Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Normal MS, if there is such a thing.

The last few weeks have been pretty calm. My wife has been dealing with the usual fatigue and small issues, but nothing too major. It is pretty sad that fatigue and small issues are the norm, but we aren't giving up on those being gone someday too. I have been studying up on a new doctor and his treatments, and hopefully we will be able to go see him next year. He doesn't take insurance, and everything is cash up front so we are going to have to prepare for the expense. So far I have found exceptional results from his treatments, and personally know a few doctors that have been treated by him. I am also looking into a few other treatments that have shown promise, and I know that 2008 is going to be another year of milestones and learning. Right now, we are just trying to make it through the holidays in one piece and with our health intact. This time of year is always a struggle, with all of the hoopla and energy you have to expend. So, we will go into holiday mode and my wife will start resting more and making sure she is not overdoing it. Just as an example, she rarely shops this time of year. The crowds and the hassle and the long lines just cause more issues than any of the shopping specials are worth. We shop ahead of time or go to the stores for specific things so that she is not exhausted from it. We also try to pay attention to our eating habits a little more. After my wife was first diagnosed, she started on the Swank MS Diet. We would travel to Oregon once a year to spend a day at Dr. Roy L Swank's office and my wife followed the diet as best she could. Everything Dr. Swank said would happen, happened. She did great as long as she was on it, but we moved to a Children's home as house parents in 1999 and she just wasn't able to focus on her meals. Dr. Swank had always told her that once you get off the diet you probably wouldn't see the effects for about 2 years. He was exactly right. After two years of being off of the diet, she started having more issues, and she has struggled to get back on it since. We know that food choices affect MS. It is so obvious that our eating habits play a huge role in our everyday life, with or without MS. We make excuses and eat unhealthy and we reap exactly what we have sown. We have been working on our families eating habits, but we have a long way to go. If you're interested in Swank's diet, there are a multitude of sites online that explain the diet and give helpful advice about recipes and eating out. Dr. Swank is no longer in practice, but I know that we owe a lot to him and to his staff for the great job they did in truly taking an interest in the needs of MS patients. So, if you have MS or have a family member with MS, please take the extra time over the holidays to rest and recover. A short nap everyday or a little extra rest can go so far in helping with the holiday stress.


Anonymous said...

Hi Cory,
I read an article given to me about Dr.Roy Swank's Low Fat Diet & MS. Interesting,I applied a low fat diet even more, I am a vegetarian for 6yrs (no meat) & last year I decided no more fish(totally), no eggs(except @ parties I'll have one spoon full, my flaw). I was diagnosed in 1997.

I was meaning to ask can you wife go to work. I've had 3 MS attacks last year & had to rest at home, couldn't go to work at that time. Did she stop working?

About having a baby, how did pregnancy affect your wife then? I have no kids, I'm not sure about pregnancy& MS. Pls help me, I asked my doctor about P&MS but, I'd like to know from your experience IF, you don't mind.
Please reply IF you'd like to.

Cory said...

Hi Anonymous, Dr Swank was a huge help to my wife through so much of her MS journey. She followed his diet faithfully for years after she first visited with him and we truly believe it helped to stabilize her MS. As far as working goes, she has worked off and on since her diagnosis. Some years were tougher than others, and depending on the type of job and stress, it could really drain her and make it difficult for her. Since having our little girl, she has been able to choose to work if and when she wanted, which has really helped her to control her health better. Pregnancy was one of the issues Swank really helped with because he gave us very sound advice. We were able to have one child with my wife having very good health through the whole pregnancy. I have blogs about this subject for you to find out more details, but if you have more questions after that, please write me at Thanks for the questions and I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have.