MS is taking over my life
I was 25, full of plans and ambitions when in 1998 MS came into my life and never left.
From the first day on my cognition was my main problem. Having trouble organizing and no longer being able to multitask. The left side of my body felt like pins and needles, hearing on the left was different then on the right side and I had balance problems. Vertigo and fatigue made me to take more resting time. My life changed a lot within my home where I allowed myself to have ms. But outside they saw a different person.
I kept this for myself most of the times. Did not want people forme an opinion only on the basis of my illness but I wanted them to see me and my qualities.
Based on my intuition I always avoided MS slowing medications and steroids. I found my salvation in healthy eating and exercise. It was my way to stay fairly stable and recovered from each relapse within 6 weeks to half a year. Happy to be able to keep my job after I reduced my working hours to 20 a week.
But then in 2012 all of a sudden I experienced a fast decline. Al my symptoms worsened. I was no longer able to work and noticed that I did not recover from a relapse as I used to. My cognition was so bad that I could no longer have a normal life. At that point I can’t remember things I red or did, cannot cope with new things or new places, loud noises and crowds. My brain just no longer was able to work properly. I was bound to my home.
The results of my Neuropsychological testing was relentless and shows exactly how bad my situation was. Meanwhile my other symptoms got worse (walk, talk, strength and less and less stability). I was in a panic and let my neurologist convinced me to start medication at last. In May 2013 I took Avonex and later because of the side effects changed to Copaxone. The medication did not work at all
I continue to decline without recovery. My ms is now in a chronic progressive phase (SPMS). I have gave up my work, my social life, my hobbies, car, bicycle, sports etc. I walk with an brace. Altough I was told never to get better but only worse I never gave up hope.
I search the internet to find a possibility to slow or stop my decline. I found the extraordinary story about dr.Terry Wahls. She also has SPMS but managed to stabilize and even recover from her symptoms through lifestyle and diet.
As I have nothing to lose I jumped in the Wahls Protocol. I also start with high dosage Vitamin D3 and take ice-cold showers every day according to the Wim Hof method. I do yoga and meditation. I grabbed everything.
Wahls is all about clean eating, whole foods and no grains no dairy no junk. It is a Paleo plan with a final ketogenic phase to boost brain health. I strictly follow the protocol. At that moment I’m still so ill that I need to prepare my food in three steps during the day. The diet is along with exercises and therapies are my “day job”. It was hard to spent so much time to myself. I felt like doing my family and loved ones short. It was a hard emotional journey full of tears.
Living like this is almost living like an athlete. My focus is on my health only. But looking back it was worth all my effort it. After two years of misery. The Wahls Protocol started to pay off in December 2015 I put om my running shoes. I run my first round on euphoria and felt like winning the Olympics. I had won my biggest “match” ever against my disease.
Getting my life back
It is over 5 years now after changing my diet. I’m still stable and getting better. In addition to running I conquered even more lost ground back. I can drive my car and ride my bike again, I can read and remember, my speech is now normal, I have more energy, now more brainfog and vertigo and most important I can have a social life again. Some things remain a challenge, but it’s nothing compared to how bad it was in 2012.
I sometimes get to hear that this lifestyle is too much trouble. That patients feel like they already lost so much in there life. They feel the restriction of a diet is a punishment.
Yes, it is sometimes hard and restoring our broken cells is no quick fix. Maintaining this level requires a lot, if not all my energy but it gives so much in return. I prefer to remain this lifestyle over to be trapped in the limitations of ms. The Wahls Protocol is my faith, my medicine.
What lifestyle and nutrition can do for your health will not be told by your neurologist (unfortunately). He studied medicine and know not much about food and lifestyle. How wonderful it would be to integrate lifestyle with treatment of all chronic diseases. Especially with ms!
To inform my fellow patients about the strength of lifestyle. I try to spread my own miraculous story among ms patients. I started my website in May 2016 www.metmsenvork.nl. On the website you find all about the Wahls Protocol and more.
I am thankful that I can reach so many people having terrible issues with health and giving them hope and tools to start their own success health story.
My website is in Dutch so when you are not able to read the articles I advise you to buy The Wahls Protocol.
With love Muriel