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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Multiple Sclerosis and Natural Healing

A few months back I started to follow the blog, Elana's Pantry. I had gone grain free and this blog was mentioned as one to read. I've tried many of her recipes and have been happy to eat them. I get each of her posts via email as I do not want to miss them. Today's post had incredible meaning to me.

31 years ago, right before I turned 17, my mom died due to complications of Multiple Sclerosis. She had been diagnosed with the disease 5.5 years prior. Before being diagnosed, she had lost weight and was feeling great, she had gone from a size 16 to a 12  and at 6' tall, she was feeling pretty good about herself. We went on a family vacation to visit her cousin and best friend in Virginia. I can still remember the day when we got home, her standing outside the car and telling my dad that she felt a numbness in her left arm. A few days later, the numbness also was in her left leg. She went to the doctor. It then took 6 months for a diagnosis as it was a newer disease that was being explored and she was often a guinea pig to new remedies, trial medicines and treatments. Prednisone ended up being the answer and if you know anyone that's been on it, or have had the experience yourself, it puts weight on, a lot of weight. She gained the weight back that she lost, plus an additional 4 sizes. I saw her go from a vivacious women feeling good about her body, to a woman that was not feeling good about herself, consistently worried and depressed, mostly chair bound and could only get around with assistance of a walker or a wheelchair for outings.

I now have a good friend, Angela, that is battling the disease. We became friends when she adopted a Schnauzer Mix from me. She has become the person I go to for 'mom' advice even though she is not that much older than me. When I met her she was fully functioning with the disease and now has had to relinquish driving rights and has difficulty taking the dogs for a walk even in the back yard. She is a strong women (her blog is named Indomitable Angela for a reason) and will do the best she can each day, and is grateful for the the life she has and the family and friends that surround her. She forges ahead with creating beautiful quilts, knitting and doing cross stitch. Doing what she can with whatever energy she has on a given day. Mostly, I try not to get attached to her disease, probably because blocking it out is easier for me, but it is not something I can do any longer as she recently discussed the possibility of having to find a home for her sweet and crazy dog Cassy. She is sometimes hesitant to tell me of a new physical development because it happened to be what my mother battled. She is sensitive to my history. I hate seeing her having to give up things in life that she's enjoyed doing. She has tried different and new medical treatments, often times feeling worse for weeks as the chemotherapy type treatments worked through her body, and in the end they didn't help. Recently we started talking about things she could change that she's putting into her body.

The post today 'Natural Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis" was apropos to this conversation.

In the post by Elana's Pantry, I learned that Elana has battled MS, and the video she shares of Dr. Terry Wahls was educational and fascinating. This post was about MS, but I would bet that it could make a difference with other diseases as well if a change in food lifestyle is adhered to. I believe, and know, that it can make a difference in your life even if you are disease free.

I hope you are able to take the time to read the post as it may be quality information you can share with someone you know now, or in the future.

4 comments:

  1. You are a very giving, lovely woman, Denise, stepping into your pain and memories of this disease in an effort to help those of us who struggle with it. Thank you for being who you are and for blogging about your experience and sharing Elena's.

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    1. It is because I care about you ... and if it can help others, also? that'd be awesome!

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  2. Aaawww I love Angela and you too. I'll check it out tomorrow. I think I'm asleep:)

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  3. Thanks for this post. I went to Angela's blog and she is an amazing woman. I will go back and read more.
    I know this will sound lame but I TRULY never realized how much what we eat can make a difference in how we feel. I started 3 weeks ago eating nothing with Sat. Fat/ Trans Fat and no Cholesterol (except for small amounts in Chicken and Fish) and I immediately started feeling better. I no longer feel like I have acid reflux and I don't feel dizzy and I have much more energy. Not to discount the fact that I've lost 11 lbs so far. I've been reading up and I have a book on order at the library "Forks over Knives"....yep. Amazing what eating veggies and fruit over poptarts and pizza can do for a person. :D
    XOXO - Cindi

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