When I read about natural remedies for MS, I started to regain hope. I realized that the conventional medical community didn’t know what caused MS and didn’t believe there was a cure. I kept finding examples of how diet changes not only improved MS symptoms, but also cured it. As I read, I started to believe that I could get healthy, truly healthy. I also started to take action. I maintained the diet changes I had started and learned more about real health every day. I chose to continue to improve my diet; because it was the one thing I had control over in this whole situation.
I then remembered my old friend, Michael Edwards, had a real interest in alternative health care. He asked me to read several articles in his magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine. I began to learn more and more about health, real health, and how it is intimately connected to what we put in our mouth. Together Michael and I developed a nutritional and detoxification plan for me.
I noticed improvements right away. Just as I had declined a little bit every day, I noticed that I got a little bit stronger and more stable every day. I soon noticed that my other health ailments were improving, too. I no longer wheezed or suffered from migraines. I learned how to heal my gut from 20 years of Tylenol and Advil abuse. I learned how to feed my body nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods that would aid in my healing. Many people looked at my salads and smoothies and said “You are so disciplined!” I typically replied, “My mobility is a good motivator.”
I stayed on Tecfidera from April until November 2014 and then made the decision to stop it. At first I was scared to make this decision. I had to get past the brainwashing; the belief that I had to take what the doctor prescribed. I had been able to wean myself off all of the other pharmaceuticals I had been taking, including the asthma medicine and migraine pills, which I had taken for more than 30 years. I was able to do this simply by adding organic, raw produce—more vegetables than fruit—to my diet.
I got confirmation that this was what was helping me whenever I would veer off the diet in any way. Once, about 45 days into eating only raw produce (organic when possible) I went to a going away luncheon for a close friend. The menu was abbreviated, so there wasn’t anything on it I could eat. I chose to eat a cheese pizza with whatever raw veggies they could put on top. Even though I only ate the top of the pizza (cheese, onion, and mushrooms), before I left the restaurant my forehead was pounding. I had an immediate, physical reaction to either the dairy or the gluten.
More recently, I ate couscous for several days, not knowing that it was wheat. This time I didn’t get a headache; I had a full relapse of my MS symptoms. I noticed that my right foot had dropped, and I was tripping. I also had to stabilize myself when I rounded corners like before. I noticed a significant decrease in my energy and decreased ability to go up or down stairs. When I mentioned this to Michael, the first thing he said was, “Tell me exactly what you’ve eaten for the last four days.” When I stopped and thought about it, I realized couscous had been the only change in my diet.
There was another time, right after I finished the first two phases of my detox program (about 30 days of eating raw, organic produce) that I went out to eat with some girlfriends. I did this every Friday, so I knew how to stick to my program at a restaurant. On that day, however, we got to talking about how well I was doing. I shared with them how I was able to get off all of the medications simply by changing what I ate. I told them I was better—walking better, feeling better, and having more energy. I thought, “I’ve been good. I’ve stuck to my program so well I deserve some baklava.” It was delicious, but I couldn’t sleep that night because my stomach was turning in knots, and my legs, which had been peaceful for three weeks,started to spasm again. I told myself, “Baklava doesn’t taste this good. Nothing does.”