I developed arthritis in 1981, when I was 56 years living in Baltimore,
MD. It got worse where I had extreme difficulty getting up from a low
chair and had to step up onto the sidewalk sideways, one leg at a time.
The pain was so bad at times that I sat on the bed at night actually crying with
pain in my arms. My knees were swollen and my hands crooked, swollen, very
tender. Early in 1982 my doctor referred me to Johns Hopkins. I was
admitted in May1982 for ten days to determine if my body could take the side
effects of a new gold drug. Tests showed the disease was progressing
rapidly. Without treatment, I could be in a wheelchair by year's end.
Within months the gold did work and I got better. But I was still taking
Indomethacin SR and twelve aspirins a day. Side effects were periodic
severe stomach pains. By 1983 my misshapen finger joints were beginning to
straighten and by 1984 I could walk straight across the road.
In 1983 I heard about the nightshade plants. I loved tomatoes and green
and red peppers and ate a lot of them. I immediately put the theory to
test to see if it applied to me. It did. And how! With much
sorrow I gave them up and a lot of the pain went away and I felt much
better. I did not give up potato. I thought that wasn't too
important it I gave up all the others, and it wasn't too difficult for me.
(Was I wrong!) By the summer of 1984 I was living a more or less normal
life, with periods of serious pain. My work involved a lot of traveling,
stress, and eating in restaurants. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was not
helping my health so I decided to take early retirement although it meant giving
up five years of high earnings. We moved back to rural England in
1985. Doctors at York District Hospital kept me on gold and Indomethacin
and replaced aspirin with codeine and paracetamol (acetaminophen). Until
the summer of 1985 I was managing fairly well but with many periods of a few
days when I really felt terrible and was aching all over. In almost every
case we tracked these episodes to inadvertently eating a nightshade.
Summer of 1995 I started to get much worse, so I increased the dosage of
Indomethacin for pain. Some days I was taking three 75mg capsules.
Finally, the inevitable happened and I came down with severe stomach pains and
bleeding. I gave up gold and Indomethacin immediately. Normally this
would cause pains to get worse. Luckily, in September I had written to Dr.
Childers to ask him what happened to the theory I had read about in the early
1980's. He wrote to tell me exciting things had happened, including the
publication of his book, fifth edition. I ordered a copy. It arrived
just as my stomach was in bad shape, so I immediately went rigidly on the
Diet. The pains did not materialize and the pains I did have
went away. Now, in May 1996, I have not had gold for six months and only
bits of Indomethacin. I am almost completely without pain and am
feeling better than I have for the last fifteen years. I can now
easily reach above my shoulder with no pain. Before, I could reach up only
very slowly with considerable pain. I shave with an electric razor and
splash pre-electric shave lotion on my face first. For many months I was
unable to splash lotion onto the right side of my face with my right hand.
Now I can reach anywhere on my face with the right hand with perfect ease.
My right foot is badly distorted. The big toe is angled over to the right
and under the toe next to it. This toe was swollen and the joint very
tender and sensitive so that wearing normal shoes put pressure on it causing it
agonizing pain. The arthritis consultant said he could either cut off the
toe or arrange special shoes. I chose the shoes! After five months
rigidly on the Diet my toe stopped hurting. It is no longer
sensitive. I am back to wearing my old shoes. This is a major
breakthrough! I am astonished at the difference between casual observance
of the Diet and rigid compliance. I read the labels on every can of
food. It is amazing how many include green or red pepper and, of course,
tomatoes in everything. For nearly six months I have been a new person and
I am slowly improving each month. I am feeling great and have more
get-up-and-go than I had fifteen years ago. The Diet does not have to be
boring. Read Dr. Childers' book for all kinds of interesting ideas and
recipes. Why didn't I do this years ago? My advice to anyone with
arthritis is to buy Dr. Childers' book, read it, and follow it. You have
nothing to lose but pain!
I am hoping to give lectures on the Diet to local groups- particularly the
Women's Institutes. This is a very large national organization, with
groups in nearly every community providing fellowships and information to women
of all ages. It has a very strong lobby in Parliament and gets some good
legislation passed. I am hoping to take orders for the book. Maybe
some of your retired people will get the idea too!
Quices Cottage, Spring St.