Holistically MS

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Getting On The Saddle 

Well hello folks…

I’m still on the wonderful OMS programme and I’m still improving.

I’m getting the odd little flare up however considering the emotional challenges that I’ve had I am amazed how well my MS is holding up. My mother passed away very recently and the months leading up to her death were very stressful and sad…and now I am doing my best to maintain my overall health…physical and mental wellbeing…whilst managing my sadness. My Assistance Dog Uma has been fantastic, as has my wife of course, through this recent time. My cognition is my main remaining challenge these days, however things are becoming easier to work out, and my sensory processing is improving.

Having relocated six months ago, I’m just starting to get to grips with life here in Devon, England. I’ve previously lived in this area however my current health now provides me with open doors!

My exercise programme is still doing wonders for me…even if I feel like avoiding it I still do it and feel much better afterwards. I do this first thing in the morning…although for a bit recently I have been sleeping more…I’m also facing the “hormonal change” so it’s all a bit for my body and mind to chew through. However…my MS is managing! 

I do some lovely daily walks locally with my gorgeously loving Uma who really helps me get out and also meet other dog owners, whilst getting fresh air and sunlight. Alongside my Assistance Dog and my determination, the OMS programme is really getting me better; onwards and upwards in my life. It’s amazing and yet scientifically logical.

My diet/meals have pretty much become my standard way of life. I do aim to do more cooking myself…soon…as my cognition continues to improve. Eating out is still a new area for me however part of this is due to anxiety from social challenges, money and now having moved to a new area I’ll be needing to get to know people. It’s also getting familiar and working out what I can eat when scanning menus. In fact someone from the OMS website has organised a meetup this week, so this will be good to go to. The Facebook group and the website forum are great resources and communities.

My future dream is becoming my present day…with meditation ironing out the creases and keeping my relaxation in check. One analogy I’ve recently started to work with is to imagine yourself sitting or standing in the middle of a see-saw; on the pivot; the equilibrium. To one side is threat, anxiety, alarm, fear and to the other side is adrenaline, excitement, competition etc. Both of these raise the levels of MS. You want the see-saw to be level as much as possible.

I focus on staying in the middle – calmness and observation. Sipping life one day at a time.

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For The Greater Freedom

It’s just dawned on me that I’m actually limiting my independent travel. I’ve realised that independent trips out have been too controlled by my choice of equipment to hand. Recently I’ve felt so happy with being able to walk a bit, and thus proud of this ability, that I’ve been using my rollator as much as possible. However on reflection of this when travelling solo I now realise that by using the rollator I’m actually reducing my freedom. I can cover a much further distance in the wheelchair. And so I think that now the novelty and perhaps the self-proving stage has passed, I can get on with using what works best in what situation. It’s quite a minefield to process…so I’m currently awake in the middle of the night needing to clarify things and create clear waters.

When travelling on my own and relying on public transport the wheelchair enables me to wander a few miles and also catch the commercial bus – which in turn means I can be spontaneous with when and where I go. It means that I can get to a bus stop and feel one of the masses…and preferably move to a regular seat in order to face forwards. When being taken out in the car and accompanied, the rollator provides the ideal apparatus for walking with someone, having an eye level experience and with easier access to buildings; blending in to the crowd and having the safety of someone being able to move the car to pick me up.

Is this feeling like a step backwards? Perhaps so however if I’m to maximise my benefits in life then I need to focus on looking at the situation from the aspect of greater freedom and independence – and this means that I can go out more. I’ve actually realised that since using the rollator and travelling independently I’ve only gone out three times (by community bus) – twice to go directly to an office to volunteer and the other time was yesterday to get to my dentist appointment. With my brain processing all sort of activities in town and preparing for an appointment I found this experience to have been slightly limiting. Deep down I knew that being in the wheelchair will have improved my trip. Yes, sure, with the rollator I was standing up and able to take my time however the wheelchair does provide me with a more comfortable experience overall. Which in turn gives me more freedom, more independence, greater distances…and therefore more accessibility.

It seems that there is always more to learn about having such a variable disease. There is a lot of safety to take on board in order to keep my health at optimum levels. Changes can occur at almost any moment – reminding me that life is always changing, whatever our situations and capabilities, and whatever our choices. My advice to myself is to accept the modes of mobility transport with flexibility and focus on the objective. So as I process this I hope to see the wider opportunities grow.

shoe wheelI’m still doing well on the Wahls Protocol; my training programme continues to work for me and my muscles gaining strength; my relaxation techniques being just that; my cooking skills increasing as I experiment with baking options and gain confidence. My overall happiness is glowing and growing. Also as a couple, our lives are changing so much – for the better. We went out cycling at the weekend, and with the exception of the biggest hill, I realised that I was grinning for the whole trip…the enormity of happiness was far beyond my expectations. I’m very much enjoying sharing my journey with people – sharing this good news is such an energy magnet for everyone. Thank you for being part of my happiness and success.