Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rocky Mountain MS Center

This past weekend we ventured to Colorado to the Rocky Mountain MS Center to see Dr. Allen Bowling. I had been researching Dr. Bowling for awhile, but we weren't sure he would fit what we wanted in a doctor. We have had issues finding a doctor that wouldn't push all of the MS drugs on us, and we were hesitant to see a new neurologist. Dr. Bowling was very pleasant and was open to listening to what we had done to help with my wife's MS, and wasn't pushy about following a typical MS protocol. We found out that Dr. Bowling had met with Dr. Swank a few years back so that he could make a professional decision on Swank's research and diet. The diet that Dr. Bowling recommended was very similar to Swank's MS diet in that it limits saturated fats, but it is not nearly as restrictive. He performed a physical exam and my wife passed with flying colors. I think he was surprised she was doing as well as she is since she was diagnosed over 18 years ago.

We also found out about some new research that shows that if you have had mild symptoms for the first ten years of your disease, you will have a 90% chance of the disease not progressing. That was interesting and was a relief since there has been very little on the progression of the disease. Dr. Bowling suggested we go ahead and get another head MRI done, so we are looking into what the costs will be. My wife is very hesistant about having another MRI done since she feels like it will only make her more paranoid about how the disease is affecting her. She had 3 MRIs done during the first few years of the disease, but she hasn't had another one done since. I think she realizes it would be good to go ahead and see how the disease has progressed, but I also know that she worries that there will be very bad news and that the results will only stress her out more. Neither one of us are crazy about what the doctors would recommend if she does have a lot of plaque on her brain, but we also realize we need to know if the disease is progressing without visible symptoms.

So, I guess we are happy with the visit. Dr. Bowling seemed happy with her current physical condition and was very optimistic about her future. We will probably go ahead and have the MRI done, and we will probably set another appointment to see Dr. Bowling. Only time will tell what all this visit will accomplish, but I know that we both would like to find a neurologist that is open to treatments outside of the typical MS drugs. We did accomplish one thing, and that was to get a baseline to start working from so that we could see how the disease is progressing. We are really unsure of whether the disease has caused any permanent issues since we are both so close to the situation. Her symptoms have been pretty small lately, and we are happy to say that moving back to San Angelo has truly helped her MS. It is amazing that the air and water quality can have so much to do with how her MS affects her. You can find more information about the Rocky Mountain MS Center at