My first episode of MS was in the summer of 2014 when I had numbness in my left foot and a burning sensation in my face. I was sent away from the GP four times, they said it was probably a trapped nerve. To me, it just didn’t feel right, and I couldn’t understand how a trapped nerve could impact my left foot and my face. Eventually the GP referred me to see a neurologist but said it was probably nothing. The neurologist decided to do an MRI, which showed multiple lesions on my brain and confirmed it was MS. She offered steroid and drug treatment but before doing anything I wanted to get a second opinion as all my symptoms had disappeared by the time of diagnosis. The 2nd neurologist I went to see is one of the leading professors in the field of MS. He confirmed the MS diagnosis. He was however more conservative in his approach and said it could potentially be CIS - and there was a chance I would never experience anything MS related again. The caveat to that diagnosis was that until you have the same or other symptoms again, it's difficult to say what version of MS someone has. At the time, I decided to wait and see.
2018/2019 was busy & stressful for my family. I changed jobs and we moved into a new house in the winter of 2018, in time for the arrival of my youngest son at the end of March 2019. I should mention that my eldest son was only 15 months at that time. In May 2019 we embarked on 5 months of house renovations, whilst also living upstairs with the family. Roughly at that time, my mother-in-law who was terminally ill with breast cancer, received the news that she was no longer responding to her chemo treatment and she passed away in November last year. Whilst all this was going on, I started to have MS symptoms again. My left leg was completely numb and I started have some coordination issues with my left hand. This relapse was quite intense and lasted for a good 6 months. I now realise that I had reached my stress threshold which pushed me to have a relapse and subsequently the diagnosis of RRMS.
I was told to go on a DMT and was sent home with information on Tecfidera as one of the options to consider. My neurologist did also say that in addition to the drugs, I would do well to go a Mediterranean diet, minimise any gluten intake and to look into yoga. I took his advice on the diet and took up yoga and some meditation in ways to deal better with stress. I wasn’t as comfortable however with the DMT’s. For me the side effects of the drugs outweighed the potential benefits and I wasn’t completely at ease with taking immunosuppressant drugs long term.
It wasn’t until January 2020 that I found OMS during a google search and ordered the book. Everything started to fall into place and I knew the right treatment for me was to follow the OMS protocol, particularly because it is so well researched and every pillar is backed by scientific evidence.
I cannot begin to describe how grateful I am for finding OMS. My MRI’s are clear, I have had no symptoms or relapses and I feel better, healthier & happier than ever before. The lifestyle changes have given me so much more than just a way to manage my MS. I am increasingly more present and grateful for my here and now, I feel a different person when it comes to dealing with stress and my outlook in life has changed to wanting to serve and help others. I am now studying functional nutrition as I passionately believe that much more can & should be done in our current healthcare system to prevent and manage chronic illnesses through diet & lifestyle.
Yes, I still have MS, but OMS has taught me ways of accepting it and in a strange way thriving on it. Today I am non symptomatic, my future is optimistic and full of energy, love and passion, fuelled by the 7 pillars of the OMS program.
For anyone at the beginning of their MS journey, the diet & lifestyle changes can seem quite intense especially if it means a radical change in what you eat or don’t eat. Cooking is a passion of mine and I am hoping that by starting to share some of my go to recipes that I can help making those initial steps a little easier.
To kick things off, here is a super easy and delicious breakfast recipe. I make it the night before and go to bed wishing it was breakfast time already :)