Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Mental Game

Sorry for the long delay in my update. I've been back from my follow up appointment in Mexico for 3 weeks now. Everything went very well and the doctors were very happy with my progress. So why the delay in writing an update??? Well, what I've realized is that rehabilitation is truly a physical, mental and emotional process. I expected the physical challenges in rebuilding my health but I didn't anticipate the mental and emotional aspects that could potentially make or break a full recovery.

I'm not sure it's a human tenancy or a woman thing or just my crazy mind that chats incessantly. This mental chatter has the ability to lead me down all sorts of crazy thought paths. Some empowering, some not so much. The key is to hold on tight to my empowering context.

In the past month I have found the mental effort to stay dedicated to my plan the most challenging. What is it that has top athletes get up a 5am and train for hours before starting their work or school day. What has them "stick to it", day after day after day? I'm not an athlete, I don't have the drive and dedication to accomplish amazing feats. It's only certain people that have that. Right? I guess the truth is... nobody is...until they are. In other words, nobody knows what they are capable of doing until they do it. Nobody is a top athlete until they are and nobody retrains muscles and nerves to react normally, until they do.

There was also the conversation in my head that maybe this, how much I've already recovered, is good enough. Not in a "I give up" sorta way but more in an "I've come a long way and I can do more that I have in years so I'll just appreciate where I'm at". Yeah, nice excuse. The truth is, this was really just my way of finding a back door to give up on what I truly believe is possible....because I just might fail. The thing is, if I don't give up on my plan, I just might succeed. :O)

The great thing is that these were just thoughts. Thoughts that came into my head and left just as quickly. The work with my physiotherapist is going extremely well. My gait (ability to walk evenly) is more balance and the dry needling is allowing my muscles to relax enough that I can do exercises to raise my left toe and foot without the use of my brace (short amounts of time). My strength training is also starting to make a noticeable difference in balancing my left and right side.

On the emotional side, I was competing with doubters. Not necessarily real people that have spoken to me personally but doubt in the general public. Like it should make any difference to me and what I believe and yet in some way, it bothered me.

When I returned from my follow up in Mexico, the big story on the news was about "the so called liberation treatment" and the death of one person who had had the treatment. The media loves drama and unfortunately they are not always completely unbiased in telling their story. Referring to it as "The so called liberation treatment" the way you might refer to the "so called Loch Ness Monster".

They began by saying that a number of bad side affects are beginning to show up. Valid statement. A man died. Valid statement. Unfortunately there was also a lot of very important information missing. What was the man's condition going into the surgical procedure? Was the correct protocol followed including blood thinners for a period of time as per Dr. Zamboni? Was he following any rehabilitative processes including supplementation? There was also no information given on how many people have bad side affects and/or died from approved MS medications. In my opinion, these dramatic stories serve only to raise fear and don't provide all the facts that would allow the public to make informed decisions on their health.

I encourage individuals to get informed of both the risks and benefits of any health procedure. I have found that it is imperative that I take on being an advocate for my own health and not rely solely on the decisions of the government or medical profession. In that, I not only take complete responsibility for my health I also take some power over my health.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

2 Months After Liberation Video

Well, it's about time for a new updated video. Check it out here.

I'll be leaving for Mexico in a week to go back to Sanoviv for my 2 month follow up appointment. This will mean getting new doppler scans of my veins to check that they are still open and have correct flow. I will meet with a Neurologist and the rest of my medical team as well.

I'll share more when I return.