Holistically MS

Join my holistic journey with MS


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Back On Track

Hi everyone…well I’ve partly been avoiding blogging fully for the last few months as I had a flare-up of MS. This is primarily due to overdoing activities without needed adjustment and rest. A lot of cognition was needed and thus depleted. My trip to Wales left me exhausted however I was engulfed in the new life with an assistance dog and all that this involves.

I’m pleased to report that after my symptoms increasing, I reconnected with yoga, meditation and begun some mindfulness exercises. Along with increases my intake of valuable Wahls Protocol foods I was then able to work better with my cognition, meanwhile my new assistance dog was working better with me. So all in all this led to good things and the ability to get my physical fitness heading towards a healthier path.

So yes, I am getting back on track. A valuable lesson has been learnt that although I can minimise the MS within me, it is still there backstage. My focuses now are to recover and rebuild from the previous few months of challenging work. I’m so delighted that I’ve turned my health back around…and immensely relieved. I shall soon be visiting my neurologist, after avoiding the medics for a couple years.

The recent mindfulness introduction and awareness had a really profound and insightful effect on my outlook of who I am as a person with a disability. I read a sentence that woke me up…real me vs ideal me. Quite simple, yet so revealing. I realised that in my mind my disability was stopping me from being the ideal me. However to my amazement I learnt that my vision of the ideal me was so far fetched and imaginary…very likely to be unachievable even if I was able bodied. The power of the mind! The other exercise that hit me with immense relief and happiness was to discover all the things I can do now as a disabled person that I was unable to do before. The little things like wear the clothes I want, listen to music or whatever I chose, be home to receive phone calls or deliveries, spend time with my animals, explore hobbies…the list went on. My whole inner self belief turned such a corner that I felt I was getting to know and show myself. I felt alive and lit up like a sunset or log fire…roaring with energy and new self passion.

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Silver Linings

It’s so amazing sharing my journey of life with others. The fascination of my recovery is absorbed with open eyes and sometimes open mouthed amazement.

However underneath this silver lining is a challenge with the taste buds; a challenge of the convenience and a challenge of social merging. My partner strives on through with her support for this new lifestyle especially by currently doing some of the diet with me. The protocol logistics are totally satisfying, understanding and suitable. I enjoy the training programme, the lifestyle requirements, the scientific reasons, the knowledge of the rebuild and the results are totally amazing of course. However the food aspect is what sometimes becomes a trial. Yes sure, there are lots of Paleo recipes with totally yummy foods and treats, however adding the low-FODMAP aspect in to the mix often takes the delights out again. I try to believe that the low-FODMAP aspect of my food intake is indeed temporary. For however long I need to endure this tougher level it is still somewhat frustrating for me. I have a sweet tooth and the Wahls Paleo diet as a standalone diet works well fulfilling me with these needs. I have so enjoyed the meals and treats baked for me by loving and generous friends and family.

My successful way to ease my IBS is to cook the permitted low-FODMAP berries. It’s this simple! I eat the low and medium fodmap foods unless I know I have a digestive reaction to anything. After decades of the condition I now have it under control…albeit via a limited diet with specific processes. However this health boost is truly fantastic to live with whilst knowing that my gut is indeed healing.

As autumn sets upon us I find myself focusing more on food when I get cold. Due to lots of weight loss I imagine this winter to be an interesting new element to circumnavigate. Last winter, as my MS was rapidly declining, I was unable to acknowledge the cold until I was extremely cold. So for safety reasons the heating was left on most of the time. The winter before that I seem to recall I just sat in the cold. So…the lessons have been learnt and this winter I feel fortunate enough to be able to at least exercise to keep warm. I’m definitely needing to purchase more clothes. I saw some discounted double layered walking trousers in a well known outdoor shop recently however thought I’d get too warm in them. Hmmm…on second thoughts yes please!

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After a short amount of frustration with the limitations, I try to focus and recall the amazing distance that my health has come. I find it so mind baffling…in such a movie-style format. No matter how many chocolate treats and savoury cravings and delights I desire I always choose to refocus, regroup and metaphorically slap myself, in order to wade through the world of the majority…and find my world of quality; my world of minority meals; my world of life enhancement and my new world that welcomes me with open arms and a huge energitic smile.

I feel so so fortunate to have the opportunity to rebuild, to restart and to reconnect with my life. The journey worth enduring. The life worth exploring. Our health worthy of so much.


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Carve Your Own

After a series of hospital appointments of being poked and prodded I feel that it’s time to evaluate the benefits of being told what to do from a medical stance over my MS. Perhaps it’s just a phase or perhaps it’s a corner being turned for me. However it has created a need to assess and to take some control over my self. I’m starting to ask myself what will actually be beneficial; which appointments will actually help me and which ones will be worth any disruption to my MS.

As with so many aspects of life and certainly many illnesses or dis-eases you want more control. During my time when I was told I do not have MS, when indeed I did have it, a counsellor use to tell me “choice is control”. Yesterday this felt very poignant when one specialist informed me of everything she was doing followed by the other specialist whom just did stuff without explanation and without asking me. This was all for my eyes and was definitely challenging for me. Afterwards I was emotionally and physically tired…asides from the excessive waiting time there was the invasive aspect. It did however make me reflect on two things: I have been against animal testing for a number of decades and yesterday I felt such a small fraction of the torture that animals are forced to endure…I refused one examination due to the invasiveness and stress of it…however those animals sadly have no choice. The other thought I had yesterday, whilst recovering, is what this blog is about. My partner summed it up with the words “conveyor belt”. So this was another possible title for today’s words…however I want it to be positive and to aid the future. Oh, I am pleased to report that my optic nerves are doing me proud and in contrast to the classic MS symptoms they are holding their own. This just goes to show that everyone with MS has different levels of symptoms and patterns…as I’ve said many times before – we are all unique and different to one another and so is MS.

One thing that I do find increasingly challenging is the continual need to make choices about how to manage my MS. There are the drugs, the appointments, the medical experts, the daily living methods, the mental and emotional challenges as well as decisions of when to accept help. It’s slightly ironic for me having cognitive lesions and yet still having to figure out when and how to manage the above. I feel very privileged to have my partner’s help in making these decisions with me. She has an outside view however knows the nitty gritty of what I endure…and what she endures too!

So I want to start asking myself what will truly help me…if an appointment will be productive. By this I mean the outcome and if I will respond with taking medication or feel differently about the results. The burning question is: will it be of any benefit to me, to know the answer from an examination? Often, I’m realising, it is solely for the medical profession to have comparison later on down the line. Of course this may prove useful however so may relaxing and having laughter in the here and now instead.

I have a wish though…to be more positive whilst still being realistic. A bit of a challenging see-saw. Having had medical issues for so much of my life I have got into a partial cycle of negative thinking. Part of this is a self-preparation strategy which I have built up…especially with having MS. The other part is a childhood one of which can now be left behind and my self-esteem be raised. So often children compete for attention…a natural thing to do. So when one child gets ill and they get attention a natural pattern emerges. Much like when one child excels at school, they then may feel pressure to study harder in order to receive praise. To feel good about themselves; to feel self value. Perhaps my recent medical journeys will help me focus on what helps me as an adult. Yes, naturally, I worry about my future with MS – I’m human. Yes, I have concerns over every changing symptom – however it’s really time for me to realise that this is real life. There are implications from symptoms and also from negative thinking. So let’s try to flip that coin over and leave it there. Carve out a new journey…and try to keep it all light.

I’ll just quickly tell you about some homemade therapies I have been doing…with the help of some tech. I have been introducing art therapy and music therapy into my life. The latter after watching a TV programme (When Bjork Met Attenborough). A neurologist was highlighting the amazing effect that music has on the brain. Music reaches so many parts of the brain – way beyond spoken and written words. Since easing my Sensory Processing Disorder I have been able to enjoy music and I have been thriving on this. Since watching that TV programme I have realised the importance and effects music has on myself. I have an app on my gadget to create music…to play with shapes to make sounds. Experimenting in this way is important to me – relaxing the mind and distracting the misfiring of nerve messages. Doing art on my gadget really helps my also. I can paint and doodle, write and erase stuff so easily, all on a screen – and in bed if needed. This again calms down any misfiring messages, however I also do art when I am just feeling creative too. It’s lovely to play and experiment.

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Of course I want to be healthy…there are far happier things to achieve and to receive when we are healthy. There are also many ways to turn around the lives that we have – whatever challenges get thrown at us. Maybe one day there will be a cure for MS, however in the meantime I have the most important job to do…to ease my dis-ease. Perhaps a mantra: Ease my dis-ease.


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A Change Of Tune

It’s been a while since my last blog entry and whilst that time has been surfing by I have been feeling better and better.

I’ve started reading an intro to the Alexander Technique however only a few pages and I am already thinking a bit more about posture and how my different muscles are working and being utilised.

So, after my awaking experience that I wrote about in my last blog I have come to discover so much joy. It seems that what I naturally discovered was when in a peaceful space, to review useful stages of your past whilst staying in the present. This exercise can guide us onwards.

One thing that is standing out to me is that when I get a pain I then acknowledge it and relax. The result is that I still have pain however I am easing my muscles and my mind in my responses. My nutritional supplement intake is going well and I believe that by taking the copper to ease the absorption of the zinc this then works as a team. Certainly my supplement intake is keeping things balanced. Having sorted out the garden here I am turning to other forms of physical exercise by this week starting back on the stationary bicycle. I seem to keep busy with every day jobs.

I’ve started to feel I’ve a clearer thought process and my memory is still varied however I’m relaxed about this. This all makes for a happier mind and soul…and body.

So, recently I turned into another decade of my life and had an amazingly lovely birthday. What’s more I actually feel younger than I have done in about twenty years. Having gone through some very low patches in my mind this year I feel so appreciative to have this good time…for however long it lasts. Yes, I feel human!

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Last week was a ground breaking moment for me…I got the buses into a town where I had a meeting with my last voluntary place of work. I’m returning there again, after a four year break. In fact I even trained the manager to set up a social network site and have been invited to their Christmas party next week. My sensory processing has vastly improved whilst I’ve been practising the techniques taught to me at the start of the year. So this means I can now tolerate being around people and noise/movement etc…which of course raises the happiness levels. Anyways…after I went to the voluntary centre I then went to my partner’s place of work and then out to a busy venue for an after work Christmas meal. Lots of people and noise and fun. Success! It was a great experience for myself and for my ever supportive partner. And I felt fine the next day…and five days later am still feeling good.

So I wish you lots of what I’m having so that you also get to change your life and view things with benefit…whatever your need or desire.

Long may we learn from our health…listening to our internal messages and taking peaceful moments to absorb the wonders of how we can improve ourselves. Be yourself and you will be eternally happy.


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The basic aims

My aims are to improve my MS and to share my journey…and hopefully inspire and enhance your journey. You may have MS; you may know someone with it; you may be curious; you may just enjoy discovering my journey. So however you arrived here and for whatever reason…thank you for spending some of your time here.

My key focal point will be regaining health to whatever level possible.

My key processes…to date…will be relaxation techniques which I personally find helpful; nutrition; posture and exercise; attitude; laughter and fun; lifestyle choices; and a general wellbeing for the whole body.

My use of the word holistic…to treat our body, mind and soul as a whole. After all this is what we are – one