Sunday, April 17, 2011

Healthy Food...or the Alternative

Yesterday I had the opportunity to teach a Health and Wellness class to a group of women. I've never before taught individuals with so many health problems - really serious health issues. Here's a list of the health issues that the women were dealing with...


Diabetes (of course - diabetics always in attendance), husband with Parkinson's (who wouldn't eat like his wife would eat), Myasthenia Gravis (MG - relative disease of MS), Celiac Disease, one lady was completely BLIND because of medication she was prescribed (a listed side effect of her medication), tumors, infertility, severe fatigue (yes isn't that the norm), another woman had her STOMACH REMOVED - obvious difficulties digesting food! Wow! I could hardly believe all of the issues these women were facing!


A couple days previous to this, I had traveled to my home town to attend a funeral of a Doctor who had died of Cancer. After the funeral, I stopped by the store to purchase food to eat on my way home. It was troubling to me that there wasn't anything I wanted to buy in that grocery store.  There was no organic produce to buy. While trying to search for something healthy, I ran into a woman that I knew. When she talked to me, my heart sank to my stomach. The woman had symptoms of dementia. Our conversation didn't make sense and she was confused as she tried to talk to me about something. Wow. It felt like the twilight zone as I stood looking at that beautiful woman, that I loved so much, struggling to carry on a normal conversation.  The conversation ended strangely and I walked away with the picture in my mind of her shopping cart contents - nothing in it was healthy.


I was able to find a fruit smoothie that was non-gmo (possibly not organic) that I relented to buying for my late lunch.  When I walked to the checkout stand I noticed a woman who was ahead of me in the checkout line.  The woman's legs were badly deformed, her hands were crippled severely and she looked like she was in a lot of pain. She looked emaciated.  My heart sank suddenly when I realized I was looking into the beautiful face of my childhood friends dear Mother.  I had to fight back the tears as I tried not to act alarmed because this dear sweet woman was nervous and seemed embarrassed while we carried on a brief conversation.  The knots in her muscles appeared to be in her face as well making her speech awkward.  The conversation ended and I watched as she struggled to her car with her granddaughter by her side.  I made my purchase and walked to my car and cried. How could I help to reverse all of the twisted knots and bumps all throughout her body... I cried and cried...


Before leaving the area, I went over to say hello to a woman whose husband passed away a year ago from a stroke.  I knew that she was home but no one answered the door.  I wanted to yell "It's ME Steffanie!"  The door did not have a window.  Even if it did, would she open the door even for me - a friend she loved so much?  Sadly I walked away without being able to say hello.  This dear woman, who taught me so much as a child and who was such a great support to me during all the years growing up, was now shutting herself away from the world because of anxiety and depression.  What a melancholy day it was turning out to be!


I went to another store in town to purchase something. The boy, a couple years younger than me who was at the checkout stand, was so large that he had difficulty walking over to the cash register. Sweat dripped down his face and I watched in horror as he, with much difficulty, entered my order into the computer system. Another man came to help the other clerk out and when he talked all I could think about was "your brain needs some serious omega 3's". It was agonizing to watch how slow a simple task that should have taken a minute to complete took nearly ten minutes. Wow! I am amazed at the health or should I say sickness of Americans - physically AND mentally.


The hardest part about the class yesterday... when told about the power of foods to heal I was actually told "but it's so hard (to change the way we eat)"....hummmm, I think living without a stomach and being blind is much worse.


I feel so sad for the women mentioned above. It's so sad - I can't sleep.  My prayers go out to those who are struggling with a mental or physical health issue.  My God give you the strength to EAT to LIVE.


With much love,


Steffanie



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