Archive for multiple sclerosis

“I became a convert for life”

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.

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“Multiple sclerosis is not a death sentence!”

Around age 10 when the light sensitivity started

Around age 10 when the light sensitivity started

By: Emily

I’ve always had a love for food (who doesn’t?), but my love affair with food really started in junior high when I was old enough that my mom would let me plan and prepare family dinner. My mom is a fabulous cook, and she always fed our family traditional, “healthy” meals: chicken and rice casseroles, lasagna, turkey sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs, eggs and toast, etc. We ate basically the standard American diet and what every health professional would say is a normal diet. She fed us the healthiest she knew how. We also had a green salad every night, and in the summer we would eat tons of veggies from our garden.

I remember my health issues starting when I was around 6 (that’s about as far as I can remember—I might have had other issues when I was younger, I just don’t remember). I would get strep throat and really bad earaches about 3-4 times a year, and I would get the flu every couple of months. When I was around 10 or 11 I started developing intense sensitivity to light and the back of my eyes would ache, which would turn into massive headaches. I felt like a vampire, always shutting the curtains, never turning on the lights. These episodes weren’t constant. They would come and go, so it wasn’t predictable. They eventually started going away, and I forgot about them.

Around age 15, very thin

Around age 15, very thin

Throughout junior high and high school, I started having fatigue issues and near the end of my senior year in high school, I developed the chronic headaches and sensitivity to light again, but this time they also came with numbness and tingling in my limbs, adrenal fatigue and a few other nasty symptoms. I was in all the school plays and was always dancing and exerting a lot of physical effort so I just blamed these symptoms on being tired.

Looking back on my high school days, I realized that I didn’t eat very much at all. I was very thin. I never really thought about food and just ate when my mom made meals, and I grabbed an apple for lunch. 

After high school, I tried out for our city’s Miss America Organization pageant and won. I started eating “healthy.” I added more greens and fruits, planned my meals, exercised regularly, and made sure I ate enough to give me the energy I needed. I actually started feeling better. Read More→

“My journey of discovery began when I was diagnosed with MS”

Vicki YoungBy: Vicki Young

In April 2004, my doctor ordered a brain MRI, because I was having a lot of migraines. The MRI showed lesions in the white matter of the brain, indicative of a demyelinating disease such as multiple sclerosis (MS). She referred me to a neurologist who said that I didn’t have MS. Four days later, I was rear ended in a car accident. I had whiplash and pain in my left shoulder. After a few months of physical therapy, there was no improvement. I then had a MRI of the cervical spine, which showed lesions. And so my journey of discovery began when I was diagnosed with MS in January 2005.

When I was diagnosed with MS I felt relief to know that was the problem. When the first neurologist told me that I didn’t have MS, I didn’t feel that was right. Then a few days later I was in the car accident. I think that Heavenly Father wanted me to be diagnosed with MS. When I was diagnosed, I was thinking, what is going to happen next? Of course, I would have liked to have kept on going with a lot of energy for the next 20 years, like some people do, but that was not to be. I am OK with where I am now because of what I have learned in overcoming my challenges. I remember one person saying, “After 10 years, you will be in a wheelchair.” I am so glad that is not true!

Beginning in 2000, even before I was diagnosed with MS, I started to have gastrointestinal pain nearly daily. In 2003, my doctor ordered a scan that showed that my gallbladder was only functioning at 30% capacity. The surgeon said that my gallbladder needed to be removed, which he did, but I still had pain for years after that.

I also had tingling and numbness in my left foot off and on for years, and I had a tremor. After I was diagnosed, I noticed problems with my balance, making me trip a lot. By August 2006 I had fatigue so bad that I was not able to work anymore.

In August 2006, I got my first book on eating a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet called Original Fast Foods by James and Colleen Simmons. The authors explain all of the benefits of eating a whole food, plant-based diet, like Daniel’s diet in the Old Testament. The information in this book resonated with me. They talked about the Word of Wisdom and quoted many prophets and other Church leaders on the benefits of living the dietary guidelines in the Word of Wisdom.

After reading the book, I made some changes in my diet. I already did not eat much candy, pop, or meat, but now I started eating more fruits and vegetables and less dairy. I used to eat a lot of dairy. I had three or four canker sores nearly all of the time and yogurt and ice cream tasted good. They seemed like the only things I could eat when I had canker sores. I was surprised to see that with this small change of eating less dairy, I was getting fewer canker sores. What I thought was soothing to my sore mouth was actually the cause of the problem!

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