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After the Fall

                                                                                               Image result for cartoon flowers
It has happened to all of us, some more frequently  than others: The Fall. I am not talking about vibrant foliage and the crisp temps of my favorite season. I am talking about that dastardly event that warns of broken bones and colorful bruises. It can happen in seconds and, in my case, without warning and accompanied by some type of weird memory loss. I rarely remember exactly how it happens. I am just suddenly on the floor. Or, in the case of Friday night, on my back in the middle of my outside concrete porch. 

Yep, that's right. All I remember is moving in the direction of the back door, and, BOOM!, my head hit the stone siding of the house, my right hip bounced as it connected with the hard surface of the floor, and I was down. D-O-W-N.

I think I actually nearly passed out

I made it into the house and to the bathroom, feeling for broken skin on the right side of my head the whole time. There was no blood, but I felt the early signs of the proverbial goose egg that was forming. And I was extremely nauseous. Could I suffer a concussion so quickly? 

Whether that was a possibility or not, my imagination immediately went into over drive making me extremely uncomfortable about going to bed, which was my next plan of action.

But, I did. Go to bed, that is. And, boy-oh-boy, was I sore Saturday morning. And Saturday after noon, And Saturday night. And Sunday...all day. 

This morning the goose egg has subsided quite a bit, but my behind is even more tender than before. Since this not my first go 'round with a hip injury, I know the drill and have an arsenal of physical therapy exercises at my disposal. Guess you know what I will be doing today.

On a more positive note: My son returned to school this morning after a two week hiatus with mono. It is a beautiful day in my neck of the woods and promises to be a stellar week weather wise. Hope the birds are chirping where you are!

I don't think I shared this with you during the BIG awareness week, but it is worth a second go-round. 

Enjoy Ericka Cheman-Rossi's review of The Wahl's Protocol.

Ericka Cheman-Rossi
January 28
The Wahl’s Protocol
Today is January the 28th of 2017.
I had checked the book, Minding My Mitochondria by Dr. Terry Wahl, out from the library in mid-December and promptly read it. From the outset, I should probably point out that she has another book, more of a cookbook, called The Wahl’s Protocol, which I have yet to read…
The book was so dense in its information on nutrition for brain health, I read it TWICE. Some of the basic recipes I copied out by hand, the ones I thought I would use anyway; some pages had tables of nutrient info and what foods had them, and those I copied on the computer.
What follows is my takeaway(s) from the book… which may be somewhat tailored to my needs, but I think I got the gist.
The information made a lot of sense—we have been told for years as a culture about eating right, and that getting our nutrients from food was better for our bodies than using vitamin supplements.

This woman was living proof.
To be ludicrously brief about her backstory, Dr. Wahl had an MS diagnosis, the typical RRMS at first, which quickly transitioned to SPMS Secondary Progressive. With that came deterioration in her mobility particularly, to the point of being in a wheelchair most of her day. Well, she’s a smart lady, and her job was with the VA, dealing with brain injuries—her own condition bore some similarities to say the least. She sat down and studied the hell out of all the research on the matter, what does and does not seem to work in treating MS, and then created her own treatment plan for herself. She implemented it religiously over a period of about a year, and was able lose the wheelchair in favor of a walker. Then use two canes instead of the walker. Then walk unassisted. Finally actually bike to work—
Ok folks, it looks and sounds like that here’s some material worth looking into, don’t you think?!?!
She’s a doctor, having experimented on herself, so she knows what she is talking about.
And she’s not selling anything—no special medicine or device to buy to make you all better.
Three-pronged approach…
So scientifically speaking, a whole lot of other research and experimentation would need to be done, double blind studies, etc. But the fact is, we who are suffering NOW, disabled NOW want some answers, some solutions NOW. We are sick and tired of living this way, we know in our heart of hearts that there has to be something better than what we are doing. And so she took it upon herself to apply EVERYTHING that looked to be promising, to her body personally to make herself
better, so we can do it at home—the scientists can go ahead and do all their studies, but if you want a solution now, cutting through all the red tape, this is what you do.
1. DIET. Likely it’s no secret to you by now that things about our “Western” diet are simply not good for us in general. In “normal” people, it just makes them obese, gives them diabetes, or at least chronic heartburn. Change this, and WOW, you change a lot of your symptoms.
2. EXERCISE. Together with #1… how often do we hear our doctors repeat just these two things? And it isn’t just your muscles and your heart it’s good for—your brain actually gets into the groove, too. But for those that have gotten to the point of more severely limited mobility and muscle atrophy:
3. NeuroElecto Muscular Stimulation. Because when you’re not strong enough to flex those muscles in the first place, the stim can do it for you, until such time as you are able to take over.
Me? I knew quite a bit on these matters, but absolutely not to this level of specific detail. And for the most part, I will deal with these in reverse order because of how much or little I have to say about each.
I knew I ought to be eating mostly vegetables and lean meats. NOW I know which ones to choose for optimal brain function health. So yeah, diet and exercise were no strangers to me. Electrostim…
Of all of us going outside to shovel… and I said it aloud to my Dad and my husband the other day:
My husband is a couch potato. His only real exercise is deer season, which has been over for three weeks; even then he never walks the property, jogs, nothing to get prepared for it. What I’m saying is, between his terrible diet habits and zero real exercise? In spite of MS, my heart is in better shape than his. Side by side shoveling as we were two days ago, he had to break three times for my every once, winded. I even switched shovels with him, thinking that maybe the design of the shovel I was using was the difference. It wasn’t.
My parents are elderly. My Mom does some exercise, but mostly stretching and flexibility, pilates for her bones. Neither do any actual cardio. My Dad as much as admitted that with his high blood pressure, he outright fears a heart attack shoveling snow. The lady across the street is the same age as my Mom, but insists on shoveling herself… so my husband insists on shoveling right next to her to help. He is stronger after all. At any rate, I pointed this out—that I, the sickest one of the bunch has the healthiest heart and this should not be. In response, my Mom asked for my workout DVD; and I reminisced to my parents the information from some time ago I had learned, that just 5 minutes daily of cardio makes a world of difference for your heart health.
Today, as I said, is January 27th. After a lake-effect snow event Wednesday—Friday, then predicted again Friday night through midday today, snow removal will be the order of the morning. If I consider alternate days, I should maybe work out today, BUT since I will be shoveling, that will be exercise enough for today; then resume my usual MWF schedule for working out. And copy the DVD for my parents…
So about those diet specifics…
The sheer amount of vegetable matter you should be consuming in a day is daunting! Having mentioned it to my Dad, even with his large appetite, he didn’t think he could do it. But I told him, once you start working it in, within a couple days, you’re actually hungry for the stuff!
And true, if you manage to eat the 6-9 cups of vegetables and fruits she recommends per day, you barely have room to eat anything else! I’m barely up to the 3 cups… but oh, wow, this difference just one week makes.
First off, I lost 8 pounds. Wasn’t really trying. What I was trying was some of the foods, some of the recipes, smoothies mostly for lunch. But very quickly I got in the habit of figuring out new ways to work in those important vegetables, or at least the ones I had been neglecting.
I love the mushrooms, but I don’t eat them often enough. So I now keep some in the crisper to toss into whatever I’m preparing that day. I’m rotating the crucifers that are cheaper right now—broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus, which isn’t a crucifer but contains a particular sulfur compound your brain needs for repair and maintenance. Being (again) very basic, you’re shooting for 3 cups daily of each: crucifers, other greenery vegetables, and colorful vegetables. And change it up.
Sadly, in my house so far, I’m the only one doing this. Although when the girls get home, they may buy into it some—in fact when I roast vegetables and have them in the fridge, I often notice them missing as these were their first choice in the first place. So for myself, I have a couple veg mixes in there and alternate days. Same with my morning juices—V8 type tomato juices with a cherry based fruit juice that is also high in fiber.
The smoothies have been cool. Instead of milk or even juice—
-And a note on milk. Standard dairy is something that may cause allergic reaction in many of us. Dr. Wahl found she was in fact allergic to milk and therefore cut it from her diet. The rest of MSers? Unknown. But nut milks are lower in fats and cholesterol, which we should be avoiding anyway, and in this way you can kill two birds with one stone, avoiding both fats and a possible allergen.-
She recommends tea as a smoothie base. And a number of detoxifying teas, some that provide actual nutrients and specific antioxidants. I have these lovely plastic bottles, 17oz, leftover from some sugar-free flavored soda waters I liked. As soon as one is empty, I fill to about 16oz and add two tea bags, exactly the right amount of room for cold brewing. In this way, I’ve stopped drinking diet sodas, which mostly contain aspartame, known to cause or exacerbate neurological symptoms. Splenda is too new to have good data on, but frankly… you quickly lose your taste for sweets anyway. Just sayin’.
And the things you can throw in the smoothies—berries, bananas, whole peeled cut up oranges; cocoa powder, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric; flax, chia, or coconut; greens like kale and spinach and romaine—like wow! You can pack quite the nutritional punch into a smoothie!
And then there’s bone broth, something you should have 1c of daily, something I have yet to do even though I have made some out of chicken bones from wing night. I have used some in veggie mixes and other uses. Because you boil until the bones fall apart, the nutrients from the sinew and cartilage are in there, the building blocks for myelin repair. THIS is likely the reason for the medicinal success of simple chicken soup, bone broth base. –That’s my guess, not hers.
Dr. Wahls points out which food items—vegetable, fruit, meat, spice, herb, seed, you name it—contain which ingredients and the purpose your body has for them: anti-inflammatory, mitochondrial energy, myelin repair, antioxidant cellular health and repair, brain chemistry, toxin removal, components of neurotransmitters—just all kinds of crazy-specific info. What I have touched on here is but a proverbial tip-of-the-iceberg (more like the tip of the tip!), some things specific to me and what I was missing on a regular basis.
She also points out what to be avoiding, what contained in the Western diet that is helping inflammation keep us locked into cycles of pain, medications, and wheelchairs. Refined sugars, refined flours, and for an astonishing number of us anything gluten. Think basically avoid carbs. I knew about me and gluten from last summer (“Apply a Little Snake Oil”), how many of my MS symptoms backed off or even completely disappeared just from cutting out gluten. Avoiding as many toxins as we can, from our food supply and from our environment, as well as how to responsibly cleanse our bodies of the toxins already accumulated there.
I mentioned right off about losing 5 pounds without meaning to, within a week, and not even following it entirely or very well. Second, within that week I recovered my energy and more normalized sleep pattern. Third, also within that week, the increased intake of vegetable matter helped significantly with my neurogenic bowel. Not completely solved or worked out, but I’ve been able to back off the medications I had been using to remain remotely regular. Slowly my brain is regaining its focus and function—it doesn’t feel like it will ever be perfect, but I do detect a solid improvement in reliability.
All this does need to remain in conjunction with regular exercise, and I will say on that account that I am less sluggish about it. Before going back to better and more correct eating, I could think all day about how today is the day I should work out… and so easily decide I didn’t feel like it. Now it’s a lot easier to do. Not exactly better motivation or even better routine, just… today’s the day, let’s do this.
I have far more and better progress to make. But if just playing around with it has me feeling that much better so quickly…
Lemme know when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I will help you heal yourself. It doesn’t matter much what is wrong with ya, improved eating habits will help a lot, on just about anything that ails you, MS included.


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