Heidi Redl was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004. As we well know, MS is a progressive disease, even in it’s relapsing forms. It will test those of us in ways we never knew possible. Heidi tells her hopeful MS story in A Quiet Roar: Living with Multiple Sclerosis in an encouraging and hopeful manner. Often, these kind of stories are gloom and doom, or beyond boring and full of medical stories.
This story is not depressing. In A Quiet Roar we get to see it all. Heidi Redl grew up in a BC pioneer ranch in the late 1960s and 1970s. Ranch life in a cold, harsh climate taught her to be tough and self dependent. It would be exactly what she would need to fight a disease as fierce as MS.
In the book she shares the story of her struggles and triumphs with the disease. She learns to survive by relying and trusting her husband and other family. She travels and works and makes friends despite the hardships.
She loves horses and takes us on a journey of loving and losing her precious horses, (one a bit less precious than the others ) as well as losing the ability to ride them. It’s a journey I identify with as I struggle with my own MS and increasing difficulty in walking.
She talks of a trip to Mexico a supposed cure treatment known as Liberation Therapy. It involved a big expense and a surgical procedure, including a week’s stay in a holistic style resort. The procedure helped her for a bit over a year, but was not a cure. Her MS came back, full steam.
She proceeds on through life, tending to the ranch, working at gym, writing and public speaking. She raises her children and eventually moves to a smaller, more manageable home with her husband. She tries a diet that had her only eating from the basic food groups of vegetables, meat, fruit and nuts. The diet gave her more energy and eased the pain in her joints. She moved from a wheelchair back to a cane and knee braces. She ends the book happy and hopeful, but not free from MS.
I identified with many parts of the book. I too deal with depression and mobility issues. I was filled with much hope reading that she too was flat out miserable and grumpy at times. She fell, figuratively and literally, and always got back up; to a happier place.
Heidi, if you read this, please know that your strength and stubbornness will always encourage me through my own battle with this devil disease. Thank you.
You can order your own copy of A Quiet Roar here.
Have you read any good multiple sclerosis books to recommend?
Ellie is a 45-year-old woman living in South Carolina. She works as a cashier, but is always dreaming of more — she’s just not always sure of what “more” is. Her favorite hobbies are reading and reading book reviews. Within the first few minutes of meeting her, you’ll realize her nephews, niece, books and cats are her favorite things.
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