IN HER OWN WORDS
I was called “the meat and potatoes” girl by my family while growing up, and I continued to eat that way as an adult. Unfortunately, my family followed in my footsteps too. We all drank soft drinks instead of water; ate meat instead of vegetables; and about the only good food we had with any degree of regularity was fruit.
In 1997, I experienced a mysterious pain in my arm that quickly spread throughout my body until I literally hurt from head to toe. About six months later I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I was determined to avoid taking drugs, so I started doing some research and determined that dietary supplements and high-dose vitamins would help to make things better. I took them, but I didn’t get better.
A couple of years later, my health had gotten even worse, and I was diagnosed with lupus. A friend suggested that maybe the problem was my diet. I still didn’t want to take drugs, so I thought I’d look into it, and I started learning a little bit about whole food nutrition. I got rid of the soft drinks and we started drinking water, and I served salads with every meal. My kids were furious, but the more I learned, the more convinced I became that diet was important.
Through a friend, I found out about Dr. Pam Popper, and during my first conversation with her I asked her if she thought I could reverse my lupus naturally and she said most likely, yes. This was the first ray of hope I had in a long, long time. I immediately started changing my diet, and really my entire life at that point. I read not only Dr. Popper’s books, but books written by Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. McDougall and others who reinforced the idea that diet could make me well.
I started feeling better, but my blood tests still showed high ANA levels (antibodies that indicate lupus). After a while, I decided that the blood tests were just making me upset, so I decided to stop visiting my doctor. I was lucky, in that he did not try to push me into taking drugs, but I could not afford to have anything interfere with my mental attitude in getting well.
I was able to regain most of my health by eating a plant-based diet, but the final piece in my recovery was a trip to TrueNorth to do a water-only fast. That was a remarkable experience; I lost weight, and my allergies, which had already gotten better, completely went away. My diet improved even more; giving up high-fat vegetarian foods and oils made a big difference.
In March 2008, I worked up enough courage to go to my doctor for a blood test. I was shocked when I was told that my ANA levels had returned to normal. I was so excited and I could not wait to tell Dr. Popper that I was now a former lupus patient!
Today, my whole life is different. When I had lupus, I was tired, my joints were stiff, I had irritable bowel syndrome, and I could not sleep. Now, those things are not an issue, and my brain is not foggy any more either. I have lots of energy, which allows me to do everything I want to do, which includes enjoying and keeping up with my grandson!