Suffice it to say we live in a world that thrives on instant gratification. In the mainstream of Western culture, realistic expectations can be few and far between. What does that mean? Any goal, change or shift has a timeline. A direction or change for the better that I set for myself, requires acceptance and conviction. That by itself can be a lengthy and timely process. Such as my own journey with the Dr. Wahls Protocol. Starting with a flyer about a talk featuring Dr. Wahls and a cartoon drawing of her in a wheel chair to riding a bicycle. That got me. The MS social worker shot it down when I showed it to her, as she told me not to get my expectations up. But, I had made up my mind to go, so I went. A lot of what Dr. Wahls said that night went over my head, some of it didn’t. I do remember, having to run to the bathroom like four times, and her shooting a compassionate look at me when I came out the fourth time, because she knew what that was about. I remember that. I read my free book, I started the diet and I lasted three months on level I and then quit.
That was three years ago. Why did I quit when it was working? I felt great, my walking was better, my fatigue had dissipated and the brain fog was lifting. Why would I quit? I had lost about 20 lbs and was faced with a long time psychological problem that had to be addressed and wasn’t going to be rectified quickly. It involved an eating disorder that needed me to get to the bottom of it if I were ever to be successful pursuing this lifestyle. The other problem was limited means and not enough knowledge to combat that. And finally, not enough understanding of the new foods, substitutes for the omitted foods and cooking techniques and recipes necessary for variety. I had found myself eating the same thing everyday.
I spent the next two years counseling and getting through the layers of the eating disorder. I went to sexual abuse counseling, dealt with it in a support group, writing, therapy and books. Diet wise, I saw Matt Embry talk when he launched his world tour and start of filming the documentary Living Proof, I read more books and went to online sites. While I did all of this, I ate terrible through it. I put on twice the weight I lost and got progressively sicker from my MS. During that time, I had another fusion operation on my neck and suffered three MS attacks, the last one putting me on a walker and headed towards a wheel chair. That was my bottom.
Were the two years a waste of time? No, I needed the counseling, and I needed to hit a medical bottom to be put in a position to accept this path and become willing to go to any lengths. Because, no less is required. A process that took me two and half years just to successfully begin. This time, I knew that it was a commitment and a half and I was prepared. I bought three cookbooks and I joined several related websites and Facebook groups. I began sourcing best prices for the foods I would need, I began to clean out my cupboards of foods I can’t have anymore. Some of those foods took a little more time to let go of, like sugar in my coffee. I started this blog to help keep me accountable and a record that I could look back on when feeling impatient or pessimistic. I upped my exercise from two days a week to four. I began rehabilitation on my left leg on my own, flexing my foot when I walked, paying attention to the wide left arc my leg goes in when I walk and making a point of forcing my leg straight ahead, which hurt like hell at first. Balance exercises and progressive physical regimes. I needed to not just join the Facebook groups, I had to participate.
Most important, I have to take it a day at a time. A Bachelors Degree doesn’t happen in two months, neither does this. I’ve had MS since 2004, my damage won’t turn around over night, however, it is dramatic what I have experienced in just six months. Incredibly, my damage is what it was five years ago, but better, fog is lifted and fatigue has decreased. I’m at the point of beginning electrical muscle stimulation to rehab atrophied muscles in my left leg, which it turns out are around my hip flexor. Just what I had to go through and am still going through to get that in place has been a ridiculous amount of work. Starting with the fact that I never heard of e-stim before this. I want to attempt a full time job in six months. Reality is that I need to be prepared to accept that that may never be possible for me. Some of my damage will never be reversed. For example, I may lose my limp, but not the fatigue after a time of using it. These things factor. What I can do, is gather information, be prepared to try. To have a real chance at succeeding, I need to think ahead, I need to study programs and safety nets put in place in two disability programs I am involved with. I need to do that for my own protection. Then, I need to study the job market and consider with a realistic mind what I can do and what I can’t do. That takes time to consider. I need to get my college transcripts. Considering I had to declare a complete bankruptcy in the states over a horrendous ms attack in 2009, I don’t even know if I am allowed access to my transcripts. I know this, I don’t want a job I apply to to be the ones to run into this possible road block, I need to know that up front. I need to revamp my resume. I don’t plan on going back to work for six months, but what I can and should do now is work to be properly prepared so that I have a winning chance.
Footwork, footwork, footwork. God will help you dig a hole, but you better bring a shovel. There is no easy path. Guidance is there, backed with hard work and optimism. Change doesn’t come easy, but it is possible. My experience has been that the harder it is, the greater the pay off. I’m in it for the long haul. One day a time.