No Night Sweats N o  N i g h t  S w e a t s No Night Sweats
Sydney's Post-Punk Bands
I Like Music
Slapp Happy are Terrific
A List of CDs

Text is What I Write

Crime Fiction is Silly
[ Sydney Post-Punk Memoirs ]

John Blades

My Personal Journey through Post-punk, Art, Music and Radio

4.Multiple Sclerosis

1982 was a very big year, as several important things happened to me, I started my radio show, started work as a structural engineer, met my first girlfriend Jane and I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

I was diagnosed early that year with optic neuritis, a disturbance of my optic nerve which resulted in problems with my vision, sort of like if you could see pins and needles but without the sensation. Soon after I developed pins and needles sensations in my feet and fingers which slowly grew up both legs. A lumbar puncture was then carried out which confirmed the presence of multiple sclerosis. This was a big blow, but the impact was reduced due to the fact that my mother had MS and was only mildly affected, she never needed walking sticks or a wheelchair but used to get very tired in the legs. Of course this meant that I had to change the emphasis of bush walking in my activity schedule, the upshot was that I then had more time for radio, The Loop Orchestra and my growing interest in modern art and film.

I was determined not to let the MS stop me from getting on with my life, and if anything it increased my determination. I had always lived at home and so I had the constant support of my parents and brother Bruce. They were all supportive of my various, in their minds "weird", interests, but could not understand them. My mother always thought I would grow out of them but the fact is that as the years proceeded I grew into them.

In the following months and years, despite medication, a positive attitude and physiotherapy the nerve damage increased, my legs became more and more difficult to control and move until I acquired one walking stick in 1988, two walking sticks in 1990 and a wheelchair at the end of 1992. I bought a motorised wheelchair in September of 1998. The same thing then happened with my arms and hands, so again determined not to let the MS get the better of me I began using a chin control to drive my wheelchair in 2001. All of these physical changes were happening while working as an engineer, doing radio and being in The Loop Orchestra.

For three years now (since 2001) my multiple sclerosis condition has stabilised and is not getting worse. This is due mainly to my discovery of a wonderful book written in 2000 by Professor George Jelinek called "Taking Control Of Multiple Sclerosis". The book strongly recommends a diet low in fats (particularly animal fats) and natural dietary supplements such as fish oil, flaxseed oil, garlic oil, vitamin C, vitamin E and multi-vitamin tablets. I have also had my amalgam fillings removed by Dr Robert Gammel (Mercury poisoning in the body should be avoided at all costs). Two years ago I also had a computer-controlled pump inserted inside my body to control muscle spasms which were becoming very debilitating.
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