44. That is the number of days that I have been on this restrictive gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free fiasco of a diet. We’ve (me and Tob) been detoxified and cleansed. We’ve been vitamin’ed up and herbally enhanced. We’ve drunk a lot of water. It’s been good and bad all at once. The whole purpose and intention for this was to feel better. A desperate attempt to change the direction of my health.
I wish I could say so many good things. There are several, actually! I am mentally and emotionally pleased with myself for accomplishing something hard. Cutting out sugar is something I would not normally do with sound mind! I love all the foods that are bad for me. Getting to the point of being thankful for lightly salted vegetables and brown rice – a beautiful meal for millions in the world – was difficult for me. Being thankful for the manna. Will you choose to be thankful, or not?
As far as the effects of the diet on my health; I’m unsure of how this detox and cleanse have impacted my body at this point. There are a few things I’ve definitely noticed:
1. I have zero wart on my thumb. My body was able to fight that off after a year of it being there.
2. I’ve lost like 10 whole pounds! My jeans fit better, I’m leaner and within a handful of pounds to my ideal weight.
3. I’ve completed something I set out to do.
We are sticking with the diet indefinitely. I know, right? Who would do that? It must be doing something, huh? It’s hard to see the good that it could be doing right now. I think I will have to give it long-term approval. I am exhausted. I was tired when I started this diet and I’m just as tired now, if not more. Sleepy fatigue. It is very frustrating. I want to do so much, but I’m just inexplicably tired. I’m still at that place where I’m not sure when to sleep and when to fight it. Lately, sleep has won. I’ve maintained a regular sleep schedule during this diet, and for most of the year so I’m not sure what more to try in this area. There is some medication that my neurologist said I can take for the fatigue. More pills.
My leg pain is steady. I feel like my left knee and ankle are pretty weak these days, on top of the pain from the spasticity. I take Baclofen for this and it definitely helps. However, there is a deeper, wandering aching – almost like a toothache – type of pain that is almost always lurking deep in my legs somewhere. I say “toothache” because it is often ranges like that annoying pain where you know something is wrong with the tooth all the way to needing a dentist right NOW because of the pain you can’t ignore.
In addition to needing help with the pain and fatigue, I have a few other things that I’m just now starting to personally research. I have been studying things like “clonus” and how to differentiate benign familial tremor from tremor caused by disease or damage. The tremor has not lessened. I feel pretty awkward when I notice people noticing it. It’s like wearing a bright red Britney Spears latex jump suit. People notice. My left hand is the back-up plan. I’m not very good at making it my dominant hand now, which I probably should be. It is getting more difficult to write, particularly, signing my name type of stuff. As luck would have it, my left forearm is crapping out on me! I’m not joking! Lefty is the back-up plan and lefty is getting weak. I’m unsure what this means. I have an odd sensation of pressure wrapped around a good portion of my forearm. It “feels” weak. I think the neurologist felt that my right hand was noticeably weaker than the left at my appointment. I think we should pray for lefty and possibly righty. I will not be human if I can’t use my workin’ hands!
Not only will this particular blog serve as super record keeping down the road, it’s also helping me get my thoughts and primary concerns ready for my appointment at the Multiple Sclerosis center of OHSU in Portland. That’s right. I got an appointment! This June. I researched the clinic while waiting for all of my paperwork to be filed. Which is another mystery in and of itself. My information was faxed over to the clinic in November/December. I got an appointment with Dr. River, my neurologist here, in January, so I didn’t pursue my application at OHSU as aggressively as I should have. Meghan, sweet Meghan, reminded me I needed to be brave and after speaking with this angel, I got courage and called the clinic to figure out the status of my junk. I had to get more information from Dr. River sent, a week went by. I was laying around the house feeling bad. Doing nothing. I called again. They need more paperwork. I was totally confused at what other paperwork they could want. Turns out, my chart was mixed up with someone else’s. After a very influential phone call from my sister at the doctor’s office here in town, OHSU called to offer me an appointment that very day. I was so shocked when the lady said she was calling to get me scheduled. I’m like, ‘Wait, what? Like, the doctor is going to see me? OH! MY! STARS!” I felt so redeemed. Thank you, Lord.
The doctor I was randomly paired up with is very knowledgeable in Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology. She has special interest in dietary influences on neurological disease processes. Um, could I not have found her at the most perfect time? I am totally prepped! 45 days, now, into a variant of the diet she advises for conjunctive MS therapy. I am so prayerful for this appointment.
At the same time, I am fully aware that I cannot rely on this doctor to fix this mess of mine. I know I can’t. I’ve been there before. I think the best strategy for my brains and my heart going into this is this: she is a part of my faith journey, a very intentional act of God. If she helps me, it is with divine guidance and wisdom from Him. I understand that this may be nothing more than a waste of fuel to drive to Portland, she may not even want to actually talk to me when I get there. She may be a jerkface. Regardless of what happens, I will go with the Lord, I will come back with the Lord, I will pray for the Lord’s hand to be in this, to lead me, to help me and to be with my doctor. My hope can only be in Him. I am so much closer to believing He is always with me. Amen.