Following convention… or maybe another path

I had been thinking about this post for about a week now. What I was going to write about, what I was going to say, how I was going to do so. Because to be honest the past week has been hard on me. Emotionally and physically. So, I thought about writing about the difficulties. The feelings that had been going through my head. The difficulty navigating the city on foot.

Instead, I chose to go with my gut and write about something positive and thought provoking. About something that I had done in the past, and a new endeavour that will hopefully put me back on track.

So, first things first, let’s talk about my medical history. I was diagnosed with MS in January 2009, and had my first episode back in May 2007. Over these past eight years I followed different treatments. First off was interferons, and after just four months my liver received such a shock that all blood tests indicated super-elevated enzyme levels.

And that is when I turned to alternative medicine, of course with the consent of my physicians – surprising given how doctors are usually opposed to alternative medicine. I went on the Gerson Therapy, and to be honest it worked. My relapses became almost non-existent, I was feeling stronger and more energetic.

Partly because of how taxing that regime had been on my life (please read a bit about it and you will see how much time it takes), and partly because of “silliness” on my part, I gave up the treatment. Three years later, and after gradual decline in my condition, I had a significant relapse that cost me close to 65% of my left eye vision. And I went back to traditional medicine – daily injections of Copaxone. Four months later I had a bad reaction to the medication – recording the majority of contra-indications over one night. That was more than two years ago.

That is where the real drama started. I am a European country citizen. Theoretically, I should have been offered an alternative therapy by the state – and believe me my doctors did offer to do so. However, due to the economic crisis state medication spending was cut. And I have been going back and forth to committees “examining” my condition and repeatedly rejecting my (doctors’) request. All the while I had been getting worse, and no one seemed to care. I cost too much.

While this could turn into a post about the fallacies of our society, and a scathing attack on “neo-liberal policies” (my leftist friends seem to love that term although they can’t explain it), I will not let it be.

Instead, last week I turned to alternative medicine yet again. Although I am a very pragmatic and realistic person, that has been educated to believe evidence, I decided that I have nothing to lose. I am going into this having the experience of the Gerson Therapy – and am even more optimistic since the doctor I visited was one of the very few people that knew the Therapy and understood how hard it is.

I don’t know if this treatment will work, or how well it will work. But I am optimistic about it. And since I am not being offered the alternative of traditional Western medicine, I will go down that path. I know that at times it will be hard. I know it will require sacrifices. But I am willing to try this. Worst case scenario, I will give up some bad habits. Best case, I will become more productive, feel better about myself, have a smaller carbon footprint.

Because you know what? I am worth the cost.

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