Take up thy bed and walk!

I am long overdue for an update and I apologize for that. This blog was a tool to help me stay motivated, to learn by researching and then transmitting the information to you and to provide a one-year day by day record of my healing journey with MS on the Wahls Protocol. Well, I have lots of good news, much has happened and everything continues to improve! I’ll break it all down:

Balance and Mobility

  • I can now walk down a flight of stairs without the use of a railing, unheard of before and I can do my physio exercises targeting specifically my drop foot left leg without holding onto anything. This includes many one leg exercises.
  • I can exercise for an hour in a shallow pool water class. I couldn’t do that because the pounding contact with the pool floor would fatigue my left leg in ten minutes. I usually attend deep water classes for partly that reason. The other reason is that I prefer deep water. I took the shallow class this morning and passed with flying colors, the whole hour, then waded out of the pool without any fatigue at all.

Spasticity

  • Night time, horrific leg cramps are now a faint, distant memory.
  • First rise and walk from bed spasticity is mostly gone, one stretch of my left leg and it is no more. Some mornings, I don’t even need to do that.

Mid to Lower Back Damage

  • Rarely do I have electric buzzing in my mid back. My most recent lesions are there from just before the beginning of my Wahls trek one and half years ago.
  • When walking or standing for a length of time, both my left leg and my back fatigue forcing me to sit and rest for at least 30 minutes. This has greatly diminished.

Cognitive

  • I made the decision to stop driving in 2010 by simply not renewing my drivers license that year. I drove 25 years, but I knew if I kept driving with my problems with multitasking and limited ability to take in all the information needed to make accurate decisions when driving, I was going to have a bad accident. Rather than risk being tempted to drive, I made the agonizing decision to fore go my license. Well! I am more than confident to drive now. My wits are sharp again. I have my learners a month now and am practicing with a friend. Next month I’ll take the test for my full license. I do still have multitasking problems, but to give this a percentage, I am 80% better. It is something to be mindful of, but no longer is it detrimental.
  • Depth perception is no longer an issue at all and hasn’t been for a long time. Another distant memory.
  • Speaking of memory, I have improved leaps and bounds. This was absolutely crippling for me. My short term is, I guess I’d have to say 80% better as well.

Employment

  • My dream is to be 100% independent. I am working slowly in that direction. I am on disability for years now, I live alone and do not have financially set supporters or a second paycheck to rely on. I’ve had the worse happen to me twice over illness and I know first hand how bad that can be. I don’t kid myself and know that I’m still quite vulnerable. So, jumping the gun is something I must be careful about. I am working a part time job just for December in four-hour shifts at a posh gallery. Three shifts per week. A perfect first test of my stamina.
  • Volunteer work is the first thing I went back too. I am a member of a non-profit that I’ve been an acting member of over 25 years. I lost a District leadership position over illness in 2009 and have not taken a position like that since. Well, I took back that position three months ago and so far, so good. This has included two weekend travel trips without any problems with fatigue, again, unheard of. Usually, I get slammed after the fact and end up bedridden for several days. No more!

Mobility and Access around the City

  • Calgary is enormous. It is 250 square miles. It does have an excellent transit system for most parts of the city. However, it is usual if going to many parts of the city, which would take a car 20 minutes, is necessary for a combination of a bus, train and bus trip taking an hour to get to your destination. Some trips have different walking requirements depending on where you’re going. Thankfully, Calgary has something called Access Calgary that provides door to door service for limited mobility individuals. I have that. I have cut down on using Access to the most complicated trips, such as those above. My gym is one of those. To work out, then carry a gym bag of wet clothes and it is a bus, train and a bus trip. However, Access drivers often don’t realize its me waiting for a ride, because I look less and less visually disabled as time marches on on the Wahls Protocol. I believe that eventually my need for Access Calgary will be in the past. But, for now, I am being very prudent. I can have nothing stop me from getting to the gym, an integral part of my well being. But, I am getting there a day at a time.

Fatigue

  • Reduction of this has been touched on in several area’s above. Here I’ll talk about where fatigue is still an issue. When I take on too much too fast, happened twice, I will end up confined to my couch for several days. What brings this on the most is forcing myself to adjust to too many new routines at once, which is why it is imperative for me to take on new responsibilities slowly. Incorporating each gently. I do still have MS and I am not completely healed or cured, but I sure have come a long way……baby!

Skin, hair and nails

  • Oh this just gets better and better. All are strong, vibrant and healthy. I have made the decision to stop dying my hair and let my grey freak flag fly. I have had tons of compliments on my hair since I decided to go in that direction. From Cruella Deville to Fashionista comments, LOL, cracks me up. I have never been a Fashionista.
  • This is a very arid location and nails suffer terrible for it. We have a nail place on every corner. I have never had a problem growing my nails and keeping them strong on my own in New England, but not here. They peel, become brittle, and literally crumble. I am happy to say that they are strong and healthy again.
  • My skin continues to improve. Anyone seriously on this regime will experience the phenomenon of age reversal for the first few years. And I am definitely a testament to that. I get comments constantly about it.

Stomach Microbiome

  • My stomach has healed. A most important factor with this diet is that it will heal your gut. We have a delicate balance of good bacteria vs bad bacteria that unhealthy carbs and sugar throw out of wack. And, I really do believe that there is a connection between the gut, the heart and the brain, when the gut is off, so is everything else. It makes perfect sense and here am I experiencing the benefit of a balanced Microbiome. You better believe there is a huge difference in your overall well being.
  • When I began, my weight was 198 in a size 1X to a 2X. I am 5′ 4″ with a solid bone structure. I am now 152 in a loose size 12. I haven’t weighed this little since 1994. I would like to lose another 20 lbs, but I am not obsessing over that, I am feeling and looking fit.

Meditation and Stress Reducing Activities

  • This is an area where I was ahead of the game. I live a lifestyle that promotes these objectives and continue to do so. One thing I began unique to the Wahls Protocol and still do is Smudge with sage every morning and every night. Smudging is burning dried sage leaves, drawing the smoke over you as you clear your mind of all negativity. I say to myself, “I am healed.” Then, I smudge my “Abundance” rock and only allow abundant thoughts in. Important is that I take both these realities and practice them all day, which I do. If I start thinking disabled thoughts, I repeat, “I am healed.” or “I’m so poor thoughts”, I repeat, “Abundance is my reality and my future.” It works to keep one’s heart truly grateful, which is the best stress reliever there is. No poor me’s for this gal.

Working the Wahls Protocol so far

Pro

  • All the above. Everything has become second nature for me, that took the better part of a year to get that way. I prefer eating like this. Really, what I eat is what one may expect in a five star restaurant. Organic, clean and fresh!
  • I make my own Kombucha tea and bone broth. Both outrageously expensive to buy, but inexpensive to make, especially the tea.
  • I take 8,000 IUs Vitamin D, Vitamin C, B12, B Complex, and Llysine daily.
  • I continue to eat 2 to 3 cups veggies daily as specified by the Protocol.
  • I eat a fermented serving daily.

Con

  • The Wahls Protocol is expensive to follow, its my health, so obviously, where’s my choice. But, its expensive because the foods and especially the supplements are expensive. My supplement list above is a fraction of what is recommended, but its all I can afford on disability by myself. I’ll be honest, I get a little jealous listening to some who talk of designer supplements, all natural products, functional doctors, allergy screenings, etc that I can in no way afford in my current situation. But, hey, the future sure does look bright for me just the same. Maybe, my financial situation will eventually improve as well.
  • I cannot stand seaweed nor eating organ meat, both are very important health promoting foods. But, I just can’t do it and I tried. What did work for me was Desiccated Liver pills and Spiralina capsules, but again, between the two, $70 a month. Can’t afford it. So, I’ve let that go and stopped beating myself up over it. For now and I say “for now”, because I really do believe that I have an abundant future ahead of me.

Lastly, Colds and Flu’s

  • I was diagnosed in 2004 with MS. Since that time till I began the Wahls Protocol in March of 2017 I experienced only 3 colds or flu’s in all that time. I asked my Neurologist why this was. He explained that he hears this often from his patients and believes that its because our immune systems are all hopped up because of MS, an autoimmune illness, literally my own anti bodies attacking my body as if it were a disease. Well, here’s the change, I just got over my third cold/flu since I began the Wahls a year and a half ago. Three! That tells me that my immune system is normal at present. I am getting one to two colds and flu’s per year like most other people and like I did before MS. Yes, having the flu really does bite, but I’ll take the cold or flu over MS any day!

That’s all that I have for now. I’ll try not to let this go so long the next time.

 

Bon Sante

 

 

 

Resume Challenges

Writing up a resume with a history of disability is a tough one. I’ve literally been working months on rewriting and developing my resume and learning to deal with online platforms like Linkedin and Indeed, both of which have automated arranger’s that do not work for me. I am getting there. I feel I am two thirds of the way there. My wording needs to be more verb than noun, right now its more noun than verb. I’ve sought the help of friends over career centers for critique of my resume reincarnations. I went the career center route first and was pulled in twenty directions without assistance on my resume. Which, was what I most needed help with, given the challenges I have to present myself in a way on paper that will get me an interview, that is where I need help. Once in the interview, I’m not worried, presenting and selling are what I am best at.

To make it more difficult is the fact that I have a lot of experience and many skills that have been honed over the years of my life, but many not in the usual sense. I have many blank spots in my work history, not just the last disabled reasons. Starting with seven years as a feature dancer in an industry that one can’t mention on a resume or in an interview. I’m saying it here, stupidly probably, because I’m sick of constant omission. I had worked my way up to the top of that line, it was a better deal then. Kicked out of school in the 7th grade, I got my GED at the age of 33 in 1996 with a 6th grade education and didn’t need to study for it, I took it and passed. I worked as a Mental Health Technician on a locked crisis psych unit at a community hospital for seven years. In a time when you didn’t need a degree, it was heavy duty on the job training. It was a college education in and of itself, but I have no paper that says I can do the job.

I stayed home to raise my son in 1994 moving to Quebec in 1998. Aside from little part time jobs, I have no paid work history here till 2001. But, during this time, I founded and incorporated a 501c3 non profit, multifaceted, four-day festival that in its third year attracted 4,000 campers and attendees and became solvent. I created a successful seminar that involved two languages, two countries and speakers from New York, Quebec, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and New Brunswick, in the middle of no where Fort Kent, ME and revived a three day Convention. All events were successes, all events asked me to stay on or recreate them. The festival, started in 1995, is still running today. The other events were one time events. I have orchestrated many fundraisers, concerts, and dinners. But, all of them were unpaid, non profit events to support and promote a sober way of life. “Sober way of life” events vs “Drunk way of life” events, which one do you think I could easily put on my resume.

In 2001 I went to work at MBNA America, which has since closed its doors in the US and sold out to Bank of America. When I worked for them, they were the third largest credit card issuer in the world. They sold credit cards for over 300 businesses, institutions, banks, clubs, stores, etc. They were the first bank to do so. I worked as a telemarketer for them, three years. I was a sales coach and was frequently listened to by others struggling to sell certain cards or at all, to learn from my approach. My strongest cards were the cards for lawyers and the high end Quantum Card for the elite. I never once missed my commission. Then, I got sick in 2004.

On temporary disability,  after having an operation and hoping the two lesions I had in the brain were because of a compression on the neck that had been fixed, I set to work going to school to give my self more options for work. At this time I was a single mother of two ages five and fourteen. The plan was to go for a Bachelors in Business Sciences with a minor in writing to back up my organizing events experience and become a professional for profit event organizer.  I made it half way, with a 3.76 GPA, of which all of my business and writing classes were 4.0. I loved every minute of it, starting out the way I have in life, it was a dream come true, I loved school, always have. I had a bad MS attack cognitively and that knocked me out. But, I did successfully complete 64 credits, but I can’t get my transcripts. I was forced to file a bankruptcy on the government loans. I recently learned that one small one was over looked and nine years later has tripled. Till that’s paid off, I can’t get the transcripts, which would be nice to have, because they show my marks. Suffice it to say, I can’t pay that off till I have a job. That was 2009.

Several years to recuperate and then an attempt to build up my 26-year skill in jewelry making into a business. I opened an Etsy shop, organized and built up enough product for shows and entered the Fire Mountain Gems international contest against some of the best beaders in the world and won Gold. I was building and doing very well, but was progressively getting worse from MS and couldn’t keep it up. I took down the Etsy shop, I declined invitations to enter other contests and stopped the shows.

I worked for Suzie Q’s Beads, Buttons and Bijoux for 2 years, 2013 to 2015. I did well at her store. Here I sold high end costume jewelry, jewelry making supplies and taught patrons basic jewelry technique. I worked 11 to 15 hours per week. Suzie downsized and then closed her shop and I was let go. That one hurt, I very much loved working there and worked with a great team of people. Suzie told me that I was the best sales person she’d ever hired or known.

I have presented successfully in one form or another for non profit causes, my own art work, credit cards and services and a sober way of life for decades. I am a starter upper, I have vision for business and I am tenacious. I have overcome and healed a broken childhood, an alcohol problem (26 years sober), quit smoking, and most recently, put MS into remission and am reversing damage via the Wahls Protocol, which really does work. I am thoroughly trained in crisis intervention including giving Mental Health Status Exams, Intake, admissions, and suicide watches. I am proficient in Microsoft Word, Power Point, Desk Top Publishing, and am becoming proficient in Excel. I am well versed in online platforms such as Word Press, Etsy, Facebook, and Instagram. I am a research hound, strong writer, and I can type 60 words a minute. I am 55 with a disease that most know as “unrecoverable” and complicating matters further I have mostly my word on my skills having no degrees and no certificates to prove it.

I do have many professional friends who will give me references.  My aerobics and gym Instructors, who watched first hand my transformation right before their eyes, will also give me references. One suggested I get certified and coach others, but after looking into it, its $1,200.00. Again, need a job to get a job.

Anyway, who wants to hire me?!

Line on up, I’m dying to hear from you…..have I got a deal for you!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-and-woman-handshake-567633/

Its a question of patience, initiative and time.

I am diligently working on preparing myself for the workforce. I am career counseling with one center and will make an appointment with another tomorrow. The two centers have different strengths. I am utilizing an online site run by the Alberta government as well. My resume was a challenge to configure due to lapses in time making my resume look like hell in chronological order. Dealt with this by grouping my experience and listing them by years rather than specific dates. I finally called my university to inquire about the hold on my transcripts. I had to drop out in 2009 due to a MS attack and qualified for a government bankruptcy due to disability of my student loans. However, one small one was overlooked and that loan has now tripled due to nine years of fees and interest. Until that is paid, I can’t access my transcripts. I gave them my information and expect to be hounded by them soon to pay. Which will have to wait. Oh, the wreckage of Multiple Sclerosis!

I had thought to start right away on full time and actually applied for a full time job, than had a heart attack over it. I’ve been cautioned to start with volunteer, then part time first. Which, I am doing. I applied for a reasonable job and hope to hear from them. If I take on too much, too fast, I’ll lose track of my commitment to the Wahls Protocol, which is the reason I am able to work at all. Fatigue is the other problem, there are still days where I need to sleep and do nothing. How will that work with a full time job. My ultimate goal is to eventually and slowly build myself up into a full time job situation while successfully incorporating the Wahls Protocol into that schedule, thereby, if this goes well, allowing me to wean off of disability. Time will tell that story.

Time….I’ve been held back for so long, I am raring to get out there and do something! I am ambitious by nature. A self starter. Patience is needed or I can set myself back. Not the plan! This month, I want to get to a registry and learn what is required for me to get my license. That’s a priority. I have the use of a friend’s car to practice with once I get my Learner’s Permit. I am sure it will be like riding a bike, I drove for 25 years, but its been eight years and I will need to rebuild my confidence behind the wheel. In the mean time, I am anxious to begin a part time job, I am sick of being flat broke all the time due to the cost of the Wahls Protocol. I have debt to pay on, a driver’s license to obtain, citizenship to file for (I’m on a Landed Immigrant Status) and, eventually, a car to finance. I am getting there….one carefully stacked boulder at at time.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Note: The monthly symptoms page has been updated.

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/background-balance-beach-boulder-289586/

A shift in attitude

Until I stop crying about the state of my affairs where I am consistently focused on what other people have or don’t have, I will go nowhere. Even if good breaks come, I won’t see them because I will be entrenched in the practice of someone else who has it better. Having Multiple Sclerosis is not what I had hoped for, but here we are. I must see past the “unfair’s” in order to cope my very best with what I’ve been dealt. For one thing, we never know what another’s “cross to bear” is. When practicing jealousy and self pity I then constantly compare with what I assume other’s have: more money, more opportunity, better upbringing, ready access to education, etc. I assume a lot. You never know what that person has been through or where they’ve been in their lives by the one day I stand with them feeling the “why them’s and not me’s”. And just consider the complete waste of time, energy and how ultimately destructive this is. Time and energy I could direct into working towards an abundant future as I seek my path of purpose, whatever that is. Even if its only the purpose of being the positive one in the room, the big smile that greeted you and made your day better.

I grew up in an unconventional way, outside mainstream society. It wasn’t easy to work out of that and learn all that I hadn’t had the chance to learn. When I think that that wasn’t fair, then I remember I’ve been given a gift from my experiences. That being the opportunity to live among people of many walks of life giving me a birds eye view of the human condition more than someone who has been sheltered all their lives, living in one place with little experience outside of their one culture. On the other hand the person who has been sheltered all their lives may find that they are satisfied with a simpler life and is a stable, steady person. Something that I’ve always had to work hard to be.

Sickness happens, I’ve been given a gift. The Wahls Protocol is my ticket out, but it has taken a commitment of mind, body and spirit. Having MS is a great deal of work all by its self. If I have to work that hard to deal with an affliction and someone hands me a tray of tools that I need only commit to the path to reap the rewards of health and well being, then really I have two choices. One is to continue being disabled in mind, body and spirit and hang onto my old ways of doing things, looking for the magic pill that will heal me without me having to change anything in my lifestyle and causing me to deal with the horrible fall out of another MS attack. Or, I can accept that I’d rather put that time, energy and effort into exercise, diet and a change of attitude that will bring me increased health and well being and no more MS attacks. I am human and stubborn, it took me two years to wrap my head around the fact that it is absolutely necessary for me to do this and become willing to go any lengths for it.

I’ve had to overcome a lot of adversity in my life, as I am sure others have too, and each time it has been the same process. Change or die. There is such a thing as death of spirit too. Doesn’t have to be a mortal death. The process was always enough pain from the conflict to finally cause a moment of defeat and throwing in the towel, thus opening my mind to a better way. Once I do that, there is no more warbling back and forth, I have accepted that this is it. Then I let go of all the “poor me’s” and “its not fair’s”. Of course, there is no hope till the kit of tools is revealed. Diagnosed in 2004, I was not made aware of this till 2014. That said, it is not your fault if you’ve not been shown a way out, but once you have been shown a way that works. Then its your responsibility to give it all you’ve got. To “play the Hell out it”.

I love the quote above from Sheryl Strayed who is the author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail her memoir of her own overcoming journey. A movie adaptation from the book was made called Wild (released 2014) featuring Reese Witherspoon. This is another practice of mine, I am always on the look out for others who rise above their difficulties. I fill my life with them. Instead of filling my heart with the sickest people’s antics, I choose to instead fill it with people getting well. On the 27th this month I am celebrating one year on the Wahls Protocol and will post my before and after pictures. Thank you Dr. Wahls!

Bonne Sante

Picture from Pexels

Quote from the book: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

By Sheryl Strayer

What next?

The sound of steel chains clanking against wood, the feel of a breeze across my face on a sunny day, the sounds of carnival music and children laughing, the fear in the pit of my stomach as we slowly climb the first big hill of a new coaster that I’ve never been on before. Deep down inside, I know we’re safe, but, a horrifying thought, “There is the rare and odd case of a malfunction, like the one I heard of that shot a car of screaming patrons off the tracks and into a billboard sign killing everyone……or was that an urban myth?” “Oh my God, were at the top!” I can see the whole park and half the city from here. We creak up to the tippy top and just begin to crest where I see for the first time just how sharp and steep the trip down will be. Yikes!

This is a how I feel with my plans to hopefully rejoin the work force. I am slowly creaking up the big hill, more than halfway to the top. Most of the time, I am sure it is the correct direction, but that it must be slow, like the car creeping up the tracked hill. Counseling first, volunteer work next, then career counseling and finally the time will be to knock on doors of potential employment situations that will be best suited for me. That day will come when I crest the hill, tipping, and I take the literal plunge. A fleeting thought, “Oh my God, will my car break away from the steady, but fast guidance of the rigid tracks as I fly off and crash and burn!”

Truth is, I don’t know what its like on the other side of that hill, this is a new coaster ride. I do know that chances are infinitely slim that I will fly off the track, because the track I am on is a steady one. It is a well thought out, well advised, researched, prepared for and worked for track, most important is that it is a Higher Powered track and I have faith. I know that the ride will be exhilarating and rewarding. I also know that I will be frightened, but really, really happy too. I love roller coaster rides. Then there is the moment of the fleeting thoughts, “Maybe I shouldn’t do this?! What if….? What if….? And…..What if?!”

Someone shot down my greatest accomplishments in my life on my resume in the space of 60 seconds because they are not suitable to be on a resume. You will be prejudiced against, red flags will be set off with this word and that word. That goes right in line with old paranoia’s that I have worked years to grow out of. Self constructed prisons of, “What will they think?” and, “Who will take me seriously?” I have not had a conventional life, both my failures and my triumphs are controversial to some. Can’t talk about MS, can’t talk about the blog, can’t talk about 26 years clean and sober and all the accomplishments I’ve had with organizing successful events. I wonder if it is okay to list success in drinking events instead. I will not hide my entire life from anyone. I bring all of me or none at all. I said that in college and I wrote honestly and I received nothing but the greatest respect from my teachers and my class mates and one A after another on all my written papers. I said then, “I bring all of myself or nothing.” I will not live a pretend life of safety that was never my real life. My life has been a roller coaster ride that I am not ashamed of. Some of it does belong on a resume. Because I earned it. If someone will prejudice me for that, than why do I want to work for anyone who thinks like that.

Bonne Sante

It is a matter of thought…

I gave away my walker last week. A woman in my lobby was waiting with a walker unable to get into her cab because her heavy duty, older walker didn’t fold up. I thought of my aerodynamic fold up walker that I haven’t needed to use in six months. I gave her the walker, she was thrilled to have it and I was thrilled to not need it. A friend said, “What if you need it again?” I said, “A. I’m not going to need it again and B. If that’s not the case then I’ll buy one.” Its like giving away clothes that are too big for me. I want to keep them in case I put the weight back on. That thought is self defeating. I live my life in the day and keep a vision for tomorrow well stoked. My vision for tomorrow is abundance, health and physical fitness. My responsibility is training my thoughts and body for that future today.

I am a sober alcoholic. It would be the same as keeping bottles of my favorite alcohol lying around, in case I drink again. Sobriety has been the act of thinking sober. Losing weight has been the act of thinking thin and fit. Getting well has been the act of thinking spry, active, clear minded and to stay focused on that. I had to tackle the disabled mentality and identity that one becomes accustomed to when reduced by an illness as devastating as MS. I’m preparing to work again. The MS Social Worker said as she motioned two fingers slowly pinching closed to a one inch gap, “Baby steps.”, she cautioned, “Try volunteering fifteen hours a week first.” My instant retort, “I already volunteer fifteen hours a week.” That is the perfect example of a closed mind. First of all, the volunteering I do is sporadic, not in eight hour shifts. That’s what I need to do.

After allowing the idea to sink into my head (took a week), I contacted a friend who is involved with a non profit that had asked me a few years ago to get involved. I declined then, because I was way too sick to commit. However, that isn’t the case now and is a prudent way to test the working waters and see how I do over the course of several months. That is wise. If I leave it up to my head, Miss, “I want to jump into a forty hour a week job after over a decade of not working first!”, mentality can and will set me back leagues. Slow and steady wins the long haul race. I’ve asked professionals for help so that I do this prudently and don’t set myself back. Asking for help is part one, part two is taking direction. We see advisers as a weakness, but it is actually a sign of strength. Most powerful and successful members of society have advisers. For a complete picture the balance is to research your advisers (make sure they have the expertise you need), weigh the information they offer and look up your own information. In other words, don’t follow blindly, do your due diligence and don’t close your mind to other’s valuable experience. Its a balance. I see the Social Worker a second time and have my first appointment with the Occupational Therapist this coming Wednesday. Woody Allen said that, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” I have learned that this is absolutely true and that the rest is following up with what is offered. I am on a fact finding mission to understand what I can do and what I can’t. This way, I am protecting myself, making myself as useful as possible and not wasting anyone’s time.

I have a clear vision that is growing and expanding. I see myself successful in my work, my personal life and will be financially set. My responsibility is to do whatever I need to do to realize this. That is to stay positive, change my thinking to that of an able bodied person, to think abundantly, to get to the gym, eat the foods needed for health, and continually cut out toxic products and toxic people from my life…..

…….One day at a time.

 

Bonne Sante

Ugh……Snow Bound

I workout four days a week, Sun, Mon, Thurs, and Fri. Monday I saw the MS Social Worker and today and now tomorrow, I’ve had to cancel due to the snow storm were having. It is a slow storm over the course of two days, but this city is huge, 512 square miles or 825 square kilometers. Huge. It takes them a while to clean up after storms. It makes me nervous to miss exercise sessions. It is motivating me to take the time to sit down and make jewelry. Its been awhile. That does feel good to do. Jewelry making is an old friend of mine going back 25 plus years. Things could be worse, I could be working right now trying to get to my job. Which will be a concern, hopefully, next year.

I’ve been experimenting with recipes and store bought level III adaptive snacks. Sometimes, you just need something, chewy or salty and crunchy. I’ve tried beet chips, which are good. I learned how to make Kale chips and almond flour biscuits. All hits.

Crunchy Dried Beets

The beets are dried, thin, crunchy and naturally sweet. The bag I bought’s only ingredient are dried beets. Nothing else added. That’s important, look at the ingredients always for fillers or oils we can’t have. What I especially like is that they are high in Potassium. I didn’t realize beets were high in Potassium till I read it on the bag. Potassium is helpful for me on level III, whereas that’s one of the elements that can take a hit in Ketosis. This is the brand I bought in Canada at Costco:

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These chips are sturdy enough to be good dipping chips. Dips I use are olive pate, Tahini sauce, salsa or guacamole.

Salty Kale Chips

Baked Kale chips. Helpful, whereas I can use kale as either my vegetable portion of greens or sulpher as they fall under either category. I found this recipe online:

http://ohsheglows.com/2014/03/12/6-tips-for-flawless-kale-chips-all-dressed-kale-chips-recipe/>

This has an excellent tutorial to make the perfect crunchy chip. The spices are good, though I could cut down a bit on some ingredients. Play with it till you get it where you like it.

Chewy Almond Flour Biscuits

This is a recipe I found for almond flour biscuits. I make good homemade biscuits. If that is what you’re expecting, these don’t fit that bill, however as something, new and different. They are very good. More like a soft chewy cookie, they have a nice texture and make a good base recipe that could go in the direction of cookies or flavored biscuits. I no longer have the website I found this recipe from, I apologize to the creator of them, I am going to reprint:

Almond Flour Biscuits

  • 2 cups Almond Flour
  • 2 tsp Gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs (beaten) or 1 tbsp flax or chia seed mixed with 3 tbsp water for each egg
  • 1/3 cup Ghee or Coconut oil (measured solid, then melted)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I didn’t have any, so light greased with coconut oil, worked fine).
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in wet ingredients.
  3. Scoop tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the lined baking sheet (a cookie scoop is the fastest way). Form into rounded biscuit shapes (flatten slightly with your fingers).
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, until firm and golden. Cool on the baking sheet.

I played with these already and attempted a Keto friendly cookie. I added 2 tbsp Cacao, stevia to taste (optional), and 1 tsp vanilla. They were okay. I would add more Cacao, maybe 1/4 cup. I really need to play with that more, liquid will be needed or fats increased. Play, play, play.

Everything I learn is another tool in my arsenal, giving me more options and increasing my success.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Physical Therapy and MS

These are my thoughts, musings and personal experience about this, so please, do not take my opinions as if from an expert, I am not. That said……..LOL

I am having traditional physical therapy with an emphasis on rehabilitation. I have been accustomed to physical therapy with the point being to adapt to debilitation. Having been diagnosed since 2004 and this is the first time I am having PT for my left leg which is my oldest damage for the purpose of walking better, increasing my strength and reworking the whole area to support my weakened hip flexor, feels good. I have had PT twice here in Calgary, never in Maine, US, not even an option, so in that way, this has been better. The PT for my cognitive problems was fantastic and it was rehabilitative, but the physical therapy was to teach me to adapt to a cane and not on relearning how to walk despite the damage. Big difference.

The therapy I am having now I fought for. We had so much bureaucracy surrounding getting me into a few sessions of PT to learn where I should put the electrodes for e-stim was ridiculous. But, I have it now, thanks to my disability worker, the social worker at the PT center and my own diligence to push on. I was approved for nine visits and I have loved every one of them. Today was number seven, I have two more. The last six visits have focused on exercises to strengthen the glute, quads, lower back and abdominal muscles that can work together to pick up where the hip flexor can’t. Today, though was exercising directly what does not work in terms of messaging from the brain. I had a bizarre reaction.

I was directed to bring my feet close to a step, I still need to hold a pole for balance, and lift my foot back, then up clearing the step to the other side. That was hard, we started with a high step, which I couldn’t do. He adjusted the step to something I could clear from this position, which was about half the height of the initial step. I could max three at a time and it involved a lot of pain to lift that leg like that. On the third set, I got sick. I was flushed with heat, light headed and nauseous. My chest felt like fingernails running down a chalkboard. I stopped and rested for ten minutes, then found some cold water to drink. When I felt a little better, I tried again. I discovered that if I lift my leg with my abs, I could do it easier. Still made me sick, but not as bad. What did alarm me worse though was my back going numb after seven sets of 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 1.5, and 1. The abdominal twist got me very excited, because that can make a huge difference in lifting my leg straight up. Rough one today, but I can see the benefit.

Pushing on!

 

Bonne Sante

What to do when feeling edgy

That is the title, not because I am an expert on the subject, more because that is the mood that has been plaguing me as of late and one way to change the tract of negative thinking is to focus attention on the opposite of it. I don’t always need to know why I feel this way and thankfully, these days, it isn’t often that I suffer from this and thankfully when I do have days or times like these, I won’t tolerate it by entertaining a mood like that for very long. Its time has come. I will say this, a feeling of powerlessness will push me in this direction. If the situation is truly a deal that I am powerless over, then I won’t have peace till I accept that fact. How can I achieve this then? By writing about my feelings, talking about it with a trusted and wise friend, acknowledging it, changing what I can and accepting what I can’t.

To backtrack a moment to not “entertaining a mood”. What do I mean by that. Anything will grow when attention is given it that feeds it. Like oxygen on a flame or water and sun for a plant. It can be good, it can be bad. What I magnify becomes my result. The choice I have is what I choose to magnify my attention on. Suffice it to say I am in a bad mood. Why? Because I have focused my attention on situations that I clearly have no power over and have forgotten what is good. I let myself get depressed over them and indulged in a a narrow and negative point of view. All of which culminated in hissy fits this morning and then feeling bad about that (lot of self centeredness going on there). To get over this mood and get out of my self centered obsession, I need to do the opposite of what was listed above.

I’m powerless……..I ask for a Higher Power’s strength to do what I need to do to get me out of this funk. Means I need to accept what I have no control over, people, places and things and change my attitude to a constructive one, not destructive.

I’m depressed…….I take self care action. Like extra grooming which is an act of self love, extra time cleaning my living space where I dwell, another act of self love. Forcing myself to show up, in my situation its been within the four walls of my house when alone that I succumb. Therefore, show up at home, do things that interest me and if I’m not interested, do it anyway, get things done, don’t sleep and zone out in front of a TV.

I’m indulging negativity…….I will indulge the positive instead, starting with a gratitude list. I find when I take the time to actively sit down and write out a well thought out gratitude list, it doesn’t take long for me to see that, truly, I’ve got it pretty good.

Self centered thought process…….First off, it has taken a long time for me to even understand what self centered thinking is and how to recognize it, for others, it comes easier, for me, its work to stay out of it. Thinking of others, while forgiving myself for my shortcomings (hard for me). Thinking of others and practicing art are ways to get myself out of my head.

There, I feel better already!

 

Bonne Sante

 

 

Muffins and Calf Raises

I made wonderful muffins tonight. The recipe:

Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 11/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten or 1 tbsp ground flax or chia seed mixed with 3 tbsp water (let sit ten minutes or lightly heat up
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dried whole unsweetened cranberries
  • 2 squares Lindt 85% chocolate, chopped into chunks
  • 8 almonds sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or place paper muffin cups in a 6 cup muffin tin.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Mix the canned pumpkin, egg, coconut milk and maple syrup. Gradually mix in the flour mixture until just blended. Fold in the cranberries.
  4. Split muffin batter evenly between the 6 muffin cups (the muffins are large muffins so the tins will fill up. Top the muffins with chopped chocolate and sliced almonds.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. 3-5 minutes before turning out from pan.

I have amassed a lot of recipes that I have piled up in my notes and I-phone. The plan is to transfer these to the recipes page. But, not today.

I experience gains most days. Today, I was able to use a very heavy standing calf machine. I like lifting weights, I did a lot of body building in the 80’s and 90’s. I switched to circuit training over the years. Body building is, on average, three sets of eight to twelve reps using the heaviest weights you can lift with a rest between each set. Usually workouts are split between chest, shoulders and triceps twice a week, back and biceps twice a week and legs twice a week, abs every day. Circuit training is a full body workout three to five days per week and is one set of twelve to twenty reps moving from one exercise to the next with no rest between.

One of my favorite exercises when I was body building was calf raises on a standing calf machine. I tried to do one about five months ago with no added weights (the machine at my gym is an old heavy thing which, rested by itself on shoulders is probably 40 or 50 lbs). I almost didn’t get out from under the machine. Scary and disappointing moment. Since then, I’ve done calf raises without the machine or weights at the side of the machine. Today, I mustered my courage up and got under the heavy shoulder pads and let the lever go that puts the weight from the lever to your shoulders. I did four reps and had no problem putting the lever back that takes the weight off your shoulders and getting out from under. Some would say not a big deal but, for me it was. Yay!

 

Bonne Sante