For two months now, Tim has been trying some alternative medicine therapies to experiment with whether or not they would help slow down or stop the effects of ALS. Of course, this was not a highly scientific experiment, but one that he felt he should try nonetheless.
This experiment included several aspects – the therapies at the alternative doctor’s clinic as well as a gluten-free diet. The therapies included RIFE light therapy, detoxifying foot bath, Interactive Metronome. This particular doctor used kinesiology to determine that Tim is allergic to gluten, so Tim went gluten-free (and he has a determination that is unmatched – he was as truly gluten-free as possible).
After a continued decline over the past two months, he has determined that this experiment is finished. It was a failure. The ALS symptoms have continued to progress and there is no indication that any of these therapies have or ever will make a difference to the ALS or to its rate of progression.
What’s more, a couple things happened at the beginning of this week that really confirmed to Tim that this alternative doctor is not going to be helpful to him. First, last week at clinic, Tim had blood taken to have the blood test done for gluten allergy. They actually did three separate tests. Two of them showed soundly negative. The third one was a more borderline number. With those results, our ALS medical neurologist stated, “This is not strong evidence of allergic response.” In plain English, Tim is not allergic to gluten. Never has been.
Then, when Tim went to the alternative doctor on Monday, he had a harder time getting into the building. A couple of the guys that work there came out to help him and had no idea what they were doing. They were trying to help him by holding him under his armpits. That threw Tim off worse than if they weren’t helping at all. To have people at a “clinic” not know how to help someone that has balance problems doesn’t mark them well in this experiment.
After he got into the clinic and was doing his therapies, they commented to Tim that he is doing worse now. Their solution to this was for him to go walk the Maplewood Mall – to keep using his muscles to strengthen them. When Tim told me that, I about fell off my chair! They have no basic understanding of what this disease even is! If Tim were to do this, he would be falling down and exhausting himself through the whole process.
The medical doctors at HCMC ALS clinic have three basic rules when it comes to alternative therapies: 1. Don’t break the bank. 2. It should hopefully help you feel better. 3. It shouldn’t harm you. The recommended solution of walking the mall has crossed the line of rule #3.
Today is Tim’s last appointment with this alternative clinic. He will be informing them that their therapies are not making any difference to the progression of his ALS. I don’t know how much more he will tell them, but I am certain that he will not be going back. He spent time last night re-analyzing his decision to be done with them and with the gluten-free diet. He confirmed it and is at peace with this decision. (I am internally whooping and hollering that this experiment is over!)