I have a great story for you. This post will be long but I promise it’s very encouraging!
My father is 83 and my mother is 80. They have always eaten lots of veggies, fruits, but not plant based. I had been encouraging them to drop more of the animal products in the past year, which they had, except continued with daily cream in coffee, butter, and eggs.
Early August, My father had a few incidents that turned out to be TIA’s (mini strokes) because an artery going into his brain stem was 75% blocked.
The doctors wanted to put him on statins, and my father is already on a blood thinner. I was there talking to the 2 neurologists about a plant based diet and both of them told me 1) they aren’t shown to work 2) they are too dangerous with my father being on the blood thinner (you have to be ultra careful about foods rich in vitamin k), no sense arguing with the high and mighty docs, but I informed them that I am a Dietitian and know how to work with him.
We were told there is nothing we can do if he has a major stroke, so, I asked my father if he was willing to go fully plant based to hopefully clean up his arteries and he said he was. I stayed with my parents for 2 weeks to help them with this. I witnessed 8 more mini strokes that week, thinking he could die in my arms every single time. The rest of the family came to see him just in case it was his time.
He was tired and weak from all this stress to his poor brain, but slowly, day by day he started to get stronger. After that first week he did not have any more of the mini strokes. He slept a lot the following weeks but got up in between to walk around. Fast forward to the past 3 weeks. He has lost weight, he is walking about 3/4 mile, and his circulation in his lower legs have dramatically improved. I’m anxious to see what the neurologist has to say and I’d love to see if his cat scan reveals less blockage.
BTW, he stopped the statin after 4 days due to side effects.
I’ve had family members question me and doubted my efforts to help him. They didn’t think it was easily do-able or that it would make any difference at his age. They had fear of him needing more protein, letting him enjoy foods he likes, he’s old and it’s too late to do anything. I just sent them little video clips from Dr. Gregor.
My father is determined to fight this and he has done really well, yes, he’s has a few cheats, but he’s about 95% there.
I had one of my brothers call me after reading “How not to Die” for recipe ideas. That book made him think twice about eating so much animal protein and has changed his thinking. It’s encouraging to see the effects this has had in family members.
I just wanted to share this story because I believe his diet can give him more time with me and his family. I realize his time is getting closer, but I can see him living to be in his 90’s if he continues to follow this path. Also, my mother feels better and lost weight as well. Both of them have less pain in general. My family has stopped questioning my efforts and are definitely giving my parents the encouragement they need!