next to the ocean, with the wind on my face and all the smells. This is no exaggeration. I’m thinking faster and talking a mile a minute. It is overwhelming and my brain hurts, like finger nails on a chalk board. Reason being, I am not used to it and have no balance on this. I will, no doubt, adjust. In the mean time. I called three people back to apologize for my over exuberance and chattiness. Of course they weren’t offended and are very happy for me, but they too have noticed this problem, but they agree with me that it will settle eventually. Its a little embarrassing. Oh, well, moving on.
I thought I might be kicked out of Ketosis today, but no, still showing ketones in the medium range. Good for me! I exercised this morning and noticed as I walked around the building without my cane, an increase in my confidence, balance and I felt surefooted. While it is not yet time to venture out for a walk on city streets with the cane, I will be tested very soon. My first of two carpal tunnel surgeries is this Thursday (yikes!). It will be right hand, which is the one I hold the cane with. I won’t be able to use my cane for at least two weeks. So, lets see how that goes. And, typing is going to suck! I will be left with only the fingers of my left hand, awkward and made worse because I am a right-y. These blogs will be short for a while and will feature helpful media clips about relevant topics.
Write a new future on your slate!
What a busy day this was! I turn five months on the Wahls Protocol tomorrow, Woot! I have had a lot of feedback from a lot of people about my walking, my posture, and my weight in the last couple of days. Financially, this journey has been a struggle. I have limited means at present and so the learning curve for me is that much more complicated. Obviously, despite a limited income, this is still possible, because I’m doing it. However, it requires more diligence, creative thinking and a lot more thought. As I learn the many components of this lifestyle, I then have to figure out what I can pay for and if there are other ways to get parts of this covered. For example, I need to search high and low for the best prices online, in my grocery store and at the Natural Market while managing to go as high quality as I can. I don’t drive, so running from place to place is out. I ran out of money for my end of month food shopping because of supplements I splurged on too soon for the budget I must work within. Solution, cut back on some of the supplements and shop partially organic and buy half my meat at the natural market and half at the supermarket. I needed to ration out the foods that will keep me balanced and in Ketosis. I have been taken care of along the way, in other words, what I need always shows up right on time from somewhere, however, that doesn’t work without doing everything I can.
When is it a good time to take a break and be rewarded. I’ve let go of luxuries such as outings, personal shopping, beauty treatments like nails and hair to be able to do this. My money came, strangely, early. It came today, instead of Monday and just in time for me to get what I need to stay in Ketosis. To celebrate, figuring I was out of Ketosis for this day anyway, I was going to have a burger with a gluten free bun at “Flippin’ Burgers. I discovered when ordering that they now have lettuce wrapped burgers. That’s what I opted for (can’t have gluten free flour on level III because it’ll kick me out of Ketosis). That’s what I mean by what I need comes, despite me sometimes. Then I went grocery shopping. Two hundred dollars spent to get caught up on everything I must have in order for this level to work. I have an extra $100 dollars coming in this month. I spent the last four days, rearranging my foods and supplements to bring down the cost, which I did successfully. I bought my produce according to the “Dirty 12” list and the “Clean 15” list that I included links to in the blog yesterday. Today, after all my hard work, I was getting that stressed feeling about the amount of effort and sacrifice I’ve put into this. What always keeps me going is to remember how “friggin’ (as my Dad would’ve said it) good I feel and how far I’ve come. Then I realized something very important this morning.
It is also very important to reward yourself too, not with what will hurt you, but something special. After five months of hard work, I am giving my self the gift of Yes music live. Listening to Yes music is a spiritual experience for me. A band I’ve loved since 1972. I bought my ticket this morning, $109.00 and I am going September 8th. I earned this and I feel good about my purchase. Does this mean that I should do this more often? No, because the lifestyle I am working into my life has its own rewards that include, better mobility, no sickness, no fatigue, swimming well, walking better, quicker thinking, increased social involvement and purpose. Once in a great while after working hard, its good to reward. My cue is the feeling of letting my guard down and letting go of my vigilance, then its better to react this way, then to let go of any hard won practices. As a result, I am on track without a resentment. I deserve this.
This is the tour…
…without Carl Palmer on the Canadian dates. Would’ve been nice to see him.
Photo of artist Roger Dean’s iconic logo for Yes: http://yesworld.com/we-are-yes/
If your not familiar with the band and would like to know more, you can click on the web address above.
Note: There are currently two Yes Tours running. Yes has had many members over its 47 years, this one features famed guitarist Steve Howe, inducted twice into the HOF, once recognized for his contributions as a guitarist and once as a member of Yes and long time drummer Alan White, steadily with Yes since 1972. The other Yes Tour titled ARW features founding member and “The voice of Yes”, singer Jon Anderson, 1980’s guitarist Trevor Rabin and second, but iconic, keyboardist Rick Wakeman. You can learn more about this tour here: http://www.yesfeaturingarw.com/
I went to a celebration of milestones tonight for people who have turned their lives around in every way. It is always inspiring and always leaves me feeling very grateful. I am a work in progress as I confront and cast out the mental twists that can stop me on my path. My demons are my own rationalizing. All the information is there to recover enough from this illness to have a better life and I am working at it as best I can everyday. It is like chipping away at a stone to create a sculpture. It will take time, focus, dedication, commitment, faith and a lot of work.
My set back this month was my budget. I have been incorporating the supplements in a little at a time. I’m up to almost all the supplements suggested and it is the financial straw that broke the camels back. I have to continually juggle. I made decisions in the beginning to help make this financially feasible. I stopped getting fake nails, I stopped getting haircuts, I stopped most outings to restaurants, I do eat out once or twice a month, I stopped daily lattes at Second Cup, I might buy one when socializing with friends. This month I ran out of money one week before more comes in.
I replenished the greens and bought meat with the last $20.00 I had, but didn’t have enough for the fats I need to stay in Ketosis. So, I am rationing till Monday comes and I go to the grocery to buy more, “medicine”. I will be surprised if I stay in Ketosis, we’ll see how this goes. Today, I had a big salad (no olive oil, only balsamic), I blanched salmon and made salmon salad with Veganaise. Dinner tonight was a plate of stir fried veggies with 2 tbsp’s coconut oils and 1 tbsp Ghee. I’m out of coconut milk. Short 2.5 tbsp’s coconut fat in today’s meals. Coconut fat has the triglycerides needed to make it possible to eat a lot of fruits and veggies and still stay in Ketosis. Even if I’m kicked out, I will get right back in line Monday. But, how to not let this happen again. I must accept that somethings will have to be cut back or purchased in cheaper ways.
For example, Magnesium Glycinate is $40 for a one month supply. I can compensate with the foods I eat. I am on track, the foods with the most magnesium are, leafy greens especially spinach, almonds, dark chocolate, avocados, pumpkin seeds, figs…this is an excellent article about Magnesium: https://draxe.com/magnesium-deficient-top-10-magnesium-rich-foods-must-eating/
I will need to buy less grass fed whole meats. For example, sulphite free bacon is $15.00 a package. I’ll need to find a bacon that is most healthy, IE. no sugar, no gluten, the least amount of preservatives I can find, so on. All my food will need to be reconsidered. Whals says, if you can’t afford to do everything organic at least avoid the “Dirty Dozen”. This is a link to that list: dirty dozen and this is the clean 15: clean fifteen
I’d like to continue this, but you get the idea. Its late and I am ready to sleep. That’s the other thing, I’m full of energy during waking hours and I’m sleeping well at night, go figure.
“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
I have a universal belief system. I believe that what you think, you become. I think of it as a law of the universe, a science law, akin to the law of gravity. To hate anyone, is to be filled with hate. It is not your fault when something is terribly abusive and against your will or if one is naively hurt when unprotected as a child. What becomes my fault is to relive it over and over again long after it is over, till it consumes my every waking moment. That is a definition of the word resentment. These days, now that I understand what my true enemy is, resentment, I will not give myself the luxury, if you can call it that, of resentment or even justified anger which can also cause soul rot. I’ll clarify, I have thoughts, moments, but I get rid of it as soon as I can, by talking, by praying, by getting to the bottom of things if that is necessary. Nothing is worth the loss of my sense of peace. The truth is in the fall out, either way. Negativity attracts negativity, “misery loves company” right? With the constant, “not good enough”, “not smart enough”, “not worthy enough”, etc. I invariably become what I am thinking, I won’t go after better for myself, because it is a big ego to think that I can attain that, or who do I think I am? I see myself as alone, I’ll be alone, I see my self as sick, I’ll stay sick, I see my self as poor, I’ll stay poor. On the other hand, positive attracts positive. I feel love for everyone, not always like, that’s a different thing, you can love, but not like. Very rare if I do meet a person I don’t like these days, but I try very hard to love everyone I meet, to smile, to give a complement. I want to be the person that people are happy to see, because that person has that genuine ease and warmth about them that makes you content and gets you smiling. We’ve all known people like this. That’s my goal everyday. I want to be that person.
Today, I exercised. They unlock the gate to the pool area at 7:30 am. We wait at the gate because the deep water aerobics class begins at the same time. I just began swimming in the other pool on my own and when I am there, just twice now, I swam without the flotation belt. I am an avid swimmer, I’ve spent most of my life with a love of swimming. Most mother’s favorite picture is of the baby taking its first steps, my mother, it was the first time I put my head underwater. She filmed it, I was three. I haven’t been able to swim laps in eight years at least. I have been taking deep water aerobics for three years now. I upped my schedule from two days a week to four days a week after starting the Wahls Protocol. A woman who always swims in the other pool, not the class, said to me this morning, referring to my swimming without the belt, “It must be amazing to swim like you do, your swimming is so strong and to have all that stamina.” I’ll remind you, five months ago, I couldn’t stand at the sink for longer than five minutes without the need to sit down. I could barely climb two ladder rungs out of the pool where the aerobics I take are. The other pool has around eight steps above the water to climb out. And I am doing it deftly.
I heard recently that when you put a consistent idea out to the universe that the universe will get out of your way like water. I’ve been approved for an electrical stimulation device and starter rehab for it. I’ve spoken to a couple physical therapy places, neither of which gave me much confidence of their knowledge of e-stim and neurological damage. Today, I had my ride home from the gym via Access Calgary, I still need this service, because my leg still fatigues after working it, I mostly use Access for the gym. On the way home, they stopped to pick someone up. The place we stopped at was titled, “Spinal Injury and Neurological Rehabilitation”. I was excited, the driver said it was new and she said, “We have to wait 20 minutes because we’re early, you can go in and talk to them.” That never happens, they’re usually on schedule. I learned that they accept my disability insurance with a work order, no problem, I’m approved. And, when I mentioned e-stim, I didn’t have to explain, she added, that’s what we do here. I took a business card and noticed a card with a nutritionist. I asked her, “Have you heard of the Wahls Protocol?” She said, “Yes, our nutritionist uses that.” That’s what this place has, rehabilitation specialists and a nutritionist on board. They should be sending everyone with MS to this place.
Wouldn’t it be something if after diagnosis, they send you to the nutritionist to help you get started on the new regime, they pay for classes to teach and reinforce the same. They give you the book you’ll need to follow, if you’re impoverished, they give you assistance to buy the healthy supplements and foods you need, they get you started with neurological rehabilitation sessions on a regular basis. Without the thousands spent on the drug that does nothing for you, they could spend those thousands on this instead, which actually helps people get their lives back. So, if all of us who are healing this way think this, it will manafest!
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
– Thomas Edison
“For every drug that benefits a patient, there is a natural substance that can achieve the same effect.”
– Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer
I am getting to my blog late tonight. Just got home, I have been buzzing along all day. Meaning, I was here most of the day, getting things done, housework, laundry, beading, cleaning. Tonight I went out for a couple hours. One theme happened throughout, whether I was alone, here, there, on the phone, making jewelry (by myself), at a meeting with a lot of other people, one on one with a driver in their car, the one constant, was I was talking non-stop. Its my brain moving faster then I am accustomed to it yet and I just can’t shut up. The later the day gets the more energetic I am. See this is the way it was:
Firstly, I have always been a talker and with MS, I have issues with tangential speech, after a while with that, I learned to mostly not talk anymore in situations I wasn’t very familiar with, because a lot of what was coming out of my mouth, was “everything” people didn’t necessarily have to know and my speech was rapid. One MS expert I was tested by told me that the non-medical term for it was, the MS Rant. However, with this awakening clarity with my thought process, I have been talking again. Although, now its hard to control, because of all the energy I am not accustomed to…..yet. I need to remember that this is an adjustment time, I’m guessing this will calm down after a while. That is a good question for the Wahls Ketosis Facebook Page.
Secondly, before the Wahls Protocol, I had no energy, especially at night. I was in bed at 8 am. I learned to wake early and shut down after 5 pm. No phone calls, no night events scheduled unless it was absolutely necessary that I go. If I did need to take a phone call late, my thinking was muddled and I wouldn’t remember half the conversation.
I am not completely healed here. I still forget half the conversations I have with people, both of what I say and of what they say. What is different, is with one word, the whole conversation comes flooding back. But, sometimes, I do still need a jog to remember. Back to all this energy, now I am full of energy in the morning, mid morning, noon, mid afternoon I need a 30 minute snooze, can’t keep my eyes open, evening lots of energy and building, night (this moment) I am all lit up with energy and do not know what to do with it all.
What I am going to do right now, is find something calming, like soothing music, sage, gentle activity of some kind. And then I should be able to sleep by 10:30. Exercise tomorrow morning.
I had some wonderful news today. I got the call that my TENS/EMS machine has been paid for. Which means, I can go pick it up! Big thing, big help! It is the electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) capability that I am getting this machine for. TENS is for pain management, EMS is for atrophied muscle rehabilitation and prevention. I will have the machine, but will not begin till October. I am having carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists, one after the other (long overdue). My right wrist is being done August 31. Then after healing, the second which isn’t scheduled yet. Walking without the cane will be tricky, because falling is not an option, instinctively, you put your wrists out to catch the fall, not good. I’ll deal with that when I get closer. It is important to point out, that when looking for a machine for rehabilitation, the machine must say EMS or NEMS, it can be TENS/EMS. If it only says TENS or in the description says nothing about its EMS capabilities, then its not going to work. TENS is strictly to alleviate pain, it isn’t a strong enough pulse to get into the muscle enough to make it move and in case anyone is wondering, Dr. Ho’s is strictly a TENS machine, it has no EMS capability.
While I am walking better by far, I still have a ways to go. I have a prominent limp, I trip often, and my leg gets fatigued after extended use, requiring rest. What an hour a day using the EMS machine will do is re-educate my atrophied muscles. Getting them up and running, so to say, which should, invariably, with time, patience and diligence improve my leg. I am hoping (envisioning) for the limp and tripping to go away and a speedier step and increased stamina before my leg fatigues. I understand fully that it won’t heal 100%. That is because this is one of the oldest lesions I have (one of the first two detected in 2004), it has gotten progressively bigger over the years. EMS can’t fix the lesion, although, everything else I am doing will help improve it some. What does that mean? What I think it will mean is that my leg will still experience fatigue. But, its performance before that happens, will be far better and will be almost imperceptible. It is important to remember, that it took Dr. Wahls three years using the EMS machine in one hour sessions everyday to turn her drop leg and lower back around. Dr. Wahls was confined to a tilt back wheel chair when she began healing. Her back was too weak to hold her up straight. She used EMS for both areas. She now lives and works without any walking aids. She rides her bike daily 17 miles, she goes on speaking tours and walks and stands during her public speeches. She has said that, her leg is good during a one hour talk, but fatigues on two hour talks. She does use a high seat she keeps at the kitchen counter at times. That’s what I mean, her performance is enhanced, but she can still get fatigued. I want what Dr. Wahls has, so I am doing everything she did and does. Along with the time spent with EMS, it is necessary to build stamina and strength with a regular exercise routine. I go to the Southland Leisure Center four days a week where I swim and circuit train and daily I walk and stretch more. EMS won’t get far without it.
I took a really big step today. I told my disability worker about my blog and my long term plan to go back to work at the end of one year on the Dr. Wahls Protocol. Remember, my can’t/can do blog the other day? It means having my “can do” conversations with the entity that needs to hear what “I can’t do” to remain on it. After I told her, I said, “I just had a heart attack!” She replied, “Whhhhy?” I have a lovely worker. I explained and pointed out that I need more time for rehabilitation. Not that she questioned it, but part of me thinks, after they read this, I’m going to get a letter saying, “You don’t need it anymore, go to work!” And, I’m not ready, then all that I have done will be unraveled. I know that won’t happen, I just find this scary. I meant what I said in my introduction, “I will be honest about everything to do with my journey on this blog.” If this sounds familiar, I have told everyone, doctor and AISH, that I was on the Dr. Wahls Protocol, that was a big step then and I wrote about that. Now, I’m telling them about the blog and the plan. Which of course makes it even more of a commitment. But, as I’ve said, I am in this for the long haul. I’m on a mission. I am a firm believer of this statement, “God did not bring you this far to drop you on your head now.”