Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One of the Three Deadly Sins of MS

Dr. Swank used to always tell us that there are three main life stresses that really seem to impact Multiple Sclerosis - Moving, Death and Marriage. Well, we have made it through all of these, and are in the middle of moving once again. I have taken a CEO position with a Children's Home in Kansas, so we are loading up this Friday and moving to Wichita. We have been packing for over a week now, and the stress load is weighing on my whole family, and especially my wife.

She has been very fatigued lately anyway, and with the added moving stress, she has been sick after every meal, had bad headaches, struggled with tight muscles in her neck and shoulders, and just had to push through all of it to pack and get ready to move. It amazes me what she can push through and how willing she is to work even when she feels like she's been hit by a Mack truck. She is finishing our kitchen today, and I am so proud of how hard she works and how positive she is even during these times.

One of the reasons we even looked at this job was because of the health care available in Wichita. We have been two hours from our Chiropractor which has been a pain, and I really think it has caused her to have more issues. When she is seeing the Chiropractor regularly, she is a different person. And if we have a good massage therapist to work her shoulders and back, it multiplies the effects and she does even that much better. We have learned how important it is to live somewhere that we can have easy, quick access to natural Doctors and a good Chiropractor. We are excited for the move and will be seeking a new Naturopathic Doctor as soon as we get there.

So, we won't be able to avoid one of the big three stresses on MS this time, but we know that this will be a better place in the long term. Controlling stress in your life is vital for MS patients, and I know for us it is probably one of the most challenging things we manage. When stress is minimized, we've noticed that life is so much easier, and my wife's MS begins to take a more back seat to daily living.


Anonymous said...

I found your blog last summer after being diagnosed with MS – and always come back to it to hear how things are going for you and your wife. I’ve went the route of diet vs. drugs – and it was very inspiring to read about your wife’s health while on the Swank diet, as well as how the alternative method of chiropractory works for her. Yesterday I saw on the MS Society website that the Oregon Health & Sciences University is in the process of gathering participants for a study on the Swank/McDougall diet. I thought it was very exciting news and wanted to post since you guys also use “unconventional” treatment methods. Thanks again for sharing your story. The web is full of people blogging about MS, but I haven’t found one yet that is as touching as yours!

Take care - I hope everything goes well with the move.


Cory said...

Hey Natalie, thanks for the comment, and for keeping up with our blog. It always great to hear about others that are treating their MS naturally, and thanks for your kind words. We are so blessed, and I by sharing our story and our trials with MS, we have been able to meet some amazing people that we hope we have helped. I hadn't heard about the study, but will be watching it with anticipation. Dr. Swank was an amazing man that really helped my wife, and gave us the confidence to take MS head on. Thanks again!

kimberly said...

Found your blog this morning, Cory, after running a check on "stomach issues problems multiple sclerosis."

I've had MS for 15 years. I have experienced a wide array of the same type symptoms that your wife has suffered, but on a milder level. Just recently started dealing with the stomach clenching and bloating. It is amazing to me how the vague symptoms seem to migrate around the body and pester.

I would like to say that I have have been blessed. I cannot stress enough to you and your wife the importance of yoga for people who live with MS. There are many type studios, and it is important to find the studio that is right for MS (many are!) and perhaps more importantly, your individual personality.

I started out with a national studio called Dahn, then to Brain+Body (division of Dahn) and am now moving to a more challenging ayurvedic yoga therapy. (btw I enjoyed Dahn and B&B, just ready to notch up a level with my practice) Also do a fantastic water aerobic therapy in my own pool with Speedo resistance cuffs. (I do not overheat in water and get a very good workout!)If your wife is unable or unwilling to consider either, just emphasize daily stretching several times a day, especially the spine and back.

With the right type of physical and mental workouts, my MS is usually on the back burner. Overheating and stress are kryptonite though. My husband has joined me in the yoga and water workouts and has expressed how amazing and re-energized he feels. (we use the Speedo Hydro resistant water set for our water workouts. little miracles, they are.)

Please visit Ann Borach's site. Her book "Healing MS" was a game-changer for me. Lots of great, common-sense info there and her website.

I currently am on daily Copaxone injections. In addition I take
the following supplements (which help tremendously): RXOmega-3Factors (pharmaceutical fish oil supplement) Liquid Vitamin D3 5000 IU, an Ocular Formula vitamin from GNC, Big 100 for stress (B vitamin mixture) Ester-C (ester is key, as it is a vehicle to distribute all vitamins efficiently) Glucosamine/Chondriton complex with MSM, Women's Ultra Mega Active vitamins (GNC) Natural E400 (GNC)
*supplement items not found at GNC I purchase through

... and now I sound like an infomercial... I'm not, just an MS warrior

Good luck and prayers to your entire family. Fight, fight, fight. There are lots of little miracles around the corner for all of us, just ask for them.

Thank you for sharing.
Kimberly from Houston

Cory said...

Hey Kimberly, thanks for sharing. My wife and I both have actually participated in yoga and we both felt like it really helped her MS. We haven't had access to good instructors, but are in Wichita now and have already began our search. My wife is doing very well right now, and we are excited about having the resources available to us in Wichita. My wife realized today that she has been dealing with MS for over half of her life, and she has done amazing for dealing with so many different issues. Thanks again for the comment, and I will write a post after we find a new yoga studio.

Anonymous said...

My husband has ms and its been hell,we are dealing with pain, can't seem to find happiness at this time, feel like my life has been sucked out of me, whats your reccommendation?

Cory said...

Hi anonymous, I am so sorry to hear about your struggles. We both know what it feels like to feel the walls closing around us and out of control. There have been times when we wondered if life would ever be the same, and I understand the struggle as a spouse. There are moments when I can't seem to see past the MS, and times when I just wish life was normal. I can't stay that way for long because my wife can't help those struggles, and she needs my help. Please don't give into the mess, but keep focused on the spouse you married. MS can consume your spouse, you and your marriage, but only if you let it. I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you, but please know you can write me and we will help in any way we can. Keep focused on what's important, and look for those moments when ya'll can share time that's not focused on the disease. I hope things are going better for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Corey...I have been following your blog off and on for about a year mom has least that is what our family doctor said about 6 years ago. She has been battling symptoms for over ten years now and it is an endless cycle of symptoms, which get worse every year. We recently moved three weeks ago as well and I noticed an increase in her troubles...but I wanted to say thanks for the blog as it helps me realize what types of things are seen with this illness and to know my mom is not alone in that struggle, nor is my family as we try to support her. Thanks for all the posts!

bori said...

I found ur blog after searching for stomach pain and runs to the bathroom. I also see a Chiropractic and when I see him, I am totaly a differente persona too. I been diagnosed for 3 years now,I have tried copaxone, avonex, and tysabri, the neuro is trying to put me on gylenia which the side effects are horrible thats why i will continue on fighting the MS with natural medicine and with the chiropractic, and I want it to say thanks for been there for her and being strong :) it's not easy for a spouse to see us going through all this symptoms. Hope everything goes well with your wife and u.
Solimar Sierra Cruz.

Sharon said...


If you are moving to Kansas, I have had great progress with my chiropractor in Lawrence, KS about 3 hours east (Dr. Brady Advantage Medical). I've also noticed having higher energy since following the Clean Cleanse diet rules and some of the supplements (easy to serach this on google). Also, tumeric supplements help with my headaches. Good luck, Sharon

Jeff - Seattle Chiropractic said...

I think it's a matter of how you want to live your life. Let MS cripple you into doing nothing, and living longer, but not really living; or live life to the fullest for as long as you can.

Anonymous said...

My husband was diagnosed almost 5 years ago. It was devastating. Then he was symptom free after the initial diagnosis and was in denial about his diagnosis and refused any treatment. I have been pushing him to consider treatment or at least follow up appointments with the mS clinic here because I was scared of what may come... He still refused. Now here we are years later and he is having a bad relapse.. His emotional state is not good, has headaches, optic neuropathy, and many more symptoms.
I know this is going to sound terrible but I am angry and very sad... We have twO small children.. This is a lot to deal with... The reason I'm angry is because I feel that if he'd taken copaxone we might not be in this situation right now... He used to tell me when I was upset with him for ignoring his symptoms he would say " it's not like you have the disease" WrONG. We all have this disease.. I have looked for support groups but there are none in our area. This is sucking the life out of us.

Cory said...

Anonymous, thank you for leaving a comment. I completely understand how hard things can be and how frustrating life can be. I'm so sorry about your husband. I know my wife has gone through ups and downs but we always seem to be able to work through it. Your statement about MS sucking the life out of you is exactly what it has the ability to do. I have found as a spouse that I have to be intentional about finding my own times of rest and renewal so that I don't get burnt out from my wife's MS. My daughter has to do the same thing, but after you've done it for awhile you learn to manage. We'll keep you in our prayers and please keep me updated on how you're doing. If you have any specific questions please email me and I will do my best to answer them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your response.. It's a bit of a relief to find this site and to have someone understand my perspective and who has insight. I think I may be a bit burnt out right now and I hadn't really considered that...

Anonymous said...

Hi I had just commented about hubby having MS for 5 years... No treatment etc.. I need some advise.. He in the last 3 days along with being weepy has also started punching walls, throwing rages, can't have a conversation. Just cannot deal with anything.. I realize he is depressed.. But I'm getting to the end of my rope here. He won't go to his family doc for depression.. HELP!!! I'm running out of steam with this and I don't know what to do.. Keep in mind a 3 and 5 year old thrown in the middle.. This is terrible..

Cory D said...

Anonymous, I'm so sorry it took me so long to get back with you. My wife has had extreme mood swings in the past too. She still has bouts of the weeping and depression, but that is about it. I don't know if your husband is still struggling with this, but I know for my wife we usually get her a massage or chiropractic adjustment to help "release" whatever is going on in her body. For her the weeping seems to be a physical response to whatever is going on in her body. Please let me know if you've figured out what to do or if it's continuing.