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/

Living Proof in Early February in Calgary

Below is the information to see Living Proof in Calgary, where and when:

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MS Hope

Landmark Cinemas Canada is hosting screenings of Matt Embry’s documentary Living Proof February 03-05!

Saturday Feb. 03, 2018 1 p.m.
Sunday Feb. 04, 2018 1 p.m.
Monday Feb. 05, 2018 7 p.m.

Surrey – Landmark Cinemas 12 Guilford
GTA – Landmark Cinemas 24 Whitby
Ottawa – Landmark Cinemas 24 Kanata
Calgary – Landmark Cinemas 16 Country Hills
Edmonton – Landmark Cinemas 9 City Centre

TICKETS
Available soon @ https://www.landmarkcinemas.com/film-info/living-proof

Off to see the Social Worker tomorrow!

I have my appointment with her tomorrow at 9 am. Our discussion will be about my intent to go back to work, the possible fall outs, the logistical nightmare with not one but two disability programs in the US and Canada, the need to assess skills against disability I still have, and fears associated with past disasters as a result of unexpected attacks throwing monkey wrenches reocurring again in my life. From there I will have appointments with Occupational Therapists and the MS Psychologist.

When I am done with this phase of my rehabilitation, then I will contact Champions, which is a career counseling program specifically for the disabled. I have a tricky resume and a past full of black holes. Examples:

  • I have 64 college credits in business and writing with a high GPA, but I can’t get my transcripts due to a government bankruptcy I was forced to declare at that time due to, you guessed it, MS.
  • I sold credit cards for MBNA for three years and was one of that telesales center’s best sales performers and sales coaches. But, MBNA sold out to Bank of America, so I have no reference that I can give an employer.
  • I spearheaded grassroots, non profit events from the ground up over 15 years, all successes, all unpaid. The college degree was to back up my experience with a bachelors in business and a minor in writing. The plan was to be a professional events planner.
  • I have seven years experience as a Mental Health Technician. Two years as an Aid at a State Hospital and trained in Crisis Intervention with five years experience on an Acute Mental Health Unit at a community hospital. But, a long time ago, 1980-1982 and 1989-1994, a. shows my age (55), which can discriminate myself from getting the first interview and back then, you didn’t have to have a degree or certificate for these positions. I was hired for the five year position based on my two years experience at the state hospital.
  • Then there’s the years disabled. How do I deal with that with an interviewer and on my resume. Tough one, of which I am not alone. I am assuming that Champions Career Counseling is familiar with this conundrum.

You see the issues, I have a lot of honed skills, but not much proof on paper, although testing will help and once I am hired, my actions will show over time what I am capable of. But, ….to get there. Well, I guess that’s where my Higher Power comes in. I’ll do the foot work, the rest is not mine to control.

Most important to see is that I am on a vista that has a far ranging future. I do not anticipate a future MS attack, not on this lifestyle. Can I gauge that by my own experience, no, its only been ten months. I can, however, gauge it by the many others I’ve talked with and listened to online and in person, who have followed this lifestyle and kept their autoimmune illnesses at bay and in check for years and for some decades. I know this works. Once upon a time, I couldn’t predict what could happen with this illness, now, I feel confident to say, I can.

Wish me luck as I move out into this phase of my journey to health!

 

Bonne Sante

Milestones and Recipe Websites

This was a big milestone for me today. I live one Kilometer from the main drag where the grocery store, bank, train station, and butcher are. Four years ago I could walk to this street, but dragged my leg the last ten minutes of the walk, which then required a forty-five minute rest. I’d go to the coffee house and sip a latte and wait for my leg to rejoin me while I read newspapers and worked crossword puzzles before continuing my shopping. This has been my best since 2010. As I got sicker, it became necessary for me to take a bus, saving my energy for shopping, eventually, progressing to taking my walker and using a taxi, and worse, almost never going unless I absolutely had to, so sick and weak had I become. Well, today I went for that walk. Overtime on the Wahls Protocol, I had progressed back to the long customary walk, dragging my leg at the end and resting, which was a huge milestone to have that back. Today though, I stayed strong, no leg dragging, no need for the rest. Did my grocery shopping in two stores and never faltered. Its been years!

At the grocery store, I decided to buy a bottle of Ghee (clarified butter). I usually make my own, but I must admit, I don’t do a thorough job, which isn’t good. I decided that I wasn’t saving much by making my own and bought the bottle for $8.49. The cashier was a little lady from India with the customary red dot on her forehead, she looked like she was over 70 years old and spoke with a very thick accent. She picked up the ghee to scan and asked, “Where are you from?” Understanding that she was really asking if I was from India, I replied, “I’m Italian from the US.” She explained, “I see no one with ghee. I make ghee. We only eat ghee, never whole butter. Butter has enzymes that do not digest well and cause allergies. Clarifying takes that out, I make my own. I thought that you must be from India.” I explained to her that the popularity of ghee is increasing for the reasons she just stated. I thought, “See, she knows. They’ve known for generations how bad straight dairy is.” I swear, the more science we have, the stupider we get! Forgive me for that harsh opinion. I love science. There are many reasons for this ignorance. It was easier to say it in one, broad sentence, a catch all.

Okay, onto more resources:

Clean 15 Dirty Dozen lists

Important to know about the “Clean fifteen dirty dozen” list. This is a list that will tell you which fresh produce has the lowest and highest incidences of pesticides, denoting which should be bought, if possible, organic and which is safe to eat non organic. For example, strawberries are number one on the dirty list, because strawberries are thin skinned and porous, allowing pesticides to get into the fruit, while avocados are number one on the clean list, one reason being their hard shell. Good list to have. This is a complete guide to the lists: EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce   This takes you to the page that explains the key points of the study. Explore the rest of the site, the pages index is at the top of the page. The pages titled Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen each have the respective lists, the About page explains how and where the data comes from.

Recipe Websites

https://nomnompaleo.com/

https://www.jaysbakingmecrazy.com/

https://elanaspantry.com/

https://www.thepaleomom.com/category/recipes/

https://meatified.com/recipe-index/

https://www.stupideasypaleo.com/recipe-index/

https://meljoulwan.com/category/recipes/

http://grazedandenthused.com/

https://detoxinista.com/recipes/

 

Well, that should be enough to get you going on recipes!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/vegetables-and-tomatoes-on-cutting-board-255501/

What a day!

Whenever I lose a little confidence about the next step in this journey that I am on, I have a leap forward that restores that confidence. Today was such a day. I walked two blocks to the bus stop this morning, (not new) to meet friends. After coffee with them, I walked two and a half blocks (not new) to WINS, a used clothing store because my clothes are two sizes too big for me (smile). I shopped and tried on clothes for two and a half hours without a rest (new). After I paid, I was handed two medium sized garbage bags, about 15 lbs each. For a moment, I panicked. I thought, especially after all this shopping, I can’t carry these home (the norm). First, I thought, “A cab.” But, a cab ride from there is $40 at least. Defeats the purpose of saving money buying used. I told myself, “We’re working out, that’s all.” I went to the bus station with my two bags, took the bus back to my neighborhood and walked the two blocks to my house with the bags. I was strong, I didn’t slow down and I didn’t trip once (new). When I got to my house, I was still strong, I wasn’t struggling for the door (new). Seven months ago, I couldn’t walk half a block with a walker (was)!

My walking has been getting progressively better week by week on the Protocol. I’ve progressed from the walker to the cane, walking better, stronger, then, without the cane, slowly, staring at the ground, then, without having to stare anymore at everything that is a half inch high lest I trip. What has been the same has been that at some point, I am fatigued and I have to sit down for at least 30 to 40 minutes to regain strength in my leg. That’s what didn’t happen today. Might happen tomorrow, but it didn’t happen today. This just keeps getting better. It made me cry happy tears. I called family to share what happened.

On the job front, I have decided to not apply for any other part time work. If I don’t hear from the one that I did apply to, then I will have the second carpal tunnel surgery done, which my Neurologist really thinks I should do. I agreed. I told him, “I’m almost over it (emotionally, in regards to the first carpal tunnel surgery I had).” On the other hand, if the job calls me in and I am hired, then the surgery is not meant to be, at least for now. If the job doesn’t answer, then working right now is not meant to be, so that I can better concentrate on rehabilitation, whilst dealing with the money situation the best I can.

Exercise tomorrow, I will have new physio exercises to add to my circuit training routine. Upward and onward!

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/adolescent-adult-black-and-white-casual-270968/

 

Tested!

As I apply the Wahls Protocol to my life day after day, I am gaining in strength each and everyday in one way or another. Along the way, I also have setbacks and challenges. This weekend was a challenge weekend that brought about a small setback. An unexpected administrative shift occurred requiring me as secretary to negotiate, write and delegate duties. It brought home a truth that I need to be wary of. I still believe that working is a possibility in five and a half months, however, this helped me remember the fatigue that can happen when a situation such as this comes up. In some employment situations, this is the job. As I dealt with the complication, I discovered damage I very much still have and I learned of improvements to that damage as well.

By nature, I am a driven sort of person. I am very ambitious and goal motivated. Being an Adrenalin junkie, I like it when things are hopping. I was always good at multitasking and thinking fast in the midst of change. After suffering the MS attack I had on the cognitive section of my brain in 2009, I laid low for a long time. I had too. The first two years, I had stopped reading anything. I took no non profit service commitments (an important aspect of my life). I then had two years, off and on, of intensive work with Occupational Therapists to learn to organize in a way that accommodates a damaged short term memory, the inability to multitask and the reduced ability to take in my surroundings, all of which contributed to my decision to not renew my driver’s license. If I didn’t respect this, I would have horrible melt downs in tears due to the fatigue of over tasking a cognitively damaged brain.

Now in some ways, I have rehabbed a great deal due to Occupational Therapy and my willingness to follow thru with their direction and suggestions. Since the Wahls Protocol, I have resolved even more of that damage. In a short six months, my thinking is clearer and logistics are understood quicker, where before they were murky and required a full two days for the information to sink in enough to make an adequate decision. Lots of terrible mistakes when I would act before I had the time to sort it all out. This is infinitely better. What is still present is the fatigue of the work of over thinking which is required to work through an unexpected situation. Friday, as the second wave of emails came in, that which I reacted to in angst as I walked through it all with a friend I was supposed to be supporting, who then became my supporter (funny how spirituality works). As problems of this nature do, they all are on their way to being resolved. Everyone stepped up to take on the extra tasks. That felt so good. It truly is a wonderful nonprofit that I am involved in. All said and done, I crashed yesterday afternoon. I did not move off my couch till this morning. I forbid myself any heavy thinking, writing or reading. I exercised this morning, but even that, I took it easy. I swam half what I ordinarily do and made the decision to skip the second workout. I’ll catch up tomorrow morning. Of course through all of this, my e-stim sessions went out the window. I did do the physio exercises Friday morning, I’ve worked those into my gym workout.

So, big breath, what have I learned?

  • Need to meditate more and talk less (yes, this is a help to the issue above)
  • Get back to making jewelry, a meditative art outlet I’ve utilized for decades (the artistic section of my brain was unaffected by the damage and so, when I do anything artistic, it eases the hurt parts)
  • Factor into my future decisions on employment the fact that, while I believe that Nutritional Ketosis and Alpha Lipoic Acid, both healers of the brain, will continue to heal, I will still have an issue here. Just as I might still have a limp and an expiration date on when my leg fatigues and I will need to sit down. So too will how much my brain can handle and when it needs to rest. These have to be factored into any future employment decisions.

Most importantly….

  • Must Let go and let God!  There is a world of constructive peace behind that simple, yet not, statement. In its simplicity, it is often misunderstood. It is not a call to do nothing, unless nothing is what is best is in that moment, it is instead a call to give up the outcomes and trust in an infinite power as I do my work.

 

This blog is an honest record. I will tell you when its hard. At the end of this blog’s year, which will be March 26, 2018, I will offer what I’ve tracked for anyone to use to further research, and to be a realistic merit to anyone wanting to invest in their health by implementing the Wahls Protocol into their lives.

 

Bonne Sante

 

Picture from Pexels