I was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) in November 2000. It has been eighteen full years since the break-down of bodily functions that put me in the hospital for a week and produced that diagnosis within less than 24 hours of my arrival.
I am fortunate. The MS scarring is in my spine not in my brain. As a result, mobility is hampered or disabled but not thinking, communicating, meditating, and teaching. My prayers go out to all people whose lives have been changed by detrimental cognitive processes. I have days when I can’t think but they are infrequent, almost rare. Having experienced that, heart and light go out to all suffer that way.
I am also fortunate in that, through my life, intuition has largely been my guide. My children were not exposed to the medical model until time for school. Herbs, healthy living, lots of outdoor play, and breast feeding until they weaned themselves (18 months) kept my children healthier than most others we encountered including at pre-school. The medical model never served me well. I used for the first five years after diagnosis simply because I knew nothing of this new terrain (MS). But, when its protocols degraded my body to the point of a wheelchair, I left it, went back to what my heart-mind and its harmlessness told me to do for my body, and have not looked back.
With the help of a humble and amazing herbalist/acupuncturist, within a year and half my body was walking with the dog again using only a cane. I informed the neurologist of everything being used with the healer and she could see the resurrection that my body, mind, and spirit were experiencing, but she had no place to put what she was witnessing. To question her paradigm was too much for her. I had and have sympathy for her but cried more for all her other patients whose condition was decreasing but could possibly have been helped by some of the natural, earth-based remedies that had assisted my body.
When I was diagnosed, there were several “lesions” in my brain as well as the scarring of the myelin sheath of my spine. Through the natural-based protocol, lots of veggies, healthy living, and abundant meditation and visualization, all but one spot in my brain disappeared and healthy tissue replaced it. This showed glaringly in the MRIs that were taken every two years or each year depending on what was going on with my body. Having left the former neurologist of almost 7 years, the new one also did not know what to do with the information that the MRI images clearly showed. After a year with her, mostly so that she could see what was reversing in the hopes that she might be interested to share components of the non-medical protocol with appropriate patients, I left her too. That was the last time I saw a neurologist until I applied for disability in 2015. (eight years of no MDs)
In time, though the scarring in my spine also decreased and new myelin grew, damage still remained. My body had also experienced a radical allergic reaction to a chemotherapy used for MS in January of 2002. Its response was a type of neurological stroke (my phraseology) that left my left side permanently disabled. I rehabbed it significantly, visualized its wholeness, but lasting damage was done. Such is karma. All of this meant that, though walking with only a cane would be possible for a while, rather than depressed and stuck in a wheelchair, eventually the spine-located scleroses would decrease mobility. That began in earnest in 2010: a fall on Easter Day walking with my dog, Leah. A smashed face, broken arm led to needing and using a walker consistently. An x-ray confirmed the forearm break, but more than that the medical model was not engaged. To this day, being joyous about life, meditating and serving others, and wisely supporting my physical independence is the focus.
The journey of disease and disability was recognized as a spiritual one and has offered me profound insights into myself, into the human condition, into denial as well as into wise and compassionate uses of will. It gave me uncounted opportunities in hospitals, doctors offices, and infusion rooms to wish well-being for others, to commend the tireless staff, to meditate deeply on my own changing and changeable situation, and use it all as fuel for spiritual deepening and inner transformation.
No matter what arose, what declined, what needed to be traversed within myself, my relationships including marriage, motherhood, and friendships, all of it opened me in ways unimaginable, unforeseen, and unpredictable. I am so grateful for every turn and bump in this road, so grateful for all that I have come to embody as well as let go.
Long story short: by leaving the medical model with its poisons and disconnected view of the body, mind, spirit, and with the help of others, almost twenty years later I think and feel myself as a better human being. In addition to the inner growth and releases, leaving the harm that the medical model was offering me, I am able to live independently, take care of my needs, clean my own house, and help others in the ways that I can.