There is a saying that goes a bit like “when nothing goes right, go left.” Over the past nine and a half years, it seems all I had been doing was going left. In my personal life, in my professional life, and especially when it comes to health. I have been through half a dozen different treatment options, and while some were more successful than others (I was surprised to see that the alternative treatments worked better than traditional medicine), there was always a drawback, some side-effect, something making me a bit unwilling to trade a “normal” life for my new normal.
However, this latest treatment option has been good to me. Aubagio is an oral treatment option for MS patients suffering from Remitting-Relapsing MS (RRMS). And with the exception of elevated liver enzyme levels, there are no other significant side-effects.
Well, there has been one side-effect. A good one. A radical change to my life-style.
The first time I should have been forced – voluntarily that is – to alter my life-style so as to accommodate for my health peculiarities, should have been in January 2009, actually 12 January 2009 when I first got my MS diagnosis (that’s one of those dates you don’t forget). But, I did not. I chose to continue living as if nothing had happened.
The second time I should have changed was when my first treatment option had failed (and I had put on about 30kg/66lbs). And for a while I didn’t.
But then came a radical shift in my life. Admittedly going macrobiotic helped. But the regime had been too taxing on everything else in my life. The time it took to prepare food, juices, the amount of vitamins and supplements, the dietary restrictions… I mean, who wants to go out for dinner with friends and not being able to eat anything? That lasted three years, and as soon as I felt better I dropped the diet, and never came back to it – although I kept promising myself I would.
The damage to my left eye should have been an alarm siren to do something. Yet, I chose to not do again. Instead I put my faith blindly into western medicine and the injections I was prescribed. That didn’t work either though (I mean, 9/10 known common side-effects after a single injection four months into the treatment is not a very good sign).
And my decadent lifestyle continued after that, despite being without treatment for about two years. Not as decadent as when I was younger (vodka shots anyone?) Despite being nudged towards a return to the strict macrobiotic diet, the memory of how hard it was to keep up with acted as a counter-incentive.
Which brings us to today.
Elevated liver enzyme levels, and a strong will to continue functioning as an independent adult, finally convinced me to adopt a healthier lifestyle about a couple of months ago. One step at a time. I am now eating healthier – avoiding but not flat out cutting out of my diet fats, gluten, salt, and sugar – and exercising (pilates people is not just for girls).
The results so far have been great. Not excellent, but great. I have lost weight, I feel more energetic (well, sometimes at least), and while there are still many things that I wish I could do but are not able to, I am independent. And I guess that is what matters. Baby steps towards a reasonable target.