After speaking to people with cirrhosis (and their caretakers) for about a year, I am starting to see some patterns between the people who seem to get great results, and the people who get so-so results. Please know that I am not saying every person with a strong mindset is able to beat a life threatening health condition... but I do think your mindset can play a strong part in a person's recovery.
A few weeks ago I was looking up cures for cancer, and watched some videos with Jason Vale, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I watched this video, below, and found it interesting how he was describing his thoughts after he was diagnosed. While his parents were crying, it was like he didn't even flinch. His first thought was, basically, I'm going to be fine, I just need to figure out how to beat this.
Jason Vale was a champion arm wrestler, who was used to beating many of his opponents. He ranked number four in the WORLD in the lightweight division of professional arm wrestling.
When doctors told him his cancer had a 100% mortality rate, it was almost as if he seemed to look at the cancer as his opponent, that he was going to beat. I actually got goosebumps when I watched this video (below), because it occurred to me that I have that same mentality about things. If I'm going to enter a competition... I want to kick some ass!
By the way, I'm not trying to insult my friend because she is very smart, and extremely hard working in a lot of ways, and she does a lot of research on things, and she's shared some health tips with me that made an incredible difference in my life. I just really wish she'd cut straight to the chase and do the thing that would matter the most!
When I first learned about the NutriBullet, I was so excited about it. I invited her over and we sat in my living room and cut up a ton of vegetables, and she kept talking about how much she loooved vegetables, and what a beautiful thing they are, and isn't it great that God gave us all the nutrients and things we need, to be healthy?
I can't tell you how many times I heard her telling me about how much her health conditions had limited her, and how much it frustrated her... yet, it was clear to me that there was a reason why she was where she was... she wasn't focusing on the things that mattered the most. It was like she'd rather talk about it, than actually do the thing that's hard. I had to actually ask her to please stop talking about her health conditions in front of me, because it was driving me nuts when it was clear to me she wasn't willing to do the things that would make the BIGGEST difference.
I knew vegetarianism would be hard for me, and I anticipated it would be hard.... but it changed my life dramatically. My cystic acne cleared up, I could think more clearly, and all the weight I'd been trying to lose for 11 years, just dripped off my body. From then on, I realized there is a big difference between doing the thing that's hard, that takes effort and feels slightly uncomfortable, vs. doing lots and lots and lots of the thing that is way more time consuming, so it feels like you're working a lot harder than you actually are.
I asked Amy (who helped her sister get her sister's MELD score down in record time) if she played sports. She said no, but she told me she has an adversarial attitude about a lot of things (I can relate). From what I know about Amy, it's clear: The girl plays to win. She told me that although she didn't do competitive sports, she was always cast as the lead in high school plays, and made the varsity cheerleading squad as a freshman.
She said she finds peoples' psychology very interesting... what makes some people do one thing, while others do another. I am fascinated by that, too (there were classes I didn't do well in, in school, but psychology was always one of my best subjects). She told the story of how, when the World Trade Center was going down, many people were told to stay. Amy said she imagines that if she and her Mom and sister had been in the building, her sister and Mom would have obeyed authority, and stayed, while she would have gotten the hell out of there! I probably would headed for the stairs with Amy!!
I tend not to trust other people with my life. Even when I'm driving, as I enter an intersection, I always look both ways, even if I have the green light, in case some idiot who's texting or drunk or not paying attention, suddenly runs the red. I wouldn't say I'm paranoid. I like to think of myself as cautious. I've heard WAY too many stories of people who died when someone ran a red light going in the opposite direction, and a lot of times, the innocent passengers were killed as well. Wouldn't it have been worth it for the driver to take an extra second, to check and make sure it was safe to enter the intersection? Just because the light says "Go" doesn't mean it's 100% safe! Just like how, if a doctor says "A transplant is your best option" doesn't mean it's true OR safe!
The people who are supposed to be in the know, aren't always in the know
There are sooo many times I find that people really just do not know what they're talking about, even though they try to make you think that they do. If I walk into a store and ask a clerk, "Can you tell me where to find the ___________" (fill in the blank), and the clerk says "We don't have that," I usually go look for it anyway, because about a third of the time, I find it (I only ask them in the hopes they can speed up my search for it).
Few things irritate me more than people who are unable to admit, they just don't frigging know something. If you don't know, just say, you don't know! Nobody's going to think you're an idiot except you (in my opinion, you look like way more of an idiot when you make like you know something you don't, and someone proves you wrong... now you either look like a dummy, a liar, or a lazyass... or all three). Not knowing something just means you haven't taken the time to educate yourself about it... that's all!
As you can imagine, doctors who pull power trips and insist that they have the only answers, do not sit very well with me. But in a way I guess I should thank them, because if it wasn't for two doctors telling me that there was no way to reverse cirrhosis, on the day my husband left the hospital in December 2013, I'm not sure I would have had such a determined, fierce attitude about trying to figure out how to reverse cirrhosis... and then tell as many people as possible!!!
Some people just don't have that "competitive spirit" by nature. I once had a boyfriend, whom I'll call Matt, who just didn't seem to have a competitive bone in his body. Although I am a Democrat, I have always had sort of a Republican mentality of, if you're willing to work really hard, you deserve to make a lot more money than someone who wants a free ride. But Matt was more of a socialist. He felt that the rich shouldn't be so rich, and there should be a lot more benefits for the poor, even if they didn't work as hard. I firmly disagreed with him, and still do to an extent. But after a few years of dating Matt, I started to realize, he really just was not born with a competitive spirit, like I was... and that wasn't a bad thing, and it wasn't his fault. He was the most non-competitive guy I'd ever met. Neither of my sisters are competitive by nature. Lord only knows why I turned out to be so damn competitive. But I am grateful for it! Since dating Matt, I have become a little more empathetic towards people who just aren't competitive by nature.
Also, to say that Matt wasn't competitive doesn't mean I'm saying he wasn't smart. He was a very good researcher, actually, and it was largely thanks to him that I learned about how the body really does want to heal itself. In fact, this blog may not even exist, had it not been for Matt's influence on me. When I met him, I was a firm believer in pharmaceutical drugs, and felt that they were almost always a person's best option. After all, wouldn't it make sense that something that cost a lot of money would be the best thing you could use to treat an ailment? How could it even be possible that something could cost a lot of money, and not be the best? Matt was THE person who turned me around, and got me to see that "natural remedies" can be the most powerful, and I will always be extremely grateful for that.
Matt was very into alternative supplements (maybe part of his socialist nature... we should all have the power to heal ourselves, not just the rich people). Now I feel the same way. He took me to see Dr. Andrew Weil speak, and that was the first time I really started thinking that the body really does want to heal itself. If you haven't had a chance to read the book, "Spontaneous Healing," I highly suggest you check it out, because seeing him speak really did change my life.
So I guess I sort of took Matt's ideas and then applied my own competitive spirit to them : )
Again, I want to thank Amy and Ricky for sharing their stories and testimonials with me. I do think their attitudes and willingness to focus and work hard had a lot to do with their success. A person's mindset and attitude (whether they're the patient or the caretaker) can make a huge difference in how well, and how quickly, they can recover from a health condition. I realize that having a competitive or super-focused nature is not always absolutely necessary, nor am I saying that having this mindset is any kind of guarantee that a person will be able to completely turn their condition around... but I do firmly believe a strong mindset can help a LOT (as long as it doesn't cause you stress).
I've learned a lot from Amy, Ricky, and Jason Vale, and I hope you might be able to, as well.