All the yums! 🍽🍅🍆🌽🌶🍄
The difference in my lunch choice when I don’t go to Yoga, Pilates classes in the morning is immense!
My fatigue is still bad but far less than when I’ve exercised!
I can think a little clearer & listen to my body, so I can make better choices of what to have & what my body wants!
I know its appears to be a simple salad, but nothing is simple when you have 2 chronic illnesses!
I could have had some mixed beans with my salad but unfortunately, I have only just remembered them & my lunch is now in my tummy! 🤗
This lunch is nothing compared to when my DebbieRahRah is here, but it makes me proud to know that I created it on my own!
MS has changed my life, oddly and yet profoundly for the better.
When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2010 i was shocked and yet relieved to understand what had been happening to me for such a long while. Once i started to come to terms with my diagnosis in 2011 I felt ready to start fundraising. Around the 1st anniversary of my diagnosis, I decided that I wanted to raise money for the MS Trust, the wonderful charity that has helped me during my diagnosis & whom continue to help me every day with my MS.
Of all the things to do walking over fire seemed the most appealing! I told myself that if I could do that then I could cope with & be stronger than my MS!
A fun event
It was one evening last year, when I was with a group of friends that an event called The Color Run was mentioned. One of my friends searched for it on the internet, just from the pictures that I saw, instantly I wanted to participate in such a fun event. The trouble was it was a 5k run, I can’t walk half a kilometre let alone run 5!
What made it even more appealing was that it was coming to Birmingham! Before I knew it I had emailed the company asking if it was suitable for disabled to take part!
It didn’t take long for the company to email me back but whilst I was waiting I carried on looking at ‘the Color Run’ website.
The Color Run™, also known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet, is a unique colour race that celebrates healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community. Less about your 10-minute-mile and more about having the time of your life, The Color Run is a five-kilometre, un-timed race in which thousands of participants are doused from head to toe in different colours at each kilometre. The fun continues at the finish line with a gigantic “Color Festival,” using more coloured powder to create happiness and lasting memories, not to mention millions of vivid colour combinations. Trust us, this is the best post-5k party on the planet! With only two rules, the idea is easy to follow:
Wear white at the starting line
Finish plastered in colour
Now the single largest event series on the planet, The Color Run is exploding since our debut event in January of 2012, with 1.5+ million runners in 2013 and over 2 million taking part in 2014.
I knew from reading that how much I wanted to do it now & hoped that the course was wheelchair friendly & someone would be happy to push me when I needed it!
Then I read the next part on the website
“Color Runners” vary in demographics and reasons for running. With no winners or official times, The Color Run caters to anyone – 2 year olds to 80 year olds, first time runners to professional athletes. Some Color Runners participate as a celebration and capstone of their healthy living accomplishments, while others participate for reasons unique to them.
No stopping me
It still didn’t say anything about disabled & wheelchairs. I guessed it was pushchair friendly as no one is going to make a 2 year old walk/run 5k! I opened the email & was so excited to read that YES ‘the Color Run’ is wheelchair friendly!
That was it, no stopping me! I updated my facebook status asking if anyone else fancied the challenge! It wasn’t long until I managed to get a team of 10, including myself looking forward to the big day. I decided this time I wanted to raise money & awareness for MS-UK. A wonderful charity dedicated to giving support and information to anyone affected by MS.
I spoke to my Pilates instructor Kate King (standing to the left of me in the picture above) at ‘The Pingles Leisure Centre’ and told her what I wanted to do. My aim was to walk as much of the Color Run as possible, knowing it wouldn’t be much because of the pain & weakness I have in my legs. I thought that if I could work on my ‘Core muscles’ then hopefully that would help with my balance, always a must when walking! I also needed to strengthen my legs! Kate was up for the challenge!
That was it, that was my new challenge! I upped the amount of Pilates classes I attended and started going into the gym more often too. Gradually my friends joined me in the gym as well. It was fantastic, my moods started to get better, I was feeling much more positive about things and I was smiling a lot more!
I set up 3 different ways for people to sponsor us, the online ‘JustGiving’ page, sponsor forms and by text using ‘JustTextGiving’
We decided on a name for our team, BAM4MSUK. It made sense to us, By Any Means for MS-UK! I told everyone in the group that it didn’t matter how they wanted to take part in the event just as long as they had fun, after all this was to celebrate my 5th anniversary of diagnosis, proving that I am stronger than my MS! I knew I would be walking what I could and in my wheelchair for the rest, there were people who wanted to run and alsopeople who wanted to be part of my support team to help push me!
3 of us in the team were ‘MegaSpecials’ *Amazing people who have MS* this made it even more special for me. I realised how incredibly lucky I am to have such wonderful friends! There were a lot more of my ‘MegaSpecial’ friends that wanted to do it but just couldn’t for one reason or another. I get the feeling that after hearing how much fun we had they’ll be taking part in the next ‘Color Run’ or whatever challenge I decide to arrange.
Gathering the MegaSpecials
It was finally here, the day I had been waiting for! All the arrangements were in place for the team to meet. I was going with my closest friend and chief wheelchair pusher ‘Debbie’
My ‘MegaSpecial Sistahh’ Sare had come down from Doncaster, South Yorkshire with her Son Lewis, who wanted to take part in ‘the Color Run’ to celebrate his 16th birthday.
We were meeting my other ‘MegaSpecial girly’ Angie closer to the event location & then everyone else in the team were meeting us there. As long as the ‘MegaSpecials’ were together I was happy!
This was such a big thing for me! There was going to be thousands of people there! Since having MS I have learnt that the anxiety I have suffered, for such a long time is actually part of my MS! I’m not on my own with this, which is why it was so nice to have other ‘MSrs’ around me, we all ‘get’ each other!
Screaming with excitement!
All the team arrived and we were all ready! Wilma (my wheelchair, yes I’m one of those people! I like to name things) was all ready with the MS-UK t-shirt attached to the back. Everyone in the team had the official ‘Color Run’ t-shirts on as stated in the rules and we all had paint and glitter on our faces supplied by ‘The Color Run’
We all huddled together and said our bit, this mainly consisted of me screaming with excitement and then we made our way to the start!
Remember to breath!
There were so many groups of people, like i said before thousands! My heart started to race, I’d never done anything like this before! I remembered my ‘Pilates breathing’ to help calm me and kept telling myself ‘just breath, just breath!’
We started to move again, not for long! Stop, start, stop, start! When would we really be starting? We realised they were letting groups of people go & then waiting. Finally, we were off! 5k here we come!
And they’re off!
I started off walking with Angie and a member of the support team Sharon who I stuck to like glue, I was still very nervous even though the crowds of people had dispersed into the distance! Sare was in the wheelchair being pushed by Debbie ahead of us with 2 other members of the support team, Sarah C *AKA Giggler* & her partner Mike. 3 other members of the support team had decided to run ahead, Sare’s son Lewis & another close friend Adam decided to run the course and meet us at the end. Sharon’s son was also with us, because of his age he was only allowed to run to each kilometre marker. He then had to wait for us before he could run ahead again.
We reached the first kilometre marker! The ‘Color Run’ volunteers were so much fun, they kept running up to everyone high fiving us followed by a dousing in color! Yellow, yellow, yellow, everywhere, the smell was awful & it didn’t taste too good either but it was so much fun!
Collecting the colors
As we made our way around the course we started to acquire more colors, Blue was the second, followed by my favourite: pink & then the final color at the 4th kilometre was orange.
We laughed & threw paint powder all over each other & laughed some more! We shared the wheelchair as & when we needed to being pushed by only one person, Debbie, because she was in the zone! She had been training for this for weeks and wasn’t going to let anyone else take over!
I’d had a conversation with a young girly who I knew was going to the Color Run. I met Jazz (who also has MS) through twitter, we’d spoken about how great it would be if we bumped into each other on the day as we’d been chatting online for such a long time but had never yet met! We also laughed about how it would be virtually impossible to bump into each other as there would be so many people there!
Enormous amount of pride!
We realised that not long after we started we were soon overtaken by the next wave of runners/walkers and then the next and the next and the next! It wasn’t long until we noticed the ambulance behind us! You know, the ambulance that signifies the end of the race, the last ones! We’d gone from being one of the first groups to start to being the last to finish, in that moment right there I felt an enormous amount of pride!
The last to finish
The last color was in sight! The last hill, the last marker! We were the last group to finish which could only mean one thing to the volunteers, use up all the paint powder they had left and cover the last people to cross!
Finish in site!
Hip hip hooray! We did it!
Our own private colour party!
We did it but it didn’t finish there, we made our way to the final area where the remainder of what looked like a rave had taken place. Once we got to the ‘party zone’ we were given loads of packets of paint powder, this was basically to throw all over ourselves as a group!
We watched the small crowds of groups at the bottom of the hill by the party stage, luckily we could hear them. They started to count down & paint bombed each other with those packets we were given! Wow! At that moment, I had tears in my eyes! That might seem odd to some people but for me it was magical! All that colour, it was like a plume of rainbows!
Our turn! As a group, as a team, the runners had rejoined us. We counted down 3, 2, 1, paint powder everywhere! It wasn’t until I opened mine that I realised I had the best colour ever, pink, my favourite!
Remembering how my vision is and how i have lost contrast, to see all that colour was something that I shall always remember, and if I don’t remember because MS is also interfering with my memory then I have the photos to look through.
I’m Vicky Edwards and MS has changed my life, oddly and yet profoundly for the better.
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2010, I was shocked and yet relieved to understand what had been happening to me for such a long while.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system.
In MS, the coating around nerve fibres (called myelin) is damaged, causing a range of symptoms.
More than 100,000 people in the UK have MS. Symptoms usually start in your 20s and 30s and it affects almost three times as many women as men.
Once diagnosed, MS stays with you for life, but treatments and specialists can help you to manage the condition and its symptoms.
The cause is unknown and a cure is yet to be found, but research is progressing fast.
2011 saw the start of my love for fundraising. Of all the things to do, walking over fire seemed the most appealing for my first fundraiser! I told myself if I could do that then I could be stronger than my MS! That event celebrated my 1st anniversary of my MS diagnosis.
I decided from then on I would do my best to raise money for different MS charities. This then started a chain reaction. For many of the charity events a certain level of physical and mental fitness would be needed, not just for myself but for my friends as well, I would most certainly need their help. Different charity events call for different support from my friends, whether it be pushing me in my wheelchair for 5k, running the 5k, organising fun day events which would guarantee someone having to go in the stocks, or even running a marathon!
Last year myself and a friend decided it was time to attend ‘Slimming World’ the dieting group. Whilst at the same time I continued with my gym referral from the previous year and one by one the rest of my friends started to join the same gym!
Slimming World is where we first met Sharon and a friendship started to blossom. It was only a couple of months later that I realised she also went to the same gym as we all did! At this time I had started to organise another charity event and Sharon stood out to me as someone who would enjoy the challenge of the 5k Color Run. I asked and she accepted.
I managed to get a good number of people together and organised the group with the help of my friends!
I told everyone that for this event I didn’t mind how people participated as long as they had fun! We even came up with a name for us ‘bam4msuk’ (By Any Means for MS-UK as that was the charity I had chosen to fundraise for)
I was so happy with the group of friends & really pleased that Sharon had agreed to do it – bearing in mind that this was a lady that didn’t even know the rest of the group! A lady that had recently found her love for running, this is why it was such a surprise to me when she said she wanted to walk with the group that was helping with the wheelchair! She was determined to give as much support as was possible and she didn’t disappoint!
“Hi Vix, want to run an idea past you. Been really proud of all your fitness sessions against your issues. I’m running my first marathon in October in York. Would it be ok if I ran for MS on your behalf? I think you have an amazing amount of strength and willpower and love you to bits! Thought you could borrow these legs ‘virtually’ and we could try to do some good between us? What do you think?”
I felt so honoured! I totally loved the idea! How wonderful!
We arranged to meet up so we could discuss it further, we spoke about the most important thing first… which charity Sharon would be fundraising for. She left that decision for me to make as I know the charities better than she does.
I decided it would be good to raise funds for MS-UK again, I decided this as they are a charity that not only helps me the most, but I think they are the best charity at raising awareness for Multiple Sclerosis.
Here is what Sharon has to say about why she started running, and why she wants to do this Marathon for an MS charity:
“I started running after losing 3 1/2 stone hitting target with slimming world. Had money to join the gym then and my sister-in-law shared a link for a 5k mud run in Carlisle in May 2015. I asked if she was running it and she asked if I wanted to join her? That was it, gauntlet down and challenge accepted! Up to this point I had been in the gym only, using the treadmill and weight machines to improve my poor level of fitness. With this mud run I was going to actually have to get outside for a start, to run but also make sure my overall fitness level could get me through the running, mud, water, fire, heights and climbing over/ under and through things!
Anyway I totally enjoyed this and from then on I started to go out more running and switched to Gym classes (body pump, cx, combat and balance). I also included swimming once a week for a good low impact activity. The running increased gradually over time, gym classes once a week (but 3 of them), swimming once a week and still maintaining my weight with slimming world.
I have definitely caught the running bug!
2015 was my first year of running and I have gone from being unable to run further than 100 yards without being out of breath to getting round 15 miles while talking with my running buddies.
Having met Vix through Slimming World and at the gym, I have seen how much she enjoys her activities and battles through her MS barriers.
It was watching her do this while still smiling that it struck me, my already booked first marathon should be done with her in mind – everything that she battles through daily should be my inspiration to get me through my first ever 26.2 miles.
My original plan had been to attempt a marathon before my 45th birthday (2017) to prove to myself that I could do it – so I shall be completing it to prove to myself that I can and for Vix to show her how much of an inspiration she truly is”
This year MS-UK have been promoting the ‘Year of the Bear’ Myles the MS-UK Mascot
I was asked at the beginning of the year if I would take part in it, of course I said yes! A few days later I received my ‘Myles’ the MS-UK mascot and it was time to start taking him with me everywhere I went to capture selfies of him with different people, in different places, doing different things!
I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to continue this campaign with Sharon and her marathon. So like the good sport she is, Sharon will be carrying ‘Myles’ around with her whilst she trains and of course on the big day.
I’ve had Deb at home as it’s Monday, her day off. The Only class I didn’t attend was the MS exercise class. Like I said in yesterday’s blog, even though it’s all seated exercise it would still be too much for me to do!
Because Deb was home that was a good distraction for me to not keep checking the time, although I did have a few cheeky time checks. No comments on facebook about it either, I can’t help but think I wasn’t missed. Silly of me right! I just don’t like to miss out on anything! Right or wrong, that’s who I am!
We had some visitors this afternoon, another good distraction from the pain!
My Dad and Stepmum popped round with their 2 sight hounds, Ava the Saluki & Finly the Lurcher.
They have only had Finly for 6 weeks so him and ours are still getting to know each other. All fun and games! A great distraction from the pain I’m still getting in my legs and spine when I’m standing.
A boring hour and half whilst Deb and Adam went off to Fight Klub! I’m not a happy bunny, I’ve got my new boxing gloves and can’t try them out! Humph!
I have to be prepared for my mood tomorrow! I’ll be missing Pilates with Hannah Bailey and then Body Combat in the evening with Gill Cathcart!
What on earth did I used to do before exercise took over my/our life!
I know I wasn’t as happy when I didn’t go to the gym or all these classes!
Think about this,
If we all just did a little bit more to look after ourselves would we be living in a happier world?
The third day of recovery after having my back procedure. It’s Sunday, the first day of our weekend. The day that our alarm clocks are redundant, I do love my sleep! It also means that because I’m not on my own my mood is good even though my pain is bad!
I did have to cancel a class today, we don’t normally go to exercise classes on a Sunday but Deb and I had decided we would try a different class, one that we had both wanted to do for a while called ‘Body Pump’ A weight-based group-fitness program created and distributed globally by Les Mills International.
I was really disappointed that I had to cancel but there was really no way that I could do it! I didn’t think there would be any chance I would be able do the class after having my back done!
I didn’t stay disappointed for too long after I cancelled the class yesterday, the reason for this was because Deb told me she would also cancel as it would be better if we did our first class together!
We didn’t stay in mopping! I’d been given a HMV gift card for my birthday and I knew exactly what I wanted to get. I told Deb that I wanted to go and get the film called ‘Lady in the Van’
I was so excited to be going out, I know it was only 2 days, 3 if you include the day of the procedure. I felt as though I had been stuck inside for too long, I mean I’m normally out every day even If just for a short time like visiting my GP to renew my medication!
I updated my social media status to something like:
“Breaking news!… I’m going out! The Vixter has left the Manor! (Fear not sofa, I will return!)”
This was short lived though and soon updated to:
“I’ve returned! I forgot that I could only stand for about 5 minutes yesterday! The pain is horrendous when I’m walking and standing! Better off staying on the sofa a little longer me thinks!”
It’s so easy for me to forget the things I can and can’t do, especially when my pain is just about bearable when I’m sitting in one place! I’d forgotten the awful pain in my thighs when I walk, the pain shooting down the backs of my legs emanating from my butt and finishing at my feet. I’d forgotten how every step was more and more painful and I’d even forgotten how I would need help lifting my legs in and out of the car! Even if I had used my wheelchair I would have still been in too much pain getting in and out of the car and also whilst in the wheelchair because of twisting to look at different things.
Still, all this said, I managed to get my dvd and we watched it tonight. A lovely film, very different to what you might expect but still a good film.
My trip out today has made me realise one thing for sure, I definitely won’t be able to attend the MS exercise class that I normally go to and being covered by Hannah Bailey. It’s scheduled for tomorrow (Monday). Even though it’s seated exercise it’s far too much for me to handle yet!
This also means that I won’t be going to Monday evenings Fight Klub! This isn’t good news! One of my favourite classes! I’m going to have to try extremely hard to stay positive tomorrow because of this! Wish me luck!
It’s hard to remember the days when I first had to take time off work because of my MS. I have come such a long way from that person that used to sit feeling sorry for herself, not doing anything to change the way she felt, just feeling more and more depressed!
Those days are real, they did exist, I was that person! So easily I could become her again! This procedure I have had done on my lower spine is to help ease my pain I feel, to gain this relief I have to endure a multitude of pains. The physical pain which comes in so many different ways, from moving incorrectly to even just standing. Then there is the emotional pain, some of this pain I feel may be hard for you to understand. Although you can’t see the physical pain itself, you can in fact see the physical effect of it in my face, in my eyes. The emotional pain will at times be so much easier to know when I feel it, you see I suffer from terrible mood swings. Almost like a teenager unable to get their own way, when I can’t do something that I have been used to doing its painful!
It was an easier day than I expect yesterday! The first day of recovery, unable to take part in my usual Pilates class at 11am. Even though I missed it, I was ok with it, that made me feel proud. The rest of the day I slept on and off.
The evening wasn’t too bad either. Deb came home from work, she sorted the dinner, homemade spaghetti bolognase that I had lifted out of the freezer and some pasta to go with. This made it easier for me as I wasn’t able to stand for more than a few minutes and therefore unable to cook the evening meal.
The exercise class I couldn’t attend last night was ‘Clubbercise’ I have only been to this class twice and, if I’m honest it’s a bit fast for me with a lot of side ways moving, which I have a major issue with. The class has also changed rooms, it used to be in an area that had direct access to outside, which was ideal for me to cool down quickly. The class is now in the ‘Dance studio’ the same room that I do Pilates in. Excellent because it has air-conditioning which means I keep cooler whilst exercising, the downside is that when I walk out of the room the temperature difference is too extreme for me, especially if my core temperature is high from cardio exercises.
This is a constraint of my MS, I can’t adjust to differences in temperature like my partner does. I can’t cool down quick enough when needed and vice versa, I don’t warm up quick enough! For these reasons I am apprehensive about going to Clubbercise again and didn’t mind that I couldn’t go!
A harder day today, missed out on a class called ‘PiYo’ a mix of Pilates and Yoga. A class that I wanted to try from the moment I heard about it and also a class that I was very nervous about trying! When my friend told me he had been to a class a few weeks ago, I was really sad that I hadn’t gone with him. He came around to my home to tell me all about the class and how hard it was, when he told me he thought it would be to hard for me, I booked in for the next available class straight away.
I wasn’t well enough to go to the class last week because of my MS. It hadn’t occurred to me then that I wouldn’t be able to go today, but I have to be good especially after all the work I had done on Thursday.
After my first PiYo class I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I practised some of the harder moves that I could remember, until I could no longer remember the easier option that the instructor ‘Hannah Bailey’ had showed me. That’s the thing with my MS, I forget things easily and quickly!
I was so looking forward to going again! I guess I just have to wait a little bit longer. Hopefully I’ll be so much better and stronger when I go to my second class!
Saturday evenings are my favourite! As much as I love going to all the exercise classes with Deb and our friends, I do miss the us time that we rarely get now. Saturday evening there aren’t any classes so we get to chill together snuggled on the sofa with our 2 dogs ‘our kids’
As far as pain goes and how my back is after the procedure, today I can stand for a little longer, around five minutes. Enough time to wash half of the pots in the bowl, the pain was starting to increase by then so I had to sit down and rest.
Myles came to support me yesterday for my ‘Denervation & sacroiliac joint facet steroid injections’ at University hospital Coventry but was feeling a little nervous about going into day surgery & wouldn’t get out of my bag!…
Whilst I was getting settled in my hospital bed for the day Myles was checking out his surroundings…
It can get very boring waiting for your turn in theatre so we had a look at what we could do to pass the time…
After having a little read of the book Myles then decided to have a go at a sudoku puzzle!…
Myles wasn’t very happy because he wasn’t allowed in theatre with me but was over the moon when I came out and took the opportunity for some selfies!…
I always try and stay positive & with as ManySmiles as I can! How could I not smile with a cup of tea in my hand and a bear on my arm!…
I had a few things done yesterday, one procidure called denervation (pronounced De-Nerve-Ation) the consultant puts needles deep into my lower spine and attatches a machine that litterally burns the nerves at 80°c! This procedure stops the pain messages travelling from the nerve to the brain!
During the other procedure the consultant injects steroids into both of my sacroiliac joints (where the hips join the spine)
This time he did denervation higher up my spine as well because the pain was stopping me from being backwards!
The procedures took just over an hour & I was awake for all of it!
Last 2 times I had it done, I could only stand him doing one side so had to go back another day for the other side to be done!
This time i managed to bare the painful procedures and the consultant did it all in one go!