Is it worth all the trouble?

At the very beginning of my journey eight months ago, I hadn’t begun with the Wahls Protocol. I started with Direct MS and MS Hope first, I read up on Overcoming MS which is vegetarian and based on the Dr. Swank diet and had already been introduced to the Wahls Protocol two years before. I was split between the different methods. Direct MS was good, but I needed a definite structure. Direct MS is closest to Wahls. On OMS’s suggestion to be allergy tested by a Naturopathic Doctor, I called around. I found out the more reputable places and called a few and learned of how expensive it was. I can’t afford anything like that. I tried one more clinic on my street. I stopped in to inquire. I explained my financial situation and what I was working on and what I needed. He said he could allergy test me for just $100.00. Still a lot for me, but no where near what the bigger clinics were charging. I made the appointment.

I showed up, gave him my money and was led to a room. On the table were various small cobalt blue bottles and a machine that had a tray top. He asked me a series of questions and I answered what I knew I had issues with. He then explained that this was a non invasive test. He had a wand that was hooked up to a machine. He explained that he would place the bottle on the machine’s tray with the item we were testing for in it, gluten, alcohol, dairy, cat hair, whatever. I’m watching, I’m seeing that he’s holding a wand to my wrist and the unopened little bottle is resting away from me on the tray top of the machine, which looks like a scale. On the machine are Geiger counters. For the gluten bottle, which I had already told him I have a sensitivity to, he pressed harder on my wrist making the counters bounce higher. And so it went, with about fifteen bottles. I was told that I was sensitive to everything that I had already told him I was allergic too. Fifteen minutes is the total time I spent with him. It would’ve been more productive to light a one hundred dollar bill on fire leaving me with fourteen and a half minutes to do something worth something, like sweep my floor. Lesson learned. If you can’t afford more reputable places, don’t bother.

I switched over to Dr. Wahls Protocol and have followed it within the limits of my financial situation. It has required me to be creative, resourceful and to pick and choose this over that. Supplements in particular have been tough. To swing them all is over $150.00 per month and that’s being discriminatory. There are some that are ideal that are well over $100 by themselves such as the best digestives and probiotics. Obviously, they were out from the beginning. I tried to do the $150 and put myself way behind financially the second month I did it. I’ve whittled the supplement list down to $40 a month. I’m taking 10,000 IUs vitamin D3 drops (the most important), 1200 mg Alpha Lipoic Acid for an atrophied brain, 3,000 mg wild caught fish oil, 400 IUs vitamin E, 1000 mg l-lysine, vitamin B complex and vitamin B12. If I can find a way, I’ll replenish the digestive, but as of now, I’m out of it. Some months I have this and some months I have that.

The good news? Despite not having the ability to do every suggested component, I’m still healing. How am I doing since I stepped back from Nutritional Ketosis to level II? My digestive system is freaking out. Bloat, gas, and an overly full stomach. I’m considering going right back to level III. A while back I had mentioned that I was losing too much hair. I hadn’t followed up that dilemma. It was due to not enough protein when I was on level III. I upped it to another serving and my hair loss returned to normal. All this bru ha ha and struggle. Is it necessary? Is it worth it? With every fiber of my being, it definitely is. Because it pays. It pays in good health. Quite a statement for someone with MS since 2004.

 

Bonne Sante

 

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A puzzle worth solving

It can be very complex being your own doctor. No longer do I blindly give over my life to the medical system while I take no part in learning how my body works.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been my own advocate since 2004 from the first time I fought that statement, “Its stress.” To the final time, this past winter, a MRI, once again, gave proof that it wasn’t just “stress”. Though I’ve said repeatedly how I wished it was just that. Of course, paradoxically, stress is a big contributor to disease. My worse physical attacks have been while under extreme duress. The difference I speak of here, is where my answers are coming from, namely other sciences and unconventional doctors. So, in a way, still from Doctors just not the normal route. These Doctors require, so that I can be most successful, that I know my body and the sciences that govern it of nutrition and environment.

I’ve followed the Wahls Protocol as closely as I can for it is very precise and extremely detailed. There is volumes to learn. I don’t want that to sound discouraging, it required that I put the same amount of energy that I had put into living disabled into a changed mindset of getting well. I just needed a route that could be effective. And this was it. No longer hopeless, I had hope. No longer did I have to sit idly by and be a victim. I could actually do something about this and not wait for the day I would be bedridden. As I follow this, there is always something else to work on. For example, I’m still largely adjusting to living on a Nutritious Ketosis diet. The most recent issue, which I’ve blogged about as it was ongoing, was feelings of depression and overwhelming sleepiness. After a couple weeks of this, I finally found an article which I gave a link to on that particular day on my blog. The answer was that I wasn’t eating enough fat for my body’s energy needs on the Ketosis diet and I wasn’t eating enough protein, the bare minimum was all I was having. Since increasing both, my energy is increasing, my depression has dissipated and the sleepiness has completely lifted. So, that was it. It required me to do research, find what I was missing nutritionally, thanks to Dr. Wahls and my willingness to learn forming a base knowledge of Ketosis from which to start from, having read Wahls book several times, articles on the net, other’s experiences on the Wahls Facebook group, I found my answer.

At present, I am working on figuring out why I am losing so much hair. I have thick hair and woe to the person who lives with me, they gotta deal with that too. I’ve always lost a lot of hair and incredibly, my hair remains thick. But, this, is too much and unusual, and coming right from the roots. My intuition says it is the Ketosis diet, I am lax on a few things as I had mentioned in a previous blog, one of which is bone broth, another seaweed and still another organ meat. I feel the answer probably lies with one of these, or a supplement I need to take, like Q10. I will research what could cause hair loss nutritionally, then go from there. No longer is it a call to the Doctor, or just do nothing at all. I am my own Doctor and I am responsible to find the answers. The good news? The answers are out there! If its there, being the tenacious sort that I am, I’ll find it.

I do crosswords daily. Its one of my cognitive exercises and something I enjoy doing. I was intimidated by crosswords for years, I’d try one every now and then, and unless it was super easy, I’d give up after a minute or two. See, on a harder puzzle, I would suspect the answer, but have no confidence in my choice, then give up. Until I lived with a friend for two years who is an avid crossword enthusiast. You know the type, does the Sunday New York Times puzzle, one of the those. I started doing some of the medium puzzles lying around the house in books that had the answers in the back, and I began to realize that those answers I suspected, were nine out of ten times correct, but weren’t proven yet by the “crossword”. I changed my attitude. I filled in the word with what I felt was probably it even if I couldn’t prove it yet, and I began solving crossword puzzles. I’m still not great, but I do the medium ones with ease now and can do half of some hard ones.

This is like that, trust your intelligence, trust your intuition, do the foot work and you’ll reap the rewards. You just have to want it bad enough.

 

Bonne Sante

 

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Passed!

Where am I coming up short on the Wahls Protocol and where I am doing well. I need to reflect on this often. This is medicine for me, so it is important for me to assess and reassess my progress implementing the protocol into my life. Am I still vigilant, am I slacking off. Where am I at with it.

Vegetables: I am doing well most days with my vegetables. I need to eat equal amounts of sulphers, colored, and greens. From there I need to vary them. Dr. Wahls suggests that we should be eating over 200 species over the course of a year. I vary them well, but I can get into a rut with that. For example, greens, I eat a lot of spinach and mixed greens. There’s a whole lot more. Sulphers, I think are most varied for what is available. Colors, medium. Next, how am I doing in regards to raw versus cooked. It is suggested on Wahls III level for nutritional Ketosis that more raw is better. I am doing well here, everyday, I have two servings of raw veggies, either in the form of a smoothie, salad or Cole slaw. Final word on veggies, organic vs not organic. I am doing as well as I can afford. I can’t go all organic, but what I do do is shop using the clean 15 list/dirty dozen. Good article with the list here on Global News: Global News 2017 clean 15/dirty dozen  Grade: A (increase varieties in some categories)

Proteins: I need between 6 to 12 oz per day. I just needed to make a readjustment here, I was eating the bare minimum and often less than that. It is suggested to eat clean meats, whole, no antibiotics, growth hormones, grass fed, free range. I do the best I can with what I can afford. I worked hard to source the best prices and quality. I buy wild caught fish, I should be eating mostly salmon and other oily fish varieties, however, not a big fan, I eat cod, shrimp and canned tuna several times a week. I need to revisit salmon and try to make a better effort. What I am doing right, I eat fish two to three times per week. When I started this, that number was zero. Grade B+  (better with the fish)

Fats: I have completely eliminated whole butter and vegetable oils. I use coconut oil, saturated fat like bacon drippings, ghee (clarified butter) and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling (not to be cooked with). What did need to be adjusted due to level III, was I wasn’t eating enough, I need to eat a lot of fat on this level. A+

Nuts and seeds: 4 oz a day. All nuts and seeds are included except peanuts. The other stipulation is that they be soaked on levels II and III. So, I’ve done good in that I have completely given up peanuts and peanut butter in favor of almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts and butters made from almonds or cashews. I have flax seeds, chia seeds and sesame seeds. I soaked them once. Almonds. And they were fine, Soaked eight hours, dried on a towel, pan toasted, making them crispy again. Its the habit, I have not gotten myself dedicated to yet. On the list. C (need to commit to soaking)

Fermented foods: Suggestion is one serving a day. I am doing well here. Although, this one took me some time to understand. Per day I have one of the following a 1/2 cup Kombucca tea, homemade coconut milk yogurt, fermented pickles in brine, nutritional yeast in my smoothies or sprinkled over cooked food. If I run out of fermented foods (money issues) then I supplement with probiotics I only use for that, they last months that way (less expensive). A+

Organ meats: Technically listed in with proteins. Suggested amount is 12 oz a week. This has been a tough one for me. I tried them, my valiant try was liverwurst. Not much of a try if I am to be honest with myself. I settled on desiccated liver pills. I bought one bottle, lasted me two months. Ran out two months ago. Let that go over money. Eating it would be better and cheaper. This has to be worked on, because it is an important component. I am failing organic meat. F (Need to work harder at trying to learn to do this)

Seaweed/algae: Daily. I’ve worked on this. I bought Hawaiian Spiralina capsules to take with water. This worked out best for me. Something else, I am not a fan of eating. They are expensive, so I invested in loose Spiralina powder. That bag would’ve lasted months, but yick. Did not work for me, I’m looking to capsules or I may bring myself to try Nori snacks. Working on a solution. B (for on going effort to incorporate).

Excluded foods: Dairy, Gluten, and on level III all forms of sugar. I am doing great here, I am very strict with these. Sugar was hardest on coffee, which I love with lots of cream and sugar. I have learned to drink it black or with full fat coconut milk. Coconut milk is the only milk I can have on Level III. I’m doing well with that. I’m okay without Gluten. I eat cooked sweet potatoes that I should, technically twice a week with a lot of coconut oil, I eat them probably four times a week on average. I’m okay here. Otherwise, its all good. Although, I do miss bananas and sweet fruits. I can only have one cup of berries a day. I mostly miss the sweeter fruits in smoothies. I need to work on finding a better smoothie mix. The one I make isn’t far from green sludge. More research. B (I am not 100% compliant on on the occasional eating out situations, always compliant with Wahls, but, slack off a little on level III, maybe have a white potato, or forgive the fact that the oil is probably Canola oil and use it anyway on my salad).

Supplements: This is an area that I have had to work ridiculously hard to understand, source for quality and creatively figure out ways that I can purchase the most important ones, If I can adequately figure out what those are. I give myself an A+ for the constant hard work I put into this.

Water: I don’t drink enough, never have, old bad habit. I’m lucky if I drink three full glasses per day. Needs to be more. And it needs to be filtered. Which, I am not doing, yet. I need to invest in a filtering system of some kind. Its on the list. In the mean time, I am trying to talk myself into drinking tea later in the day and I can include the coffee, which I haven’t, I have one to two cups a day. D (increase and filter)

Natural products versus toxic: I am progressing here, slowly, but surely. I gave away my microwave (Wahls is against them). I am old enough to remember living very well I might add, without them. The transition was easier than I expected. I like the counter space it freed up. Got rid of Teflon pans and replaced them with ceramic and stainless steel. As used up the cleaning supplies and personal products, I have been replacing them with all natural. I can’t afford to through everything out I have and replace at once, this taken the last seven months to do, but I just about there. I switched to a fancy “all natural” toothpaste which has a ton of ingredients and is $8.00 a tube. Finished that off and am doing what Wahls suggested. I keep a jar of coconut oil next to a jar of baking soda. Next to these is a bottle of Peppermint essential oil. Drag brush in oil, then dip in baking soda  and a drop or two of Peppermint oil. That’s it. Its not bad. This is working well. This is the latest habit I incorporated. A

Electrical Stimulation and Physical Therapy: This is one that I have written a lot about as of late. I have worked on this since July. Long and short of it, I have the machine and am waiting for physical therapy paper work and bureaucracy to go through. Soon, I think, hopefully in the next three weeks. In the mean time, I have the machine and need to incorporate the habit of spending at least 20 minutes with a day. I have incorporated the three exercises into my workouts that are specifically for this. A (working hard on this)

Exercise: I workout four days a week, religiously. It wasn’t hard to talk me into this, I love to exercise. Its my anti depressant and I thoroughly enjoy it. I swim and circuit train. With that, I take walks. A+

Stress Relief: I am lucky here as well, I am already in the habit of meditation, group support, and working gratitude into my life daily and I have a personal relationship with a Higher Power that I rely on for strength and guidance. B+ (can always work at being better at this)

Further Detoxing: I take Epsom and sea salt baths and I use the steam room at the gym twice a week to help with this. B (not as vigilant as I should be)

Overall grade: I give myself an average B

I think, all considering, that that’s good. We’ll call this my mid term exam and revisit towards the end of my first year.

 

Bonne Sante

 

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Mystery Solved

I have been plagued with sleepiness. I sleep a solid night and then sleep two hours more, and still don’t want to get out of bed. In the afternoon, I can barely keep my eyes open and have been sleeping up to two hours then too. This morning on my way to the gym, I was following asleep. This isn’t me. I finally set to work to trying to find an answer to this. I have no doubt it has something to do with the way I am eating. And it did. I posed a question on a forum, didn’t have answers there. I went on line and found this wonderful list of possible side effects from the Nutritional Ketosis diet, why and what to do about it.

Seven ways to fight fatigue on a low-carb diet

This article comes from a site called Low Carb Diet Support. I got down to a couple answers, the immediate one that I could do something about today was eat more food. I have not been eating enough, the bare minimum. And, even though, I feel like I’m eating a ton of fat, still not enough. This diet requires between 70 and 80% of calories be from fat, since this is what the body burns as energy. So, I upped my fat intake and ate an extra portion of protein. It says be sure to eat protein with each meal. I only eat two meals, so to fast between meals for optimal healing time while the body rests from the work of digestion, and the second meal, most of the time, I skip the protein. Its hard to eat when your not hungry, which happens with this diet. The other problem is money.  It is hard to do this with little money and stay on top of it. For example, I have money coming in Thursday, but have $1.30 in the bank right now. I have one more serving of greens. Supplements, I’ve been out of several of them. Q10 is an important one, so I will get that one squared away next month. I was taking liquid Magnesium Glycinate. The bottle is $40 and lasts only one month. Can’t afford it, but got some very good tips from this article I found online:

Magnesium Supplements: Different types and different benefits

I found this on a site called Organic Newsroom. Lengthy and redundant in sections, but worth the read. Learned a lot. I’m going to try Magnesium Malate, $15 at the Canadian Vitamin Shop, that’s for 100 100 mg caps. I would need to take 310 mg a day (minimum recommended daily amount for women). That’s mostly one bottle, however, $15 a month is better than $40. This is my compiled list of attributing factors and what to do about them:

  • Be sure to eat enough fat.
  • Be vigilant, be sure to eat protein at both meals.
  • Be creative. There’s not a lot I can do about the money situation at this precise minute, the plan is to work to be ready to work full time in five months. The answer to that is to use creative intelligence. Learn all I can, research other ways to get there. Which is what the above is an example of.
  • Be in the know with the supplements. Get on the right combination of supplements, and make it a priority to make sure they get paid for. What I mean by that, know what are most important for me and which ones should be let go of. I’m finding out the hard way that Magnesium and Q10 were not the ones to let go of.
  • Attitude, its a lot of work, but its a real adventure too. And, what I am learning about the human body is amazing.

I have an appointment with my Neurologist November 3rd. I left a message on his nurses answering machine about the AISH (disability) request for e-stim physio form. I let her know on the message that I will not be renewing my Copaxone. I thought to tell them in the office, but I think they have to put paperwork in order before hand for it to be renewed, which is the purpose of this visit. I don’t want to waste their time. And I requested to see my doctor himself, not one of the MS practicum doctors. I want to talk to him about my progress and that I want to try going to work full time. I am asking for support every where I can. My niece suggested career workshops and computer skill classes. I might consider that for Excel. Hate that program. I pick up programs easy, but that one, whereas I have no doubt I can learn it, I’m not interested in it. But, in looking over the job market, there is a consistent requirement to know Excel. So, OKAY, I’ll learn it. Ugh. And, I’ll learn it with a good ATTITUDE (remember, this one’s on the list above). I updated my resume today. That was big too.

Oh, and finally, it was the diet, I ate all that extra food today and it picked me up. Sleepiness is gone. Mystery solved.

 

Bonne Sante

 

 

A day in the life eating on Wahls Nutritional Ketosis

Meals today, I haven’t been speaking much about what I eat as of late. Today, I had my first meal at 1 pm after working out this morning and doing my physio exercises. Remember that I am on Wahls Paleo Plus which is Nutritional Ketosis, which requires fasting. I eat twice a day with an eight hour eating window. Meaning that my last meal was 6 pm tonight, my first meal today was 1 pm. I will eat around 12 noon tomorrow, giving me a 16 hour fast over night, with a shorter fast between the two meals during the eight hour eating window. I know this sounds unnatural, but it has a funny way of becoming natural once you begin. For one thing, a side effect is lack of hunger. I have had no problem waiting in between meals.

Meal 1:

A smoothie consisting of, 2 cups spinach, 1 cup blueberries, 1/2 avocado, 1 tbsp almond butter, small carrot, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, dash of sea salt, sprinkle of cinnamon, 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk and water.

Four strips of Bacon

Supplements: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Balanced Complex Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, High Potency B Compound, Magnesium and Calcium, Digestive Enzyme,

Meal 2:

Free Range Chicken Thigh

Sweet Potato fries (1/2 a small to medium potato) dredged in melted coconut oil with New Orleans spice. The spices are oregano, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cayenne.

2 cups steamed broccoli with ghee

1/2 cup of Kombucca tea

Supplements: Alpha Lipoic Acid and a Digestive Enzyme

 

Most days I am on target. I should be eating some type of algae or seaweed daily. I gave away my Hawaiian Spiralina powder, need the capsules, can’t eat it. Next month, I’ll buy the capsuled powder. I should be eating some type of organ meat three times a week, can’t eat that either. I have taken desiccated liver pills. I’ll replenish those at the beginning of next month too (money’s an issue for me). Each day, I need to consume 6 cups veggies in the form of 2 cups greens, 2 cups colored and 2 cups sulpher. Today I did achieve that with a 1/2 cup extra colored (the sweet potato). 6 oz meat, the chicken thigh and four strips bacon. I need one serving fermented food, that was the 1/2 cup Kombucca tea and the 1 tbsp nutritional yeast. With my foods I need either 1 full can full fat coconut milk or 4 to 5 tbsp coconut oil. I got the combination between my smoothie and the coconut oil used on the potato fries.

Everyday, I do my best, I am never perfect. Tomorrow is another day!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture is of a cheat sheet I keep on my fridge of the Wahls basic information for the three eating levels. Again, does not take the place of the book, which is absolutely necessary as a teaching and then a reference guide. It is very inexpensive to purchase. Either go to Dr. Wahls website or Amazon to purchase online.

 

 

 

 

Sleep, sleep, sleep and sleep some more!

Nutritional Ketosis and sleeping. I haven’t slept this much since I was a teenager! Recap, I started Dr. Wahls Protocol Level III Paleo Plus which is, nutritional Ketosis, about three months ago. I successfully transitioned into Ketosis for about six weeks, then had carpal tunnel surgery and went to a convention and had a brief financial crisis, all of which threw me out of Ketosis. As soon as the issues settled, roughly three weeks later, I got right back into Ketosis. It being a physical process to adjust into nutritional Ketosis, this would be the second time that I am experiencing this in three months. It takes up to 30 days to adjust. Starting with the Ketosis flu in the first week where your body takes a hit to its electrolytes (sodium, potassium and magnesium) requiring an increase in foods such as almonds, spinach, fish, avocados and sea salt. I supplement magnesium as well. After that subsides, I get the sleepy’s for about three weeks, at the same time, I also have an increase in energy. Before I get used to it, I end up talking like someone on speed. Now that is finally subsiding and my talking, while at times still pressured, isn’t constant as it was, so, getting better. But, the sleeping has heightened. I slept from 8 pm till 7 am last night, solid. With that sleep were two hour naps yesterday afternoon and today. On average over the last twenty years, I sleep six to seven hours a night and almost never take a nap. I don’t like naps, because my sleep at night is restless without the nap, with a nap, I can’t sleep at all. Literally, I am sleeping like a teenager. This is the second time through this, so I do know that it is my body readjusting to Ketosis in the exact same way it did the first time and, thankfully its almost over. I just need to stick it through. I did some reading online and found this article about adjusting to Nutritional Ketosis that I thought was well outlined and informative:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-signs-and-symptoms-of-ketosis

Canadian Thanksgiving is this Monday. Its always been a strange day for me. I was born and raised in the US and am accustomed to Thanksgiving on a Thursday in November. Even though I have lived between the two countries since 1998, I still feel that way. In Quebec and New Brunswick I celebrated both. We had Canadian Thanksgiving at either a friend’s or Canadian families home and in November, I kept the kids home from school and invited the friends and Canadian family over our house for dinner and made phone calls home to the US. That was fun. However, I’ve lost touch with cooking for others, thank you MS. Not because of this diet, due to past lack of energy increasing over the years, making holidays a real drag. I have been invited to two friends homes this Monday, but am still on the fence about it. Part of me wants to go and a part of me wants to stay home and get stuff done. I am grateful to have been invited and thought of and so will probably go to the first that invited me. They even offered to clarify the butter for the meal. How thoughtful is that. I offered to bring Ghee with me if I go.

It is a day of gratitude, gratitude is something I work very hard to find in my life everyday. So, in the spirit of gratitude, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving Day today and every day!

 

Bonne Sante

 

 

Found a new local resource!

We found a wonderful nature store in Calgary called Bowness Health Food. Fairly large store which is mostly supplements. Prices are not too bad, some are high. Need to research pricing online before going and then compare. I don’t mind spending $5 more to support a local store and save on shipping and have local convenience. Its a problem when its $20 more. For example, I was gifted Organika Bone Broth Protein Powder by a friend (Thank You!), which sells at the Bowness Health Food $3.00 less than online at The Canadian Vitamin Shop. On the other hand, a bottle of D3 drops, 500 ml was selling for $36.00, common price is $18 at online sources. I did not have the time to look at all their D3 drop brands today, there may be one at a better price. I did buy a Kombucha drink they had there that came in a small can called Kombucha Wonder Drink Sparkling Fermented Tea that was to die for and sold for just $2.49 8.4 fl. oz or 250 ml. I will go back for more of those. Anyway, love this new found (for me) gem. I am looking forward to exploring more. For one thing, they sell Bulletproof Coffee and Brain Octane Oil. I walked around thinking, “They have everything.” I’m like a kid. Of course I have a budget and must buy the most important elements first, then consider things like Bulletproof Coffee.

Going to see the last showing of Living Proof tonight with friends. I saw it a few days ago with a group. I am accompanying a friend, which then turned to three, maybe four. This is something I want to support. Well done biopic/expose. Should you choose to attend it is showing at the Globe Cinema at 9:30 pm. Tickets are still available online and at the Cinema if they don’t sell out first. https://www.calgaryfilm.com/films/2017/living-proof

Life is good, most especially walking freely without my cane, that’s good.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture is the Bowness Health Food logo.

Yay, feeling better!

The cramping is over! And the spasticity is subsiding. I still have bloating, but my sinuses have dried up. You wouldn’t think that cheaper foods could cause such havoc, but after eating better for five months, my body reacted badly to it. It just strengthens my resolve to be strict. I mentioned in the last couple of blogs how I’ve been sick, about five days now, from a culmination of cheap meat, almost no organic vegetables and not taking digestive supplements which really are crucial. That coupled with off and on Ketosis, causing the Ketosis flu which is a need for Potassium, Sodium and Magnesium. I ran into these problems because I am on disability, which means, I don’t have a lot to spend, leaving no room for financial mishap or error. This diet is more than double the cost for groceries, that which includes only some of the supplements recommended. I have to rigidly juggle my expenses, which I have done successfully for five months, but the carpal tunnel surgery, a convention I attended and overspending on supplements and an event caused me to have to cut way back on spending for food and supplements. Suffice it to say, that won’t happen again, if its within my control. I stayed compliant, in that I didn’t have dairy, gluten or sugar (a minuscule amount in sauces at the convention). It was rather, the lack of supplements needed for this diet and cheap meat (that was the worst I think).

Right now, I am finally feeling better and even danced earlier to Jeff Beck. If you know 1970’s Jeff Beck, then you know that that man had a lot of funk in his music, especially the albums Wired and There and Back, both of which featured Jan Hammer. Jan Hammer who was originally with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and after his years with Jeff Beck, later went on to write and perform the award winning music for Miami Vice. Okay, the trivia break is over.

An important component to my staying the course is imagery. I see myself going back to work and succeeding in six months. I see myself regaining my driver’s license in one year. I see myself owning a car in one and half years. Everyday, I am getting more flexible, stronger, more balanced. I do still tip a lot, but have no doubt that too will come with time, patience and hard work. All of this is hard work. It is a commitment. But, one that pays and pays and pays.

I bought another ticket for the final showing of Living proof in Calgary to accompany a friend, to be supportive and for another shot of inspiration in the arm (that never hurts). Everything is still up in the air with e-stim. One of the physical therapy rehabs I had spoke with before is in the same building as where I exercise. I am going to talk to them tomorrow and see if I can get this attended to so that I can begin……finally!

 

Bonne Sante

 

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The Fountain of Youth

Went to exercise this morning. I had some weakness revisit me today and some spasticity come back at night too. I have got to get back into a routine for my Ketosis diet, between the conference, lack of money and the surgery, its really thrown me. For the most part I’ve stayed compliant to the best of my ability with all of this, but, the conference did cause me to eat some foods that were not ideal, the surgery caused me to fall out of routine and habit, and the short funds caused me to not take the supplements I really need to take (ran out and haven’t replenished) and I’ve relied on sub par foods, like cheap meats and mostly non-organic foods. I’ve fallen out of ketosis three times because of these three successive situations. I felt the long term ramifications of this today. Smarten up they say, paradoxically, Living Proof is tomorrow night. Good, I need a good motivator. Not that I’m anywhere near quitting. I’m not, not at all. I need to be very strict with my schedule, no surgeries, no conferences and a tight and micromanaged control on my money, which is what made me successful the first five months. There, other than that, I’m back in beginning ketosis, meaning, flu and sleepiness again till acclimate again. That’s the biggest reason to be very strict with my regime. This bouncing in and out of Ketosis isn’t good.

Reading, I thought about reading the book many times today, didn’t happen, but I did think about it 25 times or more. Tomorrow is a very busy day, so busy that I found it necessary to cancel my scheduled workout tomorrow. People coming over, then to the movie, I need my morning free to get things done and be rested for tomorrow night. It will be necessary to wait in line for an hour to be sure to sit together. This is advanced sales and unassigned seating. This theater is in a Mall, so that is helpful. We can take turns walking in the mall and holding our place in the line. I spoke briefly today with someone higher up in the Calgary Film Festival, because I couldn’t get a human on the phone in any other way to ask how early we should arrive tomorrow. I ended with her answering machine and she did call me back which impressed me greatly. She was gracious and accommodating. I told her that we had figured out our game plan, turns out one of our friends attending tomorrow is very familiar with the festival and the cinema. When I mentioned it was Living Proof we were attending, she said, “Boy, that’s a popular one!” That was great to hear.

One more thing, most of my life, I’ve been told I look younger than I am, its been a constant. Except for the last six or seven years. I crossed that invisible line into, well, invisible. But, not so the last month. I’ve heard repeatedly from people about my looks and mistaking me for a much younger person. So, if anyone is looking for the Fountain of Youth, look no further, this is it.

Just now, I got a call back from the coordinator for the Festival who went way out of her way to help me with the line tomorrow. I did say earlier that we figured it all out and were all set, but she said don’t worry. I did say that I have MS and I just needed to know what to expect with waiting times. She set it up so that we don’t have to wait. I told her, I feel bad about that because I’m not that disabled…..anymore. I explained to her, this movie is about a way of life that I’ve been following for six months that took me off a walker and a cane. I continued to point out that I was sure there would be others that will need the help more than I. Plus, there is five of us and I am the only one with MS. She said, “My God, you don’t have to apologize about that. That’s exciting!” I explained its happening to people all over the world, some film themselves, like the man who films himself daily making gains, recently he got out of his wheelchair to do squats at the end of five months. It should be on the front page of newspapers all over the world, but its not. Don’t you think that’s weird?

I am again on what my friend fondly describes as my “Soap Box.” “Your on your soap box again, get off it.”, she interjects. That is a problem I have. Oh well. I am grateful for the help, that is gratifying, I just feel guilty. Matt Embry put up a picture of Living Proof stickers someone at the Toronto Festival made for him for people to wear. I think if stickers show up tomorrow, I’ll put one on my forehead.

 

Bonne Sante

 

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“Blah, blah, blah, blah, blahbity, blah!”

I had a very productive day that ended in a last minute lovely dinner cooked by my son for a housewarming party with close friends who are our family. He made baked lemon pepper chicken with rice, but for my side he made steamed broccoli and cauliflower. He made the most beautiful salads with avocado slices, strawberry slices, green onion, sunflower seeds and cucumber slices on a bed of dark greens with homemade olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The productive part of the day was a good friend took me to three destinations I’ve needed to get too. With the surgery, I fell behind on these things. We had lunch and shared salads at this great restaurant called Fork and Salad in which you order as if you were at a Subway, but its all salads with good quality ingredients. Love it, wish it was in my neighborhood. What a day, I am truly blessed!

Talking, talking, talking. What’s that about? I have pressured speech or what is fondly called the MS Rant. Its part of the cognitive damage I’ve developed over the years. The difference, I think is my thinking is less tangential, and better directed. But, my incessant talking is worse. I think the problem here is that between the level III Ketosis state, which sharpens the brain and supplements like Alpha Lipoic Acid which assists in healing brains that are atrophied (like mine) and the increased energy from the diet in general along with the super boost from the Ketosis, I cannot shut up! I am praying that the need to talk constantly will get better and that I will adjust to this boost of energy (been about six weeks) and my speech will finally calm down. I may have to forego coffee for now. That will probably help, not that I drink a lot, about one and a half cups per day. But, I’m like my son’s hyper Corgi (Queen Elizabeth’s favorite dogs). The idea of Watson on coffee is just scary. That’s me right now. Yup, people who love me and are willing to listen to me drone on. I love you too. Thank you!

 

Bonne Sante