MS is an odd thing. No one knows what causes it, and everyone is affected differently. There is quite a bit of evidence that it isn’t an “it” at all. It could just be a description of a whole host of different things that result in some similar symptoms. Just like in years past people died of “fevers” without knowing what was causing them, people are now suffering from MS.
I think there’s a human tendency to look for the solution to any given problem. Things like MS end up being really frustrating because there is no magic bullet that will help everyone. I used to obsess over how I felt. Maybe I felt this way because of something I ate, or something I didn’t eat, or a certain exercise, etc. In the end, I do think there’s a lot of randomness to the disease and I have tried to direct my efforts towards being healthy in general.
A year ago or more I read that folks with MS tend to have really, really low vitamin D levels. As someone that has avoided the sun my whole life, I figured that mine were probably even lower than the typical MS patient. So now I try to get in 10-12 minutes a day in the sun. I might up that a little once I tan a bit. I’m still so white that I burn at 15 minutes, or maybe even before that. With someone as pale as I am, 10-12 minutes is all it takes to generate a ton of vitamin D, more than enough for a daily dose.
There may not be a magic bullet for MS, but sitting in the sun has a dramatic effect on me. It isn’t subtle. I have more strength and stamina in my legs, and I don’t feel as run down either. It is repeatable and reliable. I started this right before I came back up to Northern VA, and I was feeling the effects of it. As the winter wore on, I felt like I was regressing more and more. With just a few days in the sun, I could feel my energy level jump up and last through the day.
So for the first time in my life, I am sitting in the sun wearing only shorts and soaking up the rays. It feels good enough that I am seriously thinking about using a tanning bed next winter. Have I turned into one of those people? Whatever, I am going to enjoy the sun and enjoy feeling better. I’ll hold off on actually worshipping the sun, for now…