Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Health Update.

Bad News: Neurologist says I'm not allowed to do the volunteer work at the childcare anymore, because "Your health comes first. But, we'll reassess in 6 months when you're fitter."
Apparently between getting healthier/losing weight, looking after Nan, raising my family, and doing household chores, etc, that's enough of a job for me for the moment. When I told him all I'd done in June he said, "That made even ME exhausted, and I was only listening to it!" Apparently, I'd felt so good that I'd done a few things too many, and pushed too hard. Sound familiar to anyone I know? lol

Better news: All the stresses of June, both good and bad, cause me to have a flare up. That means some of my symptoms are slightly worse than they were, especially the numbness, and now when I relax my head tilts to the left a bit, but my disability scores haven't changed. :)

Good news: He's pleased with my progress, happy for me to keep taking the same meds and continuing the exercises I've been doing. BUT sticking to 2-4 times per week, and to not overdo my life in general.

Best news: It wasn't a relapse. There are no new lesions. Nor are the ones I've got enhancing.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Muddling Through.

I've spent the last 5 days forcing myself to rest. Also felt the need to check out of the world for a little bit, so I borrowed some Supernatural seasons from the library and had DVD marathons galore! I also increased my vitamin D intake and am feeling steadier. Lots of crying. Lots of dealing with how I'm feeling. It definitely helps knowing what's going on this time, and having a support network.

I arrived at the gym today at 7am, for my prearranged appointment. Felt all virtuous with how early I was there. Felt slightly less virtuous when I walked in just as a class was FINISHING. LOL

We worked out my personalized program...and yeah I was definitely overdoing it last week. It was through excitement at being back IN a gym, but still overdoing it. Not enough rests between sets, too much cardio, weights slightly too high on some things.
So, it feels encouraging to start properly, but also good to know my leg strength has improved even since last week. (weight stayed same but increased number of reps and added another set.)
Very impressed at how they listened to what my requirements were and what my goals are and that they're working with me and my limitations. (Added to my file straight away that I'm not allowed to overheat.)

I'm trying to muddle my way through this, without making myself crazy with what I can or will not be able to do in future. I'm working with what I can and will do NOW.


Monday, July 08, 2013

I'm an active MSer!

The last time this happened, I Freaked. The. Fuck. Out.
Last time this happened, I didn't know what was happening. All I knew was that Something. Was. Not. Right.
Last time this happened, I had a husband who was gone 12-14 hours per day, and a young baby.
Last time this happened, we were isolated.
Last time I didn't have a doctor.

This time, I Can. Name. My. Emotions. And. Am. Feeling. Them.
This time, I know it could be a flare up exacerbated by sickness and over-exercising, or it could be a relapse.
This time, my husband works part time, and our daughter is old enough to do some stuff by herself.
This time, we've got a social network to help.
This time I have a doctor.

Last week I had a fantastic week.
The gym I'd joined finished their renovations and I was able to start working out again. I worked out three days. On one of those days we were running late to pick up Kiddlywink, so I power-walked for 20mins (Alaskaboy walked slightly faster than normal speed), to get to her daycare. Another day, in between workout days, I walked a big gully near our place.
On Saturday it was the last day I worked out, plus ran errands, plus cooked up a Korean feast for all seven of us. My brother is back home after a three month European vacation, and I volunteered to cook Korean for him to try. (We all already love it.) He also helped with some of the prep, and I opted out of the washing up.
Sunday I'd planned to go for a walk while having a day out and about on public transport with Kiddlywink and Alaskaboy. Except my body said, "STOP!" I spent several hours napping on the couch.
I hoped that the weird sensations I was getting were because I'd overworked myself and was exhausted.
Today they're still there, so I called to notify my doctor.
He's on annual leave and his secretary has made a note that I've called. She said about the only thing he would do is suggest I get a new MRI and come in for a review...both of which are already due to happen this month anyway.

So, this week, I play the waiting game. Is it a flare up? Is it a relapse? Are my meds still working? Was it emotional stress that caused this, from Kiddlywink being bitten by a dog last month? Was it physical stress from two colds in a row? Was it physical stress from over doing stuff?
I don't know.
But I do know that whatever happens, or whatever caused it, I'll deal with it.
I have the tools and the support network in place. I have the knowledge to know what's happening this time. Those two things are making a big difference.
Yes, I have cried. And I will cry some more. Yes, I have raged. Yes, I am fearful. But, I have hope. I'm still here. I'm still alive. I still have so much better disability scores than so many people. I love and I AM loved.

What really hits me in the gut is that while I'm in remission I can pretend I'm normal. That enough exercising, dieting, injections, and positive thinking will keep the relapses at bay. That I don't have to be aware of my energy reserves or spend them wisely. Then BLAM, my body reminds me that I AM a person with an illness. That I have a invisible disability.

So, I'm not quitting exercising, I'm simply going to go slower and work my way up to 5 sessions of half an hour per week. I'm obviously not ready for that yet. I got excited. I got ahead of myself. I got impatient. Because I've been exercising for 3 days most weeks I assumed I could go to 4-5. Nope. 2-4 is still the best for me.
I'm still excited to work out. I'm still excited no matter what happens.
Because of this website...Active Msers I know, that no matter how my disease progresses, there are still ways to stay active and lead a full, joyful life.


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

I'm a gym bunny again!

I went to join up at a gym last month. Literally two days after I signed up, they closed for renovations. I didn't let that deter me, and I still signed up. I looked at it as a positive sign. Because not only did the gym change from one of those circuit-type places to a real gym, which is my preference, I was joining as a foundation member now, so I got bonuses I wouldn't have been able to pay for otherwise. Previously, I would have taken it as a sign I wasn't meant to join. The few weeks I had to wait would have put me off ever come back again. Patience, I'm learning, is a virtue.
After dropping the kiddo off at school, I had my first session at the gym today. I arrived half an hour early for my orientation. Turns out that was a good thing because I could squeeze into the earlier session. After being thoroughly shown around the gym, and liking what I saw, I was told this week was only for orientation. I couldn't book in for my 2nd session, where they set up my program etc, until Friday next week. It's an oh god o'clock appointment, but I spoke up first, in front of the lady who took the orientation with me, because the next available appointment after that was the following week.  And..because...Me, I come first, me! Much better than the old me who would have let the other one have first dibs!
I was glad to hear that we could use the gym in the mean time, especially since I'd used the interim to get a letter from my doc saying exercise = good. I hadn't been sure if we were allowed to use it so I was in thin tracksuit pants and a polo shirt. Which worked out fine, certainly better than if I'd gotten all excited and put on my new workout clothes..and then couldn't work out! When I started to overheat on the treadmill, I simply tucked my t-shirt up under my boobs/bra and kept going. 
After ten minutes on the, slightly motion sick after getting back off that, that's new. (It was exactly like having to readjust to land legs after disembarking from a boat.) I admired the new weights and then happily settled into using them. Not as strong as I used to be, but not as weak as I thought I WOULD be. There are creaks and groans in dem bones, dem bones, dem shoulder bones when I do a shoulder presses now. Agian, I'll keep an eye on that new phenomenon. 
Feeling good after the weight session I decided on one more round of cardio, then a cool down. I by-passed the sexily, sleek spinning bikes, certainly not ready for those yet. I ignored the torture chamber that is known as the cross-trainer/elliptical, and headed for the regular bikes. (Recumbent bikes don't work, they hurt my back, plus try and garrote me with every bounce of my boobs/belly off my knees!) I managed five minutes on the bike. Well, at five minutes I pressed the cool down button and within twenty six seconds of that I'd progressed from feeling the pleasant wibble-wobbles that let me know my muscles have worked out, to the sickening wibblywobblys that let me know I've run out of juice...and should have stopped to have a snack.
My inner critic tried to argue that I had less than two minutes to go on the cool down, and I should finish what I started. I waffled for half a second and then said, "Fuck off! I want to be able to come back again this week."
"Stop!" said my body, so I did.
Now I'm waiting for my sandwich and yoghurt to stop the hungry wobbles, and avoiding eating anything else because I know I'm NOT still hungry, I'm just not registering the tank's got food in it yet. Remember to bring snacks and more water next time, and I'll be much better off.
 For the sake of my own record keeping, I was comfortable at 4.0-4.5kms per hour on the treadmill. Pushed it up to 5.0 for a couple of minutes then dropped back down to 4.5.