So the problem I have with blogging is I overthink it. I feel like I must say something worthy if I’m going to put it out there for the world to read. But I have to remember:
- The world isn’t reading MY blog. yet.
- What I have to share is worthy. Or at least I need to think it is.
I posted my last blog post and was nervous. Would anyone read it? Would they relate or appreciate it? And I got GREAT responses from so many of you! And I felt valued. All I wanted to do was blog more and more and share lot of things. But the days passed and I started second guessing what I should say. I started analyzing your comments about what you liked and the things you related to. But remember, I am trying to just be. So I shouldn’t analyze, like I was raised to do, and I shouldn’t overthink. I should just put myself out there.
I realized I also left you all with thinking I was hanging out with those two spinal lesions and life was scary. Well I’ll tell you, it was for several years. I continued to live in a depressed box and hide. I was so afraid of this stupid disease. I let it rule my life. I let it win. I had slowly added some things into my routine that I thought would help, like weekly massages and then CranioSacral Therapy. I continued my church work and reading and of course, crafting (always). But I said no to most things physical or scary. Anything that warmed up my core was a big NO. Because it then made me more tired or more tingly on my right side.
I continued to take the MS meds that were prescribed to me, while I also took a handful of alternative vitamins and supplements. I had good days and bad. I kept myself out of the hospital and my MRI’s, that I had every 18 months, were stable. I would have a small brain lesion pop up here and there and then go away. No steroids, no treatment other than Copaxone. I was stable, but not very happy. And definitely not living my life the way I really wanted to.
The one thing I always wondered though, was about my spine. My Neurologist said if I wasn’t having spinal symptoms there was no need to do a spinal MRI, only the brain. But that worried me. I kept envisioning those little white plaque spots, or lesions, sitting there next to each other on my spinal cord. They haunted me. I would joke about a wheelchair and no one found it funny. But it was always on my mind.
In 2011 or so I developed a band of numbness on my left side around the middle of my abdomen. It is commonly called an MS hug and it was rather uncomfortable. From a medical standpoint it was pretty cool, because it was so numb and tingly up to the middle of my spine or my tummy and then right next to it, I felt fine. Totally normal. No numbness. So my Neurologist finally ordered a spinal MRI. Sure enough, I had a new spinal lesion. But guess what, the other two were gone. GONE!
Let me explain quickly that some people get MS lesions and they are there forever! Not me. Mine actually heal and I knew that from my repeated brain MRIs over the years. But I always wondered if the spinal ones did. Well now I knew. No more fear of a wheelchair. My spine would heal just like my brain and I could let those old lesions go.
About this time I was also being somewhat harassed by my friends who had recently started following a Paleolithic diet and they were all convinced that it would cure me. I thought they were full of shit. And I repeatedly said things like, “Oh that’s sweet, but a diet isn’t going to help me.” I thought that for several reasons: 1. I am a nurse and was trained in western medicine so I believed in FDA approved medicine and treatments. And 2. I did not want to give up carbs. I love to eat.
One day for some reason I stood in the local coffee shop in Winter Park and Wade Wilderman, the owner, told me a story of his son. Cody was a professional mountain biker and in great shape. He had recently been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Type 1. That means your body does not make insulin. You are usually diagnosed with Type 1 as a child. Cody was in his early 20’s. I thought that was almost unheard of. He had been put on a strict regimen of dietary changes and insulin. Multiple shots a day. I was devastated for him. But Wade spoke of Cody making the decision to switch to a Paleo diet after reading Robb Wolf’s book The Paleo Solution. He said it had drastically changed Cody’s life and health. He said Cody was needing less and less insulin a day. I was floored. It didn’t make sense with my western medicine mind.
So I went home, told Rusty (my husband) the story, and we bought the book. Needless to say, we went Paleo for 90 days and it changed my life. 100%. What I realized was that all the gluten I was eating was causing an immune response in my body that kept my constantly fatigued and depressed. The results were amazing. Everyone always wants to know if I lost weight, which I did, but that wasn’t the result that changed my life. (I will do another post on my weight when I’m up to it.) My fatigue went away! I had my old normal energy back again.
And it felt great. Since then that I have eaten every word against dietary changes helping my MS. And they taste great.
But it took a long time for me to let go of the fear of my disease.
I had to turn 40 for that.