Passed my Flight Physical 3/19/09

I've been trying to determine what to write about lately. I still seem to have MS, but it sure seems to be less and less a factor, which, in a convoluted way, has made the need to post this blog seem less important. I guess if I’m trying to inspire people to get off the medications and treat MS with juice, exercise and enzymes, I need to make sure I keep the progress updated.

So where to start? I posted my results from the meeting at Mayo clinic this past December, but what prompted me to write today was the reaction I got from my FAA medical examiner a couple of days ago. As a pilot with MS, I have to renew my medical every year, self-ground if I have any worsening of my condition, and I have to get a neurological workup in addition to the standard flight physical. It’s a pretty good motivation to keep up what I’ve been doing because flying is a part of my life.

My FAA examiner looked at me when I came into the office like I was dressed in drag. Only it was a “good” surprised, not a “what the heck is that” surprised. He hadn’t read any of the latest reports from Mayo Clinic, but he came right out and told me how fit, trim, muscular, and in general good health I looked. We did the vision test, stethoscope, etc. and filled out the paperwork. Did a urine test too. Seems on this day I was in fine shape, not the example of a sick guy with MS. I picked up my medical the next day after they faxed the paperwork to the Oklahoma Chief FAA examiner to get the approval. I can fly another year.

I pee less and empty more, the legs seem a hair stronger than in the past month or two. I sleep through the night almost all the time. There’s no doubt – none – that I am much improved.
As I left I thought about it. All these drugs, thousands of years of combined doctor experience studying the problem, and there’s still no “known” cure for MS (read “known” to mean “pharmaceutical”). I make a juice pretty much every day, I swim almost every weekday, I take enzymes with every meal unless I forget, and I supplement with some fish oil, calcium, Aloe, and vitamins like B-12, D, multi, etc. I don’t overdo anything (except maybe the swimming sometimes), and I continue to see improvements. Everyone else I know with MS who takes the medication seems to be the same or worse.

Perhaps the most significant and compelling evidence of my improving body is I actually developed a little sickness a few weeks ago. I had gone a year and a half without a sniffle (except the water that comes out of my nose after swimming), and suddenly I picked up a virus that would have taken me down like a train a couple years ago. My voice went a little hoarse and I got the nasty green mucus down in the bottom of my throat for a week. I didn’t miss a day of anything, but I was really concerned about that green gunk in my throat.

Green gunk is a sophisticated word for infection. Infection means weakened immune system, possibly antibiotics. Weakened immune system ad antibiotics means a possible MS attack, and MS attack means a new set of symptoms to deal with or a worsening of some existing ones. I hoped I’d be ok, but deep down I was pretty worried this chain of events could happen – mostly because this was how it happened before. The cycle was becoming a joke. Summer turns to fall, and toward October or November, I was one of the first on the block to get whatever was about to “go around.” I’d be out for a week, the green gunk would show up, and within a few weeks it was off to the doctor for another round of antibiotics.

But this time was different. Not only did I not really feel “sick” as people tend to think, the green gunk turned clear in a few days on its own. My body healed itself, and I have no explanation other than to say the juicing, exercise and enzymes has built up the immune system so strong that it knocked it out internally. When I am diagnosed MS free in a year or two or five or whenever it happens, I will probably look back to March 2009 as the time when I knew it was going to be so.

Can keep flying (by the way, MS is one of the diseases that pilots lose their flight privileges over), doctors looking me up and down, and green gunk leaving me on its own. Anecdotal evidence indeed. But pretty convincing.

Now I’m training for the national swim meet in Fresno in May 9 and 10. I am going to enter the 50 and the 500 freestyle. My times I’m shooting for are 30 seconds and 7:30 respectively. If I accomplish those, I’ll still be dead last in my age group, but personal bests for me. And I’m doing this for me.