The name of this blog comes from a simple fact–I have no balance. I’m not only talking about how I’m seeking an 80/20 balance in my life. Literally, I failed the balance test at my last neurology appointment.
Before you criticize my complementary medicine approach, know that this last year I actually detoured from what I had been doing health wise. I abandoned the Swank diet for a bit to try another approach, stopped swimming, and have been stressed out of my mind. (Not meditating enough!) Even my Pilates routine suffered when our basement started seeping water, and left the walls around my reformer (a piece of Pilates equipment) covered in mildew. I think chiropractic care and my mat Pilates practice were the only things that have kept me upright in 2015.
So, the balance test-basically, the test is walking heel to toe across the room and back, like a tightrope walk, while the neurologist observes. I’m fully aware that I stumble and bump into walls sometimes. But I was so wobbly during the test that I even surprised myself. As hard as it is to say for someone as Type as I
am was, I failed the test.
If you don’t know, MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system. I could lay it all out for you, but I’m all about doing things 80/20 these days, so I’ll let the National MS Society explain. In a person who has MS:
- The immune system attacks myelin — the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers — as well as the nerve fibers themselves.
- The damaged myelin forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name.
- When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing a wide variety of symptoms.
It reminds me of cartoons where characters come to a rickety rope bridge over a ravine. There are steps missing, and one side of the bridge is not really connected. It’s an incredible challenge to get across.
I still don’t like failing at things (who does?!), but I’m trying to walk away from this doctor’s appointment embracing the challenge.
Some people with MS think that once there is a loss of nerve function, that’s it. Lucky for me, I’m not one of those people. I know that there are ways to repair nerve function (high doses of biotin!), and ways to improve balance through targeted Pilates an PT exercises. I’m back on track with the Swank diet, and have been meditating much more. The tough part for me will be not going overboard, and maintaining my 80/20 balance as I seek to regain my physical balance. We’ll see at my appointment in 6 months.