Accepting the challenge of living with MS is a choice that you have to actively make. 25 years ago when I was diagnosed was when I first realised that this disease required a different mindset to what I had coming out of university, and working in my first job. My first week blogging, and I have been excited, and a little overwhelmed, by the response to one of my posts. I did not expect this reaction.
I don’t like that I have MS, or that I have a continuous migraine-like headache. I would never choose this, and at times I get very angry, frustrated, and sad that these are part of my life. By nature, I am a positive person. So I choose to concentrate on what I can control.
Control over something doesn’t mean that it will be easy. In fact, I find that usually if I have control over an aspect of my life, to make the decision to control it can mean that I have to overcome some fear or anxiety.
For example, during the week I was early for an appointment. The place that I had the appointment was on a steep hill, about one-third of the way up the hill. I don’t like hills. They take a lot of effort, as my right leg does not go as quick as my left leg. It is slow and heavy, and I have to really concentrate to get it to do what I want. Now, I had a choice, stay in the car, or explore. I chose to explore and walk to the top of the hill. I figured the exercise would be good, and that some fresh air in my lungs would also be positive.
With my stick in my right hand, I faced my Everest. Or at least a very small Everest. Step by step I went up the hill. Sweat was dripping down my back, and my head was pounding. I was determined not to let ‘a hill’ be my nemesis. When I got to the top there was a sitting area surrounding a standing stone. Very surprising, and welcome. I walked towards the back of the area and sat down. Took a breath, and looked up.
Wow, what a view. Totally unexpected, and dramatic. I could see for miles. I took a picture, but it doesn’t really give the total effect. I was delighted, and it was well worth the effort.
Diet and MS
I saw on my Twitter feed a post about how people with MS have less taste and smell compared with non-MS’ers. I checked out the post and loved the suggestion that you add colour, texture and extra spices and herbs to give your meal an extra zing. Kind of a compensation for not being able to taste properly. (This is the post) I was surprised, and dismayed, that number 4 on the list was to add MSG (monosodium glutamate) to your meal as a flavour enhancer.
We have MS, a chronic disease where our bodies are attacking us. They are advising that we add a chemical to our meal, instead of all natural food. Totally crazy. Since I have been diagnosed there have been many different diets suggested, from the Swank diet to Terry Wahls diet. They all have the common thread of no additives and only eat unprocessed food. NO CHEMICALS. Shameful that this is on the internet.
During the week I did find a very tasty recipe for a vegetarian paella. (Here is the recipe). I used turmeric instead of saffron to give that special yellow colour. As I couldn’t find artichoke hearts, I used green beans and asparagus. The result was tasty, and I will make this meal again.