We discuss how:
– Kari has four auto-immune diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto’s, lupus and vasculitis
– She was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s when she was 20 and had a lot of problems with thyroid medications
– Years after, the three other diseases went into the picture altogether
– Her kidney was in acute state of failure, making medications prescription very difficult: she eventually started methotrexate
– After three months not only kidney but also liver was in failure
– Kari stopped methotrexate and started the Paddison Program the next day
– Relief was immediate and after a period of refinement she has found her right balance
– The Paddison Program forum has been a great source of help and information in the process
Clint: Thanks for joining me again today on another episode of the Paddison podcast. My guest today has been a member of Paddison Program support right from the very beginning of when she started the Paddison Program. So I’ve been able to witness her improvements over the last couple of years actually and it’s absolutely awesome to have Kari with us today on this episode. Thank you for joining us Kari!
Kari: Thank you for having me here Clint. I am so excited to meet you.
Clint: And likewise because you’ve got such a wonderful progress update to share with us today. When we first connected online you were. Ah gosh, there was a lot going on for you in your very first post which I went back to and had a look just before we started this recording so I could be reminded of where you’re at. When we came into contact you have four auto immune diseases, one Hashimoto’s that you’d had for a very long time, and then you’d previous or shortly before joining our group you had rheumatoid arthritis added to the mix, lupus and also one related to kidneys that I’m not as familiar with because it doesn’t come up so much. So why don’t you take us back to where we were as far back as you wish with regards to your health. Enlighten us to the sort of things that happened and that you were diagnosed with.
Kari: Alright, well I was about 20 years old when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I am 54 now and the diagnosis came and I took the additional thyroid medication and then a few years intto it, I had more difficulties, a lot of problems with my voice, with my headaches. It was debilitating and so they did a surgery or not a surgery but they did a procedure that was iodine uptake it was radiated iodine. And so they operated my thyroid gland. And so they were going to do surgery but they couldn’t because the nerve for your voice box runs through the middle of your thyroid gland and the doctor couldn’t guarantee that I would still have a voice when he was finished. And so that put me on supplemental thyroid medication for life.
Clint: And you take thyroxin. Is that the one that you take?
Kari: I don’t, I take Armour Thyroid and it’s frowned upon by most pharmaceuticals but it’s the one that assimilates best in my body. And so it’s a natural thyroid.
Clint: Wow. Interesting. Okay. And for those few listeners or viewers who have this condition of Hashimoto’s, did you find for a period of time that you were making a comparison between that medication and thyroxin and found that it worked better or did you go by the numbers that you were getting each time you had your thyroid tested. How did you decide it was best for you.
Kari: Well it was the doctors that were deciding it first and I went through a number of different thyroid medication. I was put on Synthroid and I let the doctor know I was feeling very poorly and that particular doctor who was also the one that did the radiated iodine treatment and he said – do what I say or find a new doctor. And so I had two very little girls at the time and I needed to find a new doctor so that’s what I did and it got better from there. We tried a couple of other things but settled on the armour thyroid.
Clint: Okay, so how has your life been affected in a way that you can observe by not having thyroid function and taking the medication since that all happened. I mean I know it’s hard to say how you would been otherwise because we only have our own existence, we don’t know how we would been otherwise. But I mean, were otherwise you feeling that your body was behaving normally for those years prior to when we got in contact a couple years ago?
Kari: No it wasn’t. I had reached a homeostatic place and so I was comfortable enough and high enough levels of the Armor Thyroid. But there is a varying degrees that take place with the Hashimoto’s. Some of them affect the auto immune effects the T3’s, some of the auto-immune effects the T4 and in some auto immune affects both levels. And you need the T3 to be transferred into T4. That’s the best most efficient use in your body. From what I understand. And so gradually over the years, the levels of medication I needed were increasing. And so I needed (inaudible)
Clint: Right. And is there a maximum dose of the thyroid meds that you found work best for you that you were approaching?
Kari: I was at 4 grains or armour thyroid which is 240 mg, it’s a high dose but somewhere in there a pharmaceutical company it changed the composition of the medication and so a lot of people showed symptoms of hypothyroidism again and they had to increase and that was written off in little tiny print in little tiny pamphlets.
Clint: Wow. Wow. Okay so that through a little bit of a spanner in the works too is you thinking why is it not as effective as it was before then you’ve made that discovery and so forth and had to adjust?
Clint: Okay. All right. Okay so you’ve had the Hashimoto’s and you’ve had the medication providing necessary function to your body that the thyroid would normally create for many years and then let’s pick it up now a couple of years ago when you’ve developed symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis and some other health conditions. Talk us through that.
Kari: Okay. Well it had been brewing for a few years. I had aches, pains, pretty severe pains. I even went to the emergency room at one point thinking I had broken my toe or my foot or something because of the pain and I thought I kicked a ball for a dog and you know broke my foot. But it was just arthritic pain that was brushed away because of the thyroid condition. So they figured Oh you could just have gout, it’s probably the thyroid impact. You’ll be alright in a few weeks.
Kari: So we ignored that for a couple of years and then the hip pain started. And the hip pain was pretty drastic, pretty bad. But again I tried to justify it with we have a lot of walnut trees here at our place, so bending over and picking up wallnuts every fall and what it turned out to be was just that there was a lot less activity as I went into the fall and winter months of the year and summer months were very active and so that would keep things feeling better.
Kari: This was now August of 2000, I believe it would be 16 and I did blood work I was feeling worse and I went to see the doctor. The pain was keeping me from walking. It was horrid. I woke up one morning and couldn’t, I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t stand up. I couldn’t even turn and roll from my shoulder they were just everything was locked. And so I was able to get up. Eventually my husband had to pull my shoulders back and help me get up. Then I started moving and I thought wow I just must have pulled something in the garden. But I saw the doctor and she did some blood work and thought it probably is rheumatoid arthritis but the numbers were indicated in for some other things and she didn’t feel comfortable making the diagnosis completely so referred me to a rheumatologist. And so in the meantime I started looking at all kinds of supplements and taking anything I could get my hands on spending a small fortune. Like many of us have done and I got to October of 2017, October 12th and my body can do a grinding halt. I was driving to work. It was early morning and I just simply couldn’t go any further. I felt like I was having a heart attack and we pulled off.
Kari: My husband was in the truck with me and we pulled off at some friend’s house at six thirty in the morning and they were so dear and they helped us. I got water, I use the restroom and then I decided to go home but we weren’t even able to make it home. My husband pulled off and called the ambulance. It turned out though it was the kidneys and we didn’t know if the kidneys were involved in such a manner and it was explained later that the kidney function had gone down to 23 percent. When you get to 15 percent then you can put on dialysis. So it was getting close but there’s also an exchange, a gas exchange that doesn’t take place when the kidneys aren’t functioning. And so the feeling of having a heart attack or not being able to breathe was real. That exchange was not happening.
Kari: And so that took place but in the meantime I had to wait still for the appointment for the rheumatologist. And they’re in high demand around here. There’s not enough of them and so fortunately that appointment had been made a couple of months previous so I was able to get in two days later.
Clint: Thank goodness two days later!
Kari: And so the emergency room sent me to the rheumatologist and then I went to the renal specialist shortly after that and they do their own blood work. They wanted to use their own labs and not just the emergency room labs. And so there was a follow up appointment and online, I’m sure you have that too. We have like a patient portal where you can see your labs after the doctors review them. And I was looking at numbers of lab work that I sure didn’t know what they meant but it looked like there were a lot of red flags. And so when I went to the follow up appointment and this wonderful doctor was so sincere you know we’re facing on opposite angles, he’s on his computer and he’s typing and looking at his lab work and I’m looking at him and he was mentioning high numbers, rheumatoid, lupus, vasculitis and I said Yeah which one is it. And he said not one, three. And I said “three?!” and he said “Don’t freak out”.
Kari: I said well I’m not, I’m just wondering which one is it. And he said it is all three and it was all three diagnosis to tap off the Hashimoto’s and anyhow they couldn’t prescribe anything because my kidneys were in an acute state of failure and so he needed me to see the kidney specialist before he could prescribe something. And I think he did offer to give me there was one medication I never took it. And he said it could be helpful in the meantime. But my body has always been very sensitive to any of the meds and supplements that they were taking. So I did not take that. I went to sieve Candy afterwards and ate candy after that appointment, why not? Right?
Clint: Now let me get this straight so I’m just to confirm a couple of the thoughts that some people are having.
Clint: So just to confirm that because the kidney is so crucial in the metabolization and detoxification of the medications that are normally used for these conditions and your kidneys were so compromised no medication was suitable for you to go on to actually try and suppress the rheumatoid arthritis and the lupus right.
Clint: Okay. So you’re in a position here where you’ve got these autoimmune conditions which are being you know you being made aware of but no one wants to do anything because they’re so afraid of the kidneys. Okay, so I remember and I’m excited for the next little bit of information. Well this is shortly when you get into your kidney journey because I remember watching it online, it’s exciting. So let’s continue your story and I’m looking forward to when things start turning the corner because there is a little bit of a spoiler to everyone they most certainly do. So let’s continue this adventure.
Kari: Well they were finally able to give me methotrexate. They assigned that to me and prescribe it to me in November. And so they actually were physically the two doctors on the phone together. “Can she take it. Are the kidneys going to handle it? I think they have, they’ve improved now. Let’s go for it. They were like to 34%.” And so they said yes we see increases. Let’s try it. And I couldn’t dress myself, I couldn’t put on my shoes, I couldn’t zip my pants, I couldn’t put my coat on I mean I was in dire straits at that point and still managing to go to work. And so I started taking methotrexate. The first dose was hideous. It made me so sick and it made everything feel worse and I thought that it’s got to be in my head.
Kari: And so minute we were told it would take you three to four five weeks for it to reach its potential. And so religiously I took it, the doctor advised to take it on the weekend night and I work a 4 day week and so Thursday night. So I took methotrexate and it would take the three day weekend to recover to be able to get to work. We increased folic acid and then I finally asked for Zofran. I mean my head was spinning and I was vomiting and so I needed something just to function in daily life. So they gave me Zofran happily and I took that about three or four times daily and then in December my kidney function was improving still and then it suddenly plummeted. And so then not only were the kidneys in failure but my liver was in failure.
Kari: And so they immediately called and said in January stop taking methotrexate. And I was so relieved. My last dose of methotrexate was on January 12 and I started the Paddison Program on January 13. And so here comes January 13th then these massive and that’s the recipe measurement, massive green juices of celery and cucumber juice.
Clint: You are very technical.
Kari: Yep very technical. And we felt (inaudible) with it and started the program and I felt immediate relief and it was wonderful relief. And then the kidneys started screaming again. So then there was a balance define how much of the liquid intake and phosphorus and potassium that I could metabolize.
Clint: Yeah right. Okay. So how did you go? Talk us through it so I don’t know just sorry. I just wanna say before that this is not the ideal time of course to start the program is when you’ve just stopped a medication. Because if we’re trying to ascertain how much improvements we’ve made from the program yet we’ve just stopped a strong drug like methotrexate then the methotrexate is going to fade away from our body whilst where ascertaining the improvements on the program and then we can start to become disappointed with the improvements we’re making as the methotrexate leaves our body and reveals the true state of scenario. So I just wanted to put that out there as well to people who are trying to get their timings right. Always it’s going to cloud results if we just change meds right before starting. So with that in mind how did it go despite coming off the methotrexate?
Kari: Well despite it, first I was a reluctant believer to start with. It was my husband who found the program and said you know well let’s give it a try. So in my mind I said I’ll try it maybe for a month. You know we’ll see. We’ll see. And but it was immediate results. And so I had the methotrexate dose and starting the program and then stopped taking the medication.
Kari: And about February, mid- February a month into it I was doing very well, walking better, less pain, still not able to pull my boots out or zip up my coat but I was getting better function independence and we went to a family celebration and you know as a first time out away from our little home cocoon, we’re preparing our own foods but we took everything with us and thought we’ll try a mushroom, a special mushroom. I forgot the name of that right now. It start with a P. It’s big mushrooms you know.
Kari: Yes thank you. So a Portobello mushroom and so we have those and the next day I was very inflamed and could hardly walk and we had a six hour drive home and we didn’t make connections. It turns out mushrooms are not friends with your kidneys. And so I was eating little mushrooms and had a couple of big ones and so finally realized that that’s a no go. And so there was a lot of up and down with the kidneys and the renal doctor wanted to do a kidney biopsy. He wanted to know if it was ancuvasculitis attacking and causing the death of a kidney or not and he needed to know. But he also said that it was very dangerous in my state especially biopsy to take. So three punctures to each kidney would show them what they needed to know and I said let’s wait, let’s see how we’re doing. I mean you know I feel really good. There’s been a lot of changes. Let’s just wait.
Kari: So there was a lot of blood work and even one day.
Clint: I was getting goose bumps.
Kari: Yeah. And one day the blood work was so bad I had gone in the morning to his office and he called on the phone and he said you got to come back and it’s an hour drive to the hospital to get another test. And so we went back and it wasn’t as bad as he had thought but it was still not good news.
Kari: But he was willing to work with me. He was just wonderful. He listened he was willing to work. He said his preference was biopsy but let’s see. So then you know you can’t, you have to keep note the forum that you have developed is marvelous! It’s a miracle! And there’s so many people on there with so much information and everybody has a tidbit to offer or a huge story to offer. And if we spend the time on the forum we can glean all this information. Well one of our forum friends Andy from the UK show this charming video of a Mungy growing mung beans sprouts and apparently my body loves mung bean sprouts, all the micronutrients in them and I started growing them. I was growing them by the bush, I would carry them back and forth to where they needed to be watered and cared for. The children in my classroom would help water in its time every three hours.
Kari: So there were big changes and then another forum friend had bought fine hat Boxi and it ended up at my house and I needed to put it out in its proper environment so I wanted to go out on the river. But I didn’t know if my hands could hold the ores, I didn’t know if I could row ,I didn’t know if my shoulders could handle it. But that Boxi pushed it and it made me go out. It was the motivation to try and sure enough it was possible. It was more than possible that ended up being a really wonderful exercise for me through the summer of 2017.
Clint: Now that is white water rafting, correct?
Clint: So you hadn’t been doing that prior but then I think it is Sheree that might have been the creator of our little mascot that did that did the world tour for a little while there but in any case you’ve received this hat as a bit of a fun thing we had going on in our group and you’ve put it on your thought I’m going to go out on the river and get the photo taken and you’ve found that you could actually get some pretty good mobility going that you previously couldn’t. Yeah.
Kari: Correct. Yes so I did that and then ended up spending a lot of the summer getting out on the river as much as possible either in the boat and rowing or going down to the river to swim and swim in the cool water and the cool water felt wonderful on cranky ankles and feet, feet that felt like walking on marbles you know, that feeling and so the river element being outside it all helped a lot.
Clint: Absolutely awesome. Okay, so now I remember you would post regular updates inside the forum about your kidney function percentage and we would all anxiously await and you would post a number. Now talk us through how those numbers changed over the subsequent months. And I know my order is a little bit off but the rowing, just to step back into the rowing is so great for not just the shoulders and the back but it also just helps blood flow through the elbows, and through the hands and wrists and fingers.
Clint: And so any motion where our shoulders are going back and forth which is a very natural motion like running or walking which you can imagine is probably the most natural movement for the human body. And if we just take that and add a little weight to that and something like rowing, white water rafting I mean that that’s just wonderful. So you’ve benefited a lot by then being able to exercise so we often have this situation where we’re kind of feeling that we’re doing everything we can and yet it’s only when our body is sufficiently capable of physically exercising then we actually step up onto a totally different platform as opposed to being in third place standing on the podium. Now we’re in third place because all we do is just eat right. But when we can exercise right, we get in to exercise we then step up into second place and then when we exercise, eat right, reduce stress, get our supplements right and get our medications right, so we’re not on any of the ones like prednisones and painkillers and stuff. Then we step right up on to first place.
Clint: So awesome! So you’ve got all this going on so I just wanted to share that. Tell us about the kidney numbers and also everything else that you were getting measured. I’m sure you’re getting c reactive protein measured. How did things change over the months after that?
Kari: The sed rate in crp started a slow decline and then dropped down. I think the lowest was the sed rate was 240 and the CRP the lowest now is down to 17. And so those are good good numbers and probably about three months after taking methotrexate I had some spikes in pain but the mung beans and the river rowing definitely made a big difference. Hot summer weather gets very hot here in the summertime and all of those things combined made a big difference. And then I guess a slow steady decline in inflammation to the point where a year ago at this time just about a year ago, I was feeling terrific. The thyroid function was great. There was.. I have so much energy you know I have the morning stiffness that still hasn’t gone away but I have just the ability to practically run out the back door and down the steps. And you know it would take me three minutes to get out the back door before. So there’s been a lot of huge changes and the foods are good. I mean the palate changes. I had a conversation with one doctor, the naturopath, about two months into the program and I was pretty grumbly and I don’t typically act that way but I was. It was noticeable to her and and I wrote on the forum what she said to me and she told me that I needed to make peace with my food because if this was the route I’m taking, make peace with your food. And I was really surprised to hear those words but they were powerful and they impacted and she was right. And so as I stop complaining the food is the gift, the food is medicine so that’s what I did.
Clint: Yeah that’s lovely. What a great naturopath. Instead of saying you know what you should be doing this and this and you should be buying this supplement from me and then I need to see you every week. So you know what great commentary from that naturopath. Definitely pleased to hear that.
Clint: Okay great. So you’ve often posted pictures out on the river. You know over the past, you know six months in particular. And your husband has created some nice little videos of you out rowing as well. What does your day to day look like now.I know you’ve got your professional job as a teacher but you also have this hustle as well or side venturers your instructor for white water rafting which must be exhilarating and fun and rewarding. What does it rather than a day, I suppose what does a week look like for you now and how does it feel. And is it rewarding?
Kari: Well it’s absolutely rewarding. I’m no longer doing it professionally. So we have our own business, whitewater rafting but we retained a lot of the equipment and it’s in our blood. I’ve been doing it since I was a young person and so we would go out and tell we’ve had these dreadful forest fires and it’s filled the entire valley and even close the river. We would go out three or four times a week to either swim in the river or to row on the water and either one and it’s wonderful and you know some of the beaches are big, lumpy, rocky beaches. And so the ankles are moving all over the feet that everything has to work together and I would swim rounds for maybe 300 yards and get out of the water and walk back up and do it again.
Kari: And starting now I was able to do two rounds and before they close the river I was able to do four rounds instead of just a constant increase. And we have a small farm and a large garden on the farm so we harvest a lot of the food and so I work out there. Monday I was out there for three hours, today I was out there for an hour. Just either weaning or picking our different foods and then working to preserve it for the winter months coming ahead. Most of it can last us through the years so we can harvest and preserve about two thirds of what we eat for part of the year and then it shifts and it upside down maybe about a third of what we eat is still from the garden and the farm.
Clint: That’s fantastic. Yes you have posted some wonderful pictures of your massive garden too. You’ve got the expanse of produce that’s coming out of there. Are you still growing your own mung beans?
Kari: I haven’t been in growing in the summer, it’s too hot it may go bad too quickly but there’s plenty of other good greens to eat out in the garden. Yeah I go out and pick a handful of the Asian greens bok choi, kale, baby beet greens or whatever it is and stuff the blender full of those and then put a banana and black berries and blended it up. I’ve had a few wild flavors. Some of the greens have more of a mustard taste or horseradish taste and so horseradish with banana and Black Berry isn’t as tasty but it’s still good for the body.
Clint: Yeah it’s interesting out that you know the different greens have different tastes and also based on their soil that they’re growing in. The author of green smoothie revolution whose name is Victoria Buttengco. She came to Australia one time to give some talks. Well before I ever got sick and started paying attention to health and she documents in her book that when she came to Australia she was absolutely amazed at how the Swiss chard as it’s called here and I think it’s Swiss charge what it’s called in the States and it’s called silver beet here. It’s the same thing but here the silver beet or Swiss chard she said had extraordinary mineral taste, had such rich strong flavour in its leaves because of the minerals that it was growing in. And is just interesting how you know a plant is just not a plant, it’s outcome just like we are of the environment in which it grows. And so you know there’s this is interesting to chat about. So talk me through your ..first of all talk me through your kidney situation. I’d like to know how that is and how the correspondence has been also with the doctor on that first.
Kari: So the kidney, last results I have are from March. And it’s time for a (inaudible) on that one because the kidney function was up to 85 percent. It was remarkable and I know I can tell my body there is ups and downs but I think that the ripple effect is at a higher level maybe peaks down to 50 instead of 30 or 20s but there’s the high level so far has been 85 percent.
Kari: And at the time you know they thought that they wouldn’t heal, they thought that we were losing kidneys. So this was really wonderful news. And that comes just from the program the Paddison Program has done that.
Clint: Yeah. So tell me, with the kidney function. March as we’re recording this it’s now in August. Are you due for another test or do you feel that like I am with my c reactive protein I feel like I used to be able to guess my c reactive protein to within like one or two decimal points. Right, so I used to know how my body felt so accurately that I could predict my c reactive protein before I got the results back. Do you feel that you have that same level of connection with your kidneys so that you don’t need another test at the moment. Or how are you with regards to you know, getting it tested regularly and how it feels say at the moment compared to three months ago.
Kari: I think I feel pretty confident with just not having to have it tested as often and for a while I was having it tested every week and sometimes every four days and I was up and down, up and down and I felt like we were chasing worries and I understand the doctors needed to do that.
Kari: It’s data, it’s all numbers they need to collect it, they need to see what it’s doing. But it’s my body and I thought it is not a lot of change and I feel okay and so right now I’ll have it checked once a year and if I feel poorly I would go in immediately and have it checked.
Clint: What does the specialist say about your progress with your kidneys without having to have the intervention that he wanted?
Kari: Well he said and he was really quite wonderful. He said keep doing what you’re doing because it’s working. And the rheumatologist, he was worried because there was no medication being taken in. He didn’t offer other medications that maybe wouldn’t be as hard on the kidneys or maybe not as hard on the liver but what he offered, there were options I didn’t want to have. And one of them was even the medication goes in and it destroys your DNA. And when you stop taking it you have to take another medication to have that drugs stop the effects or it will continue. And those alternatives were pretty frightening and so he told me that he’s trained to prescribe medicine and he doesn’t know about diet. He doesn’t know the effects of diet and so he only knows what his training is. But he said you know what’s happening right now is working but he doesn’t know that it will continue to work. And that’s where it stopped and then he ended up leaving the practice and he took another job somewhere else and I didn’t seek out another Rheumatologist yet.
Clint: Yeah. Well as long as your numbers for C reactive protein and sed rate continue to drop month to month then if that were to continue over many more months then the need for a rheumatologist who as you say is just going to offer pharmaceutical options to you may diminish. So let’s just keep working and get those numbers down.
Clint: Have you got someone who you can give you the referrals to get your blood done each month?
Kari: Right. Yes I do. So the local and naturopath can do that for me.
Clint: We love that naturopath!
Kari: Well one thing we did try was I tried CoQ10, it’s supposed to help clear the blood of creatinine, it is supposed to be really great and it’s an immune stimulator and it was a tough lesson to learn and now their supplement. But when we stimulate the immune system for these autoimmune diseases it makes them go haywire. They don’t like it. And so there is a lot of reaction out way and so truly the food and finding out which food and which juices, I mean I never stop drinking the juices twice a day. The juice makes a big difference. The food makes the difference. The food has become the medicine.
Clint: Yes. And just for folks who just want to clarify what are your ingredients for your magic juice?
Kari: It’s evolved. But now the magic juice is usually about eat ounces. It’s not at much larger but twice a day and it has celery. And at this time of year cucumber, carrot, little Apple, there’s ginger, sometimes beets and sometimes turmeric.
Clint: Beautiful! Okay. Yeah. Nothing too wild and wonderful in there, all of the nice staples specially with the celery, cucumber which of course is our starting point for everyone on the program. And you’ve found that your body does just fine with a little bit of simple sugars in there from the apple and a carrot which breaks down to basically sugar once it’s had its fiber removed which is fine. I mean the body wants sugar we run off glucose so nothing wrong with that as long as you’re exercising which you are and not having a overgrowth of bacteria in your upper intestine which is not reacting to the simple sugars. So you’re doing great. Nothing wrong with that. Perfect.
Clint: Okay awesome. We haven’t talked about the lupus. Now I know we’re coming to the end of our story and our chat here. But could you give us an idea of how the symptoms of lupus have played out in your body and have changed if at all over the last couple of years.
Kari: Well the lupus has gotten very little attention and so it only gets attention when there’s been symptoms and so maybe last December I had November started surprising symptoms.Neurologically my leg would not move, my brain would say move and it wouldn’t move. And it was brought on by stress and fatigue. But that was very noticeable and so if I have the closest inkling of an idea that something’s going to happen. I just have to be at home and rest. And so that’s about the only attention it’s gotten with the other diseases going. And the rheumatologist said at the time anything we would do for rheumatoid arthritis is the same thing we would do for Lupus and so we’ll just treat them all the same.
Clint: Makes sense, yeah makes sense. Okay. All right. So let’s share some tips. Let’s give Kari’s tips and I’ve put you on the spot. I haven’t asked you to do this or prepare this but perhaps we can talk about some of the things that you find crucial to maintaining your health improvements and another way to think about this is what would frighten you the most if they were taken away.
Kari: Well I would be afraid to not have sauerkraut or some kind of fermented food. So we make that fermentation. I didn’t do well after a while with the probiotic in a bottle. We’ve got to have the juice everyday. You know that juice is really important. And I know a lot of people like to use a green smoothie once that gets going and I’ll do the same thing. But the juice really keeps the pain down. So I need to have the juice and then just a variety, a small pool. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it doesn’t have to be you know gourmet appeal, it just has to be well-prepared and wholesome food. And so looking for a short cut with some kind of a processed packaged food is not going to help. And if I had to depend on a packaged food I wouldn’t be able to eat very much. I wouldn’t need it I would just want a whole food. And so the plant based, whole foods is really what we have to have. And if all we can eat is a potato then take that potato and put a little salt if you like salt on it and be happy with that. Our taste buds do change. They evolve once we get rid of whatever we’ve been used to and I think that the whole foods would be the scariest thing to lose.
Kari: I leveled (inaudible) now, I wasn’t able to eat it before and I can eat it now. I have a big bowl of it with berries or peaches or whatever is ripe at the time, sliced into or put into it fresh. And we spent a lot of time freezing things so that it’s still ready for the oatmeal.
Clint: That is wonderful. And what about how emotionally and from a happiness level. Have things changed over the last few years.
Kari: Well it is really interesting because you know when the disease has come on, you don’t know what’s happening and there is a fear factor in there and we change we go into protective mode. And even our personality is changed and it is noticeable to family and friends and people aren’t sure what’s going on and where did you go? And the forum was something that was really.. this embracing protective mode also so family was there, you know just holding us up, hold me up, you know what do you need. How can we help? I usually didn’t know better I could go on a forum to find out suggestions and so emotionally, things are much more stable and the outlook is wonderful. I’m reading a book right now called A Course in Miracles and it’s a fabulous book. And again your program is a miracle. The forum, the members on the forum are a miracle. It’s just emotionally those are things that really enhance life now.
Clint: Wonderful. Your husband’s been fabulous also hasn’t he?
Kari: He has been. He did fine the program and he makes the juices every day. So that’s his job and he’s eaten the same meals every day. His cholesterol dropped from over 300 to 165 in the first two months I have been on the program. And that was a big change and a wonderful change. He has, he’s been steady the entire time and encouraging in helping just looking, you know, the juices were too big, let’s reduce the size, let’s change the ingredients. He’s just always looking at it scientifically and it makes a big difference.
Clint: Yeah you can tell how proud he is of you and just how much love he has for you when he runs the commentary over the videos that you’ve shared with us online because you know the way he makes his small comments over the videos it’s almost like you know, he’s always beaming you know you can tell that he’s just so proud of how far you’ve come and that’s almost look at what she can do now and here she is and this is a class 400 rapid and here she’s pushing though you know!
Kari: Yeah, he’s seen it all and he’s been here for the worst of the worst. And you know the seeming ugliest part of everything and picking pieces out then and my two daughters have seen similar but and nobody seen the darkest days like he’s had to see and so it’s been wonderful.
Yeah it’s certainly a unique challenge to have a partner with a chronic health condition and hats off to anyone who’s listening to this who is listening on behalf of their loved one who has a chronic health condition because my wife sometimes has said over the years like you know no one understands how hard it is for me. You know you know you’ve got the problem but it’s really hard on me too don’t worry you know like really Chynna because it never leaves their mind either. It just doesn’t have the same physical manifestation but there’s an emotional investment that’s enormous and so yeah. Hats off to everyone who’s helped those of us who’ve struggled over the years. So what’s next now for you Kari. What your little or little or big plan going forward with your health and maybe something exciting to look forward to as well. Maybe a trip or something else. But first of all talk about what your goals are for the coming months with your health.
Kari: I think slow and steady is the best. So I’ll just continue on steadily with the program and enjoy the way it comes. In the beginning I tried to find alternatives to meat and had some pretty dreadful ideas and awful flavors. And now I have favorites that I like to eat that feel like a celebration and so that’s the way to do it. You know it’s a shift. So I live in an old farmhouse and I love to cook and I have the memories of all kinds of cooking from generations and so I’ve just adjusted those. You know you can’t make a blueberry muffin. We used to. We can put applesauce in it for the fats and you’ve got a blueberry muffin that tastes great. And so different things like that.
Kari: So I’ll continue to work on you know cooking kinds of things but just enjoying just the steadiness of what’s happening now and that’s a really important to take it as it comes and then to know that the potential is there, we can seize it every day. We can read and reread the book that you’ve written the notes that you’ve written a weekend, subscribe to the forum and be a part of a community that truly understands and can offer feedback and what if then did you try and don’t forget. Kind of tips that are just fantastic and those are all things that are really important and just to give back to continue to give what I have received from you, from the forum, from family and from my children and just offer it back.
Clint: Well you’ve already been doing a lot of that because I’ve noticed in the last particularly in the last couple of weeks you’ve been absolutely wonderful inside our forum and you know we now have a lot of members were over 500 members and I’ve seen you pop up on all on multiple different people’s journals and encouraging them and asking them if they haven’t been on for a week or two how they’re doing and so forth and offering a tremendous amount of encouragement. So that takes time and it comes from a place of love and caring so thank you so much for contributing back so much in our group and also for sharing your story today and I look forward to spending a lot of time with you in the future and you’re in a beautiful part of the world in Oregon. And I have an invitation to speak in Portland at some point in the future so maybe if I make it into into your state I’d love to meet you and we could share some sauerkraut together. I’d love to taste some of your home brew there.
Kari: You got it, sauerkraut on the river, that’s the plan.
Clint: They’ll open the river by then I’d imagine it.
Kari: It’s open now.
Clint: Awesome. So folks have enjoyed this episode of the Paddison Podcast with the wonderful Kari who has such a gentle and relaxed and lovely nature about her very caring and spiritual and warm energy that comes through from her and she’s managed to turnaround a terrible kidney situation, get her kidneys functioning on their own. Well again now which is just life changing as well as continue to improve her rheumatoid and her lupus and Hashimoto’s so what an achievement! I mean on paper it’s the sort of thing that a doctor would be frowning about and feeling very grim about the outlook for the future. But in practice and speaking to you, you know what we’re seeing is someone who is vibrant in health and works to their maximum ability to shift the odds in your favor. So congratulations and thank you Kari!
Kari: Thank you Clint!