Multiple sclerosis, Treatment

Magical thinking

I’ve pretty much stayed on the conventional medicine path for my ailments, whether it be bronchitis (Z-Pac to the rescue!) or multiple sclerosis (interferons). I mean, remember my early research into MS treatments?

Much has been made this past week about Steve Jobs’ decision to forgo surgery and use alternative therapies to treat his pancreatic cancer in the early stages. When he finally relented and had the surgery, it was probably too late, his fate already sealed.

His was a “magical thinking,” i.e., outright denial of the crappy health circumstances he found himself in. It worked for him in business as he pioneered device after device that had never been envisioned before Apple made it so. But that didn’t quite work out in real life.

He also didn’t want to be cracked open and operated on because of how invasive surgery would be. Which, I get it. I hate hospitals and MRIs and spinal taps, so I can’t even imagine how awful chemo and surgery and radiation can be.

So what Jobs opted for were alternative therapies — a better, vegetable-based diet, spiritualists, macrobiotics.

I can see where those might be perfectly fine preventative measures, but once you are fighting something as insidious as cancer, or even MS, they are no match for the disease.

I don’t buy that cancer can just go away with a dose of positive thinking and healthy eating. You’ve got to bring out the bigger guns.

Same with MS. I don’t think that the daily vitamin regimen alone will clear this condition right up.

Does a better diet help? Sure. Are vitamins a part of a complete approach to treating MS? Of course. But they can’t be the only thing.

Is magical thinking enough?

Never. And it’s naive to ever believe it is.

But it helps.





3 thoughts on “Magical thinking”

  1. Nail on the head with this one, Jenn! Everything you identified are exactly what are needed and help with fighting this disease we call MS. Still they aren’t the magical things that will stop the disease from progressing. I prefer to think of them as weapons in my arsenal. Dan

  2. My uncle has been institutionalized for a good part of his life. Despite this, he’s developed diabetes and was diagnosed last week with pancreatic cancer. You would think that since others were responsible for his diet that he wouldn’t be severely obese and that all the free drugs he’s been on would have helped him be healthier. But no. There is no magical answer unfortunately.

  3. This is right on. Magical thinking has its place and it definitely helps, but I don’t think it should ever be first in the line of defense.

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