I'm Not a Vegan

I just will eat like one from here on out.

Today I went to an appointment at the Lymphedema Clinic.  I don't have Lymphedema.  I have something called Chronic Veinous Insufficiency, which I will just call CVI because typing that is a pain.  Do you love Med-speak?  Well, here you go!

When I was 10 years old I sprained my ankle.  I was told by my step-dad at the time that it was "just a sprain" and to get over it.  So it wasn't wrapped or taken care of.  The pooling of blood caused that little valve that you see in the picture on the website to "shred" as it was put to me today.  That essentially rendered it ineffective.  However, because I was young and active, it didn't plague me until later.  So doctors put me on lasik, which dehydrated me and my blood cells slowing down my blood flow and making it pool more.  They thought the swelling was water retention and that it would just go away.  Wrong!  Made it worse!

As I grew and got more sedentary (i.e. desk jobs) the pooling of blood every day caused the other valves that go up my leg to widen, so that even though they aren't shredded, they also don't fit together, blocking the blood from going back down.  Because these veins run alongside the lymphatic system, it pushes against that, slowing my lymph down as well.  The lymphatic system is what carries toxins out of my body.  When it isn't functioning well because it is loaded down by toxins (found in animal foods - meat, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese, milk; and sugar) the toxins are then pushed out to the cell walls.  The cell then protects itself from the toxins by covering the particles with scar tissue.  Isn't this lovely?

So - there are a few ways to handle it, but this will be something that I will be dealing with for the rest of my life.  A few people have said to me that they couldn't give up meat because they want to have a life.  My response is that I am giving it up so that I CAN have a life.  Plant based diets increase oxygen in the blood, which increases the blood flow.  That is why this past week of eating a plant based diet has provided a reduction in my swelling (and I have lost 6 lbs).  It's not just plant based, but I also need to try to eat organically as much as possible so that I don't have the toxins from pesticides.  Which means I am going to start trying to grow my own greens.  I also get to wear compression stockings during the day for the rest of my life.  I also have to get up and walk around and contract the muscles in my legs so that the blood can flow every hour for five minutes.  And finally, and this is the easiest part - I am not supposed to have caffeine.  Good thing I gave up soda 15 months ago!  I pretty much only drink water and the occasional organic coconut milk now.  I will also continue to get regular lymphatic massages to continue to push the toxins out, and hopefully by not eating animal products or sugar, I will be able to stop putting toxins IN.