Friday 23 September 2016

wrapped in plastic

Right at the start of my MS 'journey' (ugh) the only person we knew that had any connection with the condition was a girl Me and Mrs D both knew at the theatre where we worked. Her mum had Primary Progressive, was severely disabled and sadly eventually died. So that was our introduction to MS and our overriding image when I was diagnosed. 

As I've mentioned before, the theatre is the only past job where we still have any links with our ex-colleagues (and obviously I also met Mrs D there). So we've stayed in touch with our friend over the years. 

In February, she was diagnosed with Clinically Isolated Syndrome and an MRI showed lesions on her spine. Now CIS isn't necessarily a first sign of MS but given her family history she wasn't taking any chances. 

Which is probably why she has wholeheartedly gone for the OMS Programme. Our friend is feeling good and has been sharing photos of her food on social media for a while. Earlier this week she shared a link to the OMS website on Facebook and, coupled with the fact that I've been feeling mightily worn out recently, our interest has been piqued. 

From the website:
"Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis promotes a program of diet and lifestyle management that has been shown to improve the health and lives of people with Multiple Sclerosis. Professor George Jelinek, who was diagnosed with MS in 1999, developed the rigorously researched OMS Recovery Program more than 15 years ago."
Now I've always been very cynical about this sort of thing. It's probably been a kind of denial to say, "well, I've been dealt this shitty hand so I'm going to eat whatever I damn well please". And, y'know, we all need a bit of scientific proof and validity.

But it has always been the case that we live in a house which is predominately Vegetarian - and while I don't eat as much meat as I might do (or as much as my mum might like) neither am I as careful with my diet as I could be. 

So I'm dipping my toes into a Pesca-Vegan diet. Of all things.

The whole thing is based around diet, exercise, stress management / meditation, vitamin D and omega-3 supplementation, and medication when required - nothing too way out there, right?

I'm not going 100% straight off the bat - the oils and fats which are meant to be avoided will take a lot of research. But even cutting out meat, dairy, crisps and biscuits feels pretty hardcore at this point.

Earlier this week I had probably my last ever cheese and pickle sandwich (pictured).
Luckily it was as bland and anaemic as this picture implies. And the plastic wrapper makes it look like something out of Twin Peaks.

I feel that I've been shamed into getting a bit real-er than I have done before. But I'm looking forward to the day when I stop going "awwwww..." in a mardy voice whenever I realise that I can't eat something any more. 

The thing which has really helped is the fact that the aforementioned Mrs D is being super-supportive. She could have easily said I was on my own (she LOVES cheese and crisps more than she loves me) but she has bought me all kinds of groovy (and weird) stuff to try to help me along my way. 

So I need to break it to my brother and my friend Mike that the days of beer and burgers are at an end.  God alone knows how my mum's going to take it...

Although it is weird that a few months back when I started Tecfidera I was being told to eat as much fatty stuff as I could.

Make yr minds up, people!

Monday 12 September 2016

inspiring and offending in equal measure

Let's not do the whole "not blogged in ages, too much life getting in the way, blah blah". Let's just say that we're both at fault and move on, OK?

Last month was our 10th wedding anniversary so we packed off The Child and went down to That London for the night and took in a musical. Now, I loves me a musical but even I have to admit the highlight was John "Bergerac / DCI Barnaby" Nettles, who was sitting behind us, helping my wife look for her glasses.

(Ironically he was no bloody use. But then her glasses were back in the hotel...)

The next day involved the National Gallery and the British Library, where there was a little punk rock exhibition, the most punk rock part of which was this fantastic bit of righteous graffiti by Viv Albertine, ex of The Slits. 

Never mind that, there were loads of signs up saying that phones and  photos weren't allowed. But did that stop me? TAKE THAT, THE MAN!

We decided not to do the Underground this time. More than anything I get a bit anxious down there, it's not the most accessible thing in the world plus it was the height of summer. So we got taxis - both yr classic hackney and a couple of Ubers. I know they can be a bit controversial but being able to see when your (prepaid) taxi is going to arrive at the exact spot where you are standing is undeniably pretty bloody cool.

The other fantastic bit of travelling was going First Class on the train. Maybe you do this sort of thing regularly but I've always been strictly Prole. The only reason we did it was because a friend of ours works for a train company and got us a couple of free passes. Nice work if you can get it but we probably wouldn't have been so free and easy with the taxis otherwise. 

Last week we had a week away which involved driving all the way down to the South coast - 244 miles each way, the furthest distance I've ever driven. 

Both of these incidents are a reminder of my New Year's not-resolution, to try to give up less and try to go out of my comfort zone. I've forgotten about that quite a bit but I do need to try to maintain that frame of mind. You're a long time dead.