Five lessons from the sickest among us

My best friend lives in a tent. It’s not because she loves camping or is into a minimalist lifestyle. It’s because she is very sick. Over twenty years ago, Lisa went to Kenya to work. We were housemates at the time and I vividly remember how weak her constitution was; she would get colds all winter long. Recognizing this about herself, before leaving to live abroad, she asked the doctors to give her every possible vaccine to help her defend herself against whatever diseases or sicknesses she might encounter. Unfortunately, despite her best efforts, Lisa became so ill while in Kenya, she could only lie in bed and, so, eventually she had to return to the U.S.

Once home, she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and with heavy metal toxicity. And while diet has helped her strengthen her body, to a degree, she is now so weak that she can’t tolerate electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) and radio frequencies (RFs). Even just being near electricity, its circuitry, or wifi makes her feel like she’s being fried. So, yeah, fast forward to today, and, she’s living in a tent. Can you imagine?!

 Lisa’s home and her little dog that keeps her company.

Lisa’s home and her little dog that keeps her company.

It’s kind of wild that Lis and I are friends given that we are such polar opposites when it comes to our health. But one reason I am so healthy is because I’ve learned so much from my friend. So I asked her recently for permission to share some of the health lessons I’ve learned from her over the years. Here are a few of the nuggets that I’ve gleaned, along with action tips to help you apply the lessons to your own life.

Health has to do with more than just our diet. Lisa calls herself the canary in the coal mine. She is the one who is sick today, but it could easily be us, tomorrow. Just as coal miners look to the canary to get a clue about the safety of their environment, we need to pay attention to what the sickest are reacting to. How much and how often are we exposed to radiation through our cell phones, cell towers, smart meters, and wifi networks? These are powerful, but unseen waves that affect our bodies on a cellular level. I just downloaded an app called “moment” on my phone so I can keep track of how much time I’m on my phone. We need to monitor our exposure and reduce it, to the degree we can. Action tip: Watch “Generation Zapped,” a documentary about the dangers posed by excessive exposure to RFs and EMFs.

The importance of staying connected. Above, I recommend disconnecting; here, I’m saying that we need to connect! But in this case, I mean with people, and face to face, when possible. Lisa can’t get out much, but all of her friends make sure to come out to see her. She relies on these relationships to carry her through the toughest times. An open conversation with a friend in real life can go far in terms of emotional support. And such connections are critical to our well-being. I’m not saying you need a TON of friends; but do find just a few that you can bare all with and lean on when it counts. Action tip: Set regular dates in your calendar to connect with your friends.

Quality over quantity. Most of us are overfed and undernourished. Lisa eats the most nutrient-dense meals possible because every bite counts. Her life depends on it. She literally could not keep going if she didn’t eat the best. I don’t mean caviar & champagne, of course; I’m referring to well-sourced foods from local farms: meat w/o antibiotics or hormones, vegetables w/o pesticides sprayed on them, etc. She doesn’t eat a lot, but what she does eat is the best she can get! Action tip: Read “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon Morell. It’s more than a cookbook; it contains information that can transform your dietary choices and your health.

 This book will rock your world!

This book will rock your world!

Consider what you put on your body and into it. Everything we put on our skin—make up, creams, soaps—is absorbed by the body. Cosmetics and beauty products often contain “trademarked secret ingredients” that can mess with our hormone balance. When we vaccinate ourselves, we send viruses, adjuvants, and preservatives directly into our bloodstream. The vaccinations that Lisa thought would help her, ended up causing her a great deal of health issues in the long run. Action tip: Listen to a conversation on a controversial topic. Check out the interview on the Wise Traditions podcast with Dr. Tom Cowan entitled “The Vaccine Tradeoff.” In it, Dr. Cowan explains what happens when we protect ourselves from short-term sickness through vaccination.

Take your health into your own hands. When Lisa first returned from Africa, she turned to doctors who gave her a diagnosis but could not help her recover her health. That’s when she decided that she had to do some investigating on her own. What medicines or treatments were available? What alternative treatments showed promise? She read books, scoured the web, and dug deep wherever she could, looking for answers. And she found some! While she may not be healthy yet, she does have a good handle on what it takes to get there. Action tip: Open your mind to alternative, even unconventional, therapies. Don’t take everything you read or hear at face value.

I’m continually applying the lessons above and I’m the better for it. But Lisa often says that most of us don’t advocate for our own health until we hit a pain point. When the pain becomes too great, then we act. I write this post with the hope that we can all learn from the sickest among us before we ever get to that place.

***

P.S. For more on Lisa’s story, visit the GoFundMe campaign that we’ve set up to help Lisa afford a safe, healthy home. Click here to learn more and to give, if you feel so led.

***

Hilda Labrada Gore is a certified Integrative Nutrition health coach and the author of “Podcasting Made Simple.” She is the host and producer of the Wise Traditions podcast, sponsored by the Weston A. Price Foundation for wise traditions in food, farming, and the healing arts. She is also a fitness professional, and the DC Metro Regional Director for Body & Soul Fitness. She lives in D.C. with her husband, Mitch, their children, and their cat and dog.