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28 January 2014

Life starts again for flautist Gaspar

Gaspar Hoyos was diagnosed with MS in 2010. He shared his story with us in 2012 to mark his four year "MS anniversary".

It has been exactly four years since my diagnosis, and I feel like saying I am celebrating my fourth birthday. It was a snowy 25th January four years ago when I went into the hospital. MS was hitting with all its might.

The shock of the new

I had an array of symptoms that would be too long to list here, but mainly I was not able to walk any more, and my left hand and arm were not working any more.

Hard as it would be for anybody to experience this, for me it also meant stopping my work and passion – making music.

My doctor depicted a very gloomy picture of my future; a straight downhill road of pure suffering and deterioration.

No more walking for me, no more playing the flute, no more going to the park with my son… it was, in one word, the end of life as I knew it – and had always taken for granted. 

But as strange as it may seem, I did not experience grief, loss, frustration, fear or anger. I can say I was lucky. MS came with an extremely powerful wave of love that invaded every cell of my body. It all happened as if the illness opened my eyes for the first time.

As Deepak Chopra says, “every decision I make, is a choice between a grievance and a miracle. I relinquish all regrets, grievances and resentments, and choose the miracle”.

Choosing the miracle

I chose the miracle. I realised that all my life I had taken things for granted and I had been looking in the wrong direction. 

Now, my body was not working, but I was able to see and feel love. I was, for the first time, grateful to be able to experience the overwhelming beauty of life, the unlimited treasure of loving family and friends. That’s all that matters.

The way I see things now, perfection, prestige and achievements have no real importance in life. Love really matters.

Gratefulness, forgiveness, peace, harmony and compassion matter. When I went back home from the hospital I was determined to overcome MS, no matter what my doctor said; and to give my life to that one simple word “love”.

I decided I would recover for my family, and, if I was able to play again, I would do it for love, and not out of a quest for perfection or recognition.

My new way of seeing things led me to discover meditation, visualisation and hypnotherapy, which are still essential tools in my everyday life. Around this time I also made a very important discovery:

My secret weapon

The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book by Roy Laver Swank, and it has since been my ‘secret weapon’ to take control of this disease.

When the man writes “do as I say and you will live a long and healthy life” based on his very serious 34 year study, you understand he does know what he’s talking about, thus giving you all the hope you need in this journey.

One thing led to another, and I later discovered Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis by George Jelinek. I then complemented my meditation and Swank’s diet ritual with omega-3 and vitamin D.

I am sure Swank and Jelinek will become essential healing guides for many MS patients in years to come. As I wrote before, it’s been four years.

Three and a half years on the diet. I have not had any relapses since adopting it.

More than a year ago I completely stopped the Rebif 44 I was injecting myself with three times a week. This drug was making my life miserable with its side effects.

In recovery

Looking at my latest MRI, my doctor said that with those current images no one could diagnose MS. Today I can work and lead a normal life. Thanks to my meditation and hypnosis most days I am able to forget I was once diagnosed with MS. 

My main objective now, besides completely overcoming MS, is to work as hard on the growth of my experience of love, harmony and peace, and to share those simple and powerful feelings with as many people as possible.

I try to do that with family and friends. Music serves me well for that purpose, because music is all about love, harmony, and sharing beauty.

I wish to be able to live life to its fullest, and to be grateful for every new day. Even though some days I am more or less successful in living the experience of life as I now understand it, I have no doubt about it: I am healing. Yes, healing. Healing both physically and emotionally.

Gaspar Hoyos

Images: Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra, Gaspar Hoyos Facebook Page