In the fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin, the daughter of a simple miller-of-grain is sentenced to do the impossible in order to save her life. If she doesn’t complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold and simultaneously advance her father’s station, she will lose her own status-or in some versions her life-as the king says he will cut off her head if she doesn’t do as promised. It isn’t until she makes a deal with the devil (an imp that appears out of no where) that she is able to save her own neck and accomplish what others decided she was capable of.
In the end she outsmarts the imp and manages to advance her station and please everyone who originally expected the impossible of her. This tale isn’t unlike the impossible task that life has assigned me. Unlike the miller’s daughter, however, science is in my favor.
While the miller’s daughter had never spun straw into gold, I have had to deal with health situations in the past that most people would possibly falter under if presented to them. Much like the miller’s daughter, however, the reason of my survival is somewhat akin to making a deal with the devil.
The devil I’m referring to lies deep within. I’ll always remember the look on the off duty EMT’s face when my open eyes shook with life upon his approach. I don’t recall opening my eyes. The force of the semi that hit me nearly shook the life out of me. Thankfully it didn’t completely, as I recall the moment of lifelessness joined by the reemergence of sight. At the same time my lungs started moving my eyes connected with a man approaching my wrecked vehicle. Noticing someone looking at you with the dread that he might be walking towards a dead body that is you is something I’ll never forget. Just like I’ll never forget the inquisitive look on my physical therapist’s face months later when she stated she had never seen someone work as hard to get better as me. I responded, “It really just ticked me off that I had to deal with this, so I’m gonna eat this traumatic brain injury for breakfast.”
Perhaps it’s not the devil, maybe it’s mere survival. I really don’t know. What I do know is, I’m ready to deal.
My disease is considered baffling by most medical professionals. Cyclic vomiting syndrome is also ranked as one of the weirdest diseases of today. In reading the scientific journals, however, I have been able to find out that it has been linked to mitochondria dysfunction. So that’s where I’m at. Fix my mitochondria and maybe, just maybe, I’ll fix me.
Here’s a link to the Wikipedia definition of mitochondria in case you weren’t privy to its function in the body.
Despite this strange disease having no testing nor a cure, our body’s mitochondria can be improved. The results of this are evident simply with me. I went from decades of dealing with regular episodes to nearly eliminating any symptoms of this debilitating disease. I ingest enzymes that are part of the ATP energy system in our body. The powerhouse of the system, the mitochondria, plays a heavy part in maintaining the body’s function and the functioning of the ATP system. Aerobic exercise increases the mitochondria in the body as well as increasing the effectiveness of the mitochondria. Hooray for me!
Anaerobic exercise involves short duration, high intensity movement. Some examples include heavy weight training sprinting or jumping. Aerobic exercises are those like spinning, heavy cardio and marathon running. The best way to remember it is anaerobic leaves you out of breath in short duration exercises, while aerobic is of longer duration and utilizes oxygen. I’m already someone who likes to exercise. There’s nothing like a week in a hospital bed and three months in a halo to tell you any kind of movement is a gift. While I prefer lifting weights, I’ve made the move to more cardio exercises like spinning and running because I want to perform more aerobic work to increase my body’s mitochondria. Therefore I’m spinning (cycling) like I’m trying to turn my mitochondria into the same stuff that Jedi’s use, the midi-chlorians. I’m assuming I’ll never get to speak to mitochondria and be able to control objects and thoughts with my mind, but you better believe me when I say that that’s my goal. At least for now. See in my case, with my strange disease, it’s like I am trying to spin straw into gold.