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Carbs, My Life Without Them

My Life Without Carbs

This is the best part of my journey, getting to share with you, all of my experiences, since I first gave up this horrid food. My first impulse is to think, I can’t say enough about the benefits I’ve received and experienced from being on this ketogenic diet. But, I’m going to try to lay out as many of them as I can, explaining how it’s benefited me, and more importantly, how I can save money by allowing those benefits to continue, by remaining on my keto diet. This, to me, is the most important part, of why I’m doing this.

Carb vs Low Carb diet
Carb vs Low Carb diet

The first benefits I received, I hinted to in my last post, so I’ll list those “enlightenment feelings” that I first felt, here also. I call them  enlightenment  feelings, because of the weight they lifted off my shoulders, when I suddenly realized that I had complete control of my weight. And because I had complete control of my weight, I had much better control  of my health. It actually took about a month for the enlightenment to come. But once it came, I knew it, and I knew it firmly. It may have been the most liberating experience I’ve felt since I rode my motorcycle from coast to coast, border to border, and then some. But, that was 35 years ago before my severe closed head injury changed my life.

After spending 29 years gaining weight, from a relatively sedentary life, after living with hemiplegia for 29 years from the two strokes I had in 1984, after living with chronic pain for 20 years (pain bad enough it became nauseous at times), after more than twelve years of opioid medication to fight the pain, along with antidepressants, and a multitude of other drugs and supplements meant to counteract the side effects of the opioid medication (weight gain, constipation, dull senses, growing dumber each day, prostate enlargement and too may others to list here), after countless acupuncture sessions, after more nerve blocks than I ever should have had, after searching for any drug, any device – mechanical or electrical – every therapy, and even after researching all surgical options, I’d had enough.  The opioids did nothing but make me fat, lazy and stupid, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I decided 2 years ago, that I was going to stop eating bread, and that was it. I was still going to keep eating other carbs, but I wasn’t going to eat bread, or anything that had any type of “bread product” in it. I told my family that, and I don’t think they believed me. I really don’t think any one in my family thought that I could re-arrange my lifestyle, to allow for this change in behavior. I call it a change in behavior, because that’s what it actually is. It take’s a change in your behavior, to fully give up carbs. This change in behavior has been so beneficial for me, that I don’t know if I can explain all the benefits here, and still keep this post to less than 2000 words. But I’ll try.

You have to know this! The biggest benefit I received right off the bat (after about a month), was the weight loss I experienced, that I could not achieve, while I was eating carbs. I not only had lost the 10 lbs I was overweight, I lost another 10 lbs on top of that. I could do things, all of a sudden, that I couldn’t do since before my brain injury, 31 years prior. This actually brought about a new life in me. I’m not tired all the time like I use to be. Although I can (and do sometimes), work all day long on an empty stomach, I’m not hungry. Yes I feel the hunger pangs, but they’re so easy to ignore, that after a few seconds they disappear, and I don’t feel them anymore. That, in my estimation, is the greatest gift this diet has given me. My ability to go hour after hour after hour after hour, sometimes up to 16 hours, if I need to, without eating and most importantly without running out of energy. What a blessing this diet has been for me. Thank you Dr Perlmutter. You’ll never believe how much money I save, by not going down the bread aisle at the grocery store, anymore, or the pasta aisle anymore. Staying out of the bakery has probably saved me the most money. I know it’s done more to save my life and preserve my health than it’s saved me in money, that I would have spent on groceries. The benefit it’s been for my health is truly unsurpassable, to say the least.

Let’s go through a few of these benefits that I’ve experienced starting approximately 23 months ago;

  1. Weight lifted off my shoulders  This was the feeling I first had when I realized that I was in full control of my weight and henceforth, my health. As I said before, this was the most liberating experience I’ve ever felt since my coast to coast motorcycle ride. What an exhilarating experience, I hadn’t felt that alive, like I said, in 35 years. All of my senses were growing keener, my capabilities were expanding at what felt like an exponential rate. I couldn’t believe it. I felt like shouting from the rooftops. I’m not the only one this has happened to. It happened to one of my best friends, who went on a keto diet to help him with his high PSA levels, failing kidney functions, deep vein thrombosis and the threat of cancer after having a kidney removed due to a tumor on it. His keto diet had allowed him to drop his medication list from 23 medications to 14, in the first 6 months. He’s since dropped his medication list down again to 8 medications. He tells me, he’s blowing his doctors away, because none of them are familiar with the benefits of this diet. He’s teaching them.
  2. More Energy is quite possibly the biggest benefit I’ve experienced. I honestly know what it’s like to run efficiently, on empty. This was a feeling that was completely foreign to me, prior to my transformation. I’ve never been able to keep going, like this before, on an empty stomach. And I do it day after day after day, never losing energy or stamina. My energy levels have risen to the extent, that I often work 18 hour days with few breaks and only one meal, that I nibble on throughout the day the day. I seldom have to stop just to eat. I only do so after being reminded, that I need to put something in my body, to keep it going. I some times get, strange feeling the hunger pangs without feeling hungry. I tell myself to embrace this feeling, because when this happens, I’m setting my brain up for future growth. Yes, I said that right,
  3. Brain growth. Studies have shown, that the fatter you are the smaller your brain is, and it only diminishes in size the fatter you grow. Studies have also shown that the thinner you are the larger your brain is, and often the exact opposite occurs, the thinner you are, the larger your brain is allowing you to enjoy the benefits of not only having a larger brain, but being able to use it. This has to do with the production of BDNF. BDNF, is what sets your brain up to allow it to grow, which you can find out more in Grain Brain. “Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, also known as BDNF, is a protein[2] that, in humans, is encoded by the BDNF gene.[3][4] BDNF is a member of the neurotrophin family of growth factors, which are related to the canonical Nerve Growth Factor. Neurotrophic factors are found in the brain and the periphery”, according to Wikipedia. “BDNF has also demonstrated to increase the body’s natural antioxidant defenses by boosting enzymes and molecules that are important in quenching excessive free radicals”, as reported by Dr Perlmutter. As I mention directly below, the hungrier you can go, the more BDNF your body can produce, as calorie restriction increases the production of this brain growth protein/antioxidant booster. Not only calorie restriction enables its production, but exercise also activates the production of this protein, making exercise as important as a good keto diet, to allow the body, to build this protein up in your system. This is what, initially, allowed our hunter-gatherer ancestors, to succeed in the animal world, where other mammals couldn’t keep up with them, in their evolutionary cycle. By running after game and from predators, their exercise worked to build up their brains and mental powers. This in return allowed modern man to evolve into what we’ve evolved into, a mammal intelligent enough to build the world we live in today and allows us to look into space for the future. I can see how this BDNF in my system, has allowed me to complete these posts in the time in which I’ve written them.
  4. Build up of my immune system. As important as the BDNF, is to brain growth, it’s also an important antioxidant, which is what protects our cells from oxidative damage. Nrf2  is another antioxidant, important to cellular protection. Nrf2 is as important to cellular protection as BDNF is to brain growth. Nrf2 is a basic leucine zipper (bZIP) protein that regulates the expression of antioxidant proteins that protect against oxidative damage triggered by injury and inflammation.[2]. Several drugs that stimulate the NFE2L2 pathway are being studied for treatment of diseases that are caused by oxidative stress. Not surprisingly, calorie restriction has been demonstrated in a variety of laboratory animals to induce Nrf2 activation”, said Dr Perlmutter in his book Grain Brain, meaning the hungrier you can stay, the more you’ll build up this important antioxidant protein. And of course, having the ability to increase the amount of this antioxidant in your system, is only going to improve your life, by cutting down on the amount of time you present an illness or disease and that means less trips to your doctor. What more can you ask for? I don’t experience headaches anymore, I don’t experience colds or the flu as often as I did before, I just don’t get sick as much as I used to. Even the mucous in my sinuses has abated, not making me blow my nose as much as I used to. This alone has help cut back on the sinus headaches to the point, to where I only need an aleve for a headache about once every 2 or 3 months. This is something I could never experience while on my high carb diet. Living without  as much illness and disease, can save me countless dollars, that I would otherwise waste, just trying to either cure my ailments or even just live with the diseases that I would inevitably have, if I were to remain on a carbohydrate diet. We all know how cheap it is, not to get sick,
  5. Pain Control could be the next best thing that’s happened to me. My pain levels have continuously and steadily abated, from the high levels they were at, when I was eating carbs. This reduction in pain has opened up even more doors for me, as it’s easier to exercise harder, giving me a greater benefit from my workouts, not only for my body, but for my brain as well. being able to take advantage of a harder workout allows my body to build greater amounts of BDNF in my system, allowing my system to better regulate the oxidation to my cells that contribute to my pain by not allowing inflammation to infiltrate my body. The inflammation, is caused, directly, by eating a high carbohydrate diet. Cut the Carbs Cut the Inflammation. Cut the medical expense. It’s that simple.
  6. Stabilization of Emotions. This is the most important factor of this diet, as far as everyone who interacts with me on a daily basis knows,  I now don’t lose my temper as often. I don’t get frustrated as often, I don’t have the mood swings that I used to have, from the fluctuations in my blood glucose. That’s something that only happens on a high carb diet. On low carb diets, they’re virtually non-existent. I often wish that this information had been known 31 years ago. I wonder if it had, would a better diet had enabled me, to speed my healing, 31 years ago? I knew, then, that whole grains were good for me, because it was professed everywhere I went. Even though a good portion of these studies were available of examination at that time, few doctors, specialists, or nutritionists knew of them, because of the suppression of the studies. Who suppressed them and why, is going to take up, probably, multiple posts, to completely untangle that quagmire. The fact remains, that I am much more even tempered now, simply because my blood sugars don’t fluctuate, because I have virtually no blood glucose in my system. My system runs on fat and ketones, because fat, is more than 200% more efficient than carbs. Is it any wonder, that you have to eat so many of them, to get just half the energy out of them? My body runs so much better on this “high octane” fuel, that I save money every time I don’t go out to eat, because I won’t eat what they want to feed me. I have to be very careful when I dine out, and you should too, because restaurants know the cycle that bread puts your through, how it makes you hungry just after you eat it, because of the fluctuations in your blood sugars. That’s why they’re happy to give you a bread basket, as soon as your seated. They’re often taken with the hostess as she seats you, because they know that those rolls, biscuits, bread, or any other of a myriad of sugar destabilizers, are going to make you order more when you waitress or waiter comes to take it. More than saving money from not eating at restaurants, I save money every time I go to the grocery store, which actually, I’m visiting much less these days (and that saves me even more money). But this point begs the question, who shelved these studies, so the medical community any even more importantly, the FDA, who structures our food guidelines, that tell us what’s healthy to eat and what’s not, couldn’t even look at the data? Why didn’t they deem this information that important? Could it have been the involvement of the crop seed companies, who sell their crop seed to farmers to grow it? Cold it have been the grain industry? Could it have been the restaurant industry? Could it have been the bread industry? In all probability, it was all of them. Again this is something that I will have to address in another post. (It will probably take multiple posts.)
  7. Liberation From Corporate Control  This will probably be the most important aspect of this diet, in my life, going forward. The freedom I will be able to experience, because I’m not a slave to those pesky carbs, has more to do with corporate control than most of us want to realize. By controlling the amount of sugar they put in our diet, they can control out buying habits. Who hasn’t been addicted to chocolate? The reason they addict you to chocolate is, so you’ll buy more. They do it with chocolate, they do it with all candies, all breads, all pastas, all cereals, all forms of alcohol, even all juices and soft drinks, they want you addicted to this huge cash cow, because that’s the nature of the business they’re in. They make a consumable product, that’s so sweet and tasty, people everywhere will love it and buy it, and they don’t even have to put anything extra in it to make it addictive, because it already is, due to it’s massive sugar content. Again this gets into the concern of control, in these industries. What are their motives? Is their motivation little more than greed? Do they know, how they feeding the obesity epidemic, which feeds the diabetes epidemic, which feeds the dementia epidemic and also feeds the cancer epidemic, the cardio-vascular epidemic, the arthritis epidemic, the gastro-intestinal epidemic, the headache (migraine, sinus and stress) epidemic, and the Celiac disease that exists in the thousands of us? They obviously feed this food to their families, because they get just as sick as the rest of those who remain on a carb diet. This tells me that they don’t know what they’re forcing the world to live on and the consequences of living on it. I honestly think that all farmers, think that they are serving the world a purpose by growing this grain, for us. I honestly don’t believe that they know just how dangerous it really is. They can’t, and still grow it. So it must be, that they’re being lied to, to continue to grow it. After all this is what keep the money coming in.
  8. Freedom From Illness and Disease I know I touched on this before, in point 4 when I talked about the tremendous boost my in immune system, but I have to re-iterate how much benefit this one factor alone, has granted me. Not getting sick has to be the single best thing I can do for my body. It frees up so much time, that it’s not even funny. Not getting sick allows me to always be at the gym every day I need to go. This allows me to build up that BDNF, that’s so important in helping me to expand my mental capabilities. It also help me to re-inforce my auto-immune system, by building this same protein along with the rdf2 that also builds up my anti-oxidants. These two gems allow me to stay healthier, keeping me clear of the doctors office, except for routine wellness visits. The savings in money not spent is quite substantial. The fact of the matter is, that I already have too much wrong with me for anything else to go awry. I can’t afford to aggravate the problems I still have, the high blood pressure (even though I control it with my keto diet), chronic pain, hemiplegia, severe BPH (due to medications I was on for over 12 years), that all began with the severe closed head injury that I’ve learned to deal with, for 31 years. With all of these “pre-existing” conditions, left over from when I was on a carb diet, I can’t afford to acquire any more. The beauty is, I’m continuing to diminish my afflictions, instead of aggravating them, simply because of my MTC keto diet. One of the biggest improvements I had right off the bat, was the end to the acid indigestion, stomach cramps, and headaches. All of these were manifestations of the wheat I was eating. But they’ve been gone for so long now, that I forgot all about them, until 2 hours after I initially published this post. That’s why I had to add these last few lines. to this post.  (That’s the pleasure of writing a blog, you get to add to it, any time you wish, after all, it is a blog).
  9. No mucous My nose doesn’t get stuffed up any more. It doesn’t even get congested, unless of course I let some wheat or grains into my diet the day before. I use to wake with a stuffed nose everyday. Now I don’t. I used to get sinus headaches. Now, I don’t. I always had problems breathing through my congested sinuses. Now, I don’t. That means no sinus headaches, no congestion, no sniveling. And no, I don’t suffer colds anymore.
  10. Less Sweat I sweat a lot less now than what I used to in the past. I think this is because I have much less fat on my body. My fat percentage is 16% which is in the excellent range for my age, 62. Because of this, I don’t experience the thirst that I used to when I was carrying all that fat.

I’ve tried to keep this chapter under 2000 words, but it looks like that’s not going to be possible, but a few more words to express the wonders that this diet has brought to my body, should be set forth here, before I close out this edition of this series.

In my life, I’ve never had as much energy as what I do right now. I just got my blood work back earlier this week and after discussing my diet with my doctor, to make sure, everything I’m doing is safe and productive.  All my blood tests have come back with results like I’ve never seen before. My high blood pressure is a thing of the past. My cholesterol levels, although being high (which is what I want), are better balanced than they’ve ever been in my entire life (high HDL, low LDL and VLDL). All of the panels requested, in my blood work, were as normal as they’ve ever been. My doctor aid, after seeing my results from my blood work, ” whatever you’re doing, is good. Keep it up.

I still have high blood pressure because I’ve been diagnosed with it in the past, I’m just controlling it with my diet. How easy this control, is! When my blood pressure was checked the other afternoon around 3PM (when your blood pressure is often the highest), it was 120/60, which  is the benchmark of normal blood pressure. You just can’t get results this good on a carbohydrate diet. They’re only possible on a low carb diet. They’re even more possible on a MCT ketogenic diet like the one I’m currently on. If this kind of a diet could to this for me, with all the health problems that I’ve had, can you imagine what it could do for you? The only way you’ll know, is if you try it out. I can make you this guarantee, that you will experience most all of the same benefits, that I’ve experienced, if you were to transform you diet into a high fat, low carb diet. Anyway you look at it, it’s a win, win, win situation, for anybody who has the courage to accomplish it. One month is all you need to see results! Why don’t you, then, give it a try? Or are you still holding on the the fallacy that you must eat carbs, if so, you need to see this.

My Thoughts On The Eradication of Carbs From Our Diets

The Eradication of Carbs From Our Diets

This is my favorite post. Every time I dream of a world without carbs, I get to add it to this post. After reading though it, maybe you might have some dreams of your own, that you want to share. Guess what? because this is a blog, you can. you can add any of your thoughts at the end of this blog and I encourage you to do so. Maybe like me, you’ll learn how liberating and enlightening it can be.

There are so many thoughts running through my head, that it’s hard to find a place to start this page on how I feel about getting rid of the carbohydrate diet, that not only addicts everyone to this abhorrent behavior, but causes so much damage to our bodies, teeth, emotions,  lives, relationships both personal and globally, finances, and mostly importantly, politics, that it makes it very hard to pick a spot to start, so I guess that’s what I must do. Lets go back the damage it causes to our bodies, teeth, emotions, lives, relationships, and finances.

I said it often in my first post. Carbs, The New Death Sentence, the removal of carbs from the diet and the transition to a diet, higher in fats and proteins, will not only heal a major portion of our population, from most of the inflictions that currently bother them, it will keep everyone healthier and more even tempered, well into the future, simply because of the lack of sugar in the blood. It’s that simple. This idea of a society that’s not addicted to sugar, is compelling me to dream of the possibilities. I think I need to start a what if, list.

What if:

  • Nobody in the world ate carbohydrates and suffered from the massive sugar fluctuations in the blood stream, would there be as much violence as there is in the world today?
  • Everybody in the world quit subjecting their emotions to these fluctuations in blood sugar changes, that come with the ingestion of wheat and grain foods, would differences get worked out in a more reasonable way?
  • Everyone broke their addiction to this substance and quit eating it, would the grain industry  grind to a halt? (no pun intended)
  • It never showed up in my diet in the first place, would we have the problems we have today? Or would we be further advanced, and more prepared to find other living arrangements for our expanding population, (when the “apocalypse” comes, that was supposed to happen in 2012), on another planet in a galaxy, far far, away?
  • The studies that I’ve encountered in my research, were ever revealed to the public, after their completion, would we still be experiencing all of the problems that we live with today? Problems of crime, terrorism, abhorrent behavior of any nature? If everyone’s blood sugar levels, never went out of whack, Would any of the violent nature that you see in people today, ever exist?
  • It ever got published in any of the popular journals that circulate throughout the medical community, after the research was completed on any of the studies within any of the research I’ve been fortunate to been made aware of, by Dr’s Davis and Perlmutter, would our medical industry be fashioned in a different manner, so as they wouldn’t have to contend with the amount of illness and disease that this food manifests?
  • I was introduced to a diet high in fats and proteins when I was young, how many of the ailments would I not be suffering from, now? How deformed would I not be, or would I be, at all?
  • Society in whole ate a diet high in protein and fats, would our world have to live through so much turmoil?
  • The whole world has been on a keto diet, instead of converting over to a diet of carbohydrates, because agriculture was introduced to our race, when we were primitive, would have all acts of war, conquests, crusades,  rebellions, uprisings, riots, violent crime, violent behavior, and worst of all, terrorism ever taken place? Why? Read here.
  • Due to the lack of outside influence (glucose changes in the blood) influencing behavior and emotional reactions, caused by those fluctuations in the blood sugars, would as many of them have ever taken place? I’m willing to wager that a majority of them would not have, simply because the need for them to take place would have never existed. If our race could have grown on a ketogenic diet, would our culture would be as advanced as it is, now? Since it was agriculture that civilized our race, it was agriculture that started our advancement to what we are today. The question I ask now, has our advancement been in any way been restricted because of our addiction to a carbohydrate diet? My guess is, yes. It has. It is. And, it will continue to be, until we kill this addiction.
  • The benefit of the whole world being on this diet that doesn’t effect emotional behavior so much, allow emotions to remain much more in tack, making the need for war of terrorism much less necessary?
  • The world has the benefit of being on a high protein and fat diet, as opposed to a high carbohydrate diet, since time immemorial, would it have allowed our culture to develop differently because it would have never had to deal with the amount of illness and disease they cause?
  • If the world were on a keto diet, Would I have ever suffered from a severe closed head injury, in the first place? Would the drunk, who ran the red light, that hit the car I was riding in, not have been drunk? Would he have not needed to drink alcohol, because of the better stabilization of his emotions, because he would have been, on a keto diet?
  • If the world were on a keto diet, and knew about the sugar problems that alcohol, give you, would there be the problem that we have with alcohol, today? Or would everyone be better able to resist the temptations, alcohol, brings?
  • If the world were on a keto diet, and everyone thought with a clearer head, and were more able to keep their emotions in tact, would the amount of disagreements that happen, be settled in more reasonable ways, everywhere? If that were to happen, what would happen to all the violence in the world?
  • Your could track where a majority of violence occurs, would there be a higher volume of sugar in the diet, there? If sugar can effect our emotions so much, If it were removed from the diet in all areas, that experience violence, would the violence still exist?
  • If the world were on a keto diet, what would the medical industry do?
  • If the world were on a keto diet, what would the dental industry do?
  • If the world were on a keto diet, what would happen to the pharmaceutical industry, grain industry, farming industry
  • If the world were on a keto diet, what would happen to the crime rate? Crime is driven by greed and hunger, what would happen if greed and hunger no longer existed, because there are no more changes in our emotional status, caused by the fluctuations in our blood sugars, which are no longer present in the body? What if hunger no longer existed because of our abilities to go longer periods of time between meals, due the states of ketosis our bodies would be in.
  • If the world were on a keto diet, what would happen to the terrorism in the world? Most terrorism is caused by the need to retaliate, in any violent form or manner. Since there would be no sugar in the blood to influence behavior, we would be more enabled to control our emotional behavior, to the point, that we would be able to settle our differences more peaceably and amicably. This in turn, would go far to eliminate the need for retaliation, which in turn would go a long way to stopping terrorism. It’s that simple, remove the carbs, remove the emotional disorder, remove the terrorism. It’s that simple. Remove the carbs, remove the violence, it’s that simple. (Thank you, Dr Perlmutter!)

Keep in mind, these are only thoughts, questions I keep asking myself. Questions that keep haunting me. So it’s my concern, to deal with right now, not yours. Your concern, my only hope is, that you will learn and take heed.

A Summary Of How Hard It Is, For Me To Appear Normal – a short bio

How Hard It Is, For Me To Appear Normal

At one time, I was just as I appeared to be, normal. But that was quite a while ago. Now it’s a whole different story. Now, appearing normal is my biggest disability because nothing on the inside of me is as it appears on the outside. It takes more effort and energy than I can ever explain in one document just to appear normal. This statement, for example, I started it 30 minutes ago. I do the best I can and I don’t hunt and peck type.

I took typing in the summer of my ninth grade and even though I never had the opportunity to use it, it stuck with me and came back a soon as I started typing again ten years ago. Even though I can type approximately 35 words a minute, I can’t do it without errors. But those aren’t the only errors that I encounter when I type out a document of this nature. In order for the document to portray an accurate account of my experiences, feelings, both physical and emotional, and actions, both wanted and unwanted, I constantly need to re-read it as I type it.

Even though my fingers are the most guilty parties, because of the multitude of times I fat-finger what I’m trying to type, they’re not the main factor in my inability to finish this document in timely manner. The main factor is my inability to concentrate on what I’m writing about.

For that reason, I’ll make a list of the problems that I get to deal with everyday and how they impact every aspect of my life that I can think of while I write this, knowing that there will be things that I will miss and need to update at a later time when I remember them;

  • Weakness on right side, all the time
  • Slowness on right side, all the time
  • Paraesthesia all the time on my all parts of the right side of my body all the time
  • Difficulty with balance, bowel control, vision in right eye, all of the time
  • Trouble swallowing, hearing, holding on to things, most of the time
  • Difficulty with memory, (mostly forgetfulness & short term memory) creating problems with understanding, reasoning, judgment, analyzing, deciding…etc, this happens every time I need to use these skills.
  • Difficulty maintaining attention, maintaining focus and intent to finish projects, and tasks. this happens whenever I need to concentrate on a task or project or focus on getting a job done. I call it neurological ADD. It’ directly due to the massive injury in my brain.
  • Think, speak, hear and read dyslexic, and I do it quite often
  • Easily frustrated because of my inabilities often vocalizing my frustration at the top of my voice without control, hesitation or contemplation, too often
  • PBA more often, as my diet changes

All of these manifestations evolved after the severe closed head injury I sustained on December 24, 1984 as the result of a drunk driver running a red light and t-boning the car I was riding in. All of these problems are a direct result of the two bruises on my brain and strokes I sustained while comatose for 4 weeks due to that head injury.

For clarification purposes, I’ve now been working on this document for a little over 3 hours, to get this far and modified it again 5 hrs, later.

I will now try to explain how each of these manifestations affects the different parts of my life;

  • Weakness and slowness on right side

I suffer from multiple problems all on the right side of my body. These problems include but are definitely not limited to: all the troubles and difficulties listed above, such as swallowing, hearing, vision, coordination, speed of movement, difficulty holding on to things – I’m always dropping things because I can’t always feel my grip on them. I live with constant numbness (pins and needles) throughout my whole right side. My wrist always feels like it has a bunch of rubber bands around it that are always pulling and resisting every time I move a muscle. I never feel this on my left side. Every muscle on my right side has this elastic feeling.

My hip replacement is on the right hip probably because of my weakness on that side as well as my hernia, and chronic back ache in my lower back on right side. My right hand flops around every step I take, making it impossible to appear completely normal. Evidence of this can only be seen to an astute observer watching me walk. Whenever I take a step, my right hand flops around because of the lack of control I have over it. It’s like my hand is held on my wrist by a bunch of rubber bands.

Because my right side is slower than my left, my right foot gets caught dragging behind, causing me to stumble. While just casually walking, it takes constant effort to walk without limping, due to the weakness on my right side. This is something that can be easily seen by everybody every time I run. I cannot run without a very noticeable limp. Even walking fast can’t be done without a noticeable limp. I don’t like walking fast or running because of the problems I’ve had in the past with balance, slow and weak right leg that won’t work properly causing me to stumble or fall. I seldom walk anywhere without stumbling at least once because my right leg gets lazy and won’t lift enough to clear the ground.

To avoid any of these problems, it takes an enormous amount of effort and energy. To appear normal, it takes even more effort and energy.

  • Trouble swallowing, hearing, holding on to things

I often get food caught in my throat when several attempts to swallow it fail. I attribute that to the weakness on my right side not allowing my throat muscles to work as efficiently as the muscles on my left side where I didn’t suffer any paralyses. I have the same problem holding on to things. Because I can’t always feel what I’m holding in my right hand, I often drop what I’m holding on to. Things seem to slip through my fingers more than they do with anybody else. Of the hearing problems I have, only hearing dyslexic is probably a result of the head injury. The tinnitus I have is probably due to the direct impact of the cars involved in the accidents that caused my groin injury and neck injury I received in another car accident in March of 1993. I say that the dyslexic hearing is a result of my head injury because of the trouble I have with my short term memory and not being able to recall the meaning of a particular word immediately. I often hear words spoken in reverse order because of this. I often speak my words in reverse order because of the same reason.

  • Difficulty with balance, bowel control, vision in right eye

My balance is always questionable. Although I don’t often lose my balance while on both feet, I can definitely balance on my left leg better than on my right leg. My right leg doesn’t have the same amount of strength, endurance or ability to make the slight muscle changes necessary for balance, as my left leg has. That last reason alone is the major reason my balance problems persist.

The most embarrassing problem that I have to deal with, because it can sometimes be messy, is my ability to withhold a bowel movement. I attribute this to two factors; 1. That I’m not taking opioid medication anymore and enjoying a diet more rich in fruits and vegetables and 2. Weakness of my sphincter muscles to retain the fecal matter in my colon. Knowing that I always have at least two bowels movements each day, usually in the morning, I often have to stay close to a bathroom in the often case that I’ll have to go a third or fourth time during the morning hours. I’m constantly making adjustments for this problem alone for there are times when I’ve had accidents while away from home.

Concerning the vision in my right eye, the clarity of the vision in my right eye grows weaker on its own, sometimes while I’m typing and can visually witness it and sometimes while I’m sleeping and wake up with diminished focus. Sometimes while I’m typing on my computer, I can remember when I realized a diminished focus in my right eye just recently. This wasn’t the first time this has happened either. It’s happened at least 3 times in the past 15 years. But it’s only happened in my right eye.

  • Difficulty with memory, (mostly forgetfulness & short term memory) creating problems with understanding, reasoning, judgment, analyzing, deciding…etc, this happens every time I need to use these skills.

This is quite often the most difficult disability to hide as it’s always mistaken for stupidity or ignorance, when it’s almost always a case or either poor judgment and poor decision making due to the inability of my brain to remember and think rationally and in a timely manner. When given time to organize my thoughts, I can prove to be very intelligent. Living without the ability to use this gift has proven to be a downfall for me. This is where my lack of short term memory has had the most effect on my life. Frustration hits me hard when I try to accomplish something I should be able to do in a specific amount of time, and can’t. I either mess up the whole project, right at the finish of the project or can’t even come close to finishing it in the time I should be able to. This often manifests itself in a very loud and very vulgar output that I have absolutely no control over. Anger issues are a common problem with head injuries of the nature I sustained and I think they’re due exactly to this reason.

  • Difficulty maintaining attention, keeping focused and intent to finish projects, and tasks. this happens whenever I need to concentrate on a task or project or focus on getting a job done. I call it neurological ADD.

This is caused by the same problems as my above problem with judgment and reasoning. When you can’t remember what to focus on, how can you focus on anything? Lack of short term memory impacts a life more than almost anything else. You can never begin to understand what it does to interrupt a life until it happens to you and you have to live with it. These are “shoes that not everybody gets to walk in”, meaning only a few can fully understand the impact that no short term memory has on a life, and half of those that can, are are complete invalids. The other half are like me but you can usually see their disabilities. With me, you can’t because of the trouble, effort and energy I put out to look like I’m not disabled. I’m not a complete invalid, just an unseen invalid.

  • Think, speak, hear and read dyslexic often

I can’t remember living with this problem before the head injury so I attribute this disability as well to my neurological damage. Quite often I’ll say something dyslexic, or hear something dyslexic. Since my thinking is often dyslexic, I often type out my thoughts dyslexic as well. And this doesn’t even come close to the number of times I read dyslexic. I see a lot of words and numbers backwards or letters within the word out of order. This always causes me to go back and re-read what I just read. I also have to re-read what I just read because I can’t remember specific titles or names that I just read. You can only begin to fathom the problems that his can cause while I get to realize the full gamut of problems it actually does cause.

  • Easily frustrated because of my inabilities often vocalizing my frustration at the top of my voice without hesitation or contemplation

This is the most damaging behavior caused directly by the neurological damage I sustained.  Because of my recurring inabilities to complete projects and tasks, and verbalizing my frustrations in a vulgar manner, I’m always left feeling completely shamed from the action that I just presented, completely out of my control. I have no control over this behavior because all of my actions are actually reactions to my inability to complete or complete accurately, any project or task that I work on. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I say the serenity prayer, when frustration of my own inabilities decides to rear its ugly head, I have absolutely no control over how my brain is going to direct me to act. Again, you can only imagine the problems this kind of behavior can cause while I have to realize the full gamut of those problems.

  • PBA more often, as my diet changes has become one my most recent concerns, I don’t know if this has anything to do with my acute diet change, but if it does, it’s a side effect that’s not nearly as hard to live with, as any of the side effects that I get from eating carbs.

 

I realize that the problems I experience are problems that a lot of other people experience, but how many people experience all of these problems on a daily basis, on an hourly basis or with the frequency that I do?

These are disabilities connected simply with the neurologic damage I live with, not the other disabilities I live with, in the form disabling pain in my back and groin and sometimes my hip. My back is sore when I get out of bed in the morning until I get back into bed at night, due to the degenerative disc disease and scoliosis I live with. The groin/testicular pain that I live with, comes on every afternoon, as I sit working at my desk. That pain has gotten severe enough to make me nauseous, at times. For twenty years, I’ve tried every known type of pain relief known to man, including opioid medication, nerve blocks, TENS, SCENAR, acupuncture, massage, topical balms, all without permanent success. Other than the nerve blocks, which are super painful to get, the longest relief I’ve ever gotten, was from acupuncture. Most treatments lasted for a couple days, yet sometimes I had limited relief on the third day. This pain is the result of a hernia procedure that left what I was told is my genitofemoral nerve but I’d rather think it’s my Ilioinguinal nerve because that’s the nerve that branches out to the anterior scrotal nerve, trapped in scar tissue, which is where my pain emanates from.

The hip pain I experience is due to the hip replacement I had two years ago. I experience a stabbing pain, when I need to pivot on that hip, that almost takes my leg out from under me. I can walk up to ¼ mile painlessly. Thereafter the pain just keeps getting worse until I can sit or lay down.

My daily pain levels are as follows;

  • Back pain – 2 when I wake up, 7 when I get out of bed with jabs to 8 or 9 following certain movements, 4 as I sit at my desk and work, 7 when I get up from my chair, 4-6 as I walk with right leg steps being very painful in the 8-9 range. When I go to bed at night the pain level as around the 4-6 range.
  • Testicular/groin pain doesn’t present itself until afternoon, depending on how long I need to sit at my desk. When it does it starts out in the 3-5 range increasing steadily in intensity for the rest of the day sometimes to the 8-10 range. (This is the pain that has made me suicidal.)
  • Hip pain ranges from 0 when I wake up and get out of bed to 4-6 depending on how much I’m on my feet and walking. Twisting on that leg often provokes a stabbing pain jumping to 8 and often causes me to stumble.

I’ve now spent 4 hours on day 2 for this document to this point. I’ve updated it twice today after 3 times yesterday. I ended up spending about 8 hours on it yesterday.

I’ve had to live with this condition for the last 30 years, some of the pain for 40 years and some for only  20 years. I’ve searched for cures for my pain to no avail. I’ve even requested that my right testicle be removed, thinking that if there was nothing there to create the pain, the pain wouldn’t exist, but was told time after time that I would have to live with phantom pain. So, I live with pain, sometimes massive pain, the kind that doubles you over.

This last edit took another 3 hours and includes 6-7 updates within the whole document. Even though I’ve updated this document 5 or 6 times, I’m still not sure I’ve listed everything necessary. Something keeps nagging at me that I just can’t remember. All I can say is that when something affects every aspect of your life, as my neurological problems do mine, it’s hard to cover everything in one document.

That was my last edit until I thought of some other things, while at church this morning that I should put in here. Now I just have to remember what they were…oh yes, the testicular pain that usually doesn’t start until afternoon; that happens every day except Sundays when it hits me every Sunday in the morning while at church, from having to sit in a pew for an hours. Something else came to mind while in church this Morning, sure wish I could remember what it was…Oh yes, OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Even though it hasn’t been diagnosed, I think I do have a problem with it due to my ADD. Because I have to keep my mind occupied, I have this obsession with the game FreeCell. But then I had my obsessions before the head injury as well. They were just a little more difficult pursuits than what I’m capable of now, like bowling and golf and any other sport I was invited to play. Now, my obsessions are playing card games on the computer when I’m waiting on hold or any other time when I have nothing else to do. Thank God I do that when I’m alone. (FYI- last edit started over 6 hours ago, but I only spent about 5 hours typing and editing it. That’s 6 days so far to complete this.)

Addendum:  While not being able to understand any part of a paragraph I read, I re-read it two hours later with complete understanding. Every word that I didn’t know before, my mind was able to recall when I read it the second time. My mind had 2 hours to work on the meaning of those words that I couldn’t recall earlier without me even thinking about it. Not being able to recall the definitions as I was reading the paragraph, wouldn’t allow me to understand it. But, I never would have understood it if I didn’t re-read it, because I couldn’t remember it. I also left in the errors from prior edits, to give you an idea of the problems I was experiencing at the time.