Weekend Update, Sunday May 5th, 2013- Here is my weekly roundup of news and stories relating to Multiple Sclerosis from the past week.
Josh Harding and the NHL PLayoffs
Whether you are a hockey fan or not, if you have MS or have a person in your life with MS, you have to get a positive feeling from knowing that a man with Multiple Sclerosis is playing in the National Hockey League playoffs. Josh Harding, who was diagnosed with MS this past summer, has started the first two games in goal for the Minnesota Wild against the regular season champion Chicago Blackhawks. While Minnesota lost both of their first two games, it should be noted that the Wild are the underdogs in this series and Harding is actually the team’s backup goaltender- Minnesota’s starting goalie is out with an injury.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, in hockey the goalie is the only player who remains on the ice for the entire 60 minutes of play. The rest of the players rotate in shifts. Typically in the playoffs, the goaltender is the key player and Harding has played very well. During the creation of this post Minnesota defeated Chicago in overtime in game three of the best of seven series and Harding made 25 saves on 27 shots.
Everyone who has a relationship with MS should feel great that one of our own is playing a pivotal role in the playoffs at the highest level of his sport. As an MS survivor who is a big believer in the power of exercise to help battle the disease, it gets me pumped every time I think about it. I wasn’t going to go for a run tonight but after writing this I don’t think there is anyway I can’t.
If you want to read about Josh Harding:
More inspirational stories regarding Multiple Sclerosis and Exercise
If professional sports or hockey aren’t your thing (hockey is mine, but I’m a Canadian male in my 30’s and the living embodiment of a stereotype), there were some other stories that were released this week about regular people (whatever that means) and their fight against MS.
You can read here about Stephanie Shia who has fought off MS not once, but twice using exercise and dietary strategies. It is a ‘feel good’ story and it is tales like these that help to keep me motivated and on track.
Or you can read here about Jill Walsh. She is a 49 year old MS survivor who competes in Iron Man competitions. If reading about Jill doesn’t get you pumped, nothing will. I’ve run three 1/2 marathons since I was diagnosed- I can’t even imagine doing an Iron Man. However, examples like Jill’s make me think I should imagine and even try.
I’m reminded of my favourite line from a movie ever:
‘Get busy living or get busy dying’- Morgan Freeman’s character ‘Red’ in the Shawshank Redemption
I think for people like Josh Harding, Stephanie Shia, and Jill Walsh they are too busy living to bother with MS.
Is the Paleo Diet right or wrong for people with MS?
Scanning around and doing my research on diet this week, I came across two opposing views of the diet I utilize to manage my MS. The post entitled “Some versions of the Paleo diet may make your multiple sclerosis worse” on the blog intelligentguidetoms.wordpress.com argues that the paleo diet may actually make multiple sclerosis worse. I was very interested to read the information presented as the ‘paleo’ style of eating, along with exercise, is how I managed my symptoms for the first fours years after my diagnosis without drugs (my diet hasn’t changed, but I started using Copaxone 20 months ago).
In contrast, I also read about Doctor Terry Wahls, diagnosed with progressive MS and unable to sit up in a wheelchair, who reversed her condition using dietary strategies similar (albeit more strict) to the ones I employ. I’ll be interested to read her book (mentioned in the article) when it comes out.
After reading the negative article, I am not swayed. The intelligentguidetoms article mentions that most of the information about people’s experience with the style of eating I have chosen is anecdotal. I can’t argue with that point as all I can tell you is how I have done and how I feel- which is far from scientific. However, Dr. Wahls does state in the article about her, “This isn’t the type of research that drug companies or the government will fund — it’s too radical — so research dollars need to come from angel donors or the public.”
You can read both articles and do your own research. I am a big believer in diet and exercise as that is what I have been doing since 2007. I’ve had one minor relapse, which started about two weeks ago, and I’m already coming out of it as I’m already running distances of over 7km. That last statement is indeed anecdotal and not scientific, but it is my experience.
As always, I feel that each individual should do their own research and make decisions which they feel are best.
Until next time,