Earlier this month I celebrated 5 years since a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. It might seem strange to celebrate being diagnosed with a potentially debilitating disease, one that can lead to disability, blindness, pain and death. The prognosis after diagnosis is about 25 - 35 years. In the later stages of the disease death can occur from complications with MS including difficulty breathing and patients can be put on ventilators to help them stay alive. But what quality of life is left when it gets to that point?
5 years ago I was diagnosed but 5 years ago I ditched dairy. Soon after I never ate another piece of beef, pork or chicken. I then gave up eggs and fish. Oil was another inflammatory food that I have abstained from. I read the science behind a plant-based diet and was convinced it was the best way forward.
So recently took our little family and stayed in a beautiful old house, surrounded by vineyards in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, to mark the occasion. Arctic temperatures made us remain indoors for most of the time by the fire. We cooked and ate delicious plant-based meals, read books and played games. We eventually braved the cold to visit the farmers market to source fresh produce.
5 years on and I've had no relapses. There has been no lesions on any of my MRIs. My symptoms have dissipated and I can see, walk, talk and do up buttons perfectly well. It could be complete coincidence or spontaneous remission (as my Neurologist suggests). Either way I'm sticking with what I'm doing. Without this life changing diagnosis I wouldn't have turned my life around and become well. So I will be celebrating each of these anniversaries for many years to come.