Monday, December 27, 2010

The Scoop on Poop

...is a favourite book in my classroom library (I wonder why? LOL) and an appropriate title for my latest blog entry.  Because, yes people, I want to discuss that most unmentionable topic...the bowel movement, which I will refer to as 'poop', because, frankly,  bowel movement just sounds so clinical.

According to health professionals, a daily poop... or better yet, two poops per day, is necessary for optimal health.  Although I don't go around asking people if they poop daily, (poop being considered a taboo topic of conversation among people who aren't your closest confidante...and let's face it, even then, we're not comfortable broaching the subject) I have managed to glean enough data to conclude that, frankly, most of the general population is "full of sh*t"... literally.  If you manage to have the recommended two poops/day, please contact me and let me know how you do it.  In fact, you might want to consider writing a "how-to book" and selling it online (cause no one would dare buy the book at a store).  I would buy it :P

I envy my dog.  Through no effort on his part, he manages to routinely have two poops per day that coincide with either his breakfast or dinner meal...like clockwork.  Oh, to be so lucky.   

I have tried, over the past year and a half, to have a daily poop consistently.  If you were a betting man, I'd tell you NOT to bet on me. Because not only have I not been able to do that, I have been plagued by the "C" word...yes, CONSTIPATION...the bane of my existence, and which causes me far too much, well...gas, and is threatening to take over my life.

I have even formulated a theory that some of my MS symptoms (spasticity and numbness) are aggravated, perhaps even caused (?) by constipation.  How did I come by this conclusion? Continue reading and I will explain.

Through coincidental observations, I have noticed that if I don't have a good poop in the morning a few things happen:
  1. my urinary urgency increases (I wonder if its due to pressure against the bladder?)
  2. by about noon, my legs get stiffer and my feet get a bit more numb (I notice this especially when I am at work)
  3. increased gasiness in the afternoon
  4. bloating and a general sense of discomfort
All of these happen like clockwork anytime the morning poop is missed. LOL  So, here's what I have been doing to ensure I have a good morning ;)
  1. eat 1/3 cup of ground flaxseed mucilage (that has been soaked overnight) with my creamy rice cereal every morning
  2. take digestive enzymes with each meal (this has been a HUGE factor...possibly even THE factor as I have just recently added this to my repertoire and it has made a world of difference!)
  3. take a probiotic 2-3x/day after meals
  4. take 250g magnesium citrate 2x/day 
  5. Magneium Phosphorica Schuessler Tissue Salt (1 tablet at least 3x/day)
  6. try to get some form of exercise every day (I take the dog for a 10 min. walk every day...it's not much, but every bit helps)
So, is it working?  Well, let's just say that, more often than not, I have a good morning and I think with a bit more time, I may actually be joining the "2x per day club". 

More importantly, is it helping with the spasticity and numbness?  Hmmm???...that's a bit of a crap shoot (no pun intended).  Because I'm still not consistent, I'm not consisternt with the spasticity either.

I'll have to keep monitoring this one. :) and if you would like to share any anecdotals...please do. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is My Two Good Feet

Well, it has been quite some time since my last blog entry.  I've been working on and off on a different entry and debating whether I should post it or not due to the nature of the topic :) I've decided that I will post it...eventually. 

In the meantime, I thought it was high time I got everyone up to speed with what's been going on with me, post-angio.  Actually, not much! :(  I would have to say that there have been no further improvements noted.  In fact, I would say that the spasticity in my legs and numbness in my feet are slightly worse...at least some days it seems that way?  It's really quite frustrating because there are times during the day where my legs feel better and then a few hours later, they're stiffer again??  I'm trying to pinpoint if its something I'm ingesting or doing, but so far the only thing that could possibly be a factor is the green tea I'm drinking?? Could caffeine be a trigger??

I'm hoping it's not the green tea because it's supposed to be a natural iron chelator that can pass through the blood-brain barrier. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16470637  I was drinking about 5 cups of tea a day, but my naturopath said I should cut it down to 3 cups, as that much caffeine could contribute to my spasticity.  Maybe I'll need to take pills instead?

So my feet have been bothering me lately.  It's gotten to the point that I only have about 3 or 4 pairs of shoes I really feel comfortable walking in.  This upsets me no end, because I have this really comfy pair of chocolate brown UGGS that would be perfect this time of year, but I can only wear them on my 'good' feet days because...well, they're a bit 'schleppy' to walk in at the best of times, and I certainly don't want to be tripping all over the place...I do that enough already! LOL

I was secretly hoping the procedure would improve the numbness so that I could wear heels...which made me feel a bit guilty because it's a rather vain wish to have.  I've decided heels may be a lost cause, so I've transferred my love of shoes to...purses! ...I was at Macy's the other day and oh, did they ever have some some great deals on purses! 

But I digress!  So my legs haven't been the best...but here's the thing...take out the legs not being up to snuff and I feel great!  Legs aside...I have a general sense of wellness?! Not sure if it's because I'm coming to terms with my MS symptoms or if the things I've been doing to help myself are just coming together to create this sense of wellness? Whatever the reason, I'm not going to dwell on the why's...I'm just going to enjoy the feeling and hope it continues.

And on that note...I'd like to wish everyone a very, merry Christmas and most of all, a Happy and Healthy New Year.