As the month of December draws to a close, I have been gearing up to celebrate 6 months being relapse free from multiple sclerosis.
December is significant for me, as my neurologist warned that I would surely relapse before the end of the year. She said so based on my history, and perhaps more so since I refused to take the prescription drugs that they wanted me to be on.
I have been managing my health naturally, by following a low saturated fat diet. I was lucky to find everything I needed to stay healthy within weeks of being diagnosed. There is proven research behind this method of managing multiple sclerosis. Read more about evidence supporting the role of dietary fatty acids in autoimmune diseases.
Prior to changing my eating habits, I was relapsing at the rate of once every two months. I decided December would be special for me; a 6 month milestone where I would rejoice.
You see I am a control freak, and a very stubborn one at that. I refuse to believe I am not in control of what happens to my body.
At times I wonder if I am still in the denial stage. I have phases, where I believe I have conquered health. I won’t use the word illness.
There are days when I eat without worry, because I am eating what I cooked, in my own home. On such days I forget, and I believe life is as it used to be.
And then I must question why I want life to be as it was. I trust God, and I have been one very lucky girl. I believe His purpose is yet to unfold.
As each month went by, and I remained relapse free, my motivation to maintain the changes grew.
The past week, I experienced a mild bout of vertigo. I know vertigo is MS related. I ignored it for a couple of days, hoping it would pass. I increased my intake of raw vegetables.
The vertigo didn’t go, and because of it, I started experiencing nausea. I started to question my diet. I have been travelling since November 11th, and my diet has suffered. I have stayed away from dairy and processed food, but the quality of oil cannot always be controlled when you’re eating away from home.
I felt myself sink into a dark pit, questioning everything I was doing, and wondering where I went wrong. I began to think that perhaps MS cannot be conquered.
I didn’t tell anyone about what I was experiencing. My husband would talk to me and it sounded like background chatter that I could only acknowledge with a nod. It obviously got to him, and then I told him what was going on with me.
I remember seeing a mail van, and making a wish. I believe whole heartedly in prayers being heard. I prayed for good health.
I don’t know what led me to look up the OMS website, which I hadn’t done in a while. I read through the forums, and it struck me like a bolt of lightning. It was vitamin D! It is the middle of winter, and obviously my vitamin D levels had dropped. I hadn’t increased my dose significantly since the summer.
I scrambled through the forums, and realized that my vitamin D levels have to have been low since I contracted a cold a couple of weeks ago. I immediately took a mega dose of vitamin D. Within an hour, I started to feel better, and two days later, ran a 5k!
On the surface, what I am doing may seem unconventional, and sound questionable to many.
If you look below the surface, there is real research behind this way of overcoming MS (https://overcomingms.org/recovery-program/diet/). Research that isn’t mainstream, because it doesn’t generate billions of dollars worth of revenue for a pharmaceutical company. Did you know that pharmaceutical companies spend twice the amount on marketing that they do on research? They influence medical research, education and the way doctors do their jobs.
Refusing drugs is my personal choice. There are many others who have benefited from a low saturated diet in combination with their prescription medicine. I believe no one should have to go through immeasurable suffering, when this is a condition that can be managed and kept under control with lifestyle changes. Read others’ stories of hope here.
I did not relapse, but I did get a taste of the consequences of complacency.
Thus, December has been bittersweet. I must say more sweet than bitter.