Nothing Motives a Person to make Changes like a Health Crisis
|When you get lemons, make lemon Aid!|
An incident in August 2017 resulted in me being a reluctant guest at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, for a night. This is what happened. Earlier in the day I had a migraine that quickly turned into severe vertigo. Several hours later, I was still feeling somewhat off and just to be cautious I suggested hubby take me to the hospital to get it check out because we were flying back to Canada in a couple of days. The Doctor at the Royal Infirmary, after a number of test and blood work, decided to admit me overnight for observation due mainly to the fact that I was dehydrated and some of the blood work showed a slightly elevated reading, indicating some form of mild infection.
I will take this opportunity to say this is an excellent hospital! Not only were the staff so helpful and extremely nice. But it was the shortest wait time I ever experienced in a hospital. I came to emergency at around 10 pm, saw a triage nurse within twenty minutes and then a doctor a short time later. By 11:30 pm I was admitted and in a hospital bed! This would not have occurred in Ottawa, Canada in less than six hours.
The next day, my tests levels were normal. The doctor believes that the vertigo was due to a combination of happenings, jet lag, exhaustion, dehydration, driving for hours on narrow roads with traffic situated on the opposite side of the road and the general stress and strain of travel. My brain couldn’t deal with it. I was discharged from the hospital the next afternoon with the advice that if my symptoms occurred again to see my family physician in Canada.
I had no idea what was happening but it couldn’t go unanswered. I have not even had a cold in over five years! I am a healthy person, or so I thought. In fact had not been to the doctor in over five years.
My saving grace through all this chaos was having my very good friends Gerry and his wife Mavis visiting the day I received news of the hypertension back home in Canada. They absolutely helped me remain calm, that really helped out. I appreciated their company.
Because I had already had a battery of test in Glasgow, which didn’t show anything more serious, my first reaction when I got back to Canada was to see a naturopathic doctor. I didn’t want to wait for another episode of vertigo. I didn’t know if the incident was an anomaly or what.
I made an appointment at Living Science Wellness Centre in the suburbs of Ottawa.
We all deal with a medical issue differently. Some will go directly to their doctor and address the issue with medication. Others will ignore it and hope it goes away. Me? Well, I like to know why something happened. What is behind it and how can I fix it.
The first thing the ND said is she thought that I may have a vitamin deficiency and gave me a heavy-duty supplement intravenous infusion therapy. I was told my blood pressure was high and that I should monitor it for a couple of weeks. This really surprised me because, like I mentioned, I am by and large a healthy person.
My blood pressure was very high: 172/79. The naturopathic doctor also recommended I take Magnesium (495 mg per dose 3xs a week), and vitamin B12 (2000 mg. once a day) In addition I decided to also try a tyramine free-diet, to guard against any future migraines. This is basically a program to avoid foods that are fermented, cured and aged. I was not sure if this is what caused my migraine in the first instance but I decided that it couldn’t hurt to try it. This means that I am eating fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds more earnestly. I am basically looking at getting help with plant nutrition all the research I’ve done seems to support this method.
Furthermore, I am categorically aware that hypertension is not something to take lightly. I have family members who are dealing with it under a doctor’s care with prescribed medications.
I began to think about how I got here.
The last few years I have had a pretty sedentary lifestyle. I am on the computer for at least seven hours a day for work, social media and blogging. Because I live in the country, I drive everywhere I need to go. So, walking, not so much lately. By the time the workday is over, I am too tired to do any exercises, or I just make halfhearted attempts. I was not being consistent in my routine.
For years I have given advice on juicing greens and avoiding junk foods. I am a
strong advocate of healthy whole foods. And believe me, the irony here is not
lost on me. I eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables. Herein
could be the problem. Being
a vegetarian and for the most part vegan, I may have not been aware that my nutrient levels could be deficient, especially in Vitamin B12, Magnesium and Iron. There
are all kinds of reasons for this, but basically not paying attention to the combinations and amounts I am eating. It might be healthy but maybe not as balanced as it should have been. Moreover,
I was not consistent in my eating habits.
I had to take a hard look at what I eat, not what I think I eat, but rather what I actually ate. We tend to think we eat healthier than we actually do simply by minimizing the junk food here and there. It is not until we record everything we put into our mouth do we know for certain what we eat.
|My weekly delivery of organic food|
I am a vegetarian and have been one for over twenty years. I don’t drink coffee or smoke. Frankly, I can’t even say that I was a true vegetarian for most of those years because I ate fish and chicken occasionally. I would say that I have been mostly vegetarian for five years, with bouts of veganism during that period. I would put me at 95% Vegetarian and 5% fish, chicken, and cheese. I am about 75/25 on a raw food diet, more so in the summer and less in the winter. That is about to change, as I deal with the health issues facing me. I am committed to an actual paradigm shift regarding my relationship with food. The saying, “Let food be thy medicine” will be tested in the next few weeks.
I have been more keenly aware in the last couple of weeks that what we put into
our body will have an almost immediate reaction. People who have food allergies know this all too well.
I have the knowledge and tools to eat healthy, so why didn’t I? That is the question. There is an absolute disconnect here. We eat unconscientiously, socially, but when was the last time you’ve asked yourself if what we’re eating is really good for you? If we question what we eat, we minimize the “bad foods” and tell ourselves that we will eat better at some later date, as we eat just one more pizza, drink that coffee, eat that sugar laden dessert, etc.
Some of us treat our cars better than our one and only body. We know. We know.
One way to explain it is to use a car analogy. Our body runs on fuel, just like a car. When you buy a car, you want it to run at its optimal performance and get the best gas mileage possible. You make sure you put in the manufacture’s recommended fuel. You wouldn’t put diesel in a gasoline car, would you? You take care of your car, getting regular oil changes and getting it checked out by a mechanic. You wash it regularly and take pride in your car, right? Then why wouldn’t most of us treat your body the same way?
I thought I was putting the best fuel into my body, nearly always healthy organic whole foods. However, there are many times I opted for the lower quality foods (read as low life force). I ate aged cheese and the odd pizza and maybe even a donut. And don’t get me started on breads. If the bread had just been baked, I can’t seem to pass it. Ugh. Definitely that is my kryptonite.
Basically, I am really good for a period and then it is a slippery slope to picking up bad habits again and again. The point I am making is that what you put into your body results in how your body performs and it is important to keep trying to eat right. There is no getting away from that fact. What is dis-ease? It is when our body is out of balance and harmony. And believe me everything affects it, from the air we breathe to everyday stresses and what we eat. Thus, the biggest factor is the food we put into our body. How much oxygen we get into our blood, so that many people don’t even notice when they are shallow breathing. Get out there and exercise in the fresh air.
We only get one body and so we better pay attention to it. Treat it like a brand-new car. I have a clear intent on what I need to do to reverse the negative effects of years of bad eating. And research on high blood pressure and natural remedies seems to support this. I am committed to get my body in balance without prescription drugs. I am still being mindful that if I am unable to do this, prescription drugs may be my last and only resort. And I will have to seriously consider it. However, I am doing my best to not go down that road as though my life depended on it. Because it does. I am proceeding cautiously.
WHAT I DID
The very first thing I did was quit my nearly daily soy chai tea latte at Starbucks. And I developed a chart that included information like what supplements I am taking. I am monitoring my blood pressure several times a day, noting what I ate, and how I was feeling each day.
It seems I already have the tools to change this around. Over five years ago I studied the effects of juicing fresh greens on health, after my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. I read heaps of literature on holistic methods. What I learned helped her with her recovery from cancer. And, I am counting on it to help me now.
No more excuses for me.
I needed to pay more attention to my body, and to my intuitive side.
I have to get back to mediating twice a day instead of every other day.
I need to get out into the sun and fresh air. Breathe in the fresh air.
These things I knew but became too complacent about my health. Indeed, life
happens, but what I have learned is you are the one in control of your life. Your priority should always be on your health first before work or anything else.
TWO WEEKS LATER...
In the first week, my blood pressure went from 179/79 down to 142/70. Still a high number and should be observed. It really fluctuated during the first week but I was encouraged to see this result.
Day 12: Imagine my surprise when my blood pressure reading was 128/69! That is amazing. However, I still got readings of 144/77 depending on what I was doing. I didn’t think there would be a noticeable change so quickly. I continue to be encouraged.
Day 14: 124/70 Again, very pleased with the reading. That was in the morning. However, it seems that the long weekend trip to Halifax to take my son back to University must have taken a toll on me, and my blood pressure spiked again around noon. That was a minor setback, in the evening it was back down to 129/76.
I know what I am doing is working. Combined with changing my diet, I am also drinking traditional tea (indigenous medicines) (natural picked by traditional medicine-man).
Even under prescribed medical care it can take anywhere from six to eight weeks to see a marked difference in lowering blood pressure. To see this after only two weeks is encouraging.
To maintain a downward trajectory on my blood pressure readings to a normal reading of 120/80, I have to continue implementing this program and treating my body like a brand-new car. I still have a lot of learning, mainly how enzymes and our digestive system works. I have a dehydrator coming and I am so looking forward to it. I will continue to watch what fuel I put into it and will listen to it to ensure it is running optimally.
It is going to take dedication, observation, consistency and discipline. This is my new habit and I am all too glad to do it. After all, I am worth more than a brand-new car and besides I can’t go out and buy a new body, now, I, can I?