Steps in the Right Direction: Movement and Exercise

Five years since his legs went out from under him during a tennis doubles match, Mike Hart of Alexandria, VA, doesn’t know why he still struggles to walk and talk.

Many scary possibilities have been ruled out, but the closest to diagnosis Mike has come, even after being examined at top medical institutions across the country, is “autoimmune disease.”

So without prognosis or a treatment plan to restore his health, Mike is focused on healing.

He wants to make himself whole again.

“I wish we could figure out if there is some way to fix what’s going on with me, or if I am going to be like this for the rest of my life,” Mike said.

“But I have to be content, even if not happy, with that. I’ve got to move on, no matter what happens.”

For Mike, the key to moving on is “moving.” As in exercise. High-intensity. CrossFit.

“What I like about CrossFit is the community,” Mike said. “It keeps you going and encourages you.”

Mike’s Dad, Bud, with whom Mike lives, said he sees his son moving in the right direction.

Bud said, “You can see that his body is strong, but not coordinated. His mind is strong, and it is pulling things together. His spirit is strong, and he’s keeping a good attitude. You watch that and you say, “Yep, he’s healing.’”

Mike’s Dad, Bud, sees his son on the path toward healing, even without a confirmed medical diagnosis.

Not that there aren’t days when healing seems in doubt.

Mike admits that humility is not his strong suit. It is frustrating when the words coming out of your mouth are not as clear as the thoughts in your head.

“I always tell people they can understand me better after they’ve had something to drink,” he joked.

Those who love Mike appreciate his sense of humor as much as his commitment to fitness and healing. But they wish they could provide him with more answers.

Bud has just two: “The answer is you’ve got to accept things the way they are. The answer is you’ve got to quit pretending it is going to all change tomorrow morning, and learn how to be where you are, how you are, right now.”

While he would never wish on anyone the pain Mike has been through, Bud said Mike’s health crisis has brought the Hart Family much closer over the past five years.

“If you said to me, ‘Would you want this to happen again, so you could go through it again?’ I’d say, ‘Hell, no. Are you crazy?’” Bud said. “But nonetheless, you do recognize that out of really bad stuff comes a lot of good stuff.”

Watch Mike Hart’s Video

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Dana j Aug 18, 2018 4:35pm
Lymes Disease. Don’t settle for a regular test. Get the in-depth antigen rest. Very debilitating and under diagnosed disease.
Cheryl Bourn Aug 12, 2018 2:11pm
Dear Hart Family: I saw your story in the Caring Bridge mailer. The same day I got a mailer from Hudson-Alpha in Huntsville, AL. I couldn't help but wonder if they might be able to help you find some answers through genetic research. Just a thought.
Jon R Gillis Jul 18, 2018 2:39pm
Mike, Bud, and Family: I read about Mike's health situation in the Caring Bridge "Gratitude Report", second quarter 2018. I'm truly sorry about the condition not being diagnosed. I know another gentleman who went through many years of an undetermined diagnosis, and eventually his own brother came up with an amazing lead. Ed's condition deteriorated over many years. All the medical "experts" were stymied until his brother's findings. I'm forwarding you a link where you can read about his "story". Maybe there'll be a lead for you folks from Ed's ordeal. Here's the ABC News piece on this amazing recovery! Best Regards, Jon Gillis, Issaquah, WA
Fran Briggs Jul 07, 2018 11:43am
Mike and Bud, What a testament to your commitment to one another, and to your ongoing perseverance in advancing Mike's health & well-being. Much admiration for you both!! I realize you daily receive tons of advice & suggestions. But I'd also like to suggest Jennifer Esposito's book, "Jennifer's Way," about her decades long journey to finally getting diagnosed with Celiac Disease, often a gateway to numerous other autoimmune conditions. It's an easy & eye-opening book, which you can probably get at the library. I really encourage you to check it out.
J.bosek Jun 13, 2018 9:14pm
My son had the nasal flu shot a week later we noticed him not running as well I thought his hips were out of place within next few days his right side of his body became weak and he couldn't walk up a flight of stairs after 5 years of rehab lots of reprograming what he thinks he is doing but actually is doing he can run down a basketball court again he has joined the cross country and track team he doesn't have alot of speed but improves his time each time he runs even if it is by a second or two. As far as muscle strength he has a long ways to go yet. Best wishes to you!
Sur Jun 13, 2018 7:34am
Wahl's Protocol
Lisa V Jun 08, 2018 11:22am
Look into the AIP diet! Wholeheartedly believe you can heal yourself through diet!
Michelina Kent Jun 01, 2018 12:56pm
Hi - Please look into low dose naltrexone for autoimmune disease and treatment. It is a very safe (side effect free) medication.
Lisa Hamilton Jun 01, 2018 11:18am
Do Bud and Mike have a website or email? I would love to share my testimony of how God brought me through a very harsh 10 yr trial.
Rhonda Swiger Jun 01, 2018 8:05am
Check out a lectin-free diet also. Lectins in foods can cause inflammation in our bodies. Two of the books are The Plant Paradox by Dr Steven Gundry as well as Lectin -Free Foods. And I think all of the chemicals that we use can cause our bodies to react too. There are great chemical free products you just have to look. I wish you both the best.
Susan Anthony Jun 01, 2018 12:15am
I greatly admire Mike Hart and his loving father.
Louise J. Mishler May 31, 2018 7:32pm
Mike check out Dr. Peter D'Adamo book on "Eat right 4 your blood type. Blood type O which I have is prone to have auto immune disease, I have Celiac since a baby which I uncovered my self, I also have Sjogren's from Celiac disease. It will tell you many things about the food you eat. Buy the books on Amazon, sometimes you can get it used. Or borrow them from the library. Diagnosed with Lymphoma 94" I refused treatment and so glad I did because it is a virus--allergic from wheat's grains and on and on.
Sharon May 31, 2018 12:11pm
checkout Medical Medium on Instagram. There are some amazing stories of healing through dietary changes
Wendy McGovern Dec 19, 2017 10:54am
A very inspiring story. Thank you for sharing!
Stacy Nov 17, 2017 7:08am
Maybe he needs to be checked for Lyme disease! Check out Ingenix lab out of California and find a Lyme literate doctor! What happens with Lyme is you fall within certain perimeters and you can be anywhere within those guidelines . As long as you are within said perimeters you are fine they say. But what is good for a be person may not be for another. Blessings !
MARIAN FARRIS Nov 09, 2017 6:20pm
Some of you may or maynot that Just as I thought I couldn't suffer any more, I was able to enter into our local hospice group. Thank goodness. I am no longer suffering the excruciating pain that I had for 8 years. I am getting expertise and compassionate care. I am still adjusting and need your contiued thoughts and prayers. Thank you.