My name is Sarah Martin. I’m British and I was diagnosed with RRMS in 2003 after a particularly bad relapse. Three years previous to this I had a mistaken diagnosis of Guillain-Barre Syndrome which was actually my first MS relapse so, I had been aware something was wrong for some time. After my eventual RRMS diagnosis, I attempted to carry on working but found I could not hold ideas in my head, suffered dreadful mood swings while battling against spasms in my legs and torso.
The neurologist who diagnosed and treated me told me not to use existing pharma solutions and concentrate on keeping a healthy diet and lifestyle. This I did gratefully, giving up work and alcohol, I managed to continue taking long walks through the forests with my husband and dogs. I turned mostly vegetarian as I was led to believe this would maintain better health. Someone told me that cannabis would provide me with relief from the worst of the symptoms. It did but I began, rather stupidly, smoking it.
It was clear that my diet and lifestyle was not that great and within 5 years my health started to go downhill. Lots of fatigue, spasms and difficulty in managing my body temperature had gotten the better of me. A further 3 years of dealing with this brought on depression and worsening health culminating with an horrendous relapse which left me unable to walk, see straight to watch the TV or read. My diet became awful as I searched for quick and temporary happiness. Snickers bars and Danish pastries provide a ‘short health life’.
Amazingly, I managed to regain enough health to get by with crutches and sometimes a walker. I began to take seriously what science had achieved in it’s efforts to create effective medicines using cannabis. I began to manufacture and experiment with my own cannabis oils. I even took part in BBC documentaries to try to immunise myself from possible arrest. This seems to have worked and now I’m in receipt of regular prescription of Sativex, a pharmaceutical cannabis tincture liscenced in many countries.
Sativex helped me deal with worsening symptoms, minimising pain and spasms but my health was still worsening and I was losing mobility fast. Something was clearly missing and more to the point, my body was missing something huge. For the past two years, I had been sharing my anecdotes with scientists, clinitions and students but felt I had become too unhealthy to continue. This year was going to be my last conference attendance. I was too beaten up and tired to continue.
Just over a month before attending a conference of the International Association of Cannabinoid Medicines, I came across a rather interesting TED talk by Dr Terry Wahls. Well, it changed my life! I started the Wahls diet on August 13th and within 6 weeks I reduced my need for Sativex medication by 1/12. Now I hardly require the medication but do find it to be essential in this ‘bad diet’ world. Traveling and maintaining this diet combined with the fact I menstruate still requires some pharma management. Another six months on this diet and I probably won’t require Sativex at all? I certainly hope so.