As I sat in the waiting room of the cardiac unit at the hospital, I looked at the others waiting with us in the lobby and wondered what brought them there. Were they the patient or were they accompanying the patient. I was there that day to be with my mother as she had her pacemaker battery replaced; with us waiting were my father, and some family friends.
My observation and interest on this day was heightened because I’ve been gradually changing the way my family eats over to a Whole Food Plant Based diet based upon such books as Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease; The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD as well as Forks Over Knives; The Plant-Based Way to Health edited by Gene Stone. After having read these books and learned so much about how to not only prevent heart disease but to reverse it – I was excited to spend a day in this ward of the hospital and see first-hand what I’d been reading about. I ran across a quote last year that has stuck with me, and that was this: Dr. Caldwell B. Esselsytn, the author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease; The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure has said “If the truth be known, coronary artery disease is a toothless paper tiger that need never, ever exist and if it does exist it need never, ever progress.”
In 1978, my beloved Grandma Miller (my mother’s mother) died of a heart attack at age 78. My mother had her first pacemaker put in 1997 at age 73. She had the first battery changed in 2007 when she was 83, and this second battery change came at age 90. It is evident to me that if I don’t do something to revolutionize my eating habits and way of life, I can be facing these same problems.
After my mother returned from her procedure, lightly sedated, the physician came out to share with us her progress. He was very positive that she would have a good recovery with little discomfort. I decided that this would be a good time to let him know we had been encouraging a Whole Food Plant Based diet. I expected for him to be excited about our revelation, but sadly, he just smiled and continued on with what he needed to share with us. We weren’t sure if he understood the magnitude of what this way of eating can do for heart patients.
What I did learn that day is that while I can’t change the world, I can change my personal future, and affect those around me as well. I will do my best to spread the message, one person at a time; the message that you CAN change your health – not by a pill, but by what you eat.