Crystal Patches – Her Journey to Beat MS on Any Sport Any Time
On August 28th, I was asked to do an inspirational talk at the “Skate Like a Girl” camp at the Olympic Oval, Calgary. I had a whole hour and decided to tell my story on how I managed to overcome many obstacles in sport and with my MS and what lessons I learned along the way. It was such a rewarding experience and I look forward to learning from and improving my public speaking skills as I do more. I hope my message can be taken and applied to anyone’s life hurdles in some way or another….
The following video is part 1 of 6. I will post a new video each week as the presentation is quite long.
-Numbness and tingles in muscles not ligaments
-I was actually 18, not 17, when I first lost feeling from my chest to my toes.
-Named Laura not called Laura
One of the consistent symptoms of mine throughout the past 5 years of living with MS is twitching/loss of sensation/muscle spasms/twitching/weakness/numbness in my left leg. So I often refer to my left leg as “ol lefty”. Otherwise, no I do not talk in third person!
Anyways, as I am getting back into a consistent training regime I have noticed a worsening of all these symptoms in my left leg, especially after a running program. Well I have good news! Last week I went for an overdue visit to my Chiropractor, Richard Robinson. I think Harry Potter is a more appropriate name for him as it feels like he performs magic after I see him BUT this was only after a couple days of pain and fear… I got an adjustment on my back and neck last Thursday (Aug. 12th) . For the following 2-3 days all my symptoms were worsening, especially the leg twitches. I started to think something went terribly wrong and that I might be going into relapse. I decided to wait it out and ice my lower back. Sure enough I felt like a new person come Sunday. Today I did running sprints and can say that for the first time this summer I did not experience ANY symptoms in ol lefty during or following the workout!
A million thumbs up to Chiro for MS! Now we need to figure out wether the problem is pressure on the veins or nerves or both…
It’s been about three weeks since I got back from India and it has taken a long time to get back into a routine and a different routine then I have ever had before. In the past, my typical summer day consists of waking up and eating, training, eating, napping, training, eating, sleeping. ahhh so simple!
Things are a little different now for a few reasons. A) I just started training this week in comparison to starting in May. Because of my last relapse of losing vision and sensation in my left leg I have had to take a much longer off season. B) I am trying to find a new path to healing, starting with finding a neurologist/doctor/naturopath or healer of any sort with a scientific yet wholistic background and approach. C) I am living in Edmonton for the summer with my parents and working in a big kid job in St. Albert as a performance nutritionist. (more…)
“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”
I am now back home and finding it hard to break the news to so many that I did not get “liberated”. It reminds me of when I would come back from a speed skating competition and have to answer the common question asked upon my return: “Did you win?”. Well no I didnt BUT I gave it my best, I got a new personal best time, learned that I should pace myself better, got to travel and met few new friends! Then I go back to training and figure out what needs to change so that I improve my results the next time. I know I can not win them all but It`s still fun,challenging, keeps me modest yet still motivated.
Same deal for my health now. I am currently reassessing my situation. I am trying to mostly focus on the bright experiences in India and when I have darker moments I focus on what I learned from my Indian journey and think about how the new knowledge I gained will help me in my continued search to my ultimate goal….a cure.
So I will follow the Indian way of thinking, “Let It Be” and not judge the universe for the way that things unfolded for me at the Max Super Specialty Hospital and keep moving forward.
This country is more confusing than the lyrics to “I am the Walrus” and definetely a good distraction to my occasional negative thoughts and fears about my health. It is also extremely grounding being here, surrounded by poverty, pollution and overpopulation. I feel like the luckiest human on earth here but my heart is repeatedly broken at the sights I am witnessing.
I have now left the city of 14-17 MILLION people and made it to a city called Udaipur (aka White City). Me, my parents and Shannon took off a couple of days ago on a train to Jaipur (aka Pink City) where we saw some beautiful architecture and a wall that mimics the wall of China but on a smaller scale (obvs). We then took an overnight bus to Udaipur and fell in the love with the city for its beautiful landscape, cleanliness (esp. compared to Delhi) and Lake Palace view from the rooftop patio of our charming little hostel. My parents are heading back to Delhi tomorow but me and Shannon are planning to stay a couple extra nights here to explore the city some more. Donna and Chris are staying in Delhi so that Donna can go to physio at the hospital everyday. She is still feeling and looking great!
my continued quest for a cure… (more…)
I first met Donna only about 5 weeks ago. She has this contagious energy that makes you want to be her friend within the first 5 seconds of meeting her. She is witty and spunky and the perfect team mate to go on this journey to India with. I was diagnosed with relapsing-remmitting MS and Donna suffers from progressive MS meaning she does not recover from her relapses. (more…)
In a few hours I will finally be discharged from the hospital and free to see India for the first time. I can just imagine how grounding it will be to see what the majority of the population lives like.
Donna is doing really well with noticeably more feeling in her hands and feet. This is a good sign and I have a feeling that it is only the beginning of her improvements. I only got to see her briefly yesterday but will, of course continue updating on her progress. (more…)
Well, we got good news and/or bad news depending on how you look at it. I was the first to get wheeled away to get a venogram and possible surgery. The experience was fascinating. I was under local anaesthetic so I was awake through the whole procedure. I know this sounds cheesy but it`s actually true….when I got anxious on the surgery table while watching the doctors prep, (more…)
I actually have no idea what India is like since we arrived in the middle of the night and went from airport-hospital shuttle-hospital. The hospital is comparable to a Canadian hospital although when I look out the window past the driveway lined by beautifully designed landscape and a guarded gate I realize how incredible this hospital really is. Beyond the gate I see hundreds of tin roof shacks, stray dogs and garbage flying around everywhere. I can also SEE how thick and savage the smog is here.
I and the rest of Team Tazza, all the other riders and volunteers at this years MS bike tour could not have asked for better weather! It was another successful Rona MS Bike Tour put on by the MS Society. It is such a positive event and everyone is in high spirits and have a great time riding, eating, dancing, eating some more then riding some more I would love to continue organizing a team to participate in this annual event, BUT there’s a BUT… (more…)
Well actually, a LOT of help from my friends AND family. I get goosebumps everytime I see a new friend on facebook with a patch picture on their profile or an encouraging message to me on their status. A huge thank you to all of you for your incredible support so far. All your efforts have already raised me $10 000 and tripled the hits on my website!
It has recently been confirmed that both my friends Priscilla Ng and Shannon Remple have their tickets booked and Visa’s on their way to join me for support in India!!! So the whole crew will consist of me, my mom and dad, Donna (friend of the family and MS patient going to get the same treatment), her husband Chris and now Shannon and Priscilla!