Ladies, I am honoured to introduce a fellow MS'er who truly has overcome her illness and MS symptoms, Bethany Hayes. She is an inspirational example of determination and perseverance. She was diagnosed with MS eleven years ago and at one stage she used a wheelchair to get around. Now, she has her mobility back and she even hikes! Bethany has taken the bull by the horns and has completely changed her diet and lifestyle. She shares her story with us, her top tips for staying well and information about a very interesting supplement she takes which she feels has been one of the main keys to her recovery. Over to you Bethany!
So you’re reading this article on a website designed for women with M.S. I’m guessing you and I are in the same boat, and I don’t have to tell you what it’s like to have M.S. (Phew! I’m so glad! Because you also know how impossible it is to explain!)
You’re also familiar with the feel of this boat. You know the ramifications of being in the boat. And you’ve heard several recommendations for how to get out of the boat. Or at least how to make it more comfortable. Early on, I heard of a man who got struck by lightning, and he was cured of his M.S. Not going to try that. But thank you for the suggestion!
I could tell you my story by explaining to you what the past eleven years have been like. But, again, it would be nothing new to you, except that your story might look a little different from mine and yours might be worse or not so bad. But we’ve all been there. Trying to be sympathetic with someone else’s pain when yours is screaming at you on a daily basis. Trying to cope daily with your own story. Sometimes hearing someone else’s journey of pain isn’t a comfort.
Maybe you haven’t heard this: There is hope. We’ve all searched the web, read articles, got so depressed, we ate half a box of chocolates. And felt worse. I haven’t read too many articles on hope for MS’ers.
But there is hope. There’s hope, because, though we’re living in what seems like a different body now, it’s still a body designed to fight and heal and repair itself. Our bodies know how to fight. But it’s our job to give it the right tools to work with. That’s why Kim says, no box of chocolates when you’re depressed. That’s why supplements and eating right and healthy choices are the only solution. There’s hope, because just sitting back and coping with M.S. symptoms isn’t the norm. Maybe it’s become the norm. But it doesn’t have to be.
I was there once. Thinking coping was all it meant to live with M.S. I thought the wheelchair would always be the only way I could spend an outing with a friend. I didn’t think I could try hiking again. I never dreamed I’d live independently again. I didn’t think I could live a full life again. But I’m doing all these things. All by fighting back with the right tools. That’s why I’m here to tell you there’s hope. The wheelchair is in the shed (because I’ve been too busy to get rid of it.) I went on a 6-mile hike last fall for the first time in ten years. I’m living independently again. I’m living a full life. There is hope.
That’s why Kim asked me to tell you my story. It’s much of the same that she shares here. But if you’re just starting, I’m here to tell you that it works. Your body will fight back.
Tools for Managing MS
Here are the tools (in order of importance) that have made my corner of the boat a little more comfortable. And it can make yours more comfortable, too.
There are a lot of things we have no control over—environment, genetics, where we were born. But we have total control over what goes into our mouths. Good health starts there. Good health starts with “Toxins out. Nutrients in.”
Tool #1: Water.
If we’re going to put the right things in, we need to get the wrong things out. The best way to do that is by flushing out the toxins with pure, filtered water. The best rule of thumb: drink half your body weight in ounces every day. I know what you’re thinking. But how do you think the toxins get out? Your body grows accustomed to it. Your brain, your joints, and your overall health will thank you.
Tool #2: Probiotics.
Probiotics are the best way to get the worst toxins out. 80% of immune function happens in our digestive system. Death and disease starts there. If things aren’t flowing, we’re not functioning. The best way to boost the immune system is by getting the right kind of bacteria into the digestive tract and getting things moving. Every day, incorporate water kefir, kombucha, fermented foods, or a good prebiotic/probiotic supplement. (Be sure it is from a reputable company.)
Tool #3: Nutrient-dense Foods
Along with getting the bad stuff out, we put the good stuff in. You’re at the right website for directions on good food! Kim has a wealth of information here for “Nutrients in.” See the MS Diet page for more information.
Tool #4: Food-sourced Supplements
Kim has provided all the right answers for why supplements are important for M.S. Be sure to choose supplements that are food-sourced and plant-sourced. Choose supplements that don’t have chemicals. Test your supplements by baking them at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. If you see black and your house stinks, it may be time for a new supplement! They should brown, if they’re made from food. Be sure to include the category of supplements, glyconutrients. In my opinion, these are the key ingredient for MS’ers! I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
There are so many other factors to good health. Emotional. Spiritual. Mental. But my hope is that you’ll find hope in these few tips. Living a full life with M.S. doesn’t take a bolt of lightning. By making healthy choices, we can each live the life we were meant to live. There is hope.
I would love to hear from you. I would love to hear your story (I really would!).
We’re all in the same boat.
How’s your corner doing?
To contact Bethany, read more of her story, or subscribe to her weekly inspirational posts, visit: www.CapacityCorner.blogspot.com