The reason why I keep trying


Later this month I’m scheduled to see a wholistic dentist with the intention of eventually having a filling removed. The filling in question was put into place when I was about 8 years old (1984-85) and given the time frame it could contain mercury. My wife and I have both heard of people with mercury fillings being mis-diagnosed with multiple sclerosis due to complications from these types of fillings. To be clear, I’m not holding out any hope that the removal of the filling will ‘cure’ me. I’ve accepted that I have MS and I know it is fool’s errand to try and seek a miracle. However, if nothing else I will have some mercury removed from my body which can’t be a bad thing. From my point of view, if the risks are minimal it doesn’t hurt try. Why wouldn’t I try?

When I was first diagnosed I was given a very bleak outlook from the health professionals I was in contact with. I was basically told to take my drugs and if no cure was found, the disease would run it’s inevitable course. That was seven years ago and I couldn’t accept it then and I can’t accept that now. I have to keep trying- the effort gives me hope and helps me to cope.

Shortly after my diagnosis I wrote an email to family and friends. A short summary would be, “please don’t treat me like a patient because I’m going to outlive all of you.” My reasoning was that I felt if people, especially those close to me, treated me like a patient I would take on that persona and become one. I didn’t see how thinking and feeling like a sick person would help me to get better- I believed it would make me worse.

So I don’t act or treat myself like someone with a disease. When ran 15 kms last week I felt strong and empowered. Especially when I had to run up two sections of stairs 10 kms in. When I do those things I trick myself into not believing I have MS. The willingness to try and get better creates a sense of power and control over my destiny- unlike the powerlessness I felt in the doctor’s office seven years ago.

I control my fate.

I’ve had critics who have said that my efforts in regards to diet and exercise are merely creating a placebo effect. The criticism is that since I believe strongly in what I am doing it is that belief that is creating the change and keeping me healthy. To that I say, “so?” If my goal is to be healthier and fend off MS and that is the result I’m experiencing, do I actually care what the mechanism is creating that positive condition? I don’t, I more interested in the result. I’m currently in flight on a plane from Fort Saint John to Vancouver, British Columbia and I don’t particularly care how the plane gets me there so long as I get there. I sincerely doubt that my methods have no real effect, but I do concede that the placebo effect is real in medicine in general.

So I’ll continue to try. I’ll continue on with my diet and exercise. I’ll continue to try new methods and ideas so long as I can prove to myself that they are safe and have credible evidence supporting them. We all have to remember that science and healthcare are littered with ideas which were ridiculed by those ‘in the know’ which were later proven to be correct. So maybe what I’m doing is forward thinking or maybe it is horribly mis-guided. My unpredictable fate will be the ultimate judge of my choices. However, the results have been positive so far, so I’m going to keep trying.

Until next time,

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