Today marks the start of four weeks I’ve walked without my cane. For the first two weeks, I brought with me to work and when I went out. For the past week and a half, I’ve left it at home.
I’ve been asked why I’m able to do that now. I think it’s actually a combination of things: I’ve changed my diet drastically: giving up dairy and eating way less junk food and eating a lot more vegetables and salads. I’ve cut out aspartame and diet drinks and I’m drinking a lot more organic fruit juice. I quit smoking full time in June and social smoking in November.
Of course, I’ve also changed how I use my time. I make sure to get eight or nine hours of sleep a night. I balance what I need to do, making sure I give myself time to rest and not fill up every single moment. That’s been the most difficult for me; I thought it would be giving up dairy.
I’ve also started walking part way home from work to give my legs more strength. I take the two busses I need to in the morning. On the way home, I get off at my street and walk home. It’s a long street, but the exercise is good for my legs.
The medications are also making a huge difference. I take Backlofen for the spasms that the MS and CP cause. I also take a daily injection called Copaxone.
However, as well as I’m doing, I’m still dealing with the fatigue, the memory problems, fighting with my brain to remember more often. So I’m doing something to help with that. I joined the choir at work. My thought is that in memorizing songs, the lyrics and the music they belong to, it will help me remember more, keep my brain awake.
I don’t know what the chances are of my having a relapse. I still have daily symptoms like speech problems, fatigue, etc, have been lucky not to have had an episode since January of last year.
I was diagnosed with Relapse and Remitting MS with a catch: since I only had one episode and haven’t relapsed yet, I was told that what I had was actually called CIS, or Clinically Isolated Syndrome. It’s still MS, but just another form of it.
I don’t know when or if I will have a relapse. So instead of waiting around for it to possibly happen, I’ve adopted this philosophy: live every moment with joy. Whether that’s by writing, visiting with friends and family, sitting with a good book, it doesn’t matter. As long as I find joy or give it to others, that’s what matters most to me right now.
And you know what? That’s pretty awesome.