|My left index finger|
|My right index finger|
So I started off on the usual cortisone, methotrexate, anti-inflammatories, calcium and folic acid.Within months I was battling to walk and went back and went back and went back to my rheumy. Each time the medication increased along with my nausea and side effects, the worst being nausea and chronic fatigue. It's not easy to be chronically exhausted when you have 3 small children, the smallest being a toddler when I was first diagnosed! Even more difficult is getting 10-12 hours sleep as the doctor suggests!! Anyway I bumbled along for over a year, enduring the blood tests and the handful of meds that I had to take twice a day, waiting impatiently for my RA to go into remission. It hasn't.
RA is an auto-immune disease that is degenerative and causes a lot of pain and suffering without much to see in the beginning. Although I am riddled with pain, the only thing that is visible is the index finger on my right hand. Even this one finger has impacted me in many ways, It is difficult to prepare food as I can't cut food like gem squash, butternut or even cucumber, tomatoes etc. Sometimes hubby has had to cut my steak, open jars, bottles and even helps me tie up Bacon and Tomato's hair for school and tie their shoes, because that is just excruciating. My very lowest moments are when I can't even dress myself as lifting my leg is too painful. Fortunately I have the most amazing hubby who never complains when I ask for help, although I hate asking.
As you can see, from these pics, my finger is very swollen up to the second joint and sometimes feels like it is going to explode. I have tried to ice it, heat it,but nothing helps and I find that I now do everything without that finger and I have had to accept that my days of playing the guitar are over.
In December last year, my daughter who had had severe eczema for the last 5½ years, was healed by a doctor who had a different method to other doctors. You can see that post here if you missed it The Day I found Dr Richard Aron and Our Healing Journey Began This got me thinking. Maybe mainstream doctors only know one way and they keep trying the same things, hoping it will work but maybe there are other treatments for RA too, similar to what I had discovered with Dr Aron for my daughter.
I was invited to a dinner party in January this year and met a lady who also had RA 35 years ago and cured herself! Well, I was all ears. She told me to find a book called A Doctor's Proven Home Cure for Arthritis by Dr Giraud W. Campbell and follow the diet in there, like she and many of her friends had done. She warned me that it was going to be a huge lifestyle change, which she herself only made when she could hardly walk due to the RA. She told me that I would be eating a lot of organ meat *gulp* and that basically I had to be in enough pain to try this approach. I got home and ordered the book immediately. It was a bit of a shock to the system, reading that book and I had to really build up some courage to take the first step. Once I had decided, it took me a while to source the food required but eventually I was able to start on 10 March 2015. This is my journey......
Eat NOTHING from morning to night.
8 glasses of mineral water should be consumed on this day
That was easy enough!
Hubby then prepped the liver for tomorrow.
Oh boy it's here. The day where I should be thrilled to eat after a day of fasting but it fills me with dread as I am going to face eating liver for the very first time. The mere thought of it fills me with dread. This morning, I went shopping for this 7-day plan and it wasn't as easy as you'd think. I found prune juice which I drank in the car and organic bananas at Woollies so I was on a roll - breakfast sorted.
But now it is almost 2pm and I need to face the music, bite the bullet and go and cook and eat the liver. Wish me luck.....
|Liver and salad|
|The remaining "blood"|
All I remember about kidney when I was growing up, was the fact that I could smell it a mile away and it smelled revolting, so again I was in for a bit of a challenge. Hubby (thank goodness) took all the membranes off the offal and prepared it for me with a huge salad. I honestly couldn't eat it. I eventually resorted to holding my nose (like we used to do on Veldschool back when I was 13) so that I could get it into me. Each time I swallowed I retched and it took everything in me not to vomit it back up aagghhhhh it was so grose! But I was damned if this was going to get the better of me. So no matter how bad it tasted, my mind was stronger than that horrible food, so I continued.
Even the word "offal" sounds like awful doesn't it??
|Gotta see blood|
Thank goodness today is prawns. But have you ever had prawns without lemon butter sauce or at least a dip of sorts? Not so pleasant. But I ate a whole lot because as bland as they are, they don't taste horrible. Sad that the happiest part of my day is having a tablespoon of black strap molasses which is hectically sweet and tastes a bit like liquorice but it has to be taken with brewers yeast so that's a turn-off!!
|Lightly sauteed sea bass (raw inside)|
The book says continue until the heat and swelling have reduced. Hmmmm not much happening with the heat, swelling and pain, so I better do another week.
So I did another week and 2 days. When I got to the point where I couldn't swallow the kidney, even with my nose closed, I realised it was time to ease off. I contacted the lady who first told me about this way of eating and she said I needed to continue in a similar way for at least 3 months to see results, so that is what I am going to do. I will eat organic food and incorporate organs into my diet twice a week, but I need to start eating normally again. It is sooo tempting to eat the same food as the rest of the family, but I have come too far to turn back now. This needs to become a lifestyle and that is what I am going to aim for.
My fridge looks amazing packed full of fresh organic produce and I am learning where to buy organic produce, raw milk and where the nearest butchery is that sells grass-fed meat and organs. Unfortunately none of these are close to us, so it has taken a bit of driving to get everything. One thing for sure is that this has been an enormous learning curve!! Interesting to note, that the medical profession do not believe that diet has anything to do with RA or any other disease, I think differently.
What I know for certain is that the cr*p that is being put into our food at every level, is harming all of us, but in different ways. For some it is visible (like my finger) but for some the disease is growing inside and may only surface in years to come as cancer, diabetes, an auto-immune disease or worse. I strongly believe that although everything has been passed by the FDA, all the colourants, pesticides GMO foods and additives that are being put into our bodies day in and day out will have to have an impact at some point. I think our bodies can only cope with very small amounts of these chemicals and not on a daily basis like is becoming the norm. Looking back it is amazing to see how far I've come.
This is not the end, it is just the beginning of my journey for a pain-free existence. If you would like to continue following me on my journey, become a follower of this blog or sign up to receive an email notification each time I post.
Post Script November 2015
In August I went to my Rheumatologist for my routine check up. My inflammation levels had come down from 26 to 3. I was stunned, she was stunned. The norm is 5. I told her that I had taken myself off my DWARDS and was only on the Methotrexate. All the pain was gone and my swollen finger had become almost normal. I had to laugh when she said "diet is not a proven remedy for this disease, however in your case it seems to be working."
My mom contracted MRSA (a superbug) whilst in hospital and I was required to wear a HAZMAT suit each time I visited as it is highly contagious. My mom's story can be read here. As Methotrexate kills my immune system, I didn't take them as I was worried about the MRSA with my compromised immune system and to be honest, often I would just throw off the suit to touch my mom. After my mom passed away from MRSA, the hectic weeks that ensued, I forgot to resume the Methotrexate and realised that my pain hadn't returned. I am now drug free (haven't told my Rheumy yet) but I'm feeling great. Hard work = great reward.