Chapter 49: The Assignment of Virtue

Saints frequently lack heart;
because the heart of the common people
has become their heart.

To those who are good to me,
I am good to them.
To those who are bad to me,
I am also good to them.
Virtue good.

The most trustworthy person, I trust him.
The most untrustworthy person, I trust him too.
Virtue trust.

Saints exist everywhere and anywhere
because anywhere there is muddy heart,
common people open up
their eyes and ears.

The saint in all cases is a child.

Scientists Have Found A Way To Stop MS Progression!

I am too excited to actually write my own article about this! So, I am going to commit an act of blatant plagarism and then link to the original site. I am sorry about being so lame, but they have figured out a way to stop the progression of MS simply by blocking a protein! THIS MEANS THAT FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME, WE SOON WON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT GETTING WORSE ALL THE TIME!!! IT IS SO EXCITING! I am adding in bold in certain areas because I think there are some things that are important to note – all emphasis is added by me.

Professor Claude Bernard and Dr Steven Petratos are two of the doctors responsible for finding a way to halt the progression of multiple sclerosis in patients.

Led by MISCL’s Dr Steven Petratos, also of RMIT University, and Professor Claude Bernard, the research team found that a modified version of CRMP-2 is present in active MS lesions, which indicate damage to the nervous system, in a laboratory model of MS.

The modified CRMP-2 interacts with another protein to cause nerve fibre damage that can result in numbness, blindness, difficulties with speech and motor skills, and cognitive impairments in sufferers.

When either the modified CRMP-2 or the interaction between the two proteins was blocked, using a method already approved in both the US and Australia, the progression of the disease was halted.

Director of MISCL, Professor Richard Boyd said the discovery could lead to new treatments for MS.

“Blocking the same protein in people with MS could provide a ‘handbrake’ to the progression of the disease,” Professor Boyd said.

Dr Petratos said the method used to block the protein was approved for the treatment of other disease conditions by both the US Food and Drug Administration and Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.

“This should mean that clinical trials – once they start – will be fast tracked as the form of administration has already been approved,” Dr Petratos said.

MS Australia estimates that the disease affects more than 20,000 people in Australia, and up to 2.5 million worldwide. The disease tends to strike early in adulthood, with women three times more likely than men to be diagnosed. The total cost to the Australian community of the disease is estimated at $1 billion annually.

The research received major funding from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of the United States of America and partial funding from MS Research Australia.

Provided by Monash University (news : web)

Why I’m so hung up on diets and food: It’s all about control.

I write too much about what to eat or what not to eat. I can admit that. And the truth of the matter is that everything I write is opinion and education and not science, even though I research everything.

For me, the worst part about having MS is the lack of control over the disease. I keep reaching out and trying anything I can to control it.

Dr. Wahls’ Diet is a step towards paleo, so I went paleo. That had some benefit for me, but was difficult to stay on.

I’m not suggesting that the Anti-Inflammatory Diet is easy or something I’m going to start on right away, but after talking to the nurse about how MS is a disease of inflammation, it seemed to make sense.

I think what I’m saying is this: I am not an expert, but a patient who is flailing about, looking for control over her disease. As you read my blog remember that you are on this journey with me, please.

I don’t expect miracles. I just want to notice if there’s change, positive or negative, related to the food I eat.

What To Eat and Not To Eat If You Have MS

Okay, so I’ve quit the paleo diet for the time being because it’s a hairy pain in the butt from time to time to constantly be cooking all of your own food, and because part of me worries that it’s a fad.

That doesn’t mean that it’s a wrong diet to be on. It just means that for right now, I’m on hiatus from it.

I spent more than an hour on the phone this morning with a nurse from Shared Solutions, the care team from Copaxone, discussing multiple sclerosis, and how to treat it.

MS is a disease of inflammation, and so, if we’re going to do our part to eat well, we should eat foods that are anti-inflammatory.

You can best help your body eliminate inflammation by reducing stress, removing sugar and processed foods from your diet, and by getting more sunshine! Even if you’re not going for a walk, and you’re sitting on a computer, try to get it outside!

Foods That Help Eliminate Inflammation

  1. Vegetables in the Broccoli Family: Broccoli, Cauliflower, & Broccolini
  2. Oils high in Omega 3, such as flaxseed oil, canola oil, or hemp. Olive oil is ok too.
  3. Fish high in Omega 3s – Salmon, Sardines, Herring, and Black Cod
  4. Spinach has carotenoids, one kind of inflammation-reducing antioxidant and it also contains vitamin E.
  5. Onions contain quercetin, a potent antioxidant that can help your body fight inflammation.
  6. Garlic contains sulfur compounds that stimulate your immune system to fight disease.
  7. Tart cherries! They’ve got better anti-inflammatory powers than aspirin, believe it or not!
  8. Pineapple contains bromelain, an antioxidant that boosts your immunity.
  9. Soaked Walnuts. It’s important to soak them to remove the enzyme inhibitor.
  10. Ginger, Tumeric, Curry, Oregano, Rosemary, and Green Tea contain bioflavonoids and polyphenols that reduce inflammation and limit free radical production.”

Foods to Avoid

  1. Sugar – It causes inflammation. Nuff said.
  2. Corn, Safflower, Sunflower, Peanut and Soybean Oils that are high in Omega 6
  3. Trans Fats
  4. Dairy Products: Why? Because it has cassien, which is a common allergen that causes inflammation.
  5. Feedlot-Raised Meat: because the meat was fed inflammatory food, like soybeans and corn, which means when we eat the meat, we’re also eating the inflammatory agents of the legumes and grains that are in the meat.
  6. Red Meat & Processed Meat: Why? Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that red meat contains a molecule that humans don’t naturally produce called Neu5Gc. After ingesting this compound, the body develops anti-Neu5Gc antibodies – an immune response that may trigger chronic inflammatory response. And low-grade simmering inflammation that won’t go away has been linked to cancer and heart disease. And multiple sclerosis. Much as my husband will hate this, it means no beef, lamb or pork, including hams, sausages and salami.
  7. Booze. I don’t think I need to qualify this one.
  8. Refined Grains. They are devoid of fiber and vitamin B compared to unpolished and unrefined grains that still have the bran, germ and the aleurone layer intact. This makes refined grains as good as refined sugars, which are practically empty calories. UNREFINED GRAINS ARE OKAY! As long as you are not allergic or intolerant to gluten, go for minimally processed grains. Check labels and go for things made with 100% whole grains.
  9. Artificial food additives/Exitotoxins: NO MSG, aspartame, or the like.
  10. Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes and potatoes, if you’re having real problems.

As I put this together, I can’t help but notice that there are many similarities to the Paleo Diet, but there are a few differences that are obvious, like the inclusion of whole grains if you do not have gluten intolerance, the complete exclusion of all red meat, and the exclusion of tomatoes and potatoes.

Since I quit the paleo diet, I have broken out (yay acne!) and gained weight. So it’s obvious to me that I have unnecessary inflammation going on. I think if I tried to follow these rules, I would probably feel better, lose weight, and be happier.


Chapter 48: To Neglect To Be Aware

To study more and more
with each passing day the Tao,
each day you lose something.
You lose something again and again to the extent that
you are lacking because of it.

You seek the non-assertion of Wu-wei
as well as the ability to refrain from going to extremes
in meting out punishment of the self or others.

To get all the land under heaven,
Always use “wu-shi” (“lacking-matter” or “anti-matter”) as well as matter.
It’s inadequate to use (only matter) to take all the land under heaven alone.


HAWMC Day #22 – The Things We Forget. Visit and make your own version of a short memo reminder. Where would you post it?

Before today, I’d never been to Things We Forget, but it’s very cute.

Here’s my post-it.

I would post it near bus stops, clinics, and mall parking lots… because the world needs more people smiling!

Did you know that when you smile, it boosts your immune system?

Not only that, but it also lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress!

What’s even better is that when you smile, the world smiles with you, and happiness multiplies for you and other people.

Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers, Dopamine, and Serotonin!

So you can see, smiling is one of the best things that someone can do for themselves, doubly so for someone with MS!

So, an update on Me.

*with her best Dr. Nick impression* Hi Everybody!

How ya doin? I’m doing pretty well over here.

I figure, it’s been a while since I last updated you guys on my life, as opposed to posting a topic given by the Health Advocacy Writer’s Monthly Challenge or translating a chapter of the Tao, so I ought to take a moment to say hello.


Things over here have been very quiet since I saw all my doctors last month. The only really big change for me is that I haven’t been eating Paleo since Easter. And while I have gained weight (boo!), I haven’t noticed too much else of a difference, except it’s easier and quicker to find things to eat when we’re hungry.

I think the hardest part of being on the paleo diet is that you have to prepare every meal, and that gets tiresome very quickly when you’re already tired.

A part of me feels like I should take down what I have on the website because it makes me look like I’m eating paleo, when I’m not – but there’s good information there for folks, and I have a lot of recipes and stuff in the website – so I’m leaving it there for now, and am hoping I’ll be able to muster the necessary self-control to get back on the diet in the right way, because it *was* doing good things for me, aside from the fact that I was thinking about food all the time.

Other than diet, the only big thing that is going on here besides kitten raising is that we’re waiting to hear back on some jobs for Adam. He’s interviewed for 3 different jobs in the last month – and all 3 interviews went well (at least as far as we know). He’s supposed to hear back sometime in the next week or so. We’re both on pins and needles waiting to find out. If he gets any one of the three, it will change our lives in a major way, as it will afford us the opportunity to move out of Nick’s home, and into an apartment of our own. So, if you’re the praying type, we certainly could use some of your good mojo! 🙂

Right now, my life is pretty steadily just surfing Facebook, writing blog entries, washing dishes, avoiding folding clothes, actually doing the laundry that needs to be washed, and occasionally playing Sims 3 Showtime. I almost have a day-to-day pattern going on. At the very least, I’m taking my meds on time and am getting in my 3 meals, daily, so life has a sort of pattern to it.

Heck, I’m even willing to go so far as to say that I think I’m out of my depression and into “normal.” Folks who are depressed don’t wake up and change a cat box first thing in the morning. They usually feel too bad to make cat shit the first thing they attack upon waking. Me, I want the worst of it out of the way as quickly as possible, so the rest of the day is available for better things, like snuggling the cute little poopers! 🙂

Last but not least, in the last month, after 7 years of seeing therapists, I graduated from therapy.

That’s right, you read that correctly. It’s on the books that I no longer have PTSD. I have used EMDR and traditional talk therapy and the appropriate pharmaceuticals to work through all of the related psychological crap that goes with it, and now all of the childhood trauma and abuse, and all the awfulness I lived through in my first marriage, I have dealt with like a champ.

I waited a few weeks to announce it because it’s a big step, and there may be times where I backslide – but my therapist is there if I need her, and thus far, I’ve been great.

And that’s about it for now!

Hope you’re doing well too, readers! 🙂

Chapter 47: To Warn Off Going Far

You need not go beyond your household door,
to be aware of everything,
Nor peep into a lattice window
to see Heaven’s Way.

He that goes out far distances to fill (his mind),
He knows little (of value) to fill (his mind) with.

Therefore, saints will not travel to get their knowledge.
They will not see something to understand it.
They will not labor too hard on a subject in order to be a success.

By not forcing their will by leaving home or laboring too hard, they are paying attention to and using their wu-wei.

A (purely fictitious) Miracle Cure for MS

HAWMC Day #20: Miracle Cure. Write a news-style article on a miracle cure. What’s the cure? How do you get the cure? Be sure to include a disclaimer 😉

Scientists were elated today when they discovered the cure for multiple sclerosis. Astonishingly, the cure came in a form discovered by patients who had MS and who were simply fed up of having it. The patients, who had tried every type of diet and all the different types of medicine among them, were friends online through Facebook and Patients Like Me.

During a gathering of these patients, they decided to go to a local convenience store to get Slurpees because it was too hot outside. The leader of the group thought, “Hey, I haven’t had a suicide Slurpee in forever,” and began mixing the flavors with abandon. It was when she decided that she was simply unwilling to give herself another Copaxone shot and instead put the Copaxone INTO the suicide Slurpee that the miraculous MS cure was concocted.

Another patient tried the same thing with a Coke Slurpee, but the effects were minimal. It appears that there was a particularly effective element in the random “suicide” Slurpee mixture.

Teva Pharmaceuticals has reported that they are working very closely with 7-11 to get the exact recipe of the Slurpee syrups so that they can replicate the exact formulation of the suicide Slurpees that cured the small band of friends, who have been extremely happy with the effects of the draft.

“I never would have believed that I could play drum set again,” said one of the patients, “but we’re joking about putting together a band at this point, and touring the world. I mean, why not? We’ve got our lives back! Maybe we could get 7-11 to sponsor us. It’s like we’re Slurpee Magic!”

Chapter 46: Frugal Longing

Everything exists as part of the Tao.
Yet, to walk The Way like you’re a horse with blinders is shitty.

When all the land under heaven lacks “Tao”ishness or “Reason,”
horses are used as weapons and give birth to more warhorses in the suburbs.

There is no greater disaster than unknowingly being sufficient.
Yet, there are none who blame desire and ambition! (But there should be.)

Therefore, to be aware of sufficiency is to be sufficient.
To always be sufficient, one will be content with what one has.