Monday, August 14, 2017


Here are some videos I made throughout the spring of this year (2017) while I was receiving a small daily dose of oxycodone. These videos show oxycodone beating progressive multiple sclerosis. Within minutes. No one else makes videos showing MS being defeated within minutes. Or at all. Excluding Terry Wahls. But even she can't do it instantly or even close to instantly.

If you're only going to give these videos one chance, watch this one (below). It may save your life. Taking less than a minute to save your life seems like a pretty good deal to me. The oxycodone dosage I take in these videos is minuscule. It does not get me high or cause any side effects. No physical dependence, either. Nothing bad. All it did was make it possible for me to continue living. In significantly much less pain.

I'm not making these videos anymore because I don't have pain medication, thus every move I make can get me either very seriously injured or killed. Which has happened more than once already. Consequently, I spend pretty much every moment of my life motionless on a couch. Entirely because every doctor who could help me chooses to let me die instead.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

If there was ANY science in modern medicine... might look kinda like what follows this sentence.

Prior to spring 2016, I had experienced significant daily spasticity for years; usually in the afternoon and evening. On April 27, after breaking my femur into three pieces, all of a sudden I no longer had spasticity. But with my mind so occupied by a kind of pain I'd never known before, I didn't notice the absence of spasticity until I'd been in the hospital a few days.

You know what that's called? Science. Or at least the beginning of science. You see, you don't have to be a scientist, or even know anything about science, to do scientific research. In fact, most people who could be called scientists don't do scientific research. Instead, they do things that command pay checks.

But why did my spasticity suddenly stop on April 27? Did breaking my leg somehow stop my spasticity? Could it have been the hospital air? A natural response to significant physical trauma?

When I first realized my spasticity was gone, I assumed it was from the Percocet I was given in the hospital. It couldn't have resulted from any other pharmaceutical because I wasn't taking any other pharmaceuticals I hadn't already been taking before my accident. After 11 more days in the hospital, I knew my newfound spasticity relief came from Percocet.

That's also science. It's not proof of anything, because my results had not been replicated by anyone, but it is science nonetheless; unlike whatever process was used to determine I should take anything I've been prescribed by MS "experts" (particularly gabapentin poison).

On June 17, 2016, still recovering from the broken leg, I suffered second-degree and third-degree burns to the same leg. This kept me supplied with oxycodone for quite a while longer. Now with a second very serious injury, as well as a healthy fear of accidentally becoming physically addicted, I took as little oxycodone as I could bear.

Every day for the next 3+ months (5 months total), I continued observing the correlation between my oxycodone usage and my spasticity relief. My observations were both repeatable and repeated (by me, every day). I'd say it's impossible for me alone to prove this, but it was very obvious to me that my spasticity relief was provided by oxycodone. It became even more obvious once I ran out of oxycodone, because everything went right back to how it used to be prior to April 27. (My troubles after discontinuing oxycodone couldn't have been caused by withdrawal because I never experienced withdrawal, and because my new troubles were the exact same troubles as my old troubles.)

In addition to providing complete spasticity relief, oxycodone also does dozens of other positive things for me. Beginning with, believe it or not, pain relief. Which I desperately need (says the guy who carried a very heavy backpack 3,500 miles across North America in 211 days just 7 years ago, with no pain medicine of any kind). I don't know why oxycodone does so many amazingly positive things for me. All I know is that it most certainly does; without any side effects or physical dependence (at the small dosage I deem appropriate).

I did have one nasty side effect when I was taking hospital dosage of Percocet: constipation. However, as soon as I stopped taking hospital doses, I no longer had constipation. I've also never been high on oxycodone, for two reasons: 1) I don't want to be high on oxycodone; and 2) It requires less oxycodone to provide relief than it does to even start being high.

As I continued taking Percocet/oxycodone every day for five months, I learned a lot more about how helpful it is for me; helpful in countless ways. It does NOTHING harmful to me. Perhaps because I have the choice to either let it harm me by taking way too much, or not to. I choose not to. Yes, even people who are not doctors are capable of recognizing potentially dangerous activity, then choosing to abstain from such dangerous activity.

I can't say this is universal (although I suspect it is), but I apparently cannot become physically dependent on opioids without first making a conscious decision to repeatedly abuse opioids. Which I have never done and will never do. Since I already spin all the time (from scarring of my optic nerve), one of my biggest objectives is to not be high. I have lots of personal reasons why not to abuse oxycodone, but essentially all doctors think all of their patients are stupid and incapable of using this medicine responsibly if they already use the only other medicine that does anything to help (cannabis).

Doctors: You are not saving anyone by pretending to be concerned enough not to prescribe oxycodone. Rather, you're killing them. You're killing me, which can easily be seen just by watching videos I've made over the last year. And you can't even see most of what is killing me. (For those who are unaware, after the "he walked on down the hall" video, I had no oxycodone for months until recently. Which is precisely why I can't walk now.)

I made a video that proves how helpful oxycodone is for me, even though it only documents about 5% of what I have to say about oxycodone WITHOUT GETTING ME REMOTELY HIGH.

Short version (1:12):

Uncut version (14:07): ( i'll try to get these links active later. My phone is not cooperating with me.)

(Gabapentin has ruined me, without helping me in any way. And now my body is physically dependent on it. According to what I've read, gabapentin withdrawal is five times worse than heroin withdrawal. I would have been infinitely better off taking heroin. Because all the bad things doctors want to believe they're protecting me from by prescribing gabapentin instead of opioids actually happened to me specifically because they prescribed gabapentin. And so much more.)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Gabapentin withdrawal

I finally received a script for a small amount of oxycodone (10 mg per day). With the intention of now taking oxycodone once a day instead of gabapentin, I took no gabapentin a couple days ago. Horrible withdrawal; probably worse than heroin withdrawal. Which is apparently supposed to last a month or longer. From a drug I never wanted to take in the first place.

Everything I'm experiencing from this withdrawal is what doctors arrogantly believed they were saving me from by refusing to prescribe oxycodone or any other opioid, even though I had no problem getting off oxycodone last year after taking it every day for five months; even though I have video evidence proving oxycodone allowed me to walk after I had lost the ability to walk.

My experience is that gabapentin is evil. Please think twice before taking it. About five times. Gabapentin has caused me an immeasurable amount of misery. All while not really helping me. Now withdrawal. I am physically dependent on a drug I never wanted to take in the first place. Any doctor who tries to tell you gabapentin is safer than opioids is a doctor you need to run from. Because they're horribly wrong. All they're doing is parroting what they've heard. Which probably originated with the company that manufactures this poison.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Oxycodone versus gabapentin

I recently tried a new drug for spasticity (gabapentin). I don't know if it is commonly prescribed for spasticity, but the psychiatrist (or neurologists) at the nuthouse where I recently lived for two weeks thought I should take it. Considering I was absolutely miserable for the first week I was in the hospital, due to horrible spasticity and pain, I went ahead and tried it.

In my limited experience so far, I'd have to say gabapentin is considerably more helpful than any of the things I listed in the previous post except oxycodone. Unfortunately, it seems to make my double vision considerably worse, and it seems to make my legs very weak. It also doesn't address the pain in the top and bottom of my right femur, where there are pins (or screws) from surgery on my broken leg. Each of those things is a pretty big deal, but I can deal with it for the time being.

If I had never used oxycodone, I would probably think this stuff is pretty great (compared to everything else I have tried). However, I have used oxycodone. Consequently, I can say this drug is nowhere near as helpful as oxycodone, because it's dangerous for me to be on my feet when I take this drug. Which means I can't exercise or prepare food when I'm on gabapentin.

Being able to exercise and being able to be on my feet are very important to me, particularly because I live alone. If I didn't live alone, I would be able to do certain things that require being on my feet because I wouldn't have to worry so much about falling and potentially being unable to get help. I can't change the fact that I live alone.

At this point I would say gabapentin is about 20% as helpful as oxycodone.

Here is a sort of "standings" involving the therapies I have tried for spasticity/pain:
  1. Oxycodone (very small dose; no high)
  2. Gabapentin (20% as helpful as oxycodone)
  3. Stretching (10%)
  4. Long, warm baths (6%)
  5. Cannabis (4%)
  6. Nothing (0%)
  7. Tizanidine (-300%)
  8. Baclofen (-500%)
Regardless of what you've been told or what you believe, my experience is that just a tiny amount of oxycodone makes my life bearable and allows me to do the things I have to do to make myself more able to survive in this world. My experience also says addiction is not a risk unless you consciously attempt to get high on oxycodone, which I imagine requires about 10 times higher of a dose than I believe is appropriate for MS pain and spasticity. What I have shared about oxycodone is based on having taken it every day for five months, then having taken a much smaller amount on a less than daily basis, then being completely off it. Perhaps an important bit of information is that I have never experienced opioid withdrawal (presumably because I was on such small dosage).

I'd love it if you would share this post and other recent posts on social media. Though I may not be a scientist, I feel I have used fairly scientific methodology to arrive at the conclusions I've reached in these recent posts. And my conclusion at this point is that oxycodone can save MS lives and even allow people to reverse at least some of their disability from MS. Oxycodone has saved my life once already, and I need it to happen again (but I can't get anyone to prescribe it for me). If it does that much for me, I have to believe it would do that much for others in my position.

Added a few days later: I don't think gabapentin is doing anything but making it easier for me to die in a hurry. Oxycodone saved my life. I need that to happen again, but I don't think it's gonna happen again.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

My experiences with specific pain/spasticity treatments

Here are some of the ways I've attempted to combat MS pain and spasticity. I will probably update this post quite a few times before it's finished. 

- total misery
- unsafe for me to be on my feet at all, due to spasticity in my legs
- glued to the couch since it's unsafe for me to do anything else
- I get weaker
- keeps me in constant danger
- doesn't address my unending pain (from MS, horribly broken leg, burned leg/ass, etc.) at all

Did this help me? Not helpful at all.

+ seems to help a little, temporarily
- dehydrates me (I lose 2-3 lbs of water every time I bathe.)
- I already have a very hard time staying hydrated
- makes me very weak for maybe an hour

Did this help me? A little bit, I think. But this is something I do every day anyway. It's not something I can do every time pain and spasticity become unbearable.

+ allows me to escape the misery *a little*
+ no horrible side effects
- doesn't do much to help
- unsafe for me to be on my feet at all, due to weakness/spasticity in my legs
- can't avoid being high, which creates danger I'd rather not face
- doesn't address my unending pain (from MS, horribly broken leg, burned leg/ass, etc.) at all
- almost as much misery as when I do nothing

Did this help me? Not very helpful. 

+ diminishes spasticity
- no muscle control
- can't really use any muscles
- unsafe for me to be on my feet at all, due to weakness in my legs
- glued to the couch since it's unsafe for me to do anything else
- pissy pants in public
- pissy pants again in driveway an hour later
- I had no warning, no chance
- had to pee in my driveway once I was able to drop my newly pissy pants (on the very public driveway)
- extreme dehydration
- stupid/high for 10 days after taking one pill
- puts me in constant danger
- doesn't address my unending pain (from MS, horribly broken leg, burned leg, etc.) at all
- about 500% as much misery as when I do nothing

Did this help me? I will never take Baclofen again. It's fucking poison.

+ *some* relief if I stretch pretty much constantly
- unsafe for me to be on my feet at all, due to spasticity in my legs
- I inevitably get injured, which keeps me from either stretching or exercising
- doesn't address my unending pain (from MS, horribly broken leg, burned leg, etc.) at all
- about 75% as much misery as when I do nothing

Did this help me? Very helpful when I am able to get off the couch; when I am not injured

15 MG OF OXYCODONE (Twice daily.) (For some perspective, I was given 30 mg every two hours in the hospital.)
+ life-changing/life-saving pain relief
+ total spasticity relief. No spasticity. Spasticity, which is infinitely more painful than carrying a very heavy backpack 3,467 miles across the entire United States in 211 days, is absolutely nullified. Get it?
+ no high
+ no side effects
+ no withdrawal after taking a small amount of oxycodone every day for five months
+ enables use of muscles (exercise and stretching)
+ gives me control of my body
+ prevents injury
+ motivates me to exercise for hours every day
+ makes me stronger, even without exercise
+ improves body mechanics significantly
+ body moves infinitely more efficiently
+ allows me to use my toilet safely
+ allows me to use public toilets safely
+ allows me to pee standing up, into a toilet, which I couldn't do for a year or two before I broke my leg
+ allows me to be on my feet safely
+ allows me to get stronger via exercise (videos prove this)
+ allows me to walk, which I couldn't do before I broke my leg (videos prove this)
+ considerably better balance
+ allows me to prepare food
+ allows me to leave my home
+ makes muscle pain from exercise bearable
+ gives me considerably more endurance (3x?)
+ sharpens my mind/focus
+ diminishes stress significantly
+ allows my body to relax and feel like a person, which I can't do ANY other way
+ without oxycodone, my legs feel like they weigh 200 pounds each. With oxycodone, they feel a lot more like legs, and I can lift them.
+ may aid circulation
+ keeps me from feeling cold all the time
+ gives me a chance (to continue living)
+ about 25-50% as much misery as when I do nothing
+ I could go on and on
+ notice this list has none of these (-), while every other list has either one or none of these (+)

Did this help me? This would save my life and allow me to improve, if only I could get someone to prescribe it for me. In fact, it already has. And I have lots of proof, beginning with videos on YouTube.

I'm going to fucking die because no one will prescribe me the one medicine that actually helps me, and helps me help myself. Soon. And until that happens, I get to freak out constantly.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Example of how oxycodone keeps me alive

[This was originally a Facebook post, but I kept adding to it. Consequently, I decided this would be an appropriate place for it.]

Imagine every time you go to the bathroom that you have to figure out how to transfer yourself from a chair to the toilet, atop legs you can't control; legs that have become so weak, you almost can't be on them at all. First you have to grab the handicap rail with one hand and the (tall) tub with the other hand. You may be on your feet, but your legs still move however they want and you can't stop them; essentially as if you are having a seizure. If your knee wants to extend all of a sudden, you get to kick the wall or the toilet as hard as possible, which might throw you off your feet and into real danger. But if you're still on your feet, one leg wants to bend while the other leg wants to hyperextend. You can't stop your legs from doing what they want to do. You just have to hope they don't want to move in a way that will get you injured or killed.

Now that you're standing, with your hands holding onto safety devices, try to figure out how you're going to pull down your pants. Option 1: Pull down your pants without hands. Option 2: Pull them down by removing your hands from your safety devices, thus putting yourself in position to fall and get hurt very badly, if not killed. You might be pissing in them already, because you have very little feeling or control in your bladder, which means you get almost no warning every time you have to go to the bathroom.

Phew! You got the pants down without also getting killed or knocked unconscious. Fuck, now there's underwear! (I can't wear underwear anymore because of this. In fact, I haven't worn underwear since about the day after I broke my leg.)

Somehow you manage to get your bare ass on the toilet safely, so you do your business. Now it's time to pull up the pants and get back on the power chair. All that shit you just did, you now have to do again, in reverse. Oh yeah, you can't put any weight on your right leg because you have an injury to your right knee that you desperately need to heal ASAP.

This time you're able to get seated before fully pulling up your pants. Now you have to figure out how to pull up your pants from a seated position. Seems easy if you can move like a normal person, but it's not easy if you can't move. Consequently, more danger.

WITH ESSENTIALLY THE SMALLEST DOSE OF OXYCODONE POSSIBLE, NONE OF THAT IS AN ISSUE. Not once a day; not 20 times a day. That is, with a very small dose of oxycodone (10-15 mg), it is safe for me to piss. Without oxycodone, pissing could very easily get me killed. Without oxycodone, essentially every move I make could get me killed.

But because a tiny percentage of people, all of whom are not me, want to get high on oxycodone, no one will prescribe me the one drug I know from experience can save my life, as well as allow me to get stronger. They have convinced themselves they are protecting me, but they are only keeping me from protecting myself. Consequently, I get to risk my life EVERY TIME I have to use the bathroom. That's my only option, and it's probably going to get me killed. I'm surprised it hasn't already.

About a month ago, I had begun standing to pee, which I hadn't been able to do since a long time before I broke my leg (last year?). I was only able to do that because oxycodone had allowed me to use my body enough to make myself stronger. Today I've decided I need to start using urinal bottles again, to eliminate the danger I've described above. Since I can't safely transport partially filled bottles to the bathroom, I have to dump them in cat litter containers, which I keep beside the living room couch and my bed. Then I have to hope someone (Mom) will come here and dump them in the toilet for me.

I don't want to die, but I'm going to die very soon if I don't get a comfortable supply of oxycodone. I may even have to resort to suicide, because I am absolutely miserable. (It's not withdrawal. I have never had any kind of withdrawal.***) For no reason other than because every doctor I have seen about this has chosen not to help me. If I can only get the help I need, I have lots of life ahead of me. If I can only get the help I need, I may also be able to make the remainder of my life mean something. If you've watched my videos, then you saw how much I improved (and smiled) while I was on a small daily dosage of oxycodone. .

I will try to make a video demonstrating what I've said in this post. If I make one, I will add it to this post.

***I'm pretty sure the main reason why I have never experienced opioid withdrawal, even though I took oxycodone every day for five months, is because I have never taken opioids specifically to get high. Rather, I have always taken as little as possible. I have probably been "high" on opioids at times, but if so, that was only because I took what they gave me in the hospital.  Believe it or not, I determined on my own that it is not good for me to be high. Being high creates significant danger for me. That alone is enough to keep me from abusing drugs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Watch how opioids made me better (contains videos)

[Please share this post with anyone you may know who, like me, is slowly being killed by spasticity and/or the side effects of muscle relaxers. For anyone in that position who is responsible enough not to use prescription medicine to get high, a tiny dose of oxycodone twice a day is probably the answer they've sought for longer than they can remember.]

I know no one reads this blog, but I actually have some very useful information to offer. I have made some videos this year, which weren't intended to document my recovery from two nasty injuries but have ended up doing that. And then some.

One thing I now know is that my recovery from my two horrible injuries was aided immensely by oxycodone. But oxycodone didn't just help with my injuries; it also helped with my MS. And as soon as I stopped being able to take oxycodone every day (because I stopped receiving scripts for it, even though my injuries still hurt like hell, months later, and probably always will), I started falling apart again. A few weeks ago I could walk, unaided (as shown in the fourth video below). It wasn't pretty, but I could do it, and I was only getting stronger/better. However, now that I have been off oxycodone for a while, I can't. In fact, I am injured as a direct result of being off oxycodone.

Here's the first video I made, before I really knew much of what I know now:

This video is about making pizza, but it shows my progress more than any other video. I think the good stuff is fairly early in the video:

This one is short, and it shows my first attempt to stand without aid:

And while I was already mostly off oxycodone when I made this video, it pretty well shows how much I had improved specifically because I had been on oxycodone for months before this. In this video I am probably more mobile than I was before my first nasty injury (4/27/16):

There is no video showing how useless I have become the last few weeks because I think you can probably figure out how that looks.

Shortly after making the last video, I determined that a pain in my knee may be serious, which means I pretty much have not been on my feet since then. Consequently, I can't do any of that stuff now. All the work that got me that far was basically for nothing. All because I can't get anyone to prescribe me more oxycodone. As a result, I can't do anything for myself. I can't prepare the food that was doing so much good for my brain. I can't exercise. I can't stretch. Because even though the injury in my knee is probably not very serious, I have to stop everything whenever I suffer any kind of injury. If I don't, I'll suffer more injuries.

I may have more to say about this, even though I know no one listens. It's too bad, because if only a few handfuls of people were willing to read what I have to say here, thousands and thousands of people with MS could experience the life-changing things I experienced while I was on oxycodone.

I know Baclofen does help with spasticity, but I also know Baclofen creates about 10 side effects that are not worth the relief I may get from Baclofen. Also, Baclofen relaxes my muscles so much that it's not safe for me to be on my feet when I'm on Baclofen. Which makes it 100% useless, because I need to be on my feet so I can exercise, which would allow me to live on my feet. With the tiny amount of oxycodone I would be taking every day if I could only get it (20-30 mg), I experience zero side effects. It doesn't get me high, either. At all. No withdrawal, either. And the relief I get from oxycodone is much more than just relief from spasticity. (I may have more to say about that in a future post.)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

MS Lessons learned from a broken leg

On April 27, 2016, I broke my femur into at least three pieces. I was in the hospital for the next two weeks. While in the hospital, I had essentially no spasticity, even though I had no access to cannabis. After a few days of no spasticity, I was shocked. I couldn't figure out why that was happening.

Here's what happened: Percocet.

Percocet (oxycodone) absolutely nullifies spasticity, in addition to nullifying a significant percentage of pain from MS. I was on 10 or 12 Percocets a day while I was in the hospital for two weeks. When I got out of the hospital, I quickly made an effort to decrease my Percocet dosage as much as possible. Within a week or two of getting out of the hospital, my daily dosage was down to about 20% of what I had taken every day for two weeks in the hospital. Surprisingly, I had no withdrawal symptoms.

What I now know is that with 2-4 Percocets a day, I no longer have to deal with spasticity, or the extreme pain that's a byproduct of spasticity. I will run out of Percocet within a couple weeks. Hopefully I can find a doctor who is not a fucking idiot to prescribe me more of it. I have no interest in abusing Percocet. My only interest is in decreasing my pain and spasticity, which has made my life miserable.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Two years later...

I have a lot to say, but I'll try to keep it short.

I went off the Wahls diet about two years ago. I didn't really mean to; it just kinda happened. Ever since then, things have not gone well. (When I say "have not gone well," I mean I'm seriously fucked. And by that I mean I pretty much can't walk anymore, as well as lots of other things.) At times I have been partially or mostly on the diet, but I have not been on it 100% at any time over the last two years, and I have not been on the diet at all for a while.

Why do I say the diet is great, yet I'm not on it? Seems a little hypocritical, huh?

When I was on the diet 100%, good things happened. One of the good things that happened is that I felt much better than usual, which gave me a very strong motivation to continue eating exclusively food I don't necessarily like. While I was on the diet, my diet consisted mostly of smoothies, all of which were the same. That's two freaking huge (30 oz?) smoothies every day, always made of coconut water, coconut oil, garlic, blueberries, strawberries, banana, carrots, mushrooms, avocado, ice, and either kale or spinach.

My smoothies tasted pretty good, but you can't help but get sick of any meal that you eat twice every day.

Being sick of the smoothies is probably not what caused me to go off the diet, anyway. I guess I went off the diet mostly because my home life was very unhappy, and has remained unhappy for the last two years. I don't really care to elaborate.

* * * * *

Anyway, I started smoking weed in early 2014. Although I had smoked weed on many occasions previously, I mostly did not use marijuana throughout my life. (Yes, I did go through a short pothead phase when I was about 18). Basically, it made me paranoid if I smoked around people, and I don't like that.

In early 2014, as spasticity in my legs began to irritate me on a regular basis, it occurred to me that I had never even thought about whether marijuana might be helpful for MS. So I googled the appropriate search phrase, and I quickly found out that MS and marijuana kind of go together.

One big problem I ran into right away is that I pretty much had no social life anymore. When you have no social life (in a state where marijuana is illegal in every way), you have no access to marijuana. So I composed a really ballsy Facebook update, asking essentially everyone I know if they might be able to help me get some weed. I'm sure I also explained in my Facebook update why I was looking for weed. Regardless, it worked.

I found out pretty quickly that marijuana helps immensely with both pain and spasticity, and it probably helps in other ways that I can't think of right now. (No, I am not high.)

For some reason, I don't usually have much or any of a problem with spasticity during the daytime. (You'll find out why in a minute.) As a result, I almost never smoke during the daytime. However, I can reliably count on my legs to start jumping around on their own at some point of every evening. When that starts happening, it's time to smoke up.

* * * * *

I've also learned in the last year, from considerable experience, that ADD medication helps considerably with spasticity. The reason why I know this is because after seeing the same psychiatrist for over 21 years, for ADD, he died.

After frantically trying for several months to find a new psychiatrist with enough sense to continue following my late psychiatrist's treatment plan, I finally ran out of Dexedrine. After being off Dexedrine for a short time, I began experiencing a considerable amount of spasticity throughout the daytime, every day. It didn't take me long to make the connection, yet I was forced to live that way for two or three months. Because, y'know, Land of the Free.

Early this year, I made a decision: Either my neurologist was going to prescribe me Dexedrine or Adderall, or my neurologist was going to become my former neurologist. So at my next neurology appointment, I told my neurologist straight out that if she didn't prescribe either Dexedrine or Adderall for me, it would tell me very clearly that she is not interested in helping me, and consequently I will no longer be her patient. And I meant it.

That may seem like an incredibly ballsy move, but it really wasn't. First of all, aside from my fucking filthy mouth, I think I generally come off as a pretty intelligent individual who is not likely to abuse good drugs. (If you are not aware, Dexedrine and Adderall are speed.) Second, for the two years that I had already been her patient, I had made it very clear that I pretty much will not take pharmaceuticals. So after a little bit of thought and phone research (that is, using her phone to do some research), she wrote me a script for 15 mg of Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine).

I was hoping she would write the script for 30 mg, but there was some kind of mix-up. 15 mg helped, but it wasn't enough. So a couple days before it was time for me to fill my second script, I asked my neurologist to write a different script, with 30 mg daily. She did. And the difference was night and day.

Anyway, that shit helps with spasticity. And I pretty much do not experience any side effects. About the only side effect I ever experience is an occasional itch that you just can't scratch, which may also be described as a feeling of bugs crawling under the skin or something. I can deal with that. It may not be the same with everyone, but it definitely helps for me. Big time.

If you suffer from MS spasticity, I wholeheartedly urge you to consider trying either Adderall or Dexedrine; probably 30 mg daily. But I also want to warn you that your doctor will most likely be very hesitant to prescribe either of these drugs. In fact, most ADD specialists are reluctant to prescribe either Adderall or Dexedrine. Sadly, it's not because they know more than other doctors, but in fact because they know considerably less than other doctors. It's because doctors only know what they've been told, and most of them have been told Adderall and Dexedrine are evil (because they're speed). That's total bullshit.

* * * * *

I want to add that I have no idea where I found the motivation, energy, or brains to write this post. If I didn't already make this pretty clear, I am basically dead. My legs do very little, my arms do very little, and my brain doesn't do much, either. And that's just the beginning. So basically I do nothing almost all the time. Anytime I try to do anything, I put myself in a position to possibly get seriously injured (or more injured, considering my body just doesn't move how the human body is supposed to move). Fortunately I haven't been seriously injured yet, but it will happen. That much is a certainty.

I may have more to add here.

Friday, May 24, 2013

This deserves its own post

From this month's treadmill journal:

Friday May 24, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:18:20.
Actual time: 1:42:00.

8 laps, 4 laps. First 2 miles: 52:05. Another milestone. I'm pretty amazed that I was finally able to do 2 miles without a break. After 6 laps, I didn't think I had enough left to do more than another half a lap or so, but then I flipped a switch in my head and told myself I could keep going. At some point during the next lap, I imagined VRW was there with me. She wasn't doing anything; she was just there. And as unimportant as that may seem, just thinking about her is what got me through the last lap and a half, similar to how her actual presence always seems to make me do things I shouldn't be able to do. I think that was a defining moment in my attempt to beat MS because it made me realize that it really does make a difference sometimes to believe you can do something you realistically shouldn't be able to do. Also, it provided a little more support for my suspicion that having certain people in your life can help you heal and recover. These feelings will stick with me and help me overcome even more obstacles as I continue.

2 miles is 8 laps. If you haven't followed my walking journals, the farthest I have been able to walk without a break before today was 6.4 laps, and that was way back on April 20. Since then, the best I've done is 6 laps, and that has only happened twice. Usually I can't walk more than 4 laps before having to take a break, although I do make it 5 laps occasionally.

I wonder if this improvement is a result of playing my drums, because I just started playing my drums a week ago. If you're not aware of this, playing a drum set uses a lot of leg muscles--particularly hip flexors--which is precisely why I started playing my drums after nearly 10 years of inactivity. I haven't been using my left leg (for the hi-hat) as much as I'd like to, but I've been working my right leg a ton (on the bass drum pedal). Since my left leg is my bad leg, I might start playing left-footed (which means I'd use my left foot for the bass drum pedal and my right foot for the hi-hat pedal).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Music as medicine

I recently added 45 CDs of music to my phone, joining the 24 albums that were already there from downloads. I hadn't listened to most of these CDs in years, but I decided to put a lot of them in my phone since I've been listening to music through my phone almost all day every day lately. As you may have guessed, I was getting sick of listening to the same 24 albums over and over.

As I've listened to a big chunk of my old music library, I've experienced music in a new way. That is, many of these songs have tempted me to play along on my drums, which I used to do very well. However, nowadays I can't play drums for shit. So although I remember very vividly how it once felt to play along with many of these songs, right now I wouldn't be able to hack it.

It's been years since I've had any interest in playing my drums, so the fact that I've wanted to play them at all is a big story in itself, particularly considering this motivation seems like a direct result of the Wahls diet. Just feeling motivated to play my drums feels like another huge step forward in the life of someone who had lost almost all motivation to do anything just a few months ago.

I'm not sure exactly when I last played my drums, but it must have been nearly 10 years ago. Consequently, I've long since lost whatever chops I may have once possessed. Also, thanks to the MS lesions in my brain and spinal cord, my limbs no longer do what my brain tells them to do. That includes both my arms and legs, but especially my legs. Still, I remember how it feels to play a whole bunch of the 500-ish songs I've just started listening to for the first time in forever, and I feel driven to make my arms and legs do it again.

So I picked up a pair of sticks Sunday and started playing on my snare drum for a few seconds as I took a break from the treadmill.

"Playing" is not really the best word to describe what I did to the drum. In fact, for that moment, I was probably the worst drummer I've ever heard. Even though it felt like I was playing a decent double-stroke roll, the sounds coming from the drum were hideous. I didn't think about it very hard; instead I just quit. But as I think back to that moment, it's confusing because I don't know if the hideous noise was a result of lost chops or lost neurological function.

So anyway, I feel like I might start trying to play my drums soon. Probably just a bass, snare, hi-hat, and ride cymbal (and maybe a crash cymbal, too). Playing the drums, regardless of whether I suck, should be a great way to exercise both my body and my brain, which hopefully will help me re-wire my brain and effectively reverse the course of my MS. Constant use of my feet and legs to work the bass drum and hi-hat pedals should do wonders for my hip flexors and lower leg muscles, particularly because it's natural for me to play eighth notes on the hi-hat with my left foot while I play the ride cymbal with my right hand.

Also, I think just listening to music all the time, particularly through earbuds, is good for me. It forces me to tune out the rest of the world and stay focused, and it probably nudges my brain to work more like my brain is supposed to work. It makes me think in a way that seems good for me. Listening to music through earbuds is kinda like doing puzzles/sodokus in a way (because I'm always trying to figure something out), which I guess you can probably only understand if your brain works like my brain.

If I start playing again, regularly, I envision it making a huge impact on my life, my prospective recovery, and how I deal with MS. Wish me luck.

Update (later the same day): Looks like I'm gonna have to wait to start playing those drums again. My snare drum has a busted lug, which I expected to replace with a lug from a different drum. However, the lugs from the other drums don't fit through the hole in my snare drum's lug casing. So I'm gonna have to make a trip to the drum shop (Columbus Percussion) before I can start playing again. Boo.

Update (May 17, 2013): I got a new lug a couple days ago, along with a new pair of sticks and a good practice pad (12" RealFeel). After playing on the pad a little bit, my playing doesn't sound anywhere near as horrible as it did a few days ago. I can tell the full message from my brain isn't making it to my hands, but it's not too bad, so it will be interesting to see how my playing progresses.

My legs and feet are a totally different story, though, and that's where I probably have the most to gain.

I haven't tried playing my drum set yet, and here's why: A mouse found its way into my bass drum and died. To create a dead-mouseless environment and begin playing the drum, I must first remove one of the drum heads, then get rid of said dead mouse, vacuum the mouse turds, wash/dry the pillow I use to muffle the drum, and finally put the head back on and tune the drum.

So in a couple hours I should finally be able to start playing my drums, which I'll probably limit to a bass drum, a snare drum, a hi-hat, a ride cymbal, and maybe a crash cymbal. If I play regularly enough in the near future, my usage of the bass drum pedal and hi-hat pedal will probably become a phenomenal workout for my hip flexors, as well as for many of my leg muscles. And that's just the beginning of how I think playing my drums might help me combat MS.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

3 month update

Sorry I never posted a thorough one-month or two-month update. You may be wondering: After following the Wahls diet for three months, are there any signs that I may be reversing my MS? Or do I at least feel better than I felt before starting the diet?

I can't say the diet has led to any clear reversal of MS symptoms (yet), but I can say for the first time in 2-1/2 years that I'm clearly doing better. Most notably, my brain works much better now than before I began the diet. It's like I'm not even the same person. As you'll read below, almost all of my most serious issues have improved at least a little bit, and a couple of them have improved in life-changing ways. Furthermore, NOTHING has declined. And of course, I have no side effects to deal with because I choose not to take any prescription poison for MS.

My psychological, emotional, cognitive, and general mental improvement has been phenomenal, in more ways than I'll ever be able to explain here, and it just keeps getting better. This improvement began within a few days of starting the Wahls diet, and this improvement alone is reason enough for me to stick with the Wahls diet indefinitely, even if I never see the physical improvement I'm hoping for.

To attempt to show how I feel I've improved, I'll revisit the ways MS has affected me most over the last couple years, as listed in a blog post I published the day I began this diet. I will list each of those things and discuss whether or not I've experienced any improvement over the last three months.

Throughout the remainder of this post, bold text represents an issue that seriously affected me for an extended period prior to February 1, 2013. The normal text following the bold text explains if or how things have changed.

Here we go.

I almost always need a cane when I walk, even around the house. --> Within a couple weeks of beginning the diet, I stopped using my cane around the house, and I still don't use it around the house. I really don't know if this is a result of the diet (and exercise) or if it's all in my head. Regardless, if I hadn't begun the Wahls diet, I'd almost certainly still be using my cane around the house (and falling and breaking bones).

In a few words: I'm doing a little better.

I get worn out very easily if I do any kind of physical activity; even cooking. --> This has improved. I'd say the improvement is mostly a result of the diet, but I think regular exercise has contributed as well. However, if not for the diet, I would not have the motivation or energy to exercise.

In a few words: I'm doing a little better.

My balance is crap. --> My balance is better. This is a direct result of exercising, which is a direct result of extra energy and motivation, which is a direct result of the diet. (See a trend?)

In a few words: I'm doing a little better.

I don't have much feeling in my feet, and I've also lost a noticeable amount of feeling in my hands. --> I'm pretty sure there is more feeling in my feet now. I estimated on February 1 that the feeling in my feet was about 50% of what it used to be, and now I'd say it's about 55% to 60%. I can't say I have gained any feeling in my hands, although it does seem a little easier for me to write than it was a few weeks ago. It's hard to tell for sure with my hands because my hands have never been very bad; just bad enough to notice something isn't right with them.

In a few words: I'm doing a little better.

My legs feel like they weigh a couple hundred pounds each. --> They don't feel that way now. They still don't feel right, and sometimes they feel heavy, but they certainly do not feel like they used to feel.

In a few words: I'm doing a little better.

Difficulty going to the bathroom. --> As I mentioned in the previous post, I can now stand in front of the toilet and empty my bladder without having to grab walls and fixtures to hold myself in place. This is clearly a result of stronger hip/core muscles, which is a result of exercise, which is a result of greater motivation and energy, which is a result of the diet.

Another issue I have with urination is getting it to start, then maintaining a consistent flow. Not always, but very frequently. This is why, as I mentioned in the previous post, it is important for me to be able to have a hand available to aim, instead of having to use both hands to hold on to walls and fixtures. Also, it's hard for me to hold it. I get very little warning when I have to pee. As soon as I start feeling it, it's best for me to take care of it.

In a few words: I'm doing a little better.

Long-term optic neuritis in my left eye. --> Unfortunately this has not improved. There have been times when I thought it may be improving--when maybe it seems better for a few days--but it always ends up letting me know it's still around. This is the one area that I feel may eventually show clearly whether the diet is helping my body repair itself physically, considering inflammation of the optic nerve cannot be helped by exercise. So if I ever report that my optic neuritis is gone, that will be the day you'll want to start taking me really seriously, because I've been dealing with this episode of optic neuritis since March 2011, and I'm certain it's never going to fully heal on its own.

In a few words: I'm not doing better, but I'm not doing worse.

Horrible, unnatural-feeling mood swings. --> The mood swings are gone. This change is clearly a result of the diet, as the change was drastic and almost immediate. Specifically I'd say the change was a result of my twice-daily smoothies, because when I go several consecutive days with only one daily smoothie, my mental state regresses a little. This has happened a couple times, and I've corrected it each time by making sure I consume two smoothies each day.

In a few words: I'm doing life-changingly better.

Constant mild pain in my upper legs, hip muscles, and lower back. --> I still notice this occasionally, or maybe even regularly, but it's nothing like it was before. Or maybe my attitude has changed enough to make it seem less noticeable than before. Also, it's now probably caused by sore muscles from exercise.

In a few words: I'm doing a little better.

Cold feet. Purple, with small raised white spots. --> This kinda fluctuates, so it's hard to say if I've seen any improvement. The white spots are mostly gone right now, but it won't surprise me to see them again next winter.

In a few words: I may be doing a little better.

Knees sometimes give out unexpectedly. --> I've probably made a lot of progress in strengthening the muscles that keep my knees from giving out, but I still don't feel 100% confident that I can trust my knees to be there for me when I'm not using my cane. Fact is, my nerves are responsible for my knees giving out, not my muscles. The muscle is there. It just doesn't always get the message from my brain to do its job.

In a few words: Not necessarily better, but definitely not worse.

Difficulty navigating stairs; mostly down. --> Strangely I'm drawing a blank when I try to recall if navigating steps has become any easier. Since I can't say for sure, I guess I have to be safe and say there has been no noticeable improvement.

In a few words: Not necessarily better, but definitely not worse.

Low energy and motivation. --> As I've already indicated in a few places above, this is another area where I've seen dramatic improvement. I was useless on January 31, but within a few days of beginning the Wahls diet things were already changing, as is evident in the fact that I wrote eight blog posts over the first two weeks of February. After two weeks on the Wahls diet I had the motivation and energy to start walking on the treadmill almost every day. This energy and motivation has fluctuated a bit over the last three months, but I'm starting to understand things well enough to keep it in check and recognize when I'm doing things that decrease my energy and motivation.

In a few words: I'm doing considerably better.

Rarely feeling full after eating. --> This is frustrating and hard to explain or understand. Even though it seems like this could be very MS-related, I have the feeling it's not.

In a few words: Still giving me trouble.

Shaking. --> If you asked me to list all the MS-related issues I experience regularly, I doubt that shaking would make the list right now. There are times when I get shaky, but I don't think it is very common anymore. It seems to happen mostly during physical therapy, when my physical therapist has me stand on unstable surfaces that force me to use muscles I almost never use, or after I've exercised and my muscles are sore and tired.

In a few words: I seem to be doing considerably better.

Excessive scalp regeneration. --> Even though I don't consider this MS-related, I was hoping the diet would make a difference in this area, but it hasn't happened yet. There have been times when I thought it was improving, but it hasn't.

In a few words: No improvement.

Toenail fungus. --> Although toenail fungus may be totally unrelated to MS, my toenail fungus seems to be improving. Probably because I've been eating very little food that feeds fungus. It's tough to know for sure if my toenail fungus has improved because it takes time for healthy toenails to grow in and replace unhealthy toenails. I should have a better idea in a few months.

In a few words: Seemingly better, but the jury is still out.

Bump/sore in my inner gums. --> This is not better, but it also has nothing to do with MS. I only mentioned it because I hoped the diet might help.

In a few words: No improvement.

If you made it this far, then I suppose I can trust you to read the next several paragraphs, which are very blunt and contain a lot of personal information that's not real easy to share with anyone, much less total strangers. (VRW: If you see this and it upsets you in any way, please let me know. I certainly did not intend to upset you by writing this stuff, but I recognize that some of it could be upsetting to you.)

Not much sex drive, nor much feeling in "my thing." --> If you must know, I can get it up, just as I could get it up three months ago. Still, it doesn't respond like it once did because my nerves just don't deliver the full message from my brain (or something like that). Also, considering all the other MS crap I'm dealing with, sex has not been one of my top priorities for a while, which means it might actually work better than it seems to work. Fact is, I don't have anyone, and I'm probably never going to have anyone, so it kinda doesn't really matter. Interestingly, though, there is someone who has found her way into my heart over the last couple months, and I think she could probably do wonders in this department if she chose to. And even though I haven't told her how I feel, I think she knows. Strangely, it even seems like she feels something for me, too. But I know the score, and my score is 0 (zero), particularly because one of us is bound to a code of ethics, which prohibits any kind of personal relationship with the other, even though a personal relationship would probably be real good for both of them. So considering I have no real prospects in this department, it's tough to speculate how well I might be able to do the job. And I guess the only real point I had to make in this paragraph, in no uncertain terms, is that my dick doesn't feel numb like it did three months ago, and that's a good thing.

In a few words: Probably a little better.

Note: I'd like to be loved and I'd like to have somewhat regular sex with someone who loves me, seeing how I'm human and everything, as well as the fact that I've been deprived of those things most of my life. I'm absolutely certain that genuine love and a sex life with someone who loves me would be very good for my emotional health as well as my physical health. Y'know, the kind of thing that gives your body reason to wanna walk again and be able to work. But it doesn't necessarily have to be romantic love or a sexual relationship.

Almost every week during the hour I spend in physical therapy, it's clear that simply being around my therapist is very good for me. My body works better when I'm around her, and I'm pretty sure she is aware of it, considering: 1) there has been at least a couple times when I've been able to walk very well around her, without my cane, and 2) the genuine surprise I've shown after being able to walk like that. Her PT guidance is the best I could hope for, but that's only half of what I get from her during our weekly sessions. I also get an hour with someone who seems like a potential dear friend who seems to understand me like maybe no one else can. I feel like I can tell her just about anything without feeling remotely awkward. I love being around her, regardless of whether there is any prospect for love or sex with her. Being around her makes me a better person, and being around her helps my body heal. And although it's very hard for me to allow myself to believe I possess anything she needs in her life, I truly feel like maybe she does see something in me. I need to figure out a way to become friends with her when it's all over.

I don't need love or sex in the same way most other people need them, yet I absolutely need both of these things in a totally different way. It's tough knowing I'll probably never receive either love or sex for the rest of my life, but I try to find reasons to believe someone may someday see something in me that I cannot allow myself to expect anyone to see. I make believe my physical therapist will become my friend after I run out of physical therapy sessions, and that maybe her friendship will grow into something bigger than friendship. But I do nothing about it because... that's a whole other post right there. Yet, even though I am emotionally rock solid, I sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks as I write this because I know there's nothing I can do except need what I can't have, then try to make myself believe I don't need it. And even though I can handle this pretty well most of the time, this is a huge obstacle, because, as I said, everyone needs to be loved at some point in life. And in my case, finally feeling loved may be the biggest factor deciding whether or not I ever recover from MS.

I tell you all this stuff with full knowledge that my daydreams may sound pretty ridiculous, perhaps unethical, and maybe impossible. But I've already accomplished things that most people thought were impossible, and sometimes ethics only get in the way of their ultimate objective (especially in the modern medical community, where they seem to be more concerned with appearing professional and ethical than they are with helping people heal). I have a pretty good track record with doing impossible things, and there's a reason for that. It will happen again, but only if I expect it to happen, and only if I get a little help in a few important areas.

This all seems hopeless right now, but I'm gonna figure out a way to get what I need, because maybe my life depends on being loved. Maybe this shitty disease is exactly what I needed to finally force me to figure out how to get what I've never known how to get. And honestly, I think I'm now much more worthy of being loved than I ever was when I could do things like walk across a continent in under 7 months, or pay for things.

Obviously I'm dealing with a lot conflicting emotions and whatnot in this department.

Oh, and here's a very important bit of information: None of the improvement I've just written about has anything to do with an invisible person in the sky. If I was relying on invisible people in the sky to help me out here, instead of busting my ass, I would simply have nothing to say (or I'd be dead or well on my way to dying), just like everyone else who relies on invisible people in the sky to heal this kind of illness. And I'm pretty sure Terry Wahls doesn't rely on invisible people in the sky, either. For whatever that's worth to ya.

Treadmill & exercise journal: May 2013

I will update this post each time I exercise this month.

Friday May 3, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:20:40.
Actual time: 1:57:00.

As of today, 3 miles is the new norm, rather than 2 miles. I'm surprised my body made it the full 3 miles today, because it didn't want to do anything. I took a break after 1 mile and after 2 miles. This was not fun at all, but I'm sure it'll pay off.

Saturday May 4, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:23:45.
Actual time: 2:12:00.

The only good thing I can say about today is that I managed to walk the full 3 miles, which is actually pretty impressive considering how I felt. My body didn't want to anything (again). I could only do 2 laps to start, then 2, 3, 2.5, and another 2.5. So 4 breaks, compared to yesterday's 2 breaks. I'm walking mostly at about 2.1 mph, which may actually be harder than walking faster, as it seems to make me use more muscles. Maybe my body is still trying to get used to the extra mile I've added, because I'm hurting right now. Hopefully I'll be performing a little better within a couple days.

Sunday May 5, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 55:42.
Actual time: 1:20:00.

OK, I'm going in the wrong direction. I haven't been able to walk nearly as far before having to take breaks, even though I've been walking slower than before. Everything else seems wrong, too. Maybe my body just hasn't adjusted to the longer walks yet. Maybe I just need to take at least a few days off to let my body recover. I'll probably do that.

Friday May 10, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:17:07.
Actual time: 1:50:00.

6 laps, 3 laps, 3 laps. Felt much better than the last couple days of walking, even though my expectations were low when I started. I need to stop worrying about how long it takes me to walk and start taking longer breaks whenever I feel like I need them. Looks like the extra day or two off turned out to be a good decision.

Saturday May 11, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:22:24.
Actual time: 2:11:00.

4 laps, 3 laps, 3 laps, 2 laps. I'm no longer worried about improving my time or taking fewer breaks. All it did was stress me out, which is exactly what I don't need right now (or ever). I'll keep timing myself, though, because it might be good to be able to look back and see trends.

Sunday May 12, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:26:50.
Actual time: 2:20:00.

4 laps, 3 laps, 3 laps, 2 laps.

Monday May 13, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:13:34.
Actual time: 2:11:00.

3 laps, 2 laps, 3 laps, 4 laps. I have Queensryche to thank for getting me through that last mile (Suite Sister Mary).

Tuesday May 14, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:12:05.
Actual time: 2:13:00.

4 laps, 3 laps, 3 laps, 2 laps. Fifth consecutive day of walking 3 miles. Hurting. I probably won't walk again until Saturday. I'm hoping all this hard work followed by a few days off will show in my endurance next time.

Saturday May 18, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:15:59.
Actual time: 1:52:00.

4 laps, 4 laps, 4 laps.

Sunday May 19, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:16:32.
Actual time: 2:09:00.

4 laps, 3 laps, 3 laps, 2 laps.

Monday May 20, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:18:08.
Actual time: 1:55:00.

5 laps, 4 laps, 3 laps. After walking, I high-stepped another half-lap at 1 mph. Doesn't sound like much, but that was very hard work and required several breaks. My hip flexors couldn't take more than about ten consecutive steps. Short distances of high-stepping might be more useful than walking 3 miles.

Friday May 24, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:18:20.
Actual time: 1:42:00.

8 laps, 4 laps. First 2 miles: 52:05. Another milestone. I'm pretty amazed that I was finally able to do 2 miles without a break. After 6 laps, I didn't think I had enough left to do more than another half a lap or so, but then I flipped a switch in my head and told myself I could keep going. At some point during the next lap, I imagined VRW was there with me. She wasn't doing anything; she was just there. And as unimportant as that may seem, just thinking about her is what got me through the last lap and a half, similar to how her actual presence always seems to make me do things I shouldn't be able to do. I think that was a defining moment in my attempt to beat MS because it made me realize that it really does make a difference sometimes to believe you can do something you realistically shouldn't be able to do. Also, it provided a little more support for my suspicion that having certain people in your life can help you heal and recover. These feelings will stick with me and help me overcome even more obstacles as I continue.

Sunday May 26, 2013
Distance: 3 miles.
Walking time: 1:18:10.
Actual time: 2:01:00.

4 laps, 4 laps, 4 laps.

Tuesday May 28, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 48:29.
Actual time: 1:29:00.

4 laps, 3 laps, 1 lap. I planned to do the usual 3 miles, but since my left knee locks every time I take a step, all this walking is starting to punish the hardware behind the knee. Don't know if I'm gonna continue doing all this walking. I have a lot to think about before I make the decision to get back on the treadmill.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A couple recent small victories

Over the last couple weeks I've started noticing a couple positive changes in how I function physically. The first thing I noticed is that I've suddenly become able to take a leak (standing) without having to hold onto walls and other fixtures to keep from wobbling. The other change is that I've unintentionally begun showering much more frequently than I had been.

It may seem strange for me to share details about my peeing proficiency, but you surely have no idea how difficult it had become for me to do little things that used to be easy, like taking a leak without worrying that weakness or spasticity might suddenly cause my body to shift one way or another, thus causing me to momentarily miss my mark. Sometimes you have to be able to manually aim your tool in both a specific direction and at a specific angle if you want to get the job done right. Which is simply not possible if you're using both of your hands to hold on to walls or towel racks. Until the last couple weeks, I had to worry about these things every time I used the bathroom. (OK, almost every time.)

Regarding my showering habits: I must admit that up until the last couple weeks, it had been a long time since I showered more frequently than about twice a week. Since I rarely have a reason to leave the house, and since there's no one in my life who has a reason to get very close to me, I usually don't feel like it's a big deal. I shower when I feel like I need to.

So why do I feel this is worth mentioning?

Because I really don't know why I started showering every day instead of every 3 days or so, but it feels right. Interestingly, this behavioral change began shortly after I resumed walking on the treadmill. It began a week after I started driving myself to physical therapy instead of relying on my mom to drive me.

I'm just trying to connect the dots, since there seems to be dots worth connecting. And right now the dots are telling me that once you make the effort to do things that require a degree of energy, motivation, and dedication that you don't feel like you possess, you naturally become even more motivated and more able to do even more of these things. It's the snowball effect that I've probably mentioned somewhere during the last few months.

And why am I analyzing this?

Because it may not seem like much to you, but it's pretty big to me. Because I intend to walk normal again someday, or maybe even run, even though the "experts" know I will never be able to do either of those things; even though the "experts" know I'm only gonna get progressively worse until I finally die at least ten years ahead of schedule. And when the day comes that I do walk normal again, without a cane, I'll be able to look back at posts like this and remind myself of how the seemingly insignificant victories were actually huge; that big change only happens as the result of many small changes.

I guess the fact that I've driven myself wherever I need to go since early April is another small victory. Before early April, I don't think I had driven at all since mid/late-January (2-1/2 months). Even though I probably could have driven myself during that period, I had kinda become afraid to drive. Some of that fear was realistic, considering my optic neuritis and the occasional inability of my legs and feet to respond quickly to driving demands, as well as the fact that my car has a standard transmission and I don't have what I consider adequate control of my clutch foot.

But some of the fear was what I'm inclined to think of as unrealistic. When your body stops working, like mine has, it feels like your life stops working along with it. And when you start feeling that way, life starts omitting you from everything, keeping you on the outside looking in; causing friends and family not to be able to relate to you or interact with you like they always had before your body started falling apart; when you were the badass who had just finished walking across a continent. It makes you feel worthless and unable to complete even the easiest tasks. It leaves you functionally friendless and very lonely. That's scary, and if you don't make a real big effort to change it, you just get worse and worse, like I did, and it becomes even harder to claw your way back to a new reality, in which you only need to fear things that are actually worthy of your fear.

Regardless of what kinds of realistic or unrealistic fears I may have faced over the last few months or last couple years, this much is true: Mom has not had to drive me anywhere since I began driving myself, and this is yet another of the little victories that are adding up and helping me become a real person again.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Treadmill & exercise journal: April 2013

After going 6 or 7 weeks without walking on the treadmill, I got my lazy ass up and back on the treadmill today. Hopefully this will be the spark that gets me motivated to keep exercising. I think it will be. I'll update this post after each time I exercise during April.

Tuesday April 9, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 49:00 (2.45 mph).
Actual time (including breaks): 1:27:00.

Now that was some work. It makes me better appreciate the improvement I made during the last couple weeks of February as I walked on the treadmill almost every day. I really didn't know what to expect of today's exercise, regarding how long it might take me to walk the usual 2 miles, considering I feel like I've been walking better for the last week or two than I had for the previous 2-1/2 years, while also considering the fact that I hadn't done any walking as exercise for a while.

In addition to the treadmill exercise, I also tried out the Nordic Track bicycle-like thingy my mom bought recently. I pedaled for 8 minutes, doing a distance of about 1.35 miles (I think). Wow, that really seems to work the hip flexors and glutes, which is something I need to do a lot.

Thursday April 11, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 49:22.
Actual time: 1:19:00.

The 8-minute improvement here is a good sign, particularly because I'm still very sore from exercising Tuesday. Aside from finishing 2 miles in 8 fewer minutes than it took me Tuesday, it felt much easier to walk today. I think I should be able to complete 2 miles with only two breaks next time, rather than three breaks, which should decrease my total walking time by possibly another 10 minutes.

Yesterday at physical therapy, my therapist seemed thrilled to see me in so much pain. (I was really hurting.) That is, I think it made her day to realize one of her patients is not only doing the "homework" she assigns but also doing much more. I'm sure most of her patients only do their exercises during their scheduled time with her.

Friday April 12, 2013
Distance: 1/2 mile.
Walking time: 12:30.
Actual time: 12:30.

And then there are the days when your body just says "Fuck you, buddy!" That was today for me. I gave it a try, but it just wasn't happening. I don't get it; that should have happened yesterday, but I did great yesterday. Maybe I'm sick or something.

Sunday April 14, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 50:03.
Actual time: 1:26:00.

Today's time is not indicative of how I felt while I walked. I really wanted to stop after half a mile just like I did Friday, but I forced myself to keep going, and somehow I managed to finish 2 miles. I was in a lot of pain the whole time. It was not fun, and I hope my decision to keep walking through the pain will pay off next time I get on the treadmill. This difficulty might be a result of slacking on the diet a few times lately, which isn't gonna happen for a while.

Monday April 15, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 52:10 (2.3 mph).
Actual time: 1:19:00.

I felt pretty good for the first three laps today; much better than yesterday. The last five laps were very rough, though. Still not as bad as yesterday, but rough nonetheless. Hopefully I'll feel a little more improvement tomorrow, but these last several days have taught me not to get too hung up on trying to meet goals that just aren't attainable sometimes. Sometimes the best you can do is good enough.

Tuesday April 16, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 51:46.
Actual time: 1:16:00.

This was a little easier than yesterday, but it's still tougher than I would have expected if you'd asked me a week ago. Similar to yesterday, I was able to begin by walking a hair over 3 laps before taking my first break. I felt good through that part, but everything after that was pretty tough. Maybe my breaks are too short to allow me to recover; I don't know. I'm just gonna keep walking on the treadmill almost every day and keep hoping I'll see more improvement than I've seen lately. I've been through this enough to know it will happen if I let it happen. I'll be taking tomorrow off since I have physical therapy.

Saturday April 20, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 51:14.
Actual time: 1:05:00.

Today was amazing. Before today I couldn't walk more than 3 laps (o.75 miles) without taking a break, and then everything after that was really hard. But today I started out by walking 6.4 laps (1.61 miles) before taking a break. That's more than twice as far as I could walk without a break before today. Before today, I would have had to take two breaks and then still walk another lap and a half to equal this distance. And that would be about time for my third break. (Actually, I usually have to take my third break after about 6 laps.)

Including my recent walking, as well as the walking I did in February, this is the first time I've been able to walk 2 miles with only one break. Since resuming my walks this month, excluding today, I've had to take three breaks every time I've walked a full 2 miles. Even in February, when I'd been walking almost every day for two weeks, I was never able to walk more than 3.75 laps before taking a break. So needless to say, I'm blown away.

Additionally, I didn't have to hold on to the treadmill with both hands while I walked today, which I did have to do prior to today. Instead, I held on with my right hand and swung my left arm in a natural walking motion, which takes a lot more work than holding onto the treadmill with both hands, as I had done previously (because I had to).

I actually intended to take it easy today and see if walking a little slower might help me walk farther before having to take a break. But after several minutes I ended up increasing my speed to my usual 2.4 mph or so. This is really amazing to me. Can't wait to see how I do tomorrow and in the coming days.

Since last Sunday (6 days ago), I've cut 21 minutes off my total walk time, even though my actual walking time was nearly 2 minutes longer. In other words, I walked slower today than I walked 6 days ago, yet it still took me 21 fewer minutes to finish 2 miles. That's entirely because I only had to take one break, rather than three breaks.

Also, it occurred to me later that I didn't notice any foot-slap while I walked today, which is something that has been going on for longer than I remember.

Sunday April 21, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 50:58.
Actual time: 1:09:00.

Much tougher than yesterday, even though it only took 4 minutes longer. It felt like a lot more work, too, but it was still a lot easier than everything prior to yesterday. I could only do 4.5 laps to start today, and that was really pushing it. Had to take a second break, too, after about 6 or 6.5 laps. Still pretty sore from yesterday, so this was to be expected.

Monday April 22, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 52:12.
Actual time: 1:04:00.

After about a mile today I thought I might be able to do the full 2 miles without a break, until I hit a wall over the next lap. Not a big deal, though. I took a break after 5 laps, then gave myself another very short break after 7 laps. Very good day of walking, but still nowhere near as good as what I did Saturday (even though today's overall time was a minute faster.)

Tuesday April 23, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 51:47.
Actual time: 1:09:00.

Saturday April 27, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 52:12.
Actual time: 1:01:00.

Didn't feel quite as good as last Saturday's walk, but definitely better than every other day so far. I did 6 laps before taking a break, then did the final two laps without another break. Before starting I felt like it was going to be tougher than every day in over the last week. I'm very happy it turned out not to be.

Sunday April 28, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 50:44.
Actual time: 59:00.

Started with about 5.5 laps, then took a break and finished the 2 miles without another break. Nice to have finally done it in less than an hour, but this walk didn't feel as good as yesterday or last Saturday. After walking, I also pedaled a bit; 2 miles in 11 minutes.

Monday April 29, 2013
Distance: 2 miles.
Walking time: 50:27.
Actual time: 1:02:00.

This was a little tougher than I'd hoped, but it's not a big deal because I worked pretty hard yesterday and I was still a little sore from it. After my standard 2 miles and a nice break, I walked another mile at 2.1 mph, with no breaks. I think I'm going to raise my standard walking distance to 3 miles after tomorrow (Thursday or Friday, probably).

Monday, March 25, 2013

Not quite 2-month update

No, I haven't quit the Wahls diet, nor have I continued cheating on the diet (until about 6:00 pm today, when I munched on some tortilla chips and a handful of dark chocolate chips). That's the first time I've cheated since the episode I described in the previous post, excluding one other time a few weeks ago when I used maybe 2 tbsp of butter to flavor up some crab meat.

As of today, I've decided to allow myself a little snack (or noncompliant meal) every once in a while. Not just because I deserve a treat now and then, but also because a treat pulls me out of my tunnel vision and allows me to see the bigger picture more clearly. It breaks up the monotony and lessens the extreme pressure I've put on myself. The pressure to never cheat, and the resulting stress, is probably worse for my body than cheating occasionally, so I'm making a minor change to the rules.

OK, so after almost two months on the diet, is the diet helping me physically?

I still can't say for sure that it is helping physcially, but I think it is, even though I've had some rough times since my last post. Here are some things that indicate the diet is making some kind of physical difference:
  • I haven't used my cane around the house for the last five or six weeks.
  • I've been able to carry small loads of firewood from the porch to the fireplace, which I don't think I could do before.
  • It seems like long, hot showers don't wipe me out like they used to. I used to be pretty much unable to walk when I got out of the shower; I felt like I could easily hurt myself just trying to walk 15 feet from the shower to my bed, where I almost always have to rest for at least several minutes after taking a shower. I didn't even have the strength to fasten a towel snuggly enough around me to be sure it wouldn't fall off during the short walk to my bed. Although I still have to relax after showers, I haven't felt any kind of danger in a while (considering I have to walk near the top of the stairs on the way to my bedroom). I'm still pretty exhausted when I get out of the shower, but I don't think it's anything like it used to be.
  • When I curl up my toes (similar to making a fist, but with my feet), I can feel my toes and control them better than I've been able to for at least a couple years.
  • I may add more to this list as things occur to me.
I haven't walked on the treadmill at all this month, but I did begin physical therapy a couple weeks ago. I intend to resume walking on the treadmill soon, and I'm curious to see how this inactivity may have affected my speed and/or endurance.

Early this month I wasn't eating enough, I guess because cooking and preparing food had become tiresome and monotonous. Basically I was drinking only one smoothie each day (in addition to my usual fish or other meat for dinner), instead of the two daily smoothies I had been drinking in addition to my dinner (and sometimes another small meal). My very large smoothies contain coconut water, coconut oil, flax seeds, turmeric, blueberries, strawberries, banana, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, sometimes a handful of pecans or walnuts, and a heavy dose (about 3 oz) of either kale or spinach (because I quickly got sick of eating leafy foods in their natural state). As you can see, I get basically all my leafy foods, color foods, and sulfur foods via the twice daily smoothies. But as you can probably guess, I'm not getting the full "three cups" of those three types of food. I'm probably coming real close to meeting the "three cups" of each food, but I'd say I'm probably closer to 2 cups. Although I know I need to do better, I also know this is much better than eating strictly deep dish pizza every day, like I was before starting this diet.

Being too lazy or too occupied to make two daily smoothies seems to have made a huge negative impact on my mental state. I began thinking a lot about that girl I mentioned early last month, which led to me writing long, semi-obsessive emails to her. (But most of this is probably because she suddenly and unexpectedly initiated a series of friendly emails from afar, which caught me off guard and tempted my heart a little more than I could handle.) Also, I abruptly lost the motivation to continue my near-daily walks on the treadmill. And as you may have noticed (if anyone actually reads this blog), I also stopped updating the blog, even though I had been updating almost daily for a couple weeks prior to March. So it looks like this malnutrition episode did some damage.

Note: I also wasn't putting mushrooms in my smoothies for at least a couple weeks because I'd like to keep from eating foods that feed Candida. Unfortunately, mushrooms were my main source of sulfur, and I'm not really comfortable eating many other sulfur foods yet, aside from garlic. Consequently, I've resumed adding mushrooms to my smoothies.

I can't say for sure that my setbacks were entirely a result of my decreased smoothie intake, but it does kinda seem that way now that I've resumed drinking two daily smoothies for the last week or so. That girl is no longer in my head, and after 8-1/2 years I'm starting to not really care if she ever talks to me again, which is very good because honestly she probably doesn't deserve the huge space in my heart I'd reserved for her for so long. I haven't gotten back on the treadmill yet, but I feel like I may be about to. With physical therapy two afternoons a week lately, as well as the stretches and exercises I'm supposed to do at home, it's harder to make time for the treadmill.

Or maybe my setback was caused by discontinuing my near-daily treadmill exercise. The setback probably wasn't caused entirely by getting off the treadmill, seeing how my brain experienced its most positive change at least a week before I ever started using the treadmill. But I imagine lack of exercise/walking probably played a role in my step backwards.

Realistically my setback was probably caused by the combination of at least a few different factors, including living in a very unhealthy environment. Long story short: I live with my parents. I wouldn't live here if I only had the ability to walk normal (without a cane) or do other minor physical feats most people take for granted, and the only reason I'm allowed to live here is because my parents are just human enough not to force me to be homeless. Also, it often gives Mom a perfect opportunity to let me know just how worthless I am by reminding me that they let me live here when they could just throw my crippled ass out on the streets (which would probably make me happier). They've treated me like I'm a total idiot my whole life, and this treatment will never end, no matter how many amazing things I accomplish. And they both deny treating me this way, of course, even though my dad hates me and has never even kept it a secret. They honestly believe I'm too stupid to be able to figure out things like that, because they decided when I was a kid that I'm absolutely stupid, and no evidence to the contrary will ever change their minds. Even if it was plain as day that my brain could make them a lot of money (which it is), my parents will always see me as a fucking worthless loser.

My dad beat me up when I was a kid and started fights with me after I grew up. There have been many times when he has started fights or vicious arguments with me, then called the cops and lied to them about what happened, specifically in an effort to put me in jail. And some of his lies are direct results of what he learned about the law when he's done this shit before. For example, he learned that if I was a resident of the house, even if I don't own it, the cops couldn't take me to jail over what happened. So the next time it happened, he lied and told them I didn't live here, specifically in an effort to put me in jail after he instigated the whole damn thing. I stay the fuck out of his way and out of his life as much as possible specifically because I know communicating with him will likely lead to this kind of thing. But that's not good enough for him. He gets off on making my life as miserable as possible.

How fucking sick in the head does someone have to be to do that? I don't have kids (and it's beginning to look like I probably never will), but I could never do that to my own kid (or even anyone else's kid, or anyone period, including my sadistic dad), first of all because I would love my kids, even if they didn't have the same interests as me. As far as I'm concerned, I would be obligated to not do that shit. Not because I've been taught that it's the right thing to do, but because I have a brain and a heart that figured it out on their own. Hate is not tough love, and "tough love" isn't any kind of love. "Tough love" is a poor excuse to take out hatred or anger on someone who doesn't deserve it. Love is love, and kids who grow up feeling loved don't have to say the kinds of things I've unfortunately had to say here about my parents. Kids who grow up knowing they're loved don't end up with multiple sclerosis.

How could anyone hate their own kid? And why the fuck would anyone even create a kid if they didn't have every intention to love the kid or at least treat the kid with any kind of decency? These are the kinds of questions I've had going through my head since I was a kid, and I'll never have any acceptable answers.

My dad reminded me today how much he hates me, using no uncertain terminology. Shortly after that, my mom told me I got MS from smoking other people's cigarette butts; that MS comes from a cigarette-butt virus, and implicitly that I gave it to myself through my own stupidity (because it's easier for most people to believe absolutely ridiculous shit like that than it is to look inside themselves and at least try to recognize that maybe they've done wrong and could actually make a huge positive difference in someone's miserable life by trying to right the wrongs they've done to that person). Yet whenever I call either of them out, they deny treating me like I'm stupid and worthless, then they go on to treat me like I'm the stupidest, most worthless piece of shit to ever walk the face of the earth. Then they deny it again.

I'm not looking for sympathy or even empathy here. I'm just telling it like it is, because maybe my story will someday help someone else not have to go through this misery that I don't fucking deserve; that has caused me a lot of tears, and will continue to cause me extreme mental and physical pain until it finally kills me.

People need love. I need love. I don't have love and pretty much have never been actively loved by anyone except maybe animals. As a result, I don't know how to be loved. I don't know how to recognize being loved, either. And if I do recognize what seems to be love, I turn into a monster in the eyes of the person who seems to love me, because I don't know how to be loved.

My body quit working two weeks after I finished a ridiculously painful, hunger-filled 3,463-mile walk across the United States. I don't think that's coincidental. I think my brain finally just gave up after realizing none of the amazing shit I've accomplished in this world is ever gonna get me anywhere. I've known it my whole life, but still I kept trying to show my parents and everyone else that I'm worth something, because I'm worth a lot, in any of several unrelated fields. I walked across a continent basically to make a statement, saying I can do anything I say I can do, and here's proof, because there is essentially nothing harder than what I did. But almost no one noticed. No one cared. I didn't need a lot of people to notice or care--I didn't do it for attention, unlike everyone else who does half-ass versions of what I did--but I did think someone would notice and recognize that I have something very valuable to offer. Nope.

And that's probably the biggest reason why I have MS. Also, it's really not good for my health to live this way. This alone is probably the biggest obstacle keeping me from making a "miraculous" recovery, and it will continue to be, no matter how hard I try to take care of myself through diet, exercise, and other stuff.

In other news, I really like my physical therapist, and I think this regular interaction with her is very good for me, regardless of the physical therapy part. People need to be around other people sometimes, and I've led a pretty damn reclusive life for a long time now. And it's not just being around someone that makes such a positive impact on me. It's a result of being around her specifically. There are just certain people who seem to belong in your life right from the start, and she seems like one of those people to me.

Something that took me by surprise a few days ago is that I've lost over 10 lbs since beginning the diet; maybe even closer to 15 lbs. Looking at the scale, it confused me at first because I really wasn't expecting to see more than about 5 lbs difference from my starting weight. Although I was a little heavier than I like to be when I began the diet (160-165, rather than 150 or less), I didn't really need to lose weight, and I wasn't trying, either. I don't know if this weight loss is unavoidable with this kind of diet or if it's a result of me not eating enough.

Although I was hopeful that my optic neuritis was improving, I don't think it has.

Oh yeah, I still haven't worked organ meats into my diet. I've only eaten organ meat a few times, and it's been a while, so I need to get with it in that department. I also need to expand the list of foods I'm eating because I eat pretty much the same thing every day. In defense of my eating patterns, though, I do put a lot of different foods in my smoothies. But I still need more variety in my diet.

Monday, March 4, 2013

My first diet "relapse"

I'd been meaning to write a one-month update the last few days, but I don't know if I'm going to.

I had my first dietary relapse today. Up until less than an hour ago, I had been 100% with the Wahls protocol since February 1.

Here's how my relapse went: First I poured enough chocolate chips into my mouth to completely fill it, then I ate two bowls of Corn Flakes with milk. I didn't eat anything yesterday because I've been getting frustrated that my mom seems to be ignoring everything I say about what I need to do, particularly regarding NMES. It's stressing me out, and that stress is just as destructive as cheating on the diet. I can't improve with all this stress, so I decided to make my first meal in two days something I might sorta enjoy; something that takes 10 seconds to prepare.

Am I gonna keep cheating like this? I don't know, but I doubt it. If I do, I won't keep it a secret.