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 January 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 I could not have expected to see just a few short years ago. However, my Serrapeptase Adventure has shown me repeatedly how thrilling 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 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.
I gave more time to the writing and researching, which I started so many years ago, and I had to stop when my health became an all-encompassing 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 while not being dominated by it requires a delicate blend of personal determination and the support of others. It often means combining one’s 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 that leads as quickly to high 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.
18th February marks another fantastic 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 3rd January, 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 discovered that many of the symptoms from which Serrapeptase has rescued me were understood, and even expected, side effects of all the prescription medications, which I took before I knew about Serrapeptase.
18th February was also the first day I could use the power of the HealthPoint machine by myself. I can do this using the ‘ear clips,’ which come with the device, allowing me to overcome the limitations of manual dexterity, signatures of cerebral palsy. I was experiencing an extraordinary level of relaxation in a matter of minutes, which no ‘toxic cocktail’ of prescription medication ever produced. Even better, it works while I am fully alert. No prescription I have ever 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 lack of ability, then I will be thrilled!
March: On 5th March, I made sense of the many measurements given during recent eye tests.
It became clear that the smallest print size that I could read (outside test conditions) is 4 point. For those who prefer traditional measurements, this means a print size of 4/72 of one inch.
The most critical question to answer has led to this remarkable improvement, 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 among the most remarkable elements of My Serrapeptase Adventure.
On 11th April, I had photographs taken by a local professional photographer for my websites and other forthcoming projects. It can be challenging for many people with spastic forms of cerebral palsy to get high-quality photographs taken because we tend to flinch and blink in response to camera flash and 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 merely being free of disease and prescription medication. It is equally essential to achieve and to support the best level of fitness. So, once again, it was time to renew my gym membership, subject to necessary medical approval, and I look forward to my continuing progress towards improved fitness and even greater good health.
July: On 24th July, 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 25th August, with another Olympics over and the Great Britain team has its best results for one hundred years (since the London games of 1908), I was reminded that the most important measure of good and improving health is not personal drama. It is 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 am interested in the Olympics than in any other sports event. One reason I had never noticed sport before my eyesight began improving, in late 2006, is that I could not see well enough to follow many sports. It was always challenging to focus on more than one person or object, 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. However, as I began watching the BBC’s coverage of the first day of sporting action, I noticed something different and, for me, exciting. For the first time, I recognised individual athletes and followed them around as they moved. In addition, I followed live sporting action for the first time and found that looking at it made things clearer.
I doubt that I will ever become a true sports fan, but it is a 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 The Power Hour team have been, and continue to be, a constant source of information, encouragement, and inspiration. Joyce’s interviews with Robert Redfern gave me the information I needed and the confidence to try Serrapeptase for the first time, in January 2006, long before my eyesight was good enough to read the information for myself.
On 18th November, Joyce recorded her very personal view of My Serrapeptase Adventure, so far, and of the part which she and all The Power Hour 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.