Maybe we can help figure this out…

I’m not one to be pulled into conspiracy theories so please don’t feel like I’m attempting to start my own.

I do, however, consider myself to be pretty good at trouble shooting; so this is my unprofessional attempt at trying to use that skill to the help determine the reason autoimmune diseases have become so common. Because I’m battling Multiple Sclerosis, it’s only natural that it’s been the focus of my observations.

I’m not a doctor or a scientist but because there seems to be a lot of commonality between those of us who end up with this illness; so, I’ve devoted a lot of personal time to pull a lot of data together in order to write this Op-ed about possible triggers.

I’ve based my study on the widely accepted theory that MS is NOT hereditary, but it IS brought to life by a combination of genetic and some unknown environmental trigger or triggers. Meaning that unless one has both the genetic disposition AND is exposed to some sort of trigger(s), M.S. will not be a factor in their life.

Below is a list proposed of factors that may work together to cause an autoimmune disease to come to fruition in the human body. Many of these came from M.S. patients or their relatives:

  • Genetics (If a Sibling has M.S. One study shows an increased incidence of 12% to 38% if you have a sibling with M.S. The study shows that there is a 6% to 25 % higher risk in children of parents who have M.S. (No reason to worry if you fall in one of these groups as I’ll explain further on)
  • Periods of High Stress
  • Diet (High Intake of Saturated Fat, Red Meat, Dairy, GMO Fruits & Vegetables, Pesticides, Processed Food, Sodium, Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners and Flavorings, Preservatives, Etc.).
  • Poor Quality or Insufficient Amount of Sleep Over an Extended Period of Time.
  • Flu Shot or other Vaccines and Medications.
  • Lyme Disease
  • Allergies
  • Lack of Vitamin D from Sunshine (Distance from the Equator suspected to be a factor here).
  • Quality of Vitamin D (from Supplements).
  • Mononucleosis / Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
  • Severe Ear Infection.
  • Head / Neck Injury.
  • Gender (More common in Females than Males).
  • Also Gender Abnormal Hormone Disfunction During Menopause.

So, Let’s Break it Down:

  • Geographic Location: Multiple sclerosis is more common in people from Europe, the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and parts of Australia. It is less common among people in Asia, and Africa. It is less common in tropical areas near the equator. In high-altitude regions far from the equator, cases of MS increase. Source
  • Diet: I can’t find any specific studies on food types that may trigger MS so I’m going to add some data that I feel is relative.
  • Lack of Vitamin D (Distance from the Equator suspected to be a factor here): Source
  • Quality of Vitamin D (from Supplements).

To Be Continued….

“The only thing constant in life is change”


If you are, or have been a philosophy student, it’s my guess that you have a “favorite” philosopher. Mine is Heraclitus of Ephesus.

Heraclitus is best known for his assertion that “Life is Flux” (Panta Rehi in Greek) meaning that “everything or all things change”. The more commonly heard related quotes are: “The Only Thing Constant in Life is Change”, and “You cannot step into the same river twice, for other waters are continually flowing on.”

Because so many changes that have take place in my life that are outside of my control, it’s really important for me to first recognize my many blessings and then fully appreciate the things that still exist in my life that bring me the greatest amount of happiness.

I’ve found that by relishing the things I can still do, then sharing what I’ve learned, brings me a great amount of happiness. So, I spend time every day, sharing what I’ve learned, hoping that it will effect positive change on others that may be in need of inspiration or support while navigating their own private challenging circumstances.

Because, at the end of the day; If it’s not within our power to change the circumstances, It’s up to us to learn to accept them as they are, and then manage our emotions in a way that allows us to continue living our best life.

Updated 5.2.21

The lake, my morning run, and Stanley

I like to run in the morning. It’s better on the weekends when I have the time to drive to a local park and my favorite lake. Even on the coldest and snowiest of mornings, there are always other runners there. Seeing them there helps me feel a little less crazy. 

I ran there yesterday. It was warm and it felt much like an early Spring morning. There were a lot more runners than I’d seen there in recent weeks. My guess is that some were new runners trying to live up to their recently made New Year’s Resolutions. Others might be in the early stages of training for a Spring Mini or Full Marathon.

I was just there because I love to run.

After finishing the first of two planned loops, I ran past a somewhat elderly Asian gentleman with a small dog. He smiled and waved, calling out some greeting that I couldn’t make out. I returned the wave and said good morning as I ran by. His smile seemed to widen. It’s odd, but I swear it only takes a brief moment and a simple exchange for most of us, to know that we just crossed paths with a genuinely likable soul.

As usual, I felt even better on the second loop. So much better in fact, that I pushed really hard up that final hill up to the parking lot. As I got there, I once again saw my new friend. Despite being out of breath, I decided to stop to say hello. He immediately started walking my way, removing his glove to shake my hand and introduced himself. His name is Stanley. “Stanley, like the comic book” he said. I had never heard of the comic book, but I’ve since Googled it of course, and here’s an image from one of the books.Stanley

He proudly explained that he has been visiting the lake at least one day every weekend for over ten years. He used to run, now he walks. He once circled the lake as I do, but has gotten away from that to avoid the big hill. “It’s just too much” for him these days. He soon began telling stories of bad winter days that kept most people away from the lake, but commented that others seemed to be drawn out by the weather.

He shared the story of two doctors that he had met a couple of years before. They made the decision to cross the frozen lake against the advice of signs that were posted saying the ice was too thin to ice skate. “They proceeded very cautiously, I’m sure that they were really afraid”; “They had to know better, Why would medical professionals take such a risk?”, he asked. We talked just a short while longer and then said goodbye, wishing each other a good day. It was the beginning of a good day, filled with time spent with family and good friends.

Later on that evening while sipping on a short glass of my favorite bourbon, I thought about Stanley, and in particular his questions about the doctors, and the ice, and their seemingly reckless behavior.

Why would anyone do anything that seems crazy to others? Why do any of us get out of our warm beds and head to that lake or anywhere else when the conditions aren’t “perfect”? 

I know why I’m there. My morning run seems directly related to my sanity. Stanley may be there just for the opportunity to meet new people and share stories. The doctors that he mentioned may have felt the need to have some risk in their lives. It may be a nice escape from all of the pressure related to their profession. They alone could say for sure. 

There is a lake, a mountain, and the entire universe out there for all of us. It’s ours to explore and enjoy however we desire. There are people that we should meet and stories that need to be shared. We just have to tap into our intuitive nature, take that first “crazy” step and begin our journey.


Who’s writing this?…..


My given name wouldn’t tell you much about me. It’s not a reflection of who I am, or why I’m  here. After all, we are only a perpetuation of those that came before us combined with the mirrored effects of our surroundings. For that reason, I  present to you a relative list of pertinent details:

  • would have you believe that I am of Scottish, Irish, and British Heritage,
  • Once in America, my family settled in the south. We were farmers and bee keepers.
  • Our written family records show that I am also of Native American (Cherokee) heritage. I am a direct descendant to “Yellow Bird Trail Killer”. I was born in the bloodline of his daughter “Yellow Bird”
  • My forefathers fought in the Revolutionary War, WW-1, and WW-2.
  • I was born during  the “baby boom” to a lower middle class family.
  • My parents divorced when I was 16. My father was not a part of my life again until many years later.
  • I didn’t go to college. When I graduated from high school, I was making more money than my mom and had the only car in the family.
  • I love people. I love my wife, my family, my dog, music and knowing that there is a great  abundance and opportunity all around us if we choose to see it.  
  • I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in late June of 2017.
  • I enjoy the memories of my past, but I don’t live there.
  • I do my best to learn from my mistakes….and I don’t look back…..ever. 
  • I read a lot.
  • I would be remiss if I didn’t mention at least once that-  I. Love. Bourbon.    
RedWaxDiary Image 1

If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.
~ John F. Kennedy

Updated 5.1.21