What’s shakin’? (Not me!)

msawarenessmonth
I can’t believe it’s already Friday of MS Awareness Week (though the whole month is MS Awareness Month), and I haven’t done a blog post. That seems kinda wrong.

To be fair, however, life has been challenging this week — lots of seizures. It was like I was back in Glendale when I was first diagnosed. I was just having them over and over again in what felt like a loop.

I called my MS specialist on Tuesday, but I haven’t heard back from him. His nurse called and scheduled me for the soonest opening, which is March 21st… two weeks from today. (He’s actually booked up through June!) I think I’m going to call and cancel it. I was having really intense pain in my lower back and unrelenting seizures when I called in the first place, and now, I’m pretty much fine. I only had 5 simple partials yesterday, which is nothing. I can handle some facial twitching.

Today, so far, I’m seizure-free, and my back feels fine. I was really worried when I called that I was still having a relapse, even though I took a medrol dose pack about 2 weeks ago. My body’s been acting so weird. I’m glad that it was just a pseudoexacerbation. I must have been fighting off a cold or something.

Increase Your MS Knowledge: What is a pseudoexacerbation?

From Health Central – “A pseudoexacerbation is a flare up of existing symptoms caused by another medical event, such as a urinary tract infection, flu, or elevated body temperature. Pseudo or not, it can stop you in your tracks as sure as any true exacerbation. However, new lesions are not being formed and your MS in not really progressing.

True MS exacerbations are caused by inflammation in the central nervous system which damages the myelin and disrupts the transmission of nerve signals, causing a wide variety of symptoms. This type of event can cause new symptoms and permanent damage, lasting from 24 hours to several months. Severe exacerbations may be treated with steroids in order to reduce inflammation and shorten the length of the exacerbation.”

So, for those of us with MS, we get to feel awful while also questioning ourselves to figure out if we might be sick or too hot or whatever before we even call our doctors to treat the problem. Basically, if I feel awful for 3-4 days, I’ll call a doctor. Otherwise, I assume everything weird that happens in my body is a pseudoexacerbation.

Pseudoexacerbations annoy me less than pseudoseizures.

Since I only tend to have seizures nowadays when I’m also experiencing other MS symptoms, I always think of my seizures as being part of MS… but when I initially began dealing with seizure disorder, doctors suggested that I also see a psychologist. While they could identify the epileptic activity that caused the simple partial seizures that I experience, they were stumped by the time travel (complex) seizures and thought it was likely that they were caused by subconscious psychological issues.

For over a year, I saw a psychologist and worked with EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) Therapy. I’ve written a lot about it. It was immensely helpful to me. In fact, the majority of my seizures stopped, thanks to the work we did.

To give you an idea of how intense and repetitive the seizures were on Monday, I actually went so far as to contact my most recent therapist to see if we could do some work (potentially with EMDR), just in case any of these recent seizures are being caused by my subconscious. She said it was good self-care, so even though the vast majority of the seizures have abated, I’m still going to see her.

(Fun fact: I found out, after already starting the therapy, that the doctor responsible for the creation of EMDR therapy is actually the mother of one of my good friends. That was pretty cool to me. I’m a big fan of her work both in the realm of therapy and as a mother, because her son is a truly awesome person.)

46 Days of “Strict” Paleo

It’s Lent! You know, the time between Mardis Gras and Easter.

This Lent, instead of giving up caffeine, Adam suggested that, just like in 2012, we be strict with keeping paleo. We’re not doing another Whole 30 or attempting a Whole 46. We’re just doing regular Paleo, so we can still have a little honey and maple syrup here and there. In truth, I am pretty sure my Whole 46 was just regular paleo too, looking back on it.

The big challenge for us will be not cheating on the weekends, when we’re out with friends and family, or when we’re feeling sick. (The craving for wanton soup when I’ve got a head cold is damn near undeniable.)

To make things easier for us (and anyone else who happens to be interested), I created a meal plan for Lent. I even made sure that on Fridays we’re scheduled to eat seafood and not meat, for all the Catholics out there who still follow that rule. (Fortunately, Adam’s as devoutly Catholic as I am devoutly Jewish. He doesn’t really care much about following a tradition that was created to help the fishing economy just for tradition’s sake. I can’t say I blame him. It’s not like I keep kosher.)

Tonight’s dinner is Garlic Roasted Shrimp with Zucchini Pasta.
garlic shrimp

Hope you’re all doing well!

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Menu for Week 6 of 6.5

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Breakfast
Paleo Lemon Poppyseed Waffles

Lunch
Cilantro Chicken Nuggets

Snack
Clementines

Dinner
Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs

Dessert
No-Bake Sticky Apple Bars

Monday, March 26, 2012

Breakfast
Eggs, Bacon, & Apple

Lunch
Lemon Garlic Swai/Tilapia

Snack
Clementines

Dinner
Honey Ginger Apple Shredded Pork

Dessert
No-Bake Sticky Apple Bars

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Breakfast
Fresh Fruit Smoothie

Lunch
Spinach Salad w/ Bacon & Mushrooms

Snack
Apple & Cashew Butter

Dinner
Deadwood Beef Stew

Dessert
Frozen Banana

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Breakfast
Fresh Fruit Smoothie

Lunch
Salty Sweet Broccoli Salad

Snack
Apple & Cashew Butter

Dinner
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken & Spinach

Dessert
Frozen Banana

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Breakfast
Primal Scotch Eggs

Lunch
Asian Ground Beef, Mushroom, and Broccoli Slaw Lettuce Cups

Snack
Clementines

Dinner
Jambalaya

Dessert
Frozen White Grapes

Friday, March 30, 2012

Breakfast
Sweet Potato Hash

Lunch
Turkey Tacos

Snack
Clementines

Dinner
Red Curry Chicken w/ Cauliflower Rice

Dessert
Frozen White Grapes

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Breakfast
Fresh Fruit Smoothie

Lunch
Bacon Sweet Potato Poutine

Snack
Apple & Cashew Butter

Dinner
Buffalo Chicken Pizza w/ Goat Cheese

Dessert
Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Menu for Week 5 of 6.5

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Breakfast
Corned Beef Hash

Lunch
Spinach Salad w/ Bacon & Mushrooms

Snack
A Pear

Dinner
Slow Cooker Korean Grass Fed Short Ribs

Dessert
Frozen White Grapes

Monday, March 19, 2012

Breakfast
Banana Bread

Lunch
Sliders

Snack
Apple & Cashew Butter

Dinner
Lemon Garlic Tilapia

Dessert
Berries

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Breakfast
Fresh Fruit Smoothie

Lunch
Turkey Tacos

Snack
Apple & Cashew Butter

Dinner
Yellow Curry Chicken & Cauliflower Rice

Dessert
Frozen White Grapes

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Breakfast
Fresh Fruit Smoothie

Lunch
Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Snack
A Pear

Dinner
Rae & A’s Awesome Chili & Sweet Potatoes

Dessert
Frozen Banana

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Breakfast
Eggs, Bacon, & Apple

Lunch
Salsa Chicken Salad

Snack
Apple & Cashew Butter

Dinner
Chile Verde

Dessert
Frozen White Grapes

Friday, March 23, 2012

Breakfast
Fresh Fruit Smoothie

Lunch
Asian Ground Beef, Mushroom, and Broccoli Slaw Lettuce Cups

Snack
A Pear

Dinner
Chicken Cacciatora

Dessert
Frozen White Grapes

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Breakfast
Eggs, Bacon, & Apple

Lunch
Leftovers

Snack
Apple & Cashew Butter

Dinner
Red Curry Chicken w/ Cauliflower Rice

Dessert
Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Menu for Week 4 of the Whole46 (all 6.5 weeks of it)

Hey Party People! Here’s the menu I’ve cooked up for Week 4.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Breakfast
Primal Scotch Eggs

Lunch
Chicken Spinach Salad w/Apples & Walnuts

Snack
Clementines

Dinner
Slow Cooker Carnitas

Dessert
Frozen Banana

Monday, March 12, 2012

Breakfast
Fresh Fruit Smoothie

Lunch
Curried Coconut Carrot Soup

Snack
Apple & Cashew Butter

Dinner
Chicken Cacciatora

Dessert
Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Breakfast
Eggs, Bacon, & Apple

Lunch
Salsa Chicken Salad

Snack
Clementines

Dinner
Jambalaya (add 1 cup of celery for a more authentic taste!)

Dessert
Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Breakfast
Fresh Fruit Smoothie

Lunch
Asian Ground Beef, Mushroom, and Broccoli Slaw Lettuce Cups

Snack
Apple & Cashew Butter

Dinner
Goat Cheese-Stuffed ChickenLeave out the breadcrumbs and substitute Ghee for Butter.

Dessert
Frozen White Grapes

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Breakfast
Eggs, Bacon, & Apple

Lunch
Avocado Tuna Salad w/ Sesame Almond Crackers – Instead of the spices listed, add sesame seeds and rosemary!

Snack
Clementines

Dinner
Grilled Salmon & steamed veggies

Dessert
Frozen White Grapes

Friday, March 16, 2012

Breakfast
Fresh Fruit Smoothie

Lunch
Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs – I use this recipe and add O Organics brand Tomato Basil spaghetti sauce.

Snack
Apple & Cashew Butter

Dinner
Beef with Broccoli & Cauliflower Rice

Dessert
Frozen Banana

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Breakfast
Almond Flour Pancakes

Lunch
Leftovers

Snack
Apple & Cashew Butter

Dinner
Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage

Dessert
Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies