The holiday season is upon us – and with all the stuff in the news about changing what Santa says, and not naming the holiday from singularly Christian perspective, plus so much more…I simply could not resist poking a bit of fun at the whole fiasco. So, the NDHS it is…Non-Denominational Holiday Season.

The past few weeks have been very interesting for me. My fatigue is still excruciating – and I become easily exhausted. My kids are tucking me in bed these days, rather than the other way around! Cognitively, while the fog is not as thick as it was a few weeks ago, by the end of the day it is certainly thickening. My left arm and left leg are still noticeably weak. I am basically “working-to-rule”, not staying late at work, and I have a new work arrangement whereby I work 2 days per week from home, 3 at the office. This allows me to get more rest.

I have found a better GP now, thanks to a good friend of mine, who gave me a referral. Finding a new GP is next to impossible, and she was willing to take me on based on the referral. Thanks goodness! I finally think I have found a medical professional who can fight for me, and help me get the consistent care and information I need. Long story short – her assessment of my recent weeks is leading to more testing, including an urgent MRI and a more aggressive approach to managing my MS. I’ll keep you posted!

Also, I have begun working with a physical trainer/nutritionist – focusing on regaining my strength and function on my left side especially. I have been off sugar and gluten as well. This has combined to allow for almost 10 lbs off in a month. Awesome! Natalie is great – she is helping me correct my form, and has taught me so much. One of the things I did not realize is that many of the exercises I had been doing over the past couple of years were unbalanced in that the way I did them allowed my right leg to compensate for my weak left (similarly for my arms). This in turn created more function imbalances. We are correcting that now.

In addition, I have rediscovered my joy of swimming. I joined a Masters Swim team back in September, and it is fantastic. I crave the water again – I feel so much more relaxed, and fluid, after the 75 minute swims twice per week. And obviously exhausted…but the swimming does not hurt my joints, and is allowing all my muscles to be fully exercised, equally. (People are already noticing my swimmer’s shoulders returning after all these years away from the water. πŸ˜‰ The coach is fantastic, and he is very attentive to the swimmers…he can notice the days I am more fatigued even before I am done swimming the first couple of laps!

I have to say that my 2 darling sons (their Royal Highnesses, Prince 1 and Prince 2) continue to be wonderful as my health takes these wild turns – pitching in more, and actually embracing the need to become more responsible in the home. At almost 6 foot tall, HRH Prince 1 has become quite the “Man of the House”! And HRH Prince 2 has flourished as well, nagging me to rest and making sure Mom is not pushing herself too hard. My sweetie, Kim, has also been wonderful – though he can’t help but look incredulously at me when I suggest we turn in for the night…at 8PM! For a well established night owl, whose musical gigs typically don’t even start until 9PM and go until the midnight hours, I must say he is taking my fatigue needs with very good humour! (Really, how many guys out there can honestly says their girlfriends have them in bed all hours of the day! πŸ˜‰

As we head closer to the holidays, I know everyone will be busy with friends and family, as will I be. Be safe, be warm…and Happy Holidays (or Happy NDHS)! See you in the new year!

Carolyne
www.msmeans.ca

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