I vividly remember hearing my diagnosis. It felt like everything, including time, froze. I could not, and did not want to believe what I had heard.
I was told over the phone, and in retrospect, I think that was rather insensitive of the physician.
What do you do, once you’re past the initial shock?
It’s important to get some support. This can be a loved one, local MS support groups, or online communities like the OMS circle.
I called my husband when I heard the final diagnosis, after months of uncertainty and MRIs. He was by my side soon after. I have been fortunate to have him, since at the time, he was the only family I had with me here, physically, in the United States.
I cannot overstate how essential it is to get support throughout this journey.
You will likely go through a range of emotions. For me, anger was a big one. I remember receiving an information booklet from my neurologist, about MS that I brought home with me. The prognosis was pretty depressing & morbid, and I threw the booklet across the room. I didn’t want to believe that my future held nothing to look forward to.
I had led an active lifestyle, had rarely gotten sick, so it felt unfair. I channeled all the rage into my workouts at the gym, and would exhaust myself running around the Charles river, even as the neuromyelitis optica blurred my vision.
I developed a great appreciation for simply being able to use my arms, legs, and for being able to walk, because I knew there was a chance I could lose all of it.
I spent several nights crying, and asking why this was happening, and what I had done to deserve this.
A few weeks into the diagnosis, I was researching MS on the internet and I came across a YouTube video of a man who had MS and was talking about how the doctors don’t know enough about how to treat MS. He was drinking cold pressed juice, and he help up a book for a few seconds, and I quickly looked up the book. It was ‘Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis‘ by Professor George Jelinek.
For me, personally, this book gave me hope. I began following some of the recommendations.
I took a baby step by cutting down on how much dairy I consumed. As I delved deeper into the book, I had a day when I went into my kitchen and threw out all of the white flour, sugar, and everything processed I could find.
It sounds extreme, and that was my state of mind at the time. It was also what I needed at the time.
I have a slightly more balanced approach today, where I still don’t consume any dairy and am vegan now, but I eat cake sometimes, and I do add sugar to my tea and coffee.
I also don’t rage through my workouts 🙂
Everyone will find what works for them, and each person’s body and disease progression is different. So what worked for me, may or may not work for you.
It is however, essential to slow down.
A diagnosis like this is life altering, and you need to give yourself time. Allow yourself to go through a grieving period.
Examine what lifestyle factors are contributing to disease, and begin taking baby steps on managing them better.
Overcoming MS saved my life, and just a disclaimer, they do not sponsor any of my content. I manage stress better, and eat better, within their guidelines, and my disease progression has slowed down massively.
I wish you good health, and if you’d like to talk to me, don’t hesitate to reach out! My email is in the contact info on our home page.