Let me start by saying that this post may be a bit heavy but I’m doing it anyway! About 18 years ago, I was in a serious car accident driving home from work. The ambulance attendants said I was lucky to be alive and judging by the looks of my car and how I felt, I believed them. This was what could have been a terrible day, but the silver lining was that everyone involved was alive and could walk in the door to hug their family. After all this time, I haven’t forgotten the sound of metal on metal; I am still nervous to cross lanes of traffic to turn on to the highway and I am likely overly cautious when driving, this type of accident changes you.
About 6 months later I began to have issues with one of my legs; it wouldn’t work right, I couldn’t tell if my foot was hitting the ground when I was walking, it was tingling almost like being asleep but not asleep, on and on it went for about a month. One morning, I went to get out of bed and fell to the floor, it was as if my leg forgot what it was supposed to do. I also had been absolutely exhausted, not just tired……….EXHAUSTED, which I chalked up to many things; how busy I was at work, having teenage daughters, having a young son, our busy lifestyle, you name it I made everything an explanation for what was going on. After watching me struggle for a year, my husband said that’s enough you have got to go see the doctor, so I grudgingly went. Now, I wasn’t a Dr. kind of gal; I rarely got sick and especially not sick enough to see a doctor, but I went anyway to make my family happy. My family doctor sent me to a neurologist who decided to run some tests as they thought maybe I had some minor damage to my spinal chord from the accident, it sounded like a reasonable thing to me. I went in for an MRI on my lower back and about 20 minutes into the procedure, the technicians came in and said that they wanted to have someone come in and have a look at the scans before they let me go. So, in came “someone” who decided they needed to go farther up my spine and into my brain with the MRI with added contrast dye to enhance the images which I now know is a standard thing to do. At the time though, I was clueless and I was scared, this was all new to me. A week later I was asked to come back for the results. My husband sat with me when they told me I definitely had Multiple Sclerosis. I was such a country bumpkin that I had never even heard of MS, but the look on my husband’s face spoke volumes to me. So, of course I did what they tell you not to do and I went home and googled MS and scared myself. The good thing was that I finally had a reason why I was feeling the way I was and I now knew I wasn’t going crazy! The Drs. suggested I go on some medication right away to lessen the impact of any further relapses and help to maintain a decent quality of life, which I ignored. I had 2 serious relapses within 6 months and made the decision to start some medication but other than that, I basically ignored the fact that I had MS. It was much easier to pretend that there was nothing wrong with me than it was to proactively try to reduce the impact on my life and admit that my life was going to be different from here on out so I kept working, kept doing what I had always done which was to work 8 – 10 hours a day sometimes up to 7 days a week with no lunch breaks or coffee breaks. I’m telling you this in the hopes that if you have a chronic illness, I can steer you in the direction of taking charge over it instead of waiting until you are forced to do something about it. Don’t wait, do something today to move towards a healthier more vibrant you where you don’t let anything other than yourself dictate how you manage your own health!
Approximately 5 years ago, I was told about a Dr. of Anesthesiology who has MS and lived nearby and was told that I should see him, but first my sister gave me a book that he had written with his wife. This book started the journey for me taking control of my disease and I now consider this book one of my go to’s whenever I am struggling. The name of the book is “Who’s in Control of your Multiple Sclerosis – pieces of the MS Recovery Puzzle” written by William E Code and Denise Code. After a serious struggle with his own MS, Dr. Code began to investigate the integration of organic foods, vitamins, supplements and other holistic wellness regimens to facilitate his healing process. His approach to medicine is one that encompasses both conventional treatments but also combines natural medicine paradigms. All of these are covered in Dr. Code’s book. One of the things that he wrote and that hit me like a ton of bricks is “it takes five to six times as much nutrition to reverse a condition that’s already in place as it does to prevent problems”. That was a powerful statement for me and one I am striving to follow, some days I do it and some days I don’t but when I fail, I don’t beat myself up about it. I just try again tomorrow!
When I went to meet with Dr. Code, I found a man that was knowledgeable and who inspired and encouraged me to take control over my disease. He told me “you’re in control chief and that can either be a good thing or a bad thing, it’s your choice”. He is blunt and to the point and if you are willing to do your part, he is willing to share his knowledge and experience with you and I am so thankful for the information he shares. Dr. Code said if you are trying and succeeding more often than not, then you are moving forward and not backwards! If you take anything away from this post, please look up Dr. Code and his books – you will learn so much. He has helped give me the confidence to be in control of my MS and I am forever grateful.
Of course, I am doing other things to help me manage my health by working with a team of dedicated professionals (my family Dr, my Neurologist, a Neuro physiotherapist, a massage therapist and of course Dr. Code). In addition, I am no longer working, I am focusing on better nutrition, I am educating myself on alternative therapies, I am finding an exercise routine that works for me, I take it easy when I am tired and I have learned to say no when I need to. I am focusing on what’s important in my life and take every opportunity I can to let my family and friends know that I love them. I ask for help if I need it and I help when I am able, I work on making today better than yesterday and I accept myself for where I am at each day. I think that’s all anyone can do, isn’t it? Accept what is so and live your life to the fullest! I choose to define myself, not to let my MS define me!
So today I am choosing to diffuse some Essential Oils and I’m heading to the kitchen to whip up something wonderful and healthy like a Barlean’s shake and energy bites (thank you Pinterest and Gimme Some Oven)! Try em’ they are yummy!!
NO BAKE ENERGY BITES – These delicious little no bake energy bites are the perfect healthy snack!
PREP TIME: 10 MINS
COOK TIME: 0 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 10 MINS
- 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
- 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips(or vegan chocolate chips)
- 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds(optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.*
- Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight containerand keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- Makes about 20-25 balls.
*Prep time listed does not include time for the mixture to chill. To speed up the chilling, I recommend spreading the mixture out on a baking sheet, then covering it with plastic wrap and refrigerating.