We discuss in this interview:
- Martha’s sudden onset of severe symptoms, swollen knee and loss of mobility even after two surgeries
- Her diagnosis with both RA and lupus, and subsequent 18 years with intense joint and muscle pain and other symptoms
- Unsuccessful attempts with cortisone and stem cells injections, and their side effects
- How Martha’s everyday diet was rich of dairy products
- How her daughter got her in contact with the Paddison Program, and the immediate benefits she had by doing the Program
- The benefits anybody can get by switching to a healthy diet
- For RA assistance in Spanish reach out to Martha’s daughter Ginny who gives nutrition talks for a living. https://www.facebook.com/AIBPGinny/
Clint – Today, we have a very interesting episode and it’s a bit different. My guest is an 81-year-old Martha from Mexico and she has an inspirational story to share with us about her dramatic improvements from not just rheumatoid arthritis, but lupus symptoms. Then, because of a language barrier, her daughter is with us today to assist with this. There will be a translation if you’re listening to the audio version, which her daughter will provide in English. But this video version will be in Spanish. Martha, what a pleasure to have you with us today. I’m going to hand it over to you to tell us about your journey from struggle to where you are today.
Martha – Good afternoon. I am Martha from Mexico and I am 82 years old. I would like to share my experience with you. I was a very healthy playful girl from a very young age and I was very athletic. My favorite sports were horseback riding, skating, swimming, volleyball, and hiking. In the morning, I went for walks and watched the sunrise. When I was 58 years old, I went to Italy with my husband. We lived in a community and had time to study for a year and fellowship. During that time with the typical European food look, what I liked the most was bread and a lot of cheese. We had to have a delicious variety of cheeses from all over Europe and sometimes wine. Once returning home, I continued with my morning exercise routine. When I started jogging, I suddenly felt severe knee pain and I couldn’t continue walking. My family had to pick me up and take me to the hospital. For me, it was the end of my sports life and I would almost say it is the end of my life. I have two surgeries, but I didn’t get back the mobility I expected. My knee kept being very swollen and it was like a big ball. I had to walk with crutches for two years because it couldn’t heal.
Martha – They wanted me to have another surgery during this period. Then, we asked for another opinion from this doctor. After several lab tests, they discovered that I have severe rheumatoid arthritis. The following year a new disease appears, which is lupus erythematosus. For 18 years, I suffer intense joint and muscle pain day and night. I took multiple anti-inflammatory and pain relievers to reduce the pain. On the first day, I was given a large amount of cortisone and accepted, which is an oral chemo. However, it didn’t improve my quality of life. I also suffered from vasculitis in my feet and legs, which costs heat spots and severe pain in my legs. I had four sores on my legs that could not close. They didn’t heal and they had to scratch, rough, and watch my bones every day for four months, while I was in a lot of pain. This situation made me look for a new treatment like stem cell injections that lasted six months, but it didn’t have any positive results either. After 13 years of progressive disease, I had to use a walker because my legs couldn’t support me anymore. Then, I felt terrible because I started having symptoms of fatty liver. Then, they changed some medications and my health improved a little bit. I also had peripheral neuropathy in my arms and legs. With that, I had to use crutches and do physical therapy for several months attending every day. Then, we found out that there are no more medications to help me. They gave me intense chemotherapy, cetuximab, for five years every six months. After these treatments, I felt so bad afterward that I couldn’t take it anymore. My hemoglobin was low during this period and it’s always between 9 and 11. The doctors ordered me to have intravenous iron, but it did not help me at all or very little. Every time I had a crisis, they raised the doses of cortisone, which caused spinal osteoporosis. With that, I had surgery to rebuild the lumbar vertebrae. After this episode, the doctor has to put a prosthesis on my left knee because I could no longer walk on another occasion. I had two centimeters of perforation in my palate or the mouth, from which two pieces of necrotic bone fell apart. With so much medication, I suffer severe hepatitis caused by drugs. I managed to get by, but I had a significant relapse after a month and my second hepatitis caused me more damage. I also have severe episodes of hypoglycemia all day long and this made me feel like it was the end of my life. At the very beginning of the disease, I took two strong painkillers a day. But after 15 years of suffering, I had to take three or four because I couldn’t stand the pain. But even with those, I couldn’t get rid of the pain. All my joints were swollen. The face, neck, and shoulders were all swollen.
Martha – Since my childhood, my diet included many dairy products because my father and husband were ranchers. At home, there was always a high consumption of milk, cheese, cream, butter, cream, yogurt, meat, eggs, and other dairy products. They were always present at every meal. We were always told that they were products where they chose to grow up and live healthily. When we went to Italy, we had many kinds of delicious cheese, among other things that caused me to have excess mucus. I had a significant respiratory infection that pierced my ears and the doctors prescribe several doses of antibiotics that affected the intestinal wall. When I arrived in Mexico, my health decreased a lot. For 19 years, I continued to consume large amounts of animal protein. My hemoglobin levels were low and my osteopenia was turning into osteoporosis. The level of inflammation that I saw for all those years was unbearable. Well, now comes the good news.
Martha – Four years ago, my daughter and her husband were determined to find a solution for me so I could have less pain and swallowing. Thank God they found a protocol specific for optimal diseases based on plants. The author of the protocol, Clint Paddison, was able to understand the causes and the solution. At first, I didn’t think it would work and I decided to try it as an act of love for my daughter, who has studied so much about diet-related diseases. When I saw the foods that were allowed in the program, it was a great challenge for me because it has no animal products or fats. Also, giving up meat and dairy products was a significant change in my family traditions. By the end of the first week, my pain was not a simple lower and I could not believe it. Little by little, I reduced the painkiller pills every day and I measure my swollen joints. I noticed they began to decrease to such an extent that degrees throb three centimeters. Then 32 days later, I took the last analgesic pill because the pain was diminishing. And on day 32, it was no longer necessary to continue taking painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs. After four years, I am living without pain or inflammation. The damage to my bones is irreversible and my hands and joints are deformed, but it’s different because I was living without pain. Since that day, my overall health has improved. I thank God for Clint’s program and his family. But I hope this testimony will help others reduce the inflammation and pain caused by these autoimmune diseases. The level of pain I experienced was extreme. The genetic factor influences, but it is not your destiny. If the cause is understood, it is easier to stop the development of the disease. I invite you to try this program and take the benefits of this type of food in your body. Two bodies communicating with you and please listen to your body. Thank you very much for your time.
Clint – This is amazing. Do you still find it incredible that you’ve achieved so great results from making these changes?
Martha – It still surprises me and this is what helps me to continue to be very disciplined in my eating habits. I usually do not eat anything else than my plant-based diet.
Clint – My next question is what is your quality of life now compared to before and how happy are you living your life now compared to before?
Martha – It has a huge difference. Before I made a great effort not to bother my husband, children, and the rest of my family with my pain but I suffered a lot. Now, I have no pain, I feel happier, and I feel even my mood has improved. I am more available to others, even with all my limitations, because I can work due to sickness. After all, it also affected my legs a lot or the shape and structure of my legs. Even though I can’t walk, I am more active and there are things I can do on my own. Also with anything I can do, I do it with great joy because it gives me great pleasure to be able to do it.
Clint – How happy are you that your daughter introduced you to these lifestyle changes?
Martha – I’m very, very happy because it was really because of the love I have for her that I made these changes. After all, I did not believe in them when I had such severe pain and I’ve tried everything. Also, doctors didn’t know what else to do and no medicine for me that could lower the level of pain. When I started this diet, I didn’t think it was possible that anything could take the pain away, which was something as simple as a change of diet. Thanks to you and thanks to your wife’s recipes, I have also taken some Mexican family recipes and adapted the ingredients to plant-based dishes with no animal protein. Now, I still cook and I keep enjoying the taste, the flavor, and the aroma with no animal products. It is possible to do it, I can eat a variety of dishes, and they taste great. I don’t gain weight, I am at my ideal weight I feel fine. Being 82 years old and after everything I’ve lived, I am well.
Clint – Congratulations. Happy birthday.
Martha – Thank you.
Clint – Wonderful. What medications have you been able to not require anymore because of your changes?
Martha – The chemo that I took for 19 years every day and that’s why my liver was affected a lot. Also, rituximab is an IV chemotherapy and a high dose of cortisone that was changed. Sometimes, I had to take an 80-milligrams daily dose, which was a very high dose for my inflammation and pain. When I have neuropathies, they gave me very high doses. Now, I only take nine milligrams as maintenance.
Clint – What drugs are you still requiring at the moment?
Martha – I take cortisone in a very low dose and Plaquenil. Then I take others, but they are for blood circulation. Besides that, my hemoglobin or my red cells did not go up above nine because they went to 11. Then little by little, they were going up until 13 and it was incredible to have rich 13 again after 15 or maybe 18 years. I don’t know how many years, but for me going up to 13, was extra extraordinary. I just had my lab test done one month ago and I have 15.2 now.
Clint – Much better. What was it like changing your diet at your age or at the late seventies? Was that very challenging?
Martha – It was very difficult because I did not believe that change was possible. I did it as an act of love, but I wasn’t convinced. Maybe I was just doing it to make my daughter happy. But when I noticed that my hand, shoulders, legs, and neck hurt less, which was extremely so swollen with so much cortisone. I had what they call queen neck or I don’t know what it’s called. I started to see that the swelling decreased a lot and this encouraged me. It was little by little, but in a very short time, because it was only for 32 days that I started seeing these changes for me.
Clint – Your activity level and your physical activity must have been very low when you have been the recipient of multiple surgeries. You were taking lots of medications for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus for decades. Have you been able to restore some physical activity now that your inflammation is gone?
Martha – Yes. When the inflammation was gone, I was able to move on my bed to roll over on my own. I also put it by myself because there was a time that I couldn’t even hold a cup. The pain was so much that I couldn’t hold the cup in my hand to drink coffee or comb my hair. But little by little my hands have acquired more mobility. Well, now I am still affected, but I have enough ability to do more things on my own.
Clint – What makes you happy now? What are you looking forward to in life now that life has become substantially easier?
Martha – For my goals, I have worked hard since I started feeling better to share my experience with more people. It is because I want to show them that there is real hope and there is a possibility of living without frustration and so much pain. Also, plenty of people have listened to me and have changed. Maybe not totally, but they have lowered the level of meat consumption or dairy consumption. Since I am a person that can easily relate to others, I believe that I have so many people that I can influence with this diet. I want to raise awareness that there is a way to prevent it and you can be better. Above all, if you already have a genetic inheritance, it can be prevented. Also, even if you don’t have signs of the sickness yet. I think many people have accepted the idea and have made changes in their family habits by changing their diet.
Clint – Jenny, this question is for you. If you could answer it in Spanish, please. What has it been like watching your mom’s transformation over the past four or five years?
Jenny – It was amazing because it was so sad seeing your mother all day like this in pain. It was terrible because we wanted to do something for her, but nothing could be done. They all listened or gave us more medicine, but nothing could be done for her. When my husband saw the testimony of a person who was following your program, we started to investigate the program. But she told me that you must translate it for me and you have to put graphics on it so that I can follow. Let me show you what I did and she did a very good job so I could understand and follow. This made me do graphics for her and translated, which was easier for her to follow. She told me that I have to make it nice for me and make sure it is easy to follow. It is because she wanted it to be very easy for her to visually see what she had to eat and drink. Then, I also wrote that she should have her own diary. She wrote down everything, how she felt every day, and follow it perfectly.
Clint – It’s a beautiful modification of the plan that you’ve put together for your mum. Well done.
Jenny – She asked for it and I wouldn’t do it because it’s difficult.
Clint – Martha, the final question. What would you say to somebody else that you meet with rheumatoid arthritis? What advice would you give them?
Martha – I would tell them to try to change their diet and try to listen to their body. When we learn to listen to our bodies, we can see anything and we can remove something that is harming us, which is how we acquire good things. As a result, you will have more mobility, painless living, and a better quality of life, both physically and mentally. It is because you develop a greater joy of living and greater hope which can be seen very soon. If you do it well in a very short time, you can see the results and you can enjoy all these things. I would also tell them to cheer up because it is possible.
Clint – Well, thank you so much for sharing everything with us today. Thank you for putting us together and acting as our conduit or our connection and helping us do this. Martha, your story is amazing and you are very inspirational. I want to thank you for doing this interview and for putting so much effort into your health.
Martha – Thank you.