At the beginning of a bright new year, I found myself looking forward to the opportunities, which lay ahead, and to the challenges through which I would continue to learn on my way towards reaching them. 2008, was a year in which the unexpected became an accepted part of every day. It was another year free of toxins… a life to be lived and not just survived.
January 3rd 2008 was the second anniversary of the first time I took Serrapeptase, or the first day of my third year of adventure. This was a day, which, just a few short years ago, I could not reasonably have expected to see. My Serrapeptase Adventure has shown me repeatedly, the thrill life can be when predictions are proved wrong, and the unexpected becomes an accepted part of every day.
In a recent interview, I was asked how it felt to look back at the time when I was so ill, in the context of my continually improving health and all that I know now. My reply was:
I feel like two different people… I can now talk about that person who was ill from the point of view of the person who is positively not ill.
It is with this in mind that I have given more time to the writing and researching, which I started so many years ago, and which I had to stop when my health became an unavoidable preoccupation.
The challenge of living with a disability always has been of great interest to me. My own experiences have taught me that living with a disability, whilst not being dominated by it, requires a delicate blend of personal determination and the support of others. It often means combining ones own knowledge and experience with support services provided by people whom one hopes, for their own sake, will never need to use them. It is a collaborative approach, which can lead as easily to great achievement as it often does to conflict and misunderstanding. In the early 1990s, I began researching and writing The Disability Maze series of books, which address many of these issues in the contexts of health, education, employment and social-care.
February 18th marks another amazing milestone in My Serrapeptase Adventure. It is the first full day of my third year without prescription medication!
Although people might expect that I would mark January 3, which was the second anniversary of the first time I took Serrapeptase, for me, the second anniversary of freedom from prescription medication is, in some ways, even more significant.
As many regular readers will know, I have recently discovered that many of the symptoms from which Serrapeptase has rescued me were, in fact, known, and even expected, side effects of all the prescription medications, which I took before I knew about Serrapeptase.
February 18th was also the first day I was able to use the power of the HealthPoint machine by myself. I am able to do this, by means of the ‘ear clips’, which come with the machine, allowing me to overcome the limitations of manual dexterity, which are signatures of cerebral palsy. In a matter of minutes, I was experiencing an amazing level of relaxation, which no ‘toxic cocktail’ of prescription medication ever produced. Even better, it works while I am fully alert. No prescription I have even heard of can do that. I was very quickly reminded of the phenomenally relaxing effect of the HealthPoint machine, in expert hands, which I had experienced in October 2006. If it can continue to work as well as it has, despite my own lack of expertise, then I will be thrilled!
March: On March 5th, I began to make sense of the multitude of measurements, which I have been given during recent eye tests.
It became clear that the smallest print size that I could actually read (outside test conditions) is 4 point. For those of you who prefer traditional measurements, this means print size of 4/72 of one inch.
For me, the most important question to answer is what has led to this remarkable improvement, which has developed since November 2006?
I will be fascinated if a definitive medical opinion ever emerges. I believe, however, that the improvements in my eyesight and visual perception are, perhaps, among the most remarkable elements of My Serrapeptase Adventure.
April: On April 11th, I had a number of photographs taken for my websites and some other forthcoming projects, by a local professional photographer.
For many people with spastic forms of cerebral palsy it can be difficult to get good quality photographs taken, because of our tendency to flinch and to blink in response to camera flash and to camera noise. The solution, it seems, is persistence and a little ingenuity. I am grateful to Matt (Matthew Seed Photography, Manchester) for having plenty of both. The results speak for themselves.
June: I have always known that maintaining good health means much more than simply being free of disease and prescription medication. It is equally important to achieve and to maintain the best possible level of fitness. Once again, it was time to renew my gym membership, subject to necessary medical approval, and to look forward to my continuing progress towards improved fitness and even greater good health.
July: On July 24th, during my regular gym session I was allowed to use one of the abdominal toning machines (for crunches), without having someone standing next to me, for safety. This is a clear sign that my core-muscle strength has improved, immensely, which has positive implications for good health.
August: By August 25th, with another Olympics over and the Great Britain team having had its best results for one hundred years (since the London games of 1908); I was reminded that the truest measure of good and improving health is not personal drama. It is, perhaps, the ability to enjoy some of the pleasures of life, which people often take for granted.
Like many people, who do not think of themselves as dedicated sports watchers, I take more interest in the Olympics than in any other sport event. One reason for me never having taken much notice of sport before my eyesight began improving, in late 2006, is that I literally could not see well enough to follow many sports. It was always particularly difficult to focus on more than one person, or object, in order to make sense of the game. Although I have always enjoyed radio, I have never found the commentaries exciting, or detailed enough to be of much interest to me.
Since I have been reporting on my improving eyesight from November 2006, and that it has been ‘within normal range’ since 2007, you might think it had no more surprises in store. As I began watching the BBC’s coverage of the first day of sporting action I noticed something very different and, for me, very exciting. I was, for the first time ever, able to recognise individual athletes, and to follow them around as they moved. For the first time ever, I was following live sporting action and finding that looking at it actually makes things clearer.
I doubt that I will ever become a confirmed sports fan, but it is a simple, but real, pleasure to be able to understand, at last, what everyone around me is talking about when they try to convince me how exciting their chosen sport can be.
November: By mid November, as I began to look forward towards the exciting challenges, which I am sure 2009 will hold, I was given an unexpected and precious gift, which reminded me of how My Serrapeptase Adventure started.
Joyce Riley and all Serrapeptase for the first time, in January 2006, long before my eyesight was good enough to read the information for myself.team have been, and continue to be, a constant source of information, encouragement and inspiration. It was Joyce’s interviews with Robert Redfern, which gave me the information I needed, and the confidence to try
On November 18th, Joyce recorded her very personal view of My Serrapeptase Adventure, so far, and of the part, which she, and all team continue to have within it.
2008, was a year in which the unexpected became an accepted part of every day. It was another year free of toxins… a life to be lived and not just survived.