The greatest impulse in dealing with this progressive autoimmune illness is to stop, rest and wait for energy. Sometimes it is a loving act to rest, but often it brings on more debilitation, a pattern I have only been able to see over time. Like with the Serenity Prayer there is wisdom in knowing the difference–knowing when to rest and when to move. One of the greatest teachings of this illness has been in the area of patience and self love. That has helped me to acquire body wisdom in avoiding more pronounced disuse atrophy.

Then there is discerning the difference between disuse atrophy and atrophy caused by nerve damage. Meandering, often stumbling through this autoimmune challenge is not for the cognitively challenged. Fortunately, my nervous system damage is more motor, less cognitive. I am also fortunate to have very little physical pain. Many of my brothers and sisters with this illness have both cognitive issues and neurogenic pain; neither of which I would wish on my greatest enemy, if I were to have one. This leads me to an update of my protocols:

I continue my daily routine of one hour in my standing frame and twenty minutes in the sun. (Remember that my healing trajectory is not linear and I had to overcome my double fractured ankle that I sustained in Pennsylvania. I also had to accommodate the lack of oxygen at eight thousand feet. My breathing, low blood pressure and stamina continue to improve and I was able to increase my standing time back to sixty minutes.) My primary protocol seems to have become the Budwig Protocol which I believe in tremendously for curing cancer. I’m not sure about this progressive form of multiple sclerosis/lyme disease. What I am coming to believe is that it has to be tremendously helpful after doing the research. The central part of the protocol involves a daily mixture of low-fat cottage cheese and flax oil emulsified until it becomes water-soluble, which is then more usable during cellular metabolism. What I have noticed is that after a lifetime of chronically dry skin, my skin glows with a vibrancy that I have never had.  Since it has only been two months on the protocol I will reserve judgment. I just know that people comment on my vitality pretty frequently these days.

As I soak in the sun’s rays, I remember being told by four different healthcare practitioners over at least a decade to practice this form of photon therapy. It is interesting that it has taken until now to begin this practice consistently. Being closer to the equator makes it easier year round. And after two and a half months of being exclusively indoors, being out in wide-open spaces with the big sky of Colorado makes it a spiritual experience.

After twenty-plus years of experimenting with protocols to improve my health and finding minimal improvement that registers on the physical level (but with much improvement on the mental emotional and spiritual levels), I understand that this has been a complex undertaking. Certain states of mind have become like old friends: pregnant anticipation, discouragement, scintillating excitement, despair, unfathomable hope. Yet through all of this I continued to return to a baseline of acceptance and reconciliation. The whole repertoire of internal reactions has been available to me and fortunately lately there has been much hope.

A therapy that I have looked at in the past has once again come to the forefront. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, has been found to be helpful with both Lyme disease and multiple sclerosis. Research in the United States appears to have mixed reviews, but treatment in Europe, where it seems to be much more mainstream, is revealing more positive results. I have reason to believe that my vascular system and oxygen availability are two areas of tremendous vulnerability. The Budwig Protocol has begun to reestablish more effective cellular metabolism (thank you Cheryl) by balancing the electrical system. Although I have not yet made a decision about this form of treatment, I am looking for my next step toward healing and continually…Moving Forward.