Friday, March 16, 2012

Reinvention and Hope

If I am going to reinvent a part of my life it means being willing to move into Serenity Prayer territory.

Quick Review: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the

The tricky bit here is that I don't know whether I can change something until I try to change it.

I've been working this week in all the areas I identified last week*, but the particularly challenging one has been in the area of diet. 30 years ago, when I was diagnosed with MS, I read about and adopted the Swank Diet, which purported to lessen the long term disabling effects of the disease. I was pretty faithful to the diet for 20 years, while my body become more and more disabled. About 10 years ago, I gave up on the diet.

My new interest in diet stems from my digestive system, which is not working smoothly due to medication side effects and lack of activity. (It's just hard to move my body when I am partially paralyzed, sitting in a wheelchair.)

I was expecting to start eating more fiber or something.

In the process of research, however, I came across Dr. Terry Wahls, a woman with secondary progressive MS (the kind I have) who has experienced a significant increase in her mobility and credits a diet very rich in green leafy vegetables.

As I watch her videos, I can feel hope rising in my chest and beaming out through the top of my head.

Imagine, if you will, the clamoring of monster voices:
"You tried that diet stuff. It didn't work."
"She was only disabled for a few years – and she could still walk a little; you haven't been able to walk for 15 years. It won't work for you."
"Why get your hopes up?" … And so on…

The more I get to know my monsters, the more I realize they are trying to keep me safe. They hate to see me get hurt. And that means they hold me back from new things.

I decided to try the diet for six months. If nothing else, it will address the digestive issues.

The monsters continue to sing. I speak with them gently, reassuring them that we are strong enough to bear the pain, if there is some.

*Progress report:

  1. Get OT consultation – have appointment 4/24
  2. Research diet solutions – began Dr. Wahl’s diet 3/11
  3. Design books and papers carrier – will be done by 3/18, when I meet with the seamstress I recruited
  4. Create mental response for work attitude – "find the kernel" (a subject for a future post on creating mental responses and practices)
  5. Create mental response for jealousy of "normal people" – "May your happiness (or health, or ability etc.) continue forever." (a subject for a future post on mudita)
  6. Get family input on evening activities – whoops! I haven't done this one, but I have been watching less TV
  7. Explore WordPress – one more thing to figure out and then I will invite you to follow my blog in its new location
  8. Prepare art materials – I got new paper; now I need to get the other materials out of the drawer
  9. Get family input on leisure time – whoops again…
  10. Create mental love/compassion practice –  "look! A divine being in human skin!"
  11. Return to Delight of the Day – I started the week well, but then forgot. Recommit!
  12. Create mental practice – Tap flutter (yes, that post on mental responses/practices will be a good one!)

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