Jan’s Story – Progress Report/Testimonial
When I was 13, my grandmother died and I reached puberty. My cycles came with a lot of abdominal distress, aggravated by my sudden propulsion into the adult world of grief and loss. My world felt like it was unraveling. I remember sitting in my high school freshman English class doubled over in the back of the room just after lunch, unable to move due to the discomfort in my belly from the overwhelming cramping, gas and bloating. It never occurred to me back then or to the many doctors my mother took me to see, that lunch could have any part in the equation. For the next few years I was put on The Pill to regulate my cycles and found great comfort in sugary treats that made me feel less sad. And my gastrointestinal problems worsened.
Years later doctors labeled it Irritable Bowel Syndrome. They agreed with me that I should avoid certain foods that I had come to finally realize affected my symptoms day to day. The list grew over the years to include dairy, sugar, dried fruit, yeast foods, gluten, anything processed, anything spicy. Yet curiously, after I eliminated each of these foods, within a week or a month, the symptoms would return and I was back in the same place, but with one more item on my dietary restriction list.
In the eyes of the medical community I was not sick enough to warrant extensive testing since my symptoms didn’t limit my ability to live my life. I could still work and have an active social life. Some days there was very little problem. In fact I was a 7-time marathoner in peak physical shape. Everyone has a little gas, right? I just accepted this diagnosis and tried to outsmart it with diet and over the counter remedies, giving up on the medical community entirely.
When I was tested for other ailments over the years, including pelvic exams, Xrays, and a CT scan, one common observation was “Wow, there’s a large amount of gas in your bowel!”. No kidding. For me, my life was limited. At times I had a lot of discomfort and spent countless hours a week in the bathroom at work dealing with my symptoms. It was so distracting, my diet so boring, and socially it was embarrassing to trip out a list of things I couldn’t eat to servers at restaurants. Many times on dates and later with my husband, we’d leave places if the menu just couldn’t support my growing list of banned foods.
My husband and I moved when we were first married to a very rural town and a home deeply nestled in the woods. There was no municipal water supply, so we had a well. For years I drank the water from that well pretty exclusively thinking nothing could be more pure. New symptoms came along after three years that were alarming, worse than any IBS could conger, so I thought. My feet, finger tips and lips began to tingle, burn and go numb. My running career came to a screeching halt in one day when I tore a tendon in my foot that never quite healed. I went to countless doctors, specialists and surgeons, for over 10 years looking for a cause and cure. To make a very long and grueling story short, I learned on my own that I was being exposed to a small amount of arsenic in my well water. No one had suspected heavy metal exposure since my husband, drinking the same water, was symptom free. And the levels were just over the EPA level for toxicity. Symptoms like I was having were found in people who had been exposed to 100x that level. Of course, I never dreamed these symptoms were connected to my IBS. As well, my vision become blurry on and off, I began to get large floaters in my eyes. I developed tinnitus in my ears that limited my hearing. My brain fogged over after certain meals and I lost short term memory right in mid sentence. Weird achiness traveled all over my body, from my low back and hips, to the heel joint in my hands and feet.
After I was chelated herbally by an alternative medical practitioner and we acquired a whole house heavy metal water filter to rid myself of the arsenic poisoning, my symptoms of burning and tingling disappeared. However the other symptoms persisted. It was never clear during this time why such a low level of arsenic had so dramatically affected me.
I was working at a health food store, as my interest in alternative remedies was elevated over the years due to my experiences, when I first saw Russell’s book. He was scheduled to come give a talk one evening after work. I couldn’t decide if it made sense for me to go. I had been told for years that IBS is just something you live with and it had no cause, no cure. All the extensive experimentation I had done on my diet, plus championing the arsenic, gave me a sense of autonomy. I glanced at the first few pages and saw that Russell had been so sick he was told he had colon cancer. I certainly didn’t fit into that category.
As it turned out, I was asked by my manager to go since we needed an extra worker to help set up as a lot of people had signed up. The evening stunned me. Russell clearly knew what he was talking about and made a lot of sense. His five steps were far more comprehensive than any efforts I had made on my own. I began to feel hope. Russell was very supportive and agreed that although I wasn’t in a life threatening situation, my life didn’t need to be compromised and that there was a cause as well as a cure for all my symptoms.
I have completed the cleansing and detoxing phases of his program now, and am several months into the water cure, Simplexity and ASEA programs. My eating habits have changed significantly. My symptoms are not all gone, but they are dramatically improved. It took close to 40 years for my IBS to get to the stage it was, so I’m totally prepared it could take months or even a couple of years to finally heal. The best part of all, for which I am so grateful and happy to recommend him to others, is Russell’s vast understanding of the dynamics of my symptoms. I have a leaky gut. That is why arsenic affected me so much more dramatically than my husband. That is why I’m sensitive to so many foods. That is why my symptoms are gastro-intestinal, brain and body ache related. It all makes sense now, which is so comforting.
Who knows, maybe in a year or two, I might be able to start to run again!
Jan’s Continued Story:
Russell… I can’t thank you enough for the tools you have given me. I can read my body like a book now and understand what I’ve done or not done if it develops some of the old patterns. I’m still drinking my water daily and eating calmly. I have finally overcome all the cravings (as you said I would) and even dropped 10 pounds of unnecessary weight. I feel really good. Thank you again so very much! (Yes, post this if it helps!)