The True Story of MS Brothers by their Sister Mary
I do not have MS, but my story after 20 years of facing this reality for my brothers is based on observations, thoughts and recommendations how it might be possible to lessen this tragic disease going forward…
“How’s the cat?” Matt asks, at every conversation at least three or four times a day. Each time I would try to explain something different. I say, “Well, this time, somehow he got a small pitch ball on his belly and I had to cut it off carefully. Must be climbing on a pine tree someplace. One of these days he won’t be coming back.”
“He’s an outdoor cat,” Matt always says.
As you will see, this cat plays an important part in this story … a personal truth in chaos. In human years, he is 60. At the time of writing this story, Matt is 58 years old sentenced to life-long, broken MS existence. He lives in a retirement home with full-time care surrounded by old people, fragile, in wheelchairs or walkers, gentle, mostly women and a few men.
Yesterday, I brought him a pair of slippers with a heavy grip sole newly vulcanized by a cobbler because he needs stability when he tries to stand up without slipping. The slippers with an adjustable cross-over vamp were so much better than the former sandals with tight straps, being the only foot covering that fit his swollen feet. Lack of mobility and circulation indicates impending diabetes. He was happy to wheel out into the hallway and show his new slippers.
So how does a 58-year-old man who should be in the prime of his life, with strength and success, family and fellowship, end up in a residential care facility surrounded by old people needing hourly care? And standing nearby, is his twin brother, Dan, who also has MS with increasing disability who lives in the shadows of probably facing the same kind of long- term care.
How does this happen? What thunder bolt, what sinister force, what monster, can strike down a healthy man to a lesser stature, even weaker than a 90-year-old woman? If it’s not war, a tragic accident or a birth defect … if it’s a disease, what kind of disease can attack its own body and mind this way? Cancer is terrible attacking the body often without mercy, able to kill within months. Alzheimer’s is terrible where the mind disintegrates but the body remains intact. Paralysis is terrible, inhibiting mobility, but preserving the mind.
What kind of devastating disease slowly affects the brain, body and the mind over the years; disabling basic walking and talking, increasing brain fog and diminishing anticipation and joy in promises unkept?
What kind of disease changes quality of life, relationships and employment; or forfeits routine activities with fatigue, anxiety, frustration, and anger?
What kind of monster strips away cognition, cell by cell, to face a less efficient, less decisive future of limited plans where others can take advantage more easily? Some might say that gradual loss of cognitive ability is even worse than physical impairment.
There is only one Monster of such devastation to the human body and spirit. It is called Multiple Sclerosis.
The old hypothesis that the body’s own immune cells attack the neurons, creating cellular deficits that need to be modulated, still dominates; but how did that theory originate … you may be surprised to find out. However, even a small amount of research uncovers other terrains and different theories about why the Central Nervous System breaks down so inexorably over time.
Is it possible that the innate protective immune system attacks itself? Certainly not because some toxic material was injected into our brains to cause inflammation as original animal experiments would have us believe.
Is it possible that malformations or stenosis in the veins interfere with proper blood flow, causing reflux or incomplete removal of wastes from the brain causing myelin degeneration?
What if iron deposits trigger the immune response?
Is it possible that the gut biome with its main immune system function is affected by diet or lifestyle or environment?
Is it possible that a type of bacteria called a spirochete from a deer tick bite which causes Lyme disease with similar symptoms to MS, can also attack the myelin?
Or is there a virus related to Epstein Barr Virus or something similar to AIDS, also an autoimmune deficiency disease, where antiviral therapies were able to be formulated without destroying the immune system?
Imagine, “if even a fraction of the research dollars spent by Big Pharma on drugs designed to suppress or modulate the immune system were instead spent on finding this unknown cause, we might actually be on the road to a cure for this damned disease.” Mark Stecker, MS patient.
As a family, we can only breath hope both in the past and in the future. Now, on the horizon, we feel oxygenated again with the wonder of a new dawn as an ancient plant rooted in thousands of years of ethnobotany with medical benefits reappears. This time, the Profiteer’s Conspiracy must not get away with sinking their hooks into Mother Nature, controlling the research and medical system on their timeline with special interest groups who count profits before health. Cannabis has never needed political rules or action committees to prove its efficacy or veracity throughout the centuries.
I hope this cringing feeling I have is false; that Multiple Sclerosis, has proven to be untreatable, and perpetrated on millions of defenseless people who move and talk slowly but can still act as cash cows for Big Pharma. These conglomerates may not wish to admit their strategies have many failed destinations; but, at least, they can extend an open hand and an honest face forward if there is to be a synergy of doctors, neurologists, interventional radiologists, vascular surgeons, naturopaths and cannabis researchers to share common goals and results in treating this terrible disease.
The biggest hope is that the walls of this old Fortress behind which are found drugs, like useless stones, broken bodies and limited results, may now open new doors and new opportunities to harness Mother Nature’s pharmacy and let the human body’s natural cellular connections work together.
The main conclusion is that the timeless natural bounties and human biological synergies must never be reduced to a test tube and bottles of pills in a Profiteer’s pocket. Mother Nature must not be turned into a guinea pig at the pleasure of well-advertised, ultra-rich monopolies when they can offer nothing better. That would be the saddest, most tyrannical inequality. That would be the greatest injustice of them all to regulate humanity between those who do not suffer but live for money; and those who suffer a lifetime, crying out their nightmares when hope is denied by those with blinders without compassion.
I am not a doctor or scientist, and the medical system is like a galaxy of knowledge beyond me. My focus is on a couple of stars, their lights dimmed by a terrible disease and a Milky Way of Mother Nature that has proven its greater affinity over the ages and may be proven again in the name of justice.