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OMS better than a cure for MS?

Eloquent Nigel Bartram, diagnosed with primary progressive MS in 2009, now two years into the OMS Recovery Program, is talking about how good his health is!

Who am I kidding I hear you ask? Am I crazy, deluded or trying to sell you something? None of these. Whilst I’ve hopefully grabbed your attention with the headline, I’m a perfectly sane, 62 year old with primary progressive multiple sclerosis who is to outwardly appearances very challenged in terms of mobility, incontinence and the usual suspects by way of MS symptoms.

If you’re not familiar with Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS); it is a lifestyle program that aims to help MSers live long, healthy lives without the usual problems which afflict us.

It’s based on rigorous scientific research and offers the real potential to recover, using relatively simple modification of lifestyle risk factors. A cure it most definitely isn’t.

The successes of OMS and I

Two years into OMS I admit being just about able to walk, but only with two sticks. I’m forever going to the toilet if I’m lucky and having accidents if I’m not.

If I were pleading in a court of law, my defense of the title would rest on three pillars. First up, I’ve met, talked at length and pressed the flesh of MSers who are totally symptom free, years after first diagnosis – some having plumbed far worse depths than me.

I’ve read about others who are now well and in my OMS group, despite it being relatively early days (recovery can take up to five years), I’ve seen one or two really begin to flower. I know OMS works and that fills me with hope and determination.

Not a bad place to be given the otherwise bleak outlook. As to me, apart from what I refer to as my “elephant in the room” my general health has never been better.

I hope this isn’t being a hostage to fortune but, I simply don’t get ill. Whilst other “healthy people” have been falling like flies around me with nasty flu bugs and the like, there am I the picture of health (as others often remark).

Again, not a bad place to be when my immune system is supposed to be shot to pieces. As for my symptoms; the arm numbing fatigue is a whole heap better. I suddenly realized this in the face of near tragedy a couple of years back.


My wife of then 35 years suffered a very serious stroke with severe complications, which had her in and out of comas for weeks and all but dead three or four times and when she finally came round, she’d lost all physical capacities (could just about raise a finger) and to outward appearances, all her mental capabilities as well (couldn’t speak, let alone read, write, or even know how to blow her nose).

I’m not exaggerating I assure you. We live outside Paris and there was I having to contend with maniacal French drivers as I drove right across Paris alone, each day, to arrive at a vast hospital site of more than 80 acres, leaving me often times parked kilometers away from my precious.

On about the 50th trip I suddenly asked myself: how are you able to do this? OMS was the answer. I think and hope my walking and incontinence have stabilized.

At the very least, my rapid slide into the abyss has all but been stopped in its dastardly tracks. I’m still working full time running my language school and doing a lot more besides – helping my wife’s astonishing recovery . Do I look forward to a cure for MS? Of course I do.

A fulfilling life is possible

But my third pillar is that if I’d simply popped a pill, I would never have discovered THE most health giving regime– mental as well as physical and the best group of soul mates one could ever wish to have to accompany me on my journey to wellness I apologize for somewhat overegging my case in the title, if it’s got you reading this far then job well done. Take the next step learn more about Overcoming MS and have a healthy, fulfilling life.

Nigel Bartram

This blog originally appeared on

Nigel grew up in the UK, working and living all his adult life in London, until aged 43, he followed his wife as a “trailing spouse” to Paris for five years but nearly twenty years later they and their two kids are still there. Nigel’s diagnosis with PPMS in 2009 came as a “welcome” explanation for the baffling and ever worsening stumbling, incontinence, fatigue, and sudden temporary deafness. Even less welcome was the effect of the steroids he was put on for 18 months countless nights with NO sleep, wracked by anxiety, three parts gaga and unable to work. Binning the steroids, following great work by an acupuncturist and a GP with a sleep clinic and the most fortunate chance attendance at an OMS presentation in 2013 means Nigel, now aged 62 is very happily back working full time, enjoying the many good things in life, not least his family and the huge support and fellowship of his OMS group.

progressive MS
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