It is a matter of thought…

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

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

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

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

…….One day at a time.

 

Bonne Sante

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/

I’ll say, “Hell yes!”, to that!

I’m on Level III roughly two weeks now and the energy came in today. Ketosis flu wasn’t bad and this time around, I knew what it was, a big bonus, since it scared the hell out of me the first time I experienced it not knowing what was going on. I lost a big 6 lbs this past months, mostly in the last two weeks, due to a return to level III. I’m now 154 lbs. Been decades since I’ve weighed this little. I am 24 lbs from my ideal weight, which will be 130 lbs. One hundred twenty five was my ideal weight in my 20’s, I am allowing 5 lbs for my age.

I am asked questions frequently about my healing. I feel that I have a responsibility to explain how I was able to do it every chance I get. How else can anyone know that there is another way, a better way and that its within their power to grasp it, they only need want it bad enough and to be willing to go to any lengths to get it. The rewards are so dramatic that over time, it far out weighs the inconveniences. I look at birthday cake and I say to myself, “Do I want birthday cake or do I want to walk.” Because that is literally what it means to me. If I have a piece a cake, no, one slice of cake will not undo all that I’ve done, but it will weaken my resolve and make it that much easier to slip again and again till the tide rushes through the dam I’ve built. No way!!! Not for anyone am I willing to do that.

Over the holidays, I did step back a bit to Level I to make it easier to get through the holidays, thus allowing me more foods I could eat. I don’t consider this a slip because, even though I did slide back a little, its still on the Protocol and I was still healing, but at a much slower rate. I’d do that again, possibly next year, because it did help me enjoy Christmas and Birthdays of which there are several around the holidays. I am happy to be back on level III though. It did show me just how much healing can be had on that level as compared to level’s I and II. Cognitive healing? I’ll say, “Hell yes!” to that!

 

Bonne Sante

Note: I updated the symptoms page.

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/marketing-school-business-idea-21696/

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/

Join me!

This morning was something for me. I have been swimming with the same ladies for four years. They’ve seen me at my sickest. I have had individual remarks from them here and there on my recovery. This morning, the group talked about it. One asked me for information for her daughter, which I said I would compile a list of resources for her tonight and bring it with me tomorrow morning. Another said and this floored me, that I could be a model for what a healthy lifestyle can do. At the start of this ten months ago, I needed to bring my walker into the pool area with me as far as I could, then hang onto walls to make it to the pool. Today I freely walk strong without aids, my skin glows (I hear remarks often that I look ten years younger), my muscles are toned and to date, I’ve lost 39 lbs. I think I’ll keep doing this….what do you think? Join me!

Sources continued:

Autoimmune Wellness AIP – https://autoimmunewellness.com/

AIP uses a diet that is a complete elimination method. By removing everything that could cause inflammation or a reaction. All that the Wahls Protocol eliminates plus nightshade vegetables, nuts, etc for the first year. Then reintroduces some foods to see if there is a reaction, such as eggs and nuts. Excellent website, even though I follow Dr. Wahls Protocol, I am signed up for emails. Today’s AIP email featured a new food plan website that AIP merged their 250 recipes into. I am definitely going to subscribe to it, it’s financially doable for me and looks like a fantastic subscription meal planning website: https://realplans.com

I hope to see Dr. Wahls merge her recipes with this site as well. What is really nice about it is having all these recipes available in one place where I can save the ones I like, it keeps a profile of my specific diet requirements and creates meal plans and shopping lists that I can tweak, add too or remove and that I will have access to from my I-phone. I’m going to try the one month version to be sure that I like it enough, then upgrade to the annual subscription if I do.

The MS Gym: https://themsgym.mykajabi.com

I am signed up for their emails and I pay attention to discussion about this on the Wahls Facebook page. People swear by it, it is a paid membership, however not a super expensive one. I am doing very well in the gym on my own and I’ve had specialized direction for my left leg from a local physical therapist. I can’t afford to sign up for all that I would like, but I got something out of the informative emails that Trevor sends and the discussions from other Wahls Warriors who swear by this.

The Paleo Boss Lady: http://www.paleobosslady.com/

Diane V. Capaldi is a profound living example of how far healing can take you no matter where you start from if you’re will to go to any lengths. A lot to see on her website and every word worth if your seeking inspiration to make a badly needed change for the better.

 

I will include more sources in the next blog.

 

Bonne Sante

 

 

A message from Dr. Terry Wahls

Reprinted here with permission from Dr. Wahls:

I am aware that some individuals have posted concerns about the costs of functional medicine. I saw that people have been expressing concern, frustration and anger that functional medicine costs so much, or even anger that I charge so much for a consultations in my private practice. – hence I am writing this post.
Functional medicine is very time intensive. Yesterday I spent 6 hours on one person’s first visit with me. A conventional physician would have been able to spend 30 or 45 minutes and then 10 to 15 minutes per visit for the follow up. A detailed review of all of the environmental factors, diet, lifestyle and environmental factors that contributed to the health decline is very time intensive. This is why functional medicine practitioners are not able to take insurance. If they do, they cannot pay their staff (or their liability insurance) or themselves. Furthermore if they do take insurance, the health insurance company is likely to complete a practice audit and force the practitioner to refund to the health insurance company any payment for services – as functional medicine evaluations and treatments are not covered services.
I took care of people in the VA for years – and saw people using primary care labs that I described in my book – and used group encounters to teach people how to view the relationship between their diet, lifestyle and environmental exposures and their health – and then begin adopting the various diet plans we recommended.

Because I want to facilitate an epidemic of health – I have written several books, have a website and social media where my staff and I post information daily. You need a computer and an internet connection to see the information.
I receive requests daily from people around the globe who want more support and to consult with me. I have created products that provide more support to implement functional medicine principles with higher costs for higher levels of support. I am grateful for the people who choose to buy the additional support services because that allows me to pay staff and cover my costs for conducting webinars, and providing free content on social media. I am grateful that some people want to come for an intensive functional medicine evaluation in my private practice – which again allows me to support my staff so that I can provide as much free content as I do via social media.

There are many functional medicine books available in the library. There are many functional medicine podcasts, interviews and videos you can learn from. You can use my book and work with your primary care team to implement and monitor your progress.

Some of you may decide that your finances are such that you can only work with your primary care team and my book. For the vast majority of people implementing the dietary choices 100% is what restores their health. If you will commit to doing that .. likely you achieve a radical improvement in your health and will have no need for a functional medicine consult. The majority of people I have seen in my clinic at the VA additional testing was not required – people needed emotional help to do the work of changing their diet and lifestyle. They did not need more fancy testing.

Some of you may decide you have the financial resources and want to buy the additional support ( and I am grateful for those who do so I can pay staff to provide as much free content as we do) or consult with a functional medicine practitioner and understand that a functional medicine evaluation is very time intensive for the health professional and the patient.

There are many ways to find diet and lifestyle information and support for your journey. Stay positive. Do what you can. Use the library. Work with your primary care team. Do not obsess over whether you can afford functional medicine. Obsess over learning how to cook at home. Obsess over eating what is recommended and eliminating what is harmful.
Obsess over what you can do.
Let go of what you cannot do or access.
We saw remarkable success in patients who implemented the dietary recommendations – with zero fancy testing. The most critical is to understand that there is a very large difference between doing the diet most of the time (even 95%) and doing the diet all the time – 100%.

Keep working at it and keep working at doing the protocol a little better a little more effectively each week.
It took me 17 years to get my daily program to where I am today… and I am still improving my diet and lifestyle choices. You will also hopefully keep improving yours continually as well.
Terry Wahls

 

My gratitude is immeasurable for Dr. Wahls dedication to teaching everyone who seeks to recover via her reasonably books, webinars, website, online and documentary interviews, paid visits and her annual seminar.

Today was the first day I registered key tones on the keto urine strips. So excited, I feel like I’m back on the fast track. Yesterday and particularly last night was a painful detox. All good this morning. So I don’t scare you with the “painful” term, I’ll explain, very briefly. Gas, a lot of gas that became trapped under my left breast between my ribs, which created a stabbing pain that went on all night. Everyone will have some kind of detox, not everyone will have trapped gas pain like that. Wasn’t fun, but brewed bay leaf tea, took some Tylenol and finally went to sleep at 4:30 am. Right now, I feel like a million bucks! Today’s blog became about other important topics, most especially Dr. Wahls’ message above. Tomorrow, I’ll post more resources.

 

Bonne Sante

If nothing changes, nothing changes

Change is not easy. It usually means the adoption of foreign ideas and concepts along with emotional and physical adaptations that take reasonable time to accept and implement. I often refer to my experience of quitting smoking because it parallel’s well with what and why I am doing the Wahls Protocol. My father was a jazz musician who played accordion. He was a product of a time when most people were smoking. Born in 1933, he began smoking at the age of nine. I grew up watching him chain smoke non filter Camels. He went through four packs a day, not an exaggeration. His two fingers that held the cigarette had permanent tobacco stains. You could hear the sound of him opening and closing his Zippo lighter every ten minutes, “Ka-ching”. Most people had ashtrays in their homes, even if they didn’t smoke, for guests who did. Smoking was expected and allowed almost everywhere. My father said often that it was his right to smoke. Even when it was killing him with Emphysema, he died at age 62 in 1996. A painful, long drawn out twenty-five year illness, the last fifteen in particular…..just like his father before him, who passed at age 60 from the same thing. I heard stories of my grandfather in the hospital under an oxygen tent, lifting his tent off so he could smoke his cigarettes in his hospital room. We think of that now and we think how ridiculous that was.

My mother who also was a heavy smoker, managed to quit in the seventies. As young children in the sixties, my brother and I had candies in the shape of white cigarettes in a “pack” box. We held the cigarette candies between our fingers like we saw our parents and pretended we were smoking, sucking in and blowing out imaginary smoke, then we’d tap our cigarettes on the edge of the imaginary ashtray. So, its no surprise that I started smoking when I was eleven in 1973. Marlboro’s, I loved Marlboro’s. They were apart of my identity. I always had a pack of red and white Marlboro’s with me everywhere I went. The first time I experienced a public restaurant that had a “No smoking” sign in the window was in 1983. It was a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop in Western Massachusetts. I’d never heard of them and I was incensed that I couldn’t smoke inside. That was unheard of, “Who do they think they are?”, I exclaimed. I refused to go in and waited outside while my friends had their ice creams. Fast forward to 1992, the hospital I worked in went no smoking on July 4th, Independence Day, now that was maddening. I spent the last three years freely smoking cigarettes out on the floor at the nurses desk. In the mean time, my father, long on oxygen, was getting sicker and sicker. At night when I slept, my feet were cold, and I felt bad in the morning. It became obvious that I had to do something about my smoking and I was furious about it.

It took me the next three years, stopping and starting before I finally quit for good in 1996, not long after my father’s death. That year, we lost five close friends and my father to smoking related illnesses, lung cancer, Emphysema and throat cancer. Five of us, together, supported each other to quit. Three of us stayed stopped. After my diagnosis’ of MS and a compression on my spinal cord that would result in an immanent surgery, I picked cigarettes up again after nine years of not smoking in 2004. I thought, I’ll just smoke for a short time, just to get through this. Feeling like an idiot buying cigarettes at the store the first time and lighting up at home, to have my 14 year old son catch me, calling me, “Puffer!” It was no longer acceptable to be a smoker anymore and I was very embarrassed to be seen smoking and even more embarrassed to smell like a smoker and it had become horribly expensive too.

I couldn’t smoke for a short time, my habit came back full force, only this time it was harder to quit. Cigarettes were different. They had more addictive chemicals added to them, they burned faster too. It seemed no sooner had I lit up, that the cigarette had a long ash already. I spent the next five years starting and stopping till I finally became willing to go to any lengths and stopped for good. This time around though, it took a whole year to be rid of the obsession to smoke as compared to the first time I quit in 1996, just one month for the obsessive cravings to dissipate then.

Suffice it say, that profiteers will do anything to make money. Fillers, chemicals, sugars, and whatever else, inundate our food source, like the increase in addictive fillers in cigarettes. Commercials assault our senses with melted cheese pizza’s, snacks and sweets beckoning us to be hungry, setting off cravings. Illness is rampant these days in a day and age when it should be the opposite. There have been no cures for much of anything in decades. How is that, when we eradicated polio, mumps, scarlet fever, and other childhood illnesses in the 50’s and 60’s. My father is deaf in one ear from his bout with polio. We have drugs that cost tens of thousands of dollars that only manage symptoms and poorly so. That then, need other drugs to combat the side effects, one leading to the next, leading to the next. If you replace all this with cigarettes, it is no less insane and just as outrageous. And like cigarettes, it is just as hard to change eating habits in a culture that, largely, still accepts this as the norm.

Change is hard, but I want my life back and for that, I’ll learn to eat healthy, untainted whole foods, that unfortunately includes wheat products. There is nothing wrong with wheat, the problem is what we’ve done to it in the last one hundred years that is the problem. Watch, “What’s with Wheat” on Netflix to learn what I am referring too. All I know, is ever since I stopped eating sugar, gluten, dairy and began eating six to nine cups of fresh, mostly organic vegetables everyday, I’m healing at a profound rate. Just like smoking, a few people had to make an unpopular stand against it. So, thank you Ben and Jerry’s and anyone else who had that courage.

Matt Embry’s documentary Living Proof is an example of standing up to several such Leviathans, one of which is the MS Society, which has long been tainted by pharmaceutical companies. This is the letter put out by the US MS Society in reference to Matt’s documentary:

Below is a message that was sent to all the National Multiple Sclerosis self-help groups in the United States of America about our award winning documentary ‘Living Proof’:

……………………….

As you are aware, filmmaker Matt Embry is promoting his film around the United States. At this time, we ask that you please refrain from promoting via your Self-Help group.

The National MS Society is a trusted and reliable source of information and resources for people affected by multiple sclerosis. We continue to be here as a supportive partner for each person affected by MS. The Society has not yet reviewed the film and therefore not promoting it. The National MS Society only promotes or endorses content – information, sources, video, film, etc. – after a thorough review of the material, including scientific or clinical review where needed. We only endorse content that is aligned with our strategic plan, including our research strategy that engages leading MS experts around the globe.

Please continue to connect with me with any questions on promoting any third party events. Also, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I appreciate your dedication, commitment, and support to the MS community and this request.

Enjoy your day!

Christy A Bomba, MPA CTRS
Manager, Program Implementation and Engagement
National MS Society

Phone: 989-2xx-xxx4
Fax: 989-3xx-xxx3

Includer, Arranger, Woo, Positivity, Communication

JOIN THE MOVEMENT®
Consider a gift to the Society (and get a tax benefit!) Learn more about the ways you can give.
1-800-344-4867 (Information and Referral)”

 

Note: to see the comments to this click on Matt Embry’s name. Well worth the time to read.

After premiering to sold-out crowds and standing ovations at the Toronto International Film Festival, LIVING PROOF will hit theatres across the United States and Canada beginning February 1, 2018. Take a stand for patients, take control of autoimmune disease. Visit www.SeeLivingProof.com to find a screening near you.

 

Bonne Sante

Important update for Living Proof Documentary

Matt Embry
Matt Embry Hello everyone, we are currently holding screenings in cities across the United States in February. We need everyone’s help now to spread the word within your community about this screening and to reserve tickets for showings. If you would like to set up a screening in your city you can sign up to be a captain now free of charge. Please follow this link to see which cities are showing the film on which date and help us in the fight against MS! https://gathr.us/films/living-proof
The above is a message from Matt Embry (the producer of the film). As you can imagine, it takes a break to get a national screening of anything. A small project such as this with minimal backing must be that much harder. As many people as possible should be given the opportunity to at least know that there is an answer for autoimmune illnesses and this documentary does an excellent job of showing that. It is part biography and part expose. It does focus primarily on MS, however it is a fact that most of the methods shown in the documentary apply to any autoimmune conditions. It is important to support it so that maybe with enough push, after its public screenings that I hope many of you will either attend if one is captained in your city in the US or volunteer to captain a screening in your city in the US, it will be picked up by a major network like Netflix, where far more people can watch it. I was lucky to live in Calgary where it premiered three sold out shows at the Calgary Film Festival. I saw two showings with two different sets of friends. It deserves our best effort to help it be seen.
Disclaimer: The second paragraph is my opinion, I don’t have inside information. After looking at the On Demand theater site, its common sense to me that this will need as many voices and as much footwork as possible for it to have the best chance.
Bonne Sante

Enjoy what is

Decreasing stress is one of the components of the Dr. Wahls Protocol. Stress is known to be a catalyst for illness. My own experience proves that. I was under a great deal of duress building up to becoming sick. Life happens, sometimes it isn’t pleasant. I’m stating the obvious, but its important to look at the truth of that. I have learned over the years due to a different illness I have that relies on the practice of gratitude to stay in remission, how to live in the moment, to look at my part in relationships and mistakes, to do spot check inventories, to make gratitude lists and to enjoy what is. Like anything these habits require a commitment and daily practice. I have had years of successfully applying these practices to my life and I’ve had times when I let them go and let old negative habits creep back in to the detriment of my serenity.  It was during those times that I got sick and running scared, made bad decisions that made the situation ten times worse then it had to be.

How to practice serenity is to be grateful for everything. To remind myself to live in the moment. I like these statements, “God will only give you what you can handle in one day.” and “I have all the money I need provided I die at 12 midnight tonight.” That doesn’t mean that I don’t plan for this or that. It means, I make the appointment, research the information, jot down the idea, then let it go, putting it out of my mind till its time to deal with it. This takes practice and is sometimes easier said then done. However, like anything, practice makes it easier to do, then the rewards flood in from the practice.

Sometimes to get down to a free flowing serene state, I must look at unpleasant truths about myself, especially if the same set of calamities or repeated mistakes happen over and over again. That’s usually a sure fire sign that the fault is mine. Somewhere, there are deep rooted issues that must be unearthed, amends made, myself and others to be forgiven and then, if the work is earnest and sincere then peace for this situation or relationship happens. Other people are usually necessary to help with this, such as support groups, advisers, counseling, religious practices for some people, etc. Food for thought, the smartest and most powerful people on Earth have advisers, the more responsibility they have the more advisers they have. It is, paradoxically, not a sign of weakness, but of strength to seek advice and assistance.

Meditation is the practice of being in the moment. To be aware of all five senses, to quiet the mind, concentrate on breathing, build a deeper communion with a Higher Power if one so chooses, or to feel a deeper connection with the Earth with sounds of nature and thoughts of ancient trees and pathways thru the woods or how the Earth feels on your hands when you plant something. We can do quick, in the moment meditations with everyday mundane activities, like concentrating on the warm sensation of sudsy water as I clean the plate, listening for the sound of clacking silverware when I drag the bottom of the sink for silverware to clean. Or we can do long prepared meditations. Set the scene, a favorite spot in our home that we create the space for. Burn incense maybe, light candles, play serene music or sounds (I like the ocean) or listen to a guided meditation. Exercise and jewelry making are both deep sources of meditation for me. I am completely focused when I create, colors, sewing, the feel of beads in my hands, or exercise, I’m off in my own world. When exercising, I am completely riveted on the teacher, the movement I’m doing, the feel of the water, the weights in my hands, the flexing of the targeted muscles, my breathing. When I do these things, I am not thinking about the bills I need to pay in two weeks, or the appointments I have tomorrow or even in two hours, I am completely in the moment. This is one of the reasons I love doing these two activities. Anxiety, fear of the unknown, causes the body to do certain things, increases heart rate, gasping for breath, racing thoughts of fears and over dwelling on negatives. Meditation is the practice of clearing the mind, deep thoughtful breathing, bringing one’s thinking back to the present moment and the realization that one is safe in that moment. Many fears are of bogeymen that are not happening right now and in most cases may never happen. And if there is a difficult loss occurring, job, family, health, then the practice of these above can make them easier to handle, more manageable by making it possible to take the situation(s) piece meal.

To enjoy what is are all these practices, that is the goal for me. That and humor. A sense of humor can cut stress in half and help keep a heart light. There is always two ways to look at any situation. Most of the time there is something good to consider even when it feels unfair. Here’s a silly joke:

Four men from Boston meet every Sunday to play cards. Clancy, Taylor, John and Ian have known each other for decades. John is the upbeat positive chap in the group. No matter what anyone says he always answers, “It could be worse.” This always rubs Clancy the wrong way. One Sunday, only Clancy, John and Ian show up. Ian, visibly upset, breaks the news to Clancy and John that Taylor is in jail after coming home Saturday night and finding his wife in bed with another man, he shot and killed them both. To which, John says, “It could be worse.” Clancy yells back, “That’s the last straw! You drive me nuts, how could it be worse John, two people are dead and our good friend is in jail, how could it be worse, you tell me that?!” John replied, “It could be worse because he could’ve come home on Friday when I was there.”

It could be worse.

 

Bonne Sante

Hup, two, three, four….

I am in the process of rehabilitating with the goal of hopefully weaning off of disability and going back to work full time successfully for the first time since 2004. Is it possible? I believe it is. What do I want to be when I grow up? I am an impassioned and driven individual. I hope to have a job that further’s public knowledge and access to these answers that truly work in arresting autoimmune illnesses like nothing else out there. Diet, physical therapy, meditation and decreasing stress, supplements and natural household and personal care products. Someone mentioned today that I should take a break mentally from the seriousness of working the Protocol. To do well at anything difficult, it requires commitment and a great deal of energy. If a person decides to become a doctor, build a business, tackle alcoholism or reverse MS, it requires a huge commitment if one is to be successful. This is what I believe. If I am given a way out of a devastating illness, I feel responsible to do something about helping to get the word out to others. I would like that to be my job.  I have the skill set and experience for it. My strongest skills and experience are sales, organizing events, public speech, writing, coaching and enthusing others, tenacity and hard work.

If this sounds obsessive to anyone, well sit out of life for twelve years and then be given the against the known odds opportunity to dive back in and work. Like the person cured from terminal cancer or one who has lost his family and then given a new one ten years later, its a rising from the ashes. That’s dramatic I know, but so is this. When I got home today to my apartment building, I ran into a neighbor that I see from time to time. We don’t know each other, but we are always cordial. I have not seen this particular neighbor for months. I got my mail and got on the elevator with her. I was carrying two laden bags filled with frozen meat. She looked and looked again, then blurted out, “You can walk! I thought I recognized you, but didn’t realize it was you at first because you can’t walk. What happened?” I briefly explained that I was on a diet for autoimmune illnesses and that I had MS and it was healing me. Almost daily I am hearing comments like this. Who doesn’t want a job that makes a difference. Further, I have the added flexibility to work both Canada and the United States. The plan is to go back to work after one year on the Wahls Protocol, that is in four months. How this will play out, I’m not sure yet. In the mean time, I will keep working to rehabilitate.

I’ve decided to work back into nutritional ketosis. I did feel better on it. Its true, it isn’t as flexible as levels I and II, but, there is a big difference in how I feel on level III versus level II. Its worth the added planning to make sure I have what I need to stay in ketosis during the financially lean second half of the month. That is what has been tough for me. The meat purchase I made today will help. I bought enough meat for two months from a high quality butcher in Strathmore (forty-five minutes from Calgary). Something I planned and put aside money for, knowing that we had a planned trip with a friend. Butcher shops are the way to go. I can’t believe how much cheaper they are. This one is cheaper then anything in Calgary, because it doesn’t have to deal with the high, high rent of being in Calgary. For example, same high quality bacon as what is sold at the natural market from local farms. Difference is $10 in Calgary, $6 away for a pack of bacon. Everything was priced this way. I also need to make arrangements to get the second carpal tunnel surgery done. Ugh! Call me a big baby, but I don’t want to go through that again. I think after Christmas will be best. Exercise tomorrow!

Marching on…..

 

Bonne Sante

 

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