Take a Sledgehammer to your Fear

This following update is a continuation of my story.

On October 12th I traveled to Palm Springs, CA to meet with Dr. Steven Gundry for the very first time. Traveling was exhausting, especially having to wear a face covering for the entire flight Welcome to 2020! 

Nevertheless, one connecting flight and 8 hours later, we finally arrived. There were monstrous palm trees and little pinkish-purple flowers that seemed to be growing on every corner. Feeling the 100 degree California weather on my skin was inviting compared to the brisk October air in South Dakota.

It was a completely average scene for most people. However, for me, it was a scene mixed with a bit of anxiety, excitement, and hope.

We arrived a day before the appointment which gave us plenty of time to roam around and explore the beautiful city. We visited a few restaurants. None of them disappointed, to say the least. We drove to an adjacent town called Cathedral City, which was equally beautiful and flooding with the same gigantic palm trees. The distant views mainly consisted of sandy mountains and valleys that seemed to go on forever.

Of course, all this was only a distraction. The main event was the upcoming appointment with Dr. Gundry.

In the past, I’ve had countless doctor visits where I didn’t get the news I wanted to hear. Each time it felt like a little piece of me died.

You probably know the feeling. Maybe it’s a sick loved one, or maybe it’s an awful work situation. You try to go into a difficult situation like that with a positive attitude, but in the back of your mind you know that the odds of a favorable outcome are not good. There’s still a part of you deep inside that keeps you desperately clinging to that hope. Things might be alright. But then the tiny glimmer of hope gets snuffed out, and suddenly reality hits you and it feels like you just got smacked in the gut with a sledgehammer.

I’ve had that feeling a few times before.

So as the time for the appointment grew closer, I could feel myself becoming increasingly nervous. Feelings of doubt and fear began to creep in. I didn’t want to be disappointed again.

I didn’t want to hear the same thing from a different doctor. I didn’t want to hear that my disease was progressing and that there was nothing I or they could do about it, but look into a lung transplant.  

We arrived at The International Heart and Lung Institute and were met with the warmest staff! In no time one of the nurses called me back, checked my height, weight and vitals then chauffeured us into the Dr’s waiting room.

Shortly after, Dr. Gundry walked in wearing the biggest smile. Maybe he was smiling so big so that I could see it from behind his mask, or maybe that’s how he always smiles. Either way, it was good to see, and his warm energy filled the room in an instant. It managed to lighten the mood and put me at ease. I was still nervous but dramatically less.

After conversing and getting some background information about my disease, he thoroughly explained how the the immune and gastrointestinal system work hand in hand in releasing gut immune cells to prevent the growth of microbes, as well as to fight foreign bodies and toxins ingested along with food.

He went on to say how eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones has the power to potentially heal a damaged gut (which he theorizes is the source of all autoimmune disease).

It was like having front row seats to one of his podcasts. I was a tad starstruck, I must admit.

He went over my blood work results and everything had improved since my first set six months prior. My vitamin levels were optimal. My inflammation and hypertension markers had gone down tremendously.

These were improvements I could already feel, but hearing it from him first hand felt incredible. It gave me fuel to my engine.

However, that wasn’t all. Dr. Gundry went on tell me about another patient of his that has the same condition as me. This person had been on oxygen and was facing a potential lung transplant just like I am. After 18 months on the Plant Paradox diet, she is now able to live her life virtually free of supplemental oxygen. She can go on walks and hikes and basically live a normal life.

He told me that if I continue the diet, I could see the same results.

After hearing those words, I felt like I could grab that invisible sledgehammer and smash my mysterious lung eating enemy to pieces!

The hope Dr. Gundry gave, I had never received anywhere else. I left feeling empowered, motivated and in control. I realized it is up to me and my habits as to where I could be health wise and I am willing to do everything in my power to improve.

So here’s to all you people out there that have been smacked in the gut with the same sledgehammer: You will get beaten down. You will fail. But no matter what, you have to hold on to your hope and get back up.

Here’s to hope!

XOXOX, Estel


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Estel is an optimistic and curious young adult who's passions include music, playing the piano and guitar, writing, design and good jokes. She has an open mind and thoroughly enjoys learning new topics. She appreciates the simple things in life like, nature, a beautiful sunset or a warm cup of tea. She aspires to inspire, as well as to spread joy and positivity.

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