On a Personal Note

So now, for something personal.  I don’t usually go into a ton of detail on the overarching factors of my life.  However, today, I do want to share a bit of information.  And I hope you will take it as no more than that.

Just about 3 years ago, in 2006, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  While I had been experiencing symptoms of this illness for several years, there was no conclusive information as to what this array of symptoms was due.

Oddly enough, receiving such a pathological diagnosis as multiple sclerosis helped me to turn inward and listen more closely to my body.  While I would not ever call this diagnosis (or any) a gift, I would call it very eye opening. Having a serious diagnosis taught me to better manage my energy.

With this diagnosis I have become an expert on myself.  And for that I am grateful.  Now, I know what works best for me. What is it?  Among other things, sleep (lots of it), easy cardio exercise, strength training and eating well (for me that means no grains and of course, NO gluten).

When it comes to dealing with MS, I believe that each person is a unique individual that heals quite differently. I am sharing my story in order to let people know that when you find balance from within, this illness (and perhaps others) can be dealt with on a day-to-day level that results in significant quality of life and productivity.

So, there you have it.  At this point, it takes more energy to not disclose it and so I feel that it is time to share what I am experiencing both with my online community (you) and others that I am in contact with in my life. Yes, I do things a bit differently and perhaps oddly, due to this diagnosis.  Yet, in many ways, I am quite “normal.”  To say the least, I am very happy.

Thank you for listening and one request, please if you feel anything for me, let it be happiness and hope.  These are the two guiding principles of my life and I want to share them with all of you each and every day.

Thank you for being my readers and my friends.


146 responses to “On a Personal Note”

  1. I’m reading your stinging nettles pesto recipe — WOW – how fascinating. I just read on mercola.com that lack of vit D and MS. Have u ever had your level tested ? U probably know about this but I wanted to share. I have RA — always looking for a cause — nothing yet.

  2. I’ve been trying recipes you have posted for a few months now and just came across this personal note, directed from your Half the Sky post.

    I found your site when I started searching for gluten-free recipes as a result of my own diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Your references to the Paleo Diet made me wonder what influenced you to discover it. Everything I keep reading and learning points to the Paleo Diet as the solution… to most, if not all, modern diseases.

    Thank you for sharing this, and thank you so much for sharing what you have learned in your own search for healing and wellness.


  3. I just read this and I want to add that I think you are an amazing woman who does much with her talents, especially under the circumstances. Thank you for all that you do and the grace in which you do it!

    I have a friend who is in Poland right now receiving treatment for her MS. She spent more than 25 years trying to find out what was wrong and when she did, she did something right off the bat.

    I would not be surprised to receive a similar DX given the complexity of my symptoms but not having a doctor, I don’t know if I’ll ever find out.

    • Carla, thanks for your comment. I’m so sorry to hear that but glad that I met you here and that we are on this healing path together :-)

  4. Elana,

    I stumbled upon your post about your diagnosis of MS and I’m very sorry you are going through this. I just wanted to share with you something that you may find insightful. I, too had symptoms of MS, plus other health issues including chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, GI disorder, etc. I was even told I have depression, which was NOT the case. I felt physically ill! After multiple visits to different doctors I finally received the diagnosed of Lyme Disease by an on-the-ball doctor (Osteopath). Lyme Disease mimics many different illnesses including MS, and is considered now to be a pandemic. Since my treatment began (13 months of Doxycycline) my life has turned around, and I’m feeling so much better. You may want to watch Under Our Skin a documentary about Lyme Disease to get a better understanding of what this illness is really about both physically, emotionally, financially, and unfortunately politically. I would recommend everyone who is suffering with the same symptoms that I have suffered to have themselves tested through a doctor that specializes in Lyme Disease and uses the right lab (Igenex). I am one who loves the Osteopathic philsophy of finding the source of the problem instead of treating the symptoms. Unfortunately most of modern medicine has adapted to just treating the symptoms which has left many undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or just told its all in their head. I hope any information I have provided will help someone find answers to their health issues. Take care and God bless!

  5. Elana
    I don’t know if you are familiar with Osteopathy. I have been seeing an osteopath regularly for the past couple of years, and take my toddler to one. The idea behind osteopathy is making sure all the fluid systems of the body are flowing unobstructed, and that this will permit the body to heal itself. It is non-invasive, and extremely gentle. My osteopath was recently talking about his interest in MS, which he believes could be caused by blockages of the flow of fluid to the brain, leading to a buildup of lead in the brain. There is not yet any proven data for this, but I thought I would share it, since I have found osteopathy wonderfully helpful in general for well-being, and because it is non-invasive, and there are no negative side-effects.

    I think it’s wise to be aware of how to manage your own health, and I applaud you both for doing that, and for sharing your story.

    with great good wishes and warm regards


  6. Dear Elana – I was profoundly moved by your post and have been pondering it for a few weeks – I very much relate to the post – I too have an autoimmune disease and enthusiastically use your blog and posts for my own diet, and during the past two months, I have become much more public about this. I appreciate your courage, the inspiration that you offer us all, and your wisdom for living life well – with chronic illness, or without. All best wishes, Kathryn Gilje

  7. Thanks so much Elana for all your inspirational posts and tasty recipes. I am not a celiac but simply have gluten intolerance. I found out about it last October. It was really hard at first watching all the other teenagers eating pizza and cake. Then I discovered glutenfree baking and cooking thanks to bloggers like you! I now have my own “business” and sell my baked goods to people in my area. I am homeschooled and have lots of time to mess around in the kitchen. I have found your recipes to be the most wholesome…but unfortunately the most expensive as well! :)


  8. Elana,
    I too, have been visiting and reading your blog for some time without posting any comments, so would like to take this opportunity to send good wishes and moral support. It’s no coincidence that we have all been drawn to your blog. I can not eat gluten and my husband has MS. He is the cook in our family, I am the sometimes baker (used to be an excellent cookie baker until I became a GF beginner). My husband has risen to the occasion and cooks everything GF for me, which has also cut the gluten in his diet drastically. It’s not easy. We both chase our symptoms around but try not to define ourselves by our health issues. We found that when we finally admitted to others what our ‘problems’ were, that just about everyone came out with a similar story or association. And we all want to help each other. People here have already pointed out the vitamin D link. My husband and I have also made a commitment to eliminate the fluoride in our water which is a toxin and can cause a whole host of problems as well. All this to say – we understand how difficult this is for you, and how liberating it can be to be “among friends.” Thank you for sharing so much with us!

  9. Elana,
    All I can say is I hope that I get the privilege of meeting you someday. I admire your strength and your spirit so much… and I cannot adequately express how great a blessing you and your blog have been in my life over the last year. Ask my suitemates from this last year of college – your name was mentioned daily (perhaps more) in our apartment, and I’ve always talked about you as one would a dear friend :o) I only wish I could be to you what you’ve been to me.
    I don’t know if this would help since I know virtually nothing about MS and I’m sure you’ve researched it endlessly because that’s the kind of proactive person you are – but still – a little anecdote that might help: one of my mom’s good friends was diagnosed with MS a while ago. She turned to holisitic and naturopathic medicine (to which my entire family now refers rather than western medicine) and discovered that her body was loaded with metals. After changing specific things about her diet and lifestyle – in addition to herbal supplements – the symptoms that western doctors were calling “MS” disappeared and she’s been 100% healthy ever since. If you haven’t looked into the effect of metals on the body – which affect everyone in more ways you could imagine – you might want to check it out!
    Again – you rock…
    All my love,

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