Friday, October 18, 2013


With my MS taking a keen interest in mucking with my insides I seem to be in a perpetual battle with my body to give up its protective padding. When your bowels have forgotten how to behave and your swallowing is hit and miss it seems like your entire GI tract is working to rule or less.

Despite exercising like a Trojan - walking with a purpose for at least 2.5km and averaging 5km with a 10-12 k walk thrown in one the weekends and the occasional run - and always hitting the 10000 steps a day target (love my fitbit flex) and eating between 1200 and 1500 kcal oriels a day I should be shedding the weight like mad but it just hangs on for dear life. Of course my weekly dulcolax tends to result in a major weight loss - 2kg on average. A bit does go back on but I can fairly clearly see that chronic constipation is affecting my weight loss.

So I was really interested in seeing Dr Michael Moseley's results when he looked at fasting on his documentary Eat Fast and live longer. He did the horrible ground work for me and tonnes of others to find that he got excellent results with fasting two non- consecutive days and "feasting" on the other five. Rather than fasting it is a severe reduction of calories on the two fast days -500 for women 600 for men. The idea is it reprogrammed our bodies back to the time when we might not get food everyday so the body learns to break down fat on fasting days and beyond.

I have decided to give it a go because it is also believed to lower your insulin resistance, something I have been concerned about considering I have a type two diabetic mother and my grandmother who died in her fifties also had type two diabetes. When I was on steroids for my optic neuritis and my blood sugars were being monitored since steroids can raise them I was getting some elevated numbers. It is also believed to help stave off Alzheimer's and memory loss so I'm in for that.

I have so far done two fast days with a feast day between and it was not too difficult. I chose to have a brunch of porridge on the first day and a small serving of dinner plus a few cups of tea. Today I had arranged to meet my mother for lunch and had a minor panic. I consulted my fitness pal And discovered I could have a bagel with a scraping of cream cheese, some avocado and tomato with a regular flat white with trim milk. It left enough for vege soup for dinner, a cup of tea or two and tonnes of green tea with jasmine. It was definitely tolerable and I had plenty of energy to walk Millie and to complete more than 10,000 steps.

I plan on giving it a month. I may solos introduce some more fibre into my day, probably through a supplement like Metamucil. So now I get to see what the scales say. I'm hoping this format is just the kick I need.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Courthouse Blues

Today I was down for jury service. I'm pretty sure that I am one of a handful of people who actually want to do jury service so I had my fingers crossed.

We all gathered in the assembly room where we were told there were two High Court trials running that week. One was lasting a week and the other eight weeks. This news was greeted with groans.

They did the ballot for the short trial first, drawing out about 20 names for the jury to be selected from. They all got badges and were taken up to their court room during the ballot for the long trial. Apparently it went quite straight forward with only one challenge for the first thirteen names called out. So eight fulfilled their jury service by simply standing in a court room for a wee while.

Then it was the ballot for the big trial. There was a good chance my name would be called because there were between seventy and ninety names to be selected! And it was. We we're read the list of witnesses in the assembly room because there were 200 of them! That led a few people to approach the court staff to say they knew some of them. They were told if their name was called they could ask to approach the judge to ask to be excused. Because it was a long trial anyone who would be disadvantaged by having to sit for eight weeks was also told to ask to approach the judge. Then we were also advised that anyone with English as a second language and might have trouble understanding was also to request to approach the judge. This became even more important when we discovered that some of the defendants required an interpreter!

So once everyone was advised we trooped up to the court room. The lawyers and the defendants were already present. The judge came in and then the charges were read out and the defendants were asked how they pled. Once this was done it was empaneling time.

It started out well with the first two or three names getting to their seats no problem. But then it alternated between challenges and excuse requests. So I was hoping I had a chance, especially since I fit the profile the defence lawyers seemed keen on - middly aged European woman not overdressed. They did not like European men one bit. Alas after a long list of names the jury was formed and I was not on it.

Then they had to go off and choose a foreperson. We had to remain in case one or more members could not carry out their duties. It was a long wait and the judge eventually asked the court officer to check on them. Apparently two were unsure they could get time off. So I might get another chance! They were given 5 minutes to find out if they could. Unfortunately they were both able to so my chance was gone.

So at midday we rejected or excused jurors marched back downstairs to the assembly room where the 20 or so who hadn't come out of the ballot box plus the eight from the other trial were waiting. Once we were all there we were advised we were no longer needed - we had discharged our jury duty and were excused (if we wished) from serving for two years.

So I didn't get to experience a trial but I got a good look at what a courtroom is like during a trial.i also discovered that US law shows have given us a false image of what lawyers dress like. It was the High Court so gowns were de rigeur but all were very sartorially challenged and personal grooming only seemed to have been achieved but two female barristers, two male barristers and the judge.

The upside is I shall be able to NaNoWriMo without having to forgo sleep. Yay!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I'm back, back again, yes I'm back. Tell a friend.

Well time has flown in the penguin universe. I really should have been a bear because then I could say I've been hibernating. Mmmm sleep, love sleep.

I've been grumbling along. Popping pills and paying exorbitant physio fees, the usual. But then I had an epiphany (such a beautiful word). When I sit on my butt I hurt and it tends to spread. When I walk I hurt - let's start at the creepy creaky ankle tendon and work up through the dying hip, immobile gut, go slow throat and arm with parathesia to the brain that sometimes struggles to remember the month, forget the day. So I figured I may as well run, it couldn't hurt any more, I shouldn't look anymore like Frankenstein's monster (ooh quick brain flash of Benedict Cumberbatch as the monster) than when I walk.

At the weekend various people who should probably be inside the walls of an insane asylum but actually walk among us were running and walking around a 400m track for 24 hours. One was my husband and on occasion he required an item avec vitesse and I would run across the field in the centre of the track and no one tried to take me down with a tranquilliser dart. I felt no ill effects and was pleasantly surprised. I had been working up running times on the treadmill but had been sidelined by my crazy foot and had never run outside since the surgery.

Today at 4 I thought I'd take the dog for a walk. I traversed the side of Mt Kilimanjaro aka our driveway and thought it might be nice to run a short distance down a hill when I reached it. Then I thought it might be nice to try a short spurt on the gentle upward sloping street before I reached the downhill street. So I ran and when I reached the street is meant to run a little on I kept running and so it went for 29:51 minutes!

So naturally my foot hurt and my hip hurt and I was disheartened. No! The foot did niggle but it does that walking down the stairs and that was it! No sore hip, no deep depressions. Nope, I ended up euphoric and proud of myself. So I think I may as well carry on because no one else has any better ideas. The dog won't know what's hit her!