I got the results from my MRI last week, and the doc said my brain looked beautiful. So it doesn’t look like I have MS, which was really great news.
I was euphoric for a day until I realized I still felt bad. But feeling awful when you think it’s something that will pass is really different from feeling horrible because your brain is eating away at itself, knowing it will only get worse. Suddenly things felt much more manageable.
I really, really appreciate everyone’s sweet comments and concern. Overall, I’m doing better, but I still don’t know what’s going on. From all the testing I’ve had so far, it doesn’t look like anything serious. My symptoms seem to change everyday- all things that are difficult to describe and quantify- the numbness comes and goes. Sometimes I feel dizzy, nauseated and lightheaded, like I might pass out, and most of the time there’s just an undercurrent of yuck mixed with exhaustion. (I imagine this is how new mothers must feel!) I’m able to function and act pretty normal, but I don’t feel like myself.
I saw an integrative medicine doctor last week whose doing some more testing, and I’ve also been working with a Chiropractor and a wonderful physical therapist who specializes in a type of therapy called Feldenkrais.
I’m trying to live life as normal and avoid the wallowing. I get out and do stuff even if I don’t feel like it- hoping that if I keep doing normal, I’ll keep feeling better.
My diet right now is pretty amazing. I know more about nutrition than I ever have! Every morning I make a smoothie with 5-6 different colored organic fruits, kale or spinach, flax seed, macha green tea and Vitamin B complex. For lunch and dinner, I usually have a salad with a ton of roasted vegetables, pumpkin seeds and some grass fed beef, salmon or tuna. I take Vitamin D3, probiotics and DHA Omega 3 supplements, which is the deep marine algae that the fish eat, making them high in Omega 3’s. I try to go out in the sun for a few minutes every day, and I’ve cut way back on the amount of alcohol I drink. I’m not restricting myself if I want other foods or a drink, but for the most part, I love eating this way.
I’ve always had the tendency to figure things out on my own- to muscle my way through. But I’m so thankful that I haven’t had to do this alone. My family, friends, and Chris have been there without me asking and have supported me in so many ways during this process. From messages to cards to phone calls and flowers, I’ve felt like they’ve carried me. When I was worried about how this could affect me financially, my mom told me to not even let that thought enter my mind. She said, “there are two generations of people willing to help you if you need it. Focus all of your energy on getting better.” She gave me her oh-so expensive Vitamix so I can make superfood smoothies, she’s researched supplements and natural treatments, come to appointments with me, paid for chiropractor appointments.
My dad has called friends and co-workers to ask for their advice, paid for PT appointments. Chris has been there watching me cry and laugh- happy one minute, falling apart the next. My sister calls every day to check on me.
So thank you again for all your support and concern. It means the world to me, and I hope to be back to normal very soon!
I just re-read this excerpt of what I wrote the night before I got my results:
I’m getting the results from my MRI tomorrow – it’s been a long month of waiting. I’ve managed not to go crazy- although for moments I’ve felt incredibly weak and vulnerable- like a child who was scared to be left alone. I’ve found myself dreading the nights- knowing they would be long and sleepless.
But there’s been a lot of that inevitable clichéd good that comes from anything hard.
It’s been a humbling reminder of how important it is to meet myself and other people exactly where they are in their suffering. A reminder of how we never have all the answers. As soon as we think we do, life will quickly remind us that we don’t. And that I need to come back- to come back to now because that’s all we’ve got. I’d kind of been doing it half way. Scrolling facebook while I’m doing my relaxation exercises.
Suffering creates empathy and that empathy along with all that I’m learning about my own body will help me become a better postural therapist as I start working with people.
I’ve had a million questions along the way. Could it be the toxins in the construction materials from my building jobs, or all the crap I ate for a lot of years, an eating disorder in high school- a minor bout with pain killers in college- a tumultuous marriage and divorce, gaining and losing 60 pounds. Talking on my cell phone too much- breathing formaldehyde from the houses I’ve lived in. The GMO ingredients in my food- the fluoride in my water. All the alcohol I’ve drank over the last 5 years.
We live in a pretty toxic world. We pump chemicals into the ground where our food comes from and into the water that we drink. Our buildings are filled with toxins, while we rarely step outside to breathe fresh air.
MS is linked to low Vitamin D levels- if this is MS, could it have been as simple as spending 10 more minutes a day outdoors this past winter?
Who knows- I’ll never know. As much as I would like to.
I would gladly do whatever would make me better, and though I can try and make educated guesses, I’ll never know if I’m spending a lot of energy in vain while I’m missing something that’s important.
It’s frustrating and fascinating at the same time. The mystery of life is maddeningly beautiful.
I don’t know what’s going to happen. If the doctor tells me it’s not MS, I’ll breathe a huge sigh of relief and thank God for another chance to take care of myself. If it is, I’ll have good days and bad days. Days where it feels unfair. Days where it just feels like too much of an uphill battle. It will somewhat reinforce the belief I’ve struggled to escape from- which is one wrong move- or a few years of wrong moves can create irreversible consequences.
And other days, I’ll feel grateful for hope- grateful for all the love, support, and community that I’ve found through this. I know it will show me things I never knew about myself.
I know I’ve still got a lot of growing to do, like a friend of mine once said, “here’s another fucking growth opportunity!”
I think I’ve been hoping for a life that doesn’t feel quite so hard or quite so uphill. And if I have MS, it will be harder to imagine that life.
But I know that I will continue to work on creating a peaceful, meaningful existence for myself. And I will gently do the best that I can, which is really all we can ever do. (We just have to hope that our best doesn’t involve anything horribly hurtful or illegal ☺)