Category Archives: Exercise – Move That Body

Collagen Hydrolysate UPDATE

UPDATE on my experience with Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate!

IT WORKS FOR JOINT PAIN!!! After only 15 days using this product, my hip pain, knee cap pain, and finger joint pain is all gone. My range of motion in my hips is getting slightly better. I still feel a pinch of pain if I push myself too far, but it has definitely improved. My cervical spine has stopped popping every time I turn my head or tilt my neck from side to side. Below are my notes on the product.

The shipment arrived on Monday, July 28th. I immediately began using it as the label indicates:

2 rounded tablespoons in the morning (about 14gm)

2 rounded tablespoons prior to bedtime (I actually have it with dinner or shortly afterward)

The reviews on Amazon, Bodybuilding.com, and the Great Lakes website all tell the truth when they say it is easily dissolved and completely tasteless. THAT IS TRUE! You cannot taste anything. The reviews touting the positive effect on joint pain are also what I am experiencing after only two weeks.

When I have it in the morning, I mix it in my coffee with my almond milk and sugar. Sometimes I have a tablespoon with my lunch or shortly after lunch in a cup of green tea. When I take the Collagen Hydrolysate at night before bed I have tried it three ways: sprinkled over my dinner, in a glass of cold water with a dash of black cherry juice, or in a cup of hot tea. So far, each method has worked, however the cold beverage was my least favorite method.

Collagen Hydrolysate with my favorite teas!

Collagen Hydrolysate with my favorite teas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is no flavor whatsoever. It dissolves quickly on or in hot food or beverages. I have sprinkled it on curry, pasta, and in rice. The reason why mixing it in the cold beverage is my least favorite is because even though it dissolves easily, there are a few little swirly floaty pieces at the bottom of my glass. They look almost waxy and those few pieces never seem to dissolve. It is a mental thing for me as to why I don’t like to gulp it down with cold water.

Regarding the effect on my joint pain, it really has made a difference for me. I realize it has been only two weeks that I have taken it, however it has stopped the constant cracking and popping from my cervical spine all the way into my toes. The range of motion in my hips and knees has been rather limited for quite awhile now. I can now open my hips wider without pain when doing yoga, swimming in the pool, and doing strength exercises. When I am exercising, I can do leg lifts without any pain. It has really been a dramatic change for me. My cervical spine would feel like I had very bad sunburn and it would always pop and crack with a turn of my head or even when I tilt my head side to side during exercise (or for whatever many reasons we tilt our heads side to side!) I still hear and feel a slight bit of grinding in my left hip and C-spine, but nothing even remotely close to what it had been doing up until about a week ago.

If anyone is thinking of taking this product, please check with your doctor first. Read about it. Do your own research. It has been a miracle for me and I just can’t think of one complaint so far. Yes, two weeks is not long enough to toot a horn or have a parade in honor of collagen hydrolysate, but my gosh, this has been a life saver for me.

I plan to update in two weeks, once I have been on it for a month, and will try to do periodic updates on my results.

Stay cool and healthy!

Me in/on Catalina Island!

Me in/on Catalina Island!

 

 

 

 

Kayaking

Kayaking

Kayaking

 

 

 

 

There is nothing better than a paddling on the ocean.  Kayaking is enjoyable for so many reasons. When I paddle out a couple of miles into the ocean I feel so free. Removed from all the things that tend to bog me down during the week. It’s all very mundane stuff during the week, but still enough to make one feel overwhelmed at times. So kayaking is my time to relax.

On my Saturday paddle in Cabrillo Beach of south Los Angeles, I saw sea lions, a harbor seal, dolphin, pelicans, marbled godwits, gannets, and albatross. Not to mention numerous fish swimming through the gorgeous kelp beds.  The scenery is gorgeous. The cliffs are stunning, the old Fermin Lighthouse is visible from the water as you go around Fermin Point.

Fermin Lighthouse  San Pedro Cabrillo Beach

Fermin Lighthouse
San Pedro Cabrillo Beach

Paddling is an excellent workout. Sometimes I paddle hard and feel the burn in my shoulders and forearms. Other times I paddle in a more gentle, slower rhythm and just cruise around the ocean.  Kayaking feels so good because while I use my arms with gusto, my legs can just rest in the kayak for the day.  If I could live on the water, I would!!

Pelican -  Science How Stuff Works

Pelican –
Science How Stuff Works

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Different Doctors – Different Opinions

DoctorThe best patient is a well-informed patient. You are your own advocate. Ask questions. Write them down before your doctor visits. Show up prepared so you will receive the best advice and the most information that will benefit you that your doctor can provide.

Doctors give varying degrees of advice when it comes to Syringomyelia. Possibly because it is not yet well-researched. Read all that you can about the disease. Talk to doctors, talk with your peers with the disease through websites and forums, and learn what you can, not only from doctors, but on your own.

Checkout some of these sites for Syringomyelia and Chiari Malformation and read through them to see what new research has been done. Find a doctor who specializes in these two diseases of the spinal cord.

American Syringomyelia and Chiari Alliance Projecthttp://www.asap.org/

Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation: http://www.csfinfo.org/

The Chiari Care Center: http://chiaricare.com/Related-Disorders/Syringomyelia.aspx

Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/syringomyelia/DS01127

Cleveland Clinic: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/Syringomyelia/hic_Syringomyelia.aspx

When I was told I have Syringomyelia from my cervical spine to bottom of thoracic spine, my first neurologist told me that all physical activity should be stopped. Completely. He was referring to: running, weight-lifting, hiking, kayaking, aerobic exercise (except swimming – swimming is okay), carrying anything over 5 pounds, or carrying anything on my back or shoulders such as a backpack or a heavy purse. No pilates, no dancing, no rough-housing. He had a laundry list of stuff that I should no longer do. It was recommended that I not reach above my head. Don’t tilt my neck back. Don’t roll my neck. Be gentle with my body.

Neurologist number two said to keep swimming, use the StairMaster (no running on treadmill), lift weights 5, 8, and 10 pounds, keep hiking, keep kayaking, but maybe nix the idea of whitewater rafting and sky-diving. So I won’t sky-dive. I will however go whitewater rafting. She said it will get worse regardless of activity. She did not endorse insane activity like sky-diving or running, but did say that continuing to be active would alleviate some of the top symptoms of the ailment. Being sedentary can oftentimes make people feel worse due to loss of muscle mass, weight gain, and not keeping bones healthy. She also reinforced the following:  do not reach above my head. Do not tilt my neck back. Do not roll my neck. DO be gentle with my body.

For my own case of Syringomyelia, I agree with doctor number two. I do heed warnings from both doctors to stop running. Stop doing anything jarring. No rolling of the neck. However, I will say activities such as bowling, badminton, volleyball, and stuff like that I still enjoy. I am not jumping around and jarring my body. I see where people could get a bit more active and aggressive though.

Listen to your doctors. Get second and third opinions. A lot of people I have spoken to have a small Syrinx. Maybe from T2 to T3 or T6 to T8. Mine is from Cervical all the way down to T12. I have severe Coccyx pain (coccydynia). So I actually do try to be careful with the activities in which I choose to participate. Some people I have spoken to with a small Syrinx have severe disabilities with mobility issues. Other people go their entire lives without any symptoms at all. I have yet to encounter anyone with a Syrinx as long as mine who is completely debilitated. Some people I have talked with who have a long Syrinx go through flare-ups and waves of pain and immobility, but seem to bounce back from the flare-up quickly. I have noticed the people with the longer Syrinxes are the most active. Maybe because of the thought of paralysis…? Maybe the more active people did something during some activity that cause the Syrinx to begin with..?  I have no idea.

Talk to your doctors. Get informed.

A Little Reprieve

Whew. I have missed two seasons. For the last four months, I was working on putting together a health and fitness expo. I have had only one flare-up that lasted about eight weeks. Other than the normal deep spinal cord pain and muscle weakness, I have felt fantastic.

My spinal cord hurts deep inside with a sunburn feeling from the base of my skull to my lumbar spine. That is from the syrinx. It has been a constant pain for months. Possibly because I haven’t been swimming. Or using my Stairmaster regularly. BOOOO me! It was a birthday gift and aside from swimming and lifting (light) weights, the Stairmaster is my favorite exercise. Lifting weights is supposedly a no-no with the Syringomyelia. However, it is good for M.S. and other diseases in that family. Besides, it burns fat and keeps the skeleton and muscles in excellent shape. And after a few months of working and not taking care of myself… I need to get rid of some fat. Oh-my!

Between working my show and having some days of rest here and there, I did find time to enjoy this Southern California fall and winter weather.

Kayaking off of Ventura Harbor.

Kayaking off of Ventura Harbor.

Sea Lions & Sailing

Sea Lions & Sailing

Hiking with my Sherpa on the Santa Cruz isle.

Hiking with my Sherpa on the Santa Cruz isle.

Touring the gorgeous homes in Heritage Square. Los Angeles

Touring the gorgeous homes in Heritage Square. Los Angeles

Enjoying the holiday season with family and friends.

Enjoying the holiday season with family and friends.

1,000 Lights

1,000 Lights

That just about wraps up the busy year. I hope 2013 is a great year for everyone filled with an abundant amount of good health and joy.  Get up and keep moving. Stay strong. Move that body or lose that body.

Learning How to Stay Focused

Image

I really need to learn how to focus on the task at hand. Lately I have become so forgetful! Kept forgetting to grab my camera. Example: Recently I wrapped up a health and fitness expo I have been working on out of town. I spent six months planning for one weekend of all things health and fitness related. Organized, interactive demonstrations, contests, and exhibitors came under one roof to share their knowledge, expertise, and goods. Exercise knowledge, healthy eating and cooking demos, MMA and Jiu Jitsu tournaments, Strongman competitions (think MET-Rx’s World’s Strongest Man events), meditation information, vitamin companies, equipment and clothing companies, different branches of the military came out to demonstrate using your own body as your own gym, aerobics classes, we had all kinds of cool stuff. And the only photos I had time and remembered to take were of the city from my hotel room, and a crowd shot of Tito Ortiz making a surprise visit to the show at his clothing line’s booth. (And you can’t even see him in the photo.)

Image

So, is it the MS medication making me suddenly forgetful?

Or is it me just not remembering to do things, like take photos of my own event? Bummer. It was a cool weekend.

Moving Your Body

Image

Having Multiple Sclerosis and/or Syringomyelia, I have found for myself, it is important to keep my body moving so my muscles stay strong. Hiking is one activity I have always enjoyed and still do. These days I don’t do very strenuous hikes due to the Syringomyelia, but certainly still enjoy longer trails with a low incline. My suggestion for a fantastic day trip for a nice hike for those in Southern California is to take a  boat ride out to the Channel Islands National Park to Santa Cruz Island.The morning ride out is usually foggy, but burns off quickly.

Image

There are many trails to explore for the day and two of them are low-impact with a very low to moderate incline. Very manageable for MS or Syringomyelia peeps. When you get to the top of most any exterior hike on Santa Cruz Island, you will be happy you made the trek.

Image

Move it

Move it