As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"

The straw that nearly broke my back

In all honesty, this didn't happen with in the last year, more like three or so years ago. Again name have been changed.
This neurologist is slightly different from the last, he is exhausting all other possibilities before confirming the diagnosis I received twelve years prior.
I pull into a parking space, my hands trembling. The drive has been uneventful and yet I'm a wreck. I retrieve my cane, angry to have to own one. At least I didn't have to park in the disability parking today. I try not to as often as I can.
My mood is improved to a quiet acceptance of my plight for the moment as I wait to be called from the waiting room. Dr. Williams doesn't make me wait long.
"The tests for Shogran's came back negative so it is a good thing that we sent you in for the MRIs." My fists clench involuntarily remembering how I'd used my last muscle relaxers to be able to cope with the clunking magnet. Thank goodness I hadn't had the dreaded copper taste to deal with while trying to relax for the half hour to forty-five minute, touch-less torture.
"So, do you believe me now that I have MS?"
Momentary uncertainty whisked across Dr. Williams' expression, confounding his bedside manner for a moment before he pasted his pleasant expression back in place.
"We've been looking for everything 'but' for a while now, haven't we? In that time, I feel we've become friends, don't you agree?"
"Uh, huh." I didn't agree, but I wasn't about to burst his bubble.
"Mea, Multiple sclerosis isn't a killer, but you know that. There's a reason I've tested you for everything under the sun before coming to this diagnosis. Quite frankly, it's a slam to my ego and pretty much any doctor's ego to basically tell a patient they have MS. It's like saying, 'I'm sorry, there is nothing I can do for you, except prescribe overly expensive drugs. You are now slated for a very long and painful death.' Long as in, 'until death do us part,' and painful because the nerves are taking a hit and dying every day. Think of a spindly plant that is reaching with all its might for the beauty of the sunlight and its life giving rays only to be singed a little every day. The plant doesn't die instantly, it lives out its full life cycle the best it can until frost or something else kills it."I knew from his tone that it was a prepared speech; it didn't match his fraudulent smile.
 "There are experimental drugs coming on the market, but quite frankly, your number is up. The fact that your first exacerbation was over twenty-five years ago and you are still mobile is very unusual, not to mention your energy levels and relatively low pain. The next flair you have may be the one that ends your run. I don't know if it will be today, tomorrow or next week, but the odds are that it will come. I recommend you do the blood tests now so that when the new drug becomes available you will be at the front of the line, so to speak."
Fatigue keeps me from punching him in the stomach. Gee, thanks Doc, for being so positive.
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