Enjoy what is

Decreasing stress is one of the components of the Dr. Wahls Protocol. Stress is known to be a catalyst for illness. My own experience proves that. I was under a great deal of duress building up to becoming sick. Life happens, sometimes it isn’t pleasant. I’m stating the obvious, but its important to look at the truth of that. I have learned over the years due to a different illness I have that relies on the practice of gratitude to stay in remission, how to live in the moment, to look at my part in relationships and mistakes, to do spot check inventories, to make gratitude lists and to enjoy what is. Like anything these habits require a commitment and daily practice. I have had years of successfully applying these practices to my life and I’ve had times when I let them go and let old negative habits creep back in to the detriment of my serenity.  It was during those times that I got sick and running scared, made bad decisions that made the situation ten times worse then it had to be.

How to practice serenity is to be grateful for everything. To remind myself to live in the moment. I like these statements, “God will only give you what you can handle in one day.” and “I have all the money I need provided I die at 12 midnight tonight.” That doesn’t mean that I don’t plan for this or that. It means, I make the appointment, research the information, jot down the idea, then let it go, putting it out of my mind till its time to deal with it. This takes practice and is sometimes easier said then done. However, like anything, practice makes it easier to do, then the rewards flood in from the practice.

Sometimes to get down to a free flowing serene state, I must look at unpleasant truths about myself, especially if the same set of calamities or repeated mistakes happen over and over again. That’s usually a sure fire sign that the fault is mine. Somewhere, there are deep rooted issues that must be unearthed, amends made, myself and others to be forgiven and then, if the work is earnest and sincere then peace for this situation or relationship happens. Other people are usually necessary to help with this, such as support groups, advisers, counseling, religious practices for some people, etc. Food for thought, the smartest and most powerful people on Earth have advisers, the more responsibility they have the more advisers they have. It is, paradoxically, not a sign of weakness, but of strength to seek advice and assistance.

Meditation is the practice of being in the moment. To be aware of all five senses, to quiet the mind, concentrate on breathing, build a deeper communion with a Higher Power if one so chooses, or to feel a deeper connection with the Earth with sounds of nature and thoughts of ancient trees and pathways thru the woods or how the Earth feels on your hands when you plant something. We can do quick, in the moment meditations with everyday mundane activities, like concentrating on the warm sensation of sudsy water as I clean the plate, listening for the sound of clacking silverware when I drag the bottom of the sink for silverware to clean. Or we can do long prepared meditations. Set the scene, a favorite spot in our home that we create the space for. Burn incense maybe, light candles, play serene music or sounds (I like the ocean) or listen to a guided meditation. Exercise and jewelry making are both deep sources of meditation for me. I am completely focused when I create, colors, sewing, the feel of beads in my hands, or exercise, I’m off in my own world. When exercising, I am completely riveted on the teacher, the movement I’m doing, the feel of the water, the weights in my hands, the flexing of the targeted muscles, my breathing. When I do these things, I am not thinking about the bills I need to pay in two weeks, or the appointments I have tomorrow or even in two hours, I am completely in the moment. This is one of the reasons I love doing these two activities. Anxiety, fear of the unknown, causes the body to do certain things, increases heart rate, gasping for breath, racing thoughts of fears and over dwelling on negatives. Meditation is the practice of clearing the mind, deep thoughtful breathing, bringing one’s thinking back to the present moment and the realization that one is safe in that moment. Many fears are of bogeymen that are not happening right now and in most cases may never happen. And if there is a difficult loss occurring, job, family, health, then the practice of these above can make them easier to handle, more manageable by making it possible to take the situation(s) piece meal.

To enjoy what is are all these practices, that is the goal for me. That and humor. A sense of humor can cut stress in half and help keep a heart light. There is always two ways to look at any situation. Most of the time there is something good to consider even when it feels unfair. Here’s a silly joke:

Four men from Boston meet every Sunday to play cards. Clancy, Taylor, John and Ian have known each other for decades. John is the upbeat positive chap in the group. No matter what anyone says he always answers, “It could be worse.” This always rubs Clancy the wrong way. One Sunday, only Clancy, John and Ian show up. Ian, visibly upset, breaks the news to Clancy and John that Taylor is in jail after coming home Saturday night and finding his wife in bed with another man, he shot and killed them both. To which, John says, “It could be worse.” Clancy yells back, “That’s the last straw! You drive me nuts, how could it be worse John, two people are dead and our good friend is in jail, how could it be worse, you tell me that?!” John replied, “It could be worse because he could’ve come home on Friday when I was there.”

It could be worse.

 

Bonne Sante

Waking up to the possibilities

I feel weighted down with the financial limitations I have due to the extra money that it costs to keep this way of life going on my limited income. I’m looking at my calendar, I’m counting days to the next pay (13 days to go), I’m looking over the veggies I have and I know that I don’t have the components necessary for each day, but I’m not starving either. I just won’t have the right balance of foods for a short time. I have $18.00 to split between me and my cat. She needs her Fancy Feast and I need greens. I’ll spend the money on Fancy Feast and greens. I’ll take it a day at a time, which is all any of us really have anyway. I had a friend who said once as he watched a hearse go by followed by a funeral procession, “I wonder what that guy was worrying about last week?” I think of that when I start worrying about too many days at once.

My father died from Emphysema at age 61. He said, “Don’t do what I did, I worked hard all my life waiting for the day I could retire and really live.”  He worked three jobs in his 20’s, two full time jobs till he was forced to stop early at age 45 due to his illness. He spent the next 15 years on oxygen, progressively getting worse. He told me this two years before he died. One thing I did do that he just couldn’t, was quit smoking. Addictions are the primary killers in my family. Smoking, drinking, and obesity. My mother and her sister both died from type II diabetes in their early 60’s due to their weight and eating habits. My maternal grandfather died in a drunk tank in the 50’s, most of my generation on my mother’s side have had problems with drinking. Oddly, not my only brother, it jumped over him like a tornado takes down a street of houses, but skips over one. My paternal grandfather died from Emphysema and my father followed in his footsteps. All of them died around the same age, between 60 to 64.

I had it in my head that if I could deal with all the addictions, having smoked since the age of 11 and I am an alcoholic. I stopped drinking in 1991 and quit smoking in 1996. I kept my weight down with a combination of exercise and weight watchers. I never saw it coming when I was blindsided at age 42 with not one, but two major neurological conditions. What happened to all my plans. My plan had to do with the fact that my maternal grandmother was one of 16 and they all lived to the ages of 96 to 104 (no addictions in that line), that was going to be me. We never know what tomorrow could bring. I can prove that by looking at yesterday. Raised in Massachusetts, did I dream I’d be living in the places I’ve lived. Here I am in Calgary away from the swarthy Irish, Italian working class heritage I miss sometimes. Don’t get me wrong here, I love Calgary, great people here. No, did not plan this.

The best way to deal with my life, if I want peace, has got to be one day at a time. I can lay plans, I can have goals, but then, I have to get back into the day I am in or it all gets stressful fast. The actual possibilities available to me are upon waking each morning to the new day ahead of me, if only I don’t squander it unnecessarily on that which I have no control over, tomorrow and yesterday. Most of the time these days, I am fairly successful in doing that and most often I am a light hearted soul. But, there are those days.

The financial fear has to go. Here’s the truth:

  • I have a roof over my head and my rent is paid
  • I have decent clothes on my back
  • I have two children who are healthy
  • I am sober and smoke free
  • I just lost 35 lbs and I am a full two sizes smaller then I was
  • I no longer need walking aids as yet another person asked me just yesterday what happened to your walking (referring to how well I walk now), when you got here you were in rough shape.
  • I have hope for the future
  • I have the food I need today
  • I have medical support helping me get back on my feet
  • I have the Dr Wahls Protocol and the willingness to keep at it
  • I have two neurological conditions that do not define who I am nor do they decide what my future will be, anymore

This is shaping up to be a hell of a day!

 

Bonne Sante

 

 

 

 

Catch 22

I applied for a part time customer service position for a non profit recreational center whose mission is to enable the disabled to live in adapted housing, empower gainful employment and advocate a social, viable and visible life. I was so moved by this that I thought it a good idea to mention the fact that I am disabled in my cover letter. Where as I am not worried about explaining my quickly improving situation in a face to face interview, I regret stating it, however brief in my cover letter.  If I don’t hear from them by the 19th, then I know I’ve been passed up. Ordinarily, I would never put that in a cover letter, I would reserve it for the interview. Who knows, I might be surprised and get an invite for an interview despite that.

Next month, I’ve decided to go back to Wahls Paleo (level II), Wahls Paleo Plus (level III) is proving to be too inflexible for my financial situation right now. It is true, that I eat less and only two meals a day, which should make for a lesser monthly grocery bill, yet I have found the bill to be the same. What is happening is that I am in and out of Ketosis due to lack of this and lack of that. Which can’t happen on this level. I’ve decided that I need the flexibility and the increase in food choices of the second level, for now. All the levels are Wahls compliant. I am compliant no matter which level I choose to do and I have experienced dramatic healing on all levels, besides, I miss fruit. I can’t stand smoothies without sweet fruit in them. There, decision made.

Why do I have to wait till next month, because I have $20 for the rest of the month and have to wait till then to replenish groceries. This is a very honest blog of my experience on the Wahls Protocol, good and bad. It is expensive. It can be made less expensive by buying in bulk, buying whole slaughtered pastured animals and using a large freezer, putting a garden into your back yard, investing in expensive equipment to make your own Kombucca teas and a Vitamix to make your own nut butters and other foods. The things that make it cheaper in the long run, cost a lot of money up front. My Doctor strongly suggested that I wait till all my rehabilitation is finished before I seek employment, because as he stated and I know to be true as well is that I will need all my energy to complete the numerous appointments, homework and the opportunity to gain that much more strength before I strike out. Hense, a catch 22.

Catch 22

A requirement that cannot be met until a prerequisite requirement is met, however, the prerequisite cannot be obtained until the original requirement is met.

 – Urban Dictionary

My greatest asset is my tenacity, which will see me through this. In the mean time, my walking, stamina, moving, thinking and talking are getting better everyday.

Marching forth!

 

Bonne Sante

 

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The next phase is upon me!

Dr. Wahls celebrated 10 years on her Protocol yesterday. She had a wonderful talk with updates of where she and her team are with everything including research. See her live video here: Terry Wahls 10th Anniversary video talk

Things ramped up today. I began physio today, which was great. I had the consultation several weeks ago. I was given three exercises then to start for my drop foot leg and its hip flexor paralysis. One of the exercises I couldn’t do at all. That was the first one the physical therapist had me show him. Physio, “Is that your drop foot leg?” Me, “Yes.” Physio, “So you’ve been doing the exercise, that’s better than I expected.” I think, two things, I am faithful with my exercise, I have worked the exercises into my regular exercise routine. I am directed to do these exercises everyday, but my routine is just four days a week in the gym, that’s when I do them, four days a week. The reason I am further along then the what the exercise would do is because of the Wahls Protocol diet. Everyday, I am stronger in some way and exercise and physio are only two factions of it. Two important parts, but it is the whole shebang that makes the bigger difference. For example, I have never stopped exercising, exercising is a big part of my life, it did not by its self stop the progression of MS. However, as apart of the eating lifestyle of whole foods, targeted supplements, less toxic environment, physio, e-stim, and exercise, all combined is arresting this dreaded disease.

So how are things ramping up? Well physio for one. I will go every two weeks for a total of nine visits. Today I had a call to make the appointment with the MS psychiatrist, which was set in December. When I got home, I had a letter from the Optimist program who will be helping me with rehab for a possible return to full time work. And yesterday, I applied for a part time job. They may never call me, but I applied. It seemed like a job that was a perfect fit. It was customer service which is varied responsibilities for a company that is a non profit whose mission is to help the disabled live life to their fullest potential. The customer service is for their recreation center which has a large swimming area featuring a salt water pool. And, they are fifteen minutes away by bus.

Why am I considering part time work when I have a big job ahead of me to further rehabilitate before trying for a full time job? Because I just don’t make enough money to support the Wahls protocol and live. The first four months, I have a credit line that I borrowed $200 from every month. That’s maxed three months now. I have not made any payments on the line since I began the Protocol and I am $200 short every month. Although, on the credit line, I am not required to make payments as long as I pay its interest, which I do, but that is not good for your credit rating. I am paying my bills and I am sticking to the bare minimum for the diet, some months I get supplements and some months I don’t. Its becoming stressful. In my world there are no mistakes, I feel that I could handle a part time job. I will need a lot of energy to get through all the rehabilitation and homework that comes with it along with keeping up the Wahls Protocol. But, I am talking part time, not full time. If it is meant to be, it will fall into place and it will be okay, and if it isn’t meant to be and I have to wait, then I have to wait and I’ll get by and it’ll still be okay. That’s my take on this. In the mean time, I can take this a day a time and remember that today, I have all the money I need provided I die at 12 midnight tonight.

 

Bonne Sante

 

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Powerless? I think not!

I have my neurology appointment tomorrow. I’ve not seen my Neurologist since just before I began the Protocol. My last visit with him was an emergency visit because of an attack I was having and after three visits to the emergency room with excruciating back pain and a bad fall, I realized I was having an attack. My walking had deteriorated significantly and really had been getting progressively worse year after year. I had walked with a cane for four years, but now I needed a walker, even at times in my own home. The Doctor told me to take only half a dose of steroids. He was worried about what it may do to my bones where I have three fusions in my neck. I asked him for muscle relaxers. For me to ask for that, things are bad. I’m not big on taking drugs if I can help it. I chose to not fill the steroids script and took a half dose of muscle relaxers at the prescribed times. On day two of this, I was slurring my speech, sleeping hours during the day and drooling on myself. I said, “F@#k this!”, and started working towards what I knew was the answer all along having been introduced to the Wahls Protocol two years before. I saw the wheel chair and the motorized scooter looming ahead.

Three weeks after that I started this blog to help me stay on track and be accountable. I considered naming the blog “F@#k this!”, but thought that might detract from what it is actually about without an explanation in the title. So, Defeating MS – My Journey became the title, it says it all. As many of you know, I’m off the walker, then the cane. My mobility has improved back to what it was five years ago and gets a little better everyday, I’ve lost 34 lbs and my cognitive damage has improved dramatically as well. So, I’m going to see my Neurologist, who hasn’t seen me since all of this occurred. He’s been a good Doctor for me. I’ve had support. They know what I am doing and he sent the scripts and paperwork I needed to do Wahls electrical stimulation and physical therapy for my leg. He could’ve said no or charged me money for the paperwork. I have no resentment with him. The system, though, is too inundated with medication as the only resort for autoimmune illnesses. Someone debated with me not long ago, who is in the medical field, she argued the tired defenses that you can’t truly test if the Wahls Protocol works because you don’t know if their sticking to it and even if you do tell people, they won’t do what’s good for them. I agreed, that’s true in regards to the second point, but maybe 25% of them would if they at least knew that this exists and that it works. People need to at least know that this is an option and it comes with no ill side effects. And in answer to the first point, Wahls has suggested that they record their progress. Wahls Warriors she calls them. They are filming, writing, and blogging. Living proof they are. No its not a double blind study which costs millions to do. Right now the backing isn’t exactly there, but the testing is happening. Dr. Wahls is a published research MD aside from her Protocol, Autoimmune Wellness AIP are in the midst of research testing as is Dr. Jelinek of Overcoming MS OMS in Australia. Whether the pharmaceutical companies like it or not, it is coming.

Alright, back to my Neurologist. I keep side tracking the original thought. I have no idea what his reaction to any of this will be. I stopped my Copaxone about a month ago, they know that. Will it be indifference? Will it be interest? Might he be excited about my progress in the other, unexpected direction? Will he try to talk me into going back on Copaxone? No clue! I have a had an MRI confirming the attack. It showed two new lesions in my back, the year before, lesions were developing in my mid back. Scariest is the conversation I need to have with him in regards to seeking support and therapy to become ready to try working full time. I want to try this in five months, I understand full well, it may not be possible for me to ever work full time because of fatigue. While fatigue has diminished greatly, it is still around and must be factored in. My hope is that it will continue to get better. Then there’s the fact that I am 55 years old. Glass half full: I have at least ten years I could work, glass half empty: I am 55 and have MS, Wahls or no Wahls, like it or not, it is a major factor. I am confident I could work a little part time job. I have been considering doing this right now to help offset costs of the diet. This diet with supplements is costing me $500 to $600 a month. Ordinarily, $300 is what I spend on groceries and household a month. It’s a heavy amount on a small fixed income with no other source of income.

I am of this belief: Nothing is impossible if it is meant to be and you work hard for it. How do I know its meant to be? Well, the healing for one. I feel like I’ve been in some ways, frozen in time, unable to move forward. I feel free to once again work for future goals like school or work or non profit work. I have hope, when once I didn’t.

I am no longer a powerless victim of this disease.

 

Bonne Sante

Let the chips fall where they may

Good news for me today! I got word that my physical therapy for my left leg, gait and balance is approved. I’ll call the physio place that I am approved for tomorrow and set up the next appointment. I’m approved for roughly nine or ten visits, which is what was recommended. I took the opportunity to ask my disability worker if I could meet with her in two months for a face to face visit to discuss my plan to go back to work in five months. This Friday, I see my Neurologist, who I saw not long before I started the Wahls Protocol. He does know that I have been following this and they know that I’ve discontinued my MS drug. I want to ask for help with counseling and preparation to work. I need all the help I can get with this.

Yesterday, I had a pretty good test of my stamina. This is how I fared. I went to the gym per usual with the usual schedule of one hour swimming, shower, rest thirty minutes, then thirty minutes circuit training with weights. What was unusual was a visit with friends who picked me up at the Leisure Centre. We had lunch and decided to go to a “Maker’s Fair”. Which was a very interesting fair of art and science. It did require a lot of walking on top of working out that morning. I did weaken dramatically after an hour and a half, where I was teetering a lot and was visibly struggling. After two hours, I was light headed and nauseous. That was my cue to rest, whether I liked it or not. I sat in the foyer on the stairs and cooled off, the other problem was the hot spots at the last location I was moving through. I let my friends know where I was. One came back and helped me up a flight of stairs to a lounge to have coffee. We sat in a nice spot, they had picnic tables overlooking the event. We sat, sipped coffee and chatted while we watched the Fair from above. It was nice of her to stop to keep me company for an entire hour. I did revive my leg enough to be able to continue on. I spent another hour walking the event and stood in one place for an extra half hour at a very interesting booth we went for a second time to see. All told, I was at the event from approximately 12:30 till its end and 15 minutes past that, 5:15. Leaving the event, I needed my friends, to give me an arm on each side to climb a slightly elevated hill. I was tired. Got home, ate dinner, wrote my blog and cancelled my exercise for this morning. Where I am stronger is my stamina before fatigue happens, is noticeably stronger by all who know me. But, fatigue does still happen.

The assistance I needed for the uphill climbs on stairs and slanted hill were because of fatigue. This is exactly what I need to take into account when considering employment possibilities. Hence, no walking the whole shift with a job that can afford me to sit when my body demands it: This will be criteria number one. The second issue, I left home at 7 am to swim at 8 am. I got home at 6:30 pm and knew that I would need to cancel exercise in the morning. This will not be an option for back to back days at work. Will need to closely regard this. Does this mean that working full time is out of the question. No! Just means that my combination of duties will need to be what I’ve known, a combination of varied action that allows me to walk, and sit intermittently. A friend suggested a stay at home job. That could work too. I could do that as well. I’m good with computers, writing, and telephone work. I’m also self disciplined and could organize my time at home and be efficient. As I traverse the waters of what I can I do, I will ultimately leave the final outcome of what my job will end up being up to my Higher Power. My job is to do everything I can to prepare myself and then let the chips fall where they may.

I wonder where they will fall…………….hmmmmmm.

 

Bonne Sante

 

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Another Big Day

Sleepiness is away. This is what I ate today:

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Midday meal of Baked chicken thigh with coconut oil, Cajun sweet potato fries baked with coconut oil and a cabbage, onion, and carrot Cole slaw in a balsamic/olive oil vinegarette
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Dinner, fried cod with coconut oil (two pieces instead of none for the second meal), sauteed broccoli with garlic and onion in coconut oil, last of spinach with pepper, cabbage, radishes, almonds, onions, and carrots in a vinaigrette. 

Look at these meals, poor me, I gotta eat this! I expect this food in a good restaurant. These are the types of dishes I am eating most days, factor in smoothies and bigger salads, with chia seed pudding from time to time for a treat. Chia seed recipe:

  • 3 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup fresh fruit (I like strawberries or blue berries or both)
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • dash of salt and a 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Mix together and let sit for 1 hour or overnight. Awesome stuff!

Another big day, spoke with my Neurologist’s nurse today. She’s so good at getting back to us. We spoke at length. She filled out the form sent to my Doctor for physio, yay! Have to wait a week for my Doctor to be back from vacation to sign it. Then that should be good to go. I reiterated that I will not be renewing my Copaxone prescription. She warned me that I might not be able to get back on it if I stop. She’s right too, in Alberta, they require you to have two MS attacks within a two year period to be approved for a MS drug. Even if you’ve had a dozen attacks and dozens of lesions, and have taken the drug before. Its an odd criteria, I am aware of it, I had to wait for a second attack to hit to get back on Copaxone after having been on it for three years. Copaxone has proven to me that it does nothing, while the Wahls Protocol has proven to me that it does far more than Copaxone can barely claim to do. So, I’m done with it. My mind is made up. And the third biggie in the conversation, was going to back to work in five months. I asked to have support. I want to see my Doctor, not a student of his so that I could speak to him of the fact that I am terrified to go back to work. Fear of the rug being pulled out from under my feet again. I have safety nets in place now that I stand to lose, namely subsidized housing and disability. The last time, I ended up homeless, bankrupt and lost primary care of my daughter. Yes, its a frightening prospect. I need all the help I can get! And so, the next five months my job will be to get ready to work, physically, psychologically and logistically. Spiritual disclaimer: “If it by Thy will.” I am on this planet to live it to the best of my ability.

Important to remember, that as I move in this direction, it does not mean that it will end the way it seems that it will, with a job and that I will be okay working thirty-five to forty hours per week. I may find that the best I can do is twenty hours a week or less. I won’t truly know till I settle in. In the mean time, I will do everything I can to be prepared. Hopefully, after a few months of rehabilitation and counseling, I’ll then pretend to work, by scheduling full days of work. I’ll set pretend hours and begin to build my schedule and life around the loss of those hours. That will help give me a clue whether its possible. And after a month of that, then I will begin applying. Of course, by then, I will know the best occupations to strive for, I will know what I can do and can’t. I already have a good idea. And, given the remarkable progression of wellness I’ve had in seven short months, I believe that I should be in better shape then as well.

Friggin’ Scary! That’s how we would’ve said it in Worcester, Massachusetts where I was born and raised : )

 

Bonne Sante

Preparing for Employment

I have been busy considering employment situations that are best suited for me. Five months is still when I see myself climbing that mountain. In the mean time, there is a lot I need to do to be prepared to apply, it will cut down on wasting my time and the employers for jobs that are just not realistic for me to do. First, is a sense of failure after all the work of seeking, applying, hiring, only to crash and burn. A second reason is to narrow down the list to the job skill sets I have and can do despite my limitations. Options that are out:

  • Standing in one place all day
  • Sitting all day
  • Repetitious work like maneuvering a mouse or typing all day
  • Rotating shifts (nights, days, nights, days)
  • Driving (yet)
  • Walking all day
  • Lifting more than 30 lbs

I have office skills, sales, computer, writing, organizing, presentations, speech, desk top publishing, crisis intervention and mental health patient care. I have a lot of options, but coupled with limitations, that narrows the list down considerably. This is important, if I’m going to work, I want an interesting job with above average pay. What would work for me is a combination of walking, writing, speaking, selling, presentations, phone, computer, organizing. An hour here, twenty minutes there, up, down, sit, stand, type, talk with customers/clients.

I thought an entry level position with Telus might be good. As a customer, I’m happy with them, there a well organized institution with benefits and compensation. I was a telemarketer for MBNA and never missed my commissions. With a company like Telus, and being the goal oriented person I am, I could potentially progress in positions and pay rates. However, this is a sit all day position maneuvering a mouse repetitively.  Onto to the next consideration. I’d thought of pursuing work at the local Natural Market. This would present varied movement, waiting on customers, stocking, cashier and a discount on the expensive foods I need. I could do this job, if we can work out that I can sit here and there when I need to. They might not like that and I, won’t like the minimum wage. I’m worth more. My dream job promoting and teaching the Dr. Wahls Protocol. Good work, interesting, and real purpose where I am paid to help people get their lives back.

In the mean time while I figure all this out, I am brushing up on my typing skills, I want to force myself to learn Excel (for whatever reason, I have avoided that program like the plague, time to get over it). I need to practice using the new versions of Publisher and PowerPoint, which I have on my computer. Everyday, I spend a little time looking over the Calgary job market. It gives me a feel for what jobs I fit skill wise, and if I need to cross them off the list, because, for example, a driver’s license and a car is required. My college transcripts as I explained in previous blogs is something that is still in the works. Have to update the resume.

Then the complicated component. The disability programs. Plural, because I deal with both the US and Canada. Both have their respective programs. I downloaded the “Ticket to Work” booklet from social security, I need to read that. My AISH worker, disability in Alberta, I have expressed my desire to work, she is aware. I will need to eventually meet with her and talk about how their back to work program works.

In the mean time, I need to continue getting better by doing my part, following the diet, exercising, and doing physio. And, like it or not, I really need to get the carpal tunnel surgery on my left wrist. Five months isn’t written in stone, really nothing is, however it is what I see. It is a goal to work towards. I work well under timelines.

Finally, I have an appointment with my Neurologist November 3rd, I need to talk about all of this with him. I need to call the office, because its him I want to see, not one of his students. I also need to inform the nurse of my decision to discontinue Copaxone. They expect to renew me for the next year. If at all possible, it would be nice to have support from them as I try to work full time for the first time since 2004. To re-enroll in the Optimus Program (my MS clinics therapy program) where I can utilize the psychologist, the psychiatrist, the physiatrist, the Social Workers and Occupational Therapists, for the purpose of becoming fully functional again. I’ve had the program in the past to help cope with becoming dysfunctional, I will need all the help I can get to go in the other direction. Although, this is something I will do whether I have their support or not.

We’ll see how that goes. I’m still waiting for physio for improving my walking gait and left leg weakness with the e-stim machine.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from UnSplash: https://unsplash.com/photos/CpUgwcQn_SA

Tested!

As I apply the Wahls Protocol to my life day after day, I am gaining in strength each and everyday in one way or another. Along the way, I also have setbacks and challenges. This weekend was a challenge weekend that brought about a small setback. An unexpected administrative shift occurred requiring me as secretary to negotiate, write and delegate duties. It brought home a truth that I need to be wary of. I still believe that working is a possibility in five and a half months, however, this helped me remember the fatigue that can happen when a situation such as this comes up. In some employment situations, this is the job. As I dealt with the complication, I discovered damage I very much still have and I learned of improvements to that damage as well.

By nature, I am a driven sort of person. I am very ambitious and goal motivated. Being an Adrenalin junkie, I like it when things are hopping. I was always good at multitasking and thinking fast in the midst of change. After suffering the MS attack I had on the cognitive section of my brain in 2009, I laid low for a long time. I had too. The first two years, I had stopped reading anything. I took no non profit service commitments (an important aspect of my life). I then had two years, off and on, of intensive work with Occupational Therapists to learn to organize in a way that accommodates a damaged short term memory, the inability to multitask and the reduced ability to take in my surroundings, all of which contributed to my decision to not renew my driver’s license. If I didn’t respect this, I would have horrible melt downs in tears due to the fatigue of over tasking a cognitively damaged brain.

Now in some ways, I have rehabbed a great deal due to Occupational Therapy and my willingness to follow thru with their direction and suggestions. Since the Wahls Protocol, I have resolved even more of that damage. In a short six months, my thinking is clearer and logistics are understood quicker, where before they were murky and required a full two days for the information to sink in enough to make an adequate decision. Lots of terrible mistakes when I would act before I had the time to sort it all out. This is infinitely better. What is still present is the fatigue of the work of over thinking which is required to work through an unexpected situation. Friday, as the second wave of emails came in, that which I reacted to in angst as I walked through it all with a friend I was supposed to be supporting, who then became my supporter (funny how spirituality works). As problems of this nature do, they all are on their way to being resolved. Everyone stepped up to take on the extra tasks. That felt so good. It truly is a wonderful nonprofit that I am involved in. All said and done, I crashed yesterday afternoon. I did not move off my couch till this morning. I forbid myself any heavy thinking, writing or reading. I exercised this morning, but even that, I took it easy. I swam half what I ordinarily do and made the decision to skip the second workout. I’ll catch up tomorrow morning. Of course through all of this, my e-stim sessions went out the window. I did do the physio exercises Friday morning, I’ve worked those into my gym workout.

So, big breath, what have I learned?

  • Need to meditate more and talk less (yes, this is a help to the issue above)
  • Get back to making jewelry, a meditative art outlet I’ve utilized for decades (the artistic section of my brain was unaffected by the damage and so, when I do anything artistic, it eases the hurt parts)
  • Factor into my future decisions on employment the fact that, while I believe that Nutritional Ketosis and Alpha Lipoic Acid, both healers of the brain, will continue to heal, I will still have an issue here. Just as I might still have a limp and an expiration date on when my leg fatigues and I will need to sit down. So too will how much my brain can handle and when it needs to rest. These have to be factored into any future employment decisions.

Most importantly….

  • Must Let go and let God!  There is a world of constructive peace behind that simple, yet not, statement. In its simplicity, it is often misunderstood. It is not a call to do nothing, unless nothing is what is best is in that moment, it is instead a call to give up the outcomes and trust in an infinite power as I do my work.

 

This blog is an honest record. I will tell you when its hard. At the end of this blog’s year, which will be March 26, 2018, I will offer what I’ve tracked for anyone to use to further research, and to be a realistic merit to anyone wanting to invest in their health by implementing the Wahls Protocol into their lives.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels

“What if?”

Terrified! So, with my concrete declarations of the attention to work one day and be off disability in six months, I had a complete panic attack over that today. I hyperventilated to my friend this afternoon, “Who do I think I am, what do I think this is! I have MS, what if I break off disability, get a job and then make too much money and have to leave my subsidized apartment and then I have a major attack and I lose everything again.” The last time that happened as I said last night, I suffered bankruptcy, loss of direct care of my children, loss of my job, homelessness, forced to drop out of college and stop driving. Who do I think I am. “What if? What if? What if?”

I did what I do when feeling desperately frightened, I shared my fears with a friend. I got all my terrified visions out on the table, she patiently listened to it all, then offered her prudent concerns, because there are many to consider here and offered up positive thoughts too. I said a couple things, I said, “I need to ask God for help, I need to meditate and I need to be around other people tonight.” I phoned a colleague in my non-profit I am involved with, who invited me to a service meeting tonight. “Perfect!”, I answered, “I’ll go.” Then, I sat quiet with a meditation book and sought out a moment of sanity. I like meditation books when I feel this way especially, because the comforting words on the pages push out the crazy “Oh my God!” thinking in my head. I’ll explain my concept of God to you, briefly. God, to me is synonymous with the Power of positive or negative thought, much like the law of gravity. I just find it easier to call that idea GOD. Nice simple three letter word.

Emmet Fox was a Christian Scientist and one of the founding members of the New Thought Movement. Fox was at his height of popularity as a speaker in the 1930’s in New York City. I have a book of his quotes put together in a daily meditation format called “Around the Year with Emmet Fox.” This is the book I picked up this afternoon to meditate with. I closed my eyes and asked for help and flipped the book open. Out of the two pages, I chose to read the right side, December 7 (page 341):

IS IT A LIE?

Thoughtless people sometimes say that our affirmations and meditations are foolish because we state what is not so. “To claim that my body is well or being healed when it is not, is only to tell a lie,” said one distinguished man some years ago.

This is to misunderstand the whole principle. We affirm the harmony that we seek in order to provide the subconscious with a blueprint of the work to be done. When you decide to build a house your architect prepares drawings of a complete house. Actually, of course, there is no such house on the lot today, but you would not think of saying that the architect was drawing a lie. He is drawing what is to be, in order that it may be. So, we build in thought the conditions that will later come into manifestation on the physical plane.

What is your intelligence for if not to be used in building the kind of life that you want? Very primitive men in prehistoric times rejoiced when they found food growing anywhere, and then they waited, perhaps for years, until they happened to find another crop. Today we use our intelligence, and plant in good time the actual crops that we want; and the amount that we consider necessary. We do not sit about hoping that wheat or barley may fortunately come up somewhere. If we did that, civilization would collapse.

The time has come when intelligent men and women must understand the laws of Mind, and plant consciously the crops that they desire; and just as carefully pull up the weeds that they do not want.

Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; …and they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work (Nehemiah 2:18).

What are the odds that out of 365 pages, I get this one. How apropos, this alleviated my fears, and, at least for the moment, reassured me that I am going in the right direction. An action that will help too I think is to ask the Wahls Protocol Group I follow on Facebook if others went back to work successfully from disability, how old and did you have financial back up, such as a second income in the house, or were you alone. I’d like to hear what those experienced with Protocol, some as much as seven, eight years have to say. Till then, I’m off to exercise tomorrow than an afternoon in Banff (Rocky Mountains) with a another good friend. I’m up to three friends instrumental in pulling me out of this mood. Nothing like majestic mountains to get your mind off doubt and fear! I began this page with the word “Terrified”. But, will end it with, “Gratitude.” That is a fine day.

 

Bonne Sante