General Discussion > Post-FIRE

Life is Wild

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I've been reading and enjoying these forums for a while and wanted to add my two cents.  I'm very grateful to be here and be in the position I am in.  The funny thing about it is that it came through the most trying of circumstances.  Still not sure what it all means.

I had always been physically healthy and athletic.  Able to do whatever I wanted to do physically.  In my prime I could dunk a basketball.  Then when I was 31 I started having these strange physical symptoms out of the blue.  I couldn't run as well and sometimes my knees would buckle and I would have to catch myself.  I started having to use the railing when I walked up stairs.  I had no idea what was going on.  Finally I went into the doctor at 33 and told him that there was something wrong with my knees.  They ended up doing some nerve tests and told me that I had muscular dystrophy.  I thought that only kids got that but apparently in rare cases adults can develop it.  The prognosis for muscular dystrophy according to Western medical science is that it is incurable and there is nothing that can be done.  Your muscles slowly shrink, you lose muscular strength, and you eventually end up in a wheelchair.

As you can imagine this was quite a shock.  I started participating in medical trials, doing physical therapy, and trying to slow the progression.  Slowing the progression was the best I could do.  That is what I was told again and again by the so called Western medical experts.  Neurologists, physical therapists, the MDA.  No one ever said to me that I could get better with diet, exercise, alternative therapies.  Nothing.  It was like the same drum beat over and over.  During this time I tried to stay positive and strangely enough never felt sorry for myself.  I was actually happy that I hadn't been diagnosed with ALS which is a more severe form of my condition and usually fatal.  It's funny what happens when everything you have ever known is taken from you and a choice has to be made.  I either fold up the tent and resign myself to my fate or I push forward.  There is no regular life anymore.  I thought that if I can somehow come out of this okay then everything in my life will be worth the struggle.  At least it is an interesting life.

Another thing that I realized is that no one can do it for you.  Your life is your own and whatever you make of it is up to you.  To most of the people on these forums that is old news but it is still a very powerful realization.  That is why I like reading the articles and forums on this site so much.  Not much whining and complaining.  A lot of resolve and commitment to do things better. 

In my mid 30's I found Eastern medicine and started doing some of that.  Acupuncture, acupressure, cupping, moxa.  I did that for a couple of years and felt marginally better.  Not so much physically but mentally and spiritually.  I was getting treatments at an Eastern school here in Portland and it was okay.  Certainly better than the Western treatments and more natural.  There were no surgeries, drugs, or MRI's.  The problem was that I was still hearing the same things from those doctors that I heard from the Western doctors.  They didn't know how to treat my condition and were just trying to slow it's progression.  I was still progressing though and had really weakened.  I would sometimes fall down and have to be helped up.  I could no longer get myself up from the ground.

Then about 1.5 years I really decided to make over my whole life in a last ditch effort to heal.  I didn't care anymore what the doctors told me.  If I was going to end up in a wheelchair at least I would have tried everything in the effort.  I started eating all organic foods and then a few months later made the switch to veganism.  I discovered minimalism and donated a lot of my things and felt much happier.  During this process I discovered MMM and learned about how to live my life differently financially.  I learned about Buddhism and started walking that spiritual path.

In October of last year all of those things were going well but I was still deteriorating physically.  I don't know how far away I was from the chair but it wasn't long.  A few weeks, maybe a few months.  As a last ditch effort I walked into a group acupuncture clinic I had never been to.  A Vietnamese woman approached me, looked me in the eye, and asked me if I wanted her to treat me.  There was something in the way that she said it that made me take notice.  She told me later that she could tell in my face and complexion that I needed help badly and so she made sure to make time to treat me.  I got one, maybe two, treatments from her in the group clinic and then she asked me to come into her office so she could treat me privately.  We hadn't really talked much at this point beyond me giving her my symptoms.  Once I came into here office she sat me down and told me, point blank, that she knew I had carried a lot of anger and disappointment and I needed to let go of it.  She said life was hard and we can't carry those things around because they are poisonous.  She could tell all of these things just by reading my face and my Chinese pulses.  Along with that she also said that my condition was no problem for her and she could help me heal.

That same month I also came into some significant money which allowed me to FIRE and devote myself full time to my healing.  After years of heartache and pain and trying to prepare myself mentally for the wheelchair all of a sudden everything clicked into place at the same time.  Since that time I have been working with her 3 to 4 days a week and I no longer worry about the chair.  I have gained significant strength and am shooting for being fully healthy be the end of the year.  To say that my life has changed would be an understatement.

I guess the moral of the story is don't ever quit.  No one knows what you are fully capable of but you.  In the darkest hour light can shine.


WOW.. Inspirational!  And I am so glad you are on the mend. Thank you for the reminder that "if it is to be, it is up to me".

Well, that was quite a first post. Damn.

Your attitude is your greatest asset. Keep it up, and keep talking to us, you sound like an amazing person.

Your positive attitude is great! Welcome to the forums.


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