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

 

 

 

Status Update

Well I have slowed quite a bit on my blog. But, not on my commitment to sustaining the Wahls Protocol. I am still living this lifestyle and continuing to reap the rewards of it. My promise was to sustain the blog daily for the first year of my experience on the Protocol and I have done that. I will check in once in a while to tell of my continued commitment to the Protocol, which is enough for me. The most important information is up, that of the speed and dramatic changes that have occurred in just one year on the Protocol.

A lot is happening in my life at present. Our family has had the gift of a union with an older brother we didn’t know existed until just a few weeks ago. I flew to the states to meet him, my younger brother drove in from Ohio to Iowa/Illinois and we had a wonderful five days with him. All this came about in the mist of a cherished visit from my daughter and her aunt from Quebec. The events were back to back, five days with me here and then on a plane to Chicago to be picked up by my brother and driven three hours south. Two weeks that were a blur, a joyous one, but still, a blur. An event like the latter brings conversations with long lost and estranged family, much like a funeral will bring a lot of discussion about, so has this, to everyone’s benefit. A lot to process and traveling takes a lot out of me still.

I have spent the last four days keeping my routine to a bare minimum and sleeping a lot. I’m still tired. Obviously, fatigue is still a very real problem, maybe will always be. I still have MS and I still need to be respectful of it. My job search has taken a back seat to all of this. I had been optimistic of working full time once more, but at this time, I admit, its not possible. However, part time is viable. As soon as I feel my energy back to normal and my routine in place, I’ll revisit the work of job searching. In the mean time, I am maintaining between level’s one and two. I still workout at the gym four days a week swimming and circuit training. I still do my physio exercises for balance, gait and muscle training to take the brunt off what doesn’t work. The eating regime has become mostly second nature. I have goals I want to meet, such as learning to make Kombucha tea at home, getting kitchen supplies like a crock pot, spiralizer, food processor, etc. I have gotten into the habit of making bone broth on a monthly basis. It is so beneficial and good, that I will be sure to continue the practice. Wahls suggests having one cup of bone broth per day.

I stepped down from the third level which is a Nutritional Ketosis state. I needed the flexibility of the lower levels, which carry more options for foods. There is nothing wrong with the lower two levels, but there is a marked difference in my thinking ability. I have a significant amount of cognitive damage, which has improved with the two other levels. I have stepped down from this level twice and experienced the same thing. Some of my muddled thinking and pressured speech comes back. In a couple weeks, I will get back that level. One thing I do miss very much when I am on that level are fruits other than berries. That is tough to let go of.

That is where I am at, I hope all is well with all of you.

 

Bonne 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/

One year on Wahls! Before and After photos.

 

 

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After three months on the Wahls Protocol. End of June, 2017
after picture
Taken one week ago, one year on the Wahls Protocol, March, 2018

The before picture is with my, then, constant companions cane and leg brace at the gym. I’ve always exercised in some form or fashion. The healing is all due to the diet, along with increased exercise. I lost 40 lbs and my skin has a nice glow these days. Cane, leg brace and walker (the walker was becoming the new reality at the start of my journey on the Wahls Protocol), all are no longer needed. I walk strong, a little unsteady, but strong. Still have a limp, but not pronounced as it once was. My lower back was going, which was why I was needing the walker, unable to stand for more than five minutes at a time and falling down in my own home. My lower back will still weaken, but only after several hours of activity.

If I were more organized with this, it would be fun to make a life size cut out of the first picture and have someone film me dancing around it. My movement has improved that dramatically in one year. Today was, coincidentally, my first appointment with a career counseling agency. I said at the beginning of this journey that after one year on the Wahls Protocol I would be working. No, I don’t have a job yet, but I am sure that I am ready to try. Its been nine years.  All I can say is

Thank you DOCTOR WAHLS, MATT and DOCTOR ASHTON EMBRY, DOCTOR SWANK and EVERYONE on the DOCTOR WAHLS FACEBOOK GROUP and most importantly, MY FAMILY and FRIENDS for being so supportive! 

 

Bonne Sante!

 

 

 

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

Maybe having a cold is a reason to celebrate?!

I have a cold. Big deal right? Granted, I do get colds once in a while, but literally, I can count the times I’ve had a cold or the flu, together, on one hand since 2004 (the year of the onslaught of my disease). I asked my Neurologist about this once and he explained that he’s heard the same from others with MS that he works with. He explained, “Your immune system is hyped up.” That made sense to me and was what I also suspected. It is my antibodies attacking my own body because somewhere along the line, the lines of transmission were crossed and the antibodies mistook my myelin as a foreign threat to the system and they attack. Since my myelin is always there, my antibodies are always on guard. Weird, huh? A benefit of having MS. Of course, I’ll take the cold or flu over a MS attack any day.

So, I’m thinking, but certainly could be wrong, that this cold may be a sign that my immune system has relaxed a bit. Is it a sign of healing or the odd cold I would’ve gotten anyway? One will only know as time goes by. Before I sickened with MS, I traditionally got one cold and one flu most years. We’ll see how that goes in years to come. I’d be interested in posing this question to everyone on the Wahls Protocol Facebook page, we have members following longer then me. As well, I’m curious to know if other autoimmune illnesses experience this phenomenon. A two part question then. It is a diverse group of autoimmune illness sufferer’s treating their respective diseases with the Protocol. The perfect place to ask a question like that.

No exercise this week, a bummer. But, I’m sure that my classmates appreciated me not putting my body with its accompanying cold in a body of water with them. I will resume Sunday. I am feeling better today. Its hard to eat when everything tastes like metal, yuk. I had cold seed porridge with blueberries and coconut milk for the first meal and banger’s and mashed cauliflower and carrot for dinner. Didn’t get the greens in today, but that’s okay, we’ll catch up when I get my appetite and taste buds back. For now, I’m off to rest some more.

 

Bonne Sante

 

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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

Marching Forth into Untested Waters

Next month on the 27th marks one year on the Wahls Protocol! Can’t believe its already been eleven months. I won’t say it flew by, it was hard, but it has become second nature and a normal part of my life. So much so, that I’ve become lazy with my blog. The blog’s most important role was to help me learn, stay on track and look back when frustrated at my progress. And, it has done just that. The side benefit is to carry the message to anyone seeking, that this exists.

I am actively living level III, which is nutritional ketosis. I have completely eliminated gluten, dairy and processed sugar (I only have stevia once in a while). I have a fermented serving most days. I eat mostly organic according to the clean 15/dirty dozen list and I eat clean meat which is antibiotic, hormone free and pasture raised.  I have completely failed in the eating organ meat and seaweed sections. But, it is something that I will tackle again.

I practice detoxing by using the steam room at the gym four days a week and I take Epsom and sea salt baths. I have detoxed my household and now use cleaner antiseptics and personal care products and got rid of my microwave and Teflon pans. I continue to improve in this area.

I completed physical therapy with great success. I was blessed with a fantastic physio who knew exactly what didn’t work in my drop foot leg and taught me a series of exercises to strengthen the groups of muscles around what doesn’t work. As a result of that, I walk straighter, my gait is far better, quicker and walking stairs is even better. Physio is over, but I practice the exercises four times a week at the gym. I have completely dropped the ball on e-stim. I need to get back to using that machine.

I am counseling with a fantastic social worker, lucky me. She’s wonderful and doesn’t pull punches, which I like. I am, painfully, taking her suggestions. I have signed up to volunteer on the board of a local theater. If I do that well, then I will continue on into the work force, one prudent step at a time. I am also seeing an occupational therapist for career counseling. She basically said that I have good handle of what I can and cannot do, what is a mystery for all of us, is how many hours of work will affect MS fatigue. I have improved dramatically in this area, however, it is still an issue and these are untested waters. The volunteering is a beginning. I’ll career counsel with an agency soon too.

I am excited for my future! It has been a long, long time since I’ve experienced hope like this. It is profound.

 

Bonne Sante