I meant to do this after 2 months but I didn’t realize it had been so long since my last post! That’s okay, now I can summarize things. 🙂
I’m starting to feel better now, but I’ve been really tired for maybe about a month or a little less. I was wondering if it was MS related but was kind of in denial about it, partially because I was doing pretty well food-wise and I thought if I was having MS related fatigue that meant that I needed to get super strict about my food again and I didn’t want to. But then I started to have some tingling in my left pinky again (but I’m not even sure if that’s MS related because I’m also having a lot of tension in my shoulders, and it’s kind of coming and going) so I talked to my mom about it and she pointed out that my last relapse was in August and that seemed oddly coincidental, so she asked me about heat. I knew there was some connection with MS and heat but I didn’t know much about it, so I did some research and sure enough, one of the top heat-related symptoms is fatigue. It was actually such a huge relief to think it might not be diet related. I also started cutting myself some slack. I haven’t been to the gym in a while and that’s okay. 🙂 I plan to get back to that soon. I’ve taken a few naps (another thing I don’t like to admit to). And I’m starting to feel better. 🙂
Other health related things:
Nothing to report
What I am eating/cooking:
I think I’ve probably already mentioned that I added gluten back in. That seems to be fine, but when I was so tired and not feeling my best I was really evaluating things. A friend from the support group sent me a podcast episode about MS and gluten which was really interesting to me. They discussed that gluten is probably not the problem, it’s probably processed food, because people often say they feel better after cutting out gluten, but that means cutting out a lot of processed food (now there is more gluten free processed food that you can buy, but it still limits what you can eat). So maybe it wasn’t the gluten specifically that was the problem. Like they said in the episode, sometimes people have toast for breakfast, pasta for lunch, and pizza for dinner, and that’s just too much. That wasn’t new to me, but another thing they discussed (which wasn’t new to me either but I needed to hear it again) was that another problem with bread is the preservatives. So, I started reading labels even *more* carefully, because I realized that when I first went on the Wahls Protocol, I wouldn’t have been eating any preservatives because we were making all our food from scratch.
What ensued was a fun adventure in visiting 2 European stores near us. Mom & I enjoyed some very good and beautiful bread, but some of it had quite a bit of white flour mixed in too, it wasn’t all whole grain which is another thing I wanted. But it was baked fresh and preservative free! One time when I bought it it was still warm! 😃 But, like I said, it was basically white bread, so the search continued. That same day I went to Trader Joe’s and sort of on a whim looked at the Ezekiel bread (comes in an orange package: I’m sure you’ve seen it). Ezekiel bread was actually my first choice because it’s whole grain, easy to get, and I kind of like that it has a Bible reference. 😉 But it comes in a plastic bag which according to the podcast is usually a sign that it’s full of preservatives. But it’s NOT! NO preservatives! So that’s what we eat now. 🙂 And I’m still not eating a lot of bread. Just a couple pieces of toast now and then for my egg salad, or I might occasionally make a turkey sandwich.
We very recently got interested in our Omega-3 consumption (turned out my fish oil capsule isn’t enough), so I started putting chia seeds in our smoothies, and then I switched (per Mom’s suggestion) to flax seeds. I didn’t think they would grind up, but they do! (You might need a Vitamix for that though.)
I was getting really frustrated with how many supplements I was taking and wanted to quit, but I did a little research and decided that I still need to take the ones I’m taking, plus I added a B-12 supplement (but that one’s easy to take because it dissolves in your mouth). So, to recap, for those of you keeping track at home 😉 . . .
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
Organ meat capsules
Vitamin D (oh, and I doubled that to 4,000 IU)
B complex (but I plan to discontinue that when I run out of it)
How I’m doing emotionally:
MS-wise I’m fine now 🙂 I was really stressed about it when I thought I might be having a relapse and I didn’t know why.
As far as the rest of life, I’m feeling a little down. I share that, *not* for sympathy, but in case I can help someone else. I’ve identified a big part of it: right now I’m not seeing my friends much. It’s not personal, it’s just that in our longest-time friend group (from the BCC days, and also kind of high school for me), 2 couples are busy moving, and there just haven’t been many group events for a while. But, the friends who are busy moving should be more available soon, and things will get better. 🙂 In the meantime I’ve been doing things I enjoy. 🙂 I started reading more, I’m back into knitting, and Mom & I are going on some little mini-adventures around the area. 🙂
I decided I needed to give my mental health a little boost, so I started back on the Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program. That’s why I started paying attention to my Omega-3 consumption (see above: What I am eating).
For various reasons it had been probably years since I had been to any kind of barbershop event, and almost as long for Mom. A lot of barbershop friends showed up for Dad’s memorial service, and I realized how much I missed them, and missed those events. I never disliked going to them, but I took them for granted because we went to so many. Anyway, Mom & I found out sort of last minute and accidentally that the chorus was doing a show near us, so we went. It was SO fun. 🙂 We gave and received so many hugs, and were touched by how happy some of the guys seemed to be to see us. 💜
I finally finished this baby set for one of my friends from the support group. Her baby was born in May and I meant to have this done before that, 😉 but I made it all big so it should still work. 🙂
I’ve already started my next 2 knitting projects, and I have another one in mind! 2 of them are for specific people, but I also started another sweater for the Knit for Kids program.
Last weekend Mom & I went to Sequim for a family event, and one of my cousins (Jillany) and her significant other (Nate) had recently gotten their new Tesla, and Nate said I could drive it!!! 😃 What fun! Driving a Tesla (or I suppose any purely electric car) is very different, and I’m glad I got to have the experience. 🙂 Thanks again, Jillany & Nate!
The installation of artificial lawn has been a huge success!! I have pointed it out to a lot of people, and they seem universally surprised that it’s fake grass. A few times I have walked up the front sidewalk and started to feel guilty because I haven’t mowed recently, and then I remember. 🙂
What I read/am reading (the highlights):
The Life We’re Looking for: Reclaiming Relationship in a Technological World by Andy Crouch ~ The best part of this book was the distinction between using technology as an “instrument” (like a tool) or a “device”. You should read it. 🙂
Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis: The Evidence-Based 7 Step Recovery Program by George Jelinek ~ I haven’t finished this one yet but it will probably take me a while so I wanted to go ahead and mention it. 🙂 I’ve been reading a bunch of books about MS and this is probably my favorite (or at least top 2, tied with The Wahls Protocol). It’s because of this book that I doubled my vitamin D.
Moloka’i by Alan Brennert ~ I think that a sign of a great book is one that simultaneously makes you want to visit the destination and makes you feel like you’ve already been there. I don’t want to say too much about it, but I really enjoyed it and I recommend.
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker ~ I could really just sum this book up by saying: sleep more. But even I was surprised by some of the information. Basically, anything you’re trying to do, you need to get a good night’s sleep afterward, and that includes your workouts.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett ~ A favorite. 🙂 I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this.
So, I used to share the statistics I got from the clinical trial. Now that I don’t get those anymore, I decided that I needed some way to keep track and see how I’m doing. I’ve simplified it, but I really want to track how many days I’m eating my sulphur veg and my greens. I’m not measuring servings, but I usually only count greens if it’s my smoothie, so that’s a consistent amount, and I’ll only count sulphur if it’s a good amount (not just something that’s seasoned with some garlic, for instance 😉 ). For instance, last night I was at Red Robin and ordered bottomless broccoli as my side and I ate 2 of those. 🙂 (I like to share some of this because I think it’s important to learn how to do this in a way that allows me to do social things and live as much of my “normal” life as I can while still eating healthy. 🙂 )
So, here are my stats. It’s just the total # of days out of the month (in June I wasn’t very consistent with tracking so those numbers were probably better than is reflected here):
I’m pleasantly surprised to see how high my August tallies are! It helps that Mom & I were doing a smoothie challenge in an app for 10 days. 😉 And now I’m really focused on the Omega-3s so I’m making a daily smoothie so I can add chia or flax to it. But still, I’m proud of these numbers. 🙂 Now I’m off to make today’s smoothie!