A young person with MS asked for advice about how to cope with having multiple sclerosis–this was my answer:
Let me say first that I appreciate and agree with much of what has already been answered; however, I am going to give you a more hopeful answer, based on 26 years of living with this disease. I was on all the ABC-R medications, but continued to get steadily worse. By the time I had it for 10 years, it was evident that it was primary progressive multiple sclerosis by the intensity of the symptoms.
I had a plastic brace the length of my right leg, numbness in arms and legs, used a four-point cane, and needed a wheelchair for anything like flying and going to the airport. If I ventured out to see sights like Las Vegas, I was able to see the sights only because kind relatives pushed me around in a wheelchair.
Then the beginning of what I now call my “functional healing” started when I found an experimental treatment my neurologist at Barrow Neurological Institute agreed to do with me involving steroids and cytoxan. The whole thing is too complex to describe here as it was concurrent with I say about twenty other alternative treatments. This whole mix of Western medicine, Eastern approaches and methods, and generally healthy things to do is described in a book I am writing which is called “Multiple Sclerosis Mission Remission: Healing MS Against All Odds.”
The critical thing to know is that I believe MS is probably due to a large number of converging factors. Make medicine your base and aid it with alternative methods that do no harm and can do a lot of good. I still have MS, but MS does not have me. At this time, I have no major symptoms after 26 years, but that does not mean you stop taking the medicine.
I continued to have Tysabri infusions every six weeks, am married, and have a full time private practice as a clinical psychologist. I started a new medication which is an infusion that you only have to take twice per year. The research on it is very promising and positive. It is called Ocrevus. I have a blog where I mostly interpret dreams, but now will also post sometimes about my book about my MS experience.
It is an overwhelming diagnosis. Give yourself time and develop whatever spirituality you have. Medicine + alternative approaches + good relationships + spirituality + meaningful work was my personal formula to functional healing. Some part of that might be part of your solution. My book is really about some ways of finding what is right for you which will be personally unique.
The one with red ms letters or the plain one?
Significant dream post 476: Feeling the flow of energy in life
The experiments in the following link involved “senders” transmitting an image while “receivers” reported what they saw in their dreams. The Department of Defense and Russia have shown interest in these phenomena.
These results suggest that what you think affects people and the world around you. After doing dream therapy for over twenty years, I am amazed at the insight dreams give about a dreamer’s life. I have had married couples in therapy who had remarkably similar dreams on the same night.
I regularly have a dreamer “incubate” a dream to answer a significant issue or situation in their life. My book, “Dreams: Guide to the Soul,” describes a dream incubation procedure that significantly raises the odds of having a dream that may help the dreamer with a problem situation. The book is available at http://www.drstevenfox.com
We disregard dreams at our own risk. I think dreams are often the result of thinking through problems in our life. Some think dreamers may enter another dimension where physical and emotional healing is more likely. I know they were important in my multiple sclerosis getting better. Here is the link showing some scientific evidence for telepathy:
I am in the ready stages and will print it within a year. Here is the projected and copyrighted cover:
I received the following email from a woman:
“Good evening, your book Dreams: Guide to the Soul has been so helpful in my journey in dream interpretation. It’s hard to find informative books that aren’t simply dream dictionaries and really relate to the subconscious. Can you guide me to any other resources to further my education in this? Thank you!”
The following was my response:
I personally like Robert Johnson’s Owning Your Own Shadow because it is short. It is the best summary of that archetype that I’ve seen. That archetype is critical to change, of course. His other books are good too.
I like the old Jungian analysts. I would recommend anything by Marion Woodman or John Sandford. I have attended a workshop with Marion Woodman and she gives a good woman’s perspective of it all while Robert Johnson gives more the male viewpoint.
If you want to learn the basic archetypes, there’s nothing better than studying the Greek gods and goddesses. The best source of this which is related to Jungian psychology and dream work are books by Jean Shinoda Bolen Gods in Every Man and Goddesses in Every Woman. I went to a workshop by her and sent her a question by mail. She answered me with a two-page letter about how I might get over my multiple sclerosis.
In a different vein, I will be publishing MS Mission Remission: Healing Multiple Sclerosis Against All Odds sometime in 2018. It details all of the 20 or so approaches I used to reach the critical point of sending the MS into remission.
All My Best,
I have completed my first draft of “MS Mission Remission: Healing Multiple Sclerosis Against All Odds” and received the following review of the first draft:
“MS MISSION REMISSION” by Dr. Fox was both a pleasure and an eye opener to the many aspects of how MS develops and can be managed. The deep insights he provides into his personal and family dynamics are powerful indicators of how dis-ease can be instilled and manifest later in various ways, from psychological to physical trauma. His ingenuity, spiritual insights and dogged determination to regain his life from the debilitating toll of MS is both inspirational and instructive. A very good read from many perspectives! -Dale Miesen, BA, Psycholgy & Philosophy”
My blog at http://www.drfoxblog.com focuses on dreams and MS
Dream 462: This repetitive boring job is bad for my mental and physical health
A man had the following dream:
“I dreamt that I had an alcoholic drink of either Whiskey or Brandy. The beverage was strange in that it had two different kinds of tastes in it. There was a before taste at the beginning and an after taste at the end.
The truth is I do not drink any alcohol at all in my waking life, and not even on special occasions as I think alcohol tastes bad for one and the other is for health reasons.
There was a cool to the taste in the beginning and a warmer or hotter after taste, I think the after taste was slightly bitter, I am not sure though. All I know is that it changed my perception and mind set.
As it made me feel sour all day as I was depressed and frustrated at work and complaining to people at work that I feel like a robot.
Alcohol is also referred to as “spirits” sometimes and it is liquid (emotions) so I wonder if you were engaging in an emotion and/or behavior that was addictive or repetitive that you initially liked, but then it was almost too much to swallow and left a bad taste in your mouth. This is a random guess made with a small amount of information.
Sounds like the job was ok to begin with, but it became repetitive and is bad for your physical and mental health, much like alcohol if you do it too much for too long.
Dreams can help you chart your course in life at http://www.drstevenfox.com
Functional Healing of Multiple Sclerosis Against All Odds Post 3:
It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Doesn’t Have Your Swing
In dealing with MS, it is likely that you will explore the edges of what is known. The internet is your ally and friend. I particularly liked the Massachusetts General Hospital Neurology discussion boards listed by disease/condition. You will get many ideas from these boards. Almost nothing works for everyone. Almost everything discussed worked for someone.
You have to find out if that particular medication and energy method/diet/exercise/lifestyle change works for you and is important to your recovery. Make sure it is a low-risk treatment. You want to gather as much information from medical or other professional sources that are available.
Doctors are willing to do experimental procedures as long as you indicate that you are fully informed. Additionally, with my doctors, I always assured them that they did not have to worry about a malpractice suit.
Any treatment that doctors pursued on my behalf in good faith and with my full consent would never be pursued in court by me, especially when I knew there was a good chance the treatment would not work. My general rule for myself was that I would consider anything that had a three percent chance of helping and did no permanent damage. I was willing to accept temporary pain and inconvenience, if the procedure ultimately helped me and did no permanent damage. Your willingness to take risk and endure pain/inconvenience will determine what personal rule will work for you. I actively dreaded the idea that I ever would stop trying to improve my disability.
Accepting MS is not a clarion call to send up the white flag and go to sleep. Accepting multiple sclerosis means realizing what a physically, and in some cases mentally, burdensome situation you are in. It is like getting a flat tire on the interstate in the middle of a desert. You can bemoan that you have a flat tire. Whining will do you no good. Getting out of the car, getting outside of yourself and seeing what spare tire or parts you can find to fix the situation, is accepting that you have a flat tire and must do something.my
The difficult decision is whether to wait for help or to press on. Information is vital. Communication is penultimate. As in the example above, it is important to set up a communication system.
In the case of the flat tire, you want a smartphone to get information, such as how far it is to the nearest gas station. You obviously need it to call for help. In the situation of having a major “incurable” illness, you want information from the internet, books, and experts so that you obtain the best medical and alternative care, as well as adopting the best personal practices (diet, exercise, sleep schedule, daily routine, recreation, and so forth).
I was in a state of shock and surprised that the medical doctor did not tell me first instead of my wife. My wife was a physician and board certified psychiatrist. The doctor I supposed thought it was more prudent to tell my wife first. I now believe that he did tell me, but I did not want to hear any of it, so I repressed what he said. Being a psychologist does not guarantee that your mind will not defend itself by bold-faced use of repression.
Your subconscious is always measuring how much information you may be ready to accept.
His gut instinct was to make this a doctor-to-doctor consultation first, I thought. It was my hypothesis, that he did not want to endure another professional’s (I am a private practice clinical psychologist) reaction to a conundrum in his life. I thought his instincts were good. The real truth was my subconscious did not allow me to process the horrible news until I heard it from someone I loved, my wife. It is a blessing to have a significant other who tells you the truth, no matter what.
Dream interpretation is described in Dreams: Guide to the Soul which is available at http://www.drstevenfox.com. Using dreams was one of the twenty things I did to send multiple sclerosis into remission.
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