Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why Sanoviv?

What other place in the world can you go where your doctor, chiropractor, dentist, psychologist and nutritionist talk to each other? AND...more importantly, listen and learn from each other! Where can you go and be wrapped in a complete healing environment while receiving medical treatment.

Walking into Sanoviv, we were greeted by our coordinator who gave us a tour of the facility and a schedule of appointments for the day. Each evening, I received a schedule for the following day. The days were filled with appointments, classes (meditation, fitness, energy medicine, food prep) and lectures (nutrition, bio-dentistry)

In addition to blood tests and chest x-rays, a Doppler Ultrasound was done to identify any abnormalities with my left and right Jugular Veins.

Scans were done both while laying down and sitting up. Holding my breath and breathing normally.

At Sanoviv, if they see any abnormailies with these veins (turbulance, reflux, narrowing etc) then they move forward with scheduling a venogram and potential venoplasty. Most places that are doing the liberation procedure will only move forward with a venogram/venoplasty if there is >49% blockage showing on the Doppler.

The challenge is that the Dopper, while very scientific, is somewhat subjective to how accurate a measurement the radiologist is able to document. In my case, the Doppler showed a 23% narrowing in the left Jugular Vein as well as some turbulence and reflux. My right Jugular Vein showed no narrowing. Lucky for me, there was enough evidence to have us move forward with the venogram.

The actual procedure took about 1 hour. I was awake during the procedure and although there was some kind of localized anaesthetic, I could feel where the catheter was in my neck and chest. The Venogram showed a 70% block on my Left Jugular Vein (Doppler had measured 23%) and 30% block on my Right Jugular Vein. Venopasty (using a balloon to stretch the vein) was done on the Left Jugular Vein. No venoplasty was performed on my Right Jugular Vein as the blockage was not greater than 49%.

What I like about Sanoviv was that I didn't have to have all my hopes riding solely on the Liberation procedure. They have been working with neurological patients for quite some time with very good results (using their neuro-repair program). They really provided me with a great program (nutrition/rehabilitation/energy exercises/breathing exercises) and support for after the procedure. (They also refund some of the money if they were not able to go forward with the venogram/venoplasty).

The Sanoviv program also includes a detailed take home program (rehabilitation exercises/nutritional requirments/supplements) as well as a follow up program. I knew when I booked my program that it included follow up appointments at 2 months and 6 months. What I didn't know was that the follow up team would be calling me every 2 weeks to check my progress. In addition, I have email access to the Sanovov follow up team if I have any questions or concerns.
This truly has had me feel set up for success and ready to take on the necessary work.

Is Sanoviv the right choice for everyone? Not necessarily. Every individual needs to make their own choice based on their specific situation. I simply want to provide information on my experience so that others can make an informed choice.

Doubt? Fear? Got that.

It's been 2 weeks since the procedure and I've been diligently doing my stretches, eating gluten free and taking my plethora of nutritional supplement to build up my nutrient levels. Although I see improvements, I find it so easy to doubt that I'm not regaining my abilities fast enough. But what does that mean, "fast enough"? I know that it took a number of years to get to the state that I was in and it will take time and effort to get to where I intend to what's my concern? Honestly...I think it is fear that others who see me might not notice the new abilities as much as the lingering disabilities. CRAZY, I know...but that's where my brain goes. At the same time, this is extremely motivating and has me continue to push forward. I just need to continue to remind myself how far I've already come. (I highly recommend doing a before video of yourself if you plan on doing this procedure, as a reminder to yourself)

I also still have fear that things might slip back to how they were. I find I test myself continuously to make sure I can still do the "new" stuff I could do last week. The other day, I went for a walk and when I got home my muscles were exhausted and I was struggling to walk without effort. My heart sank into my stomach as I feared that maybe it didn't work or it's not going to get any better. I sat down and rested for 10 - 15 minutes and suddenly, I was feeling better! I was not exhausted and my muscles were working again. (Not the case in the past as a short walk of 1 KM would wipe me out for the afternoon).

I'm reminded of something Wayne Dyer once said...that I'm totally going to mis-quote but you'll get the idea.

If you plant a garden, you know that the seeds you planted will grow. You don't go outside every morning to dig them up to check that they are still planted. You just wait knowing the plant will appear in a few days or weeks. Our bodies are the same, once you're doing a treatment, know that it worked. Don't test it continuously looking for evidence. Know that it's already healed energetically and your body just needs time to catch up and show physically what is already energetically healed.

So...what's up with me?
As I said before, I have been doing my stretches daily but I'm finding some of my muscles are VERY sore. I booked some one on one sessions with a Pilates instructor to start 1 month from now. I know I need to start off slowly so as to not cause more problems, so I'll just work on stretches on my own for now. Travis, my Pilates instructor, uses a reformer (Pilates equipment to support safe and correct body movements) and is experienced in rehabilitation practices. I've worked with Travis before and he is very good at what he does. If you're in Calgary and looking for such a trainer, he can be found on the web. Pure Pilates I've also been to see my chiropractor and have set up appointment to work with him to ensure the alignment of my neck and spine. He too works with a lot of people who have MS and is very informed about the CCSVI procedure. Dr. Matovich can be found on the web at Natural Way Chiropractics. His technique is very gentle and not the crack and pop method I've always feared. (Although, he tells me that is safe too, I prefer the alternative)

Friday, September 17, 2010

1 week update and video

It's been a bit of a roller coaster the past few days. As excited as I am about my increased abilities, it's also been a bit stressful and overwhelming. Mostly because I put pressure on myself to have everything together and organized immediately. My awesome husband recently reminded me to give myself a little patience and grace. I guess it will take a couple of days to get everything organized as well as it was at Sanoviv. hahaha :O)

I've had to play a little catch up on all that I missed while I was away, most importantly, spending time with my little angel, Logan. In addition to regular daily life, I now have the new added details of eating gluten free, setting up appointments and following an exercise plan as well as ordering and organizing my nutritional supplements to make this whole rehabilitation plan run smoothly.

I am slowly plugging though my "to do" list and feeling much better about my progress overall. I'm also noticing little things improving all the time.

I did a follow up video today to show my progress 1 week after the Liberation Procedure.

Click here to watch the video. MS Liberation

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Home again - Day 5 after liberation

I wasn't sure what to expect…my first day back at home, looking after my son, cooking and cleaning for myself and the family.'s definitely more difficult to maintain a consistent, calm schedule with a 1 year old running around and no kitchen staff to prepare meals. (hahaha…wouldn’t that be nice)

My left hand and arm are still doing really good. I mention this because most of us with relapsing remitting MS are a little afraid that parts that are functioning may suddenly decide not I'm cautiously optimistic. My left foot is doing ok too, however, I need to pay more attention to proper walking technique as I tend to just walk quickly when chasing after Logan (my son) and not lift my foot. My overall movements are still more fluid. It's going to take some serious physiotherapy and exercise to rebuild the muscles and retrain the movements.

My goal now is taking on the rehabilitation program as well as a strict gluten free diet. The Liberation procedure may have cleared and opened up the veins in my neck but it's now my responsibility to do what I can to rebuild my nutrient levels and muscles. I have a series of stretches to do each day and I'll be booking appointments with my chiropractor and a sports therapist to do active release therapy on my leg and shoulder.

I want to be really clear to anyone considering the Liberation procedure that I have found it so far to be GREAT and is giving me A LOT more energy which actually allows me now to take on my own health. Now having the energy to do the exercises without being wiped out for the rest of the day.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Noticing a few things...

This is cool. I'm typing with 2 hands. Not really well with the left but 2 hands nonetheless.

Yesterday, which was relax and recover day (aka...vacation day)...I did a light stretching class in the morning, later followed by a 45 min pool exercise class, sat in the hot tub for 10 min or so and wandered around in the yard in and out of the sun all afternoon. Not to mention all this was done after having a hot shower and getting ready in the morning. Not much of a challenge for most people but this is something that would have not only exhausted me before but put me basically out of commission by noon. Yesterday...I had energy all day and my muscles didn't feel fatigued at all. (Back to typing with one hand...but it's all baby steps) :O)

Today, I notice I can walk much better without my brace. My left foot is not dropping as much but still very weak and not a lot of contol but gives me courage that I can work from this point at getting things rehabilitated.

(Just finished showing off my stellar walking ability to some people in the dining hall...even walking backwards) hahaha

The greatest thing about the Liberation treatment is that it gives me a kicking off point. It's not like everything is going to be instantly all better with this treatment but with more energy and less muscle fatigue, I feel like I can actually take on a rehabilitation program that will have me functioning more optimally.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 1 after Liberation Procedure

I had the procedure yesterday morning. It took a total of about an hour and then I layed in bed for a total of about 6 hours. Although the doppler scan showed a 23% blockage on my left jugular vein, the venogram confirmed there was actually a 70% blockage. The venopasty went well and successfully returned normal blood flow. The right vein showed a 30% blockage with the venogram so no venoplasty was done on that vein. (Generally require a >49% block for venoplasty). The asygous vein did not show any blockage.

After the first hour, I noticed a noticeable relaxation of my left hand. Although very weak, I could wiggle my fingers and there was no stiffness. It was of course difficult to see any other changes as I was supposed to lay still.

This morning, I am walking with more balance and fluidity. There is still lots of stiffness and weakness. I don't want to give anyone the impression that all is back to normal overnight but I am seeing positive changes and I'm looking forward to seeing more over the next period of time. Today is a resting day...light stretching and not over doing anything.

Guess I'll have to just relax by the pool. :O)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Let the healing...

WOW, what an incredible facility! The past 2 days have been filled with a plathora of tests and consultations with various specialists. I am so impressed with the depth of their knowledge and the degree of questions being asking. It has really made me feel like nothing is being left out.

The food here is all organic as well as the clothing, bedding, all building material etc. The air just feels cleansing. We have wheatjuice, golden milk (coconut milk/tumeric/cardimum), fresh vegetable juices and coconut water daily. The food is all organic and SO yummy!

We had the doppler scan yesterday and received the results today indicating several abnormalities. I start blood thinners today and will have the surgical procedure on Friday. Although there are abnormalities, we will not know until the venography is done if they will move forward with the balloon venopasty.

All in all, things are going great and we're really giving our bodies a health boost. I'll write more after Friday.