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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.