Friday, February 24, 2006

Doves, food, and recovery

When the baby bird (named Miracle) began turning white with feathers, I took three beautiful pictures. I saw them through the LCD screen, then I began downloading them to my computer. Wouldn't you know it -- my digital camera won't download the pictures! The computer won't even recognize the camera anymore. This has been my luck lately when it comes to things breaking. Woes me...

Yesterday a friend of mine took me to Kroger. This was my first food shopping trip since I went to Whole Foods after being newly diagnosed with MS. I bought all healthy, organic stuff at Whole Foods, but I found out that I didn't like the taste of most of it. I ended up going hungry a lot. So yesterday, I bought way more stuff that I can actually eat. I mean GOOD stuff! My grocery bill was $100 less, too! The food is all natural and healthy, but it tastes great! I was getting so sick of choking down my food all the time. Now my cabinets are bursting with food that I don't dread eating! Yay, Kroger! They came through for me this time!

I have to say, too, that I feel so much better physically just from the diet change and exercise these last few weeks. Even without MS, it's something I should have done years ago. I realized the first week that I had the power to change my diet long before I HAD to. I could never go back now. I just love all the energy I have! The slight numbing in my face has even started to subside. Who says the damage from MS is irreversible? They are wrong!!! They may even be wrong about the diagnosis!

I joined many online groups for MS, and the members on some of those groups (the ones who are taking the same holistic approach) totally INSIST that MS damage is reversible. Then I read the messages from the groups that follow the traditional medicine route, and I am floored by the amount of talk about doctors and medications and side effects. I get such a heavy feeling reading those emails. Hey, I've gone that route with mental illness, and the experiences with the mental health system are amazingly similar. It's all about doctors and medication and side effects.

Another striking similarity is the doctors' approaches to treating either MS or mental illness. So much of their attitudes are blatantly dismissive. From what I am reading, once you have the diagnosis, the doctors believe that stabilization is the goal of treatment. Then they pump you full of very expensive and powerful chemicals that attempt to slow the progression of the disease since there is no cure. Well, they said that recovery wasn't possible with mental illness, too. I know better now.

One group I am in is called MS Cure. They are all about hope and recovery. The attitudes on those boards are remarkably different than the attitudes on the boards where people hand over their hope of recovery to doctors who squash their hope almost immediately. That also happens in the mental health system.

The most powerful thing I've learned so far is this:

When Spirit gives you a so-called chronic disease to deal with, She also gives you the strength to deal with it. I could never have changed my lifestyle on my own. I needed - and GOT - divine guidance. It's all been effortless so far. At least stress-wise. Things are just falling into place, seemingly by themselves. Lots of human angels are appearing at just the right time. I feel so supported everywhere I look. I know am not going through this alone.

At Cedar Hill, one of the founders gave me a referral to an acupuncturist. She told me that she was advised to see this acupuncturist and this one only (in Atlanta). I looked up the address at MapQuest and saw that the office was walking distance from me. What are the odds? Acupuncture is definitely my next step. I'm also hoping to get a referral for a neurologist who embraces the holistic approach. Then I could begin physical therapy and aqua therapy and not have to deal with a closed mind or a drug pusher. That's my plan. Sprit may have other plans, though, so I am staying open.

Basically I am just learning as I go. I thank God for the Internet!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Wonderful rainy cold day!

I went to Cedar Hill Enrichment Center today for a workshop called "Silence." It was a quiet workshop (lol) but incredibly powerful! Cedar Hill always helps me get back to who I really am. I walked the labyrinth. That is one of the most healing things I could do for myself right now. Oooh I just need to move there. I wish there was a way!

It was rainy and cold all day, and I never could get warm. Then I came home to a broken heater. So why do I feel so good? That's the rejuvination I always get after spending any time at Cedar Hill. Nothing can get to me now. Life rocks! It just does.

At the workshop, we basically sat in a circle (all rocking chairs and bunches of pillows and blankets) and surrounded a small table of candles and flowers. There were about 10 of us, so it was an intimate group. There was so much spiritual power in that little circle, and all we did was sit in our chairs and be silent. Every once in a while someone would speak, then more silence. It was incredible. I felt so close to everyone there. We were all in synch. I'd never met most of them, but we were family when we left. And we hardly talked! At one point we were separated altogether.

During my alone time, I went into the Sister's Chapel. It's a gazebo with a bench that runs all around the inside. It's like a dome-shaped room with lots of windows. The center is full of statues that represent the Feminine. The only one I recognized was Mother Mary. I spent an hour of total bliss in that little chapel! And alI I did was sit and be silent. The rain was perfect for today, especially in that little chapel. (And to think I prayed for a sunny day)

During our final gathering, the facilitator asked if there were any prayers to put in the circle. When it was my turn, I told them about my MS diagnosis. We all went into meditation for another twenty minutes, then we went home. That was the workshop, and man was it powerful! I am in awe right now. I feel so refreshed and back to ME!

The last time I went to Cedar Hill I learned that there was movement in waiting. It's true and it's never left me. This time I learned that there is movement in silence.

Be still and know that you are God also.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The News I got on February 1, 2006

Please please forgive me for ignoring this video blog for so long. My video camera broke and I simply lost interest. So, for those of you who are expecting new and glorious videos from me, I will get a camera soon and start vlogging again. For now, though, I am turning this into a regular blog about my life and interests and other boring stuff. Well maybe not so boring...

You may want to ride this out with me or you may want to leave.

Okay, so nearly two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I had no clue what MS was or what to expect. So (the geek that I am), I researched and basically took a crash course on MS. Then I emptied out everything in my kitchen cabinets and gave it all away to the lady next door. I went to Whole Foods and became a more holistic type of geek. My new diet consists of paper and water. I'll write more about diet later.

So what does it mean to have MS? How did I get diagnosed? These questions and more will be answered eventually. You can always Google multiple sclerosis if you don't want to wait for my explanation. Besides, my own knowledge consists of Google searches and Yahoo Groups and blogs like this.

MS means different things to different people. The symptoms also vary from person to person. It is very hard to diagnose MS. One day there will be a simple blood test. For now, there are MRIs, Spinal Tap (not the bogus rock group), some sort of electrode hookup, and certain eye tests. I know there's a lot more they can do to diagnose it, but because the symptoms vary so much and the disease progresses differently with every person, it just isn't easy to diagnose.

I got diagnosed when I went to an opthomologist. Huh? She was actually a neuro-opthomologist who was testing me to see if I was a candidate for eye surgery (I've had a lazy eye since birth). I just wanted a yes or no answer, not a diagnosis of a serious disease!

I promptly went into denial before I decided, five days later, to change my lifestyle. That's where the organic food shopping came in. I can eat fruits, veggies, lean chicken or turkey breast, and fish. That's it (unless you want to count stuff that barely resembles food but is really, really good for you). No dairy. No wheat. No flour or bread or anything else made with flour. No sugar. No saturated fat. No legumes or peanuts. No processed foods. NO ICE CREAM!!!

Today is my one-week anniversary of being on this diet. I am hungry all the damn time. You'd think that all the supplements I take would fill me up for the day. That's another thing -- supplements. I found out which ones to take and spent $100 at GNC. Ouch, that hurt. I am not a rich girl.

I also need to exercise every day. So far I've chosen (mild) pilates and yoga. I was stretching a couple days ago when all of a sudden the room started spinning like I was drunk off my ass. Then I learned about Vertigo, which is another MS symptom. I'd never experienced that before. It happened about four times whenever I would move suddenly. It was the most intense experience I've had yet. It's happened every day since, always while doing pilates. I think my body is just detoxing all that junk food I'd been living on for years and years (okay my whole life). I also think my body is healing itself and the symptoms need to appear so my body will know what it's dealing with.

Before multiple sclerosis, I was diagnosed (in the 80s) with Multiple Personalities. There's a new name for it now - Dissociative Identity Disorder. So I just went from one multiple to another. I have recovered from Multiple Personalities, for the most part, and now I need to recover from multiple sclerosis? There is no cure for MS, though. I'll prove them all wrong! Just watch me! Muhahahahahaha

Life is just so interesting when you are detached from all the things happening around you. It's like watching a movie. Or a video.

If you are still with me, thanks. I would hate to write to cyberspace alone. What a lonely thought. I could use some support. Hey, where did everyone go? Please stay!

One symptom of Multiple Personalities is desperate pleadings for support. I just made that up but REALLY, that's what many people believe, including the so-called experts. I won't get into the mental health system right now, but trust me, I will eventually.

So this blog will be about my adventures with MS, a disease that some people call a monster. That wasn't very comforting when I heard that. But if you have MS you can call it whatever you want. There are no rules.

On a MUCH lighter note, I acquired two more doves -- CJ and DJ. They immediately began mating, and about the same time I was diagnosed with MS, I saw a new baby dove in a makeshift nest I had put in an artificial tree. I named this baby "Miracle." Here is his first baby picture. When I get enough pictures, I'll make a video of all the pictures.