I’m a cancer survivor. My chance of getting cancer again, either the same cancer or a different cancer is actually rather high. The treatments I have seem to have damaged my thyroid and given me anemia and raised my blood pressure significantly. Every night I take multiple pharmaceutical medications for blood pressure, indigestion, allergies, hormones, thyroid, and blood sugar. Every year I seem to end up with some further symptom that requires some further medication. If I didn’t have great pharmaceutical insurance, we’d be in trouble.
My husband isn’t in much better a state. He has been taking medication for a longstanding depressive disorder that got out of hand, and has been on 3 meds for several years. When his first medication had side effects he got put on another to help. And then another. And then another med to deal with the physical side effects, and then another. But still the initial problem has never gone away, even with years of therapy and drugs. And the side effects cause so many issues in day to day life. And now one of his medications has switched from one manufacturer to another, which causes no end of issues for 3 months or so while his brain acclimates to the new dosing. Don’t let them tell you that all generics are the same, they simply aren’t. This isn’t opinion, it’s fact I learned from talking to pharmaceutical chemists.
As I was flitting through Amazon.com books, looking at various green books, then at toxicity, then at pharmaceuticals, I came across The Mood Cure. Reading the descriptions and reviews I picked it up immediately for my kindle. I’ve read it. It makes such amazing sense. The book made me realize how much my husband’s mental state is linked to his diet. We’ve seen the results of this firsthand and have known for a couple years now that if he hasn’t had enough protein his mental symptoms get worse, as do his side effects. He’s reading it too, and he can look back over many years and see how the times he was worst even before the meds was when he was eating like crap, if he ate at all. For me, I know that I’m anemic, I’m borderline diabetic, I’ve got a dying thyroid from the radiation and the chemo shrank my blood vessels and gave me high blood pressure. I’m also somewhere between 50-70 pounds overweight. Every day I’m so tired I can’t get up the energy to do what needs to be done. I get good sleep, but I just can’t do a whole day without a nap lately. I’m overwhelmed by work, by housework, by lots of things and tend to bury my head in the sand rather than to just get up and do something, even a little.
The new medication change for my husband was the straw that broke this camel’s back. There has GOT to be a better way. We’re agreed to give this a try, to wean him off of his current medications and use a good protein-rich (but not protein exclusive) diet and supplements to try to manage his illness and my illnesses. I’ve been leaning towards making some life changes since my chemo. I KNOW I have to make them. I’ve been dragging my feet as usual for any large change. Now it’s time. We are going to straighten up and fly right. Change our food habits, and take the nutritional supplements that can get us back on track. I’ve already been making some changes in our diet, and now my husband is learning what and how much he actually should be eating in order to retain a good mental state. We’ve switched over to a lot of organic, free range, and grass fed foods to increase the nutritional value of what we eat. Yesterday I went and bought supplements to assist us while we get the food thing down. I’m continuing to read well reviewed books on natural nutrition to get a better look at the whole picture.
Will this absolutely work? I don’t know. But it’s worth a shot. It’ll be hard. It’ll take adjustment. Overcoming 20-some-odd years of bad eating habits I learned as an adult is NOT easy, I recognize that. Getting over our love of white flour products and sugar will be a killer, though I’m planning to minimize rather than completely omit. If my husband’s original depressive disorder returns, we will have to go back to medications or try alternate therapies. Adding exercise into the mix as soon as I have some more constant energy is a must, and I HATE exercise. However, what’s really got me going I think is that now I have more knowledge about the role of nutrition in my health and mental state. I now have some understanding of the role of toxins in my environment and my food, and how they can effect my health. Most importantly, I know what power I have to be in charge and drive and control some of what happens to me, rather than just be a passenger. I know now what I can try, and that it has worked for many many people before me.
And knowing is half the battle.