If I told you that standing on your head would cure multiple sclerosis (MS), would you do it? I am fairly sure you would find a way to do so.
At least once a week, I hear of a miracle cure for MS. Well-meaning individuals tout the latest and greatest discoveries. I smile, nod, and thank them for their insights. In my head, I roll my eyes. From specific diets to magic vitamins and medical miracles, I have heard them all.
Some suggestions are helpful. Many people recommend specific diets. I’m aware that dietary changes can ease some symptoms, but none of them are cures. I often find myself lost in defensive rhetoric explaining why something is not a cure or why I don’t practice it. I watch their happy expressions turn to confusion.
If only it were that simple. It is anything but. Simplicity and multiple sclerosis are antonyms: There is no quick fix, no hidden gem, no late-night twofer, no free ride. But there are disease-modifying therapies, lifestyle changes that help to improve quality of life, experimental studies, and international treatments yet to be approved for use in the United States.
A cure is coming — of this I am certain.
In the meantime, a great deal of confusion exists. I see it in the expressions of those whose ideas I dispel, in the eyes of the newly diagnosed, and in the faces of families who would sell everything they own to help a loved one.
I recognize it in my face when I look in the mirror.
When hope gives way to desperation, belief comes easier. The despair at losing my capabilities has left me vulnerable and open. It has led me to believe in false “profits” and their prophecies. Even I am human, and I hold on dearly to hope.
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