I came to states in the fall of 1996. After months of no physical training and bed rest I had become very thin and lean. I had still no clue about the real cause of back injury (Systemic Acidosis) but was just happy to be in states to pursue my dreams. There were times when I was really tempted to go to the gym and did in fact went there couple of times to try my luck with weights again. But as soon as I lifted a dumbbell I could sense my back tightening up again, so I gently left it alone. For the next year and a half, I focused on my studies and didn’t go anywhere near the gym. Interestingly, since I was on a very tight budget financially my consumptions of animal proteins (especially the meat) dropped significantly. In hindsight, that helped me recover to some extent from the debilitating back problems.
Once I graduated and started working, my passion for exercise and gaining weight returned. I bought an exercise machine and some weights. But this time I was extremely cautious and took extreme care in lifting weights. I started exercising for just 30 minutes 3 times a week thus giving my body ample rest. On the flip side, I doubled up on my consumption of animal proteins (primarily milk, chicken, beef and eggs). I also started adding huge servings of starchy food like potatoes, rice and pastas. Along with consuming animal based proteins I also got hooked on sodas, McDonalds sandwiches and pizzas. The results were almost instantaneous. I started putting on a lot of weight -everywhere. Within a year I put on 50 pounds and my waist size went from 30 to 35. With no visible sign of any recurring back pain, needless to say, I was over the moon. I had no clue what all this food was doing to my lymphatic system, my kidneys, and various glands.
In the year 2000, I decided to change my job and moved to California and for next couple of years life went on without any major issue. I was now a proud dad of a cute little daughter and my wife had started working as well and for the first time we had started to save some money. The future looked very bright and we even started talking about buying our first house in a year or so.
In the fall of 2003, I started notice some discomfort in climbing office stairs. In the following few weeks, it became a challenge to climb the staircase normally and had to take one step at a time. Though there was no pain (at least initially), I felt a weird kind of weakness slowly settling in my lower body. First I thought maybe I have not been training my legs hard enough so I started training them harder but oddly found it hard to lift the similar or even lesser wights that I had lifted before comfortably. When that didn’t seem to help, I figured maybe it was over-training in the gym, so I gave myself a break to rest and recover. However, even that didn’t seem to do the trick. Increasingly, I felt my legs getting heavier with lower proximity not moving with the same speed as my upper body. In a strange but comical way I felt a lack synchronization between my upper and lower body.
I went to a number of MDs including specialists and general physicians but none could diagnose my health condition. Over a period of 18 months I was sent for a number of blood tests followed by upper endoscopy and eventually liver biopsy but still no clue to what was going on with me. In fact, for months (based on my blood tests results) I was told that that I had Hepatitis. Eventually, I was sent for a muscle biopsy (where the doc took a chunk of my leg muscle that was sent to lab in boston. Finally I was diagnosed with a specific type of muscular dystrophy (MD) called LGMD type 2-B (Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy). When I asked about the cause of this illness, I was told that it was due to genetic mutation that was likely passed on from one of my parents and there was no cure in sight. I was also told that over a period of time my muscles will become extremely weak and I will not have be able to even stand. In other words, I’ll become wheel chair bound. Needless to say, I was devastated with this news.
I searched the internet looking for any kind of cure but found nothing. My health was deteriorating fast and I was finding it harder to do simple things such as climbing stairs (without holding the railing) or even getting up from the chair unassisted. Soon I developed bursitis in my right hip. The pain was excruciating as I could neither sit, stand or lie down. I went to the emergency and was given a steroid based injection along with steroid pills for pain. Unable to cope with the pain and mental stress, I quit my job. My muscles continued to become weak and I would often fall flat while walking or even standing thus badly bruising my knee or elbows. This latest development made me extremely paranoid and I became extremely cautious while standing or walking.
By the beginning of 2012, the state of my physical and mental condition had gone from bad to worse. In addition to LGMD, I had developed symptoms of chronic constipation, severe eczema, dermatitis, depression, sleep disorder, soda/sugar addiction, dependency on coffee as a stimulant as well as addiction to prescription pain medications and over the counter drugs. I even gave medical pot a try as the last resort. I didn’t know what to do other than drown myself in self pity. I become angry at God and even blamed my parents (in my heart) for passing on the faulty genes.
By the end of 2012, I had become a basket case. Till than, I had successfully hidden most of my symptoms from my friends and family members. I was regular at the weekend parties where endless amount of food was consumed and drinks were served. My friends knew about MD but had no idea to what degree my life had become difficult. I had even added anti depressants (amongst my long list of prescription drugs) to keep my sanity. In December of 2012, I went with my family to a new years party. As it had become a custom for me, I spent most of my time in the rest room as I again had an extremely bad case of constipation. Though I had taken a whole bunch of strong laxatives even before coming but even they didn’t seem to work anymore. Apparently, the over consumption of prescription laxatives had thoroughly debilitated my colon. Sitting in rest room I could hear people laughing, dancing on the beats of loud music.
I looked at myself in the mirror and saw someone I couldn’t recognize. For some reason tears started gushing out and I started sobbing uncontrollably. I had never cried so much in my life. I started praying feverishly begging God to give me one more chance. When I finally came out, I felt a lot better as if a big weight has been lifted from my shoulder. Later, when I was speaking to one of my friends he mentioned something about an article he read about hydrotherapy and how it helps clean up the colon. After coming back home, I started doing online research on hydrotherapy and its benefits. To my amazement, I found out that hydrotherapy has been practiced for thousands of years and has helped a lots of people heal from debilitating diseases. At last I had some hope. I booked a session with an Asian hydrotherapist who turned out to be a naturopath as well. He was almost 70 years old and had an amazing self healing story using simply nutrition. He in essence became my first teacher. He taught me the importance of eating a clean diet and also suggested that effective immediately, I should go on a mostly live/raw food diet at least for the foreseeable future to give my over taxed digestive system enough time to recover from years of neglect and abuse. I ended up going for 14 sessions (over a period of 2 months) in all and the stuff that eventually came out of my colon was un imaginable. At the end of two months, I felt like a completely new person.