When I was 25 years old, I started to feel pins and needles in my left hand. Then it was my left side, all the way down to my left foot. It felt like my arm and leg were falling asleep 24/7. I thought I had a pinched nerve, so I went to my chiropractor. He said we'd figure out what was causing it.
After two weeks, I started to feel a little better, but the pins and needles were not gone. My chiropractor is pretty amazing. I was ok with feeling "better" but he was determined to find out what was causing it. So he sent me for an MRI on my neck. When the results came back, he didn’t see anything. Then he said he'd need an MRI on my brain. Just having someone say that to me was so jarring. The images showed that I had scarring, which is a sign of MS, but not definitive. I had to get a spinal tap, which is a definitive “yes” or “no.” A week later, that test showed that I have MS.
The neurologist said to get a lot of rest, not to drink alcohol, and not to stress. Three nearly impossible things for a 25 year old to do. I was in shock, but I wanted specifics about what I was about to deal with. He said “you might be in a wheelchair in one month, there is no way to know.” So what did I do? I went home and laid on my kitchen floor and cried for three days straight.
I changed my diet & exercise habits
I didn’t want to take medicine unless I absolutely needed medicine. Instead, I decided to amp up my eating
and workout at least 5 times a week. I try to eat "as close to the ground as I can."
I had no idea pregnancy could affect MS:
I have only been pregnant once. The doctors told me that with all the changes in my body while I was pregnant, I could almost go into remission. But after the baby is born things could change. I had never experienced much more than the pins and needles, so it was scary to think I could get worse after pregnancy. I saw neurologists after my son was born. They came in to test me in my hospital room. Which, honestly, I found that to be horribly stressful. I finally just said that if I noticed anything I'd let them know. Luckily my MS symptoms never changed.
Years later, I wanted to learn more, and maybe even discover how to cook
for people who were also using food
for the same reasons I was. I went to Natural Gourmet Institute and became a chef. I started fooling around with making pies that are made almost entirely out of nuts (vegan, paleo, and gluten-free). Once I had the recipes where I wanted them I started giving it out to friends and family to see what they thought. When people started asking me where they could buy my pies, I realized I many have a business! And I did. I started This Pie is Nuts in 2013.
Today, I am 45 years old, and I haven’t had any of my symptoms progress. If I get really tired the pins and needles show up sometimes. It’s my canary in the cage. And yeah, there are days when my balance is off, or my eyesight feels weak, but I just don’t read into every little thing! We all have days like that.
My pie company has been a great way for me to open up to people about what I've gone through, and maybe what they are going through. I try not to dwell on what could happen. There’s no use in that. I think attitude is 90% of it. I am truly blessed.
I still eat as healthy as I can, even though I've never been more busy. It's not worth stressing over food. I try to get enough rest...but that doesn't happen much!!!
See some of my favorite recipes here:
Looking to reverse your MS or autoimmune disease? Learn how Dr. Wahls reversed her MS symptoms by adopting a nutrient-rich paleo diet in her book The Wahls Protocol.
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Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.