Story and photos by Efleda P. Campos | Senior Editor
I HAD been worried. From February to July 2016, my blood-sugar readings had been hovering between 450 and 550. Readings for normal levels of blood-sugar range from 90 to 120.
I had been faithfully taking my medications—all prescriptions—that cost me about P15,000 each month. I also had been eating brown rice, vegetables and seafood, avoiding meat, salt and fat, as advised by my many doctors with their various specializations.
A welt has appeared on the front area of my lower left leg, and it has been spreading. I have seen pictures of diabetics with festering wounds on their lower legs, leading to amputation of their limbs.
My vision is blurring, and I have begun to express fear of becoming blind because of diabetes.
I will be turning 64 in a few days. My previous worry of hypertension soaring to killer levels disappeared after my blood pressure normalized. Dr. Cherryl Riva had adjusted the dosage of my medications for high-blood pressure.
I have a supply of magnesium spray, formulated by naturopathic doctor Mary Jean Netario Cruz, to relieve my various bodily aches and pains.
Dr. MJ has helped many elderly people, and even young patients. She has conducted medical missions with friends and fellow believers in several areas in Luzon to help people in pain. Her Facebook account is replete with posts, seeking her advice on various health concerns. Many people appear desperate.
I had been saved by the mineral on several emergency situations.
At the height of summer in 2015, I had gone home from work midafternoon one Saturday to an oven-hot home. I could not sleep that night because of the stifling heat. When I got up the next morning, I had a tremendous headache, I felt I was burning with fever, and my eyes felt like they were bulging out.
I was in great discomfort, the same helplessness I felt when I had a stroke in August 2013. That was when I remembered what Dr. MJ told me. When I felt I was having a stroke, I should spray magnesium on my pain points—my temples, my forehead, my head, my nape and my heart area.
In 20 minutes, I fell asleep. When I woke, up two hours later, my discomfort was completely gone.
Dr. MJ understood my worry. My mother, my two older brothers and I were all diagnosed with diabetes in 1996. Mama and Manong Rufo had since passed away.
Dr. MJ told me to take time off from work, and we would use a protocol she had tried in July 2016 on Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the Diocese of Daet. The bishop is a diabetic like me.
I was on a wellness break from August 8 to 12, 2016. Dr. MJ had me stay at Saint Michael’s Retreat House in Antipolo during the days I was under her treatment.
The staff members at the retreat house were very welcoming and supportive. Veron Reyes, the house’s retired administrator, a fellow diabetic, was supposed to undergo treatment with me. However, she could not devote four days to her treatment; she is her aging mother’s caretaker.
Dr. MJ asked the kitchen crew, led by Manang Betty Dacanay, to prepare my meals the way they cooked Bishop Garcera’s during his stay at Saint Michael’s two months back. Dr. MJ encouraged me to eat raw vegetables in salad form, lightly seasoned pork and meat, grilled fish, blanched vegetables, and lightly boiled saluyot, okra, eggplants and other dinengdeng staples.
After dinner from August 8, my blood sugar registered at 461. That night, Dr. MJ had me chew a finger of luyang dilaw (turmeric) and 10 leaves of holy basil. I drank a cup of serpentina tea, injected my 40 units of insulin and my other prescriptions before I went to bed.
Following Dr. MJ’s instruction, I tested my blood sugar when I woke up the next day.
I had to look hard at the blood-sugar monitor. Did I read it right? I was seeing the numbers 118.
Diligently, I again masticated my “holy chew”, this time, a finger of native ginger and 10 leaves of holy basil. The concoction burned my mouth. I preferred turmeric. Then, I drank the juice of one fresh coconut, in lieu of the leucocytes supplied by carbohydrates I no longer eat.
My evening blood-sugar reading was 276. My fasting blood sugar the next morning, August 9, was 110.
Dr. MJ said the protocol was begun by Dr. Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury of India, who follows Ayurvedic medicine. She adopted his protocol, and combined it with her magnesium treatment.
Of course, I miss my rice, noodles, pasta and other sources of carbohydrates. I have occasional headaches and get nauseous because my body is still adjusting to the absence of starch from my diet. I cannot even eat white corn, but I can eat yakon, dragon fruit, singkamas, saba.
On my third morning at Saint Michael’s, my blood sugar tested at 115 and on my last morning there, it was at 99.
Dr. MJ and I went grocery shopping on the last day of my wellness break. We bought ingredients for pechay and ampalaya fruit salad. She taught me how to prepare my food, mostly fresh, uncooked vegetables for salad.
Six months after my wellness break, I continue to follow the food protocol suggested by Dr. MJ. She said in place of rice, noodles and pasta, I should eat vegetables as my source of starch; and eat fish, chicken and pork.
My blood-sugar level has remained within its normal range.
Image credits: Efleda P. Campos