The next six months were nothing short of miserable. I steadily gained weight, slept up to twenty hours a day and had debilitating body aches, heart palpitations and episodes of profuse perspiration?—?as well as something my family and I called “cold nose,” a symptom which caused my nose to become icy immediately prior to my body breaking out in a cold sweat. All this was interspersed with bouts of bronchitis.
I also suffered from severe depression while I spent my days isolated from friends and family and unable to work out of embarrassment, exhaustion and the unpredictability of when my symptoms would flare up. My affliction with these symptoms continued in spite of being placed on varying doses of hormone replacement, steroids and medications to regulate my heart rate. I also consulted three endocrinologists as well as my primary care physician, and was undergoing a plethora of diagnostic tests. Longing for normalcy and a return to health, I visited my primary care physician up to three times a week. After much head-scratching on his part, my doctor told me that I would just have to wait three to six months for my Thyroiditis to “burn out.” Not sure what that meant, I waited nearly six months, anticipating some sort of switch to turn off the sickness so that I could get back to life as I knew it.
Six months came and went without any change for the better. It was then that I finally heeded my mother’s advice about how I might regain my health. Although she had been trying to tell me for six months, I finally listened to what she had to say about Hippocrates Health Institute (HHI). At that point I was willing to try anything to get my health back. I had ignored her voice because, like many good patients, I had faith in whatever my doctors told me and never attempted to second guess their “expertise.” But during six months of getting progressively more ill, not one of my doctors had inquired about my diet or the fact that I smoked. I had long eaten a Standard American Diet (SAD) consisting of fast food, meat, cheese, dairy, refined sugars and processed anything and everything. I had never thought about buying organic or locally grown produce. I was basically oblivious to what I was putting in my body?—?and so were my doctors. Three days after finally accepting my mother’s advice and armed only with the knowledge that HHI was in West Palm Beach and that I would be on a strictly raw vegan diet, I traveled from my home in New York to Florida to begin my renewal. On Saturday, June 5, 2010, I ended the carnivorous chapters of my life with a bacon blue-cheese burger though I hardly had the energy to eat.
On Sunday, June 6, 2010, I started the three-week Life Change Program at HHI. Even though I was entirely new to the raw vegan lifestyle, I instantly surrendered to the program upon my arrival. Unlike many people, during the first week I experienced very few detoxification problems as I believe my body was elated to be without all the toxic foods and cigarettes I had left behind just a few days earlier. I took every opportunity to learn the new raw vegan and holistic lingo and food preparation techniques, and I enjoyed sharing stories with the other guests. I learned how to grow wheatgrass and sprouts. I made friendships I will treasure forever.
I witnessed very ill people become healthy. I met administrators and staff who genuinely care about every single individual on that campus. As I told my mother, I felt privileged to be there. I comforted others through their breakdowns and joined them to celebrate their breakthroughs, while having my own share of both.
I attended every lecture I could in order to gain knowledge and empowerment. I saw and experienced miracles. I learned the importance of oxygen, sunlight, whole foods, and herbal supplements. I left with free floating red blood cells, twelve pounds lighter and 100% free of illness. I left with life.
After dedicating just twenty-one days to increasingly greater vitality, I discovered that the magical sickness off-switch I had been hoping for never actually existed and that I had been ill for many years, not merely six months. I had been so consumed with being sick on a daily basis that I never gave health a chance to enter my life. Returning home was difficult but I have succeeded in maintaining my raw vegan lifestyle with the love and support of family, friends and even strangers with whom I share the HHI philosophy. Now, I grow my own wheatgrass and sprouts which I juice every day. I am grateful and humbled to have learned how to really live and thrive from now on. I only hope that everyone realizes the same opportunity to let health into their life.
Vol 31 Issue 1 Page 22