Happy diagnosis anniversary to me 🙂
Yes, a happy one as this is how I feel on most days. Sometimes I wonder if I’ m a real weirdo as I usually wake up feeling super happy, lucky, but most of all, grateful.
It’s been 5 years and I can’t stop laughing as I type this! Gosh, I would have NEVER thought to be where I am now 5 years ago.
The past year has been the very best MS year so far, finally!
First of all – a quick health recap. Not much to report as I feel the best I have since my diagnosis despite that new lesion they found on the MRI in September and I blame that one on a very stressful time in my personal life. I don’t have any new symptoms and can’t say that I’m bothered by my existing symptoms – I also don’t focus on them. Energy flows where attention goes so I rather focus on other things 🙂 However – I also learned when these symptoms are a warning sign that I overdid it again or – that my body simply has a suboptimal day and needs a break.
I also started to meditate on a daily (these days only “regular”) basis last year and went to two Dr. Joe Dispenza workshops, one here in Amsterdam and to the Advanced Workshop in Mexico where I met so many inspiring people.
Still sticking to a meat, dairy ( except every few months when I’m having a fancy dinner somewhere I’d go for a bit of cheese instead of dessert), soy and gluten free diet but reintroduced eggs and coconut oil which isn’t allowed on the “Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Diet” so I guess I just follow my “own” diet and needs now and truly learned to listen to my body.
In addition to a healthy diet I still take my daily supplements ( Vitamin D, B12, zinc, fish oil, magnesium, non-acidic vitamin C, super greens powder, Sugarbearhair gums ) and also supplement my protein intake with vegan/gluten & soy free protein powder shakes, especially after working out.
I joined a Wim Hof workshop and finished it with an ice bath – it felt so amazing I decided to stick to a cold shower regime and even made it to FreezLab for a whole body cry session in – 110C / -166 F a few times !
I must confess I still don’t do yoga on a regular basis but have been to Garth McLean‘s Iyengar workshop in November and will also join one next week as he’ll be in the Netherlands again. Can’t do everything 😉
In March I went skiing for the first time in 5 years and even surprised my dad as everything went very well, I really love the cold, snow and winter as my body feels super normal in these temperatures and I hope to ski more often next winter.
Mountains – I also started indoor climbing to prepare for our Mission Summit expedition to Mont Blanc and even passed my top rope climbing exam.
The biggest change of all has happened in my working out routine as I started CrossFit in August 2016 and that was my game changer. I tell you, the first weeks were a fight as I had the worst fatigue after each workout resulting in 3h siestas but now, 9 months later, I feel like I totally own it ( most of the times) and the progress I’ve made is incredible. Just to name one, when I first started I couldn’t really jump ( MS related, it felt like I’m pretty much glued to the floor the past years but hey, that’s also pretty much an invisible symptom as how often do you jump on a daily basis ) and started with a very low box about the height of a shoe box. Since April I jump the regular height for ladies which is 50 cm/ 20 inches. I go to CrossFit 3-4 times a week and it is one of the most important things to me. Not only do I love to challenge myself mentally/ physically but I also met so many super nice people there and made a bunch of new friends I also hang out with outside of the box.
The second BIG thing that happened in the past 12 months is the Mission Summit expedition that will start in exactly 4 weeks, flying out to Geneva on July 16th, wohooo! I will climb my very first mountain! Well, actually we’ll climb 2 mountains and both are above 4000m ( 13.100 ft), the Grand Paradiso in Italy and Mont Blanc in France. BOOM. Moving mountains for MS as the first team of MS patients to summit Mont Blanc ( we’re 4 with and 4 without MS) , if you would like to donate for the study “Project Y” at VUmc MS Research Center we’re fundraising for, please visit my page.
I’ll celebrate my 38th birthday in Chamonix on a glacier learning how to use the ice axe, crampons and navigate safely along the crevasses.
Thanks to all the training for the expedition I’m most likely in the fittest shape I’ve been in a long while and this is just the beginning.
5 years ago ( actually up to 3 years ago) I couldn’t do ANYTHING with my right arm and hand, slept 18h a day and considered moving back to the small village I come from in Germany, kind of giving up as I thought well, that’s it. I’m glad I didn’t as I would have missed this fantastic life and I’m loving every second of it.
Got to go, representing Mission Summit today at the largest MS event in the Netherlands, Arena MoveS. We even got a mobile climbing wall where everyone is welcome to have a go. Later in the afternoon I’ll climb a few hundred stairs along the football arena with my 12kg backpack. Unbelievable. I feel so lucky and blessed ❤
Just thinking about how strange it is that Arena MoveS is on June 25, my 5 year diagnosis anniversary and that the Mission Summit expedition starts on July 17, my birthday. Synchronicity at its best. I guess I’m right where I’m supposed to be at this point in my life. All is good.
Here’s to the next 5 years and new, bigger adventures. Already thinking about what to do after I return from Mont Blanc, need to find a new challenge to keep up my 6 days a week training routine 🙂