As of last week I introduced natural medicine into my treatment plan. I met with a naturopathic doctor while I was in Vietnam a few months ago. He was known to cure people of cancer and other diseases through the use of natural medicine and diet. He was extremely specific and concise in how I was to take this medicine and how I would feel on it. He assured me within nine months to a year my Lupus would be reversed and cured. I don’t want to be too hopeful and optimistic, but I am willing to give it try. My mother has always been searching for a cure for my Lupus since the day I was diagnosed eight years ago. I have tried every crazy concoction she has found to try and “cure” my lupus- to be frank I did it just to please her. After so many failed attempts I told my mom to stop trying and wasting money. I stopped caring and couldn’t be bothered to experiment anymore. I reassured her that I was fine with having Lupus and it was nothing to be sad about. When she heard through family in Vietnam about this naturopath curing cancer patients she said I had to go see him. She begged me to go and I finally caved. I made sure she knew though that this was going to be my last and final attempt.
It was a seven hour drive to see this famous naturopath. He lived in a tiny little village in the South of Vietnam. His home and office were a humble abode. There were at least 12-15 patients lined up outside his house to see him. Luckily for me the naturopath remembered speaking to my mom when we were in Vancouver, and saw us first since we had travelled so far to see him. The naturopath listened to my different pulses and explained to me how my Lupus was now affecting my liver as well. At that moment my trust in his work was instilled. Right before I left for Vietnam my Rheumatologist (Lupus doctor) said my liver tests and enzymes were all over the place, and things were out of whack. He was afraid my Lupus or my steroids were affecting my liver, so we started cutting down on one of my steroids. It really spooked me that the naturopath found that out solely by listening to my pulse! He brought me into the back room where they store all the herbal medicine in big styrofoam boxes. He picked up a small plastic bowl and started concocting the perfect blend of herbs and natural medicine to give me. He explained I would have to cook the natural medicine down to make a broth from it-very similar to the traditional Chinese medicine. I am to drink it three times a day, about 1.5 cups each time. While on the natural medicine I am to avoid all fried, grilled, toasted, or baked foods. Basically his reasoning behind this was to avoid having the food produce any carcinogens from being charred. I can’t consume any sauces with artificial coloring, like soya sauce. I was not to have any dairy or meat as well, so it worked out perfectly that I had intended on going vegan anyways. He explained the first week on the medicine would be the toughest for me. He said I would feel extremely ill, weak, and achey, as if I had a really bad flu. This is exactly how I have felt this last week being on the medicine. The past week has been the toughest week during my journey thus far. I am excited though to start another natural pursuit in my attempts to reverse my Lupus, and for the opportunity to share this experience with you all.
The first picture is a single batch of the herbal medicine the naturopath gave to me. The second picture is the “broth” cooked down from the herbal medicine.
PROGRESS REPORT #3
- How many days of adopting a vegan diet have I accomplished?
I am on my 41st day of eating vegan. This week I am having a hard time with cravings, I think it has to do with PMS and the cravings I get before my time of the month strolls around.
- How do I feel today?
Today I feel okay.I was quite stiff in the morning upon waking. I struggled to roll out of bed today and lift my blanket off myself. It is now 6:30pm and I am feeling better than I did this morning. I really just have to be patient and allow my muscles and joints to loosen up naturally.
- How is my energy level?
My energy level today is on the lower side. Lupus is very sensitive to the sun, and I definitely notice when it is warmer out my energy falls immediately. I was able to do a few errands this morning, but had to rush home for an afternoon rest.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how prevalent are my Lupus symptoms? Joints? Skin? Fatigue? Kidneys?
My rating: 5-6
Joints: The last week my joint pains have been hard to handle. I think the pain stems from being off my steroids, as well as starting the natural medicine. I am hoping the pains start to subside soon, because they are exhausting my body and wearing me down.
Skin: I have not noticed any significant changes in my skin since last week. To date I have yet to spot another scalp rash, yippee!! 🙂
Fatigue: Fatigue has been quite prevalent this week. As the naturopath advised me I was going to feel weak and tired during the first week of the natural medicine. I have simplified my schedule this week to allow my body time to rest whenever I need it.Kidneys: No swelling at all to date!! This is one of the big changes I am most happiest about.
- Have I displayed any new symptoms? Good or bad.
This may be too much information, but I figure if I am sharing my story I need to be as honest and authentic as possible! Since I started eating vegan I noticed quite quickly that my bowel movements had become completely regular. I normally would go once every 1-2 days. Now I am going twice a day, which feels a lot better. I haven’t had any random episodes of diarrhea or constipation, which would happen if I ate the wrong thing, or if something just didn’t agree with my stomach.
- How long have I been off my steroids?
It has been 38 days. The naturopath told me I was to stop taking my steroids as soon as I started the natural medicine, because the two would interact negatively.Looks like I won’t be taking my steroids anytime soon!
- Have I learned anything new to adopt in my natural approach?
I mentioned earlier in this blog piece that I have introduced natural medicine into my regimen. I am excited to incorporate natural medicine as it is something I have always been interested in. One of my best friends, who is a vegetarian and hippie at heart, has always pushed me to see a naturopath and to try natural medicine. I was ignorant and naive, and didn’t care to question Western medicine. Never did I think she was on the right path all along!On a completely separate and personal note, I have decided to start pursuing naturopathy. I was originally going to school to pursue Psychiatric Nursing. Now with a turn of events and a drastic change in my lifestyle I felt as though Psychiatric Nursing would create a moral conflict. I feel as though I have seen more positive changes and benefits since starting veganism and natural medicine. I would not feel right implementing steroids and other medications on patients, knowing it never worked for my disease. Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor is going to be a long journey, a lot of schooling, and a lot of student debt, but I truly believe it is a career I will be passionate about forever. Knowing the treatment I offer patients won’t have any adverse effects, or affect any other parts of their body negatively was a real selling point for me. Naturopathy focuses on preventative measures and treating symptoms and the body as a whole, not as separate systems. It makes logically sense though because your body is intertwined in every way. Naturopathic Doctors can provide treatment plans through natural medicine, diet, lifestyle change, acupuncture, botanical medicine, etc. I am beyond the moon excited for the next chapter in my life! I feel really really good about my next endeavor 🙂