Browsing Category

A Day in the MS Life

A Day in the MS Life Just Because

We’re breaking up.

June 9, 2015

Perception is everything. And our perception of reality has been forever changed…for the simpler.

So, we’re taken this living thing to the next level. But first, we’re breaking up with conventional norms. At 35, we’re downsizing. (Yes, you read that correctly.) We are intentionally promoting the things we value most and the removing everything that distracts us from it.

We are putting the house on the market soon and looking for a smaller, more intimate, and more cost-effective home. The reaction by most people when I tell them our plans is comical. The majority of the folks I know are constantly seeking bigger, better, faster, etc. I was one of those folks. I get it.

“Well, what about your mother?”, “Well, you don’t plan on having any more kids do you?”, “Well you can’t live further from the city. How will you get to work?”, “Well, what about the school system?”, “Well, I can’t imagine you living there…Are you sure?”

Well-intentioned and equally hilarious.

But we are not stopping there. We are going to blow minds a little more and chase down dreams that we’ve always had and been too scared to chance. My husband is throwing all caution to the wind and starting a new business that will stretch his creative spirit. I am going to continue to do some internal house cleaning until it hits me. I don’t know precisely what’s next yet, but it’s definitely not golden handcuffs.

My son doesn’t understand now, but I like to think that someday he will. Someday, he will know about the decision his parents made to be true to themselves and honor their authentic selves. And I hope he sees that as a shining example of bravery and an invitation to do the same*.

We only live once. Live it like you mean it and don’t believe the hype.

They tried to bury us. They didn't know were were seeds.

*Or he will blame us for not keeping up with the Jones’. But a mom can dream, right?

A Day in the MS Life Just Because What's on my plate

Happy Easter!

April 5, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen, I call this piece of art made by my mother-in-law, “I am human”.

And yes, I ate one. And I loved it. Every last bite of it.

 

Easter cupcake

A Day in the MS Life Simply Wholly Eating What's on my plate

What to eat if you have an auto-immune disease

February 17, 2015

Some great info on nutrition that supports an anti-inflammatory lifestyle that I am following.

There is a whole body of research emerging now about autoimmune disease and diet. When I was diagnosed in 2001, I was told by my doctor that I should “avoid alfalfa sprouts” and beyond that, it didn’t matter what I ate. While alfalfa sprouts are known to cause reactions in those with lupus, there was a whole world of knowledge about lupus and diet that my rheumatologist completely left out, simply because she wasn’t educated enough on the subject.

I’m glad I didn’t stop searching with that conversation. It turns out that its critical for a person with lupus to not only have an anti-inflammatory diet (which makes sense since autoimmune disease causes so much inflammation in the body) but to cut out foods that reduce inflammation and eat foods that improve and balance immune function. So what are those foods? Continue reading >

Image Source: SetaHealth.WordPress.com

A Day in the MS Life Simply Wholly Living

Where the hell are my rose-colored glasses?

February 3, 2015

Staying present and being positive is HARD WORK. And it can be so draining. Today is one of those days when I misplaced my rose-colored glasses and I have to face the harsh cold winter blues. And I mean that in a total literal sense as well. We got more than 30″ of snow in the blizzard last week and another 12+” over the last day. It’s been brutal.

These “blues” probably happens to me more often than I like to admit but as William Faulkner says, “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself”. So, here I am.

Since this diagnosis life has been pretty wild.

There is at least one point of every day that goes something like this: Looking for solutions and trying to map out longterm plans. Then stopping bc I realize I can’t control any of this. Then go into my room to meditate and get some balance. And if that doesn’t work, then YOGA! Yes, yoga. But what about Reiki? ShouId I just learn Reiki and do it myself? And then maybe I can help others (Whoops! There I go deflecting from my need to help myself as usual). Okay so maybe I won’t become a Reiki Master any time soon but perhaps I can look into essential oils. Shit, we just need to sell the house and downsize. I really need a different career. What about Mom’s Doctors appointments? We need to stay close to the city. Do I really need a car? I mean I could really reduce my carbon foot print if I just start taking the bus. Wait! I get bus sick. Ughhhh. Shit, I need to get back to work. I need a coffee.

Then it hits me that I just need to chill out, have a little convo with God about all this nonsense and be open to letting the plan unfold the way it will. Relinquish control. God knows. (Like he really knows I need help with that.)

It’s okay to be scared. I am learning to trust myself and God and allow all the emotions that show up to hangout and get comfortable. They all deserve their own place at the table. But like all house guests, there always comes a time to leave. And if they aren’t leaving, it’s totally okay to give them a little nudge.

This post is my attempt at a nudge.

Right now I am going to focus on the present facts.

  1. I am blessed. God loves me. Full stop.
  2. If you ever met my husband, you would have to agree with #1. He’s great. He loves and supports me completely. I am so grateful for him. (Did I mention he does the laundry AND food shopping?)
  3. I have a great family. My mom, sister, niece and nephew, Mom and Dad in-law, sister-in-law, nephew, Uncles, Aunts. Yeah, we are far from perfect (like very very far) and drive each other mental on a regular basis like any other family but we LOVE each other.
  4. I live in area with a world-renowned medical community. People travel here from all over the world to see these Doctors and they’re in my backyard.
  5. I’m healthy.
  6. My son. Just amazing. Every day, I just can’t believe it.
  7. My friends. They get me. And love me because of all the things. Not in spite of them. That’s friendship.
  8. My job. My co-workers. Extremely smart, equally compassionate, and entirely flexible. In 2 years I have been able to go to every single appointment for my mother, for myself and for my son.

Well that’s a relief! Have you ever tried that before? Jotting down all your blessings until you feel better? I’ve done that in my head. But this was a first actually putting fingers to keyboard. And it is way more effective.

Lesson learned (for the moment!). Faith, family, friends. It’s all that matters.

1921037_10205141622768036_2716955088765336396_o (1)

A Day in the MS Life Simply Wholly Eating

The Overcoming MS Recovery Program by Professor Jelinek

January 30, 2015

In case you were wondering what I was actually eating and how I was supplementing, here is some info that you may find useful. I’m not following this to the T, but about 95%. I am still trying to figure out the right mix of vitamins for me. That will take time and more blood work. Since I depend on Doctor’s orders for the blood work, I won’t be able to check levels of stuff frequently. Unfortunately, paying for it out of pocket isn’t an option at this point.

If you want your own copy, you can download it here. The Overcoming MS Recovery Program is an evidence based guide to recovery and I have enjoyed following it immensely so far.

Diet and Supplements

  • A plant-based wholefood diet plus seafood, with no saturated fat, as far as is practical
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplements: Start the diet by taking 20g (20mls or 20 caps) a day of standard strength fish oil & some flaxseed oil on your food, gradually replace the fish oil with flaxseed oil over 9 months. On days when oily fish is eaten, omit fish oil supplement. After 9 months you should be taking 20-40mls of flaxseed oil every day
  •  Optional B group vitamins or B12 supplement if needed
  • Vitamin D: Sunlight 15 minutes daily 3-5 times a week as close to all over as practical
  • Vitamin D3 supplement of at least 5 000IU daily, adjusted to blood level
  • Aim to keep blood level of vitamin D high, that is between150-225nmol/L (may require up to 10 000IU daily)

 Meditation

  • 30 minutes daily

Exercise

  • 20-30 minutes around 5 times a week preferably outdoors (And I confess, this is NOT happening!)

Medication

  • In consultation with your doctor, if a wait and see approach is not appropriate, take one of the disease-modifying drugs (many may not need a drug, and drug selection should be carefully weighed against side effects)
    • Steroids for any acute relapse that is distressing
    • One of the more potent drugs if the disease is rapidly progressive

Foods That Should Not Be Eaten:

  • Meat, including processed meat, salami, sausages, canned meat
  • Eggs except for egg whites
  • Dairy products; that is, avoid milk, cream, butter, ice cream and cheeses. Low fat milk or yogurt is not acceptable. Cow’s milk and dairy products are best avoided altogether as the protein is likely to be as much of a problem as the saturated fat, given recent evidence. Soy products or rice or oat milk are good substitutes.
  • Any biscuits, pastries, cakes, muffins, doughnuts or shortening, unless fat-free
  • Commercial baked goods
  • Prepared mixes
  • Snacks like chips, corn chips, party foods
  • Margarine, shortening, lard, chocolate, coconut and palm oil. There is some debate about chocolate as it does have some good antioxidants, but most chocolate is also loaded with saturated fat, so it should be avoided. Cocoa, however, is a natural vegetable product with only a little saturated fat, and the occasional teaspoon in a glass of soy milk for example, as hot chocolate, is fine.
  • Fried and deep fried foods except those fried without oil or with just a dash of olive oil. It is important not to heat oils if possible, and if you want to use just a little extra virgin olive oil, the most stable of the oils, it is a good idea to put a little water in with it when frying to keep its temperature down. Things like fish and chips deep fried in, say, sunflower oil, are bad, in that the oil changes its chemical structure when heated in this way, and tends to be left in the vat for days, with all sorts of unpredictable chemical changes happening to the fats.
  • Most fast foods (burgers, fried chicken, etc.)
  • Other fats and oils

Be realistic. Plan for a miracle.