Since returning to work in January after recovering from mono, the past few months have been crazy busy for me. I haven’t even had time to think about MS…which has been great! If you would have asked me this time last year how I thought MS was treating me and my thoughts on the future it wouldn’t sound like it does now. A year ago I probably would’ve said “Yeah, well it’s slowly progressing, it sucks walking with a cane and all of these braces but…” These days thanks to my diet and Bioness I’m going stronger than ever.
First things first, going Paleo and since then moving on to the Wahls Protocol has entirely changed my life for the better. If I could give any MSer one piece of advice it would be to drop what you’re eating and pick up a paleo cookbook. Over the past six months I have dropped 40 pounds and gained my life back. No longer am I sluggish as soon as I wake up, I can even stay up past 8 pm! Seriously, dump your junk food and start getting your life back.
Along with the change in diet I have also been using a Bioness L300 Plus electronic foot drop system to combat weakness in my left side. This has been simply amazing, I now have the ability to walk normally again! If you have the opportunity to get your hands on a Bioness system give it a whirl and see if it works for you. This system isn’t cheap but if it works for you, you will find a way. People like to donate to a worthy cause, especially for an electronic robo leg that will help you walk.
None of this has been easy, I have worked very hard to become healthy again, but it has been well worth it. Do it, read up and start making the changes that you can, this is attainable. Send me an email if you need some encouraging words or if you want to know how I gave up sweets! Fight on!!
Be a Warrior Today,
MS, Exercise & Fatigue
If you have read any of my previous blogs then you probably know that I have been rowing in an adaptive program for about a year now. At the same time, I started Tecfidera and increased my Ampara. The exercise is hard and the electrical stimulation that they use can often be very uncomfortable. Most of us in the program are paraplegics and so I guess it makes sense that there would be some discomfort when you consider that you are firing otherwise absent quad muscles with stim. Your progress depends heavily on your increased aerobic capacity and your upper body strength. The longer and harder you row over time, the better the workout. I'm really okay with all of the variables so long as I continue to make progress and this is where things have gotten tricky over the past few weeks.
For someone who has had MS over 20 years, I should know that you can't go to bed late, get up early, eat on the run and expect to have a great workout. Did I mention the stress? Here's a bit about myself, I don't like to compromise. I have been engaged in an emotional case that involves bullying on behalf of my son since October. We just settled the case with the school system this past week and I am happy to say that my son will be starting a brand-new school next week. Here's the kicker, everything comes at a cost. Months of high stress and poor sleep have not made my life any easier. Still, I showed up to row three times a week and brought my A game with me each time - only it didn't pay off until today. For the first time, I completed 1700 meters in less than 30 minutes. I rowed further and faster than I have since I started 12 months ago and finally I can see the enormous rewards of unrelenting exercise. It doesn't hurt that my trainer Colleen is an absolutely terrific person or that or that the gym is infused with some rocking tunes from Pandora. For me, this was a big milestone. This has taught me a valuable lesson about MS. While I don't like to compromise, I know that I will need to pick my emotional battles carefully, keep a balanced diet, rest, exercise, and maintain a low stress lifestyle to beat this thing. Today was my reward for all of my hard work these past months and my son was there to see it!
I have never liked being tied to so much structure but in this case, it has been paramount. I have learned some valuable lessons these past months. Go one day at a time and above all, don't ever give up!
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