"Susie, we must take care of our health, it's most important you know." My mom stated to me about 10 years ago at the onset of her illness; a time I had no idea what this statement would end up meaning to me.
Ma taking a trip to Whole Foods Market
Food was important in my family, everything revolved around food; all celebrations, all gatherings, we always had lots of food. Unhealthy foods that were slowly causing us to demise into a life of misery and pain. Lots of bread, pasta and cheese. We drank milk by the gallons. Fried foods like sirloin steak tips dipped in beaten egg and coated with Progresso Italian flavored bread crumbs, before being friend in canola oil. I remember my now deceased brother saying to me one night while I prepared dinner, "Sue, I'd eat shit covered in this coating."
Our taste buds were skewed and assimilated to the processed food taste. I can remember fresh vegetables tasting horrible, this was when I was eating processed foods. No wonder people who are addicted to processed foods, don't eat whole foods, the processed foods change how we taste. Loaded with salt, sugar and preservatives, our minds are tricked into believing we are eating delicious food.
Food that will eventually make us all sick and needing pharmaceutical drugs to counteract the ill-effects of the fake foods we eat. In this sense, as long as we have fast foods, processed and lifeless foods, we will also need synthetic drugs to keep us alive.
My mom was in a nursing home for the last year and a half of her life. She needed to be in a place. I visited her nearly every day and witnessed firsthand what happens to us at the end of a lifetime of poor eating. I saw old folks, confined to wheelchairs, unable to speak or do anything for themselves. Drugged and fed food that would not be served at my dinner table, the cycle of illness was steadily working like a fine oiled machine. It's the system. The way it is supposed to be, it's what everyone agrees is normal and OK in our society. I find this whole cycle of illness to be perverted and against all that is good.
For my mom, I promised to do things different, especially when she asked me repeatedly to help her. "Please Susie, please help me get off all these drugs. They make me feel worse. I don't like feeling like this!" Words that echo in my heart and mind, words that gave me the strength to do everything that I could for my mom to help her have more good days than bad.
Mom, she began eating just so she could take the recommended dose of insulin each morning and evening. Her blood sugar was dropping very low and she would begin to shake uncontrollably. I'd give her a few crackers or a candy bar and she'd stop shaking.
The more we changed our diets, mom began to reduce her insulin on her own. She didn't need as much as soon as we removed the inflammatory processed fake foods. I changed our diet to whole foods. I made everything fresh and from scratch, even our treats. Cookies, our favorite guilty pleasure. Oatmeal, Raisin Cookies with fenugreek, a known blood sugar reducer. Mom was feeling better. I was inspired to keep on going, regardless of my critics.
Mom loved food. She loved food shopping. She enjoyed cooking. She missed bread, pasta and processed foods. I did my best to recreate all of her favorite foods with healthy ingredients. I vowed to help her with food as her first medicine. I worked tirelessly. Researching foods and her health ailments.
Fenugreek was the first medicinal food that I had come across. I had learned that it is great for managing diabetes, cholesterol and water retention. All health issues my mom had been battling for decades. She was a full blown insulin dependent diabetic on 62 injectable units every day. Sometimes more if her blood sugar readings wouldn't respond to the initial dose. Insanity.
I talked to my mom about what I had read about Fenugreek. I explained to her that it seemed it could help her get her diabetes under control. She was all in. We went to Whole Foods Market and we bought our first bottle of Fenugreek extract. Mom was excited to get home and take her glucose reading so that we could give her one drop of fenugreek in a small glass of water to see what would happen after 15 minutes. To our amazement, one drop of fenugreek lowered her blood sugar 15 points! It was this discovery that helped me to help get my mother off the insulin needle. I was driven to keep on going, even when doctors started to look at me as though I was injuring my mother because I wasn't making her take her drugs.
It didn't take us very long to fix my mom's pancreas. She began to make her own insulin again and toss all her needles. It was as though we fixed her with food and fenugreek. Mom was starting to live again. She was losing weight and had lots of energy. Every day we went out somewhere so that she could walk and walk and shop. Fun times that will remain dear to me until my last day.
I did continue to research foods and began using food as her medicine. I used fresh herbs and spices. Foods that were known anti-inflammatory became our diets staple. Chamomile tea and mint tea included. My mom was physically becoming stronger but her mind was slowly deteriorating. Lewy Bodies Dementia will do that to its victims.
One constant theme that I did notice while caring for my mother, if she ate anything white like bread, pasta, potatoes or anything in a box with preservatives, she would begin to hallucinate and often become frightened. When I fed her dark greens, garlic, turmeric, coriander or fenugreek, she relaxed and the scary visions would go away. I noticed a relationship between the fake foods, blood sugar and blood pressure readings.
I observed my mother and documented what I was witnessing. I am still amazed. I believed in what I was doing. No one and nothing was going to get in my way of following through with something that I witnessed firsthand, over and over again. Even when my mom needed 24 x 7 nursing care, when caring became too overwhelming for me to manage on my own, I still brought my mom food every day. I was her Healthcare Proxy, in essence, I was my mother as far as her health was concerned. My persistence and creativity allowed me to overcome all obstacles.
Talking to doctors became an art form. I learned how to do it, thanks to the encouragement of my mom's Naturopath Doctor and her primary care Doctor who is very progressive. Both of her doctors are my doctors today! I used my imagination. I made sure when I talked to any of mom's healthcare professionals about her, I did my best to keep emotion out of the conversation. I used my honed skill of persuasion, an art form that I had mastered during my professional career as a Sales Engineer. Studying hypnosis sure did help me to help my mom; I always believed it would just help me to sell more software!
In the end, mom passed in peace with minimal suffering in the days preceding her last day on Earth. My mother, she proved to me that it's never too late to take care of our health. Health is most important, without it, life is no fun. Food choices that I make today are a lot different than those I would have made in the past. I am now 53, time to live my mom's advice and live the healthiest lifestyle I possibly can.
Thank God for Ma's Advice!