It was summer 2013 when I first got serious about managing the ignored, three-year-old Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis handed down to me shortly after my dad died. My stomach hurt. The second gastroenterologist I saw was not nearly as rude and unaccommodating as the first doctor who, along with everyone else in his office just rubbed me the wrong way.
This time I was prescribed three types of medication upon completing a thorough colonoscopy. Three oral tablets twice a day (Asacol), a twice a day suppository (Canasa) and evening enema (mesalamine). Within 48 hours symptoms were replaced with this all consuming regime, a dull headache – and a noticeable change in touch sensation. My clothes felt weird on me – my skin sort of itched all over – not terribly but enough to notice reminding me of my ill health every minute.
The new Gastroenterologist suggested I (re)start smoking cigarettes when consulted about possible dietary changes to help my healing colon. Apparently nicotine is helpful(?!) Online research commenced producing lots of conflicting and complicated suggestions for dietary changes among other things. Somewhere in the muddle I stumbled across a testimonial from a woman who had been healed of her Ulcerative Colitis using a Macrobiotic Diet at The Kushi Institute.
At the time, we were living in my husband’s childhood home in Becket, Ma. The Kushi Institute is right in the middle of the very same remote and tiny western MA hilltown. It made sense to me to register for A Way To Health – a week-long introductory intensive offered once a month. In September 2014 as my daughters trundled off to their first day of 2nd and 3rd grade, I hopped on my bike and road three miles up the road to begin learning about Macrobiotics at the Kushi Institute. I was hesitant and doubtful but felt that I had to give it a shot, especially as I knew people traveled the world to attend workshops.
Within the week, I was symptom free and had weaned myself off two of the three medications I had been taking for 8 months. In two weeks I was both symptom and medication free and was beginning to realize that my healing process involves slowing down, cooking, digesting, eating slowing and thoughtfully and simplifying my workload. This realization was the impetus for our family adventure in Ireland this winter.
We rang the New Year in with my dear (and hysterically funny) cousin and his brilliant (and super tolerant) wife here in Kinvara on the west coast of Ireland. As we chatted over the couple of days we spent together it became apparent to me that my experience with Macrobiotic healing could help others. Healthy People = Healthy Planet Follow along here for more information about my journey.