Multiple Sclerosis Diet
When I became ill and was almost immediately diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, in 1990, my then mother-in-law (I'd been married two years) pointed me to the Dr Swank diet for m.s. and gave me a ton of printed materials about it. She had a friend, a university professor, who'd successfully been on the diet for years, his wife cooking for him, supporting him in his dietary choices, packing his lunches, and so forth. I immediately took up the diet as I was shaken to the core by the diagnosis. Movement and energy were ME; I bounced, danced along and never sedately walked up and down stairs - I always jumped, leapt, ran. I was 36 years old.
The Swank diet is extreme and rigorous; it demands you keep fat intake very low, but goes far, far beyond that by allowing only certain fats, proscribing processed, refined, or otherwise impoverished foods, caffeine, and so forth. Because I was lean to start with I dropped to skeletal level quickly, and had trouble finding clothing small enough. I was motivated by fear.
My husband kicked me out of the marriage immediately, so everything in my life and about my own persona crumbled into dust. I had no marriage, couldn't do my job, lost my place to live, lost myself - and even had my savings (saved before my marriage) cleaned out by my ex so I had no money.
I stuck with the Swank diet for six years, though, which is sort of amazing. I used to wonder if I'd've been better off staying on it; I think if I'd been in the position of my mother-in-law's friend I'd've had no trouble sticking to it but with no support and having to do it all myself (and it's the kind of diet others subvert when you are at a gathering; you can't eat ANYTHING or drink ANYTHING you haven't brought with you, yet friends naturally coax you to be sociable) I just couldn't last past six years. The motivation of fear and panic lasted six years :-D It's hard to know if the loss of that fear was more of a benefit than that garnered by the Swank diet itself.
* I just remembered a funny thing. I always took my lunch to work at the Lut, and my children always wanted a taste because they just wanted part of me. They all knew all about my eating strictures. When the school was destroyed by flood then rebuilt, I was walking from the main building on opening day going towards the gymnasium/cafeteria. All of a sudden *Cody, my student, leapt across the walkway and stood in from of the doors with his arms spread ouy. 'DON'T GO IN,' he shouted, 'THERE'S NOTHING IN THERE YOU CAN EAT!' lol
* 'Beethoven' Cody
posted by - 11:08 AM