Fear is the greatest motivator
No words can really explain what goes through your head when you hear the words, "it looks like you have Multiple Sclerosis". Me, I held it together. I didn't cry. But it felt like at that moment everything in my world changed.
I'd already diagnosed myself using "Doctor Google". I found a calculator online for diagnosing eye disorders. The outcome was "Optic Neuritis - often one of the first signs of MS". So I then quickly did some research into what I could do to help myself. One word of advice, don't research MS. It's utterly depressing.
I first came across Terry Wahls work, the Whals Protocol. She healed herself from debilitating MS with nutrition, supplementation, vitamin D and exercise. She advocates for a nutrient dense diet, with massive amounts of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. She recommends eating up to 9 cups of these in a day. She avoids dairy for the molecular mimicry that it promotes in the body. Also gluten is avoided in her protocol, I think for the same reason.
But she suggests people with MS eat grass fed meat, lard, wild caught fish and any other "clean" animal products we can get our hands on. Not long after my diagnosis I had an MS nurse come to visit my home (you know you have a really serious condition when the government pays for someone to personally visit you). Although she was obese and could hardly walk to my door, she did mention one thing about "some people do well on a low saturated fat diet". That was it, no additional information. So as I was frying my kale in bacon fat, this played on my mind.
My first symptoms of MS were eyesight problems. I lost about 50% vision in my right eye. I also had some sensory problems, brain fog and I felt I had cognitive decline. Sometimes my legs felt funny and I thought I would fall. I'm lucky for never experiencing pain with MS, although many people do, but my fear was overwhelming. I guess that's why I was so motivated in the beginning to make the changes I did.
So in thinking about what the MS nurse had told me and what I was eating on the Wahls Protocol, I decided to do a little more research (actually I never stopped, and I'm still learning today). Someone on Facebook said to me one day "Have you ever heard of OMS?" (Overcoming MS). I researched it, the evidence was compelling, and I changed that day. I'd already dropped out dairy and gluten (my father is a celiac, I didn't need another autoimmune condition and there is a link to leaky gut and gluten). So from that day in December 2015, I gave up eating meat. I continued to eat fish for a little while as that is included in the OMS program. I soon learned of the link between inflammation and all animal proteins so I omitted fish and eggs from my diet too.
A whole foods, plant based diet with no added oils is what I'm thriving on today. I don't miss animal products. In fact, I wished I'd done it sooner. Who knows, maybe if I knew then what I know now, perhaps my immune system may never have attacked my healthy tissues.