On my way home after physio

My Life with MS & Chronic Pain – Week 5

Week ending October 28, 2018

On my way home after physio
On my way home after physio

It was a quiet week and I mainly concentrated on maintaining my health routine. Physiotherapy is continuing, and the FES device is helping.

Diet

Another great week for food. I have found that the best way to eat vegetables is roasting them. I cut them up into small pieces and then coat them in olive oil, salt, pepper and mixed herbs, and roasting them for about 50 minutes (180 C in a conventional oven).  This works really well, and the taste is usually excellent,  especially the broccoli, which I am loving.  I try to get as many vegetables as possible making sure I vary the colours having green, orange (this being the Halloween season its pumpkin, otherwise it would be sweet potato or butternut squash) and some onions too.  For 4-5 days of the week I add meat and then have 2-3 days that are vegetarian. The meat has no added flavourings or spices other than some salt.

Pork Chilli (AIP) and Roasted Veg
Pork Chilli (AIP) and Roasted Veg

 I found a great recipe for a type of chilli that uses cumin instead of hot spices.  This is a link to the recipe I used.  I really enjoyed this and combined it with some roasted vegetables.  As you can see in the photo, I have at least three quarters of the plate vegetables and less than 25% meat.  Based on my reading this seems to be an important ratio to follow.

Exercise

Exercise is critical to maintaining general health physically as well as mentally.  The connection between mental health and exercise has been well documented and in my situation I have found that when I swim regularly I feel much better.  The cognitive benefits are also significant.

Physio progress chart
Physio progress chart

This week I was in the pool twice and swam an average of 500 metres each time. Achieving my goal of doing intense exercise during the week.  I always feel exhausted after doing this and my right leg is always sore, however I feel that this pain will ultimately be of some benefit.  I also attended physiotherapy twice this week and my walking is definitely improving.  On Thursday I could walk around the building 4 times with the same amount of steps that the previous week I only could do 3 laps.  The effort and time spent is paying off.

Work/Activity

I am spending more of my time looking after my health and maintaining my physical fitness and mental fitness.  This week I did not do any work, but I spent time creatively writing.  This is for the upcoming meeting of the Clifden Writers Club which will be meeting on November 5th.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend as I will be in hospital starting my intravenous immunoglobulin treatment.  I will send on the finished piece for them to read and hopefully, I will receive some constructive critique on what I’ve written.

Medical

No doctors this week.  Yahoo!!

Mental Health

A tasty treat of garlic spinach, egg and prawns
A tasty treat of garlic spinach, egg and prawns

Looking after my mental health is very important and to do this I write in a journal and meditate, which I could do on six of the seven days.  This really helps my outlook and keeps me positive and motivated.  Being positive is always a challenge when you have a chronic illness, especially when you feel you are losing so many things that make you who you are.  I can no longer define myself by the work I do or even the activities I do.  I now have to have an internal motivation that keeps me positive and getting out of bed each day.  The positive work I’m doing in physiotherapy is a great example of something that improves self worth.

The week ahead

Next Tuesday I will do my first intermediate test to see if the physiotherapy I’m doing is of any benefit.  I am hopeful, but let’s see.

Other weeks in the series

Week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4.

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