Monday, July 30, 2012
(Two of my basketball girls and me)
Hi, healers! Here and pasted below is a piece I wrote for the great website “Girl Gone Vegan.”
"Maria Mooney Intends on Being a Miracle
If you asked me at 18 years old where I thought I would be at the age of 27, I would have told you that I would have a Ph.D., be living in Miami, FL, with a few dogs (maybe a man, too), and have a dozen marathons under my belt. At 18 years old, I had no warning that I would be experiencing the onset of a “progressive and incurable” neurological disease just before my twentieth birthday, and at the ripe old age of 27, have experienced the unfathomable and gone through a complete, total, and necessary personal transformation.
My former life does not in any way resemble the life I am living now. Straight espresso and vodka rocks with a twist drinking, South Beach life-of-the-party, hard core atheist to green juice loving, raw vegan, New Age hippie. When I look back, I can see how each horrifyingly painful event was really a glittery stepping stone in disguise to who I wanted and needed to become, but there were times during my journey, particularly when I was lying in a hospital bed for days receiving experimental intravenous ketamine infusions and hallucinating medical machine wires into zombie fingers clawing at my arms, where I thought, “Is this really it? If this is my future, I don’t want it.” I didn’t want to claim that future at all, and I certainly did not want to see it through to fruition. In fact, I fantasized about dying. It wasn’t that I wanted to end my life and leave the people I love so dearly, but what I did want was the unthinkable pain, physical and emotional, to end.
For all the wonders traditional medicine can accomplish, it failed to provide me with any relief or much hope at all. A turning point for me was when one of my doctors suggested I quit graduate school and go on disability rather than continue to pursue my education and subsequent dreams and to submit to a life of hospitalizations and dependence on my parents to care for me. Thanks, but no thanks. A little piece of me died inside with that intractable statement, but another piece was born again, the piece that said, “I’ll prove YOU wrong.” When I left his office, I cried and then secretly renewed my resolve to finish my Master’s Degree and find a way to manage and/or heal the disease on my own. I had hopes and dreams, and they weren’t as easily discarded as my doctor assumed. He also didn’t know how much I love to achieve the impossible.
I’m doing that right now. I’m achieving the impossible. With a raw vegan diet and coffee enemas for detoxification, I am off all medications, no longer use traditional medicine, and I believe I am on my way to running those dozen marathons. Call me a fighter, call me crazy, call me whatever you want. Just don’t call me sick, or diseased, or a lost cause because I am none of those things. I am Maria, and I intend on being a miracle."
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Hi, healers! What’s new on my end? Still grinding out my workouts daily (pool running, strengthening, stretching, yoga, and some elliptical are in my rotation). I swear on certain days, I feel incredibly strong and fit and land running seems so close to me that I can almost feel the trails underneath my feet. Of course, there are those sobering other days where I feel run down and the pain rises again (like this past Saturday). My prescription for dealing with those days is to get extra rest and remember that it always gets better. It’s almost more of a mental game than a physical one because those bad days can bring on a wave of frustration that has the ability to drown you in disappointment and drift you away from your progress if you let them.
I had a friend tell me that I look like “high school Maria” again, which to me means that I look happy, fit, healthy, and strong (thanks, Rachel!). Remember, I started getting sick in undergrad. Of course, I would love my total health back so that I can have a wonderful quality of life again, doing the daily activities independently that most take for granted, but my main goal is to run again. Not just “run.” Train again. I’ll never give up that dream. Call me stubborn, but I think it is why I have beaten the odds so far. I know what I want, and I refuse to adopt the limits that have been put on me by the traditional medical profession.
I'll keep you updated on my progress.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Hi, healers! Today, I decided to do all of my PT exercises (core and legs) in one day and take off from pool running since the pyramid workout yesterday was challenging. TOM is coming to an end, so I’m starting to feel much better. I have to admit, despite how far I have come, TOM always seems to get me down about my progress when the exhaustion hits and the pain flares. I deal with it by resting and realizing that it is temporary.
Today, I started with a warm-up on the elliptical, which lasted about 20 minutes (I go until I feel like I hit a limit for the day. Today was 20. Some days it is 10. 30 on those great days.) and went immediately into my PT stretches and strengthening. The whole routine takes me about 90 minutes to 2 hours. It’s decently lengthy, and sometimes, my patience wears thin along with my energy. But I know what my goal is (to run again), so I am willing to do whatever it takes. I have incredible drive and will power when it counts. Those are two things I will say about myself.
Tomorrow, I may try an LSD (long slow distance) pool run of about 90 minutes, since my usual pool runs last anywhere from 45-60 minutes. I’ll make that decision when I wake up and get going for the day. I also have a phone interview tomorrow for a job and skills sessions with the girls I coach.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Hi, healers! The last two days have been a little rough (woman troubles). It just exhausts me and raises my pain levels, so I took a rest day yesterday aside from my PT stretches and core exercises. Thursday, I planned on a 45ish minute tempo pool run, but the men came to cut our grass. I cruised around until they finished, so it ended being a 60 minute tempo. After that, I had to sit in on the college course I am teaching come September just to get a feel for how it is taught. I really enjoyed myself, and I think I am going to LOVE teaching! After that, I still had to come home and do my leg strengthening, so I spent the rest of the evening resting, stretching, elevating. I stretch A LOT.
This morning I did a 50 minute pyramid pool run after my PT stretches and felt pretty good. I decided to wear a winter hat while pool running early in the morning because I seriously catch a chill when there is a breeze, even in 80 degree weather inside an 85 degree pool. Either I belong in Miami, FL, or I need to gain some body fat. I just don’t do well when I’m chilly.
I’m spending the afternoon with my Gubby (“gay hubby”)/best buddy, so I’m looking forward to that.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Hi, healers! Today’s workout was interesting and exciting. I decided to warm up for 5-10 minutes on the elliptical (like I used to do at PT), stretch, and then do my core work (I decided on doing legs yesterday). When I started my warm up, I felt a little funky, but by the end of it, I felt great! I decided to keep going, and I made it through 30 minutes! It felt great to sweat again. After the elliptical, I did my PT stretches and core work while sipping 24 ounces of green juice (kale, spinach, cucumber, green apple, watermelon). My post workout breakfast was another Raw Revolution bar topped with raw cashew butter and raw cashews (one of my favorites!). Before my workout, I ate a big bowl of grapes and cherries and did a retention coffee enema. I'm about to go do my second.
I wanted to keep the inflammation down after I pushed my limits like that, so I filled my bath tub up with cool water and submerged my legs in it for about 15 minutes. It was an RSD/CRPS version of an “ice bath” since we have to watch the icing. I’m elevating while I write this and doing some job searching/applying, hoping that I didn’t push myself into any real flaring. So far, I don’t think so. I'm drinking a ginger and lemon Kombucha just in case. The more anti-inflammatory, the better.
I'll get back in the pool tomorrow.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
(Watch out for this cutie at the London Games, Evan Jager. He is the future of the American steeple chase.)
Hi, healers! I'm all about signs, and I have been receiving private e-mails and messages from many readers thanking me for posting when I get around to it and for encouraging them to incorporate complimentary treatment modalities into their lives (because they are working!). The consensus seems to be that I should post more often, especially now that I am more active and attempting to push the limits of my mind and body and the RSD/CRPS even further toward remission/healing.
This morning, I did a 60 minute recovery pool run, a pace equivalent to a light jog on land. I just cruised around in the pool listening to music I had set up on an ipod speaker outside. It was freezing, well, to me. I prefer pool running in the 90 degree weather. 80 degrees is a bit chilly for me. After that, I did my PT stretches and strengthening routine for the day. I followed that up with 24 ounces of green juice (kale, green apple, lemon, cucumber, cantaloupe) and a Raw Revolution bar topped with raw cashew butter and raw cashews. I jumped into coffee enema #2, which helps to contain any flaring, and I am elevating while I write this.
What would you like me to post about? Feel free to e-mail or facebook message me since that seems to be how most of you are more comfortable contacting me.
Monday, July 9, 2012
Hi, healers! I am still working hard to push this RSD/CRPS even further into remission. Today, I did a pyramid pool run that took about 45 minutes to complete. It feels great to be pushing myself physically again, but I have to make sure I rest and elevate immediately after for about an hour as to not aggravate anything. I had a delicious recovery smoothie this morning after my pool run consisting of two bananas, three tablespoons hemp seeds, three cups of spinach, some green juice instead of water, and stevia to taste. It was delicious.
Typically, I wake up early (Early to bed and early to rise for me. That is how I feel best.) and do my first retention coffee enema, get in the pool for a pool run, and then stretch and do whatever rehabilitation excercises are on the schedule for that day. I'm listening to my body but also enjoying the fatigue that comes with true physical exertion.
I had an appointment with my PT this morning to update her on how I am doing outside of her care. When I told her I am pool running now, she replied, “You don’t need me anymore.” YAY! I’m doing well on my own and keeping up with my PT every single day. My back is doing so well (remember, I started PT because of a slipped disk) thanks to core strengthening. I always had great abdominals, but they weren't balanced.
I’m also trying to pick up a few more college courses to teach this fall, so fingers crossed!
We run skills sessions with this fall’s basketball team during the summer, so I will be doing some work for crazysexylife.com today and then heading over to coach my girls.
Let me know if you have any questions or requests. I’ve been focused on my PT and pool running, but I’d love to get back to writing on topics that my readers are interested in.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Hi, healers! I've finally graduated from PT, so now I am doing it all on my own. I've broken the routine up into two seperate days (core, then legs, then repeat) so that I am less drained and flared (the leg strengthening tends to flare me for the day). But the truly exciting news is that I am now pool running again!!!! Today, I even did some speed intervals. I spent about three months pool running while I was rehabbing a running injury down at UMiami, which was actually the beginning stages of RSD/CRPS, and I came out of the pool with greater fitness than when I went in running high mileage on roads and trails. It's an incredible workout, but best of all, I am starting to feel more like myself again. No matter how much I accepted a life of little mobility so that I could make the most out of my situation, I knew my goal was to gain my fitness back again someday. I'm on the road to recovery.
Today, I am picking up the textbook for the college course I am teaching come September so that I can start my power points. I'm excited! Otherwise, I'm still doing the job search thing for what I went to grad school for without much luck. It's been slow going, but I'm not the only one experiencing this is this area. Keeping the faith and focusing night and day on my health and pushing my limits/recovering from pushing my limits while I have the opportunity.