Fulenn's MS page New: before/after pics on page 15

Share your daily McDougall menus and/or keep a journal describing your personal progress.

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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby moonwatcher » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:50 pm

HI fulenn,

Eating this way DOES help tremendously with both the MS and the fibromyalgia. Ironically, after a few years on the diet I started to be able to sort out the different responses and began to suspect that I had fibro after a serious fall that brought that type of pain on. And confirming I have it helped me be more vigilant about eliminating some trigger foods I hadn't thought of, because I didn't test as intolerant of them. Like soy. For me, that's a big trigger evidently. At least at this point in my life. Dr. Barnard in Foods That Fight Pain talks about how food sensitivities can shift over time. That seems accurate.

Your farmer's market selection sounds great! And it sounds like you are doing really well, too--I'm very happy to hear that!! It's great you could walk a few blocks in the heat and not wilt! I am doing better with that each summer, but still have to be careful. That's okay though. "Better than it was." That's my motto!! (Another version is "Cleaner than it was.") :lol:

Thanks for your journal. I know it is a blessing to many who are reading it.

moonwatcher
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby lmggallagher » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:07 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: I just imagined that you were walking the farmer's market when I read your lists and bingo it's true. How fun! AND you have really interesting stuff, those freeze dried potatoes I never heard of - is that a Mexican food, I wonder?

Sounds like your symptoms are improving. The balance and dizziness improvements are great! I am so happy for you, when I read the things that are diminishing and how you are improving.

I know with the fibro, I wake up and kind of scan my body to see what kind of day is in store. Not this week I am sleeping just 5 hours a night and I jump up at OMG 4:30 AM and next thing am in the gym at 5:00 getting the exercise done and it feels great. That is how I used to be year's ago and now it's all about the starches - as far as the sleep component goes!

I completely related to the deal of lumping every symptom to the base condition - I kind of took that page from my previous doctor's. I'd go to them with symptoms that were unbearable for me and they'd say oh it's just the fibro. Turns out my current doctor has found two additional things that were treatable that others had just decided to ignore and me too for that matter.

I have to go look in the fridge now, your post made me so hungry again! Your daughter's dumplings sound so good, what a good soup idea! YUM ;) :nod: ;) :P
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:23 pm

moonwatcher and Imggallagher, you both sound good today! I'm so glad that you are both seeing some improvement from eating this way.

I went walking with my youngest daughter this evening, the track is 1/2 block from my house. I only made it 1.01 miles. I wasn't exhausted, just a bit tired. I'm afraid to push it and end up wiped out the next day. A weird thing happened: I began getting some mild tingling in my right hand, the side that has not been giving me any problems. I'll keep watching it to see what happens.

I ate a mango for a snack a few minutes ago--yummy!

The papa seca, freeze dried potatoes, are from Peru in the Andes mountains. The Peruvians long ago did not have electricity, obviously, but could store food by dicing potatoes and freeze drying them at night. I use them to make a Peruvian dish called Carapulcra, but I leave out the meat when I cook it. I really like the texture of the potatoes like that.

The dumplings are just 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of soup broth, 1 teaspoon of dill weed, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder, mix well and drop by the teaspoonful into the boiling broth. The original recipe called for an egg, but we just leave it out. We use whole wheat flour which makes them heavy, but I like that.

I stayed up until 2am this morning talking with DH as he did not come to Colorado with me but stayed and worked. Then I slept in until close to 11. Still, that was only about 8.5 hours and I did not take a nap today. I will probably get to bed around midnight tonight and keep making it earlier until I am okay with 10:30 or so.

Fulenn
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:18 pm

moonwatcher, would you mind detailing the positive changes you have experienced from this WOE? Or anyone else with an autoimmune problem who would like to share? Knitwit? Imggallagher?

Thanks,
Fulenn
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby moonwatcher » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:26 pm

hi fulenn,

as I mentioned in my previous long post, when I started this WOE I had very severe neuralgia in my face, very severe roscacea, I had pain chewing, talking, even smiling. All that is virtually healed. I still experience some sensivity in the nerves in my face from time to time, but I can smile, talk, chew, laugh, etc., without pain. Those things have become automatic pleasures again. I also had very servere body temperature fluctuations that were extremely weakening and debilitating. Those are gone, except for the occasional mild hot flash (I am in menopause.) I was becoming too weak to walk very far from home, and do simple errands. I had recovered from a period of about 5 months when I could not even walk the 1/4 mile to the co-op from my house, but that was a struggle. Now I can take a walk with the dog in the morning for a mile, sometimes more, then come back for a short rest, and walk to the co-op pulling market cart. I can mow the lawn with my push mower.We take a second shorter walk later on in the day. I've done this every day since I got the dog over two years ago. This has, over time, strengthened my legs and torso, and of course, improved my spirits, etc.

I had very severe vertigo that would incapacitate me for weeks at at time. That has resolved. When I do get vertigo, it is mild and usually resolves within a day if I rest.

I still have issues, but they are all softer. The level of inflammation and pain from it is easier to manage. At the time I started the diet I had lost that ability to "bounce back" with rest and time. Now I have that again.

It is like a miracle. It has not completely eradicated the problems, but it seems to have turned the clock back on how severe and constant the symptoms are to a time earlier in the illness right after I stopped teaching. So instead of getting worse, I STOPPED getting worse, and slowly started doing better. Not out of the cycle of symptoms but in a gentler, way more manageable place with them.

And, as I said, I lost a little weight, I look terrific--and people tell me that all the time. Sometimes people don't recognize me. Sometimes I don't recognize myself! LOL

Most importantly, very slowly I have seen some improvement in the cognitive slowdown and problems with mental tracking I experience due to the MS. I am a writer, and used to teach at university level and this year, the fifth year of the diet, I have been able to write more steadily, figure out mechanical things with manuscripts, and even handle getting a new computer. I got a cell phone for the first time. I use the speaker so as not to bother the nerves in my face.

Each year I am able to do more gardening. This year I have done the mowing of the lawn myself except for a couple of times. With a push mower.

This WOE helped me sort out that I had the fibromyalgia as well as the MS, and to address those symptoms with further tweaking of the diet. The pain is rarely incapacitating any more. I can move through it.

All this is accompanied by support from my wonderful dog, and living at a slow pace that works for me. I do not have a job to go to, and my son is grown. But each year I do a bit more. At a time in my life when I am getting older, instead of going downhill, I am improving.

Though I couldn't go all day without a rest or nap, or talk all day at a job, I can be engaged in activities for a good long while, talking, walking, figuring things out. But I do need a lot of quiet, and to go at my own pace. I move around with more ease, and can manage problems with balance and fatigue. I sleep better, with less pain.

When I started this WOE, there was almost an immediate drop in my anxiety level. It was as if eating to help inflammation also helped that kind of inflammation. And slowly, the longer I stay on it, I notice a widening of my perception as I move through the world. When one hurts all the time really bad, the focus becomes very narrow, as in having to concentrate very hard to move from point A to point B, etc. So it's as if blinders are on because one has to be so focused on the basics. Over time I've felt those "blinders" lift, and found that I was more relaxed, able to notice more things without becoming neurolgically overwhelmed--because some of the basics--like changing position, picking things up, moving, etc. were becoming more "automatic" again. If that makes any sense.

So I haven't experienced a complete remission of symptoms. They still come and go and some are always close at hand. But they have all become less severe, softer, often less frequent, and more manageable. And my ability to rally, to bounce back, to let more stimuli in, slowly improves. To me this is all fantastic, because it means I have reversed the direction of the disease, even if it is not completely eradicated. And done so many many years after it began. As a friend of mine said, coming back after having traveled for several months "You look GREAT! You have MS, but it doesn't have you!--You've got it over in the corner, there, and you're able to live your life. "

I'm not sure this is what you are looking for. I hope it helps in some way. If there's something else specific you'd like to know, just ask and I'll try to address it.

blessings,

moonwatcher

PS: something happened yesterday, too, which was one of what I call my "little victories." If you like sometime I'll write about that. But my fingers are getting tired, and I don't want your eyeballs to fall out from reading all of this! :lol:
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby lmggallagher » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:12 am

Hi fuelenn and moonwalker:

So, interesting reading both your posts and there seem to be some parallels in the lessing of symptoms for both of you.

Moonwalker I think you said that you had started this WOE about 4 years ago and all these issues resolved or improved over all of that time or are you like remaining stable for let's say a couple of years?

One of the things that is so neat about this journal of fuelenn's is other people will be able to see the amount of time it took her to resolve some of the same types of symptoms. I sure hope that Dr. McDougall's study will be able to aggregate that type of information, but maybe individuals will be too highly variable. No matter what I can't wait to see how this all comes out!!!!

It's just so wonderful to hear about your triumphs over these symptoms and things like being able to do much longer walks and OMG pushing the mower around, fantastic :) :-D :D :D
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby moonwatcher » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:41 am

hi lmggallagher,

Thanks. :)

Yes, I have been doing this 4 plus years. RIGHT AWAY I started to feel better. The effect was one of a fever breaking after a long long time. And all the things I've mentioned have continued to improve over this whole period of time, amid ups and downs. So even thought the ups and downs with things occur, as time goes on, the worst of it is less worse, and the better is even better. It's complicated.

It's important to a remember, too, that I started this 12 years after diagnosis, at the time Dr. McDougall mentions in his talk that most people just nose dive into serious crippling of all their functioning and abilities. I would imagine, as with Dr. Swank's study, that Dr. McDougall's study charts the progress of newly diagnosed MS patients, since the margin for improvement is greater the earlier one begins. Dr. Swank writes about this in his book, that if you start this later, after some damage to your nervous system has occurred, the improvements will be slower and not as dramatic. That seems to be the case for me.

Fulenn, I don't know how long ago you were diagnosed, or how old you are, what other complicating factors you might have.

Manifestion of MS symptoms vary widely among individuals, as do complicating factors. The fact that I was born with mild cerebral palsy on my right side means I started out with balance and coordination issues stemming from that, so I have never been "normal," whatever THAT means!!

But I tell you, to experience my body rallying and going in the opposite direction after so many years of slow and then faster downward spiral is pretty darn amazing. (I have also had lots of alternative body work of a nature that has taught me to be pretty good at listening to my body, which is invaluable.) And now I know when I have issues that I have that rallying energy. It continues to get stronger.


And yes, the push mower is one of my little victories!! :-)

moonwatcher
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:35 am

Thank you, both of you, so much! I was having a bad day mentally and just wondering how much this would really help. I know, pity party, but what you said is exactly what I needed to hear: that it won't all happen right away, that it is a process, that it may never be as dramatic since I, too, started late. I did Swank for awhile, but when I was doing so well, stopped. It has been 12 years almost exactly since I was DX'd, I just needed to hear from someone that this is what I am supposed to be doing. Thank you!!

The lawn-mowing is awesome! I don't want to be responsible for my yard, but I definitely don't want to be unable to take care of it. Big difference!

Like Imggallagher said, I want to be able to know how fast things improved for others. It's part of why I am trying to do this journal, so someone like me can look at it later. :) What others are saying is important and lends more value to some future MS'er when they read through this. It also just helped me.

Fulenn
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

My blog: http://fulennskitchen.blogspot.com
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby moonwatcher » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:51 pm

Hi fulenn,

I am glad what I wrote helped some. Tough to have tough days when all is questioned.Do you mind my asking what you're thinking was when you stopped doing Swank? Something like if I'm doing so well I don't really need this? Or maybe some other line of reasoning? Might be good to look at whatever the reason why. Or write it out and share it with us when you feel that. A way of life change is different than a quick fix. And with a progressive disease to reverse the course of it, even somewhat, is pretty spectacular. Keep reminding yourself of that. Or write to us. We'll remind you. :)

moonwatcher
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:37 pm

I got so stressed out and busy with a spouse that has his own physical/mental problems, that I just quit taking care of myself. It was easier to focus on the other problems without having to deal with myself, too. Now I am focused on myself as the MS has gotten to a point that I can't put it off anymore. I think what the overall problem has been is that I put everyone and everything else first and myself last. Now I'm paying the price. It just doesn't work. My children have almost not done anything with me for months because I have been resting after work and not getting up again until time for work the next morning. Now they are telling me that it is nice to do things with me again. I hope I have learned my lesson about taking care of myself.

Fulenn
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

My blog: http://fulennskitchen.blogspot.com
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby moonwatcher » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:50 pm

Well, hearing that from your children is a "little victory" that's not so little! Hold onto that. And when I started doing this, and I'd say to myself in the morning that all I had to a do was take care of myself, and everything would follow from that. It's a hard lesson for some of us to get, but so worth it. You're doing great. Keep it up. :)

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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:33 pm

:)

I have felt for years like I had to be strong, not emotional, etc., but I have not felt that way this past year. As my body has begun to fail me, I have often been an emotional wreck. I think part of my symptoms has been emotional lability; I cry easily, get depressed too often, get too angry. I really don't know who to turn to or what to do sometimes, but I'll be darned if I don't do anything, which I have been doing. :duh: So now I'll do something for me AND, hopefully, something for the other people who don't know what to do and how to do it. It IS working and I don't see any reason it would suddenly stop. I don't think I'm going to wake up tomorrow dizzy, in a brain-fog, walking off-balance, without any feeling in my arm, unable to speak intelligibly. I think over time my energy will increase and my other symptoms will fade. And this time I will take care of myself, it is painfully obvious that nobody else CAN take care of me, or should. Just as we cannot make good food choices for others but can only be a good example.

moonwatcher, thank you for sharing the details that you did; it lets me see how you have progressed towards health over the past 4 years. I get worried that perhaps I waited too long, but you have given me hope. :-D

Michelle, thank you for the support and positive way of seeing things. :-D Like you I hope that Dr. McDougall's study will show how long it took for changes to happen in the patients.

Sorry for the long babble, but I needed to write down some of the emotional despair that I have felt.

Fulenn
What if love really IS the answer?

Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

My blog: http://fulennskitchen.blogspot.com
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby lmggallagher » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:25 am

Fuelenn:

I am so happy to be a part of our little mutual support system and so proud of you for so honestly and concisely saying how it feels emotionally and physically to face what you do with MS. This is very brave to speak out as you have and I hope to think as motivating for you as it is to us to hear and understand.

You are not alone with these feelings and you are not alone in your efforts to take care of yourself - we are here cheering you on day by day. We have good days and bad days too and feel the wall of despair from time to time as well - but we know we are on a positive course and just keep going forward with it.

I honestly believe where their is a seed of hope there is the potential for great things, just keep feeding yourself and feeding that hope :nod:
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby moonwatcher » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:09 am

hi fulenn,

I second Michelle's beautiful supportive reply. I would also add that those swings in emotion that can't be "curtailed" as easily can be part of the nervous system getting overloaded and not being able to "switch tracks" as promptly. This will improve too. It has for me. But I would also add one of my "theories" about MS (why not have some, since we are the ones experiencing it, and the doctors have little, if anything to offer?!) It seems that symptoms come in areas of our functioning that have been overused. So maybe part of being emotional is a "balancing" of NOT letting yourself feel, as you wrote about, for so many years. That's not a completely bad thing, and as time goes on, you'll be able to modulate it more easily, too.

When I first got sick, I found myself experiencing what I called "the death of the functional self." Where did that woman go who could grade 75 papers in a week, walk through the room picking up sweaters and toys, and multi-task indefinitely? She could hardly hold the phone up to her ear.
But then I realized I was still "me" and I was going to get to know myself better by not identifying only with what I could DO--as you say, mostly for others.

That notion is also a shimmering border. The truth is, when we truly do what heals ourselves, whether we arrive at the complete "cure" or not, we are doing something really profound for those who love us, too, which is much more lasting than any kind of co-dependent care-taking. Just a few months into this WOE I was looking for a toaster oven. (My thinking was I could bake potatoes or roast eggplant when summer came.) My son and his girlfriend came over with one they had found at a thrift store. (We like to find treasures this way. :-) ) He carried it in and I was really excited. I rushed into the kitchen and moved the old regular toaster out of the designated spot. He stopped and just looked at me, and said, "Mom, you just picked that up and moved it!!" And I looked at him and said, "Wow, I guess I did!" The love, happiness, and relief and belief in what I was doing that I saw in his eyes in that moment is a gift I gave him by eating this way that I will never forget. Now maybe being able to pick up a toaster effortlessly when I couldn't before is a small thing. But that small thing provided us both with a big moment of knowing I was now on a different track, and to trust it. Again, a little victory with a big big benefit.

I am very proud of you, as Michelle is, for your honesty and risk in starting this journal. And for facing your fears about all this. There IS hope. Yes, yes. :-) Keep up the great work!!

moonwatcher
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Re: Fulenn's MS page

Postby fulenn » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:51 am

I woke up this morning with energy to just pop out of bed after 8 hours of sleep. Of course, none of the missing symptoms have returned. :)

I went to the farmers market with my youngest daughter. We bought butternut squash, swiss chard, and peaches. Mmmmm! The people with the chard asked me if I like siberian kale; I haven't tried that variety, but I like red russian kale a lot, so they said they would bring some next week for me. It was only 75-cents a bunch! I bought all three that they had. The bunches were about the same size as I find at our grocery store. I already cooked it and am going to post my picture of it here. The bowl has chard, kale, beets, nutritional yeast, and balsamic vinegar in it.

I am also a teacher and find myself asking the same questions. Where is the woman who could do anything and why is she having to ask for help now? I never did like delegating work. If you want something done right, do it yourself. I AM getting over that. lol :lol:

One thing I did this year with my students that I am very pleased with is grow an organic garden. We had beets, turnips, onions, radishes, and carrots this winter and now have tomatoes, several kinds of peppers, oregano, and mint in our summer garden. The children grew basil, lettuce, swiss chard, and spinach in our indoor hydroponic garden from January to the end of the school year. They had a great time taking food home that they had grown! One of the students parent is an executive chef and the parent came in to our classroom and cooked with the vegetables that we had grown, showing the students how to use what they now had. It was a great experience and now, some of them are eating and enjoying beets! They didn't even know what they were 6 months ago. The chef made a mashed root dish: mashed carrots, turnips, beets, and potatoes. The kids loved their "red mashed potatoes".

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Fulenn
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Read my journal about tackling Multiple Sclerosis with a plant-based McDougall diet in the journal forum on this site, Fulenn's MS Page.

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