Quality of life. Nobody addresses it better than the classical five-element acupuncture crew. My acupuncturist-doctor said that J.R. Worsley, his teacher, told them that nobody is to be allowed to leave the treatment room—even to get up off the treatment table—until they feel better.
And... they always do feel better. Always.
He was also quite happy to hear that I'm actually feeling things, and feeling them differently, in my legs below the knees. It's making walking even weirder and (too frequently) more unpleasant than usual, but it's definitely a "non-worsening change." It's an indication that something good is happening; "progression" in the sense of "moving forward," not the "getting worse" that it has been for so long. Again, he shared the story of one of his patients who had been some-sort-of-plegic for more than twenty years, due to M.S., and having been wheelchair bound for decades, he simply stood up and walked out of the hospital, because he had just... gotten better.
One of the herbs in my current formula (prescribed by my "stay away from dairy" herbalist) is ho shou wu. "Ho's lustrous hair" it's often translated, and the story goes that taking it made old bald Ho's hair grow back, and turn a lovely, rich, and shiny black. If you shop in the right place, you can get it by the bottle, just for drinking or for use in cooking, which was they way I always used to take it when the three-treasures herbalists gave it to me). I asked the doc what he was using it for in this particular formula, and he said, "To rebuild your nervous system."
You don't hear that every day.
The M.S. highway is particularly ... interesting... right now. Dealing with "the real world" has never been more difficult; I've never had so seriously to assess my current, and future, involvement with said "real world." And yet, I look around me in that "real world," and I feel like I'm seeing things with new eyes; roads I've traveled for decades, seasonal scents I've smelled for decades, they all seem completely new. Don't worry, this isn't a "something's come badly unglued in my brain" perception of newness because I'm forgetting what the road home looks like, or anything like that... Rather, it's like the way one priest described the Mass at its best: "You hear it again, for the first time." So, my functional role in the "real world" definitely needs evaluation, serious eval- and re-eval-uation; but my journey through this world, for all the roughness of the ride, for all the challenges I'm needing to face (whether I want to or not), for all the nasty surprises that too often intrude themselves (whether I want to face them or not, especially when I don't want to face them), has suddenly become...