|"I've got 99 problems & protein ain't one"|
But, with every attack comes recovery - more specifically rehab. Something I am quite familiar with given my many, many years of unknowingly living with MS.
This time around, I hit the treadmill to rehab. I had just gotten into the habit of walking prior to the attack and I was mad that my new found activity was abruptly taken from me.
This attack left me with substantial muscle atrophy, so getting on a moving machine was a bit scary, but I was determined.
I set my realistic expectations and began my long walk to recovery.
Day 1, I did a stellar 1 mph for 3 minutes & was exhausted. I know that may not seem like much, but after being bedridden for four weeks, it was an amazing accomplishment and I was proud.
Day 2, I was able to do 1 mph for 5 minutes...getting there! Day 3, still walking 1 mph for 5 minutes, but not giving up. I walked every day and as the days progressed so did my mph and my time until I was walking 4 mph for 30 minutes! It took about three weeks to reach that goal and I was happy there, until...
Until I was asked to participate in a 5k to benefit The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland. Completing a 5k has been on my bucket list for a while, so I "jumped" at the chance. Mind you, at the time, I wasn't walking anywhere near 3.1 miles and running was not even a consideration. I was still experiencing symptoms from my attack - fatigue, numbness, and vertigo. To anyone else, this would have seemed like a crazy thing to consider. But, to me I thought it was an excellent opportunity to push my body into recovery using my mind... I had one month to work up to 3.1 miles. I had no idea if I could do it or not, but just having that mental goal kept me trying.
The mind is a very powerful tool and my theory was by concentrating on a specific date to physically compete, my body would come along.
And come along it did! On May 7, 2016, I completed my first 5k. Sure, it took an hour, but I crossed the finish line on my own and kept on going!
The moral of this story is to have a goal and pursue it. There were many, many times that I could have said - this is too hard, it hurts too much, my body won't let me do it - but I pushed through all that.
Originally, my goal was just to walk again, but then it became so much more and there's no going back.