Folks, your kind thoughts have been more of a sustenance for me during this trying time than you can know. I thank you from the bottom of my healing heart, and I'll be passing on your words to my mother as well as I know she'll be just as blessed as I have been by you.
Some of you may know my father's history, but here's a brief recap for those who don't:
He lived most of his life in the same standard Standard American Diet mode as most of us have, until about 8-9 years ago, when he had suffered a couple of strokes (mini and larger). He made a few positive changes in lifestyle, and recovered remarkably well. Then 4-5 yrs ago, he experienced a cardiovascular event related to the vessels supplying his heart. The recommended "treatment" was a quad bypass, which he was strongly considering until he re-watched a remarkable vid by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn on the proof of potentially not just arresting but healing the cardio system (below). Shortly thereafter, he had the great fortune to personally meet with Dr. Doug Graham. Armed with useful information, my father became committed to restoring his health naturally through diet and lifestyle. Very soon thereafter, he weened himself off all medication.
I applauded his decisions and was impressed that a man who previously could not walk 100yds up a slight incline without chest pain could now hike miles daily, as many of 26.2, in fact! We took this as a sign that he was truly reversing his dangerous condition.
Would that the story could still be progressing as happily as that. My mother and I discovered him passed away in bed this past Tuesday, apparently in his sleep by all indications. The autopsy report noted that a major heart vessel occlusion and significant calcification of related vessels was likely the cause.
Does this shake my faith in his lifestyle improvements? Far from it! I believe in them more than ever. While after his last health scare he was fully gung ho for health, over time, he began making more exceptions dietarily, much to my consternation. I guess he figured he could get away with it.
I am reminded of one of Esselstyn's motto's: "Moderation kills."
Is that true in my father's case? Had he eaten perfectly would he still be alive? I honestly don't know, and never will. But I do believe that in an already compromised system especially, every indiscretion can be magnified, reducing wiggle room to near zero.
Should he have undergone the recommended surgery? Again, it's a case of monday-morning-quarterbacking. Frankly, I've always believed that cracking open your chest like a walnut in a vise is about as extreme as you can get compared to simply changing lifestyle. Compound that with the fact that stints can fail and need to be redone in as little as a couple months. I supported my father's decision to walk away from the medico's years ago and I still do. I'm comforted that he did enjoy some good years of strong living afterward. He he elected for such a drastic surgery, who can say what his condition would have been?
I've heard posthumous arguments in favor of medication. Does it ever come in handy? Certainly, in emergency situations it can save a life. But in general my father was against it whole-heartedly. In chronic conditions, it's simply nothing more than a band-aid, and certainly no solution.
In my studied opinion, the body itself in all its healing wisdom is better than a whole hospital full of docs and meds.
Then why is my father dead?? (that still really hurts to write...)
Lifestyle compromises? Perhaps...
But the sad fact remains that even with the best intentions and habits, not all damage can always be reversed. Some time bombs can only be delayed, not defused.
Does that mean don't waste time bothering?
If you desire health, if you simply must have it about all else, pursue it, chase it and seize it! Forget moderation--life extreme! If things still don't work out, at least you and your family will have the satisfaction that you did all you could and likely lived far better as a result with whatever time was left.
Let's face it; none of us know when our time will come. Could be another century, could be tomorrow.
But until you hear such a last call, LIVE!
My friends, I and my mother are working through this together. Neither of us are the type to lose our heads, though we might want to. My emotions have been and are quite the roller-coaster: shock, disbelief, sadness, anger, emptiness, uncertainty about the future and regret that my father won't be there to share it.
But please know that your support helps. No, it more than helps—it lifts us up and sustains.
Namaste, and for those who've seen Avatar: Oel ngati kameie (“I see you”)