I hope my story inspires people to take charge of their life and live life to the fullest!
My name is Clay and was diagnosed with MS about 14 years ago. It was definitely a bombshell to my family and I. I had two businesses a wife and two kids. At the time the kids were 4 and 2 years old. It seemed I was a slave to the doctors and everyone who thought they had the advice I needed to get through this time.
Shortly thereafter the meds started. Betaseron, Copaxone, Tysabri, Zoloft, Ambien, and smoking as much pot as I could consume around the clock. Needless to say I had a serious WTF moment. I had to step back and figure out what is helping me and what is hurting me.
Hurting me: Overweight and eating like crap, MS drugs that I was becoming immune to, or developed reactions, or straight up going to kill me. Business stress and anti-depressants just wanted to make me ride my bike off a cliff and just end it. The sleeping meds made me hallucinate. On top of all that I was a raging pothead.
Helping me: Overwhelming support with my family, friends, and most of all, my beautiful wife. Riding my mountain bike, curious uh? When I am riding I had no pain the vibration and the speed cured my MS but only as I was riding and pushing my body past what it should be doing and I would push it to failure. Smoking pot (It was a false sense of reality that smoking pot was helping). De-Stressing, changing my diet, dropping 40 lbs., deep tissue massage, acupuncture (was temporary relief). The Tysabri had halted progression for the 18 months I was on it. However I developed precursor’s signs of PML disease that is fatal.
10 or so years ago it was time for change. De-stress my life. Thank god my wife is not only beautiful but brilliant and could support us while I sold both my businesses and regrouped my life to eliminate as much stress as possible. During that time I was on tysabrie and it was very eye opening. I would have to go to an infusion center ounce a month for about an hour. Being with cancer patients and little kids getting their treatment was very humbling and very emotional. It’s weird to say but I was thankful for MS. I could still function a lot better than some of the people in the infusion center. I realized I needed to embrace my life and work with what I’ve got. I owed it to all those people in the infusion center and the little kids that where staring down the barrel of gun.
What have I got to work with? I am an addict (pothead), fatigue attacks that would make me lethargic and kind of worthless, my hands, arms and feet are in a constant state of MS pain (The best way to describe it is when you are coming down off of novocaine at the dentist). Cognitive issues and thought process was all screwed up (I contribute most of that to the pot). Weakness in my hands and legs.
It was time to take the life change to a whole new level. First and for most, get off the weed! Well that was easer said that done. I got some help and did (EMDR) and it worked like a charm. I’ve been off the weed for over 6 years and no plans on returning to that lifestyle. For me, it turns out the weed was a way to mask emotional feelings from childhood. Losing a baby at birth and being diagnosed with MS. It made the physical feelings of MS easier to ignore or just too lazy to deal with. The second big change was my diet. I cut out all processed food. Organic only. Eventually I adopted the paleo diet plan (protein, fruit, vegetables, no processed food and all organic) at this time I had just started Gilenya. I workout every day and still get in the dirt as much as possible on my mountain bike. I try to get on the elliptical 3 to 5 days a week. Because of it’s low impact it is ideal for me to get a great cardio work out. The TRX bands are an awesome way to get a great work out with low impact. I stress LOW IMPACT in your work out there is no need to use heavy weight or impactful exercise. The key is getting your body moving and break a sweat without injuring yourself.
I felt the need to share my story because after reading some of the stories on this website, I felt there were people out there that were experiencing the same thing that I was and I owed it to all my MS brothers and sisters. I do understand that there are people far worse than me and are suffering with their own crosses to bear. My sincere thoughts, prayers and love go out to you all. Thank you for reading.
Lastly, please understand I am not knocking the medicinal benefits of marijuana. Everybody is different. What works for some people might not work for others. It’s just not for me anymore.
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.