From Wheelchair to First Place!

2016: From Wheelchair to first place

This year has been one of miracles and hard work. In January 2016 I went on a family holiday to Dullstroom. I was so physically weak, my husband had to push me around this tiny tranquil town in a wheelchair. For short distances, I was able to use my walking cane, but facing a set of stairs felt like trying to climb a cliff face. I didn't know how I was going to keep on going much less working.

Flash forward to December 2016. I am working 27 hours a week. I am independent in driving and all my self-care.  Even better than that, I have been able to not just start competing in dog agility but, win a few first places!

What was my secret potion, you may ask? Honestly, there was no one specific thing, but a combination that worked for me. Just like replacing the blocks of my Jenga Tower.

1)      Having the right medical team
I am privileged to work within the medical field and always have a second opinion or free consultation on hand. My neurologist suggested new medication (Cyclosporine). It took four months to kick in, but it is the big guns of my prescription medication.

2)      Gut healing and nutrients
Here my Homoeopath was my No. 1. She gave me a clean eating diet as well as the right combination of vitamin and minerals. While eating gluten, dairy and sugar-free was not as easy as taking a handful of pills, it was definitely worth it. I no longer suffer from 'exploding stomach syndrome' and my body has started to heal itself from the inside. Thanks to this combination and my prescribed medication I have been able to stop all my cortisone!

3)      Pain Management
Pain is often one of the most underrated symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis. My pain felt like a combination of lactic acid build up (the stiffness you feel after a run) with points of shooting pain. I often suffered from ‘painsomnia’ having so much pain I couldn't sleep. I started going for weekly Chiropractic sessions and I could really feel the difference. I started booking my agility training sessions the day after my Chiropractic appointment. Not only due to a decrease in pain but also the increase in energy. This was another way my body could now heal from the inside.

4)      A Lifestyle of Mindfulness
I wrote a post at the beginning of this year about exploring mindfulness. Putting these techniques into practice did not happen overnight. It took me about two months to really learn to ‘just be’ and appreciate the moment. This has helped me control my impulsivity as well as learn to what my hubby terms ‘slapp av’ just relax doing nothing and in turn better conserve my energy (or spoons). 

5)      Support
My husband, my family and my friends stepped in where I needed them. Whether it was a lift to work or a coffee to vent having support is like the scaffolding protecting my tower even when it is unstable. Through blogging, I have also been able to connect with other warriors. Sharing ideas, celebrating success and shedding tears together has aided in my success this year.

6)      Spirituality
This year was a time of learning how to praise God even when I couldn't lift up my arms. Learning how to listen to His will and give up control. For the first time in a long while, I was persecuted for my beliefs. While this attack was heart-wrenching it also meant that I am not just believing, but living a congruent Christian life.

7)      Passion
I love my job and my hobbies. There were some mornings when I couldn't swallow my breakfast, but would still go to work. Running occupational group therapy is one of my passions it revives me and gives me purpose. I also love dog agility. I would walk with my cane to the field and then hobble around the course. Little by little my muscles started to cooperate with me. Pippin and I found our groove and even though we are still A1s we started winning!

I hope this can give hope to those who feel that they are stuck. Find your passion, connect with your inner self, give God the control and ask for support where needed whether it is medical or emotional. 

May 2017 hold new adventures and hopefully many more exciting moments.


  1. Good post. I share your passion for dog agility, and even during the months when I was too unwell to do much, my Finn has always been my faithful companion.

    Here's to 2017.

    1. Thank you. Always good to meet a fellow chronic warrior who loves agility

  2. It sounds like an amazing year. We get such a small time on this earth that it seems to boil down to making progress in some way. You had an amazing year. Here's hoping 2017 is even better.

    1. Thanks for your encouraging words. Hope your 2017 is blessed

  3. Love the post Cands, and my heart soars when I see you walk with a skip in your step or lift my niece like its nothing.

    1. Thanks for the love support and encouragement!

  4. What a wonderful, inspiring and motivated post! Sounds like an amazing year and here's to constantly improving (: If that's your little black fluffy dog in the photo then he/she is VERY cute! :) xx

    1. Hi, Yes it is. Hes a Miniature Schnauzer and he is amazing.


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