This year I will relish every candle on my birthday cake and I will be grateful for turning 44. I am now only 7 years younger than my Dad was when he died.
I am reassessing all of my goals and where I am going. Every day is a new day for me of trying to rebalance my body and to find my previous good health and my brain power.
I will keep writing even though I don’t know if anyone other than me will ever read this.
11th November 2017
So today I feel fine. I feel like me and I am thinking like me.
I just commented to Dan- “I think the MS has gone away”. How crazy that this comes and goes with no predictability or reason!
No headache, no weird aches and pains. I can think clearly and I sat here and typed for two hours.
I walked this morning and then went back to bed for cuddles. I lay in the sun to listen to my meditation and I did some washing. I’m drinking a coffee with caffeine and I’m not feeling jittery. I feel 100% fine.
I know that the physical symptoms come and go and I am always so relieved when they go. But when they are gone I know that they will come back. I have been practicing mindfulness and being in the present and most times this helps me to chase away the angst but there are also times where it lingers.
My outlook now is so different. I wake up every morning and open my eyes and I am grateful that I can see. No blurry vision, no diplopia (double vision). I stand up and I am grateful that I can feel my feet and that my legs can hold me up. I walk to the bathroom and am grateful that my razor hanging in the shower continues to behave itself and I can read the Love is…. sign that we have hanging over the bath. I go to the toilet with ease and am super grateful for this. I go back to my room and get my clothes on to go for my daily walk.
I go outside and put Bonnie on her lead and we walk out to the lake where we head along the cycle path behind our home. I chat to the people that I see- some regulars that I might stop to talk to and some that I casually greet as we pass each other.
On a good day I get out to Boonerah Point and on other days I turn around earlier. I try to walk for at least 45-60 mins as well as doing a weights session a few times each week.
I love the walk home- it is one of my favourite parts of my day and I love seeing our home from across the lake as I turn back to my family. Some of my other favourite parts of the day are drinking my morning smoothie and getting into bed at the end of the day. It’s the simple things that bring so much happiness.
I get home and make Dan a cup of tea and then I start my morning ritual. Vitamin B12 and D3 supplements, 30ml of flaxseed oil with a shot of pineapple juice and my breakfast smoothie- banana, cacao, almond milk, chia seeds, cacao nibs, ice and water. If I am still hungry I have a slice of grain toast with avocado, sliced tomato and smoked salmon. I am trying to have this regularly now to help me to stabilise my weight.
I have changed to having one coffee every 1-2 days and sometimes if I have noticed that I have been feeling more anxious I make myself a decaf coffee in the plunger instead. I now add a splash of almond milk- long gone are my skinny latte days. I had previously been drinking at least two large and very strong coffees every day before getting sick.
Since starting following the Overcoming MS (OMS) program I have not looked back, I have not contemplated eating something off the program and I feel that I was born to eat and live this way. It all sits so beautifully with me. I have roast lamb in the oven- it smells great but I don’t want to eat it. My daughter and her friend have made a caramel slice this afternoon and it looks amazing but I don’t want to eat this either. I will not waver on my journey to health.
I am happy to have changed my lifestyle for my health and I have really appreciated something that I read early on-: Nothing tastes as good as being able to walk feels. I will do whatever it takes to get through this but I am not fighting it. As George Jelinek, the creator of the OMS program says, “there is enough fighting happening in my body”. Rather I am trying to rebalance my body, to reduce inflammation and to help to give my brain and body the nutrients that they need to restore, re-myelinate and to stay as healthy as possible in the future. My family- my husband and my children will know that I did everything I could and that I tried everything in my control to get well and to stay as healthy as possible.
When Mum died I jumped on the kids trampoline in the afternoons and listened to Florence and the Machine and thought and cried and bounced. Then I went in to cook dinner. I have always had a positive outlook and an unshakeable ability to just get on with things. I also don’t take crap. I have no tolerance for people who don’t/won’t/ can’t offer me the same consistency and respect that I give to them. I have walked away from relationships and from long friendships and I don’t ever look back. It is a stubborn personality trait but has been a very long term protective factor for me. I don’t stay in situations that are not working- I will try and I will work hard on getting through difficulties but I have my limits and I can cut my losses and let go. I am not sure where this came from but I do accept that this is me.
My Boulevarde Dreaming Instagram account for connecting with my MS community has been so incredible for me. It is different being able to have contact with people experiencing the similar craziness as I am- even though MS is often called the snowflake disease as there are so many different signs and symptoms and everyone with a diagnosis has different experiences. We do have some common features and it can be very reassuring to talk to others. It can be so hard to share with friends and family about what is happening for me. It is all so strange and unknown to me so it must be really weird being next to me. How could I ever really explain what this craziness feels like? My advice to others is to work to stay connected even when you feel like things are falling apart. Hold on to the people around you who care and are willing to help. If you don’t think they understand- keep explaining. Ask for help. Tell them you love them and that you need them.
My children will know that I did everything that I could. That I tried everything in my control to get well and to stay as healthy as possible. I also continue to research what I can do to help them to stay healthy and to avoid an MS diagnosis in their futures. This will always be my legacy to them.
I have had a couple of conversations with people in the past few days where I have explained about MS and have admitted that it is an incurable neurodegenerative disease which often leads to disability. While I am saying this out loud I still can’t believe that this applies to me in any way.
I have read about people meditating in front of vision boards and I don’t think that I need to do this. I have never wavered from seeing my future. I do imagine a long and active life for myself. This is partly my strong belief in the OMS program and my hopes for the combination of my medication and all of the positive things I do everyday to zap the power of this disease.
I will have a future where I can think for myself and to be independent and mobile. I would like the opportunity be able to get older and to age gracefully.
I am working really hard for it.
Thankyou for reading my story,