Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My stroke

Though I have always been very conscious about my diet, eating the right kinds of food (for the most part), and taking excellent supplements, I still had a stroke. It was brought on by the demands of many years of an extremely stressful job. My occupation was relatively sedentary and I don't have a regular exercise routine. However, I do have a small farm that keeps me very active. After getting out of the hospital following a week-long stay, I was advised to just take my medications and come back in a few months. I was given no advice about diet, exercise, or given any prognosis. Sitting in my home two days later, I had a second stroke that left me sitting at the table unable to move or speak. Off to the hospital I went again, sirens screaming. Thankfully, I recovered my speech and movement in the ambulance. My strokes had occurred, not in my carotid arteries in my neck, but in the tiny arteries of the brain itself. I was offered surgery, which I was told would give me about a 20% chance for recovery. Since that was not a better chance than I had without surgery, I respectfully declined that opportunity. Again, the hospital staff seemed uninterested in my recovery beyond my compliance with their drugs, but I got very serious about improving my chances with or without their approval! I have always used alternative health care unless there was no other alternative. I like to think things through for myself, and from a young age it just made sense to me to allow the miracle that is the human body to heal itself. I grew up the son of a very out-spoken chiropractor. His enthusiasm for his profession earned my family fire-bombed offices, general harassment, and even death threats (no kidding) from local medical practitioners. My childhood experiences definitely figured largely in my decision to use "alternative" health care as my first choice. Because of my firm belief in giving the body a chance, I used non-allopathic practitioners and practices to help pull me back from my health crisis. Immediately, I went on a very strict diet suggested by a friend who is a health empath. This diet included drinking a mixture of juices daily, made from fresh fruits and vegetables. This was probably the most intensive part of my recovery. I spent many hours a day preparing and drinking my juice. I also regularly visited my chiropractor and my naturopath, used homeopathics, chelation therapy, and continued with natural supplements. I had to hunt high and low for a medical doctor that encouraged the use of alternative therapies. Reluctantly, I continued to use the medicines prescribed for me, as well. Within about 3 months I had lost 30 pounds. I felt weak, but happy to be doing as well as I was. I had been scheduled for a 8 month follow-up with my hospital-assigned medical doctor. I was curious to see what results my as-natural-as-possible regimen would show. My doctor was very surprised after my CT scan. He said he had no explanation for it, but the blockage in my brain that caused the stroke was dissolving. He said he had never seen anything like that without surgery and heavy medication, but to keep doing whatever it was I was doing. Not surprisingly, this hospital-assigned doctor did not ask what I had been doing! He was not one who acknowledged any benefit from using alternative therapies. My experiences did not fall along the lines of empirical data or come from the pages of a peer-reviewed journal, so there was no point in our talking about them. I firmly believe that those alternative therapies are what turned things around for me. Not only that, they have kept me from having the serious stroke-related issues that so many people experience, and have kept me from having more strokes. Stay tuned for my next blog post for more.....

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