All or Nothing? I Pick All.

When I tackle something, I have learned through the years of my life to bring all of myself or nothing. I am an open book. Following the Wahls Protocol and how I am defeating MS is no different. My goals for this blog have been:

  • To help keep myself motivated and accountable
  • To provide a detailed record of one person’s healing
  • To inspire others
  • To give a truthful account, good and bad
  • To share helpful information and shortcuts that I have learned
  • To give a realistic account that does show how hard, yet how doubly rewarding this has been and is
  • To prove that its all worth it

At this time, as I have written in the past few blogs, I am rehabilitating in preparation for the workforce. I will have a job that fully utilizes all that I have to offer. Too be successful, I have had to look at some tough to swallow truths about myself. I have written about these as I deal with them. Is it wise to publicly speak of a crippling past fear of success, of horrible wreckage at the hands of MS, of darker issues that I have worked very hard to successfully overcome, thereby preparing me for a one hundred percent commitment to the Wahls Protocol?

Fear….what if a future employer reads about these issues and discriminates and I lose the opportunity for this job or that? Here’s my answer to that…..I bring all of myself or nothing. That includes any future job on my horizon. My learned skills, my experiences, and my wisdom comes with me. I once lived in a self constructed prison, terrified that the world would know where I’ve been and what I’ve done and that secretly, deep down inside, I knew you knew that I was worthless. It has taken me a long time to overcome that. Today, I have so much to give, so much I want to learn, and so much to share. Because of the Wahls Protocol, my body is finally catching up to my ambition and drive to help others. My mind is out of the fog, awake and hungry to learn more.

I had a friend in the early 90’s who had Progressive MS. She was diagnosed when she was 18. She managed to complete her degree in education, but was never able to realize her potential in her chosen career. By 26, just as I met her, she lost her right to drive, her husband left her for someone else and she then had to let go of her position as the primary caregiver for their three year old son. She was athletic, she went to the gym five days a week. A tiny, muscular thing. She strained as she forced her spastic legs to walk, her hands shook uncontrollably and the day she messed herself, but then calmly gave us direction to help her, all of us embarrassed for her, whilst she stayed calmer then us all. I think often of her courage and dignity in the face of all that ugliness.

That year a new drug, the first ever, was introduced. Copaxone. I watched her face light up with a renewed hope, only to see it fall just a few days later when she was told that the drug could do nothing for her as she was Progressive. Well Joanne, I just want to say to you, I have relapsing remitting MS and I have been on Copaxone for ten years. I started the drug when I had 20 lesions and now I have double that. I too lost my ability to drive, lost my ability to work, had incontinent bowels and had to give up primary care of my children. So, my dear friend, you missed nothing. She died a few years later, bedridden. When I was diagnosed with MS in 2004, I immediately thought of Joanne. Terrified, having watched what it did to her. If she had been given the knowledge that I have been given, she would’ve jumped on that band wagon in a heartbeat. She was far more disciplined than I am. If she’d known that Dr. Swank had published his 30 year trial on MS and diet with astounding results around the same time as the release of Copaxone, she’d be here telling me about the new exploits of her now adult son.

That’s why I have a responsibility to share my experience, strength and hope and that includes the dark stuff. So anyone afflicted with not just MS, but other autoimmune conditions, can have a chance to take control of their own health again or even better, prevent themselves from ever developing one of these diseases. This is my personal journey, and like all journey’s, though they may be the same road, each will be its own.

My success is in memory of Joanne.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-background-beach-blue-296282/

Thirty Minutes with a MS Psychiatrist

I am readying myself for future employment after disability since 2004. Its a big step that involves complicated facets of myself and my individual situation. I have had a complicated life, an out of the ordinary life, half of it, an out of the mainstream life. After the controversial part of my life was over, I spent the second half getting over it. Twenty-six years of understanding why I do this and why I do that. Twenty-six years of catching up to most, educationally, emotionally, maturely, and spiritually. Its a fact, that they’re not kidding about the layered onion. In my recovery, I’ve had lots of successes and many failures, of course, that is life. But, in order for me to be successful at adhering to the Wahls Protocol, I needed to look at a darker side of me that hides behind extra weight. Without answers to that, healthy weight loss, being a side effect of the Protocol, would cause me to quit again. I had to get to the bottom of the problem, I am not willing to take it to the wheelchair. It wasn’t a new problem, I’ve worked on it in layers for the last 26 years. I finally said, “I’m done.”, and I meant it. To date (ten months), I’ve lost 39 lbs and am 26 lbs from my ideal weight. Big milestone was for me to allow myself to go under 160 lbs. I am done.

The weight issue was one facet. Going back to work has others. One of the others has to do with a propensity to run from success. This is the other issue that I am done with. I’ve walked away from a few big successes that I worked hard for and when the attention comes, I run, I don’t quit, I just don’t continue. I’m no quitter. I’ll go to any lengths to build it, its sticking around after and reaping the rewards of my hard work that is the issue. Why? I can’t answer that. “Why?”, was asked of me many times today in a short thirty minute session with the MS Psychiatrist whom I saw to discuss several fears I have about returning to work, that was one of them. The other questions, asked repeatedly by the Doctor were, “What do you want me to do for you?”, or, “Why do you need to see me?” No matter how I tried to explain my goals and fears, I had, “Yeah, but (insert one of the lines above)?”, were the answers. I was seeking a concrete plan to work on, some professional direction and education. See, this is the other component to getting anywhere with all of the above. Hard work, a lot of hard work and determination is required to make deep effecting change. Despite all of this, we did come up with a plan. I’m going to see Occupational Therapists to assess my skills against my disabilities and I’ll see the MS Psychologist about the running after success issue and he gave me the names of three career counseling centers. That is a plan, but, I guess that I had hoped for his take on my past behavior. His questions followed the answers from me that I am not depressed, I am not suffering from anxiety, I am not dealing with any psychosis. Apparently, overcoming emotional trauma is not a reason to see a Psychiatrist, who knew?

I’m going to see the MS Social Worker February 5th. I will be talking to her about the complexities of dealing with disability in the US and Canada and preparing to go back to work. We will also discuss, what I can never do, what I can do some of, what I’m good to go on. Finally, we will discuss my resume, which now has huge holes of blank time and how best to handle interviewers questions about it. The Psychiatrist asked, “What do you see yourself doing?” First, I answered with my varied list of skills, then answered literally. In my heart of hearts, I see myself promoting the Wahls Protocol. That’s what I see myself doing. Now that’s a purpose to have.

How this will unfold, I do not know. I only know, that I am preparing myself for a future. The rest is up to my HP. This is what I know, and that is that I don’t have to know, just that when it all unfolds, I will be ready. In the mean time, I will continue to put one foot in front of the other, come what may.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/en/sigmund-freud-freud-psychoanalysis-2013309/