Many of you have chronic, invisible illness and are wondering if you should try DNRS (the Dynamic Neural Retraining System). Some of you are wondering if you should refer your friends and family to DNRS. I've been doing the program for four months now, and here is my advice those with lyme disease, ME, CIRS, POTS, fibromyalgia and more:
Absolutely, 100% try this.
I continue to observe encouraging changes in my body, and I am confident this works for those with limbic system injuries.
I posted about my progress early in the program, but I didn't detail how very up and down those first months were. I'd have an enormous break-through one day, and feel back at square one the next. Since then, I continue to have significant ups and downs, but I have longer "ups" — sometimes lasting days at a time — as my brain heals and body stabilizes.
The biggest change I see is a newfound freedom to hope and dream about the future. For so long, I devoted most of my hope to small tasks: "I hope I can get out of bed to teach two mornings this week." "I hope I have energy to shower today." "I hope I can be upright long enough to make myself dinner." These goals often felt unobtainable.
I still find myself hoping for these small things during particularly challenging days or weeks, but the hoping feels realistic. I'll probably be able to cook dinner for myself tonight.
I also find myself hoping for big things: "I hope to work full time soon." "I hope to be running again soon." "I hope to working on my writing project again soon." And it's the wildest thing: these hopes feel realistic, too! These things will probably happen.
You guys. I cannot tell you the last time I dared to dream something big about the future AND felt like it was a realistic possibility.
Recently, I've especially loved dreaming about traveling internationally. I'm perusing the internet for travel ideas and mentally planning trips, and though I don't know when my body will be ready for this sort of travel, the dreaming is a delight. In an effort to practice hope, I went ahead and renewed my passport. It came last week, and it was one of the happiest packages I've ever received.
Here are some of the other changes I've observed in myself since my last update in early September:
1. I can practice the piano again. For six years, neurological challenges made short practice sessions painful and longer practice sessions impossible. But in September, I was suddenly able to play Chopin for an hour straight, and it felt nourishing – like I was eating vegetable stew after a steady diet of bread and cheese.
2. For years, I've tried to push through physical challenges to go on short walks, much to my body's detriment. Eventually, as per my doctor's instruction, I stopped walking except when my symptoms were quieter — which wasn't often. When I did go on walks, I felt much worse afterward and often spent days recovering. However, since September, I've been able to walk more often — sometimes a few times a week — AND the walking makes me feel better. I'd forgotten what the benefits of exercise feel like!
|Walking with Mama and Roo!|
3. Going to the grocery store used to be such a challenge. If I had the stamina to go, the lights, smells, sounds, and movement made me wildly sick. However, the last several times I've gone to the grocery store, I've zipped in and out with no problems at all!
4. I traveled twice last month — once to northern California, and once to Washington. I was nervous about whether or not I'd be able to handle it, and I did!
|Soaking up Washington's glorious fall|
5. I got my first full-blown cold in several years, which is a sign of my immune system coming back online. This summer, a week after starting DNRS, I got a cold, but the symptoms only lasted one day before autoimmune mode returned. Last month's cold, however, progressed like a normal cold. Woo hoo! (To my friends doing DNRS: my cold triggered preexisting physical challenges, so if your first cold isn't 100% normal, you're not alone. We'll get to complete normalcy soon, though!).
6. I experience pockets during which reading feels natural and easy.
7. My fingernails used to have deep ridges in them. These ridges are a sign of malnourishment and extreme infection, BUT the ridges are beginning to disappear!
8. In the past, it has been hard to listen to music because of the energy the brain needs to process sound. Talking to people has been hard, too (this is still a big area of training for me), and talking to people with the radio on was absolutely impossible. But last month, while driving in the car with a friend, I noticed we'd been talking for 1/2 hour with the radio ON. Yeaaaah, Baby.
9. I've been a front seat passenger in the car a number of times in the last month, and those trips have been relatively easy! (They used to always be horribly difficult).
10. I've been to church five times this semester, and four of those times were relatively easy!
11. My rest is generally more restful as my brain heals and my body follows suit.
Friends, if you're doing DNRS and haven't signed up for a coach, I recommend you do at least one coaching session. My coach validated the difficulty of this process and confirmed its up-and-down nature, which made me feel normal. She's also helped me with areas of training that have been particularly hard and slow for me, and she's given me tips that have helped across all areas of training.
If you have been praying for me on this journey, here are some ways you can pray these days:
1. For perseverance — limbic system retraining is hard, the sawtooth nature of this journey continues to be really hard, and this semester has been filled with some pretty tough life stuff.
2. For joy and hope on the harder days and weeks.
3. For complete healing sooner rather than later.
4. For wisdom as I continue to learn how to best care for myself on this healing journey.
5. For protection from the Enemy. There's been an uncanny pattern this semester: each time I make progress, something difficult happens to trigger greater physical challenges. Thankfully, I rebound from the effects of the trigger after a couple of weeks (the ability to bounce back is a huge improvement!), but just as soon as I begin to progress again, I'm exposed to another trigger, and the pattern continues. I suspect this pattern is the result of spiritual attack.
6. For provision for my needs.
7. This request feels a bit frivolous, but important: would you pray that I'd be able to take that international trip one day?! Gosh, that would be a glorious victory.
Thank you for walking this journey with me, Friends.
I'm cheering for you,
For more information on DNRS, visit the website HERE and my overview HERE.
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