By: Patricia Haney
For the first 42 years of my life, I ate your typical American diet: meat, dairy, and loads of sugar! I cooked everything in oil, and covered everything with cheese, cream cheese, and/or sugar. I ate candy or sweets when I drove, read, watched TV. . . I even had candy in my pockets at work so I could pop some in my mouth here and there. I was an addict! I was overweight (bordering obese) and starting to have medical problems.
I am one of those people who don’t trust doctors. I had some bad experiences in the past, so I have avoided them at all costs most my life. But eventually I could no longer ignore the things that were happening in my body, and I went to the doctor. It was 2012, and we were living in Georgia, when I went to the OBGYN who diagnosed severe endometriosis. Two surgeries later, I had no more female reproductive organs left. If only I knew then what I know now!
Fast forward through years of vertigo and strange happenings to 2015. I was sitting down with my family watching a movie when I got a strange sensation. I tried to stand up, but I couldn’t . . . I fell back down to the couch. I tried to speak, but it came out slurred. Everyone, including me, thought I was stroking like my mom who had had 5 strokes. I was rushed to the ER where they quickly came to the same conclusion. The results of the MRI came back . . . no stroke. Well that was good news right? “Then what happened to me?” I asked. There was zero explanation.
I am not a hypochondriac, and I know I did not imagine what happened. I knew something was wrong even though the doctor couldn’t explain it. As I was leaving with my “clean bill of health,” he said, “You might want to follow up with a neurologist. You had some lesions on your brain, but a few lesions are normal at your age.” I left the hospital and thought, “Whatever.” And my trust in doctors plummeted even more.
In 2016 when we were living in Alabama, I finally went to another doctor where I was told I had high blood pressure and should go on medication. I ignored him and finally went to a neurologist. After tests, tests, and more tests, my doctor showed me my MRI, put her hand on my knee and said, “It looks like we are dealing with multiple sclerosis. Even though there is no cure, don’t be afraid, we have lots of new drugs to slow down the advancement of the disease.”
I did NOT want to be dependent of medications the rest of my life for MS and high blood pressure. So I went home and prayed and prayed that if there were another way, could I please be led to it. I also prayed for an open mind to what I found. Then I went to the temple and prayed some more. I decided medications would ONLY be my very last desperate option.