7/18/14  My Most Embarrassing Admission Turned Good?

Throughout the history of this blog I've tried to be as honest as possible about my condition, my mood, my thoughts, my attitude, you name it.  I've admitted a lot of things on here that might be in the TMI (Too Much Information) category, but I've always left out one detail that I felt was a little too embarrassing to write about.  So here it is....I've been wearing a diaper to bed for about 4 or 5 years (I guess I am supposed to say absorbent undergarment, but a spade is a spade is a spade).  Lots of emasculating things come along with my MS diagnosis.  As if losing my ability to walk properly wasn't bad enough, I had my heart out of rhythm, the headaches, the brain fog, the urinary issues I wrote about, the bowels, and of course, the nighttime wee wee.

So yes, I was a bedwetter too.  And quite a good one.  I'd fall asleep on the couch and wake up to a nice round patch on the front of my shorts, clean up and go to bed, then wake up with the sheets soaked.  After about 10 times of that happening, I finally agreed to wear a diaper/undergarment so at least I kept it contained and no extra sheet washing was required.  What I wife I have to have dealt with that wonderful morning treat.

The good news is, it seems to have gone away.  As I began to lose weight (260 as of today, so about 55 lbs gone so far), put my heart back into rhythm (almost 9 months of sinus now or 25 million beats), eliminate the brain headache and fog issues (almost a year now), and generally improve my overall health, I feel like I just got a new reason to believe I remain on the mend.  This one has to be a legit improvement from a neurological standpoint.  I stopped losing control of my bladder while sleeping.  Wow.  Instead of whizzing all over the bed and waking up from feeling it on my leg, now I wake up when it's still inside and my body taps me on the shoulder and says "Hey Mike, you gotta go.....might want to wake up and use the toilet."  A groggy stumble to the bathroom has proven much better than a fully awake swearing session about soaked sheets and sleeping rest of the night on a towel or the floor.  Ahhhh, the joys of MS.  Sleep is good.  Dry sleep is better.

Also, no sooner than that happened, I have also noticed some real improvement in my legs.  Not sure how to describe this one as I'm certainly not fixed, but there is some initial trigger stability I've felt lately, despite it being 107 degrees here.  It's very slight and may just be a fluctuation, but I'd thought I'd report this too in case it turns out to be the start of another neurological re-connect.

6/5/14  Where does the time go?

Last post was April 14th.  Time seems to slip away so quickly....seems like I just posted.

1) Heart: in.  Somewhere around 22,000,000 beats all in sync.  This one still amazes me as I spent 4 years in Afib (recall it was about 2 in paroxysmal and 2 in persistent).  I was pretty much preparing to have my heart out the rest of my life, but I'm almost to the point where I don't think about it much anymore.  And frankly, that's pretty nice.  I may not even need to report on this any more.
2) Weight: I don't know exactly.  I got below 270 for the first time in 4 years (which, by the way is only 20lbs over my baseball days), and I haven't weight myself in a month.  My guess is around 265 since I've been averaging a pound a week of loss, but I'll report back as soon as I get the guts to weight myself again.  I don't like being disappointed with this....kind of wrecks my day.  So I usually weigh myself on a weekend or something.  The cool thing about the weight is I don't really think about it much anymore.  I figure the way I'm eating the weight loss is just a function of the health and body realignment.  Weight loss is just a byproduct, and I feel like I'll just land where I'm supposed to land.  Kind of hoping it is in the 230 range, but we'll see.  It's only 20-30 more lbs to go.  Maybe by Christmas I'll be at my ideal weight.
3) Legs and bladder.....still no change, although it is really hot here in Vegas now and us MS folks are really beat up by the heat, but for some reason I am detecting some trigger strength I haven't seen lately.  Not sure if its a trend or something passing as has been the case with many things leg.  More on this in a bit.
4) Exercise....I'm back in the pool!  I used to swim with the Las Vegas Masters but when I was in afib I was getting scared to swim.  Felt like the aerobic nature of swimming was stressing out my cardiovascular system too much so I downgraded to an exercise bike and the quad.  I told myself when I got back to 270 I'd hit the pool again.  Been back in there since the end of April and it feels great.  Swimming is a pretty boring sport for me, but it is a lot more lively with a team all pushing each other and a coach yelling at us from the deck.

So the leg thing is a little strange.  I've reported many times in the past I felt this stability or that coming around, but it really has been up and down.  I know that not getting worse is a plus, but as anyone who knows me knows, that isn't the goal.  The goal is to be done with this.  And the latest sensation I've been getting with my legs might possibly be an indicator that I'm improving in this area.  Trigger strength is word I use to describe the initial reaction when a muscle is fired from the nerve.  For example, hold the arm out straight and have someone pull down on the hand.  The initial strength is what the neurologists measure, so for lack of a better word and not being trained medically, I call it trigger strength.  There are various loads that get placed on the legs when walking, squatting, going around a corner, etc.  For most people they don't even think about them, but with my legs I have to be very cognizant of them because when I have weak trigger strength in some of these things, I can go down like a sack of potatoes falling off a truck.  Lately I've noticed, for about a week straight, that I have some extra trigger strength in my right leg as I walk around a corner.  Just writing about it to document and see if it's a trend.  Hope so....

What else?  Headaches, gone.  Superficial Temporal Vein presence/pain, gone.  Medications, none.  All I do now is eat mountains of veggies.  See the pic below.  That was dinner at sweet tomatoes last night.  Bit of a horse feeding trough........

4/14/14  Just a quick update.........

Weight: down to about 270-275.  High was 315 +/- when gluttonous nutrition began.
Jeans: 42's are out.  40's in for some middle relief, very close to needing a belt.  Almost to the closer which is the 38's.  Extra innings might be 36's but I doubt it.
Bladder: larger, more volume.  Urgency and relief same.
Bowel: as normal as I could imagine.  Unreal how awesome this is.
Heart: Fully sinus since November 6th, 2013.  That's about 16,500,000 beats all in a row.  Even more unreal how awesome that one is!!
Legs: weak.  Damn I wish I could see some sustained progress on these.  I get little glimpses of good here and there, but other bad days.
Attitude: Skewed recently as a result of some major challenges at the office.  Seem to have resolved for the most part, so let's see.......
1/22/14 Go 100%

I got a facebook post from a buddy the other day.  He said, “You've created an opportunity. Whether it's Kimberly's (energy healing therapist) hands or food or shocking your heart or exercise or riding your quad or your crazy ass dog or the combination. This is the first time that you could possibly be without any medication giving the food its first true opportunity to let your body heal itself.
“There is no other way to reverse vascular damage. No drug, no treatment, nothing. This (proper food) is 100% successful. You must be 100% compliant to get 100% benefit. Accidents happen and there is also things that will sneak in. For instance, the oil they put in the brand of hummus you eat. Fresh and easy brand has less. You can scoop out the oily part to reduce it, making it yourself oil free would be best. Fine tune your food and eliminate the bad fatty oily. Go 100%.
“Will this work at 90% or 98% compliant? I don't know. I can't wrap my head around not doing it 100%. The hard part is going 95%, fine tuning the last 5% is relatively easy. Would it make a difference if to not put the proper torque on the bolts of a bike, not hammer the deck nails in all the way, a few wire nuts off the wiring in the house?
“If this way of eating was a pill it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Get the maximum benefit go 100%. If you paid for it wouldn't you want maximum benefit?
“Yes, small amounts of refined sugar and cream will affect your hormones dramatically. Yes, when eliminating vitamins and the other things you were or are taking, it will take time for your body to adjust.
“You are so close.
“Put 90 dollars in pennies in a back pack that's the 50lbs extra you are carrying.  You get to take 5 to 10 pennies out a day. That's the rate of healing there is to your vascular system when 100% compliant.
“For weight loss I was a little reluctant because I want maximum nutrition. But in a week or 2 you will start to lose about a lb a day, while staying with the same plan remove high glycemic food.”
Now this friend of mine is the one who convinced me to go to the plant-based life, as he walks the walk himself.  He has lost weight, got his cholesterol under control, controlled his glaucoma, and all kinds of other blood parameters.  He isn’t a nutritionist.  He isn’t a doctor.  He’s a guy who likes to ride and wants to see me healthy and walking normal again.  He’s the one who also told me I might be walking normally again by May. 
How dare he say things like this?  Who is he, not trained in medicine, to make such predictions?  Well, I’ve lost weight.  Down to 283 last time I checked.  Was about 315 in October when I started this, lost a bunch right away, stagnated for a bit at 290, then another 7 off.  30 pounds in 4 months, eating until I’m full, heart in rhythm, full of nutrients and hydrated.  Stopped taking almost all the supplements, and I take no medication. 
I previously reported eight or so measurable improvements.  And now it’s starting to happen.  The legs have started – just a little bit – to work in harmony.  I know because I feel it.  My wife knows because she always could tell who was walking down the hallway and I scared her last night as I walked into the laundry room.  Literally.  Walking on hardwood floors for the past few years, the right leg is normal and the left leg flumps down clumsily.  Now, the left leg walks almost normally too, to the point where the heel lands first, rolls down to the ball of the foot, and thrusts for the next step.  The trained eye could spot a problem, but it is pretty good.
I can’t sustain it for too long, the left quadracep feels like I have a charley horse every now and again, and of course the rough terrain and standing on one leg remains difficult.  But I can’t believe it.  Mayo Clinic never got me this far.  Not UCLA, University of Utah, nor any doctors here in Las Vegas.  CCSVI came close, which is why I did it so many times.  But for the clotting, CCSVI would probably have advanced me more.
I don’t know if I will continue to improve.  I am starting to like my odds.  A heart that has beaten some 8 million times in sinus rhythm probably helps, as does being hydrated.  I drink a third of what I used to and drink when I’m thirsty now, instead of all day drinking and still being thirsty.

As my friend said, I am so close and it sure feels like it to me too.  I am beginning to dream about walking normally again.  I’ve even had a couple dreams about running, but I’ll take this a step at a time.  Literally.