It has been a long 3 year since I started wondering if those french fries Abby was eating on the way home from the zillion Dr. appointments in the medcenter were part of the problem.
I talked to a lot people about diet, nutrition, chemicals.. toxins and will always be grateful to those who took the time and continue to take the time to teach me how to take care of Abby. Without them? We would not be where we are at today.
We took the leap of faith and began the long journey of Project Elimination. No Dr. thought food or medicines or chemicals or vaccines could possibly cause Abby's health issues. Yet, I talked to many patients who had seen remarkable improvements in their health by eliminating the junk.
It hasn't been easy. It is very hard work to grind your own grain. To learn how to make tofu out of chickpeas. To learn why we need magnesium and which foods were best. To learn how much protein Abby needed.. Our weekends have been devoured by traveling the greater Houston area hunting for safe foods and equipment to make it.
Our grocery budget certainly changed. I developed a love/hate relationship with Amazon. I learned about herbs and spices I have never heard of.. I memorized a 3 page list of corn derived ingredients to avoid.. I learned to be cautious about even organics when feeding Abby.
I learned that often medicines create as many symptoms as they treat.
I learned that supplements and vitamins are often synthetic not natural and enriched foods made Abby very sick.
It has been lonely. I stay at home all week- like no errands,no haircuts, to quick trip to the mini mart, no grocery shopping so that Abby has someone with her. We don't go to social events.. we have watched friends come into town and avoided them to avoid any germs. We have skipped fairs, shopping, holidays. Heck, we did not even hand out candy at Halloween, we left a bucket on the porch. I have missed adults. I have missed going to a concert or to even dinner. We surgical scrub(well not quite that extreme,but close!) when we come home from our errands on the weekends. When I read of our friends children off to college or on a date, I admit it, I have been envious.. I have struggled to keep hope on and off on this journey. She has bad days, heck, she has bad months. She has continued to lose foods. Sometimes she is just sick.. too sick to brush her teeth, too sick too brush her hair.. those days are hard to not run to the nearest Dr. and beg for every medical intervention.. my heart has broken again and again watching her suffer trying to even eat. It has been twice as hard for her as for me.
IT was ALL worth it.
I have gotten the chance to truly know my family. After the past 3 years I love them more then ever, and I am friends, good friends, no, great friends with my daughters and husband. I have learned how to really feed my family. I have learned that Drs. don't have all the answers and we should not expect them to- common sense is as important as good medical care. I have hope and I believe in Project Elimination more then ever today.
Abby's kidneys look great. Over the past couple years they have improved.. steadily. That doesn't mean there is no problem but is sure means that the scary stuff is ruled out. Patients with her kidney biopsy findings don't get better. But, Abby's kidney's have.. they look good.
The Nephrologist tells us, "Whatever you are doing, keep doing it."
That is exactly what we will do. It will be a much easier to continue our path knowing - IT WORKS.
It hasn't cured her. She is still struggling, but the fact that her kidneys are happy again? It makes every bit of this journey worth it.
I am so proud of my family, and thank you to each of you that has helped Abby get to this point.
Who knows, maybe in a couple more years she will be washing her own hair again? Or able to get dressed without taking 20 breaks.. or feel well enough to have a friend come over... sky is the limit.
It is but one battle and I know we have a very long road to win the war, but the proof is in the pudding. Her kidneys are better because of the efforts we have made to keep her away from germs, from not giving her meds that cause side effects, from letting her get all the rest she wants whenever she wants it, from the rest of us helping her get through the day, from the elimination of GMO's, Chemicals, and poor quality food.
I don't know what will come next. Her kidneys might show stress again, she could get worse.. but she might just get a little better. I have been following a few Mito Patients(with definitive biopsies and/or genetic findings) who are also doing better. Abby might get to be one of those.. maybe with our continued path on project elimination she will continue to be the odd man out and stay stable. We have hope.
Project Elimination is a success. 1 battle down and now on to win the war.