Testimonial written by Becky Chadwell:
I can’t begin to say enough thanks to the paleo world out there. In November of 2012, after a heavy workout, my pinky and ring finger on each hand started tingling. I thought to myself, “Great, turn 32 and I’m falling apart from lifting 60 pounds.” I was really careful and tried to stretch but after about a week of this the numbness and tingling invaded both of my hands entirely.
Being a nurse I thought through all sorts of terrible possibilities and settled on calling a chiropractor because I must have pulled or compressed something in my back. It was about 2 weeks after all of this that I woke up one day and the tingling was running through both of my big toes. Now, being a healthcare professional I was vaguely aware that the only thing that would cause numbness and tingling in all limbs of the body involves severing your spine. This is a problem. I was constantly dropping things and was totally unable to insert an IV. I was more tired than I had ever been in my life.
Between 13 hour night shifts I “tried” to make an appointment to see someone. (“Tried”= slept and swore that I would take care of it my next day off. And the next one. You see where this is going.) I was working a night later that week and our house doctor came for a procedure on one of my patients so I talked to him about it. We got my MRI scheduled and by mid-January I found out that I had multiple sclerosis. All I can think of is a wheelchair.
During the time waiting for the MRI to be completed and resulted, my boyfriend and I did tons of research about MS and my mom forwarded an email from the Mercola medical site that was about a paleo diet helping with MS. It was an article about Dr.Terry Wahls and her miraculous improvement from being wheelchair bound from progressive multiple sclerosis to riding an 18 mile bike ride 9 months later. It was amazing.
My boyfriend is a personal trainer who is very motivating and has his own story about living with cystic fibrosis and having a “you can’t mess with me” attitude towards it. He simply told me that I was doing it. So that is how my paleo adventure began. Sobbing mid-January in the grocery store, not knowing what to eat and that something was eating my brain and nerves, I tried to shop for meats and veggies.
I went through a month of steroids and ordered some medication that was $5000 a month and felt like I was injecting battery acid. Through all of this I was slowly feeling better. The burning, aching pain in my hands and feet was getting better. And something else was happening…I realized that I was feeling more awake and healthier than I’ve ever felt before. That doesn’t seem right for someone with a debilitating disease. And did I mention I only took the terrible injections for 10 days. It was unbearable.
Through reading and living everyday I realized that food really is my medicine. I feel stronger and healthier than I did even one time the rest of my life. I have been training with a personal trainer lifting some heavy weights. Who gets diagnosed with MS and then squats 165 pounds? In August I had a team in Muckfest MS which is a 5 mile mud race/obstacle course that is a fundraiser.
I never thought I would do something like that. As far as losing weight goes, mine is unchanged but my body fat % went from 35% to 22%. It’s been a full year since my very first symptoms started and my life is totally changed from getting into the paleo lifestyle.
I have not had a flare up since my original diagnosis. I LIVE for talking diet with anyone and everyone that will listen. It’s my passion. I’m trying to save everybody one by one. I just had a follow up MRI 7 months from the original and there was only one small new area in my brain and I healed the biggest lesion that was in my spine! It was BIG. Neck and spine are totally clear. All of that with paleo and no medicine.
A big thanks for Terry Wahls’ TED talk video that got me started, Robb Wolf for a great book and hundreds of hours of podcasts and Dr. Lewis for being there at the right time to diagnose me. I couldn’t have gotten through any of this without the love and support of my boyfriend Tryemoore and the physical beatings at the gym from him and my trainer Jake.