The Great Escape

We have now moved out of London and it feels great to be down by the seaside and out of the Southwark corona soup. I moved down to London in 1998 and was a little sad to say goodbye to 86 Shenley Road. It seems another lifetime when we moved south of the river with dear 9-month-old Isla. I remember the house feeling massive but we managed to fill it up. It was a great 9 years in Camberwell/Peckham with getting married, the arrival of Hons and Dids, nursery, school, Fran’s business going from strength to strength and my move to Destination Canada. Fran invited some of the school friends around to wave us off and we ended up with an illegal social distanced street party for half an hour, which was fun but did scare some of the neighbours! The kids did amazingly well with no tears.

The last couple of weeks in London were quite stressful with trying to make the move to 53 St Helens Wood road happen. Short story we didn’t make it and are staying in Nina and Phil’s lovely flat in West St Leonards right on the beach. We have exhausted our mortgage options and are waiting for the surveyors to go back to work to validate the house valuation. There is one other option with Bank of Ireland who might lend us the money without a valuation. Barclays really let us down and we sent a complaint letter in regards to the early repayment fee (£14K). Fran managed to find their CEO’s email and within 24 hours we had half the money back, which seemed a good result.

Exciting lockdown news is Fran has bought a lovely Emu e-bike. Central London was very quiet we did some amazing bike rides along the river, through town and up round Hyde Park. We have picked the daily cycle up down here with long windy rides along the seafront. It feels a lot less locked down here, we have been having a lovely time on the beach out front and I have managed a couple of bracing swims. The old dears of Bexhill take the social distancing quite seriously practically throwing themselves off the cliff rather than come close to us swooshing past on our bikes.

The lockdown has not been great for my health. The stress of the move and general chaos has meant my headache has returned and stiffness is at its max. Everyone that relies on physio or in my case acupuncture and massage to manage chronic pain has had to grin and bear it. I was supposed to be having a face-to-face catch up on my Dr Klinghart protocol. However, I had to make do with one over the phone. The new protocol does not seem to be bearing fruit yet.

Whilst we don’t have a house we have found a beach hut we want to buy and are excited about the times that will offer us this summer and beyond. Post lockdown we are looking forward welcoming you all to 1066 Country.

Desert Island Disco

I love Lauren Laverne’s BBC 6 music breakfast show and was delighted to get on her desert island disco slot. The idea is you send in a track list for your own rave on a desert island. I went with 90’s house bangers and got to talk about my MS curbing my dance moves. LISTEN HERE This lockdown is rather uncharted territory for the Hanmer family. It takes quite a lot to tie us down but Corona has done it for sure.

Escaped to Herne Bay before the lockdown

I would not recommend buying and selling a house in these times. We have had a stressful time trying to make the move happen. The good news is we managed to exchange on our house sale so Shenners is a goner. However, securing the house we really want in Hastings has had more twists and turns than I would care for. We are still in the game but porting our Barclays mortgage has been a painful experience. The house we want to buy is empty but Barclays still won’t do a value survey even though the government advice says you can. We have been forced to try and get a new mortgage with Santander, which will mean sucking up a £14,000 early repayment charge. We were desperate to escape before the lockdown to a big garden, St Helens wood and the beaches of East Sussex but no such luck. We hope we can get out by 23 April when we are supposed to complete on our house sale.

Good Old Joe Wicks keeping us moving

Fran has done a great job with the home schooling. We start the day with Joe Wick’s rather fab PE session, then French (dualingo), Literacy and then I do a cycle with the girls. We have been doing laps of our local parks Ruskin, Peckham Rye and Brunswick (VIDEO HERE). Back for lunch and then maths and art with some outside garden play to finish off. I am not going to lie it is tough and the kids are pushing all the wrong buttons right now. The challenge is the weekends as ours are normally fully charged and not used to the slower rhythm of being just the five of us on lockdown.

Posters for the new Nightingdale Hospital

People ask me if I am at more at risk to Corona with my MS. My understanding is I am at no more risk than you as I am not taking the drugs. We are leading a monastic existence so apart from Fran hitting the supermarket we have not interacted with anyone in the last 14 days. It feels like we should escape it for now all being well if we have not had it already.

Keep your fingers crossed for the house move and try to keep sane.

South African Sun

We managed to nip off to Cape Town for some much-needed sun at half term. Staying in some magnificent Air BnB’s in the city and down the coast at the picture postcard Llandudno. We mixed beach time with exploring. Highlights were a fab game drive in Buffelsfontein, a lovely lunch in the winelands after saying hello to the penguins on Boulder beach. South Africa has a lot going for it with fab weather, healthy food, nice wine, friendly locals but there is definitely an edge to proceedings with high security, panic alarms and barbed wire. It was just the tonic and with no jet lag we managed the two overnight flights via Jburg fairly well with the girls going straight into school after.

Aquarium
Game drive

My walking has further diminished and it was too much for me to have a frolic in the ice-cold sea with the girls. I am in the stride of using my stick and it does have its advantages of keeping me on my feet. Crucially it turns you from being invisibly disabled as many MSers are to visibly disabled. I have started taking the assisted lane at Heathrow and the odd outing I take on the tube you get a seat. The best queue jump was landing in South Africa at security. I went to the 6 Music festival and got an accessible seat which included a free one for Fran my carer! I have a weird sense of being a fraud in my head of being disabled but the reality is I am.

I am still feeling mentally perky even with the Corona take over. My detox regime continues with no great benefits but not great losses. Many of my MS crew who are taking drugs have extra worries over Corona. It makes me feel happy for now there is still no drug option for me. My dear old travel industry is in meltdown, which is very sad. Our Easter holiday to Morocco is off and it seems to be putting a strain on our move to the coast. We are still hoping to make it and hole up in Hastings soon.

I am keeping the faith in these tough times, counting my blessings, meditating and trying to have some fun.

Has it really come to this?!

2020 has started well. I am feeling a lot perkier and thanks to the magical Tim Harwood (aka the headache remover) I have got my mojo back. We had a fab Christmas on the Swiss slopes in Nendaz with the extended Knight clan. We had loads of snow and enjoyed sliding around on the slopes and in the hire car. The girls took to skiing like a ducks to water and it was fab to see Diddy coming off a lift on day 4 after hitting a red run. Fran got out with her sis on snow shoes so I hope it won’t be our last family ski holiday.

Cousin Ski Crew (Left to Right): Isla, Ottilie, Freya, Hons, Dids

I had three days out on the biunique sit ski with Xavier my instructor. It was a new model for me which meant you cannot ride the lifts, which was a bit frustrating as you are in and out a lot. The resort area was quite challenging with limited blue runs but I managed to get going on the red runs and had some fun. Check out a video here. MS feels like you are walking on ice so I had to be on my metal getting around the resort. I managed to stay on my feet with my stick and Blair’s grippy boots.

My NEW Dr Klinghart regime is in full swing. He has identified three main causes of illness.

  1. Toxicity from heavy metals and other environmental factors (inc WIFI).
  2. Hidden infections such as parasites and lyme.
  3. Unresolved trauma – physical such as car accident or emotional such as divorce.

They use kinesiology muscle testing to assess what the problem is and where it is. It is on a similar detox vibe as before with a large mix of supplements, binders (chorella and clay), powders, tea, sprays, creams and light therapy. They place a lot of value on your dental health and I am wearing a rather uncomfortable bite guard which along with a nightly lymph massage helps my brain detox overnight. The tabloid headline on this protocol involves drinking your own wee. Well not quite but they have taken a therapy developed by a Russian doctor and army general who used to protect is troops from disease when medical supplies were limited. You wee in a jam jar, shake it 50 times, empty, fill half with water, shake 50 times empty and then once more and then down the hatch. Try it one morning! Joking aside it is supposed to wake up your immune system. I am 6 weeks in and have felt a bit detoxy (mild headache, achy bones more numb feet) which is normal. Time will tell if this works.

I had an encouraging appointment with Victoria Williams my new neurologist at Kings Hospital. The clinic was calm and on time which was a good start. She took her time with me and I felt she had time to care a little bit which was nice. We talked about Ocrevus this new drug which might be available to me. You need to show two new active lesions on your MRI. Apparently it only works well if your MS is very active and she says that mine is not so active, which is good. They didn’t have all my MRI’s but it was lucky I had my original one on a CD with me so they will review when they do. I asked about Sativex which is a MS Cannabis based drug and she said it wouldn’t work for me so we will leave that one.

Mum and Dad and the girls at Leeds Castle

Exciting news is we have accepted a good offer on our house in Camberwell so the move to Hastings is on. We are going to rent in the short term to get down there and get the girls settled in the new school in the summer term. All change with the Hanmer’s. Next stop Cape Town for some half term winter sun.

Boys Don’t Cry

I love this song by the Cure but I have been shedding a few tears these last few months as I have felt terrible. It culminated in a mini breakdown in the car with the girls on the way to mum’s 70th birthday bash. The pain just got too much. My poor family has been doing their best to put up with the grizzly bear with a sore head.

September was the start of my new gut healing protocol which started with a brutal 3 day bone broth fast. In the paleo sphere it is supposed to be the elixir for healing your gut and as 70% of the immune system sits in the gut – heal your gut heal your body. I then transitioned to 5 days of soups and 5 days of stews. I have cut out some nasties for the gut like FODMAP vegetables, nuts, seeds, dairy and nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers). I have also been off the booze which has been quite the revelation as I have not missed it. The strain has come from antimicrobials and binders which are supposed to kill the bag guys in the gut and then you sauna and sweat out the toxins. However, after battling through a few months of this and feel like utter crap it was time to stop. There is normal a bit of pain in the transition but not this long term. I have quite the sensitive constitution and don’t seem to be able to tolerate much. Having spent enough to buy a small car on Dr Will’s protocol it was time to take the good things and move on. One revelation has been smooth move tea which I would highly recommend if you struggle in that department. Cleaning up my diet another level has definitely helped whilst adding in some superfoods like bone broth, adaptogen mushrooms, seaweed, liver and upping my fish/seafood game. I have been doing a lot more cooking and found some new recipes to boot.

Dad and I at the cricket

It was definitely time to do some work on my mental state and I have worked with the excellent Kerry Jeffrey on skype in Oz.  She has developed a program for moving through the grief of chronic illness using hypnotherapy and other bits and pieces. It has culminated in me having a much better acceptance of my illness and taken the internal fight out of the equation. I have moved to a more living in the moment, acceptance and adjustment mindset, which will serve me better. The key is to find more joy from the little things in life like reading the girls a story or a morning kiss before I go to work.

One of the reasons I have been in such a state has been the headache which has got worse! I have finally found some blessed relief working with Tim on Myofascial massage which is all around the head, jaw and inside the mouth along with George’s acupuncture needles and lymph massage. Fran pushed me to go and see Kendra and Michelle in Bath who work under Dr Klinghart. They have helped her and I had a great session with them and I think there are some exciting things to come which have put a spring back in my stride.

Rewind to the summer we had a wonderful time in Turkey. The sea swimming is something else with gin clear water and I had two swims with turtles. Our first foray into all-inclusive hotels was a winner with the magnificent Hillside hotel. The girls loved the kids club and mum and dad enjoyed the adults only beach and everyone was a winner with some fab food. One of the great things about kids is their joy in the smallest things like who is going to push the button in the lift everyday. We went onto Kalkan and enjoyed their beach clubs and boat trips. It was very British which at first took us aback but the kids made some pals and I found dads following the epic Edgbaston ashes test when my phone had run out of battery. The stick was essential as everywhere was cut into the hillside so lots of hills but I managed along with our car hire helping out.

Kalkan
Yoga on our terrace

Blair and I managed another bike tour with the help of an ebike for me round the Kent Coast from Canterbury up to Whitstable and round to Hastings. I would highly recommend the cycle from Whitstable to Margate it is simply stunning and allowed me to catch my old pal Ben in Ramsgate for an excellent lunch. It was funny as we had gale force winds with wind behind and sun on day 1 and then torrential rain and headwind on day 2.

I had a good catch up with my neurologist. Now I have a new lesion I am deemed as getting worse so I can take Ocrevus, which is this new drug so I have asked for that and I will see when that can happen in the new year. The Hastings move has not been helped by a stubborn housing market and not getting a sensible offer on our house but we do hope to get there in 2020. Not long till we head to the mountains for our first white Christmas with the full complement of Knights. I am very excited to get some more sit ski in and enjoy the girls taking to the slopes.

Santa Dash for Great Ormond Street 5KM!

Stick Man

I have had to get a stick and it sucks. My left leg is just not playing ball at the moment and my foot drop has got bad so rather than risk a fall I have got a stick. It is not where I wanted to be at 43. Things have been tough and I have felt on the edge a bit of late physically and emotionally. My chronic headache is part of the furniture after 5 months and really takes the edge off life. I did try and fix the headache through a private neurologist who suggested amitriptyline (anti-depressants) that are supposed to help chronic headaches. They just made me feel more crap and on edge so I scratched those. I feel stiffer than I have ever been which all together results in a constant low level of pain. To compound things on the bike I seem to have lost some power and it is that bit harder. My normal 30 lengths of breaststroke at Crystal Palace 50 metre pool is a ground out 20 now.

I can still walk unaided but steps and slopes are more of a struggle. I am always comparing myself to my worst place when I got diagnosed. I feel I have slipped below that base line and like dear Moen Ali being a confidence cricketer how I am doing physically reflects how I feel.

My experience of the support network from the NHS has been rubbish. I see my Neurologist once a year and my appointment was supposed to be in May. The clinic got cancelled and they rearranged it for the next week, which I couldn’t make so the next appointment I could get was September. I did in the meantime take it upon myself to get my annual MRI sorted. A few months later I got a short two sentence letter with spelling mistakes saying I had a new lesion on my brain and they would follow up in due course! It adds a sense of hopelessness to proceedings.

On the beach in Hastings our new life calling

I do have to have hope and keep believing I can overcome this. I continue with my daily meditation and have started doing transformational breathing again with the lovely Emma and Alison at Herne Hill. Oxygen Therapy still seems to help but getting out to Swanley seems that bit harder at the moment. I have felt the need to get back into my MS Gym stretching and have been enjoying the odd vape of CBD oil but not at the same time!

My real hope lays with American Dr Will Cole whose care I am under now. After an exhaustive set of tests he has some results to work from. The highlights (or lowlights!) are I have arsenic, uranium, nickel and silver heavy metal toxicity and low iron. My gut as I suspected is all over the show with parasites, leaky gut and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and high hydrogen and methane (poof!). Low testosterone is another key one and some other markers including some relevant elements of my genetic profile from my 23 and me test. The key thing for me is that Will has put in writing that he can help me which I have never had before. His summation is that all these things are interrelated no one is truly separate from the other. So the list of my main symptoms being limited mobility/standing, constipation, gas, bloating, chronic headache, numb hands and feet, eye ache and general stiffness. These are things that require a process of healing the body and regulation of the dysfunction to address one you have to address the root cause of all. We are confident that we can correct and set a right course to resolve your issues. Key to that is healing my gut as 75% of your immune system lies there. He said give it 6 months and I will be feeling better so let’s see if I am rocking around the Christmas tree. I have ordered a lot of supplements to mainly fix my SIBO and support my healing and will start those in earnest with his diet protocol in September.

The cricket world cup bought me lots of joy. Here we are in the super over

End of the school year is always a special time I greatly enjoy sports day although no chance of me entering the dads race this year. The playground proms were wonderful with Diddy’s reception class doing a memorable version of George Ezra’s shotgun. We had a fun school camping trip at Wowo and Martina our Italian au pair who has been brilliant is coming back in September. Those of you on tooth watch will be pleased that Paul has put in a rather nice ceramic bridge so I can flash a smile again. The summer foreign holiday couldn’t have come soon enough in Turkey for some much needed family time, relax, swimming and Vit D.

Out on the bikes in Peckham Rye park

Dad

Our Easter holidays are very important to us as a family for a chance to get away from the grind and get some African Sun. We like Morocco as it ticks lots of boxes for us: Guaranteed decent sun at Easter (25plus), a short flight from London (3.5 hours), no jet lag (it is on GMT), we can get 5 seats on air miles and you can rent a stunning villa with a pool which comes with a cook for a very fair price. However, this year’s trip was thrown into disarray the morning we were about to leave as poor Fran was really not well she had not slept a wink that night. She has been suffering a bit of late poor thing with a mixed bag of anxiety and heart palpitations. These things are always hard to put your finger on but we feel it seemed to be anxiety which must have built up from a full on 10 years running her own business single handedly, having 3 lively girls in a short space, having a husband with a chronic illness and her own fair share of health challenges.

We made a late call for me to fly solo with the girls rather than abandon the trip with the hope that Fran could come out after a week. Thankfully we had persuaded Molly (our new short term nanny) to come with us for a week to help out with the kids. I have done a fair bit of solo parenting over the years but 2 weeks holiday was a new challenge.

The holiday was a bit weird to say the least but fair play to the girls they did super well without their mum. I really struggled the first week as Fran was not in a good way at home but thanks to help from friends and her folks she got much better the second week. As we holiday a lot you have to get used to ill kids on holiday. Poor Hons got hit with a chest infection which kept going and going and I had to go and see the very friendly Dr Aziz in the end for some antibiotics to knock it on the head. There were a few occasions where I had to give myself a pep talk to keep going like when we had a rather hairy drive to Essaouira with a sick Hon Bons and no air con. Dids is a star camper and Isla did well without her mum. Thankfully on return Fran is in a lot better place which is a huge relief.

I had been meaning to pen few words about parenting as it is such a big part of my life. I do love being a dad but your kids can also be a big test and I agree with my dad in that parenting is one of the hardest jobs around. My challenge is parenting whilst feeling crap physically and mentally means your tolerance levels for mischief are low. I have been aware over the past few years I have probably taken some of my frustrations with my MS out on the kids and Fran. I try my best to keep angry dad in check but it is hard. However, without MS I would still have my moments for sure.

For me I have been feeling really crap for a while now. A new thing in the mix is a chronic headache which won’t go away and is with me the whole time. GP said it was a tension headache and I have tried acupuncture and deep tissue massage with no joy. I went to see a neurologist/headache specialist who gave me anti-depressants which can work for headaches but made me feel super spaced and agro.

I have started working with US based Dr Will Cole who specializes in Auto-immune disease and coughed up a big chunk of cash for a large array of tests and some initial appointments. I was laughing to myself as I was sending off some frozen poo by courier to the US. I am hoping he can get me back onto winning ways.

Some big life news is we are leaving London! We have decided to take the plunge and ship out after 21 years. The lack of a decent school place for Isla started our search and we have plumped for Hastings, which is a rather lovely unpretentious seaside town on the South coast. I will do 3 work days in London with 2 nights away as it is not daily commutable and my body would probably not allow that. We need to flog our place and then we are heading out for some clean air, beach life and a new start. I am excited.

A dry moment over a wet weekend camping in Henley

Dr Joe

For my birthday present this year Fran bought me a ticket to a weekend meditation workshop with Dr Joe Dispenza in Edinburgh. We have both been doing a daily meditation since November and I am a convert so was excited to see what was in store. Dr Joe is a likeable American who mixes meditation with neuro-science. Meditation is nothing new it has been around for thousands of years Joe has tapped into how you can use it as a healing tool. He believes that we all have the divine power within us and can free ourselves from the negative emotions and thought patterns that he believes causes disease (namely stress).              

His book which I read first and would recommend is titled Breaking the habit of being yourself. He does quite a good skit on how you have the same thoughts every day, which means you make the same choices and have the same behaviours and the same feelings to stay in the old state of being essentially living in the past.

In order to create a new reality you need to make new thoughts, new choices to have new experiences and new feelings and create a new state of being. (If you have a spare 15 minutes check out this video which explains it well).

A key part of his meditations is having a strong intention (goal) so for me you know it is running in the father’s race at school sports day. You emotionally embrace a future potential before the actual experience so many times that you condition your body to reflect that new mind by signaling new genes in new ways. This is the quantum law which in essence is saying that mind and matter are entwined.

You build into your meditation this strong intention (running in the race) with an elevated emotion which means imagining the joy and gratitude when this would happen. His thing is if you do this enough your body believes it has already happened. As you draw this towards you it will suddenly become reality when you least expect it.

He also has a special breath technique which I learnt how to do properly where you draw up all your energy from the base of your spine into your brain it is quite wild.

While in its most basic sense sitting on the floor with your eyes closed calms the mind right down which is a good start to any day. Shutting down the internal chatter I have with myself is also a huge part of this. The guided meditation I have been doing the most is blessing of the energy centres. These are like the Chakras so they go from the perineum (1), under the belly button (2), lower abdomen (3), heart (4), throat (5), in-between back of throat and back of head (6), behind your eyes (7) and then the portal above your head (8). He believes that where you place your attention you place your energy by concentrating on these energy centres you create order in your brain and slow your thinking brain down.

stage 4 cancer. Fran went to his weeklong progressive workshop in Brighton and they had people getting healed of stuff all over the show and wheel chairs cast aside. I left with confidence that I can heal myself and I am well up for the next European Advanced week long workshop.

The time had come to get my tooth implant out it was with some trepidation I went to see Phil to get the job done. In 10 years of doing implants Phil has never taken one out that has not failed. The fake tooth snapped off pretty easy but getting the implant out that had fixed to the bone was not easy despite some heavy duty screwing. The piece of kit he had was not up to the job so I had to come back a week later for more injections in the same spot and have it cut out and stitched up. It was pretty brutal and as I was cycling home from Angel I could feel the injection wearing off. I stopped on Blackfriars Bridge to bang down a couple of paracetamol but they didn’t touch the sides. I had to go straight to bed when I got home and I had a good cry. There have been a few times in the last 3 years this has happened when I get that primal urge just to cry and this was one of them. Why me, life is not fair, I have already had too much crap blah blah it all comes out. I had a rough 2 weeks on max paracetamol and ibuprofen which rather knocked me back but the show must go on. I am currently rocking the vagrant look whilst it heals so if you see me ask for a smile before the new bridge goes in.

WANTED HILLBILLY HANMER ON THE LOOSE

I had a follow up call with Dr Petra from the Swiss Mountain Clinic and she recommended a new low histamine diet, which for the man of specialist diets is pretty hard to follow. I did it for a few weeks but no great improvement of my gut symptoms. My hope was that I can stay under her care and recommendations but with no email follow up after our call I think they are not that well set to care for people that are not at the clinic. 

On the work front a trip took me out to Vancouver which like Norwich is a fine city and we got to see the Rugby 7’s tournament. I got another go at sit ski on Grouse Mountain and having nearly mastered a lift I can see a future doing this more independently, which is exciting.

On the home front our stress levels got upped a notch when Tasniem our au pair of 6 months walked out on us. She had been getting a bit shirty with the kids. Fran had a word and that was it she buggered off the same day without a goodbye to the kids, which was terrible. The silver lining here was the marvelous Molly who has come in and picked up the pieces with aplomb. Isla and I have been going to watch our local footy team Dulwich Hamlet, which is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

The Swiss Mountain Clinic

It has been on the radar for a while but I was finally flying out to Switzerland for a week at the Swiss Mountain Clinic. A quick flight to Milan and then a lovely 90 minute drive up into the Swiss Mountains via Lakes Como and Lugano to the pretty little village of Castaneda perched on the hillside at 780 metres. I am not going to lie I was a little nervous what was instore? I was expecting snow but was greeted with gorgeous sunshine which instantly lifted the spirits and hung around all week which was a real joy.

The clinic specializes in Biological medicine which some might call Functional or Holistic medicine. It is the approach I have been following where you don’t just look at the symptoms you look at the whole body in an attempt to manage my MS. Relaxation is a key part to the healing process and the beautiful peaceful setting offered that. The rooms are simple but comfortable with stunning views (early morning below) and a nice balcony which offered the chance to have a cup of herbal tea in the sun.

I am a great believer in managing expectations and I knew that I was not going to be healed in a week but was hoping for some new guidance under Dr Petra Weichel. They put a lot of emphasis on testing so the first few days meant multiple tests (stool, blood, urine, heavy metal analysis, dental panoramic x-ray, vital point diagnostic, and analysis of the vegetative nervous system). They see disease as not a rigid state but a dynamic process and only develops when the body is overwhelmed with stress. Petra likens it to a barrel filling up with water and the final drop of stress on the body can tip you into the diseases state.

One of the tests they do is darkfield microscopy where they exam the living blood under a microscope and look at the cells shape (they should be circles mine were a bit wonky!) and this identifies bacterial and parasitic stress in the liver. The clinic places a lot of value on the health of the liver as it is one of the key detoxifying organs so lots of people here are on a liver detox.

I settled into the slow pace of life here with tests and treatments every day. The kitchen is seen as part of the pharmacy so all the food is delicious – gluten free, low/no sugar, low carb, organic and mainly dairy free which suits me down to the ground. I have had the best gluten free bread here which I have stolen the recipe for back home. Meal times are a chance to meet fellow patients, share stories and experiences and give each other some love and encouragement. I made pals with Linda and Peggy (back right) who is accompanying her from the US. Linda is here for late stage cancer and was given only 5 weeks to live in December. She has brightened up over the week I was there so I am routing for her to get stronger. Kristina is from Croatia (front right) and has cancer. Ryan (back left) is from Ottawa and is on is 3rd visit and a dad of 5 kids and leads a very impressive life traveling with the family 8 months of the year whilst home schooling the kids and running a publishing business. It is a global clinic where they have received patients from over 60 countries.  They call me Herr Hanmer which I rather like and as the only Brit here I am trying to keep them on their toes.

The place has a real family feel and all the staff seems to care about your wellbeing and go the extra mile in making everyone feel comfortable. My week’s treatments included two coffee enemas, a colonic, 3 lots of infusions (vitamins, detox, cell regeneration) and ozone therapy where they take 150 ml blood out mix it with Ozone and put it back in. I have also had Matrix Regeneration therapy twice where they apply a current to your body and do cupping on your back; it is supposed to help with circulation. Vital wave therapy is a little bizarre where you are wrapped up like a mummy in bandages and they apply a light electrical current through your limbs, it’s a bit weird but very relaxing. Also some work on my liver which is apparently overloaded, surely not after 20 years of heavy drinking! They do this liver hyperthermia where they put a cold patch on the liver and massage it as well as doing a couple of hot wraps.

infusion time

The time in between the therapies allowed me to keep on top of work emails. Fran has got me into meditating so I now start my day with a meditation. In the afternoon I took a 90 minute hike up to Santa Maria further up the mountain with Linda or Ryan. I am not so good on slopes but manage well with some hiking poles.

Before dinner I have been having a stretch in the gym and also fitting in an infrared sauna. The clinic is a mobile free zone except for one room which has Wi-Fi. For some I know it is a bit conspiracy theory but I have been reading more about mobiles & Wi-Fi not being so good for our health. You don’t want to get people started here on the health perils of 5G! We have embraced this at home and now with a EMF blocker and switch our Wi-Fi off at night and I will be keeping my iPhone on airplane mode from now on.

Friday we did a short trip with Ryan and Peggy to Belinzona (below) which is the nearest large town. The clinic is very German but everyone outside greets you with Bonjourno and it feels Italian. We explored one of their 3 castles and had a wander round the town centre. It was nice to get out of the clinic I was going a little stir crazy.

I was pleased to find out I can carry on under Dr Weichel’s care when I go home which is great. As they don’t have all the tests results I have a follow up call with her in 4 weeks and then we can put together a proper plan. Petra take on my MS is I had a genetic pre disposition to MS and adheres to the idea that your genes load the gun and your environment pulls the trigger. Giving the water barrel anology some of the major players in tipping me over the edge was 2 long courses of antibiotics, some heavy stressful episodes. The new things I learnt is she is not a fan of all my travel (!) as you pick up parasites in your gut and airplanes expose you to lots of toxins. Also some of the major vaccinations I had for travel like yellow fever, rabies and hep B have caused more imbalances in the body. My final meeting we agree to wait for all the lab results from Germany but it looks like we will set a protocol to properly heal my gut. Then when I am ready try and look at the Coimbra vitamin D protocol again she thinks the problem was the vit D was not converting properly. I originally was set on coming for 2- 3 weeks but I am glad I did a week. This way I can stay under her care from London and give her protocol a chance and then come back again if it is working.

I had mentioned before that my tooth implant was giving me ever more grief every waking moment it is a numb pain which I think is linked to my eye aching. She suggested a test to see if I am allergic to titanium which is what the implant is made of. However, I declined it as for me I know it has to come out and be replaced by a bridge which I hope will give me some relief from this constant annoyance. We shall see.

This week has perked me up again and I am ready to go and hope to get better. If you are like me you will be interested to know what it cost. Well staying there I think is quite reasonable £185 a night full board with 3 amazing meals a day. The treatments and tests they did at the clinic was £2,500, the external testing they send off to Germany £500 and some pills to take home £110 so all in with flights £4,700. Not cheap for sure but for me was well worth it. I want to say another huge thank you to everyone who donated to the Believe in Adam campaign and particularly Kathryn, Steve and Maggi for pushing me to do it. Video thank you click here. It has given me an amazing opportunity to try and this and for me was definitely worth it. You have all played a really important part in my healing process and I will be forever grateful for that. The real proof in the pudding will be in 6 months to see if I am feeling better. It is small but I do feel my numb feet have woken up a little this week so that is a good sign and offers me hope that this is the right path.

On the home front we had a lovely Christmas with my folks in Norfolk and New Years with Em and Ed in Bath. The girls did their first ever gymnastics competition and I was so proud of them cleaning up walking away with 2 golds  (Isla and Hons) and a silver (Diddy who has only been going for a year). Don’t mess with Team Hanmer!

Darkness & Light

September & October were terrible months. The Coimbra vitamin D protocol beat me up pretty good. I was already taking a medium dose of Vit D at 8,000 iu a day so upped it to 20,000 and just one higher dose made me feel terrible with headache, number feet and crunchier hands. Michael who I was working with said not to worry that it would pass in 48 hours but it didn’t. His thing is you have to work out what brand Vit D works best for you or in reality what oil it is mixed with (MCT, Olive Oil, Sunflower). I tried two other types and they made me feel like crap. I was prepared for this to work but not for me to get worse and of course Michael had never experienced this! There must be some reason my body is not processing the vit D properly. It was a depressing time as I don’t need to get any worse and I had some dark moments where I shed a tear or two.

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Peckham Festival

Michael also works to alleviate heavy metal poisoning where the accumulation of heavy metals, in toxic amounts, in the soft tissues of the body. We are talking lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium from air or water pollution, foods, medicines or lead-based paints. For people with auto-immune this can be a problem. So I tried a detox protocol where I took one Biofilam (Seaweed) pill and I got a headache, which is a detox reaction. However, mine lasted for a month! It was brutal and a soul destroying so I knocked this all on the head. The only good thing that has come out of this experiment is I am now make sure the girls get one drop of vit d every day. There is a link to lack of vitamin d in childhood and MS. It is unlikely they will get it but I want to do everything I can to make sure they don’t get it.

My left eye is still aching and the eye drops did nothing. I could be wrong but I think it is related to my tooth implant which went in a few years back and has always bothered me with a subtle ache. It was an expensive business and I have never been happy with it. I trust Paul my dentist when he says there is nothing clinically wrong with it. However, he agrees it might be my body is telling me it doesn’t like having a metal implant. It has recently got worse with my MS so I think I am going to have to have it out and have a bridge.

I went back to my nutritionist Marek and picked up where I left off with my diet of supplements and now adding some kefir into the mix for my gut which still is not right. I am reading so much stuff now about how importance of the micro-biome (gut) for MS, the problem is fixing it is not a simple task. It is always tough adjusting to a new normal of not feeling so good but you do quite quickly it and get on. At World Travel Market this year we did an event at Canada House and I remember doing a similar event two years ago when I was really struggling with my walking. It’s quite a mission from Excel in East London to Trafalgar Square with one DLR and two tubes this time. This year I got there with ease and I seem to be able to stand for longer so that is a good win.

In November Fran went on a weeklong intensive Joe Dispenza Meditation workshop in Brighton. Joe is a likeable neuro scientist and worth a google. I have started joining her on daily morning meditations which are a nice way to start the day. The same weekend she was away I did another transformational breathing weekend in London with the Big Breath Company which was just as powerful as the last one. It is an amazingly simple way to unlock past traumas. I had another big release and then felt amazing after. It is like a drug so time permitting I will look to take further courses to master this technique.

Some exciting news on the ‘Believe in Adam’ campaign we have reached £3,600 so I have booked in for a week at the Swiss Mountain Clinic in January. I was originally thinking of going for 3 weeks for the full works but apart from bankrupting me it makes sense to try a week and then I can always go back if it works.

52cf82ad-5feb-4cc0-a4e2-e76caf89a0b6Team Canada at a Prestige Roadshow IMG-7308

a wet and windy walk in NorfolkIMG-7344

The girls are growing up and fierce little gymnasts. Diddy (above) has just turning 5 which was very exciting. I have become an uncle again via my sis with dear little Oscar born at 31 weeks like his cousin Isla. I am delighted to say he is doing really well and such a cute little bundle. We are looking forward to a family fueled Christmas in Dereham with my Mum and Dad and New Years in Bath with the Tukes. I wish you a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful holiday.