Soon after the first prognosis from my neurologist, a followup visit was arranged, this time with my wife in attendance. Multiple Sclerosis does not just affect its victim, but also the lives of those around, in particular those closest. I am lucky to have a strong network of friends and family, but I am cogniscient to the fact that when the front door shuts and night’s cloak descends it is only my wife who shares my burden.
Armed with some basic knowledge of the holistic research pointing towards management of MS through lifestyle, in particularly diet and meditation, we entered the appointment in a positive mindset. With this in mind we wanted to know what we could do to stave off the tentacles of MS for as long as possible whilst accepting that there is no cure. My Neurologist remained sceptical about this approach and advised not altering my current regime, but did concede that Vitamin D supplements would be a worthwhile pursuit. The significance of Vitamin D and MS is due to the nature of the incidence of MS being greater in colder climates, which are further away from the equator.
It is my belief there remains a wide disconnect between the actions of neurologists in the prescription of advice/medicine to patients and the the decisions they would take should they be unlucky enough to be diagnosed with MS. This “do as I say, not as I do” approach is given credence in a recent survey of 10,000 Neurologists where it was revealed that they would take a 10,000 IU daily Vitamin D supplement if they were diagnosed with MS, but are not prepared to prescribe them to their MS patients. You can download this survey via the Overcoming MS website here. I have found 10,000 IU strength supplements can be bought in yearly quantities relatively cheaply here.
The next step for us was to schedule in a lumbar puncture and a repeat MRI scan to take place at around the same time in order to be able to provide, in conjunction with the initial MRI scan, a dynamic perspective of my demyelination.
Leaving the neurologist we were less positive than when we entered, given the lack of endorsement to the lifestyle changes from a medical practitioner. Despite this I was resolute to maintain the lifestyle I was becoming acclimatised too given the success stories from others who had walked this path before me.