Whether you know it as ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or the Ice-Bucket-Challenge disease, I most likely have it. The diagnosis is not final, but after a couple EMGs and an MRI brain scan, the neurologist is pretty sure of it. As much as I want it to be something else, the symptomatic similarities definitely favor it. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is currently regarded as an incurable fatal illness. Considering that 50% die within 18 months of diagnosis and that only 10% live more than 10 years, it’s not something I was wanting to hear from my doctor.
Now, as one who has been committed to a holistic approach to health for a few decades, it took a lot for me to even schedule my first appointment. Yes, I am one of those people who has avoided doctors and drugs at all costs. I believe God made the body in such a way that it takes care of itself when given the proper nutrition (although more drastic measures may be needed because of the many toxins produced by our advanced civilization). Other than a few chiropractic visits here and there, the last doctor appointment I had was with an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) about 14 years ago for a broken ear drum. On the brighter side, every test result showed that I am in great health — other than having an incurable fatal illness, of course (and I do have my suspicions as to what has caused it).
So, here’s why I don’t have a final diagnosis. It turns out that, although a fairly certain assessment can be made by observing the tell-tale symptoms and following up with an EMG, an official diagnosis can only be made by ruling out other possibilities — and that’s accomplished by taking drugs to see how I might react … or not. You see, the medical world knows very little about ALS, and even if it could be determined that I have it for sure, there is nothing out there other than experimentation. The only reason I would go through the steps to receive an official diagnosis would be for disability coverage (and I’ve learned that there is no waiting list for ALS patients). If my health goes downhill, I will take that route.
I say if because I have had numerous improvements and/or a leveling out since moving into high gear with our alternative approach. In September of 2014, I started in on a detox regimen that lasted for approximately 4 months. But then, at the beginning of the year, my wonderful wife started me off with daily doses of freshly-made fruit and vegetable juices (twice a day). She also makes me one or two smoothies every day. She gets up early with me every morning and makes an amazing salad to eat at work (and yes, I still work full time at Home Depot). And if you’re thinking, Just a salad? I can tell you that you haven’t experienced one of my wife’s fresh salads. My co-workers are starting to get used to seeing me pull all the ingredients out of my lunch bag, but many of them still stand around me just to gawk. I get offers for a lunch trade almost every day!
All that being said, a holistic approach to health is actually less costly — in view of all things in the long run, that is. However, it’s far more costly for the individual at the time because healthy food and natural supplements are definitely more expensive, and it takes longer to prepare (unless you just wash it off and eat it raw). On top of that, insurance pays for very little when it comes to taking an alternative approach to healing. Up until this year, I’ve saved a lot of money by opting for one of the high-deductible insurance plans (of course, considering that we rarely use any of those insurance benefits, the idea that I’ve been saving any money is quite ludicrous). This year, however, those few tests have almost pushed me to the $4000 deductible (not yet paid for). The next expensive procedure I’m pursuing will not be covered by insurance at all, and it may be the most helpful thing I end up doing.
I’ve already received some much needed assistance from a few who found out about my situation, and if that’s you, I thank you once again from the bottom of my heart. If any of you reading this are so moved to donate something to help me out, I would greatly appreciate it. You can do that here: Donations