I wake-up around 6am, slowly reach for my water and two oxycodone (pain pills) to help me physically get out of bed, deal with the pain as much as I can, go to work, and strive to live a normallife, or at least try to function within society. Each and every day for six months, my husband kindly drives me to work, as I am unable to drive while taking the concoction of medicines the various doctors have prescribed. Once at work, I do everything I can in an attempt to keep up with the fast pace world, while all I can think about is going back to bed so I do not have to deal with the pain. This year was filled with over ten invasive medical procedures, one unneeded surgery, a rotation of twelve ineffective medications, and endless doctor visits, only to repeatedly hear that no one knows what is causing my pain, and yet there always seems to be a pill that can solve it all. I consistently question how this can happen, how in a society were modern medicine is extremely advanced and insightful―how could my pain be undiagnosable?
Then as I was traveling back from the Cleveland Clinic, I came to the realization that I had to take control over my own health, and not depend on Western Medicine (a.k.a. the practice of medicine) to solve my pain. My first action was to schedule an appointment with a nutritionist. I thought the next logical step was eating and learning how to take care of my body, in order, to figure out a way to heal. While meeting with the nutritionist, I read her my food journal, and then she asked one simple question, “Why do you not drink milk?” I described how I broke out in hives and how sick I became when drinking milk. She then asked me if I was eating other products containing milk, as she quickly realized that I was not lactose intolerant, and I had not “out-grew” my milk allergy ― I was in fact allergic to milk, all milk proteins (e.g., caseins and whey ), and all products containing milk (e.g., cheese, ice cream, butter). I sat there with her and cried. Could it really be that all this pain was caused by milk? Was it possible that an hour with a nutritionist prospered a diagnosis?
Amazingly, it was possible, and it has been three years since my visit to the nutritionist. Today, I take no medications for pain because I do not have pain. Instead, I have altered my diet to be milk-free, and take vitamins to supplement and balance my diet. I now eat tofu sour cream, use oil instead of butter, have a great love for sorbet , and have visited many of the best local vegan and Slow Food restaurants in town. Throughout this process, I have gained insight about what is in the food I eat, the value of organic whole foods (i.e., food in its most natural state, which means it is not processed or are minimally processed), as well as the benefits of a life that blends aspects of Western Medicine with a holistic lifestyle.
Eating for Health : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6lgzGfPguI&feature=player_detailpage
Photo Source: Jessica Green