September 1, 1999 Brother Thomas Rodgers spoke at our ward in Terre Haute,
Indiana. John and I had been following Dr. Dean Ornish’s “heart disease
reversal diet” for two years, following chest pains John had experienced
two years earlier. (John had undergone a quadruple bypass heart surgery
14 years earlier.). Tom told us that Dr. Ornish didn't go far enough. He
said that John needed to stop eating all animal products including the
no-fat cheeses, yogurt, ice cream, egg whites and honey, which we had been
including in our diet. We believed the things he told us and immediately
discontinued those animal products.
November 10, 1999 John became concerned
about heaviness in his chest, which he had been experiencing, all afternoon.
He took his blood pressure and found it to be 174/137 with a pulse of 90.
We went to the emergency room where they discovered that he had been in
atrial fibrillation, and that his heart rhythm was out of sync. They administered
the blood thinner heparin, oxygen, and kept him on a monitor for five days.
His rhythm Continued to be erratic, pausing for 4 seconds one time; his
pulse rate was often in the 40’s and once 34. On November l6th, an angiogram
was done, revealing that of his four bypasses, two were fine, two were
totally blocked off, but new vessels had formed and were carrying the load.
They also found that one of his kidney arteries was 60% blocked. The cardiologist
said that the drugs, which helped John’s heart to beat faster, were slowing
it down too much. His natural pacemaker tried to speed it up and caused
it to go out of rhythm. He said that a pacemaker would most likely be required,
and also that balloon surgery and a possible stint in the kidney artery
might be needed.
John was sent home on November 17”,
with instructions to come have a check up with the cardiologist on November
29, and in the meantime, to take it very easy.
We called Shirley Norseworthy, who
called Tom Rodgers and told him about John’s possibly impending surgery.
Tom came to visit us on December and stressed juicing as a means to help
John heal. He explained the challenges of putting in a pacemaker, a foreign
body that could require John to take additional drugs to prevent rejection
of the pacemaker's materials and presence. He also warned of the risks
of balloon surgery. Tom stayed for three days during which time we invited
friends to our home to hear him talk about his personal experiences with
his health crises, and how he resolved those crises through a totally vegan
diet, including constant juicing.
We immediately started juicing:
John three times a day most days.
On December 8th John saw the cardiologist
who had him wear a Holter monitor for 24 hours to measure his blood pressure
and pulse constantly over that period. On the morning of December 9th,
John returned the monitor to the doctor's office. That night at midnight,
following exertion, John blood pressure spiked to 208/184 with a pulse
of 90. He took nitroglycerin, and aspirin, and relaxed in his chair. It
took 1 hour and 45 minutes for the blood pressure to return to normal.
The cardiologist saw John in his office the following Wednesday, December
15th. At that time the blood pressure was pretty normal and the doctor
thought that the change in heart medication which, he had ordered while
John was in the hospital, was beginning to have good results, but that
he might still need the surgery, and to return December 22nd for the results
of the Holter monitor. We also talked by phone with a cardiologist at the
Mayo Clinic, who had seen John a year ago and who recognized the improvement
John had shown as a result of being on Dr. Ornish’s diet for a year. The
Mayo cardiologist thought that the Terre Haute doctor's treatment and suggested
treatment were appropriate, but felt that there was no emergency and that
he could delay having a pacemaker and kidney surgery for some weeks anyway
while he considered it further.
John continued juicing all of this
time. We talked at length about the things Tom Rodgers had taught us. John
came to the conclusion that he would trust his body to heal and to forego
having a pacemaker or kidney surgery for the time being.
On December 22nd, John again visited
the cardiologist, prepared to tell him of his decision. The cardiologist
said that, based on the printout from the Holter monitor, he could not
recommend a pacemaker at this time, and that the results looked very good.
Today is December 29, 1999. John
has a sense of well being, and continues to have more energy with the passing
days. He takes his blood pressure several times a day out of curiosity,
and is pleased to see it approaching more normal readings, with most in
the 140’s over 70’s, and a couple of times, in the 120’s over 70’s. His
pulse ranges from 65 to low 81.
The plan is to stay on a vegan diet
and juicing forever, gradually increase exercise, and continue to thank
Heavenly Father for connecting us with Tom Rodgers.
Dec. 29, 1999 [Posted
May 18 2001, tlr]