What next?

The sound of steel chains clanking against wood, the feel of a breeze across my face on a sunny day, the sounds of carnival music and children laughing, the fear in the pit of my stomach as we slowly climb the first big hill of a new coaster that I’ve never been on before. Deep down inside, I know we’re safe, but, a horrifying thought, “There is the rare and odd case of a malfunction, like the one I heard of that shot a car of screaming patrons off the tracks and into a billboard sign killing everyone……or was that an urban myth?” “Oh my God, were at the top!” I can see the whole park and half the city from here. We creak up to the tippy top and just begin to crest where I see for the first time just how sharp and steep the trip down will be. Yikes!

This is a how I feel with my plans to hopefully rejoin the work force. I am slowly creaking up the big hill, more than halfway to the top. Most of the time, I am sure it is the correct direction, but that it must be slow, like the car creeping up the tracked hill. Counseling first, volunteer work next, then career counseling and finally the time will be to knock on doors of potential employment situations that will be best suited for me. That day will come when I crest the hill, tipping, and I take the literal plunge. A fleeting thought, “Oh my God, will my car break away from the steady, but fast guidance of the rigid tracks as I fly off and crash and burn!”

Truth is, I don’t know what its like on the other side of that hill, this is a new coaster ride. I do know that chances are infinitely slim that I will fly off the track, because the track I am on is a steady one. It is a well thought out, well advised, researched, prepared for and worked for track, most important is that it is a Higher Powered track and I have faith. I know that the ride will be exhilarating and rewarding. I also know that I will be frightened, but really, really happy too. I love roller coaster rides. Then there is the moment of the fleeting thoughts, “Maybe I shouldn’t do this?! What if….? What if….? And…..What if?!”

Someone shot down my greatest accomplishments in my life on my resume in the space of 60 seconds because they are not suitable to be on a resume. You will be prejudiced against, red flags will be set off with this word and that word. That goes right in line with old paranoia’s that I have worked years to grow out of. Self constructed prisons of, “What will they think?” and, “Who will take me seriously?” I have not had a conventional life, both my failures and my triumphs are controversial to some. Can’t talk about MS, can’t talk about the blog, can’t talk about 26 years clean and sober and all the accomplishments I’ve had with organizing successful events. I wonder if it is okay to list success in drinking events instead. I will not hide my entire life from anyone. I bring all of me or none at all. I said that in college and I wrote honestly and I received nothing but the greatest respect from my teachers and my class mates and one A after another on all my written papers. I said then, “I bring all of myself or nothing.” I will not live a pretend life of safety that was never my real life. My life has been a roller coaster ride that I am not ashamed of. Some of it does belong on a resume. Because I earned it. If someone will prejudice me for that, than why do I want to work for anyone who thinks like that.

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/

Yes Concert!

Yes 2017 concert review with Steve Howe

This is more about my love of music than MS, but there is a word or two about that too. First off, the concert was fantastic. I have spent the older part of my life alone in my love of this band. I love rock music more like a man than a woman. I love Jeff Beck, Yes (all of it, not just Round About), Led Zeppelin, early Rush, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, Deep Purple, Beck, Eric Johnson, etc. I can talk all day about music. I listen to the music first and hear the words later (if there are any). It is a source of love and a source of loneliness. Most women are not in love with this kind of music like this, I usually have no one to talk to about it, which makes me sad. I have a friend who missed the rock era, (most of the best of it was her era). She’s asked me to teach her about it. I took her to this concert tonight. She somewhat enjoyed it. And I can understand that its hard to completely enjoy a Yes concert without first learning to hear the songs. I’ve had to listen to most of the albums (especially epic albums like Close to the Edge) over and over and then the magic happens as each of the layered melodies come through. I had an early start having received the album in December 1972 at the age of 10. I listened and listened and as a result, that album is imprinted in my soul, along with most Yes music. My first concert was a Yes concert in 1977, Going for the One. I’ve since seen over 100 concerts of many bands and genres over the years.

Here is the word or two about MS. I am weaning my self off the cane and have been getting around “out there” without it. Because of equilibrium problems I teeter sometimes. I had a strange effect I’ve never had before. At the concert end, the sound of the music still ringing in my ears, I walked out of the hall with my equilibrium not just a little out of whack, but completely messed up. I buzzed with the deep bass sounds still reverberating in my chest. The lofty singing in my head. I couldn’t get my footing, I looked like I was smashed (I don’t drink). I needed assistance from my friend to walk to the car. Funny and odd.

Anyway, I am broke from the money I spent this month on my ticket for the show, $109.00. My first Yes concert was $7.00. As we slowly and quietly filed into this concert, most of us older people, I remembered fondly the first Yes show I attended. As I described it to my friend, I explained that we were a huge crowd of kids pushing against the closed doors, screaming for the doors to open to the Stadium, all yelling together, “One, two, three, four, open up the f#@kin’ door!” It was frightening, exciting, titillating and thrilling. We rushed into the concert hall to get the best seats first as that concert was general seating. My then small frame was swept up by the audience and I felt like fainting. I found my way out of the crushing crowd and got to a side balcony seat with lots of fresh air. Then the concert began with the Firebird Suite from Fantasia. Excitement building, the band came to the stage and my 13 year old mind and heart heard the most exquisite music. Yes music is a spiritual experience for me and still is at age 54.

I had the chance to speak with a few fans tonight who overheard me sharing my knowledge of Yes music and other bands with my friend. They jumped into the conversation with gusto. It was great to be able to speak the language I love the most. A wonderful night, shared with a close friend.

 

Bonne Sante

Yes!

What a busy day this was! I turn five months on the Wahls Protocol tomorrow, Woot! I have had a lot of feedback from a lot of people about my walking, my posture, and my weight in the last couple of days. Financially, this journey has been a struggle. I have limited means at present and so the learning curve for me is that much more complicated. Obviously, despite a limited income, this is still possible, because I’m doing it. However, it requires more diligence, creative thinking and a lot more thought. As I learn the many components of this lifestyle, I then have to figure out what I can pay for and if there are other ways to get parts of this covered. For example, I need to search high and low for the best prices online, in my grocery store and at the Natural Market while managing to go as high quality as I can. I don’t drive, so running from place to place is out.  I ran out of money for my end of month food shopping because of supplements I splurged on too soon for the budget I must work within. Solution, cut back on some of the supplements and shop partially organic and buy half my meat at the natural market and half at the supermarket. I needed to ration out the foods that will keep me balanced and in Ketosis. I have been taken care of along the way, in other words, what I need always shows up right on time from somewhere, however, that doesn’t work without doing everything I can.

When is it a good time to take a break and be rewarded. I’ve let go of luxuries such as outings, personal shopping, beauty treatments like nails and hair to be able to do this. My money came, strangely, early. It came today, instead of Monday and just in time for me to get what I need to stay in Ketosis. To celebrate, figuring I was out of Ketosis for this day anyway, I was going to have a burger with a gluten free bun at “Flippin’ Burgers. I discovered when ordering that they now have lettuce wrapped burgers. That’s what I opted for (can’t have gluten free flour on level III because it’ll kick me out of Ketosis). That’s what I mean by what I need comes, despite me sometimes. Then I went grocery shopping. Two hundred dollars spent to get caught up on everything I must have in order for this level to work. I have an extra $100 dollars coming in this month. I spent the last four days, rearranging my foods and supplements to bring down the cost, which I did successfully. I bought my produce according to the “Dirty 12” list and the “Clean 15” list that I included links to in the blog yesterday. Today, after all my hard work, I was getting that stressed feeling about the amount of effort and sacrifice I’ve put into this. What always keeps me going is to remember how “friggin’ (as my Dad would’ve said it) good I feel and how far I’ve come. Then I realized something very important this morning.

It is also very important to reward yourself too, not with what will hurt you, but something special. After five months of hard work, I am giving my self the gift of Yes music live. Listening to Yes music is a spiritual experience for me. A band I’ve loved since 1972. I bought my ticket this morning, $109.00 and I am going September 8th. I earned this and I feel good about my purchase. Does this mean that I should do this more often? No, because the lifestyle I am working into my life has its own rewards that include, better mobility, no sickness, no fatigue, swimming well, walking better, quicker thinking, increased social involvement and purpose. Once in a great while after working hard, its good to reward. My cue is the feeling of letting my guard down and letting go of my vigilance, then its better to react this way, then to let go of any hard won practices. As a result, I am on track without a resentment. I deserve this.

This is the tour…

Yes17Tour

…without Carl Palmer on the Canadian dates. Would’ve been nice to see him.

 

Yes!

 

Photo of artist Roger Dean’s iconic logo for Yes: http://yesworld.com/we-are-yes/

If your not familiar with the band and would like to know more, you can click on the web address above.

Note: There are currently two Yes Tours running. Yes has had many members over its 47 years, this one features famed guitarist Steve Howe, inducted twice into the HOF, once recognized for his contributions as a guitarist and once as a member of Yes and long time drummer Alan White, steadily with Yes since 1972. The other Yes Tour titled ARW features founding member and “The voice of Yes”, singer Jon Anderson, 1980’s guitarist Trevor Rabin and second, but iconic, keyboardist Rick Wakeman. You can learn more about this tour here: http://www.yesfeaturingarw.com/

 

Bonne Sante