I have had a number of health opportunities over the past several years. Note- I used the word opportunity and not “dis-eases”. This concept is explained in my blog here. In 2005, after nearly 2 years of blood tests (that never led me anywhere) followed by endoscopy, liver biopsy and finally muscle biopsy, I was diagnosed with a specific type of muscular dystrophy (MD) called LGMD (Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy 2B). Needless to say, It came as a rude shock to me as I was an easy going, exercise buff who did not take life too seriously.
During the next few years, I struggled with MD and my muscles kept on wasting away as I continued to loose a lot of weight. At the time of my diagnosis, I was told that there was no cure for MD and none was expected anytime soon. I was given Steroid Based prescription medication to handle pain. They stopped having much effect soon but by that time I was hooked up on them. By 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, chronic eczema, dermatitis, depression, low grade chronic acidosis, sleep disorder, soda/sugar addiction, dependency on coffee as a stimulant as well as addiction to prescription drugs, pain medications and over the counter drugs. When nothing seemed to work I even gave medical pot a try as the last resort. Every time I developed a particular symptoms, I was given a new pill which never really helped me.
It was sometimes in January 2013 when (after considerable praying and self analysis) it finally became clear to me that the responsibility for reclaiming my health starts (and ends) with me and not with the MDs (Medical Doctors). Since than, I have spent the last 22 months making changes to different aspects of my lifestyle as well as cultivating a never – give up attitude. After having a long and fruitless experience depending on the Medical Doctors and prescription drugs for restoring my health, I came to an understanding that unfortunately the medical profession has become too compartmentalized/specialized much to its own determent. Unlike the past, today’s doctors are typically trained to“treat” one small part of the vastly complex human body. This limits their abilities to analyze the body as a whole and find the true cause of the health challenge. This is one of reasons I kept bouncing between doctors and was not diagnosed (mis – diagnosed) for almost 18 months.
When I look around, I can clearly see that I am not alone in having such an experience. Yet I also find it surprising that most of us continue to place unquestionable trust in the hands of those who are expected to diagnose whats ailing us often in 30 minutes or less. It is very clear to me now that the way the medical profession is now setup, the vast majority of Medical Doctors (MDs) are only equipped at identifying symptoms. On top of that, the overwhelming influence of the pharmaceutical industry forces their hand to prescribe a colorful pill for even the simplest of symptoms such as a common colds– (All of these pill comes with a number of side effects- that are conveniently listed on the label). It seems like every other day a new symptom is identified and than slapped with a different name i.e. “dis-eases” . Interestingly enough, soon after that a cure all pill comes out in the market to treat that particular symptom.
Instead of looking at the body as a singular organism it is treated more like a mechanical car with desperate parts that are screwed together with a specialist mechanic (MD) to fix each part – when it breaks down. There is a clear lack of interest in the mainstream Medical community that would allow them to identify, let alone rectify the CAUSES of a particular so called “dis-ease”. However, in the last few years, thanks to television shows like Dr Oz and others, you now have some breakaway MDs who have seen the light and are getting great results by using nutrition instead of drugs to treat the human body.
This understanding has finally liberated me and has given me much needed hope, freedom and even more importantly the confidence to take responsibility of my health in my own hands. I now pay a lot more attention to my lifestyle including my eating, sleeping, and exercise routine (I do that by writing a regular journal). Whenever I feel some discomfort, instead of running to a medical store or going to the doctor, I revert to my journal to see what I ate and what activities did I engage in prior days. In most cases, it was something I ate over a period of time or a particular habit that resulted in a particular symptom. Once I make the necessary adjustment/correction by changing what I ate and / or by removing the harmful habit(s), my symptoms disappear in a short period of time.
I learned that we develop chronic symptoms over a long period of time – after months and years of constantly abusing our bodies. But, even in some of the most extreme health challenges, it is possible to regain health by adopting a nutrition packed lifestyle. Most importantly, I have learned not to depend on doctor’s magical pill any more – which in the past had only succeeded in suppressing my symptoms by playing havoc with body’s complex immune system.
So for me personally, MD stands for both “Muscular Dystrophy”” and “Medical Doctors”. By choosing to say “NO” to both, I have taken charge of my long term health and my destiny. I still have Muscular Dystrophy and over the years have lost a lot of weight because of muscle wasting that has come with it. There are a number of things I can’t do any more like running, jogging, lifting heavy weights etc that a person who doesn’t have Muscular Dystrophy can easily do and often takes for granted. However, because of the changes I have been able to slow down the effects of MD to a great extent. Because of regular yoga, breathing and meditation, I have become quite flexible – In fact more flexible than a lot of people I know who do not have such a challenge. I get good at night and wake up fresh in the morning. My personal relationships have improved a great deal as well.
But the biggest change I have seen has been in our family. My wife lost about 25 lbs of weight by adding healthy alternatives to her diet (she now has the same weight as when we got married). We eat 90% or more organic foods and visit farmers market almost every week for fresh local groceries. We bought our own goat (who stays with our Gardner) so the kids can drink unpasturized raw milk with live enzymes. We buy pasture raised eggs from a local family farm. We stay away (as much as possible) from processed foods. My wife took a 4 day course in Ayurveda cooking and have now incorporated a number of healthy recipes to our diet plan. Both my children takes fruits or fresh cut vegetables for snack to school. My 7 year old son loves to help me make different types of fresh fruit juice. His favorite one is called “Vampire Juice” or “VJ” where we add apples, beats, carrots, orange and pomegranate with some lime and ginger. My 13 year old daughter who is also an avid baker (www.bakingowl.com) have started making healthy raw vegan deserts. Both my wife’s and I go for regular blood tests. They have shown consistent improvement in our vital markers since making changes to our lifestyle.
In short, I truly believe “Muscular Dystrophy” is probably the best thing that has happened to me. It has taught me very important lessons about life . I now appreciate the value of having a healthy body and mind a whole lot more, realizing more and more what a priceless gift it is from the divine. I am a lot happier than I ever was and believe It is my responsibility to share what I have learned with others who are facing health challenges. I recently completed a certification in the area of Holistic Healing and have been helping my friends and family members introduce healthy habits in their life. I have seen how these changes are making a difference in their lives which makes me even more motivated and helps reaffirm my commitment towards following a healthy lifestyle.
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