I will not compete for the affections of my partner.

I learned a lot from my failed eight year relationship/six year marriage, and I will never regret how it evolved me. Among the numerous lessons and growing opportunities, I learned that I will never again compete for the affections of my partner against anyone or anything. While I will never be able to prove or disprove a physical affair (not important), I can prove the emotional affair because of the behavioral backlash on the relationship. Both types of affairs are significant, if not more so (for me) being the affair of the heart.

Have you experienced how lonely it feels to be with someone who doesn’t want you? Wanting them… wanting them to want you. Unrequited affection… it’s fucking lonely! And when I look back, I wonder why I tolerated it for so long. If I’m honest with myself, the signs were all there. I was mistaken to forgive and overlook them.

The First AffairMasturbation.

I am not disparaging or blaming masturbation. Masturbation did not ignore me or neglect me. Masturbation didn’t work for only four hours a day and then jerk off until I got home from my ten hour work days. Masturbation didn’t discourage him from getting a full time job because he would have less time to enjoy himself. Masturbation didn’t absorb into video games or movies during my precious evening time and weekends. Masturbation didn’t push away my frequent advances and requests for affection.

He did that. Those were his actions and decisions. He also mentioned to me that he thinks about me when he does it. Really? How special does that makes me feel? You think about me when you whack off multiple times a day and ignore me completely when I’m home and available and wanting. Huh.

I argued with him about this for years on an off again even though it did get somewhat better over time. He called me controlling and jealous and immature. I called him neglectful and hurtful and selfish. Arguments ended in screaming, door slamming, tears, fists into walls, sleeping on the couch, and even sometimes packing. It nearly ended our relationship several times.

If I had more self-esteem, it would never have gone that far. I wanted to resolve and persevere to prove my adulthood successful after coming from a series of broken childhood homes. I did love him, but I resolved the relationship for the wrong reasons. He was already toxic for me and feeding my low self-esteem with reinforcement.

The Second Affair The First Love.

For my ex, his first love was not the same as his ex. In fact, they never dated. She was never interested in him. She was his first love though. They ran with the same crowds in high school, and that’s exactly where his adult psyche was stuck. In the stagnant fantasies of high school. This affair was not as conscious for my ex as his first affair had been.

When you get married young, it’s assumed that you eventually will grow, change, and evolve together through the years as a couple. Unresolved childhood damages may be well hidden for years along with any permanent immaturities.

He had always been an aspiring writer. I even allowed him to be a stay-at-home writer for a year to get his work off the ground. He wrote twenty minutes a day, if that, and not every day. He did end up finishing a first draft of a short novel and a script for a short play, however he never pursued publication for anything that he wrote and the drafts were left to gather dust.

Every piece he ever wrote was stuck in this universe called High School. If he did manage to write about adult characters or adult circumstances, the characters would still behave emotionally as if they were in high school. And there was always this one girl he wrote about. Constantly. Always the same girl with different names and faces. Up on a pedestal of perfection and worship. Or am I confusing that with obsession? Sometimes he would tell me that she was me. I found it hard to believe, as I did not have much in common with high school girls even when I was in high school. I would see the same girl over and over appear in his writing, but I could never see my face.

This was completely out of my control and there was nothing to fight against. All I could do was watch it progress. Was this about him not writing about me or not thinking of me as his muse? Absolutely not. This was about him having continued unresolved feelings about this specific girl from his past which just happened to make itself apparent in his writing. It merely put the pieces together of the odd behaviors and seemingly random comments. It was merely showing me his perspective.

When you continue to carry an active and attentive loving relationship all in your mind with a person who doesn’t know they are involved, your mind makes that real for you and it becomes your present. And when you devote time and energy on someone else in your mind, the person standing right in front of you wonders why they aren’t worthy of the same attention.

There was absolutely nothing I could do to fight for attention or affection against a person who didn’t even know she was involved in a romance that had never even happened in the first place. A high school friend of his was also obsessed with conducting an affair in his mind with the same girl from high school. She must have been one hell of a girl to have so many devoted fans. My ex did eventually resolve his feelings and ended his affair in his mind after seeing this friend’s behaviors which were much more exaggerated and quite disturbing due to brain chemical imbalances. My ex saw this play out and found his own perspective and inner peace. He was finally able to let it go and enjoy the present with the person standing right in front of him. For a time.

The Third AffairThe Coworker.

What a joyous day it was when I found him a full time job with benefits. Yes, I found it for him. To his credit, he nailed his interview and got the job. He trained hard, learned well, and moved up. He was proud of himself for his accomplishments. It made him happy. That made me happy seeing him happy. The money wasn’t great, but it was worth it for his happiness. I was so happy for his success and happiness, until he started staying late to “hang out.” And then “hang out” time became longer and longer.

He swears that nothing physical ever happened and I’m actually inclined to believe him. Not because I think he’s that honest of a person, but because of his history and comfort zone of romance being a mind game that he plays with himself as opposed to anything real or physical. Too much danger and vulnerability involved for him in the real deal.

This job required him to work on weekends and evenings. I had my usual day job during the regular business week. Our time together became precious and limited. As time went on, he stayed later and later. When I asked how his day was, he would tell me stories about this one particular coworker who was also married but seemingly unhappily so. She always had a story. She was zany and shocking and loud and opinionated in unpopular and unkind ways. She was also a very pretty woman. Both tall and thin. Her mixed race complexion was stunning. I understood why he was smitten with her. She was everything that I wasn’t. Or at least, that’s how he treated me.

She was also a smoker. He began taking smoke breaks with her constantly. He came home smelling of her perfume and cigarettes. How does a wife not make a comment when her husband comes home smelling like another woman… the same other woman… every single day. Of course, that was an immediate fight. He called me controlling and jealous and immature. I called him neglectful and hurtful and selfish. Arguments ended in screaming, door slamming, tears, fists into walls, sleeping on the couch, and even sometimes packing. It was getting close to the end of the marriage by then, but those are stories for other days.

The final straw for me was on Christmas Eve. His business closed early and we had a mutual friend drop by unexpectedly at the house. I said, my husband should be well on his way home by now since they closed early for the holiday. An hour went by and I started to worry. I called to see where he was and to let him know we had company. It just rang and then went to voicemail. His phone was on, but he wasn’t answering. I started to get concerned and embarrassed at an hour and a half. At two hours, I had a panic attack. At three, he finally showed up at home. The mutual friend saw that I was okay and promptly left after giving him an earful about communication and respect.

His story was that he left his phone at his desk and got caught up in the parking lot for three hours just hanging out with the holiday interns (all high school and college girls). I asked why he couldn’t simply call to tell me this by borrowing one of their phones and telling me that he’d be home late. How dare I suggest such a thing… I won’t bore you with the details of the fight, but it was obviously a big one. I had lost all respect for him at that point. This was just emotionally the last straw for me.

Reflection

Someone once told me that you are treated the way you allow yourself to be treated. My ex obviously had many redeeming qualities or else I wouldn’t have fallen for him in the first place or tried to make it work with him for eight years. No one is all good or all bad. However, I take responsibility for allowing any of this to happen to me in the first place. I learned many things about myself during this relationship including self-respect, self-esteem, and self-worth. This story is merely highlighting the feelings of neglect and betrayal I had in the relationship and how it evolved and escalated to situations that I absolutely would not tolerate even with self-esteem issues. This is not an attack on him. This is all a reflection of me. I tolerated. I silently hurt. I forgave. I saw patterns and didn’t put my foot down. Things escalated. The rest is history.

What I am today is someone who will not tolerate being treated this way ever again. A love affair with a fear of intimacy, a love affair clinging to the fantasy of another person, or a love affair (be it intellectual, emotional, or physical) with another person, I won’t allow those in my life. I’m not saying these infatuations are bad for other people, but in my situation being in a committed relationship where I give my romantic attention only to my partner, this is entirely toxic to me.

I’m not out to force someone to love or respect me. If you pursue my partner, I will lose respect and trust for you. If my partner allows to be pursued or pursues another, then I will lose respect, trust, and love for my partner and the relationship will be over. I deserve a relationship of equals. I’m on this plane of existence. If I don’t jive with yours, then it’s not meant to be. Find someone you are compatible with. It’s only fair for all involved.

I will not compete for the affections of my partner. And, likewise, my partner will never have to compete for mine.

From immobile to running a mile in less than 2 months

Yesterday, I ran a little more than a mile and bench pressed 20 pounds on the big bar, so whatever the bar weighs plus 20.  Someone told me the bar is 45 pounds.  Baby steps to heavy lifting.

I was asked yesterday on social media about this, “Are you doing something else besides (raw vegan) to help you improve your running?”

Yes absolutely.  A bunch of things!  Each day I work hard and have been working hard since day 1 (September 8, 2014).

Back up to September 8th when I went to the hospital with my left arm and leg totally numb and limp at my side.  Since day 1 in the hospital, I walked every day while I was there (even when I couldn’t walk properly).  I raised my arms and legs up and down slightly while laying in the hospital bed.  I kept doing it until I sweat and then some.  I cried because I was scared and they didn’t know what was wrong with me, but that fear just fueled me to work harder to fix myself.  I worked up to sitting up and walking on my own and then doing laps around the neuro ward by the 4th day.  The physical therapist came to see me on day 3 and was so impressed at what I had already accomplished.  She had nothing new to teach me.  I taught her a dexterity game I had come up with.  She said she would teach it to patients to make therapy more fun.

Even if it was just the task of sitting up in bed or getting up from the bed or walking to the bathroom, I pushed hard and did it by myself.  I told people to back off when they would try to help me.  I muscled through excruciating frustration, humiliation, and pain with my brain not engaging my muscles properly.  I stood in front of the mirror and did exercises between medical tests and worked on controlling the movements with my brain.  Jedi mind tricks.  I walked slow and steady by myself but with a limp when I left the hospital.

The first two weeks after the hospital were the hardest. I cried during my first yoga class because I couldn’t stand up on my yoga mat properly with my feet together without losing balance.  But I kept trying to do it through the tears and didn’t quit.  I finished the class doing all that I could do and cried some more.  They still hadn’t firmly diagnosed me with MS (pending spinal tap results).

I declined physical therapy and went with a personal trainer in my local gym.  From day one, he had me walking forwards and backwards with assistance at first and each day going further and further.  We worked on the pavement in the parking lot and eventually made it around the entire building.  I wobbled a lot and fought balance and coordination, but I never let myself fall.  If I felt like I was going to fall, I would stop, rebalance, and then continue onward.

From day one in the gym, I had weights in my hands to work on strengthening and reengaging function in those weak joints and muscles.  There were a lot of weak and limp spots.  I did assisted leg presses with my weak leg with no added weight at first.  I did partial squats and lunges as far as I could go into the position.  I worked my core and did yoga balancing exercises.  I had assisted deep stretching to manually work the muscles that could not yet engage.  I stayed self aware and cried ALOT but kept pushing through the tears.

I think going raw also helps with increasing my running stamina.

Long story short, I continue to fight each and every day for improvement in all areas of my body.  I’m getting stronger and faster and I don’t even walk with a limp anymore.  I still have weakness and backsliding days, but overall I’m getting stronger.  I’m not stopping the fight to improve.  To move.  I remember not being able to sit up in bed or stand up without wobbling and that pushes me just a little further each day.

At first, it felt really hopeless and impossible and I had many moments of tearful pity parties.  The fatigue was VERY hard to work through in the beginning.  I would feel so horrible most of the time and would find myself barely hanging on to the elliptical or to my trainer for support.

The most important part was not stopping the momentum.  Working hard even when I felt horrible.  My excuses had to become my reasons.  Fatigue lessens with exercise and raw eating so I don’t have to struggle as hard anymore.  Each day you push through the symptoms and do what needs to be done, the next day will be easier.  And then the next.

It’s okay to be tired.  It’s okay to hurt.  It’s okay to cry.  It’s okay to be angry.  It’s okay to feel uncomfortable.  It’s okay to struggle.  It’s all okay because it gets easier the harder you work.  One day at a time.  One breath at a time.

Raw Vegan Days 1-12

October 12, 2014 – Raw Vegan Day 1

Breakfast smoothie: 4 large bananas, 1 mango, 2 turmeric roots, and 2 leaves of kale.

Lunch: Transitioning to fully raw vegan would be so much easier if I actually had a sweet tooth. Oh well! Gotta keep fruiting myself!!!  Devouring a whole baby watermelon!!!

Dinner: Bowl of spinach, 2 yellow squash spiralized, and pink sauce made with tomato, beet, green onion, cashews, cold pressed flaxseed oil, and a dash of apple cider vinegar. I’m about to mix everything together.

October 13, 2014 – Raw Vegan Day 2

Of course I brought a ton of extra food to work. I’m not risking getting stuck in Corporate America hungry and craving almost 30 miles away from home.  5 bananas, 2 apples, 2 mangos, 2 large 7-cup bowls of watermelon, and 1 large 7-cup bowl of leftover spinach, yellow squash noodles, and tomato beet pink sauce with an extra small tin of the last of the pink sauce on the side.

I injected myself for the first time yesterday with the help of an auto injector to begin Multiple Sclerosis medication. I will do this 3 times a week. And I didn’t cry… too hard. Actually the shot itself was fine until about 30 seconds later and then WOWZA does it sting for several hours afterwards!!

I went fully raw vegan yesterday and I’m not looking back. I can already feel that my skin is softer and cooler. I still hate bananas, but they are so cheap…!! Lol!

Jasmine and lavender essential oils mixed together smell like a bathroom. Don’t try that!!!

I’m grateful for all the wonderful and supportive people out there who offer advice, guidance, and sometimes just a virtual hug. Thank you!!

Got back from the gym and haven’t had dinner yet. I have an idea about making a cucumber melon smoothie.  Half a honeydew and a whole large cucumber in the Ninja. That’s it!

October 14, 2014 – Raw Vegan Day 3

Slaughtered… 2 mangos and a small papaya.

Injected myself. Cried like a baby during the painful aftermath of stinging and throbbing. Wiped my tears. Now time to take out some anger on this spiralizer and make some raw vegan comfort noodles.

October 15, 2014 – Raw Vegan Day 4

Caught myself in the mirror. “What is on my face??! Is that… glow?”

Green apple, red apple, mango, and leftover zoodles with homemade sauce of tomatoes, strawberries, green onions, potato, lemon basil, and I can’t remember what else! Fully raw vegan noms!!!

Coworker:     You like eating a lot of bananas?
Me:                     No. I really hate them. But I eat them for nutritional value.
Coworker:     Bananas are the only fruit I can stand. I stay away from other fruit because it contains too much sugar.
Me:                     ::eye-twitch::

October 16, 2014 – Raw Vegan Day 5

What what!!! Cravings are for warm salty soup. I am resisting like a champ. Discipline. Willpower. I got this.

I got hit on at the park yesterday by a young man who claims he’s old enough to buy alcohol now!! He wanted to know how old I was and why I wasn’t married. I said I’m 30 and I fired my ex husband, but I have a wonderful boyfriend now who is also old enough to buy alcohol. He still wanted my number. I said, nope! I’m faithful, but that’s sweet. Hey! I still got it!!

This morning in the elevator to the office, a woman pointed to my grocery bag full of veggies and fruit and said, “so did you go to the farmers market or something?” I said, “haha no that’s just my lunch for today.” Her face…

Tonight is my third MS injection. I’m thinking I will go to the gym before the injection this time. On Tuesday I thought I’d go the the gym after the injection to take my mind off things, but that didn’t work out. So, tonight! Gym, then hot bath, then injection. The order of operations is very important to figure out so that I stick to the schedule and don’t sacrifice anything! Heh…. stick. Oh I’m puny today.

And the first book to make it to my house after my massive health book order is…. The 80/10/10 Diet!!! Is this a sign? Hmmm.

October 17, 2014 – Raw Vegan Day 6

Eat to Live.

Raw organic corn might be my new favorite salad topping.

Raw Vegan Day 6. Already? Yes, I can do this long term.

Eggplant does not spiralize well, but it’s lovely in the food processor. lol! Lesson learned!!

Last night, I ran the furthest I’ve run so far, and my speed was faster!! All the way around the gym building and the perimeter of the parking lot without stopping. I can almost run backwards too!

3rd MS injection last night in the other quad. Still hurt and I got lightheaded, but not nearly as painful like Tuesday. I’m thinking I went too deep on Tuesday and hit muscle. My quads are pretty tight and the skin is thinner. Lesson learned, adjusted the injection gun, and made notes for next time.

SO, total lifestyle changes in the last little over a month have been:

-Rejoined gym and personal trainer targeting 5-6 days a week minimum.

-Hospitalized for the first time ever and told I had a right hemisphere stroke – nope.

-Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

-Relearned to walk, run, drive, type, work, and take care of myself through a LOT of sweat and tears.

-Went raw vegan and will read and adopt the 80/10/10 lifestyle.

-Learned to inject myself even though I’m still very much needle phobic.

I’d say I earned my Big Girl Panties this month.

October 18, 2014 – Raw Vegan Day 7

New running record! 2/5ths of a mile without stopping!! I’m getting my left side back one way or another!! No excuses! No limits!! No compromises!

The truth…

It’s a conscious decision and requires some effort more than once an hour. Is it uncomfortable at times? Absolutely. Am I tempted to cheat? You bet!

I want some Thai Spicy Soup and Kung Pao Vegan Beef from my favorite vegan restaurant. I sat in there on Friday with my boyfriend watching him eat a big bowl of their delicious soup and then some fried rice with cooked veggies as I ate my raw veggie salad with no dressing. It wasn’t absolute torture because I chose not to focus on the inconvenience of my desire being unfulfilled. It was still a frequent and conscious choice to abstain from the cooked and processed vegan foods.

I literally walk through the grocery store now muttering under my breath, “I am raw vegan. I am raw vegan. No! Look away from the Tofurkey! I am raw vegan. Ah shit there’s that habanero jack Daiya cheese… and Sprouted Tofu… NO! Look away from that! Look at these delicious tomatoes and look how luscious the strawberries are and LOOK at this over here that I CAN have.”

I am rewiring my brain and training my body to accept living foods only and to trigger internal healing processes. That takes time and practice. Sometimes it is frustrating and annoying. That’s okay and to be expected. My eyes will eventually glaze over the temptation and it will get easier and easier… just like it was giving up meat at first, and then dairy, and then going full vegan.

I remind myself WHY I’m doing this. I’m not doing this for my culinary pleasure. I’m not doing this because I just want to be even more strange and annoying to society than I already am. I’m doing this with purpose and intent much larger than a temporary desire or old comfort or habit fulfilled.

It’s hard. Absolutely. Big lifestyle changes are never easy. And that’s okay. I embrace the challenge and expect to be tested repeatedly.

October 19, 2014 – Raw Vegan Day 8

Maybe I’m detoxing. I just wanted to sleep all day.

MS injection #4 on the back of my Gimpy arm with assistance from my love. Best boyfriend ever held the gun very steady.

Breakfast – leftover curry noodle salad.

Lunch – failed attempt at all fruit ice cream so it became a smoothie – 7 or 8 bananas, 1 pint of strawberries, 1 cup of blackberries, 1 cup of raspberries, flaxseed oil, and cacao nibs.

Dinner – slow dehydrated spinach and sweet potato chips and a juice of carrots, apple, cucumber, spinach, and sweet potato.

I’m feeling the raw food work its magic. My body is changing.

My kitchen is completely transforming!! The crock pots, skillets, coffee makers, can openers, and crappy food processor all went away. The stove and oven are never used. The built-in microwave tells the time and is extra storage. The juicer, Ninja blender, and Spiralizer have their own spots on the countertops. My island has become a glorified fruit stand!!!

October 20, 2014 – Raw Vegan Day 9

Already? This is going fast and getting easier. Woke up too early with too much energy. …Raw vegan problems.

Packed my food for Corporate America. 7 oranges, 2 bananas, 1 pear, half a giant jicama chopped into sticks for dipping, 1 large 7 cup bowl of fresh guacamole made from 2 large cucumbers, 5 small avocados, 1 large tomato, 3 banana peppers, 2 green onions, juice from a lemon and a lime, and lots of fresh garlic cloves (the spice comes from the garlic). The large cucumbers bulk up the guacamole without using too many avocados.

Probably a green juice or green smoothie for dinner.

October 21, 2014 – Raw Vegan Day 10

Yep, I’m clearly detoxing. The unnecessary and unhealthy are finding their way out. And I don’t just mean in the physical sense. Phases of fatigue and high energy keep this rollercoaster moving forward. My tolerance for bullshit is gone.

You would think a long time vegan wouldn’t have much to detox. It just goes to show me how corrupt and polluted the vegan (specialty, junk, and processed) foods have become. Scary.

I remember when I first went vegetarian, and I had soy milk. That was it. And I felt fabulous. What happened along the way? We went too mainstream?

Like Oreos, just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

I haven’t posted about my weight in a while. I was 210 several months ago.  Today I am 189, but I saw 188 and 190 over the weekend. I’m not fretting about it. I’m just watching it drop away slowly.  Let it go! Let it go!

Go vegan for the animals.  Go raw vegan for yourself.

October 22, 2014 – Raw Vegan Day 11

“Put the child in a room with a lamb and a banana. Sit back and watch to see which he plays with and which he eats. We can be fairly sure of the outcome.”
-Dr. Douglas N. Graham in the 80/10/10 Diet

Simplicity. Gratitude. Logic. Making peace.

Last night my MS injection aftermath was the most painful yet. Upper right hip. Either it went too deep and hit muscle or maybe it hit a nerve. Two more injection sites until I complete my first rotation around the body. Noted the reaction and will try not to do that again. The more I do it, the easier it will get.

About to have a follow up with my Neuro doctor. I can’t wait to show him my left side strength that I’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Thinking alive. Feeling alive. Being alive. Appreciate this breath!!!


Well I just had my ass handed to me in the gym. Humbled!! Admittedly, it’s been an odd week and day.

In addition to being sleep deprived all week I did a fasting blood test this morning after the neuro doc, so already my caloric intake and metabolism were way off from the start.

I had a singular underripe banana for breakfast in the car at 10:30am while rushing from doing blood work to get across town 40 miles to work.

Lunch, I was feeling like experimenting. I had 4 tiny potatoes, 1 small eggplant, 2 tiny avocados, half a carton of raspberries, several jicama sticks, a quarter of a small pineapple, and a tiny amount of leftover okra and tomatoes. Not nearly enough calories.

Dinner I made Mystery Green Dragon Wing salad which I posted pictures of. I barely ate from it and still have about a 4 cup container left for tomorrow, although it was fabulous.

Lack of fuel, lack of sleep, and my body did NOT want to coordinate or lift anything in the gym today. Blah blah arg…

But that’s okay. Pushing through these days will make me stronger. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean I get to give up. NOPE. I am moving forward even if I have setbacks from time to time.

October 23, 2014 – Raw Vegan Day 12

When you are 70, what are you going to be doing?

Overheard in the lunchroom spoken by a young 30 something woman just now:

“When I’m 70, I’m just going to sit there. I don’t understand these old people who do stuff!”

Wow… I feel bad for her and her mentality. When I’m 70, I want to be a yoga teacher or a marathoner or a chef. I’m not quitting life at any point.


I’ve conquered eating raw zucchini, yellow squash, red potato, eggplant, and okra. I’m going to learn to eat raw acorn squash, butternut squash, and pumpkin next.

I’ve conquered mono-meals of a whole bag of grapes, 8 oranges, a pineapple, a papaya, and a honeydew so far. I want to work up to a large watermelon.

I’ve played the game called “Spiralize Everything in the Kitchen” and won. I’m really liking the fettuccini-like flat noodle size.

I’ve been dropping weight fairly consistently. I weighed 187.0 this morning with 186.9 flickering (top was 210).

I’ve been told this is all I talk about ever – being vegan and now raw vegan. I wouldn’t say all, but it’s an accomplishment I’m REALLY proud of. You know what the hardest part is? Making the decision. It requires a substantial amount of brain un-washing. I worked hard to get to this point and I’m happy to share that it’s possible from someone who once believed it wasn’t.

I’ve been encouraged and supported from numerous people over the globe and have encouraged and supported numerous people over the globe in return. I’ve been given all sorts of recipes and advice and I’m so grateful for it all.

I’ve been told that I’ll probably die as a raw vegan. This actually might be true, but not in the way it was intended.

I’ve also ordered a reconditioned Vitamix, because I made 12 days raw vegan. Happy 12 days to me and many more.

 

September 27 – October 11, 2014

September 27, 2014

I woke up this morning feeling very tired, grumpy, and sore. Gimpy (my left side) is generally more numb and weak in the morning time. You know what I’m going to do about this?

Go back to bed? No.
GO TO THE GYM? Yes!!!

I did about 2 hours today in the gym. Part of the warm up was fast walking outside around the building. I had not yet been able to fast walk until today! Balance and coordination are coming back! Also did some walking backwards with spotters.

The work out consisted of controlled stair steps cardio followed by legs, core, and arms on the weight machines with intense assisted deep stretching for cool down.

I was stumbling out in a good way. 

September 28, 2014

Gym meditations planned for today:

The fully raw organic vegan lifestyle… will it stop and reverse Multiple Sclerosis? What about Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism?

Yes, I’m willing to try if there’s even a small chance of success. Resistances and old habits must be dealt with like cooked comforts.

Fear of going hypoglycemic with any diet change… I already conquered being pre-diabetic in the 6th grade caused by the S.A.D. upbringing. Vegan diet reversed this. I must trust that my body will adjust appropriately given the proper fuel.

Peace and healing in my subconscious mind must become a priority. Things I read about today talk about severe childhood stress and psychological trauma causing dis-ease in the body in adulthood then causing manifestations as autoimmune diseases even with decent lifestyle choices. There is more work to be done than I previously thought. It’s not as simple as “get over it” which I thought I had already done. I don’t bitch or fret about the past much anymore, but apparently my body is still manifesting dis-ease.

Can I use meditation as a way to repair the current damage in my brain? My next MRI will certainly show the truth.

September 29, 2014

Living Food Day 1:

Eating every 2-3 hours to increase metabolism and exercising with cardio and weight lifting for an hour a day minimum.

Meal #1 – 1 dragon fruit and 2 bananas.

Meal #2 – 1 head red romaine topped with dill kraut.

Meal #3 – black grapes and 1 green pear.

Meal #4 – 2 small honeycrisp apples, 1 large cucumber, and 1 large orange bell pepper.

Meal #5 – kale chips.

Meal #6 – 1 raw revolution golden cashew bar.

Meal #7 – undecided – either a small watermelon, honeydew, or papaya.

Meal #8 – Optional. 1 banana with chia seeds and cinnamon. Maybe an avocado and tomato if I’m still hungry.

Note… I hate bananas. I’m eating them for health reasons. It’s not about my pleasure. It’s about my health.

MS causes brain fog.
Raw vegan causes mental clarity.

MS causes low energy.
Raw vegan causes high energy.

What are some others, I wonder?

And everything else, I must let go. It’s not in my control.

September 30, 2014

Living Food Day 2.

I did one day fully raw organic! Happy dance!!

Real food line up:
1 dragon fruit, 4 bananas, generous vine full of black grapes, 6 vine ripe tomatoes, 3 small avocados, 1 bundle of kale, 1 green bell pepper, bunch of baby broccoli, and 1 large cucumber.

I made veggie dressing with water, organic garlic powder, organic onion powder, organic cayenne, and organic salt-free lemon pepper with nutritional yeast and a small amount of miso paste as the salt.

I feel clean and energetic so far! I even noticed that my brain wasn’t as foggy when I woke up this morning.

The only slightly annoying things I noticed were my auto-pilot tendency to desire warm food after work and also my body temperature was cooler than normal.

End of raw organic Day 2 and I observe that I haven’t really been hungry since eating breakfast.

I nibbled on tomatoes, kale, cucumber, bell pepper, and avocado for lunch, but really it was because I looked at the clock and thought, “it’s time to eat.” But my body didn’t need to eat. SO ODD!! THAT NEVER HAPPENS.

I had a “raw beer” (Kombucha), Raw Revolution bar, and some kale chips for dinner. I always crave warm and processed in the evening after work. I indulged in these to satisfy my craving, but truly, I wasn’t that hungry. Hm.

October 1, 2014

Raw food line-up Day 3:

1 dragon fruit, 3 bananas, 1 papaya, and 2 tangelos, and IF I’m still hungry today, I have 2 small honey crisp apples, an orange bell pepper, a large cucumber, and some baby broccoli with tomatoes just in case.

Papaya for lunch!!!! SO… This just happened in the kitchen at work!

Bro: you trying to be healthy or something?

Me: something like that.

Bro: is that all you’re eating?

Me: for now. I’ve already had a dragon fruit, 2 bananas, and 2 tangelos. I have some baby broccoli and tomatoes, and cucumber, bell pepper, and honey crisp apples for later.

Bro: sounds like you won’t lose much weight eating all that.

Me: who said I was trying to lose weight?

Bro runs away in fear.

October 2, 2014

Gratitude, raw organic adventures, and gym meditations.

I’m so happy to be able to walk and type today. I’m glad for knowing some wonderful people. As my inner self changes, so do the types of people around me. Respecting myself means knowing when to let go and not look back. Respecting myself means nurturing pure love in all forms.

I only ate raw organic baby broccoli for breakfast and half a papaya for lunch. I didn’t really have an appetite until I came home from work today. Then hunger set in. Zucchini noodles with tomato basil sauce took 5 whole minutes to make from scratch! It was so tasty I didn’t even take a picture before it was inhaled.

In my past, I sacrificed my gym time to please another. I put his happiness and comfort before my health and goals. I was happy to do it too. Lessons learned, this time around, gym time is my time. I’ll leave when I’m ready.

October 3, 2014

Day 5 raw organic vegan.

Honestly this is not as hard as I thought it would be. Although, this time, I had been increasing my raw intake for several months prior to this attempt.

This morning, I woke up ravenous!!! I also pushed hard at the gym last night and did 65 minutes on the elliptical at level 12 intensity, which is my best time and highest level since before the hospital.

I made fat cucumber noodles with 2 large cucumbers. The green sauce was kale, broccoli, macadamia nuts, tomato, onion powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and a little garlic pink Himalayan sea salt. I topped the dish with lemon pepper. And that was breakfast.

I have a whole honeydew, half a papaya, and some chopped apples, cucumber, and bell pepper on hand if I get hungry at work.

October 4, 2014

Pre-gym breakfast smoothie – 4 bananas, 2 cups of red grapes, 2 leaves of swiss chard, 1 scoop of Essential Greens powder (Genesis Today), and cinnamon with unsweetened coconut milk.

Gratitude.

I took off jogging for the first time since before the hospital and shocked the shit out of my boyfriend and personal trainer. I lasted the length of the parking lot in front of the gym.

Although, the left knee was spasming for the rest of the training session, I was very proud of this first time jogging accomplishment.

It was hard to accept just how weak my left knee was during the remainder of the session and I got down on myself… frustrated and angry. Tears.

PERSPECTIVE. A little less than a month ago, I couldn’t walk. Keep it in perspective, Rebecca. Stay proud , be grateful, and be gentle with yourself.

October 5, 2014

I shared a breakfast juice with boyfriend.

4 apples, 1 pear, 6 carrots, 4 pieces of turmeric root, and 3 stalks of celery.

We bought our first real mattress and have been working very hard at sleeping on it all day.

Previous beds for both of us include:
-the floor.
-sleeping bag.
-air mattress.
-air mattress with sleeping bag. I call this the Redneck Pillow Top!
-a relative’s crappy discarded and heavily used mattress. Ew.
-a new mattress bought at an auction that was previously displayed in a model home which was essentially a model mattress and not ever designed for anyone to actually sleep on. The model mattress was the one they hauled away in place of this real mattress today. Ouch!!! My back!!

I am not a good sleeper anyway and need all the quality sleep I can get in this MS battle. It was time for both of us, but it also became a necessity now for good health.

October 7, 2014

4 bananas, 2 apples, 2 pears, a Raw Revolution coconut delight bar, a cucumber, a tomato, 2 bell peppers, and some raw horseradish leek kraut for the rest of the day. If I am hungry later, I will have some raw kale chips and a raw Kombucha.

October 8, 2014

My lunch is laughing at the frozen microwave lunches.

1 yellow bell pepper, 1 orange bell pepper, raw horseradish leek kraut, and raw superfood kale chips.

This was my big fatty meal of the day. Let’s calculate an estimate!

50 calories for each large bell pepper = 100 calories. I am estimating that I used half the bag of Kraut which makes 60 calories = 160. And I used the whole bag of k
ale which is 220 calories.

So grand total was 380 calories for that HUGE plate of food towering over any tiny frozen entree with more calories and crap than I can count.

But truth be told, I don’t care about calories at all.

Gratitude. MS Battle.

I’ll be honest. It was a tough morning. I ended up late to work due to the battle. I got to work and my bosses were surprisingly supportive! I usually put on a strong face, but sometimes it’s obvious that it’s just a plain tough day.

It got better as the day went on and I think it really helped that the bosses were being patient. I worked hard, ate my raw organic vegan food, took my supplements, and did an hour on the elliptical at the gym with level 12 intensity.

I’m grateful that my bosses were patient today. I’m grateful to myself for staying strong and getting it done. I’m grateful that exercise and nutritious food have a way of making me feel better. And I’m so grateful to flop into a cushy real bed at the end of another day won.

MS, you can huff and puff, but you aren’t going to keep me down.

Can’t walk in the morning and Beast Mode activated in the evening! After the elliptical, I had to just stand there until my left knee would hold my weight again. And then I limped out of the gym proudly.

I like the elliptical because I can hold on when I get unbalanced. I just grip really hard and use my upper body to compensate and push the machine forward.

October 9, 2014

MS, Thyroid, and Raw book order.

The First Year: Multiple Sclerosis: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed
By Margaret Blackstone

Awkward Bitch: My Life with MS
By Donato Parmelee

MS – Living Symptom Free
By Daryl Bryant

Healing Hashimoto’s: A Savvy Patient’s Guide
By Alan Christianson

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause
By Izabella Wentz

The Detox Miracle Sourcebook: Raw Food and Herbs for Complete Cellular Regeneration
By Robert Morse

The 80/10/10 Diet
By Douglas Graham

Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis: An Evidence-Based Guide to Recovery
By George Jelinek

Healing Multiple Sclerosis: Diet, Detox, & Nutritional Makeover for Total Recovery
By Ann Boroch

The MS Recovery Diet
By Ann Sawyer

Eat to Live
By Joel Fuhrman

The Starch Solution
By John McDougall

October 10, 2014

Lesson learned. I allowed myself some cooked food this week while still being at least 80% raw and have felt HORRIBLE. Good thing I have the 80/10/10 book in the mail. Fully raw organic is happening. It seems like the only way to feel normal.

I start self injections on Sunday with the help of a nurse who is coming to teach me. Ugh. More needles.

I went to the gym during lunch because MS is being a bully this week. It’s my reason to push harder.

It appears there is no going back (from raw).   Not entirely a bad thing.

Someone told me I have serious GUTS! I love it! I got guts. Just call me Guts!

October 11, 2014

Woke up with fever and swollen itchy throat. Are allergies really that bad (I rarely get allergies!!) or am I seriously sick on top of all this mess? Okaaaay… You think I wasn’t being challenged enough before? Fine. GUTS will handle this. NEXT!

I’ve made a decision. Tomorrow is going to be my 100% fully raw vegan anniversary. It’s a good day for an anniversary. 10/12/14.

Just spent $65 on produce at Sprouts – mostly organic.

I went by the dirty and clean produce lists.  http://www.fullyraw.com/dirty-dozen-clean-15/

2 watermelons, 1 honeydew, 6 mangos, 2 small papayas, 4 big bunches of bananas, 2 bundles of spinach, 4 cucumbers, 4 sweet potatoes (love to juice these), 1 eggplant, 1 bundle of asparagus, 8 green apples, and 2 bags of rainbow carrots. Then add $20 for 6 kombuchas… Raw vegan “beer.”

This is so awesome. I’ve been wanting this for so long but always felt so weak. I know now I wasn’t weak, but I had to take time to unlearn, reprogram, and take small gradual steps to cut my addictions one at a time. Salt will be hard… And I love warm savory flavors. I will adjust in time and find alternatives.

Tomorrow I also start my Copaxone injections. I refuse to begin this medication without beginning the 100% raw vegan journey too.

4 bananas, 2 small turmeric roots, 2 large leaves of kale, 1 small papaya, and unfiltered cold pressed flaxseed oil. You know what? It’s actually quite good. I CAN DO THIS.

I have one day to figure out how I’m going to do 100% fully raw meals in Corporate America with 12-16 hours away from home Monday through Friday.

I’m thinking the night before each day, I will spiralize a large bowl of zoodles and make a savory creamy sauce with tomatoes, beets, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and nuts. I’ll also prepare a large green salad with a fruity dressing. I’ll make 2 bowls of fruit for snacking or just take a melon. I anticipate a fruit juice or smoothie for breakfast at home. Dinner might be the same or maybe a raw veggie soup. Emergency snacks will be raw revolution bars. Junk food will be raw kale chips. “Beer” will be Kombucha.

On the go raw meal planning will be challenging until I get the hang of this. Ideas are appreciated!! The goal is to stay satisfied.

September 17 – 26, 2014 – Recovery

September 17, 2014

First doctor of the day says likely not MS and was most likely a stroke. I just want to know the truth. I need an answer. Also, what caused a 30 year old vegan to have a stroke? Also, steroids suck and may have been for nothing.

To answer the questions –
I don’t get migraines. I’ve been vegan since 2009, don’t smoke, enjoy exercise, and don’t take birth control. If stroke, it was non bleeding. My cardiovascular health is apparently excellent after the recent tests and no hole on heart was found. Yes, I do have a high stress job that is mostly sedentary, but I take yoga breaks throughout the day. Didn’t get hair done, massaged, or chiropractor before it happened. I keep salt limited already and do many raw meals as normal dietary practice.

Also thank you again for the feedback. I have more websites to read! Xoxo!!!

To answer more questions-

I have received chiropractic care before and do maintenance adjustments as needed. I hadn’t had one recently though and did actually think it was a pinched nerve at first. MRI showed otherwise.

I am well versed in the Gerson documentaries and therapy. I love this very much.

Again, I already do many raw meals as my usual practice and limit salt and processed vegan junk foods.

It’s interesting to have it suggested to me many times over the last two weeks by so many people about what things I must be doing with my lifestyle when I keep saying how I don’t do those things in the first place and then the medical test results prove that my system is healthy on top of that.

The answer is they don’t know because there is no explanation for why this happened at this point. I think that’s why it’s easier to assume MS. And that’s not a guaranty. It could have easily been a bundle of platelets induced by stress. There is no telling right now.

I’m letting it go and just going to do the best i know to do. Exercise, clean vegan, and work on reducing stress.

And yes, that was mentioned in either case of stroke or MS… Being vegan already either slowed the attack and/or saved me from a worse episode.   never going back from that!

September 18, 2014

Excited to be going back to work today. Wonderful boyfriend is driving me so I don’t fall off the freeway while the world spins around. I’m ready to feel strong and independent again.

September 19, 2014

I’m looking around and seeing so many people getting so angry over the small stuff. I’m like, I’m alive right now. And today I’m not in too much pain and I’m feeling good enough to work at my job at this moment. And that’s life being beautiful and perfect.

September 20, 2014

Going to tackle some physical therapy at my local gym with the best certified trainer in the industry.

I either had a stroke or MS episode last week (doctors can’t decide which it was) and I’m in the gym this week.

What’s your REASON? Stay strong, friends.

It was a hard session. Fighting against side effects from medicines. Fighting against weak left limbs. Fighting against pride and the past. Fighting my ego. Fighting impatience. Fighting to overcome.

I will be stronger each day. I will have more control each day. It will get easier. Right now, it’s war. Mentally and physically.

Organic lunch – plain wild rice with raw carrot ginger soup.  Carrots, yellow squash, purple onion, garlic, ginger, celery, with one cup of plain soy milk.

September 21, 2014

Happy to be at work today (Sunday) catching up.

Chocolate vegan Shakeology hand shaken just with plain water and a shot of Alkalinize for extra green power.

One email at a time.

Each day it gets a little easier. Just gotta keep fighting.

September 22, 2014

I drove myself to work this morning. Another recovery step accomplished.

I’m eating every 2 hours to speed up my metabolism.  I had a cup of strawberries to break the fast and then 2 cups of leftover raw carrot ginger soup with plain wild rice and raw sea vegetable kimchi. I’m about to have a banana and raspberries with coconut milk – like cereal, but all fruit with a sprinkle of raw pumpkin seeds.

On the raw menu for the rest of the day – 4 small Roma tomatoes, 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 small zucchini, 2 tangelos, 1 large mango, 1 small apple, and several fresh basil leaves.

Then probably a chocolate vegan Shakeology for pre-workout fuel.

Baked squash for dinner. A small block of tofu if I’m still very hungry post workout.  And LOTS of water.

Gym on my lunch break. 35 minutes on elliptical and some weight machine work on Gimpy. I named my left side Gimpy.

One of my doctors called and changed his view on my diagnosis. He is greatly leaning towards MS instead of stroke upon further test review. Well, at least I might not have had a stroke at 30 years young. There’s that.

September 23, 2014

The more doctors I see, the more sure I am that the healthcare industry is a joke.

The Cardiologist said today that based on my current test results and profile, I’m really NOT a stroke risk at all, but yet my episode was so very much like a stroke. So the possibilities of HOW a stroke could have happened in this body are drastically reduced to either a fluke or the hole in the heart theory. I have to go back for a test where they inject me with bubbles to see if I have a hole. They saw my bruised arms today and said they could wait a few weeks while I heal from 20+ sticks and 3 1/2 IVs from the hospital.

Also my spinal tap came back positive for MS like characteristics such as the presence of oligoclonal bands.

However, my brain lesions including the old on my brain are nearly symmetrical!!!!! MS is supposed to be random! I must be a natural neuro artist to accomplish such a feat!! Neuro Art. Yes I’m making that a thing now.

ALSO, if it is a hole in the heart, they don’t even patch them anymore because relapse risk is extremely minimal. So what’s the point?

I need an extra strength FUKITOL and more raw vegan nourishment, water, yoga, meditation, and more exercise. That is what I’m prescribing myself. I think I know more than them at this point.

(NOTE – I saw my MRI film later and the 4 lesions are not symmetrical at all – as I had previously been told by several doctors.)

September 25, 2014

Transitioning to fully raw vegan seems more and more inevitable. Especially now with facing a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, my body needs all of Mother Nature’s tools to fight.

I’m already around 75%-90% fully raw vegan on a normal day. The final few craved cooked comforts are homemade miso veggie soups, tofu, rice, vegan cheese, noodles, and beans.

Let the alternative recipes come flying in! I’m an Umami junkie.

The focus is not about what I can’t have. It’s about what can be created instead.

My hometown hero Rawfully Organic’s Kristina is my inspiration. www.rawfullyorganic.com

Also, I think it may be time to get a legit Spiralizer.

Everything that is within my control, I willingly submit to the permanent lifestyle changes. Daily intense exercise, calming meditation, and raw vegan nutrition are all things I can control and be proactive with to prevent any further episodes. After that, I can honestly say that I did my best.

In other news, I’ve given up all caffeine and alcohol as of two and a half weeks ago. No more morning coffee or after work glass of wine. Amazing how a hospital tour can scare all the little vices out of you at once! 

September 26, 2014

Gratitude.

My diagnosis after numerous opinions and even doctors changing their minds upon further review is now definitely relapsing Multiple Sclerosis. Knowing the enemy brings comfort, strategy, and actions to the fight. Let’s do this.

I’ve worked almost a full week at the office minus leaving for doctor appointments. I feel happy with purpose and opportunity to live normal.

The morning cool air makes me so happy. I love fall.

I’ve been driving myself since Monday with no issues.

It’s Friday. That’s always a good day.

I am exercising every day for a minimum of 30 minutes whether I feel good or not. I always feel better after exercising. Either I will hit the gym during the lunch hour or I will go after work with my favorite gym buddy boyfriend.

I’m crazy in love with my boyfriend. He’s been my rock through this entire ordeal. I know it must have been stressful for him. He really proved what I already knew. They don’t make them like this anymore.

I know it’s easy to use MS as an excuse for wallowing and inaction. My goal is to use it as my REASON for gratitude and action.

Someone asked me today why I was so happy about getting such a horrible diagnosis. I said, it’s far more horrible to suffer in confusion and uncertainty. I’d rather know the truth!

I’ll happily go fully raw if it gives me a fighting chance.

September 12 – 16, 2014 – Recovery

September 12, 2014

Goals for today (recovering at home still under the probable diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis):

-Do some very slow and careful housework to practice coordination and balance. I am still weak and wobbly on the left side but it’s gotten better each day. I have to think consciously about each movement or step before I make it. Like relearning to walk and hold things. It takes a lot of awareness and concentration. The symptoms are still much like a stroke in that I have to rewire my brain around the damaged spots. I have 3 old spots and this one new spot on my brain that caused this episode of symptoms and they are all tiny. Apparently I never noticed the other spots when they happened.

-Take my second to last IV steroid drip at home with an RN like a boss! Because I’m a giant wussy baby when it comes to needles and they need a new line since I can’t leave the hospital with any lines for liability reasons.

-Drive myself very slowly and carefully to the pharmacy down the street to get the rest of my pill form prescriptions.

-I already managed a bath last night but today I’m going for a thorough hair washing. All by myself! Even if it takes an hour of grunting and wobbling. I’ve got this!

-Go to the gym for a little bit. Do 20 minutes total even if I have to take a lot of breaks on the stationary bike. Maybe lift some very light weights on the machines so they will help control my movements properly. No free weights right now. Yes I will ask for a spotter and no I won’t over do it. Exercise is essential for movement recovery.

-Have a humorous hallucination! (Side effects of my steroids include hallucinations and yes I have them sometimes.)

-Work towards going back to the office on Monday. Even if I have to take breaks and don’t make a full day. I need to focus on getting my typing skills back.

-Typing this list was also a goal for today. I am using both hands!!!! Slowly but successfully.

Did not make all goals today. IV in my good hand so I only have my bad hand to work with until tomorrow. Then it’s on again. Typing and eating with weak side is hard practice.

September 13, 2014

Just a few more hours until IV can come out. Nearly made it.

Victories of the day. Baby steps to recovery.

Finished last IV steroid drip and got unplugged by RN – no more tubes in my arms. Took a bath and washed my hair by myself. Ate by myself. Dressed myself and put on a bra all by myself. Down to one bandaid on my arm and many many bruises ready to heal. Folded towels and hung laundry one item at a time.

All these little things I took for granted. When folding towels becomes physical therapy, no matter how dark and dismal the world seems, it becomes brighter with each sweet and simple victory in the day. Baby steps to victory. 

I’m a little loopy from the steroids and seeing fairies fluttering all over the place. Lol. Fun times. This too shall pass.

I just slowly curled some 3 lb hand weights and concentrated hard on coordinating left and right sides together. I was breathing hard! Yoga poses… Child’s pose, cat/cow, sun breaths. Break time. Then more stretches tonight before bed. Each step is celebrated.

September 14, 2014

Riding out the midnight side effects. Last IV of the 5 day heavy steroid emergency MS treatment was this morning. Beginning the pill taper down tomorrow. Dealing with irritability, insomnia, stomach upset, dizziness, hallucinations, disorientation, restlessness, and full body muscle pain, swelling, and cramping.

Reflecting, planning, and trying to stay calm and positive.

Thinking of raw organic food creations that I want to make soon with my own hands. Cucumber, celery, and tomato salad. Zucchini pasta with raw tomato and red bell pepper and basil sauce. Rainbow carrots, kale, beets, and apple juice.

I walked along side wonderful boyfriend and my dog this morning mostly unassisted and very slowly on some uneven ground outside. Went grocery shopping for organic fresh produce at Sprouts and even drove part of the way back home with supervision. The air was cool and we had the windows down and the music loud. The air has never felt this good.

Now to try the gym. I may have tears rolling down my face sometimes while grunting through the motions of what used to be so easy. And that’s okay. It’s not easy. Humbling. But I have goals. I will walk again. And then I may bike. And maybe run and swim too. One step at a time. Today I walk.

I did it!!!! 30 minutes on elliptical on low resistance. I like elliptical because I can hold on with hands and legs and feel secure. Very light weights on arm and leg machine with supervision to work on coordinating left and right sides. Had some tears but smiled through it. Yoga stretches planned for later.  

Today was very hard after the pills kicked in mid day and I started having the horrible side effects again. They are lessening now. Will try again tomorrow. Each day little by little as much as I can.

September 15, 2014

I had grand aspirations to return to work on Monday morning. When the medication side effects hit me again Sunday about mid day like a ton of bricks and completely debilitated me for many hours, I had to come to terms with not being physically ready to return to work safely yet. A hard lesson. Humbling, again. I miss “normal.”

Boyfriend’s mom visited yesterday during the worst of it when I couldn’t even see the floor beneath my feet and she is absolutely magic. Thanks, guardian angel! She is a massage therapist and somehow managed to calm all the involuntary muscle twitching, psychotic perceptions, and painful side effects of the medication long enough for me to sleep for the first time in 3 days.

I’m on a roll now! I’ve been asleep for the last few hours straight and I think I’ve still got a few more hours of sleep left in me. Taking a quick break to acknowledge the good and little victories.

Here we go on another wild ride of side effects. The world is spinning fast.

Goals of the moment:
-stretch often.
-drink lots of water.
-make dandelion greens and tomato salad – one leaf at a time.

Fighting battles, fighting for control, and learning my new body. A couple of pity parties and pep talks today. I look in the mirror and the muscles are sagging where the brain refuses to engage them. I cry, and then refocus, and then cry again. I’m fighting through the side effects of the steroids and that’s definitely making me feel like shit. I’m clinging to the thoughts of the happier and stronger tomorrow. One breath at a time.

September 16, 2014

I am determined to have a better day. The old is gone. Forget the past. I must let that go. Focus on the new.

Two weeks from now, I want to look back and say, yeah I pushed through that and did my best and look how much further I came because of it.

A little less dizzy and side effects feeling than yesterday. Focusing on stretches, completing basic chores, and feeling unbelievably lucky to know so many wonderful people. Thank you for being you.

Daily gratitude.

I took my dog out for a walk without assistance twice today. It takes me a long time to walk now and there is a lot of pain and stiffness where I do feel my left limbs, but at least I can walk today.

The dizziness steroid side effect wasn’t as bad today. As in, I couldn’t even see the ground before and now I have an idea of where it is and can sort of focus my eyes on it. My equilibrium is rocking and rolling to it’s own rhythm, but there is small improvement from yesterday.

Best boyfriend in the world took me to a free yoga class at our local gym yesterday evening. I could barely stand or sit on the mat, let alone hold a pose. So frustrating to be back at less than square one. Teacher modified each pose and worked on visualization and breathing and holding very light poses for my extremely weak and shaking body. The teacher was trained in MS therapy yoga so I was very happy to make this connection. Several times I started crying in class, and I completely let loose after class on her shoulder. The emotional part of the journey apparently needed to be released too. Also boyfriend is apparently a natural yogi and was the class eye candy for all the ladies.

I have 4 doctor appointments in the next week alone and 2 are tomorrow. Some are for stroke recovery and prevention and some are for MS. I still have both diagnosis on my file and will be working with doctors to figure out more. If stroke, it could be a small hole in the heart releasing platelets. If MS, well, either way the struggle is the same. Exercise like a beast, regain mobility, and continue eating healthy clean vegan style. Do the best I can, one breath at a time.

I plan to return to work on Thursday. For real this time. With doctor approval tomorrow.

September 8-11, 2014 – The Hospital

September 8, 2014

I’m in the hospital.  I’m here for mini stroke symptoms but it’s not confirmed yet.  Genetics are a bitch.  I said.  I’m 30 and vegan.  How do I get a stroke?  They said even babies can have strokes.  It’s definitely nothing to do with diet.  That much is clear to them.  Plus, only my left arm and left leg were affected.  My face and mind seem fine.  And I’m already getting stronger, but I still cry like a baby when they come at me with more needles.  I’ve been stuck more times than I can count now.  At least I was vegan…  It could have been so much worse.

September 9, 2014

It’s confirmed. I had a stroke.  Not a mini stroke.  They say with my progress already I should be great in a few weeks.  I just learned to walk again.

I had a stroke.  Even being young and vegan, there is no 100% guaranty.  Genetics are not on my side.  Har har…. My left side!  Get it?  

Thank you to my wonderful boyfriend and his father for staying with me yesterday during the scariest parts.  Boyfriend even took care of my animals and brought me raw vegan food, my Sonicare toothbrush, Shakeology, phone charger, and pajama pants.  Really grateful and feeling so lucky.

September 10, 2014

Good morning!  Hospital Day 3.  Still coherent, no facial sagging or smile drooping, doing lots of walking laps around the wing and exercises working on left limp dexterity and I can see a wonderful improvement there.  Last night I had my first IV drip of steroids for emergency possible MS treatment, and I’m scheduled to get more conclusive Multiple Sclerosis tests done today.

There is a grand debate now whether it’s MS or a stroke (or both?) between several neurologists and the rest of the doctors.  Can’t wait to find out for sure.  MS would make more sense because of my age.  Stroke would also make sense because of my normally high blood pressure from genetics.

I haven’t been eating much, but what I do have is Shakeology for breakfast plain hand shaken with water, and for lunch and dinner a singular raw vegan entree and a fresh juice snack from Green Seed Vegan brought to me generously each day by my boyfriend, his mother, and his father – my guardian angels.  Boyfriend stays with me overnight and walks laps with me and entertains me with Robin Williams comedy sketches too and takes care of my animals at the house.  I’m a very lucky girl.  Yesterday boyfriend’s mom did my hair using dry shampoo and brought deodorant.  Little luxuries.

Here’s to another day of getting stabbed and poked!

Diagnosis of stroke is one test result away from being officially recanted and replaced with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

This MS episode had stroke-like symptoms even down to the evidence showing on the MRI.  Management will be this emergency treatment (rescue MS steroids by IV for 5 days) plus pills and weekly injections I can do myself at home going forward.  Chances are, I might never have another episode.  If I do, I know what to look for and how to get rescue treatment for it again.

You BET my clean eating vegan habits are here to stay and then some.  I’m so glad I was already vegan with lots of fresh produce incorporated.  Raw vegan balanced meals will be the majority with a couple of “cheat” cooked vegan meals occasionally.

Also gym gym gym no excuses gym gym gym.  I have to regain dexterity and strength on my left side and stay as active as possible.  If I ever have another attack, I will be ready for another quick bounce back.

Thank you again for the love and support.  It means so much from the bottom of my heart. Xoxoxo

MRIs are scary by the way and take a really long time.  The tech strapped me in and put the helmet thingy on my face and chest and started rolling by body in to the tiniest tube thingy ever.  I got all the way in and she goes “you okay?”  I go, “NOPE!!!!”  Instant panic attack.

Lol she rolled me out and I calmed down.  I said, I didn’t realize I was claustrophobic!!!  She said, you’re probably not.  This is really normal.  Then she gave me the magic wash cloth to go over my eyes so I couldn’t see the scary helmet restraints.  I centered myself and she put me in again.

I was fighting the freaked out feeling until the machine started doing it’s loud noisy thing and then I just pretended I was listening to a rock band warm up.  She rolled me out after 25 minutes… I was like, lady, I need a cigarette and I don’t even smoke!!!!

The vampires took nearly 20 vials of blood from me today plus I got the spinal tap (spinal fluid draw) which apparently isn’t as rock and roll as it sounds.  Who knew?!

I also got visited by the hospital Chaplain today.  We had a playful debate about why God doesn’t love me because why would he give me my period on day one of being in the hospital with only one good working arm.  It was a fun and distracting conversation and he had some good Aggie jokes.  And he retold me the story of Job and I was like, I was in that play in high school and the guy who played satan was really hot.   

Boyfriend’s dad brought me the entire Green Seed Vegan menu!!!!  I have lunch, snack, dinner, midnight fresh fruit snack if I need, breakfast, and lunch through tomorrow!  LOVE this man!!!!

September 11, 2014

Hospital day #4.  Rumor was I might get released today but I don’t see how.  I’m super weak today and my back is very sore from the spinal fluid test yesterday.  I can’t even sit up unassisted right now.

Last night was rough.  I woke up to some scary side effects including hallucinations and double vision.  Woke up this morning with extreme heartburn which is another side effect.  Blah.  Trying to stay strong.  I should maybe specify that the side effects were from the MS steroids. Taking round 3 of the IV now.

The vampires paid me another visit this morning.

Vamps: Can we get some blood?

Me: No. Go away! Be gone, children of the night!

Vamps: Pretty please?

Me: How many vials this time?

Vamps: Only one and it doesn’t even have to be full.

Me: Fine… But don’t even think about coming back with 20 more vials today. I need time to make more juice!

I miss my furry children.

Feeling a little better than this morning.  Did some laps and exercise with physical therapist.

I may get to go home from the hospital today.  And if I do, I’m going to start training for the MS 150.  Even if it’s 5 minutes at a time on a stationary bike at the gym.

I’m going home!!! I’m getting discharged!!!

Monday, September 8, 2014 – Journey to the Hospital

The first alarm went off at 4am with the note flashing on my cellphone “Take Yer Pills!”  I have Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism and take medication each morning at least one hour before I plan to drive to “turn my brain on.”  I was diagnosed in my early 20’s.

I rolled out of bed and immediately noticed that my left arm and left leg were numb.  I shook them out thinking I must have slept oddly on the left side.  I hobbled over to the kitchen and took my pills with a glass of water with no trouble swallowing and hobbled back to bed to sleep until my next alarm telling me to “Get Up Now!

At 5am, I hobbled out of bed again to take my dog on his morning walk.  I noticed that my left ankle was failing to support my weight and would buckle with each step.  I shrugged it off and kept on with my morning routine.  Showering and getting dressed took a lot longer than usual making me late for work.  I just couldn’t get my left arm to cooperate.  What the hell?

Suddenly I thought, “what if I had a stroke?!”  I ran to the mirror and checked my face.  No sagging at all.  I smiled.  My smile was symmetrical.  I recited some lines from an all volunteer community theatre show I performed in recently called NPC.  “It’s a neural signal coming from somewhere within the brain but clearly not from his conscious mind.”  The lines of my character the cartoonish mad scientist studying neural signals to disprove the theory of free will.  Zoom out and we were really video game characters with no free will at all.  NPC stood for non-playable character.  Get it?  It was a fun comedy with a twist.  Anyway, my speech seemed fine.  My memory seemed fine.  I told myself, “I’m fine.”

I’m 30 years old and I’ve been vegan since 2009 and vegetarian since 2003.  There was NO WAY I had a stroke.  I’m overweight and I know my blood pressure is a little high, but there was NO WAY I had a stroke.  The possibility seemed very unlikely, so I just kept going.

I got in my car and started driving to work already much later than my usual time.  My left arm wouldn’t grasp the steering wheel properly.  I placed it on the wheel with my right hand and told my left hand to tighten.  The left hand kept sliding down off the wheel and plopping limply into my lap.  I finally allowed myself to admit that something might be wrong.  The tears came pouring down my cheeks.  I got myself together and convinced myself that this wasn’t happening.  This was all just in my head.  Oh how right I was..

I managed to get to work in one piece using my right side.  I hobbled to my desk and tried typing in my password, then realizing that my left fingers were not responding at all.  I couldn’t type!  I’m an assistant and typing is my livelihood.  It hit me for real this time like a ton of bricks.  Something was definitely wrong.  Oh god what if I had a stroke!?  I started sobbing at my desk.  Luckily my lady boss was there and heard me.  She drove me to the ER.

I hobbled up to the ER front desk.  The receptionist asked me why I was there.  I broke down crying and said, “I think I had a stroke.”  I was given an x-ray and CAT scan immediately and put under stroke protocol.  My boyfriend and his father rushed to the ER to be with me.  For the next few hours, they held both hands and entertained me with jokes and stories while we waited for the test results.

Every test came back negative for evidence of stroke, so they sent me to a hospital with a top neurology department.  Off I went in my first ambulance ride to be admitted to a hospital for the first time.