Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach
Wahls Protocol Health Professional
I have Multiple Sclerosis And I feel good.
About me? Well, this photo just about sums it up—camera-shy, imperfect, a bit messy and pretty silly. My life has always had a ton of adversity. But the biggest thing to rock my world in recent years was getting diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and it's the whole reason I became a health coach.
June 2015, two weeks after my honeymoon…a day after my husband got signed a record contract, I got (what I thought the time) the worst news of my life.
I was living in New York. Sitting at my usual lunch spot—having what I used to call my "window salad." I'd usually watch the busy people rush by while I scarfed down my meal to hurry back to my stress ball of a job as a Design Director. But before I could even take the lid off of the plastic bowl, the phone rang.
"I had vertigo for two weeks straight, buzzing hands and feet, and was losing my strength in my left hand."
Leading up to the wedding, I had vertigo for two weeks straight, buzzing hands and feet, and was losing my strength in my left hand. I was nervous, so I got checked out right after we got back from the honeymoon. They said that they needed to rule out that it wasn't a tumor in my brain or MS. NBD. But the neurologist assured me during the exams that I didn't present like someone who'd have MS and that I shouldn't be worried. I had been harassing her for my test results. And you know what comes next.
After she gave me the news, I couldn't remember anything else that she said. I was in utter shock — tears flooding. My world spun out. I had to get out. I had to tell my new husband but he was working. Oh, no, I'll text him. "MS," I wrote. Over previous weeks I had been texting to say, oh hey I'm a Mrs. now. So I frantically typed. "Not Mrs. It's MS. MS. I have MS!!!" I was having a panic attack as I bawled pacing the busy streets of downtown New York. Kevin tried his best to calm me down.
After a few days, I got connected to top-notch MS specialists referred to me by friends of friends of friends. I so hoped that they could help me. One of them was a doctor in his 70's at Rutger's. He was supposed to be The Best (with a capital "T,")—a lifetime working with MS patients. What happened next, was a giant kick in the teeth.
“Eat what you want.
It doesn’t matter. It will only get worse for you.”
He took a glance at my MRI, and said, "Yup, you have MS. Best thing you can do is to get on medication right away. Here's a list of drug options." He scribbled down about a dozen names. "It doesn't matter which one, just pick one." I asked him, "what I should eat or do?" He said, "Eat what you want. It doesn't matter. It will only get worse for you. So just keep living your life as usual, but get on the medications right away." He spoke to Kevin, as if I wasn't even in the room. He never looked me in the eye during this entire exchange. Not once.
“…discovered Dr. Terry Wahls’ Ted Talk…”
Lucky for me, I'd been doing extensive research and discovered Dr. Terry Wahls' Ted Talk on how she used herself as a guinea pig and was able to heal herself from a wheelchair to walking, through diet and lifestyle. My mind was blown. I was so excited. It was as if, the skies had opened up. It was precisely the glimmer of hope that I needed. And I went down the rabbit hole of everything I could find on her.
Around the same time, a lovely co-worker offered to connect me with her mom, who also had MS. She was diagnosed 22 years prior and was doing just fine using a holistic approach. We connected, and that conversation was just what I needed to stick to my gut and treat my disease with diet and lifestyle.
"…exactly what I needed to stick to my gut and treat my disease with diet and lifestyle."
My husband fought me tooth and nail because I had also decided that I wanted to try this route before starting any medication. He wanted me to do both. My argument was that if I did that, I wouldn't know which was working. I told him if I stayed stable and in remission (which is all the drugs promised,) then I'd keep going without the drugs. And if I got worse, I'd consider the drug route. (I know this isn't for everyone. It's a tough and very personal decision to make. So I highly recommend working with your medical team, family, and primary support group.)
"I did an entire life re-boot."
The more I researched, the more reassurance I found from different resources. I went on to read Terry Wahls' book front to back and immediately implemented the protocol. I joined some online support groups. And I did an entire life re-boot. I can't say this was easy, but I also felt like I had no choice. I was determined to make this work—life and death seriousness. My daily routine: meditation, work-outs, tons of veggies, and only clean approved food, clean products, quality sleep, removed unnecessary stressors. Beyond having my symptoms vanish, I started to feel good.
"My second MRI showed a few lesions that were smaller and less noticeable. What?!!"
Time went by, and I still felt great. I was waiting for a shoe to drop. Then, the proof in the pudding came. My second MRI showed a few lesions that were smaller and less noticeable. What?!! OMG!!! I felt like I had this amazing secret that was so good that I needed to share it. I just wanted to shout from the rooftops. "YOU DON'T HAVE TO SUFFER. THIS STUFF WORKS!"
So here I am—still feeling good. And I'm thrilled to say that I'm a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, as well as a Wahls Protocol Health Professional. I hope I can be a glimmer of hope for you too. I am soooo excited to help you on your journey to feeling your best.
With much love, hope, and health,