I have to be honest with you, I’m not a diet, lifestyle kind of person. I’m more of a skeptical pot head. There is a lot of literature on strict diets and drastic lifestyle chances for Multiple Sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases. I bought into it for a hot second. I mean this shit is scary what am I supposed to do. Any time I would bring it up with my doctor she would just shrug.
“Vitamins?” I would ask. If you want…
“Cutting out dairy? meat?” Eh Don’t get yourself worked up.
I decided to try it anyway. I was starting Ocrevus so everything felt real again. Not a horrible memory that likes to creep into my life randomly throughout the day, giving me little electric tingles and throbbing calves. I had to do something! But I was doing something. I started Ocrevus, a major pharmaceutical drug that has been proven to reduce relapses dramatically.
I lasted a month. Yes I know but a month is a good amount of time. I ate vegan and fish. I went to the Gym. It was hard and time consuming. The food thing is obsessive. I don’t like it. I’m not an obsessive particular person. I’m laid back. I eat healthy and I make mostly everything from scratch. I was raised eating ethnic food, not convenience food. I don’t have many bad habits to break. I have maintained the same weight since high school, even after 2 kids. I’m pretty consistent. I was cooking separately for myself and still cooking for my family. It gets old quick.
The gym. The gym was OK and I felt great mentally, but once it was time to make dinner, I couldn’t stand anymore. I told a therapist about it and she reminded me that I’m already active, I have 2 young children. Don’t overdo it. Pace yourself. I’m not someone who works in an office, I am already standing all day because I am a stay at home mom. Its pretty much the same thing as waitressing. You are constantly fetching things and hiding while you’re eating standing up. I used to waitress, but I cant imagine doing that now with my leg pain. So I’m taking a break from the gym and I’m going to pace myself physically so I can enjoy my family. I would like to go back to yoga I have a feeling that’s more my speed.
I continue to do acupuncture. It has been a life saver for my MS symptoms. It also counts as meditation; it calms my nerves and muscles, pain and anxiety. I highly recommend it. I have also sought out a therapist. I was having trouble with anxiety and too many thoughts around fatality. My multiple sclerosis diagnosis hit the same time my mother was put into a nursing home with early onset dementia. I was also taking the supplements theanine and 5HTP to help with depression and it put my anxiety through the roof. I noticed this after I stopped taking them for a week. It is hard to find a therapist. Most only accept cash. For some reason the stars aligned and I found one very close and in network. I had stumbled upon this instablog and read about her frankness of getting psychiatric help and medication. It was so refreshing and comforting to hear her talk about mental health so openly. Mental health is half the battle in chronic illness. I have also experienced my pain symptoms increase in intensity when I feel stressed.
I am new to the MS family. I experienced my first episode this past January, was diagnosed in February and started Ocrevus in May. I know what it is like to feel new and terrified and helpless. I think I am over the newbie hump a little bit. I have settled into my feelings towards it. I don’t have the sense of urgency I did during the first 5 months. I am rounding out 6 months on my new journey and I can see the light. I’m going to be OK wherever it takes me. I aim to take it in stride. Hopefully this helps for any other newbies that are worried and scared about the future. You must still enjoy your life and learn what works best for you. Happiness is number 1. Stress is a major NO. Pacing yourself is everything.