Anita’s Detox – Week One
3/5/17 – Tomorrow I start my journey with PurLife and will be starting with a detox diet. I have very mixed emotions, while I’m very excited to get started, I don’t want to fail…again. As with many people, I have tried nearly every gimmick and new fad out there, had more or less success depending on the fad, and eventually gained back everything I lost, and then some. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) many years ago when I was 18. A couple of the many effects of PCOS are weight gain and insulin resistance. So, I’ve always been heavier than average, but was very active – I took karate, played volleyball, worked in an emergency room, then in organ and tissue transplant. So, although overweight, I felt pretty healthy.
In 2005, I suffered a work related injury and herniated disks in my thoracic spine – the pain from which is still an issue today, and seriously limited my activity. I had a number of physical and emotional traumas over the years, and as the daughter of an Italian, straight from Italy, used food to celebrate, when sad, and when bored. Food is a major part of growing up in an Italian home, however, definitely not a lot of junk food, but certainly a lot of carbs. Then, a couple of years ago, things really went off the rails – all of a sudden I experienced incapacitating joint pain along with other symptoms and was diagnosed with a few autoimmune diseases (once you have one, you are more likely to be diagnosed with others). I was told that I would need to have both knees replaced at 41 years old, but needed to lose weight.
To further complicate things, in December of 2015, I suffered life-threatening pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lungs), which has required that I am on blood thinners ever since; another barrier to having the knee replacements. And, just like that, I turned into a slug from my very active life due, largely to the pain and fatigue. This affects every part of your life – physically, emotionally, and socially. My life is a remnant of what it used to be and traditional medicine is really just maintaining the status quo – and I’m not OK with that. I have been researching ozone therapy for several months now as a treatment modality for autoimmune diseases. I found a Groupon for PurLife, and that’s how I came to be connected with them (thanks Groupon!).
After discussion with Johnny and Dr. Roni about, not only the ozone, but other available treatment modalities (BEMER, cryotherapy, lipo laser, etc.), I was pretty excited. While I would love to lose the weight, if I could just reduce my pain to manageable levels, I would consider that a WIN as I had pretty much written off permanent weight loss for me. I KNOW I cannot survive one more cycle of losing weight and gaining it back, plus more. I learned that doing one of the detox diets would be the best way to “reset” my body to get it back into homeostasis so that the treatments will be even more effective AND I will lose weight. I will eventually have a maintenance eating plan. I have long known that I needed to make a “lifestyle” change, but eventually, the cravings made it impossible to stick with a different way of eating for good. One of the most liberating things that Dr. Roni said to me, when discussing my weight and dietary failures was “It’s not your fault” – and then went on to explain PHYSIOLOGICALLY why that was. So, I am hopeful that this process will result in not only the desire, but the ABILITY to maintain a diet appropriate for my particular physiology long term.
So, this weekend, as part of my “break up” routine with food for at least the next several weeks, I went and got some of my favorite things as a last hoorah! Probably not the best way to set myself up, but… it’s the way I chose to do it. I’ve created a log to keep track of my weight and some measurements for blog purposes. Although I have a rough eventual goal weight, I am far more concerned about relieving the pain and being comfortable in my own skin than about obsessing over reaching particular numbers. I’ve recruited my niece, who is on her way over now, to take weekly pictures of my journey (thank you Sara!) and, as at least partial payment, will unload all the perishable food on Sara and her husband that I won’t get to! So…HERE WE GO!!!
3/6/17 – Today started out by weighing myself (bought a new scale yesterday) and taking some measurements. I’m not gonna lie… I was DISGUSTED. This is the heaviest that I have ever been in my entire life. I used to joke that I was as wide as I was tall and today…I realized that it wasn’t a joke anymore. However, I know that, to be successful, my internal dialog has to change as well. I’ve sufficiently berated myself for my current state of affairs. The fact is that “it is what it is” at this point, there’s nothing I can do to immediately fix it.
So, now, it’s time to congratulate myself for doing something about it. Today’s juices were red, light green, orange, dark green and white, in that order, every 2 hours, followed by broth at night, all supplied by Pur Life. Now, I have been a bit sinus congested for a few days, so I’m not tasting normally, but, from what I could taste, I wasn’t crazy about the dark green one. All the rest were actually pretty good, or, at worst, tolerable. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel hungry! I started to get hungry a couple times, but, when that happened, it was soon time for another juice which took care of it. Dr. Roni modified my plan and said that I could have boiled vegetables with my broth in the evening, anything except nightshades. Tonight I used jicama, baby carrots, snow peas and savoy cabbage. I couldn’t even eat it all, but did manage most of the broth. I’m thinking that this may be because I had it fairly close to the time of my last juice.
Again, given my tasting difficulties, I think the broth is pretty good. Now, I do love my salt, so, while I can’t use salt on this program, I can use NoSalt substitute, which definitely helped. The other nice thing about the broth is that it can be seasoned in any manner desired. Tonight, in addition to the NoSalt, I added some garlic powder and curry powder. It was definitely nice to be able to chew a little bit.
I found myself wanting to eat in the late afternoon, with the TV on – not because I was particularly hungry, but more out of habit. I think that late nights are going to be difficult for me as well and I will need to work on reprogramming my brain. And, throughout the day, I would catch myself thinking about what I was going to grab to eat later – again…habit. I’m hopeful that since this is 21 days, the length of it will be of great help in breaking these thought patterns. As for treatments, I did the BEMER mat on low intensity (as I am on blood thinners as a result of the blood clots in my lungs) as well as the “B Spot” which is a smaller disc that is placed on a particular area of discomfort. I chose the medial side of my right knee as that is where the pain is the worst and X-rays show essentially “bone on bone”.
This morning, I had pretty significant pain in my right knee with every step. Now… I don’t know if it is coincidence or not at this point, but, after the B Spot – I had NO pain. Yes… NO pain. It was still stiff and weak, but it no longer felt like a knife was being driven through my knee with every step. It was also a warm day here in the B’lo and, historically, my joints tend to feel better in warmer weather. So, being a scientist and, yes, a skeptic, I will reserve judgement for now and see what happens! Also interestingly, about 10 minutes after the BEMER treatment, my sinuses felt more clear. Oh!!! And I forgot to tell you!!! They have these absolutely MAGICAL massage chairs that, luckily, are also a part of my treatment plan. I have been in massage chairs before, but this one is very different. This chair addressed some pain that my pain management doctor has been working on controlling for months.
There are various settings, and, my first visit to the magic chair was on Saturday and I chose a pretty vigorous program. Just a couple weeks ago, I had my sacroiliac (SI) joints injected because I could hardly stand for more than a few seconds at a time – so, there is significant deterioration there as well as pain in that part of the lower back. Truthfully, the first time the rollers hit the SI area, it HURT. A LOT – so much that I didn’t think I would be able to tolerate it. However, I stuck it out, and, by the end, I was able to pretty easily tolerate the massage in that area. The chair was also able to relieve an elusive “knot” near the level of my thoracic injury, for the first time in months. I would venture so far as to say that this chair was nearly as effective as an actual massage. You know that soreness that you get the next day or so from a good, deep massage? Well…this chair created that! I think this is probably more than enough for today! One day down – 20 to go!
3/7/17 – Last night was a rough night. I was up to urinate every single hour. After the blood clots in my lungs, I have had a significant problem with fluid retention and edema, so in spite of it being annoying to have to get up to pee every hour, it’s a good thing – I’m FINALLY getting rid of all this excess fluid that traditional medicine has been unable to accomplish! If my scale (you know, the new one I just bought 2 days ago that seems to be acting up already? Yeah…that one…) is accurate, I’ve already eliminated over 10 pounds of fluid. OVER TEN POUNDS!! I notice that my rings are fitting more as they should, and, walking is easier, both on my knees and heart.
Because of the blood clots, I had to start taking metoprolol, a beta blocker, to control my heart rate. PEs cause “back pressure” into the heart and can cause right ventricle dilation (which happened to me) and I ended up with residual sinus tachycardia (fast heart rate) even though the dilation resolved. Without the metoprolol, my resting heart rate is easily in the 120s range (normal is 80-100). Interestingly, since yesterday, I have only taken half doses of my metoprolol and my heart rate is staying steady so far!
Today was also difficult – I felt extremely worn out (although I am accustomed to not getting much sleep), my sinuses were super congested, dry throat, etc. Just generally feeling icky. It took every ounce of effort I had to get showered and out the door to Pur Life for my nutraceuticals and treatments. I again did the BEMER with the B spot, (after a few minutes in the massage chair, of course!) with results similar to yesterday. I also got a B12 shot in my belly. No, it doesn’t hurt – it’s a very tiny needle that you can’t even feel! Then, I cleared my calendar for the next few hours and went to sleep (well, when I wasn’t peeing!). I had to go back to Pur Life to pick up the remainder of my juices, so I saw Dr. Roni when I got there. We discussed how I was feeling and she agreed that I am already experiencing a “healing crisis”. Anybody who has done a cleanse before knows what those feel like – kind of like you have the flu. I’ve also broken out with some acne that I don’t usually get – but, this is another indication that the cleanse is doing what it is supposed to! She had never seen a client experience one after 1 day of treatment, but, Dr. Roni also said that I am the most complex case she has put through the 21 day program. There’s a first time for everything! And, well, as those who know me can attest, if something unusual is going to happen, it’s going to happen to me!
So, Dr. Roni gave me some minerals to take – everything on this detox is nanotechnology – so that your body doesn’t have to work to convert it into a usable form. It wasn’t long before I started feeling better! Yay! Although I’m still not feeling great, that “sickly” feeling is gone, I’m mostly just tired, although I presume it’s the B12 that is taking a little bit of the edge off of that. The last time I got a B12 shot, the energy surge was AWESOME! And, for the first time in AGES, I did not crave my after dinner/late night sweets for a number of days! Dr. Roni said that she believes that I am/was bordering on toxemia…that’s pretty scary. I had recently been telling my boyfriend that “I feel like death”… I guess I wasn’t too far off the mark! Anyway, we discussed strategies for dealing with these healing crises when they happen, which will include adding high quality protein, minerals and a glutathione drip in a few days to give my poor liver a hand! My plan will be an ever evolving/changing one because my history is so complicated.
I’m so very grateful for the personalized attention and accessibility of Dr. Roni. It’s really great to see everyone at Pur Life, especially since I’m not a morning person…AT ALL! Anyway, it’s like I have a whole spa full of cheerleaders! I have done week long cleanses before and that was difficult, but doable. This is the first time I have attempted a 3 week cleanse, so, I’m sure I will be making use of their cheerleading services! 2 days down, 19 to go!
3/8/17 – What a difference a day makes!! Although I was up to pee every hour again during the night, I feel MUCH better than yesterday. A little tired, but much more energy and “well”. According to the scale, I have eliminated nearly 20 pounds of fluid! I can most definitely tell the difference in the way my heart is behaving! It is definitely appreciating the decreased workload.
Treatment today was the BEMER again, I did not use the B spot this time, and a B complex spot. Remarkably, I did not nap today – which is huge progress as the fatigue from the autoimmune diseases can be debilitating.
Dr. Roni also wanted me to add some protein tonight to start slowing down the rate of urination, so I added 2 hard boiled organic eggs to my vegetables, which I ate as a salad with rice vinegar, NoSalt and garlic, and simply drank some of the broth. I should mention that strangely, several months ago, I started having an inexplicable aversion to cooked (mostly) vegetables. I’ve never had such an issue, I’ve always been OK with veggies – it just started out of nowhere! So, the salad was another option that worked out pretty well I seemed to feel a little hungrier today, but definitely not ridiculously starving. And, I seemed to have more cravings than the last couple days. But thankfully, they have been short lived, whereas in the past, they have been nearly all consuming, for DAYS! Later in the day, as a result of personal issues, I found myself wanting to snack – you know…comfort food. But, again, it was not overwhelming and I’m grateful to be able to recognize the habits that need to be reprogrammed. 3 down, 18 to go!
3/9/17 – Another good day today! The protein sure seems to slow down the excessive urination – I got to sleep about 3 hours in a row! And, I had more edema when I got up this morning. I got a little hungry a couple of times and a few sort-lived cravings, like when something on TV looks good, but nothing that is making me feel “cheated”. By this day into my last week-long cleanse, I was a crazy person! My fiancé can vouch for that! I’m guessing he was a little scared when I told him that I was going to do this AND that it was 21 days, given how rough the 7 day one was!! However, being the genuinely good man that he is, and is ever supportive, he didn’t let on if he was apprehensive about this. But, now, I think he is cautiously optimistic https://www.facebook.com/images/emoji.php/v8/f32/1.5/18/1f609.png;-)
Treatment today was ozone delivered via they tympanic membranes (the ears). You just sit with a stethoscope type device that is connected to the ozone in your ears for 30 minutes or so. The ozone smells a little odd – like a lightning strike, but certainly doable. I forgot to write yesterday that I had my “believer” moment with the BEMER… I just did the 8 minute session followed by a B complex shot shortly after. That is delivered by a shot in the butt – so it goes into the muscle, not directly into the bloodstream, so it takes some time to distribute throughout the body. Nevertheless, I TASTED it (you know that taste you get with a B vitamin you take by mouth?) within about a minute or so!!! That didn’t happen the last time I got that shot – I totally believe that things were circulating more efficiently after that! I still struggle a bit with the late evening habit of wanting to snack while watching TV. That’s probably the strongest feelings that I’ve been dealing with, but, while a little difficult, I’m not having to talk myself out of going to grab something on which to snack. I start thinking “What am I going to eat while watching Scandal?” and then remember… “D’oh!! – Nothing!”, then I feel a little disappointed and move on… not too terrible and not the terrible obsessing that was happening with the last cleanse. My gosh… things I would never eat even normally would show up in a commercial on TV and I would suddenly, obsessively, NEEEEED that – and it would last for DAYS! I would actively have to keep myself from going to get whatever the item was (or a substitute!). I just can’t BELIEVE how much easier this has been to do.
Lastly, I’m still experiencing a fair amount of acne, so, I’m still “cleaning out”! While nobody likes to deal with that, it is good to see that it is working! 4 down, 17 to go!!
3/10/17 – Last night I had a bit of a headache for a while. Nothing debilitating and it eased up fairly quickly. Periodic headaches are apparently to be expected during the healing process. I was again up pretty often last night, but… the last wake up was as a result of my cat, who happens to have thumbs, and knows how to open drawers, so she was opening and closing my dresser drawer repeatedly…aarrrg! When I woke up then, I was feeling just generally icky. I got up and fed my fur children, took my morning medications, and dozed for a couple of hours. I definitely felt better when I woke up, although feeling a little tired/ “blah”. I also felt this kind of underlying irritation/agitation and like my brain was short circuiting. When I saw Dr. Roni today, she said it’s all pretty normal. The glutathione treatment was not a “drip” per se, but more of a VERY slow medication push, with a very small (butterfly) needle over the course of about 20 minutes. You don’t feel anything as it is being administered, and there are no expected “consequences”, other than maybe a headache, which you should try to stave off by hydrating a bit more.
I’ve been pretty reflective today… this time last week, I could barely stay awake for 8 hours, and usually not even in a row. This week, I have been up between 0500-0600 and stayed awake, AND with energy, until bedtime! The only day I napped was Tuesday morning (when I was having the healing crisis) for a couple hours, but was then awake until about midnight easily. I’ve had to carefully choose which errands I would run – IF I could get myself out of the house. The The Spoon Theory illustrates what it is like very well. At that, I could usually only accomplish one errand, maybe 2, and would be absolutely depleted, AND I would pay for it the next day in pain and fatigue. This week, I have left the house every single day, for several hours at a time and run multiple errands almost every day. I went to the store 3 times this week – Prior to this week, if I went 3 times in a month it was a lot.
As a result of my severe knee pain, I have been limping and “waddling” for the last 2 years. When I saw myself walking into a store on Thursday, I realized that I was walking almost normally! My emotional state is much improved too. I haven’t historically been a habitual “crier”, but, over the last few months I found myself in tears for one thing or another on an almost daily basis. I haven’t cried once this week. My heart most DEFINITELY appreciates the reduction in retained fluid – I would get short of breath with very short walks and that’s not happening now. If I wasn’t experiencing this myself, I wouldn’t believe it in a million years. Johnny – THANK YOU for convincing Dr. Roni to come to Buffalo! Johnny and Dr. Roni – I’m so very grateful to have met you and embarked on this journey with you! I believe that you are, quite literally, saving my life. “Thank you” seems so inadequate. 5 down, 16 to go!
3/11/17 – OK – so I told you that my brain was short-circuiting… there are a few things I wanted to mention yesterday and didn’t get to. It is still short circuiting today, but… we’ll give it a go! And if I forget something, heck – we’ve got 2 more weeks for me to remember and add it!
The first thing I forgot to add is that Dr. Roni said that I can eat cucumber if/when I’m feeling the urge to snack. I can put something like Mrs. Dash seasoning on them (no salt) and vinegar, or liquid aminos. While the liquid aminos have sodium, I think that the benefit of the aminos outweighs the sodium. So, I did have a cucumber with the aminos last night – it was nice to be able to snack while watching Dateline!
I also had to take a full dose of metoprolol yesterday (just one of the 2 was a full dose) as my heart rate was pretty elevated. I would assume that it just has something to do with the way my body is trying to get rid of the toxins and that there will be better and worse days as we progress. Lastly, a couple of other reflections I had the other day that I neglected to add. Getting in and out of the car is infinitely different than it has been. I can get in essentially like a healthy, normal person whereas before, it was a procedure. Additionally, I fit in the car differently.
When I moved to Buffalo, I bought a rather expensive, latex foam mattress with the hopes that it would allow me some pain relief. I had been sleeping in a recliner for the prior year. I tried to sleep in it a few times and, to my great annoyance, I couldn’t. While it seemed to help the pain in my mid-back, my knees were unbearably painful as well as my low back/sacroiliac joints periodically, so… back to the recliner I went. This last week, I have been able to sleep in bed for at least a few hours every night!
I also neglected to tell you that Dr. Roni had me order some supplements – immune support, protein (clean) powder, aloe mango and enzymes. Everything that you put in your body on this detox is supposed to be as clean as possible. So, they were expensive, but, so is paying for the health conditions I have now. So, I’ll be happy to trade one for the other if the regimen fixes me up.
Anyway – I was up to pee every hour again last night. Today I feel pretty run down. Dr. Roni said she could tell from seeing me across the room LOL. So – more protein tonight. She tested my urine to be sure that the specific gravity was alright, check for ketones and various other things. When she came out she said “you’re amazing! You are burning lots of fat”. This detox puts you in ketosis, which burns fat, and apparently, I am doing that well! So, what I’m feeling today is not a healing crisis, just the process of accelerated ketosis and dealing with the toxins that are being released and cleansed.
Treatment today was just the BEMER, and then I did the “restore” setting in the magical massage chair – such good stuff!
The juices are changing to freshly juiced in-house. The new ones are pretty good. I’m still not too crazy about the dark green one (still the same), but, I can deal with it. It’s important to note that Pur Life is still in its start -up phase, so, changes and hiccups are to be expected for a while. I’m feeling quite a bit more pain today in my back and joints, but, hopefully, this is transient, like the “down” days.
6 down, 15 to go!