Where’s the Money Going?

My mom has MS.  She was diagnosed in 1990 and initially, given that she had what is known as episodic or relapse/remit MS, at first she didn’t have many symptoms.

Over the course of the next decade, her diagnosis was changed to secondary progressive and she went from being an active mom with two kids, her own nursery school, a second job in the evening teaching lamaze as well as early childhood education to where she is now- permanently in a wheelchair, unable to do what used to be the simplest of tasks independently.

Of course, eating well and getting some form of exercise is key to keeping things from progressing even more rapidly.   However, as she can no longer simply get up and go to the gym or head on on a bike ride, she’s been fortunate to have a nearby facility to attend, sponsored by the MS Society, where she can receive speciality physical therapy, water exercise and even water skiing with professionals who are trained in helping those with this particular, mysterious, baffling auto immune disease.

At least, she used to be able to go to this facility.

Just last week, she, and all the other people who were reaping the benefits of this facility received letters in the mail stating that the MS Society had reallocated their funds to conduct more research so this facility is going to close.

I find this heartbreaking, discouraging and, to be quite frank, rather disgusting.   I can only presume that by ‘reallocating funding’ that the money is now going to be used to ultimately come up with some new drug, which docs can then push upon their patients, which may or may not help (as is the case, so we’ve been told, with many of the MS meds), may make things worse (as some of the meds actually cause cancers- ooops) but will certainly do one thing:  increase profits for the companies selling the drugs.

Pardon me if this offends.   I do recognize that there are many drugs that do wonders for people with all sorts of maladies, so this certainly isn’t meant to be a broad missive indicating they should all be done away with.

Rather, I just mean to express my frustration with this approach in general:  ‘forget the exercise and diet; let’s head straight to the meds’.

Witnessing what my mom goes through, with never an ounce of complaint or ‘woe is me’ from her, by the way, I just can help but wonder what things would be like if there were more programs geared toward treating holistically, in ways which are more based on natural remedies, or even integrating them with Western Meds, instead of having the mainstream treatment be such that it’s such guesswork with such potential dire side effects.

Heading straight to meds doesn’t always need to be step number one.