My first symptoms hit in 1998 at age 26. The official diagnosis didn’t occur until 2001. Relapses occurred every 2 years, right side tingling, left weak and numb. In the beginning, it was an annoying inconvenience, affecting walking and sensations throughout my body, fixable with solu-medrol, but soon the damage started to take its toll, permanently messing with my mobility.
Eight months of Rebif in 2008 didn’t prevent an episode of optic neuritis, but what it did do was give my family proof of my disease. Up until then I could have faked my symptoms or lied about my discomfort, but there’s no faking a lagging eye. I had to move back home in 2009 because I could no longer hold any position that afforded enough financial freedom to be on my own. In 2010, my MS took another turn. Relapses went from every 2 years to 2 per year. In 2011, and after 1 year being on Avonex, I saw a naturopathic doctor. I went vegan, and then saw another neurologist, who diagnosed me with SPMS and highly recommended starting Tysabri ASAP. I told my neurologist that I wanted to give this vegan diet a try for 6 months before making a decision, and days later the initial sickness of beginning the diet almost had me make the call. But I didn’t, and I pressed on, confident my MS was behind me.
Meanwhile, I happened to come across a video that gave me new hope. I watched the video many, many, many times, and decided to incorporate its teachings into my diet in December 2011, which is when my MS decided to return with vengeance. In the summer of 2011, I returned my car, not because the lease was up, but because I knew I would soon no longer be able to drive a standard transmission vehicle if I continued to decline. I was driving an automatic in December, and this relapse was affecting my right motor functions in my leg, crippling my driving even an automatic. I had to rent a wheelchair for work due to the bathroom being more than 100 feet away, and my walking was all but nonexistent.
But I pressed on with my new diet, steaming a red, green, yellow, and red pepper with mushrooms, carrots, an onion, broccoli, cauliflower, and a bulb of garlic. I’d have a big salad for breakfast of kale, spinach, with a slice of red cabbage with a dressing made of 3 tbsp. of vinegar, 2 tbsp. liquid honey, and 2 tbsp. flax oil. Most nights I’d have 2 servings of fish with 12 sticks of asparagus and my steamed vegetables and ¼ cup of brown rice. In the beginning, I didn’t have the flax oil, but upon reading that a serving of fish had up to 1 gram of omega 3 and 2 tsp. of flax oil had 5 grams of omega 3, I quickly added it to my salad. I’ll also add my steamed vegetables are served sprinkled with sea salt and seasoning salt. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries find their way into my diet at least once a day with an apple, orange, and banana.
So what have these changes done for me?
I no longer need to ride the walls when walking. Recently I was able to step up onto a curb without locating something to assure my balance. My step has quickened, approaching a jog, which is my final goal, to be able to run. I haven’t been able to run since 2005, and with the loom of its approach, excitement has filled my aura. I estimate my story begins where Dr. Wahls’ ends. If anyone tells you it won’t work, all I can say is here’s another person who’s saying me too!
So, getting back to the original question, how has the Wahls diet changed my life? It has made me a believer, and when I get my running legs back (and I’m quite sure it’ll be soon) they’ll be used to spread the word: FOOD HEALS.