Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Diary of a Relapse - Day 7

Today is my 4th day on these weird steroids. 

The first two days were fairly hellish, with overwhelming mood swings, but after two more days of treating myself very gingerly indeed and having no more contact with people than necessary, I am feeling more calm than I have done in a long time. 

I am still trying to clarify exactly what is going on within my confused "body-mind", but I think I need to just accept that with these meds, the whole system gets so chaotic that the clarity I always crave is going to be impossible to find. And I hate writing when I don't feel clear about what I'm actually saying.
Solar Storm or Steroids?

I tried not to get too invested in all the coincidence of the recent extreme geomagnetic solar storms and my several days of fairly cataclysmic internal storms - that seems like a rabbit hole I could too easily get lost in...

Let's just say, I've passed through the storm of steroids relatively unscathed, and my MS symptoms are in reverse. 

And I don't want to let myself get so sick again that I ever need to take these terrible drugs again. 

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Diary of a Relapse - Day 4

Too ill to think or write tonight. I felt well enough to go for my colonic this morning (more on that later) and then picked up my steroids at last. Now I'm not sure if this apparent worsening of symptoms is the MS or side effects from these bloody meds.
My head feels like it's in a vice, with someone occasionally coming along to turn the handle, the heavy iron plates gradually tightening against skull, crushing my brain. 

I'm grateful for the good company and loving support of my Other Half right now. And that the MS isn't worse. I'm choosing to see today as the low water mark. With the right nutrition, rest, meditation and a bit of luck, I WILL bounce back.

OH just made me a fantastic dark green juice. Shame I couldn't take a photo. Important but is the recipe though:

The Green Phoenix
100g spinach
half cucumber
1 courgette
1 lime
huge chunk ginger

NB: this is a strong, zingy, dark green juice. It is NOT sweet.
If you would prefer yours sweet, try adding pears or apples.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Diary of a Relapse - Day 3

Thanks to everyone for your words of encouragement!
The good news is that I slept well last night and today the weakness and pain down my left side is about 10% less - and that's without any medication - and my right hand that seemed to be weaker and tingly yesterday is fine now. This is terrific as any sumptoms at all in my right hand would've indicated new lesions, as I've never had any symptoms on the right side before.

I'm having ridiculous problems trying to get my prescription filled, so won't now have any steroids before Saturday lunchtime at the earliest.

Thankfully I've got Dr Juice right here - the best medicine of all.

Which brings me to the bad news: I'm too exhausted to make juice today!

After years of juicing for health, I have a fairly complex juicing kitchen, with all sorts of supplements, boosters and superfood ingredients, so that I can make the most healing, alkalizing, inflammation-fighting juices possible. 

But in the midst of this relapse I simply don't have the energy to wash and cut veggies, put the leafy greens through the slow cold-press juicer, and blend in supplements using the blender, as I would usually. Then my hubby, phoning me on his lunchbreak, pointed out the obvious: just make the easiest juice you can, and lots of it. So I did. 
Here it is, my recipe for about 1.5L of fresh, zingy, health-giving juice:

"No Fuss" Juice for "No Energy" Days

1 lemon (unwaxed if you've got them)
1 large bag carrots (mine was 1.2kg)
1 large chunk ginger
1 large cucumber
3 ice cubes

Juice whole, then drink while live.

If any of those ingredients are organic, great. If you can wash them first, then of course that's best - even organic veg will probably have some residues you don't want to eat on a regular basis, and conventionally grown veggies will have all sorts of pesticides on the skin. 

But in the middle of an MS relapse, without the energy to stand by the sink, let alone wash several kilos of produce, I thought "What the heck? Why not live dangerously!" 
Thanks to my old Phillips juicer I didn't even need to cut anything.

1.5L of fresh delicious juice in 3 minutes.
Drank half a litre straight away, the rest is in a cold dark flask to sip throughout the afternoon.

Will have what a call a "proper" green juice this evening when hubby is home to make one. 
Learned something today: there is always a way.

Will keep resting and staying positive and hope that I can bounce back quickly enough to get back to work next week. 

Check back for more tomorrow! 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Diary of a Relapse - Day 2

Feeling fractionally better than the lowest point (yesterday afternoon). Of course, I hope that was my lowest point, but I never really know until I get through it to the other side!

Here's how I'm taking care of myself today, doing everything I know that has worked for me in the past, to reduce the inflammation and recover from this relapse as soon as I can...
  • Allowed myself an hour's lie-in. Would have liked longer, but needed to be up in time for that magic 8:30am slot to phone the GP surgery! (You Brits know what I mean ...)
  • Prayed gratitude for a good night's sleep in a dry warm home.
  • Made another super-mega-strong anti-inflammatory juice.
    Grateful to discover that my left hand was working a little better than yesterday.
  • Made appointment to see GP - earliest I could get was 5pm tonight.
  • Gratefully allowed my husband to make me more juice for the day, which is now in the fridge for when I need it.
  • Decided that today was only for rest, writing blog, drinking juice, and that I would not under any circumstances waste precious energy on any housework not directly related to nurturing myself.
  • Played healing music on a continual loop. Today it's 108 Sacred Names of Mother Divine by Craig Pruess and Ananda.
  • Played with my blog.
  • Took an epsom salts bath - not as hot as I would usually like, because I know the heat makes things worse.
  • Had a light salad of mixed green leaves and half a steamed mackerel fillet, for that all-important Omega 3 oil.
I'm off now for a sleep before my visit to the GP. 
I have decided to assume that he/she will be able to listen to me as well as speak and that it will be a helpful encounter. I've realised that my negative attitude towards medical professionals in recent years may have helped to create the negative experiences that I've had.
At the very least it has helped to make me stressed, and as we all know by now (and if you don't, please watch
The Connection) chronic stress helps to create chronic inflammation.

Plan to update blog after doc's appointment. Also juicy photos and recipes to follow (as soon as I'm up to it). 

Peace out xx

Diary of a Relapse - Day 1

It happens to the best of us. We do everything we can to beat this disease, but we know there are no guarantees, and sometimes, despite our best efforts, the inflammation increases to such a level that we find ourselves in a state of relapse.

The good news is that, for me, this time, it's not a very severe one. The better news is that, this time, I seem to have found it within me to hold my nerve and calmly apply EVERYTHING I've learned so far to help me get better fast, rather than simply collapsing inward and feeling sorry for myself, as I usually do. (Not that there's anything particularly wrong with that - it's just that I usually eat crap when I feel sorry for myself, which of course slows my recovery!)

This time, dear readers, I'm doing everything I can, and I'm going to tell you about it right here. If you're facing a relapse yourself, maybe you'll find something here that'll help you too. Feel free to comment and let's do what we can to support each other along this rocky path...

The story so far

This relapse first started to threaten about a week ago. I called my GP to discuss how to self medicate with the small supply of low-dose oral steroids still in my cupboard from a previous relapse. When he suggested that rather than following the older protocol of 30mg/day for 5 days, followed by slower tapering off, I take 500mg a day for fewer days - as per the newer NICE guidelines - I panicked a bit and said that I'd rather try to manage without. Half a gramme a day of steroids seemed excessive and I hate to take really strong meds if I don't have to. I thought my mild symptoms would settle down in a few days by themselves.
They might have done, IF I'd done everything I know right then. I'm talking mega-strong green juices several times a day, meditation, bedrest, releasing angry and stressful thoughts, walking in the garden, and so on.
My big mistake is that, having turned down the drugs option in favour of the natural option, I then didn't properly implement the natural option. I carried on with my part-time work, slept no more than usual, did no meditation and virtually no exercise, and worst of all, I continued to indulge my addiction to stressful thoughts and situations. 

One thing I did get right was to have an acupuncture session last Friday, and some gentle yoga on Monday. But that alone was not enough to fend off a relapse after weeks of bad habits. It's like weight loss - you can't eat fattening junk all day and then expect a single trip to the gym to make it all right.

So, now facing an actual relapse, I have the choice between criticising myself for dropping the ball or focusing on how to get better. And this time I choose the latter.

Here's what I've done so far:

Yesterday (day 1)

  • Contacted work to explain that I would be unable to teach tonight. I'm so exhausted I'm not sure I'm going to get through this post before I have to go back to bed. And if that happens I'll deal with it. No more being a hero!
  • Made myself the greenest, most anti-inflammatory juice I could think of.
    Juicing with the use of only 1 and a quarter hands was not as difficult as I'd feared - just took patience and more time than usual. My left hand had only about a quarter of its usual dexterity, making fiddly tasks like unwrapping cucumbers particularly tricky. Felt very grateful that my right hand is never as badly affected as my left!
  • Ate only simple "clean" plant foods all day: berries, green salad, live sprouts, fruit, Omega 3 -rich linseeds and organic soya yoghurt - as much as I wanted, but without overeating (a rare change for me!)
    And plenty of cups of tea, because I like tea and don't want to give myself any sense of deprivation. (I make it with organic oat milk, so there's no dairy and no factory "nasties" either.)
  • Let my husband make me another strong juice when he got home. Felt very grateful for my husband.
  • Got to bed on time, after praying gratitude for this opportunity to learn something new about healing.
Click here for day 2...