Hi Ladies and Gentlemen. Frank and I have been trying to put together some thoughts lately. It's an odd topic, it goes back 20 to 30 years, and we're going to try to take you from there to where we are today. I'm going to share with you some of the changes we've made in our lives recently, and a little history about where these changes are coming from. We all have different learning levels, some are right in our face everyday, sometimes we ask ourselves, "Why didn't I see this years and years ago?" We're all human, or I believe we are all human anyway, we all make mistakes, and I believe what separates a lot of us is how we acknowledge and handle our mistakes. Here goes.
Back in the late 80's or early 90's, Frank had a persistent pain in his shoulder blade. He went to the doctor, and was given a prescription of Relafen for the pain, which he ended up taking for years. He would go back to the doctor with pain in his shoulder, and after awhile, he was
also getting an upset stomach. Finally, at one doctor visit, he asked if the upset stomach, pain in his shoulder, and the Relafen were somehow related. The doctor said yes. It turns out that the Relafen, though it worked on the pain, was causing the stomach upset, which can be manifested as a referred pain to the shoulder blade. So we asked, "Why didn't you tell us this years ago?" Frank had been taking a medication for a pain that had probably always come from his stomach, that made the problem worse in a vicious, Catch 22 cycle. Frank stopped taking the medication, took care of his stomach and miraculously the shoulder pain was cured.
This was the beginning of our realization that most doctors are only able to see, or diagnose, or treat, what they have been taught to see, or diagnose, or treat. Very few of them are able to gather data, i.e. symptoms; synthesize that data; evaluate all aspects of treatment, i.e. something besides "Here. Take this pill."; and come up with an effective treatment plan that doesn't just mask the symptoms, but treats the underlying cause of the problem.
Fast forward a few years, and now we live in Alaska. Frank starts having problems with his armpits being dry and chaffed. He goes to the doctor. They gave him this cream and that cream, none of them worked. They
gave him a shot, they gave him some pills. None of them worked. He looked at the chemical composition of some different deodorants, and he changed what he was using. The problem still persisted. Alaska is notorious for low humidity, sinus problems are prevalent. Somebody mentioned to him it may be dry skin, try some lotion. Wa-la! Put lotion on, wait a little while, put on deodorant, and the medical mystery was solved. Dry skin. Makes you wonder why the doctors didn't tell him that since they see the effects of dryness everyday. A couple of squirts of Vaseline Intensive Care, problem solved.
Fast forward to about four or five years ago. After we moved to our homestead from Alaska, we began an earnest effort to eliminate much of the chemicalized food, chemicalized toiletries, chemicalized gardening techniques and feeding our animals chemicalized products. We haven't been able to totally eliminate them, but here are some of the things we have done.
Frank went first in the no deodorant at all arena. I followed a few years later. Now, neither one of us apply anything at all to our armpits. Nothing. If we work real hard, there may be an odor of sorts temporarily, but we don't go around stinking all the time. It took a few weeks for our armpits to 'withdraw' from the chemicals we were applying daily. They felt a little funny for a bit, but now, I don't notice them at all.
Next we quit using toothpaste. This time I went first. I have had a problem with bad breath at times for years and years, especially if I was taking any medications. But, we'll get back to medications in a minute. I really
thought I would have even more problems with my breath when I quit toothpaste, but you know what? My mouth felt cleaner that it ever had. I was totally amazed. It was then I realized all that taste good, fluoridated, poison stuff I brushed my teeth with every day was leaving a coating in my mouth that lead to bad breath. Amazing! Actually, my reaction was more like, "You've got to be kidding!" Not long afterwards, Frank stopped using toothpaste as well. Now we use plain baking soda. I've looked at many sites that make their own toothpaste with essential oils and other stuff, but I like plain, simple baking soda. It works great.
We've already written about our lip balm and lotion recently, so I don't need to explain that again. I also stopped using any shampoo and conditioner about a year ago, along with commercial panty liners. All of these steps have helped to eliminate more and more commercially made products and chemicals that our bodies were absorbing every single day.
Now back to some more medications. Over the last couple of decades, Frank and I started having some reflux problems, so we went to the doctor. I think this started sometime shortly after 2000 when we were in Alaska. They put us on Protonix and Nexium which we took for years. Years.
No one told us that these types of medications were initially produced for people to take no longer than six weeks at a time without causing side effects and problems. It was only a few years ago we found out, through our own research, what a huge impact proton pump inhibitors can have, not only on the production of acid and the whole digestive system, but on your entire body at the cellular level. It changes the chemical composition of your body and how it reacts to acid. That's part of the reason it is so difficult to get off of this drug, or it was in our case. We just followed doctor's recommendations and continued to "take this pill." Once we found out just how much damage long term use of these pills could have on our bodies, we decided to wean them down and quit. The only problem is, that once your body has adjusted to having these drugs for a long period of time, it goes through a major increase of acid production trying to compensate for the lack of medication. Most people cannot tolerate the withdrawal symptoms of intense heartburn and stomach pain, so guess what? They go back on the medication thinking there is something wrong. We did. More than once. I even ended up with
Some time when we were living in Alaska, one of the doctors recommended Frank take a blood pressure medication since his readings were just borderline high. He didn't take anything for years, but started taking one off and on after we moved here. But his blood pressure was
never really high. So, we bought a little blood pressure machine. Well, a number of months back Frank's blood pressure was what we thought was really high. We have a couple of nurses in the family, Frank called and we went to visit one of them. To her, his blood pressure was no big deal. She's an active, participating, veteran nurse. We all have stressful days, and Frank had a major surgery recently, and before that was in a tremendous amount of pain. But the words of our in-law nurse, "That's not bad." So, Frank quit his blood pressure medication. Nothing happened, and his blood pressure went down. The next time we visited the doctor he wanted Frank to take a beta blocker along with his blood pressure medication, and we said no. He has since quit taking the blood pressure medication altogether. His blood pressure is now fine.
I haven't mentioned it, but Frank and I have our blood work done twice a year. Each time we have it done, our doctor wants to put us on medication to lower our cholesterol. Frank has a long term running joke. "If you want me to lower my cholesterol, just give me a pencil with an eraser." He has found that, believe it or not, what you have to eat the day before affects everything that is tested in your blood work, especially the biggies, like cholesterol and sugar. But the medical folks will tell you that your diet the day before doesn't make any difference. Hogwash! If he has a bowl of ice cream before he goes to bed the night before his blood test, the next day his sugar is elevated. We keep all of our old blood test records. Frank started experimenting to see if what he ate the night before affected the tests and it does. So, what you're told and what is reality, don't always fit together.
There seems to be a pattern. I have a headache, take this. What you're taking for the headache upsets your stomach, so take this. What you're taking for your stomach causes your blood pressure to rise, take this. And then take this. And then you don't know why you're taking anything. It's a difficult thing to see and figure out.
We have all been taught to do what our doctor tells us to do and we want to believe that the medical profession has our best interest at heart. Speaking of heart. A number of years ago, back in Alaska, Frank had a stress test done on his heart. Everything was great, except for one spot they couldn't see and it was a dark spot, or sometimes called an artifact. This lady doctor was going to schedule surgery, Frank told her no, and she was appalled that someone would question her. Follow me here. A couple of years ago, Frank had another stress test here in Oklahoma. His heart is just fine, except there is another dark spot, or artifact, in a different location, and the doctor wants to schedule surgery. Now isn't this ironic? That there is a dark spot, or artifact, a place they cant' see in two different parts of his heart on two separate tests. I don't want to think that this is some kind of high level con game, but if you can't see it, then I guess you've got to go in and look, don't you? Makes you wonder. So, does the medical profession have your best interest at heart? Makes you wonder. By the way, Frank never had any surgery. The answer was still no.
Moving on. When Frank went back for his five month check up after having back surgery, we had a pleasant conversation with the surgeon. Earlier on, Frank had asked him if weight was a factor, related to his surgery, and the doctor's response was, weight is always a factor. Now, Frank and I are both big people, and we're also overweight big people, which boils down to we're both fat. You know, corn fed. And we've both been told for years by
assorted doctors that we needed to lose weight. We've done the token diet thing a time or two, but something was different that day with the back surgeon. He introduced us to a program where you cut carbohydrates sharply. We talked about it in his office some and when we left that day at around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon, we walked out to the truck, and sat there for a minute. We both agreed it is time, and that we can do this. That was December 2, 2014. I cannot tell you what is different. There was no strike of lightening or epiphany, but we both knew it, and we both felt it, and we both agreed that the time is now. So, like we do most things, we came home, got on the internet, looked up the books, humble turnip we have talked about for months? That accidental, experimental animal feed project? It has been a major part of our diet. I can't help but believe in my mind that this is all part of some master plan. But that's kind of getting out there, I guess. But for those of you that feel and see that way, then you know what I'm talking about.
A long time ago, seven or eight years back, we came to the realization that things are changing profoundly in our world. This could be one of those times where we wonder why it took us so long to see it, or we can be thankful that we saw it a number of years ago. But the deal is, we did see it, and there are changes happening. On the chemical issue, I'd rather
get off the chemicals on my schedule, than get off chemicals on somebody else's schedule. Withdrawal is not always a pretty thing when you don't have access to what you're used to, whether it be illegal drugs or legal prescription drugs. And then there are the chemicals that we are just exposed to daily, whether we eat them, drink them, breathe them or absorb them through our skin, if we have to have them, then when the time comes that we don't, things may not be pleasant at all. If you have things in your life that you've been wanting to change, I hope you find the inspiration and the motivation to do so. Even if it's not a chemical, or a pharmaceutical, what about behavioral things that we have become addicted to? Picture television. The winds are changing, and the winds may change at your house soon. It might be time for you to give thought to change also.
We've taken the time to share these personal notes, and some of them are very personal, in the hope that they will help someone in some small way. If you can find any motivation or inspiration in some of our trials, please use them. We hope these stories and views will give you something to think about.
Frank & Fern