This morning, the last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed. The weather was gross (although the snow was momentarily very pretty, and Miss Lucy loved it, as usual), the weekend was too short, and my work week seemed to loom ominously before me.
But, as usual, up I got. I finished my course of steroids on Friday, so I’ve been flying solo for three days, and luckily, my flare symptoms seem to be under control. I spent a little bit of time over the weekend beginning the research my doctor assigned on the various drug treatments for MS, as well as exploring some other dietary options, and reaching out to a few people I have been connected with who also have MS.
It’s pretty easy to read about lifestyle changes, and adopting new diets ~ it’s a whole different kettle of fish (can I just pause for a moment, and say that this expression always makes me think of “Anne of Green Gables” ~ a book I believe all young women should read ~ I think of it with such love and affection, and periodically revisit the ear-marked pages of my old paperback copy … such a beautiful and enchanting story) to actually do it. I have been struggling with this. A lot.
Many things I’ve read have shown that diet is an important part of living with MS. We’ve started being much more consistent about our Green Smoothies (every morning!) and we have eliminated gluten (slightly more challenging but we’re working on it). I was referred to another diet completely associated with coping with MS called the Swank Diet, which restricts fats and animal protein. Some people believe a raw vegan diet keeps flares at bay.
Figuring out how to give up meat (red or any other kind), dairy and basically, carbohydrates has been such a learning experience. When I first considered it, I behaved a little like a petulant school girl. But as time has gone by, with the support of the man (and my pescatarian puppy, Lucy) I’ve stopped being childish, and embraced the idea. I repeat, the idea. The practice is much more challenging.
So, John suggested I try finding recipes I find appealing without classifying it as either ‘vegetarian’ or ‘gluten-free.’ And I am excited to say that I have three recipes I am fairly bursting with excitement to make. Watch this space. Hopefully they are all good!
I think what I’m learning ~and I cannot emphasize this enough … the hard way (if I didn’t feel motivated to protect and preserve my health I might not be so determined) ~ is that for me, making these changes has to be one baby step at a time. I know that what I’m doing is for the best in regards to my health and future. And I also know my baby steps need to be in fairly rapid succession. There isn’t time to waste. But this is hard. And it’s way harder every day than it is in theory, at the beginning. It’s about making the changes, and establishing the routines. And sticking to it. And not making exceptions. And it’s really hard. So, welcome to week #2.