Happy Valentines Day…

Some days just go really well don’t they.

Life seems easier and everything flows beautifully. It rains but you manage to get parked right by the entrance of wherever you are going. You have to go shopping for gifts and actually spend time choosing rather than throwing random things in the trolley. And you have your 4 and 7 year old with you. But on these days they are so well behaved that you feel like you’ve finally cracked the code. (It’s bribery in case anyone is still wondering).

Then you go for your monthly blood tests at the hospital. No waiting around. Kids are happy and calm. You nervously ask if they have received your latest MRI results yet, not really knowing whether you want to hear what they have to say at this very time, but it’s too late. She’s checking.

You get told that the treatment you went through (Lemtrada/Alemtuzumab) was worth every drop of worry and difficulty. Your most recent MRI shows no change, which doesn’t sound that exciting, but for someone with relapsing-remitting MS, it really is. No change means no current disease activity which means no further damage going on without you knowing about it.

Phew. Phew. And a bit more phew.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

If your Valentine’s hasn’t been so positive, you’re due an easy one soon. I promise.

Lynne x

 

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Happy New (slower and kinder) Year

7813051B-AB2E-4601-A4A6-A507DDCC3B93I’ve been meaning to write this for a few days and something has stopped me each day. As a Yoga teacher, MS-y blogger and health geek I felt it was something I really ought to be doing.

But whenever I started reading articles and blogs about “New Year Clean eating ” or “New Year’s Resolutions” I realised that it wasn’t really how I was feeling.

And as I only ever write about how I’m feeling, it just wasn’t going to work.

I’m easing into 2018. As usual I’m feeling a bit lethargic after the Christmas travelling, over-indulgence and general lack of routine. So I’ve decided it’s probably more important to gradually regain some of those lovely habits that keep me so well and sane, rather than scrabbling around at the bottom of the fridge for green things to go into the nutribullet from the minute the new year starts.

So last night instead of cutting out dairy, sugar and all things tasty, I ate some cheese and booked myself a massage.

And yesterday instead of frantically sprinting off the mince pies (which I can’t really do anyway due to my crazy leg),  I went for a speedy march to the beach in the rain just as it was getting dark. On my own. It was blissfully energising and lung clearing.

Yesterday was the last day of the Christmas holidays with my kids. So after a torturous shopping experience (online shopping is always wiser), we had a tasty, warm and averagely healthy lunch in a cafe whilst playing a silly game and giggling our heads off. We then plodged  through the mud at a beautiful wetlands centre before heading home to reluctantly take the tree down. Bliss (apart from the shopping section).

And tonight, instead of decluttering, ironing and cleaning, I’m going to run a bath using some of the delicious products I was given at Christmas that usually sit there collecting dust until the next year.

Now I’m not saying I won’t be joining in with the post Christmas cleanse.  I’m pretty sure I need to lose a few lumps of belly,  and I really enjoy and desperately need all things healthy to maintain my energy levels which plummet after anything out of the ordinary.

I’m just saying that the other things are all part of it too. There’s no point in me stuffing my face with turmeric-infused-quinoa if I’m stressed and in need of a veggie lasagne followed by a long bath to try and chip away at some of the leg hair that I’ve been cultivating since having children and giving up on shaving.

My more realistic New Year’s resolution this year is to be kind to myself, learn to make better bread,  and make sure I spend more time on things that make me happy and help me feel great.

Phew.

Be kind to yourself

Love, Lynne x

A Perfect View

C34E30EC-7764-44E5-9A46-367A2771FD02Two years ago I stood on this hill behind my little family thinking how perfect the day was. Sunny, warm and calm on the outside. A bag of nerves on my inside.

It was the perfect “last day” before filling my body with enough toxins to wipe out a large part of my immune system.

“Shit I hope this treatment works and doesn’t make things worse” I remember thinking.

So far so good.

Phew.

 

The Forest Look

Living with MS means I am constantly thinking about how to take good care of myself. What I eat, how much I eat, sleep and exercise all makes such a difference to me. And if I spend a couple of weeks on holiday eating and drinking too much (like now) then I try and counteract the overindulgence with more exercise (preferably in a forest-it really is true what they say about forests and forest bathing).

I’m currently trying all sorts to get fitter and stronger. This can be quite a challenge due to the fact that my leg gives up after a few minutes of walking or running, and I barely break into a sweat before I have to stop to rest my crazy leg.

So yesterday I cycled up a massive hill pulling my (heavy) children in a trailer behind me to try and get a sweat on.

The husband was getting loads of dirty looks as I struggled up behind him. He even got heckled at one point.

I was mostly giggling at my ridiculousness and the dirty looks hubby was getting  (the giggling makes it impossible to cycle up steep hills by the way). He was mostly taking the piss out of my cycling-up-a-hill-tactics, and trying to explain to the heckling strangers how stubborn I can be.

But I did it. I broke into a sweat and was quite out of breath at the top.

And I felt a sense of achievement that you get from things like childbirth and completing a marathon. (By the way a marathon for me now is walking further than I did yesterday, which isn’t very far, so please don’t think I only consider 26.2 miles a worthy challenge. I’ve done both. And my mini walks are so much harder than when I actually could run a marathon).

So here it is. My sweaty-forest-look. Crazy hair optional.

Here’s to finding ways to stay as strong and fit as you can for as long as you can. It feels pretty amazing.

Love, Lynne x

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Life before MS

IMG_5233I didn’t have MS when I used to come here as a child. Nowadays it’s hard to remember what that was like.  Sometimes I daydream that if I moved back here I might not have it anymore.

And even though I know that’s not in any way possible, I still love dreamily watching my little family explore the rock pools in the distance whilst I sit and contemplate the ancient castle ruins behind me, without a single MS symptom to spoil my view.

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It’s good to come home.

And it’s great to have a few quiet moments to re-feel how it felt all those years ago before MS started to attack my poor nervous system.

I love holiday daydreaming.

Now where’s that chocolate?

Happy Easter everyone x

Big is not always better

This blog has nothing to do with MS.

It has to do with my intentionally simple and relaxing Christmas after what has been a difficult year for many, including myself.

There’s a growing trend towards simplifying life, spending less and hugging (or hygge-ing) more.

And I like it. I like it a lot. It’s what I was brought up on. Lots of hanging out, walks in the country and time snuggling up with my family.

We are rarely organised enough to plan lots of “Christmas activities” and sometimes Facebook makes me feel a bit lazy and like I ought to plan more “stuff”.

But when both of my girls told me they were having the “best Christmas EVER” this morning, I realised that this is all they need. Time to chill out, play, draw, argue, jump off high stuff, collect sticks and bake questionable goodies.

Since breaking up from school, my very lovely (and lively) children and I have done the following “activities”:

1. Explored the woods collecting sticks and searching for bugs (yuck) under logs. I kept my yucks silent and invisible in front of the girls.

2. Had long, splashy, leisurely “deepest ever” baths  in the middle of the day.

3. Made gingerbread and rolled and shaped the life out of it until it was completely inedible.

4. Played “jumping onto this squishy bunchy pile of stuff” (see picture above).

5. Made way too many paper chains for our house.

6. Walked around our neighbourhood admiring Christmas lights and deciding that next year we need to invest in a family of light up reindeer.

7. Done French plaits to make our hair wavy.

8. Imaginary games with teddies and tea sets. These games are my personal favourite.

9. Spent two nights and two days totally exhausting their grandparents with games, playgrounds and disturbed nights.

And we’re only half way through the holidays.

What a relief to be out of the daily routine.

I have to agree with my clever babies. This truly is the best time ever.

I really hope you are having your version of the best Christmas ever.

Happy, happy Christmas,

Love, Lynne x

 

Drunk

When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I had no idea how it was going to turn out.

I still don’t.

I certainly didn’t anticipate wondering whether the person behind me thinks I’m drunk after a short walk to school to drop my daughter off.

But this morning I did. For a moment I considered stopping and letting them pass so that I could wobble home in peace, without judgement. But then I realised I that I don’t really care what my walking looks like. And neither does the person behind me probably!

What I care about is being able to walk my baby girl to school.

So I carried on.  And it got worse. I was all over the bloody place on the way back (the gale force “sea breeze” didn’t help).

But my determination was and is so much stronger than my worries about looking drunk. I never used to care in my twenties when I actually was drunk (not usually at school run time by the way) so why should I care now?

So after weeks of sitting on my arse (cycling included) it’s about time I did some walking. I think I need the practice.

(Imagine having to practise walking in adulthood. That is definitely not anything I ever thought of having to do).

Tomorrow  I may make my porridge with gin instead of milk. I can’t see it making anything worse…