Holistically MS

Join my holistic journey with MS


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After the Tunnel

It’s apparently one hundred days since my last post. Was I informed of this century? No…I just decided to come on here and see if I feel like writing another blog. Or perhaps moving onwards with something else.

The last one hundred days…like MS they have been varied. Like the weather it has been a topical subject one day and not so, another. However…I have stuck at my Wahls Protocol. On May 3rd I started an AIP Leaky Gut diet…for three months. Auto Immune Protocol, by Dr Sarah Ballantyne…to try to improve on my Leaky Gut. My so-called virus this year ended up not being one. I discovered that my joint pains were in fact tendonitis triggered by nutritional deficiencies…caused by stress, infections and relapses. I also, recently, found out that my sore throat this year, exasperated by the aforementioned, is in fact GERD (chronic acid reflux). I then researched how to avoid taking the medicine prescribed and found out that most acid reflux is caused by the stomach having too little acid. Search it and you will see this: http://chriskresser.com/what-everybody-ought-to-know-but-doesnt-about-heartburn-gerd/ I highly recommend it. And what I thought was MS hug was in fact GERD. I may get MS hug sometimes however I now know the reason for food easing the pain. It makes sense. And more so…after removing acidic foods and being in agony, to reintroducing acidic foods…add cider vinegar, eating slower and less in the evening…my pains have cut right down. Hurrah!! Oh, how ten days can spin right around on it’s axis and make you feel that your body is in fact united once again. Incidentally that website material is educational for IBS, Paleo, low carb, sugar free etc…so when I found such a lengthy article which covers lots of my issues, my digestive -throat to toilet- challenges, I  became the student.

So…now my nutrition is starting to get back as a team inline with my body and I am already seeing the turn around; the united body. My exercise levels are back on the agenda. The mediation and yoga are daily and now joined with exercises. I’m also able to take my assistance dog out for wheelchair walks, with some actual walks through the countryside. Helping my mental health also.

So yes, I’m back. Back…and also far far forwards in holistically being healthier; holistically understanding my body and; holistically focussing on the best options which I feel are right for me. 

And so folks…here may endeth my blogs. Thank you for reading about my journey, I wish you great health and happiness.

…I’m off to do the rest of my life now!

  


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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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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.


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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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Total Rebuild

I’ve been wondering, for a while now, what to entitle this blog. I want to summarise myself being rebuilt, reprogrammed, rediscovered. Perhaps like a new town being created brick by brick.

So…I’ve been busy with the training programme which has had to change equipment due to my improved health. Yes the wheelchair accessible medical cycle machine kept needing to cool down so I knew it was time to change. Albeit with a proud smile that my fitness and strength is improving more and more. We now have a treadmill which provides me with safe side bars for learning how to walk. My pelvis has started to adjust to this new way of moving, along with my legs building up their muscles for the weight bearing stuff. I also have started cycling out in the real world…quiet lanes and off road. The latter was taking my MS symptoms out of their comfort zone, along with my sensory processing too. However this was fun and really began to help me become distracted from fear of a new unknown life. Yep…as weird as this may sound to some, to others it may make sense. I’ve spent nearly all of my life with medical issues and am fortunate for this change…however long it will last. I still use my wheelchair for going out – for safety, distance and whilst having to process all sorts. I recently purchased a rollator, after tons of research for aesthetic and practical reasons. So far I’ve used it twice.

The food situation has been a pain in the arse for me and my IBS has been challenged so much due to many new food alternatives. My IBS had been increasing in symptoms over the years and then it improved when I went on the Wahls Protocol. Then something was consumed which knocked my digestive system…my ultra sensitive gut started a ropey journey. I tried a low-FODMAP diet for the recommended six weeks which helped. Although my taste buds and enjoyment for food had a different view. And now…I’m back on the extra diet and this time eliminating almond milk too. I do have peaks and troughs with attitude to tolerating the absent tastes…I’m human. Anyways…today I’m fine so we’ll move on now!

My weight loss has been an interesting journey…a subject of which I have not really thought about until spring time this year when I began to change shape. With the results of double diet, I’m frequently in the charity shops rebuilding a wardrobe in a smaller size. It’s so weird looking in the mirror and learning to recognise my [new] self, however it is a lovely bonus on top of the long list of wonderful changes.

Wow…life is becoming life…a new one that feels so so foreign to me –  overwhelming and also hugely fantastic! I’ve just started volunteering out in the real world, away from virtual work. It’s great. I feel like I am living in a surreal world. Perhaps a movie can be made…any takers?!!

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I love this photo and it says so much about how I feel…as I start to socialise, feel free, awaken and feel ready to enjoy this new life which is the best present to ever ever have.


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Harmony

Hello… It’s been a fair while since I last wrote. A few reasons for this. My IBS adjusted to the Wahls diet negatively when I increased the sulfur amount. I went through many food tests at home to find this out. So life for me was still massively better however I needed to remain at home in reach of the bathroom. After many weeks I started on a Low-FODMAP diet which has eased the situation lots. I then got a cold and some weeks later am shaking the last of it off. I very rarely get colds and was sure glad I was on the Wahls Protocol for this one. Although I have stayed at home and had breaks from my training programme I have still felt remarkably well, all things considered. So I’m ever so thankful for this. I have felt okay about staying at home for these weeks…I guess it’s due to minimal challenges whilst my MS itself is treating me well. Soon I shall begin going out solo again…and with others.

So…it’s early in the morning, I’m sitting on our garden bench – a long time since I’ve been able to do this and I will say that the back of the bench is a bit hard for my somewhat boney back these days. Plus I’ve gotten use to the back of the wheelchair or lounging chairs.

I’m in a reflective mood as the last four months have been intense on top of a previously intense situation with our old home. Yesterday the lovely old Victorian farmhouse was sold to a newly wed young couple. We had some challenges living there; serial litigator neighbour; stairs with more random steps upstairs; poor public transport; rural and even further from my folks and family. So the surrealism of being off of the property ladder will sink in. The aforementioned has of course affected my health. I’m so happy that my body has bounced back…or forwards…by continuing to heal and to strive to be healthier.

Sometimes I want to go and eat something easy; regular; the same as others…and then I recall my health challenging me beyond belief and living in bed with continuous struggles. So of course the motivation is immense and I continue to live with the Wahls Protocol food in order to enjoy life.

I like that I am so often amazed and appreciative of my healing body. I love that my body is healing naturally without pharmaceutical ‘aid’. This sits so well with me and that in turn relaxes me. I’m enjoying my little meditation time – the calmness actually works for me these days. Perhaps now the brain messages have chilled out, and got in line in what feels like an orderly fashion, I have the ability to feel calmness.

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Be good to yourself…enjoy the moments around you.


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Freedom in the Lightbulb

lightbulb freedom

There is so much joy in these words I am about to type. There is so much appreciation and discovery; such excitement and relief.

During the first half of February I found myself positive yet with frustration; realistic yet worn out. For I felt like a sitting duck…waiting waiting waiting. When will the time come for my MS to improve? I was spending half the day in bed and the other half getting through the hours as best I can. My frustration was over my dependence on others…those medics carrying out trials for Secondary Progressive MS and the realisation I may have years until a drug may ease my life.

And then words and articles caught my eye…my mind slightly baffled and my heart feeling lighter. I have been on many diets to alleviate my conditions however this article was written with science. Science that leapt out to me. Science that made sense. Science that my logical mind liked. I started to read about the Paleo diet. There is so much about it at the moment, since the book release of The Paleo Approach by Dr Sarah Ballantyne, and then the book release of The Wahls Protocol by Dr Terry Wahls. I came across her TEDx seminar a couple of years ago – the potential of our mitochondria. When you have so many questions over an illness you find yourself dipping in and out of answers and trying avenues and questioning others. However for me now, the time was here.

It was mid February. I began the Paleo diet in a relaxed manner so to help with the lifestyle changes I was to incorporate. I needed to be relaxed in order to overcome previous stresses with other dietary restrictions.

One afternoon, after three days of changing my eating habits and relaxing more, my mind awoke and I got things done with clarity. A lightbulb had switched on. It was so amazing. I cross-examined this and then carried on with my week to see how things develop or alter.

After one week, I tightened the dietary requirements to follow the basics of The Wahls Protocol. I continued to read The Paleo Approach. The following few weeks began to turn my life around. Honestly. It was a pure awakening to my body. My cognition clearing, energy increasing, happiness growing, moods mellowing, memory improving. The more that this occurred the more that it fueled me. And still does.

And now…as I am about to enter week six I feel so elated with my new lease of life. I’ve just spent a week of having mornings…awake…up and about. Wow – the days are full of hours – it’s so amazing. Sure, I still see some of that modern convenience food and think how lovely it will be to have some – however this new protocol is the best motivation there is. Awake. Life. This last week I have been able to do gentle leg exercises and still have the energy for daily tasks. This weekend I have been able to stand up. Today I was freed to another level – my legs got me upright…on their own.

I feel so new and reborn. I feel that I have chances and I am experiencing these. I have been able to accomplish things that were laying dormant.

I am back…I am awake…I am coming back into my own life. I have such enormous thanks to the aforementioned doctors and their learnings, with a special thanks to all the experiments Dr Terry Wahls carried out to make sure that her protocol will provide the cells with the nutrients that they need to heal. I’ve got the easy job.

See the title of my blog site – the website address? My deep internal belief is coming true. I use to believe and say  “my body got me into this – my body will get me out of it”. I feel as I am travelling. I am discovering just how amazing the human body is.

It’s time for a revolution – for doctors to prescribe nutrients – a grocery list for medicine; for autoimmune dis-eases to diminish; for millions of people to feel good again.

ducks taking off

What a lush new light this is. I am so overwhelmed by the outcome and the speed of which my body has welcomed nutrition, lifestyle alterations and trust. The confidence in my body, in my future…and in my present moment.

  • I believe in myself.
  • I believe in my health.
  • I believe in my recovery…holistically…as one.