Re: Multiple Sclerosis Testimonials (Coimbra Protocol)
Excellent testimony by Shawna McGarry about her history with multiple sclerosis since she was diagnosed in 2000, her experience with conventional medications, opting for natural treatments, and finding the Coimbra Protocol.
"Sorry this is so long....
I was diagnosed with MS at 25 years old in 2000. I was living in my home town Portland, Oregon. I had a 4 year old at home and the really great neurologist that dxd me said something I always remembered (in response to my husband’s question “can she still drink?”) he said “Live your life, have babies, go to parties” I always thought that was a nice thing to say to a newly diagnosed 25 year old.
I had actually had symptoms of MS 3 years prior to this in 1997 consisting of vertigo, Bell’s Palsy, loss of hearing in one ear and tinnitus but the military doctors on base (Schofield Barracks, Hawaii) gave my husband a week off work to take care of the baby and said I had a ear infection. So that’s why sometimes I say I’ve had MS for 20 years.
So 3 years later (after a very stressful family situation- the trigger for many of us) I woke up and my eye hurt and my side was numb. My regular doctor blew me off over the phone so I went to the eye glass place in the mall. Yes it was a young guy working at Lens Crafters who held up the biggest poster of a E ever and when I said “I can’t see anything in that eye” he said “this could be MS you need to see a neurologist.” I had no idea what MS was.
I was in college studying to become a dental hygienist and I remember my Biology teacher would make us write reports based on medical journal articles to see how we could understand them. That week after seeing a specialized neuro opthalmologist I wrote my paper about Optical Neuritis based on a journal article the doctor had handed me. The nerve between my brain and my eye was a big bright white glaring sign of what was happening to me. He kept my report as a example for the class. As I’ve learned over the years almost everyone who gets optical neuritis ends up diagnosed with MS. Do people who don’t have MS get it? I still don’t know.
I quit school so my husband and I could buy the business we were both working at.
Over the first few years I tried Avonex, I hated it and never felt right after a shot I would shake and shiver and eventually I just quit on my own. I didn’t really do anything or take anything for a long time. I just had a relapse every so often where I couldn’t lift my arm or something would go numb. Usually I would listen to my neuro and take a round of steroids. In 2002 the bottom of my feet went numb and that never really came back. I could still walk really far and go for 2 hour walks with my husband. I tried a bunch of other drugs but usually they would do no good and I would quit.
We moved to Texas in 2006 and started another business and for a few more years I was still okay, still walking really far. Starting in about 2009 my walking slowed, the migraines that I always had were getting worse, I had a lot of pain in my legs, everything felt weak. Finally I could no longer go for walks, or go to the mall, or anything that involved too much walking. I felt guilty for my family. My Texas Neuro was always coaxing me to get back on drugs, I would try something for a while (Betaseron for a year or so) (Copaxone for almost 2 years) and there were others.
In 2011 I flew to California and had CCSVI treatment, it did nothing to help me. Now the doctor who created says it actually doesn’t work.
In 2013 I got really bold (or really stupid) and after reading so many positive posts about it decided to try Tysabri. After all, I was pretty miserable anyway. My neuro had me on 1800 mg of Gabapentin for my leg pain and 30 g of Baclofen for my spams, why not try Tysabri too and I was not JCV positive. He actually told me even if I was the risk was worth it. Now I think that’s a ridiculous statement but at the time honestly I didn’t really think straight about anything. I was always tired and cared little about anything. If my minimal requirements of work got done and dinner was on the table I figured I had accomplished something. I had no social life at all.
I took Tysabri for about 1 or one and a half years and right before my 40th birthday I got shingles. For some reason that was a wake up call for me. I was scared that I was going to get anything and everything due to a compromised immune system. I was feeling really strongly that I needed to get off any and all drugs. My husband called me “vacant” and he was right I could stare into space and not even know what was going on right in front of me. I felt brain-dead. I brushed a woman’s car with my car one day after taking Vicodin for pain, it did little damage but I got angry at her for the way she drove when clearly it was my fault. When my neurologist didn’t support me I said good bye and never returned (I had seen him for at least 8 years).
This was early 2015, I opened up Google and looked for a Functional Medicine doctor and I found Dr Mary Caire in Allen TX. She spent over an hour with me our first visit and told me to just stop, didn’t have to wean off the gabapentin and maybe just a little slower off the baclofen. She helped me with supplements and I had already started Ann Boroch candida diet which she of course approved of. She wrote me a prescription for LDN and Nystatin which is a anti fungal drug and was part of the AB protocol. It was so nice to have a doctor who understood me and believed that I could be well again. I always felt like my neurologist was just watching me decline and handing me drugs to numb me so I could decline in a fog. Dr Caire was like an angel.
I followed the Ann Boroch diet very strictly for 16 months. After just 3 months on the diet I felt so much better. 6 months I was even better and at a year I felt like a new person. Without the other drugs I could think again, my brain was clear, I could remember things. I still had awful fatigue though.
We moved to Florida after our son left home and my husband I have been traveling all around the state in our 43’ fifth wheel trying to decide what to do next. There has been very little stress which is nice but life always has some stress. It’s been almost 16 months so we do have to go back to work eventually and at times that is stressful. We’ve tried to buy businesses and that is stressful as we’re pretty sure now that none of them are advertised honestly. We will likely have to start something from scratch.
After reading How Not to Die and The Starch Solution I decided that I wanted to be plant based. I had been a vegan once before and it had felt great even thought back then I still ate things I wouldn’t eat now. I found a new Functional Medicine Doctor in Florida to continue what I had done with Dr Caire, LDN, and supplements and diet.
My Friend Crystal kept trying to tell me about Dr Coimbra Vitamin D protocol. Finally I listened and joined the Facebook group. I read all the files and was amazed at what Dr Coimbra had accomplished. 95% success rate with stopping MS and even a reversal of newer symptoms in some people. I printed out all the files and took them with me to my visit with Dr Cole (my functional med MD in St Pete FL) he took files and said to me “My patients are my boss, if you want me to research something I will.” A week later his office called and said “Shawna, Dr Cole is ready to start your Vit D protocol.” “What??? Seriously??” Talk about a man of his word. Since then Dr Cole has flown to Brazil to train with Dr Coimbra. He is so exited, as this protocol works on ALL autoimmune disease not just MS so imagine the patients that he can help now.
I have been on Vit D protocol for 4 or 5 months at the higher dose and I feel amazing. My fatigue is gone. I have my life back. My legs no longer ache. I am starting to practice walking further so my husband and I can go on long walks again. I can go to the mall now. I can walk the beach. I can walk in high heeled shoes. I feel like me again. I still have migraines and am working with a Atlas Orthogonal specialist and they are improving. I still have some numbness in my hands and feet. I still need more strength.
Now that I feel this well every time I see the the words Baclofen, Gabapentin, Tysabri, I can’t keep my mouth shut, you will see a comment from me. These drugs made my life miserable and I will help anyone I can to get off of them. With diet I think most people will see that they don’t need them. I’m sorry this was so long. I just want newly diagnosed people to know that they can skip all the heart ache. I actually don’t even believe we need to see neurologists for MS, not if the only agenda is big pharma drugs. If you have one that trusts you and lets you go with natural healing that’s great but I blame myself for many years of letting them pressure me into drugs I knew were wrong for me. I could have been better years sooner and enjoyed my life more when my son was at home. Listen to your gut."
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