My life with MS and Chronic Pain - Week 3

My Life with MS & Chronic Pain – Week 3

Week ending October 14, 2018

Another week, and another few lessons to learn. At 49 you would think I need not learn anything new, but I am. Life is continually changing, and the circumstances are continually different. When you have change, there is always the chance that the habits and routines you have, fall apart. This week I pushed myself too much, and didn’t maintain my schedule, and so my mood declined. 

Exercise

Lunchtime - a pure caveman meal
Lunchtime – a pure caveman meal

Two full sessions at the physiotherapist this week with the FES device. My right leg doesn’t like to lift when I ask it, and it takes a huge mental effort to make it succumb to my will. Concentration on this leg impacts my headache. It gets worse. Too much effort. That is under normal circumstances. 

However, this miraculous device liberates my mind from thinking about walking. My leg just does what I tell it to do. It is like a reflex again. My head has not accepted this as it doesn’t happen all the time. My primitive brain expects this limb to refuse. So my headache still gets worse. I might be a little more caveman than I thought. 😃 😃

The number of steps I take is steadily getting better. Small increments, but it is in a generally positive direction. These week’s results are:

Day             Total steps         Time (mins)    Average pace over 30 minutes

Tuesday     601 steps            22 min             820/30min

Thursday   670 steps            25 mins           804/30min

I was also in the pool this week and my trusty Apple Watch tells me that on Monday I swam 486m, and on Sunday 540m. This is great. Physical exercise is a key part of me maintaining my cognitive function and improving fitness and heart health. One activity solving three problems, fantastic.

Diet

Food is a critical part of life, and enjoyment of meals is important. This depends on taste, and multiple sclerosis has numbed it, so strong tastes are important. Spicy food, darker, gamey meats are my preference, and vegetables that have definite tastes. I’m not a fruit eater, as I don’t much enjoy sweet foods (fortunately). 

I was in a darker mood this week, and this culminated in my despairing about the lack of taste in my meals. In my head everything was just a different shade of bland. Having learned that it is better to share, than to bottle up my emotions, I vented, and my partner was the listener. 

My biggest peeve was breakfast. Before the Autoimmune Protocol Diet I had shop bought granola or muesli with goats milk yogurt, brutally strong coffee with honey and a dash of milk, accompanied by orange juice. 

My new breakfast - so healthy
My new breakfast – so healthy

Now it is similar, except I make everything from scratch. I make the granola once a week and squeeze the orange juice every morning. My partner has found a recipe for hemp yogurt that is great. Different to my usual, but good, and I am getting used to it. My coffee is Bulletproof Coffee which I make with coconut fat and clarified butter (I make this too).

Breakfast is now a job, and my partner made my life a little easier, by making the granola this week. It is much tastier than my version, and she made almond milk for my coffee, which has the consistency of cream. My breakfast is no longer a chore, and I can see why I write in my journal every day that my partner shows her love for me in so many small ways. 

I love her so much and am grateful for the day that we met each other.

Activity/Work

This week I did three mystery shops before I went to my physio session on Tuesday. This was great as I earned a few euro, but it took a heavy toll. The combination of this, and physio was too much. On Wednesday I paid, with a massive headache, and a foul humour. Mr Hyde had surfaced once more. 

So I must learn from this lesson and not do three, but maybe one task before this session. This will be easier on me and it is not fair for my partner to be the focus of my anger, as she didn’t cause the headaches, or MS.

Over the last month we have had a few storms and the windows have become very dirty. On Sunday it was dry and sunny, so I washed them. Not a perfect job, as getting to the first-floor windows was difficult, but at least we can now see outside 😁

Medical

No visits this week, yahoo!! But I have been trying to see the Occupational Therapist to see if there are things I can do that will help me around the house. I need to keep using the stairs, but maybe there is something I could do better. I have arranged a referral now, and hopefully I’ll get an appointment soon.

Mental Health

Because of the trips to Galway for therapy I missed a few days of meditation and journalling. This is a mistake as my attitude during the week took a nosedive. Usually I can handle these better, and they don’t get quite as dark. The reason is that the meditation helps to put everything into perspective, and my journal encapsulates the ill feelings.

After the storm
After the storm

This coming week I will have to ensure that I do both every day. It is as critical as taking my medication, eating well and exercising. Having a strong mind is vital. It helps to ensure that I can do everything else in my week. That I will swim and stick with my diet.

Even though I had a few bad days this week, I did not stop swimming, or stray from my diet. Now my resolve is stronger. I must continue, and any grey, or worse, days have to only impact me, and not those that I love. This will be hard, but I have to make it work.

Next week

Physiotherapy will continue, and I will work on improving my adherence to my meditation and journalling. I plan to use the slow cooker on Tuesday so we will have a nice dinner when I get home. It will be my second attempt at using it, so fingers crossed.

Comments 2

  1. Pingback: My Life with MS & Chronic Pain: Week 4 - A 30 Minute Life

  2. Pingback: My Life with MS & Chronic Pain - Week 5 - A 30 Minute Life

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