I rarely panic where my health is concerned. I mean, what is there left that I haven't experienced thus far living with the MonSter?
[Screech...rhetorical question...don't really want to know the answer.]
But, I had a moment last week and bowed to my inner devil's advocate.
Thank goodness I have an excellent medical cheerleader in my camp. Ericka Blackwell may not be a fully credentialed neurologist, but her compassion and interest is sincere and vastly more professional than many licensed neurologists I have met on this journey. So, she scheduled an appointment and sat patiently with me while we hashed out my current questions regarding my MS.
My biggest concern lately is the fact that my right (foot) toes (big toe and little one beside it) have been curling up painfully on a daily basis, further hampering the annoying foot drop that rules my world. Well, guess what? There is a muscle relaxant called Baclofin that is basically side-effect free that will help me with this. Many of you already know this. I tend to be a slow learner when it comes to pills. I don't like them. Unfortunately, my personal pharmacy is growing, though. So, I began a new regimen of pill popping yesterday. Baclofin is supposed to be my latest best friend. In addition to a complex B12 vitamin and two daily doses of magnesium. That should knock out my cramping toes and weekly headaches.
When I asked about backing off the Gilenya to every other day or less (as I have been reading about on Social Media) to lessen my headaches, Ericka focused on my medical chart to give me some needed facts about G and me. Right now my white blood count is .35 and totally acceptable. Anything lower than .2 is dangerous and will indicate a prescription adjustment. I trust Ericka to keep an eye on that which she is doing. After a lab work session, we discovered that my little WBC is stable and we will proceed with the current routine.
My complaint of increasing weakness on the right side of my body...foot drop, right hand/arm, over all fatigue, balance...comes down to one thing I cannot control (age) and one thing I CAN be proactive about (physical activity).
WE are sermonized often the proven benefits of exercise. We are repeatedly told to KEEP MOVING. I say it, the professionals say it, we tell one another the importance of this. No one can do this for us. We MUST be responsible for taking the initiative. So, why don't we?
You have to admit that a little exercise ALWAYS lifts us up. Our mood lightens, our range of motion increases, we feel a certain sense of accomplishment, and we can honestly say that we are taking the MonSter by the horns. How can we be honest with our selves if we are not doing the best we can to be our "best" selves?
I know it's hard. It's painful and degrading to be stuck on the floor in a failed attempt at downward dog. Your tears do not need to be public, though. I am certainly more motivated to do better at the gym, but I am not always motivated to actually go to the gym.
That means I need to be motivated at home. My legs cannot exercise themselves. My suggestion? Get a couple of exercise bands and tuck them between the sofa cushions so they are always at hand. It only takes a few minutes a day to perform a couple of leg strengthening movements and that binge watching session can continue. If you loose count of your repetitions, so what?
With eyes glued on the screen I can also perform heel raises and squats without missing a single second of the plot.
I know this is not necessarily the moist professional training regime, but it's something; and maybe after a few days you will be motivated to take your exercise practice on the road.
It is my personal dream to be able to take walks again. It sounds simple, I know. But when the ability to do something like this is taken away from you, priorities change. If I want this badly enough, I have to change as well.
So, I ordered a fitness tracker. I told Rebecca (Remember my physical therapist?) that this was my plan after graduating from PT (a.k.a. insurance stopped paying). Well, Rebecca, I did it. It's not an expensive device but, it's pretty and it's pink. Now, if I can only figure out to set it up I'll be on my way to counting steps and tracking my progress...
See what I did there?
I made an excuse for not using that pretty, pink wrist band.
How many excuses do you use for not being kinder to yourself? Self-training is cheap. It is affordable to work out at home. The only effort it requires is for you to get off your butt-ox and MOVE.
Am I preaching to the choir? I know I am.
Have a wonderful week,