MS, MY PATH TO EMPOWERMENT

original artwork (excerpt) courtesy of hotdogandbun

Some people think I’m crazy for saying this, but being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis was the best thing ever to happen to me.  It was without a doubt, the single worst news I had ever received in the entirety of not only the 38 years before I was diagnosed, but the 9 years that passed since then.  I’ve had people that I loved dearly suddenly befall an untimely tragic death, or when my parents divorced when I was 14, both of which were emotionally heart-wrenching milestones of my life’s timeline; surely, but compared to the first of my three doctor trifecta MS diagnosis they were merely unfortunate events that just kinda sucked.  Horrible and devastating as it was, it was also liberating and empowering. But let me share with you what I went through in hopes that perhaps it can inspire you to take your life back too. Because after the initial shock, there’s the matter of taking your life back, not just from MS but from the doctors, from the insurance companies, and ultimately from your own previously conceived limitations and expectations.

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The diagnosis process itself was a nightmare all its own because it seems like every typical doctor handles everything the same exact way.  You come in and tell them what’s wrong with you and right away they start in with the drugs.  They don’t even know necessarily what’s going on inside of you or talk to you about what you have and haven’t been eating, your vices and habits, your disposition or possible stress sources contributing to your symptoms, and right away they go into the “let’s try this” routine and write up a script for your symptoms.  Not only that, but you’ll be going through the gauntlet as well. You’ll start with a general practitioner who referred me to an E.N.T. (ear nose & throat) specialist, whom referred me to a neurologist, before it was officially established that I have Multiple Sclerosis. By this time, the side effects of the smorgasbord of steroids such as Prednisone for the pins and needles and whatever inflammation that was causing me to not be able to tap my foot in an even rhythm nor play a piano scale two handed, the motion sickness pills such as Meclazine for the incessant symptoms of vertigo I was experiencing, the nose sprays, Omnaris and Flonaise, for whatever polyps that the E.N.T., stated might be causing the absolute dentist injection level numbness on the entire right side of my face and head, and the injections directly into right side of my face to bring down the inflammation of the trigeminal nerve that might be causing my facial neuralgia.  You should’ve seen me, I was a wreck.  I was slurring my speech, getting double vision here and there, and couldn’t really function normally, not to mention that the steroids made me more than a little bit grumpy.

Mrs S and Little B

So, Mrs S, she says to me, “just humor me a little bit and stop using those nose sprays,” and I did.  Within 24 hours I was back to normal again. I was so irritated and frustrated that I stopped taking all the drugs and when my neurologist first attempted to treat me with yet another drug, I refused treatment for my first 10 months.  In fact, for the first year that I had MS, I had refused any kind of pharmaceutical treatment whatsoever.  I felt like these Doctor didn’t know dick about nutrition, didn’t even ask or anything, yet they wanted to treat me like a guinea pig and pump me full of all sorts of drugs based on conjecture and guesswork.  Well let me tell you something, this is why you should always know that no matter what television and media try to tell you, contrary to popular belief, doctors do not walk on water. I may have mentioned this on another post, but if you ever wanted to know just how badly you’re getting ripped off by your insurers and healthcare service providers, know that my wife accurately diagnosed me with MS before 3 trained and highly educated medical doctors, and my wife was an art major.  Let that little nugget sink in a moment.

original artwork (excerpt) courtesy of hotdogandbun
original artwork (excerpt) courtesy of hotdogandbun

I thought my life was all over, that I was all finished.  I thought that everything that I had ever dreamed of myself doing when I first came out to Los Angeles was never going to happen and that I’d end up alone in a wheelchair somewhere.  All sorts of emotions and memories start racing through your mind when you get diagnosed with a disease that all mainstream medical professionals agreed is incurable. I’d lived a lurid life before meeting Mrs S., sailing the seas of consequence since getting kicked out the Navy back in 1992 for smoking weed to mentally and emotionally process a major traumatic event that got 2 shipmates killed.  I’m not going to get into ten years worth of amusing Tarantino re-imagined Forrest Gump reboot anecdotes, but all I could think about was every skanky ass behavior, every nasty remark I’d ever made. Every individual I’d ever hurt or made feel anything other than respected or liked, every possible moment in which I had ever been anything other than a good and decent person raced through my head nonstop.  I couldn’t even think of too many moments, either, which took me down even further into a deep depression. I was crying almost all the time from October 2009 through about half of January 2010.

Mrs S., whom is like what you would get if you were to genetically splice Liz Lemon with Chloe O’Brien, and Daria, no exaggeration, truer words have never been written.  But she

chloe obrien = Mrs S and Little B

picked me up some books from Amazon, which I’ve observed is usually the first thing a lot of people do after they’ve been diagnosed with MS. They pick up a bunch of books on Multiple Sclerosis because according to Rumor Control Central, it usually starts with the MS diets, of which we’ll go into detail along the way in subsequent posts.  But I kinda started out with the Swank diet, which of course started me on an anti-fat crusade that had us doing a lot of measuring and limiting my consumption of oils and fatty foods, which is a halfway decent place to start, sure. But I was still dealing with all sorts of symptoms, too many to digress into details. But when we purchased Healing Multiple Sclerosis, by Ann Boroch, on Amazon, my eyes had really opened to something that everyone forgets is slowly killing you 24/7, sugar.  I learned about how MS and a whole laundry list of other autoimmune conditions such as ALS, Fibromyalgia, Hodgekin’s Disease, Lupus, Leukemia, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, are directly or indirectly caused by Yeast/Fungal Overgrowth, particularly candida albicans.

 

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