I made the mistake of joining a group, Overcoming MS a month ago. It is a mistake because they send out newsletters, which are almost always depressing with a heading that proclaims “Whatever It Takes” and articles called “Can You Stop My MS?”
This month’s newsletter begins by asking these questions:
Can OMSers eat gelatin? What’s the difference between cows’ dairy and that of goats and sheep? Should children of OMSers be on the OMS diet?
Already, my blood pressure is rising. I use gelatin every day, sometimes twice. Wait, is there something I should already know about cow milk? I’m not even on the “OMS diet” and now I need to consider putting my kids on it?
Here was the kicker: If you do have concerns about cognitive decline, or Brain Fog, you’re not alone. Up to 70% of people with MS report problems with thinking, concentration and memory.
Sigh. I didn’t have concerns about cognitive decline a minute ago. I know, I know, long-term MS can actually lead to shrinkage of the brain. But, but….that won’t happen to me and more immediate, problems with thinking, concentration and memory?!? Disturbing enough to consider as a possible future…but what if I already have problems with that? My word-recall is terrible. I say things like “loan shark” when I mean to say “lone ranger”, “cereal” instead of “silverware”. Yes, yes, I haven’t slept well in years. (See Unsleeping.) There is no way I could fractionate the cause of any particular cognitive problem because of this.
Anyway, I broke my own rule and read through my messages yesterday morning instead of packing school lunches, and immediately got depressed and worried. I dragged my feet, but still managed to show up at the gym, reluctantly joined in boot-camp warm-up. And my body went crackly and hot in a matter of seconds. I’ve been running hot lately anyway, but I usually get a 20 minute head start in workouts before my hand hurts too much to hold things. Ooof. I stuck it out for about half of the class, didn’t cry, stopped for snacks on the way home and slunk onto my sofa for a pity party. Hello Liz Lemon!
I set my best and brightest a distress beacon asking for their help weeding through the dross on the internet, to find out if I should/have to give up dairy. I mean, I know I probably need to. I have in the past for this very reason, but it would be nice to hear it from the medical librarian my friend has in her pocket rather than from the guy on the internet who also advises using lemon balm poultices. Or my old acupuncturist who believes you can absolutely control the course of a disease with your thoughts. (Because that is how cancer is cured, right?) Ah, blerg.
Today is, of course, better. I got up in the dark and ran two miles (only because a friend showed up at my door, but still…) My feelings of moral superiority are high right now, never mind that I’m back in pjs, trolling the internet, with my (dairy-free) green tea. I feel it is important to maintain equal amounts of time shopping for triathlon gear and time spent training. The sun is out and the birds on my street think it is spring, so I’m choosing to believe them. Onward!