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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Healthy Eating and Wellness - a Patient's Story

Written by: Elissa, an MS Patient and Health Coach

One day in 2005, I noticed that the right side of my face was numb – my cheek, half my nose, and part of my tongue. I was surprised, but given the fact that I had two young children, ages 5 and 1, who kept me busy, made me tired, and sprinkled everything with a little worry, I chalked my symptoms up to stress. I didn’t mention it to anyone for a few days, but when it began to bother me, I told my husband, who was concerned.  I decided to “wait and see”.

My symptoms continued, so a few days later I called my physician. It was a holiday week, so the kids and I packed up and went to see him. He poked and prodded, asked a few questions, and then he told me to see a neurologist immediately. I was incredulous – did he not see my two kids?  I didn’t have time for this!  But he was insistent, so I agreed to see his recommended doctor the following day. After arranging for childcare, I went to see the neurologist, who also poked and prodded. He then told me I needed an MRI, which I had never had before. A few days later I was at the hospital, with my husband in the waiting room, having my first MRI. I was scared and confused, and quickly realized that I’m a bit claustrophobic. When I left, I told my husband, Jason, “Thank god I never have to do THAT again!”

The following day I received a call from the doctor’s office saying that I needed to repeat the MRI, this time with contrast – my insurance company had refused to allow it the first time. When I questioned the receptionist and asked what the doctor was looking for, she said, “The doctor spoke with you about MS, right?” And that was the first time I heard about Multiple Sclerosis. 

In the days and weeks following my diagnosis of Relapsing Remitting MS, I experienced terror, depression, frustration and anger. Once I pulled myself together – thanks in large part to a loving husband and steadfast friends – I started asking questions. I wanted to know how I could help myself, since the doctors could only offer me medication, with no guarantees.

Eventually I decided to go back to school to become a Health Coach, focusing on wellness and nutrition. Today, I see clients who live with MS and help them make meaningful changes in their lives and strategize about how to adopt new habits. I also run workshops in the NY area on stress, the doctor-patient relationship, and the impact of sugar on our bodies.

Food won’t cure MS – it’s only one piece of the puzzle - but it’s important to keep your body as healthy as possible. Because holistic wellness means taking care of your whole body. And that’s where I can help. I look forward to connecting with you!

In Health,

Are there habits you’ve adopted over the years that you’d like to shed? Goals that you want to accomplish? As a Health Coach, I can help you make significant and meaningful change in your life. Take a look at or I look forward to talking with you.


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