Friday

Fishing for MS

Off to find a fishing hole...


Fishing in any sense can be a test of patience. But going after that natural wild trout on a dry fly, well, I had something coming.

It's been too long. Since I last fished. Im not as experienced with flies, but I wasn't called "Eddie" for nothing. And oh how I love it.

Fishing, unless one needs the food, is an excuse to sit by a rivers edge. All day long.

This site will do...



Considering the fir trees, pines, aspens and wild roses, The snags were plentiful. After losing some eight flies, I had one major bump. Maybe smaller ones but one for sure. I missed it. I didn't care.

The bump came on a mossy green wooly bugger. The sillier looking the better I heard. Mosquitoes too. And of course the Eatsern Sierras standy-bys: Royal Wulff, Parachute Adams and maybe a beetle or ant. Size 14-16 on a 9 foot, 5 pound set up. A bit long for these tight creek spots but a good overall rod from Orvis' Clearwater collection and a great start for newbies.

Well, OK, what a beautiful day to hole away in the Eastern Sierras enjoying God's bounty.

Last month I went to north lake and fished Bishop Creek just north of there. With one parachute Adams, one cast, we caught a beautiful would brown trout. A "five-finger" I call it. The spread of my relatively large hand' pinky to thumb. Big enough to eat. Small enough to put back if one was already set on food. Which I was. And had no desire or need to kill this beautiful little trout. Let him grow up.

So now I'm fishing on Bishop creek just below Cardinal Village Resort. In a new location as I havent had much luck outside the cabin. I did hear that someone pulled a couple of stocked rainbows last week. Not my thing really. Would prefer a wild trout.

This new spot is sweet. Several pools, protected shoreline, small white water and a shallow tributary feeding in from the south. Scooting on my bum I reach the secluded rocky beach. Just big enough for one person. Hidden from the trail above which is accessed several hundred feet off the road through a barbed wire fence.

On several occasions my flies have found their way round a limb or two. And this was no exception. And each time there was a break in the tippet or a fly disengaged a small curse escaped my lips. Then, a glance around the scenery quickly changed the curse to a prayer. A thankful prayer.

A small gray blue fly catcher landed nearby. Fascinated in his water behavior I let my fly slip on down the creek, never to be seen again. As I cleared my last snag I pulled the rod apart and slipped it in its case. With a Mammoth Golden Trout ale in hand I scanned the area and enjoyed. Life is good.

 
So what does fishing have to do with MS? Everything and nothing. A time to forget the illness. To enjoy life. A patience learned on the river as it is with MS. We are not in control. Let go. Let God.

Thursday

Ann Romney - helping or hurting MS?

Is Ann Romney really helping MS or helping big pharmaceutical companies?

Do people really think that the biotechnology companies are finding a "cure" for MS or even providing medicines they might actually curb this disease or are they supplying costly placebos to pacify us all?

At best, MS treatments such as the daily shot, Copaxone, seem to "offer a 30% chance that they might reduce future attacks".  "Might reduce".  Well, I want more than a "Might"!    And I would prefer if the treatment cost less than rent.  $1200 pre insurance.  For a 30% chance that it "might" keep you from feeling like crap on some random day next month.

Here is one article.  I can think of much better ways to spend my time, money and energy and feel a heck of a lot better!

MS survivors see hope in Romney's fight
Boston Herald
Ann Romney's poise as she addresses the Republican National Convention gives hope to 2.5 million multiple sclerosis sufferers, while showing how far biotechnology companies have come toward curing the once “untreatable” disease, experts told the ...
See all stories on this topic »


MS Survivors see hope in Ann Romney. The Boston Herald seems to think so, 

What Do you think?





Monday

How to Sleep with MS

Why can't we sleep?

There is no real reason other than MS as to why I have sleep issues but it's amazing how I can mess myself up!

Here I am in the beautiful Eastern Sierras listening to Bishop Creek as it riffles by below the cabin. My current view:

On vacation but with a few minor projects and tasks to tend. But not enough to keep me awake all morning. The first night I was exhausted and fell asleep at 9pm when my head hit the pillow, awaking at 4am, which did constitute seven hours of sleep. But I didn't want to be awake at 4am.

So last night I aimed to stay up later thinking I could get seven hours and wake at a reasonable time. Now as the day progressed, after some time in the warm Bishop sun, some fly fishing and some creative cooking, I thought to myself, you are at 8,500' altitude, "Go fill up your water glass". Yes, I thought this often, every time I opened another beer.

I even thought of the magnesium supplement, magneleveux, in my bag, as I opened another beer.

Daydreaming, sketching, visualizing, I had a fun night, as I opened another beer.

Exactly what NOT to do with MS!

Sure, I stayed up until midnight, then woke up at 4:38am. Bing! And I'm awake. The need to pee and the incessant leg spasticity kept me squirming all morning long. The 42 degrees winding through the window bringing with it the sound of the creek was my saving grace. Ugh. I know better. I did take 1/2 a klonopin and a melatonin before going to bed. And another half of klonopin in am when couldn't fall back to sleep.

Three glasses of water later, a banana, magnalevure and some Shen Trition, and this Girl with MS is finally feeling a little better.

What I could have done:

  • Enjoyed the great healthy dinner we had (micro greens, salmon, veggies)
  • Dry brushed my legs
  • Took a not to hot bath
  • Read a book
  • Wrote in blog
Etc....

Yes, these are all better choices then the one I made. So, live and learn. Let go and let God as they say.

This all inspired me to do some researching on sleep and MS. Here is some of what I found:

This is a great summary from WebMD of what can cause folks with MS to have restless sleep: Multiple Sclerosis and Sleep

Life aspects that can effect sleep patterns in those with MS:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Nutritional health
  • Age
  • Physical activity
  • Mental activity
  • Spasticity
  • Depression
So, how do we deal with this sleep issue?

Time to change our habits!

Food suggestions:

Small bananas are good: (they still contain sugar so small is better before sleep)

"Combining the amino acid tryptophane with carbohydrates as well as calcium and magnesium can help your brain relax and your body nod off to sleep."

And the magic of oatmeal can make the difference of a more restful sleep pattern:

"Calcium has been proven to help the brain use and process tryptophan, while magensium, a natural sedative, acts as an "assistant" to calcium helping it to be absorbed into your system."




Check out more Foods to eat before bedtime from The Health Central Network

There are other things too. This is just a start!

There is Proof that sleep patterns affect MS!

If you've been having sleep issues and feeling more fatigued, there is proof that the two go hand in hand.


Check out this study: "Treatment of sleep disorders can improve fatigue and other clinical outcomes in MS."

“@MSBuzzNews: Multiple Sclerosis Research: Treatment of sleep problems reduces fatigue: Epub: Côté et al. Impact of sleep diso... http://t.co/f68LV6M8”

Ok kids. There is more to come on this and would like your thoughts but there's a high Sierra creek calling my name....

 

 

Finding peace....

Anger boiled inside. Again. Time to change my story. Anger is not healthy and it's pushing me to the red zone. Time for some peace making.

It's been over ten years with MS. And I still get angry about the disease. I don't want to. I'm gratefull for all I have but I'm frustrated. And frustration leads to anger which leads to bad MS days.

Summer is just not easy for folks with MS. It's a time to find peace but it is such a struggle. And there are reasons for this. Often I forget about these reasons and then the books on my nightstand call attention....

We are blessed to live with such beautiful resources such as the Dalai Lama, The Bible, Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda from India and so much more.

Today the books inspired attention in a random order. At first came Scott Shaw's "About Peace" letting the pages fall freely open to number 45:

"Walk away from competition.

If you cannot walk away from a competitive situation, exist within your own sphere of private peace, while it plays out its limited existence around you."

Well, OK. I thought I had been pretty good with my competitiveness but lets think about it. I'm competitive with myself and that's depressing. I am not the same person as last year or the years prior. Nor will I be the same in the future. As they say, "don't waste today thinking about tomorrow". So, good insight here. I need to let go of competitiveness within. That is a goal to put me in a blue zone.

The next book, "the Ayurvedic year, a seasonal guide to nutrition, yoga and healing" by Christina Brown, is one handy crucial part of my library. For those not familiar with Ayurveda it is a Hindu based medicine long in tradition. Ayurveda means "science of life". The basic view is that all life is comprised of three energy-elements or doshas: air (Vata), fire (Pitta), and water (Kapha). Illness is defined as an imbalance of these elements. Well, I am out of balance for sure! And without knowing much I can say that its my fire that's out of control.

"Pitta is composed of the elements fire and water. Like fire, Pitta is penetrating, piercing, quick, and strong. Fire, like Pitta, radiates heat and when it meets water, steam is created. Pitta types, therefore, get overheated more quickly than the other doshas and prefer cooler climates--these are the people that leave windows open and roll up their sleeves even in winter."

Pages of interesting ways of living follow from eating to mediation to career choices. Yes, I'm definitely Pitta. With some great advice I begin the balancing process. Time to eat some cooling foods, cut down coffee even though I do drink decaf, it just tastes toxic right now. Clear liquids. Soothing, gentle, healing. Reduce alcohol and salty foods. And reduce meats. Cooling salads best for now. Lentils, cucumbers, mung beans and the like...

It's cooling just in the process of better understanding why I'm so angry. And it's not just the disease but my body's natural reaction to it's out of balance shape.

The next book to find its way into my healing path is Grandmas pocket prayer book. Randomly opening the book it yields the following:

Reborn

"I did not know the sky was blue,

I could not call the morning bright,

Until I heard a still small voice

And Lo, the world was filled with light!

I did not hear the morning choirs,

Nor heed the lark upon the wing,

Until I heard Him call, and then

The universe began to sing!

Deaf, dumb, and blind, I walked His earth,

I breathed His air, a thankless clod,

until that blessed summer's night

When my dead soul found life and God!"

-Ralph, Spaulding, Cushman

Refreshing! I could use this little lift and reminder.

Compassion

Compassion to us and to others is part of the Ms healing process. And funny how when I opened the Dalai Lamas book, The Art of Happiness, the pages fell open to compassion.

After a public speaking engagement in Arizona, His Holiness The Dalai Lama gave the following meditation:

"In generating compassion, you start by recognizing that you do not want suffering and that you have a right to have happiness. This can be verified or validated by your own experience. You then recognize that other people, just like yourself, also do not want to suffer and that they have a right to have happiness. So this becomes the basis of your beginning to generate compassion.

So ...let us meditate on compassion today. Begin by visualizing a person who is acutely suffering, someone who is in pain or is in a very unfortunate situation. For the first three minutes of the meditation, reflect on that individuals suffering in a more analytical way - think about their intense suffering and the unfortunate state of that persons existence. After thinking about that persons suffering for a few minutes, next, try to relate that to yourself, thinking, 'that individual has the same capacity for experiencing pain, joy, happiness, and suffering that I do.' Then, try to allow your natural response to arise -- a natural feeling of compassion towards that person. Try to arrive at a conclusion: thinking how strongly you wish for that person to be free from that suffering. And resolve that you will help that person to be relieved from their suffering. Finally, place your mind single-pointedly on that kind of conclusion or resolution, and for the last few minutes of the meditation try to simply generate your mind in a compassion or loving state."

Well said! And put to practice this day. We are a changing! From the fiery pit of pitta this morning to the soothing love of all around us. The body, mind and soul are relaxed and content. We have entered the blue zone....ready to chill and enjoy this incredible day before us!

 

Saturday

The heat issue...again?!

Seriously. If a person with MS says its hot. It's hot! Deal with it. How dare you folks say, "well we have AC, they'll be just fine". Well. F u! Tell an alcoholic it's just a bar or just a drink and oh, by the way, you don't have a choice, the heat will hit and you will have had three drinks. Whether you want them or not.

It's amazing how frivolous folks talk about MS. Never would someone throw an alcoholic in a bar with free drinks. Or a diabetic into an ice cream shop unprepared. MS is a serious disease. Get it!

In fact Click here and read this right now from about.com if you know anyone whom you care about who has MS

"How Severe Can It Get?

For some people, heat intolerance can be debilitating enough that they are unable to function well at even slightly elevated temperatures and must consider moving to a cooler geographic location. Deaths have even been reported among people with MS who ... lost the ability to get out of the heat."

That means do not even try to invite a person with MS to the desert or anywhere when the weather is over 90 and expect them to come without jeopardizing their health and well being. It is just rude, stupid and inconsiderate. How dare you.  Really?  Creating events in 90 plus degrees weather is one thing.  Expecting someone with MS to attend is ignorant and sad. 

So who is the bad guy? Me! Because I have the heat disease but they don't seem to understand why I can't just sit in the AC. Really? Maybe because the AC In the car has never worked right. Seriously. Some $$ POS car that doesn't have a good AC. And don't even bring up the siblings who still have no idea what my disease is about.

I'm the one crying myself to sleep and awake each day yet I'm the bad guy for sticking to my doctors orders and my boundaries. I am heat sensitive! Get it! I'm also extremely sensitive to sound and noises as well as visual imagery and I have been for OVER TEN YEARS. Meaning not a lot of noise, sound or other distractions.  Even these "!" are too much for me.  These are doctors orders yet they seem to mean nothing to family and friends at time.

Here's an interesting article about MS and dysfunctional thermoregulators...body temp stuff...http://jap.physiology.org/content/92/5/1779.full. I recommend everyone with a "loved" one with Ms to take a serious Look at understanding the disease. Stop hurting the ones you love and take ten minutes to understand. The ones closest are often the most ignorant.

Thank you. Feeling the love....Time to hit the road and walk as far as the shade will take me. Unfortunately I didn't wake up early enough for this to be very far...



"It's only 80 degrees out..."

To someone with MS this lack of sensitivity is not much different then telling an alcoholic that "it's just a beer...".

If someone you love or care about has MS, take a few minutes to try to understand it. We all appreciate it.

There's a lot of information out there. I've been gathering a bunch of it at Facebook.com/TheGirlWithMS

Thanks for helping us all thrive with MS!

 

Thursday

Many faces of MS

So many faces of MS...So much to experience!

Face 1: The timid wimp. Living in the past. Sucked into time warps while pretending to move forward.

Face 2: Brave on the front, timid inside. See face 1

Face 3: Brave on front and inside. CRUSHING IT!

It seems, with my Ms, that my life consists of all three faces described above. That's a lot of faces....

Tomatoes healing for MS

A little nesting good for the soul. Friend of mine leaves on vacation after planting amazing garden. Not only are tomotoes a cooling food in Chinese medecine, which means a good food for MSrs, but the cathartic process of harvesting, preparing, tasting and exploring this food is by far a healthy treat!

Just some of the rewards:

In addition to fresh salads everyday we've been roasting the extras. Some I have frozen in bags for later use. I've also slow cooked/dried some. Want to do more of everything. Yum!
 
 
Home made roasted tomato sauce for the gardener when she returns:
 
And then there was big Bertha at 1.5 pounds....

Big Bertha ended up to be quite the tart

Time to harvest more tomatoes. What to create next?!

Sunday

Peace of the Day & The 4 Stages of MS

Morning light has not begun to filter into my room yet. Crickets chirp in a rhythmic yet random symphony of muted tones. It seems about 3AM, a frequent time for me to awake. One of my most loved and most disliked times. Love for the immediate pleasure. Dislike for knowing that sleep will once again befall me and this moment will be gone, to be replaced by hot temperatures and hours of air conditioning.

But for the moment it is love. With the windows open, a few stars visible, I stare out into the darkness and listen. Crickets blend with birds as the day starts to awake. A scuffle or two by a small mammal puts a pause on other sounds. Then the chorus begins again. Stars fade into sunlight.

I awake, close the windows and feel the cool air of the conditioner start to protect me from the impending 100 degree day.

Today is Sunday. I greatly enjoy our sermons but today I chose to spend the wee hours enjoying Gods gifts then slipping into a much needed, restful sleep.

Oh, how appropriate. Marley's "No woman no cry" just came on. Wow. Wonderful flood of memories and feelings from years of emotions. And appropriate that it would come on now. When I woke at 3AM my body was full of angst. Angst caused by the feeling of no control. I emphasize feeling because I do have control, it just needs to be located and encouraged.

When first diagnosed with MS my goal was to survive. Simply survive. As that became easier I learned how to redefine myself to fit within my ever-changing boundaries. But at times I have let the disease control my life. Not a good thing! The best of course is when we can thrive with MS.

FOUR stages of living with MS:

  • Surviving MS
  • Redefining thru MS
  • Controlled by MS
  • Thriving with MS
Surviving MS

Survival mode comes in two ways. First and foremost it kicks in when a relapse hits or when one is first having symptoms of MS. The second is a self-imposed survival mode of rest and gentleness. Find a good doctor, have a good support group, have a great attitude, learn as much as possible about the disease, be kind to yourself. Be very, very kind. Listen to your body and rest. Slow down. Find a balance of medicine that works for you and your life style. Slowly gain your strength back. Do not rush. Steroids, NSAIDs and other short term medications aren't that great for you. Find gentler, alternative routes. Take care of the big picture. Reduce stress. Let go of the small things. Start the redefinition process.

Redefining thru MS

There is no need to count how many times I've had to redefine my life with MS. This change is now a constant in my life. When first hit the devastation forced me into early retirement from corporate operations and marketing. That was a tough one. My career was my life. Time to redefine.

Holistic nutrition became a focus and after a two year study became certified. This was a huge benefit for my MS and overall health. Using these studies and my BS in Agribusiness, a nonprofit was created to help educate the public about healthy foods. The nonprofit as since closed but the resources are still available at http://FarmosaFarms.com. During these years my practices in whole body health, yoga, and alternative lifestyles grew.

Photography and graphic design were next. After a couple of art shows and a scholarship to the Art Center, this was an exciting new chapter in my life. While both provided many opportunities and sources of income as my MS worsens so does my ability to do either one of these. No longer can I photograph an event with a couple of cameras and feel comfortable. the weather, my strength, the fatigue all play a roll into what I can do and it changes daily.

Horses have always been a part of my life but even now I have to once again redefine my limits. Wouldn't it be nice to have a horse to train? But can I do it? Could I ride a few times a week and give lessons? Not here. I'm tired of here. I can't spend another ten years watching my life slip away. How do I redefine my life without being controlled by my disease?

Controlled by MS

With so many limits and restrictions caused by MS how does one move forward in life without feeling controlled by the disease? Attitude is a good start. Mind over matter. Control the disease in my mind and I can control it in life. But this concentrated energy can be difficult. Sometimes we just want to play. We don't want to check the temperature every minute. We don't even want to say we have a disease. We don't want to have to plan every movement or redefine our lives for the umpteenth time. Well, buck up because you do and now you're sounding like a spoiled child. Think of diabetics and their daily diet restrictions. Alcoholics and their sensitivities. It's all the same. Don't even let the disease get a holt of you to begin with.

Thriving with MS

This is where we want to be! Thriving with MS. By using what we've learned about this disease we can become a better person building a life that thrives. Take a good look at where you are and what your boundaries and limits are and then set a few milestone markers of where you want to thrive. Write these down. Don't be harsh on yourself or put down too much, just some general guidelines to get you started.

Be honest with what works and what doesn't. Riding is great for me but not when it's 100 degrees outside. Writing is very good for me as well and can be done near the A/C. Go through your own list and make a loose plan to find your thriving point.

Be the Star

As we saw this morning when the stars fade into daylight, think of yourself as a star. Temporarily fading into survival mode, coming out at night in control, flowing with the rhythm of the earths cycles....we are all stars looking for our path to thrive.

What do you do to thrive with MS?

Wednesday

Shade trekking, cold showers and surviving summer

One of those weeks! Not bad relative to other areas but with MS it doesn't really matter past 80 degrees.

Time to get outside early and go "shade-trekking" which is just like it sounds. Cold water in tow, cooling vest if necessary, hat and sun protection on, we hit the shade. Fortunately we live in an areas full of tall trees. But one wrong turn can put you in the sun for over a block. And it's too warm for that! Our goal is a gentle walk that doesn't stress the body other than a nice physical activity. If its so warm that a cooling vest is needed then maybe another time during the day would be better for your walk?

Sometimes we have no choice and need to just get outside. Just remember to be kind to your body as its been through a lot. Kindness goes a long way with MS. To oneself and to others.

Trekking we went, diverting our course according to the morning summer sun. It's easier for me to walk a bit quicker if I start to get too warm. The strolling, if prolonged, can exacerbate my internal heat. This is true if I'm starting to enter the red zone. If I'm just lingering in the green to orange, and I see blue on the horizon, then I am ok. It's all about the zones for my MS management.

Today I could have gone into the red but I showed restraint. Visualized the blue on the walk home until I stepped into the cool shower and felt my core body temp drop. Then I stretched and prayed and slipped into a nice green zone for today's projects.

I've mentioned zones before but here are my visuals:


That's how this girl with MS is surviving this day with MS!

Now for the thriving part....watch this spot!

 

Monday

Eastern Sierras Good for MS

 

 

Just the thought of returning to the Eastern Sierras in a couple of weeks is rejuvenating on this hot Monday morning...


At 8,500' the cabin is visited by cooler temperatures, a great benefit for those with MS. The cool, 40-50 degree nights are perfect for this girl, with days hovering the 70s. With windows open through the night, fresh air breezing through and the rushing ripples of the creek below some much needed restful sleep was had.

And the location next to Bishop Creek is ideal as the growing waters carry trout from the high country. An excerpt from my diary of my last trip:

07/06/12

Knowing that the heat of the day wouldn't exceed my personal max of 80 Fahrenheit, I packed my bag and set out for the day. Today was special. We are heading to North Lake at 9,500'. The girls are going hiking. I'm fishing and photographing.

  • Fly rod
  • Camera
  • Lunch
  • Beer
  • Leather man
  • Simple first aid
  • Water

Roads less traveled, as a dear old friend would say. Eyes open, senses alert, time to absorb it all. For the first time in years I was off on my own, to do what I wanted, fish where I wanted, everything according to me. And why not?



The girls headed to the trail head, I followed. We were north of the lake by a parking lot or so. Bishop creek feeds into North Lake and we were walking along this tributary. There was no one fishing in there. Lots of fresh water steaming down, lots of overhang, brush, a natural spot for trout.

We had driven by the lake and the swarms of folks fishing, bait and spinning rods from the shore to fly fisherman making good use of their waders. And here I was. Fly gear in hand with lightweight pants and river sandals. The lake didn't even looking appealing and there were options.

I helped a couple of men with a photograph of their winnings, a stringer of 12" trout, caught on "garlic scented PowerBait". They never have had luck with flies. They came from the lake. I headed the other way.

Trying to stay calm on the stroll back was most difficult. Will the spot actually still be available? What was I missing? It looked perfect...

Hmmmm. No one there. Knowing the fish were flighty from my first stroll by, I proceeded to come up with a game plan. Simple enough, leave my bag behind and have everything ready to go with one simple cast. Rod, leader, tippet and fly ready to go.

Mosquitos were hatching, no doubt. My rig was set up with a "Parachute Adams" fly that I actually tied some 20 years ago with a friend. A pulled it all together and made a visual of my route. Walk to that point where the fly will be cast carefully, due to the many trees and bushes, to catch the current by this small overhang....



The fly landed and I let out a quiet gasp. My line had a small coil. The fly drifted down and a larger trout came at it aggressively, saw the coil and darted away. The line uncoiled as the fly drifted gently around a small bend when wham! Fish on. Not big but not here for size. Stripping line I gently pulled the little guy in.

I took his picture and let the barbless hook slip out of his mouth as he darted back to shelter. Wild brown trout. On a dry fly. In Gods country.




Enjoying this beautiful moment, I thanked God and praised the surrounding nature.

Feeling content I exchanged my rod for my camera and went for a walk. The fish were spooked in my little hole so best to let them rest for a bit. I will be back.

Walking back toward the lake was an exploration in visual beauty. The marshy meadows from snow melt creating a green canvas for the wild flowers going off. As the creek ran south toward the lake it picked up in size eventually flowing into a reedy fence some eight feet deep in places.



The fly fisherman were wading across the way taking advantage of the wind. I watched for awhile and a family of ducks bobbed by. The chatter from some bait fisherman came around the bend. Basically I was alone.

Alone and disgusted at the trash left behind. I had a small plastic bag and started to fill it up with cigarette buds, coffee cups and more. I never saw the fly fisherman bring anything up. I could hear them talking though. I think they liked the sound of their own voices.

Time to wander back to my hole.

Camera put away, just my bag on my back and eyes to see with. The hole was still open! Wow. Feeling blessed.

Again I leave my bag just beyond so the fish don't see me moving. I walk in and careful not to move abruptly, find a comfortable stance to watch the wild trout feed. Amazing! With water so clear you can see their eyes, the behavior of the wild trout was fascinating. Aggressive and protective. Two great traits for wildlife to survive. Two great traits for MSers to thrive and survive as well.

Time for lunch. Unwrapping my bandanna finds an apple, some cheese, nuts, banana and Sierra Nevada pale ale. All is good in the world. All is good!

 
 

Saturday

Living with Summer

Summer can be the most frustrating of times for those suffering from MS. Summer is a time for our bodies to naturally want to go outside and play. But summer is the warm time of the year which can put a kanosh on any outdoor activities planned.

Here is a bit about summer and seasons with regards to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):

Living with the Seasons - Summer

Http://acupuncture.com


By Emma Suttie, D.Ac.

There are 5 seasons in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), corresponding to the 5 elements (Fire/Earth/Metal/Water/Wood). Winter, Spring, Summer, Late Summer and Fall.

Summer represents the outward expression of energy, expansiveness, movement, and activity. It is the most yang of the seasons and is ruled by fire. Life and energies are at their peak. Summer, according to TCM, is the season associated with the heart and the small intestine. The colour is red, the emotion joy, and it is a time for growth, expansion, light, abundance, and is the manifestation of all we have been cultivating throughout the spring.

Many look forward to summer all year round. The weather is hot and the sun is out, improving people’s moods. Many are drawn outdoors to participate in all the activities they have been longing for all winter. Plants grow quickly, people are full of energy, and the body’s qi and vitality are at their peak. It is a time to cultivate the yang energy (fire), while making sure that it does not come to excess. In TCM, the heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire element, so priority should be given to these important aspects of ourselves in the summer season...

Click here for more!

Here are some tips to help you make the most of the summer season:

Drink plenty of water and other fluids

Wake up earlier in the morning

Go to bed later in the evening

Rest at midday

Add pungent flavors to your diet

Refrain from anger; keep calm and even-tempered (anger causes and exacerbates heat!).

Here is a list of foods that are beneficial to eat in the summer months:

Apricot

Cantaloupe

Watermelon

Strawberries

Tomatoes

Lemon

Peach

Cucumber

Orange

Asparagus

Sprouts

Bamboo

Broccoli

Bok choy

Corn

White mushroom

Snow peas

Spinach

Summer squash

Watercress

Seaweed

Mung beans

Cilantro

Mint

Dill

Bitter gourd

Mung beans

Wax gourd

Lotus root

Lotus seed

Job’s tears

Bean Sprouts

Duck Fish

Click here for more!


About the Author:

Emma’s love for Chinese Medicine began as a teenager when, like many people, western medicine failed to solve the underlying health issues she faced. Her doctors proposed only surgery or a lifetime of drugs. However, after a few months of acupuncture treatments and herbs those problems were resolved. From that moment forward she was committed to extending this gift of health to others.

Click here for more!


What are your favorite summer foods?

 

Friday

Nutritional resource - a must read

Book Description

September 20, 2007

More than half a million people live with multiple sclerosis, yet conventional medicine still has little to offer patients. There is no known cure-and even recent breakthroughs in drug therapy do not work to control many of the symptoms or promise any degree of recovery.

But there is an alternative to drugs that can stop and reverse the ravaging symptoms of MS-the MS Recovery Diet. As this book explains, there are five common food triggers that can set off the symptoms of MS-dairy, grains containing glutens, legumes, eggs, and yeast. Yet because MS is such a complex disease, other foods play a role, as culprits or aides. The MS Recovery Diet explains the background, science, and development of this treatment in one source for the first time, and shows readers how to pinpoint their specific problem foods and sensitivities. It also offers more than one hundred simple recipes, as well as strategies to improve digestion, balance the immune system, and repair the body's myelin-crucial steps toward healing the body....

Both of the authors, Ann D. Sawyer and Judith E. Bachrach, who had been diagnosed and disabled by multiple sclerosis, have experienced incredible recovery on the diet. Within the first three months on this program, Sawyer was able to stop the disease progression and begin to walk short distances with an even gait. Bachrach, whose health has been declining because of MS for thirty- eight years, regained feeling in her toes in one week and after one year on the diet, has stopped taking all medication. This book shares the treatment plan that has dramatically changed their lives, and the lives of others who have discovered it. With inspiring personal stories throughout, it offers real help- and hope-for sufferers of MS.



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What to eat with MS?

Nutrition will allow you to Thrive with MS!

Anyone with MS should know what cooling foods are and how they affect the body and the disease.

My research began over ten years ago. Three different Chinese medicine doctors diagnosed me as being kidney yen deficient. While investigating what these doctors were telling me, I found that many of the symptoms for this 5,000 year old Chinese disease were shockingly similar to that of modern day MS and many autoimmune diseases for that matter.

When asked about the cause the Chinese doctors all responded with "Western diet and lifestyle". The Western diet contains many processed and falsly seasoned foods not to mention excess fat. Western people are known to skip meals, eat on the hoof and gorge on salte, fat and sweets with no care about their bodies.

According to Chiness Medicine there are different kinds of food: cool, neutral and heating. Depending upon our makeup and health dictates which foods are best. For an inflamed person with MS the cooling foods are desired.

(FYI - Chinese Medicine offers much more than discussed here where it's been crudely simplified. Resources linked below)

So what foods cool off the body and help my MS?




Some obvious food such as cucumbers come to mind. Apples, bananas, citrus, clams and many more. But what about sushi? Have you ever eaten the eel? Unagi? One summer there was a heat wave in Japan and a subsequent shortage of Unagi due to its cooking effect on the body.

Imagine using foods to cool off and saving that electricity bill!

Information about cooling foods and nutrition for MS has grown significantly these past ten years. Here are some places to check out:

A good primer on Chinese Medicine and food classifications

Spreadsheet of foods by class from DocStock

Heating vs Cooling Foods. A review

Food as Medicine - a look into Chinese Medicine. (downloadable PDF)

Chinese Food Pyramid for Dogs and More

Nutrition will allow you to Thrive with MS!

 

Wednesday

Waking up in tears

Ever just woke up in a fit? Tears swelling, emotions rising, the cause not known. Yet.

Slowly the morning breaks. Birds sounding off through the open window. I stretch back into child pose while using the softness of the mattress for an easy morning stretch to get the blood flowing. While sitting back in pose my mind wonders. I let it. Why the tears?

MS Can have the tendency to mess with ones emotions. Often new MS patients are put on anti-depressants to help balance out their newly found roller-coaster of emotions. This was one of those mornings. Feeling incredibly low, taking advantage of child's pose it struck me. Last night I was informed that our family was celebrating our fathers 80th birthday in three different locations/times mainly due to my MS.

Frustrating! But I have to remind myself that my siblings both choose to live in the desert which I can't visit during the majority of the year due to the heat. Of course this then bothers me because they choose to live and raise their children in a place I can't visit which is hard not to find as a slam. Although its not about me right?

The fact is, the folks made a plan that works with everyones issues. But it's hard not to feel like a worthless shmuck over this. I want to see my nephews and celebrate as a family. But that is not the plan so move along. Move along....Breathe. Visualize. Adjust. Breathe. Move on....

Yoga move for the moment:

Balasana or Child's Pose.

 
Learn more:

Benefits include gentle stretching of the hips, thighs, ankles, back. It gentles the mind....

What's your favorite morning stretch or routine?