Friday, August 28, 2015

Falling Fiasco

Some time this past June...not sure exactly when (and too lazy to try and figure out exact dates) I fell...HARD...on our tiled bathroom floor. Surprisingly, it was NOT caused by errant MS symptoms, but rather a wet patch on the floor that I managed to find as I was leaning into the shower putting back the shampoo!  After about 4 hours, I reluctantly went to emergency to get things checked out (I couldn't put any weight on my right leg without it hyper reflexing with pain). The end result was...no broken hip but a pretty sore body!

Thankfully, I had my rollator, which I normally don't use in the house (it stays in my car) and came in handy because I couldn't bear any weight on my right leg, so it helped me to keep my balance, which I promptly lost the following day while trying to get something out of the fridge! Needless to say, I went for a header onto the kitchen/dining room floor, which thankfully, is wood (so much softer than tile) but banged up my left arm. I had a massive bruise on my elbow to show for it! Holy crap! Hubby wasn't too impressed...I think he was actually starting to worry! LOL

Being VERY cautious, I slowly got better (thank you Tylenol 3 with codeine) to the point that, about a week later, I ventured out with hubby to do some grocery shopping at our local Safeway.  By the time we got through checkout I was done!...my legs weren't cooperating, dragging along and I was pooped. So hubby got the great idea I should hop onto the front of the shopping cart...remember doing that as a kid?...yes, well...As an adult, I'm a lot heavier and there weren't a lot of groceries in the cart...can you see where this is going?!?

Yup!...I flipped the cart!...right on top of me... and managed to get my right leg pinned underneath my body where it felt like I was pulling every muscle in that leg past the point it should comfortably go!  Did I make a spectacle of myself?...yup!...did I care?...Nope! I didn't care that I was crying in pain, not even sure how I managed to get to the car?? All I knew is that I felt worse now then I did with the original fall and I was just trying to manage the pain by breathing...very loudly!

Hubby had to carry me from the car into the house where he administered first aid to my ankle...had a nice road rash gash (bled onto my new white Converse sneakers...damn!), gave me some Tylenol 3 with codeine (thank you very much), and proceeded to feel sick himself because apparently he felt like it was his fault because he hadn't caught the grocery cart in time....awwww.:)

The end result of all of this is, that despite 2 months passing, I am not back to 'normal'. :( I still need to use my rollator in the house...feet are still more numb than usual and my spasticity seems to be worse so that it makes for a very unsteady walk. I now also have a nasty scar on my ankle to remind me of my stupidity! It's amazing how quickly things can change?!



Monday, June 8, 2015

The Shoes on the Other Foot



I love shoes!...what woman doesn't? Shoe stores are like candy stores for women...so many shoes, so many colours, so many varieties...ahhh! Heels, flats, sandals, sneakers, boots and everything else in between.

So what has this got to do with MS???

I am lamenting the fact that my MS symptoms now dictate the shoe fashions I can wear...and I'm not particularly impressed!

It started with high heels...they were the first to go...too tricky to try and balance on a teeny tiny heel when your balance is slightly off.  Not a big deal...I'm 5'9" and my partner is 5'10", so I didn't wear a lot of stilettos, anyway.  I was still able to wear short kitten heels, so that was OK.

A few years later and the kitten heels were out. Balance issues now dictate flat footwear only and nothing with a platform...that's just a twisted ankle waiting to happen!

Now, thankfully, I work in a profession where I don't have to wear office attire...I'm a teacher...and I tend toward a classic casual style, so flat shoes work quite well for me.  I can wear sandals with dresses/skirts in the spring/summer and cute ballet flats or boots with dresses/skirts in the fall/winter...when I decide to actually wear said dresses or skirts...which doesn't happen often.

So for a while, I had a good collection of: flats (Mary Jane, ballet, loafers) sandals (and flip flops), sneakers, and boots (riding, UGGS, suede). Then both my feet went really numb so that if my footwear wasn't somehow secured to my feet they'd come off...so flip flops went out the door! :((

Recently, I've been dragging my toes...more the right, but the left does it every once in a while too...I guess it doesn't want to feel left out! So now sandals should be out but they're still in my closet...on the off chance I'm having a better day and/or I'm willing to risk stubbed or scraped toe.

Unfortunately, the toe dragging also means the front of my footwear gets extra abuse.! My very stylish Pumas bit the dust when I ripped part of the sole off! And just this winter my brown leather riding boots started getting a tear in the sole as well!! Haven't been wearing my UGGS...can anyone walk properly in those?? And ballet flats?...don't go there!:((

So it seems that my current footwear fashion must meet the following criteria in order to be walk and wear worthy:
  1. flat (with a heel under 1" but preferably under 1/2")
  2. some kind of extra reinforcement in the toe area or a 'bumper' all around
  3. must be able to adjust (tighten) so that foot stays securely in footwear
  4. should give some support (both for the arch and side support?)
  5. must be stylish
  6. must be comfortable
Current footwear that meets above criteria:
Just bought these in white.  Notice the 'bumper' LOL



I have these in red as well.









Obligatory runners with extra protection at the toe.









Love, love, love these boots! Very versatile and stand up well to scuffing!          











These unfortunately don't meet all the criteria, but I keep them because I love them.  But you'll notice they don't really have any protection in the toe area, so I only wear these when I know I'll be walking on carpet as anything else would scuff the %$tt out of them!


Again, sandals don't really fit the criteria. See above comments for ballet flats.


















Am currently crushing on some Frye riding boots...am trying to justify sending $400+ for a pair of boots.  :) ...they do meet the criteria!

















Friday, May 1, 2015

This Weeble Wobbles

I feel a lot like a Weeble these days.

Anyone over 40 will know what I'm referring to...those egg-shaped toys from Hasbro that wobbled but didn't fall over.

I've been doing a lot of wobbling lately. Wobbling along with wall-walking...I'm beginning to not like 'W's".

Thankfully, like the Weebles, I'm managing to NOT fall over.  But I've had a few close call "timmbberr!" moments; and only through the sheer luck of having a wall, or a chair, or some hard surface, ...or my husband (thanks, hon!) close at hand to grab on to as I feel myself lose balance, has prevented me from actually going for a 'header'.

I've also swallowed my pride and now use my rollator whenever I go out and have to walk more than a few steps in the open. Actually, I've been doing this for about a year now.  Better a bruised ego than a bruised hip!

It's frustrating because I'm not sure WHY I'm so wobbly?? Well...I know WHY I'm wobbly, I guess I'm not sure what's CAUSING me to be wobbly? Is it the MS just progressing?, is it something I've eaten that has caused my feet/legs to become more numb and spastic? (which is what happens when I've eaten something I shouldn't!), is it a new supplement I'm introducing? (which has caused a Herxheimer reaction), is it because my bowels aren't moving as well as they should?(which also affects my feet/legs), is it the weather?, is it because I've been extra busy planning my Mum's surprise birthday party? (stress causes increasing numbness and spasticity, too!)

I'm thinking it's a combination of all those things. And, until I address all of them, I will continue to wobble...but hopefully not fall down!




Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The iConquerMS Organization



Welcome to iConquerMSâ„¢! | iConquerMS.org



If you have MS or know someone who does, I strongly urge you to get them to join this organization! I feel very strongly that patients are the best advocates for their health and this is an easy way to get involved in meaningful research.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Retroviruses and MS

 I came across this research paper which looks at the association of a specific retrovirus to a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) which seems to be prevalent in patients with onset symptoms of MS.    Another article looked at the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) which has long been linked with MS and researchers are now actively looking at treatments that boost immunity to EBV see article here.

 I found this quite interesting, as the protocol I am following specifically addresses viruses as one of the factors in chronic disease.  That SNiPs are potentially involved in susceptibility to these retroviruses is even more interesting.  When I read that, I immediately looked through the raw data of my 23andme genetic test...but disappointingly, the SNiP associated with the HERVfc1 virus was not part of the genes tested. :(  

Up until now, I hadn't really given much thought to retroviruses.  I knew about the possible link between EBV and MS but since I had never had mono, didn't think it was relevant to me!  Is it possible to have EBV and not have had symptoms?  I think a trip to the doctor to request testing might be in order?!

In any case, I am still working through getting Step One supplements in place, so addressing viruses is way down on the list.  It has been VERY SLOW going, as every supplement I add seems to provoke detox!  And those supplements aren't even the ones that usually provoke detox (apparently).

Dr. Amy wasn't joking when she said 'this is a marathon, not a sprint".

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Biochemical Testing

One of the first things I did when I decided to try the Yasko protocol was to undertake a slew of tests to get a baseline as to where I was as far as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, gut flora, toxins, etc.  I was feeling a bit guilty about spending so much money on testing ($2000...gulp!), so I cashed in my savings bonds that I had intended to keep for vacation purposes.  Apparently my guilt was definitely one-sided, as my husband didn't seem too concerned about me spending that kind of money. (Go figure??)

To prepare for the tests, the plan was to go off all supplements for 2 weeks prior.  (The idea being that I wanted to see where my body was at sans supplements).  It turned out that I went off supplements for 4 weeks due to Christmas holidays and not wanting to send in tests over that time period.

Going off all supplements wasn't too bad for the first 2 weeks, but I really started to notice slight worsening of my symptoms from week 3 onwards.  I remember thinking that I was probably going to feel a lot worse before I started feeling better!  Ain't that the truth!

So what tests did I have done? There were 8 in all:

Urine Toxic Metals (I tested positive for 11/20)
Urine Essential Elements (low to lowish on all but 3)
Hair Toxic Metals (I tested positive for 23/31)
Urine Amino Acids (lots of imbalances)
Fecal Metals (I tested positive for 12/13!)
Comprehensive Stool Analysis w. Parasitology (imbalanced flora, 1 parasite, but no yeast)
Metabolic Analysis Profile (showed issues with short chain fatty acids and B Vitamins)
Neopterin/Biopterin Profile (issues with BH4)

Thankfully, not all the results came in at the same time, so I was able to go through one or two tests at a time, and compare my results to what Dr. Amy is looking for on tests, as described in:
Don't let the title fool you...she may now focus on helping children within the Autism Spectrum, but as I mentioned in a previous post, she started out helping people with neurological conditions.(Parkinson's, Lupus, MS...)

Her discussion group is also a FABULOUS source of information, and I have been actively using it to help guide my initial decisions on supplements.  Check it out!
http://www.ch3nutrigenomics.com/phpBB3/welcome.html


I meet with my Naturopath in 2 weeks to discuss my test results and to share what I've learned so far.  Although my Naturopath is new to the Yasko Protocol, she is very interested in it's application to various conditions, and I really value her expert opinion and feedback.

Biochemical testing was one of the best things I have done for myself...instead of second guessing that I had a mineral/vitamin/amino acid imbalances, or a yeast problem, or gut flora issues, or a parasite (which I had long suspected), I now know exactly what is going on in my body.  And more importantly...I understand why I might be having the issues I am, I see how I might have developed the issues I have, AND I can see what I need to do to help address those issues.