Monday, March 25, 2013
I'm angry. And you should be angry, too.
Once upon a time, I struggled with anorexia and bulimia. In fact, my battle waged on for roughly a decade. I always believed that I would feel so much better when I finally started eating properly, nourishing my body instead of starving it, and actually getting some much-needed vitamins.
But I didn't. In fact, as my eating habits improved and I was supposedly doing everything right, I became steadily sicker. At first, I thought this was just my body trying to find some sort of normal. However, it didn't seem to stop or even level off; I started finding myself in the offices of specialist after specialist trying to figure out what the heck was happening to me!
After my daughter was born, I started having a great deal of nerve problems. Nerve pain, numbness, things of that nature. I was also having some other random symptoms, and my nervous Googling led me to think I might have everything from Lupus to some sort of environmental poisoning. My thoughts turned to my neighbor, who frequently enjoyed burning garbage while the smoke flooded our property. I was actually somewhat convinced for a while that he was making me sick that way. What other explanation could there be, I thought. My diet consisted of mostly fruits and vegetables, things labeled "natural" and "low fat" from the store, and lean meat. I was exercising and taking a daily multivitamin. I was drinking RO filtered water. I was doing what I should.
When my son was born two years later, things started to go absolutely insane for me. By the time he was 2, I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, peripartum cardiomyopathy (a type of autoimmune heart disease associated with pregnancy), psoriatic arthritis, possible chronic fatigue, and possible Lupus. My ANA results, a marker of certain autoimmune diseases, kept climbing. I was having such severe reactions to sunlight exposure that I had to wear long sleeves and long skirts during daylight hours, or I'd spend the rest of the night with severe flu-like symptoms (body aches, chills, fever). I recall one night not having the strength to get out of the shower. I turned it off, wrapped myself in a towel, and curled up on the floor for about an hour until I stopped shivering and felt strong enough to stand up and get dressed.
Something had to give. The thought of living that way for the rest of my life was devastating. I needed answers, but all that was continually offered to me was drugs, drugs, and more drugs. Take some Plaquenil for this Lupus-like thing you've got going on. Take some Enbrel for this arthritis you have. Take some Celebrex for the pain. Oh, and you're feeling depressed about all of these diseases? How about an SSRI medication? I declined all of it.
I still felt this nagging suspicion that, somewhere and somehow, I was being poisoned. There had to be something in the house or the environment. With two young children, my worrying was double. I figured that maybe if affected me most quickly because I'd put my body through so much in my younger years with the eating disorders, and I was just more susceptible to the effects of things. I did not want to add a cocktail of pills with potentially terrifying side effects to the fray!
Fortunately, the good news from my doctor was that I'd made a complete and quick recovery from the heart condition. I had continued to exercise and eat good foods, even abandoning dairy over my growing concerns about things I was learning about the dairy industry. In my efforts to learn more about raw milk or just abandoning dairy altogether, I began to come across a lot of information about the biotech villain company Monsanto, which has brought us such wonderful (sarcasm) products as corn that is registered as an insecticide because it is genetically modified to make its own. They're also responsible for Agent Orange, DDT, Aspartame (the sweet neurotoxin in diet beverages), and rBST (the dangerous hormone given to cows to make them produce more milk). Monsanto is well-known for falsifying research to make dangerous products appear safe, products which cause everything from autoimmune disease to nerve damage to cancer.
The more I learned about Monsanto, the deceit that goes on in labeling of our foods, and what is happening to our food supply, the angrier I became. We're all guinea pigs, being poisoned for profit. Does that sound extreme? Please, do your own research. Just make sure the research is independent and not someone Monsanto has paid off. Monsanto has a lot of money from poisoning you, enough that they can also silence people and influence legislation so they can continue to poison you and make their money.
I discovered that some of my eating habits, like an apple a day with peanut butter, weren't so healthy. Apples are one of the "dirty dozen" (look it up), which should only be eaten organic. The word "natural" does not mean organic, or without pesticides and genetically modified Frankenfood. And meat? Well, even if your meat is free range and "organic", keep in mind that you'll also want grass-fed beef, for example, because those animals are still eating Monsanto's garbage GMO corn and soy! They've made it so it is extremely difficult for the typical American consumer to avoid their poison. (Other countries have bans on most of this. Even Haiti refused Monsanto's GMO seeds! It's allowed to happen here because money means more than health or common sense in this country.)
So I decided to make the move to veganism (no animal products, including dairy). And, since 98% of the soy in this country is Monsanto, I avoid it like the word "soy" on a package is the equivalent to a skull and crossbones - because it is. I make an exception for organic soy. The word organic means "untouched by Monsanto".
We grow our own food throughout the summer, and I'm looking into an inexpensive greenhouse setup or a way to grow food indoors somehow during the cold months. My diet is primarily vegan now. Most everything I eat is organic. I substitute yummy almond milk for cow milk. The results? I have not had a severe arthritis flare in a very long time. I still have pain and stiffness, but it resolves rather quickly and it isn't debilitating. I no longer have those inflammatory reactions to sunlight. My rheumatologist has concluded that I do NOT have chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, OR Lupus. My ANA has gone way down. My nerve problems are almost a non-issue.
It became clear to me that I was, in fact, being poisoned. I believe that I became sick when I started eating more food because I was, by default, consuming more poison. My body was no longer being starved, but it was being flooded with a load of toxic chemicals for the first time in many years, and it freaked out. As soon as I removed those chemicals by choosing an organic, mostly vegan diet, I began feeling better. Lots better!
But I am angry. And you should be, too. People are out there poisoning us for profit, using money and lawyers to silence people who would seek to inform others and pass protective legislation. We vote at the grocery store. Buy organic. Buy locally grown. Watch some documentaries (Food, Inc., The World According to Monsanto, Food Matters, Forks Over Knives, The Future of Food, Frankensteer, and many others). Get informed, because it is the only way to save yourself and your loved ones from Monsanto's greed and poison.