©2019 BY VIRGINIA ORENSTEIN @ EATPRAYLUPUS.COM

 
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What were you diagnosed with?

I was first diagnosed with costochronditis, which is a fancy medical term for "chest pain" in November 2003. Doctors thought that it might have been a performance injury as I was a professional musician and I would be misdiagnosed for the next 12 years. Then in April 2015, I was diagnosed with severe systemic lupus erythematosus.  In January 2017 based on the MRI and CAT scan imaging, I was diagnosed with two benign vascular brain tumors (one in the left posterior communicating artery and one in the right internal auditory canal) and a microvascular ischemic brain disease, which means I had a stroke during my bedridden state. In October 2017, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in my chest and spine via x-ray.  

What were your symptoms?

My symptoms at first were chest pain, muscle spams, neuropathy (nerve pain), tremors, paralysis on the right side of the body, and migraines. Over the years, these same symptoms would reoccur every now and then, about 2-4 times a year. In February of 2012, I had my biggest flare-up to date where I had pericarditis (fluid around my heart) and pleural effusion (fluid around my lungs), dry cough, joint pain, nerve pain, muscle spasms, and migraines. The pericarditis kept coming back more frequently after that flare all through 2013, 2014, and then finally I was referred to a rheumatologist who clinically diagnosed me in April 2015 when I had my biggest and longest lasting flare from April 2015 until December 2018.  I was bedridden during that time. I had zero energy. I slept constantly.  I was in so much chronic pain in my chest, spine, back, nerves, tremors, and joints. I couldn't walk from the bed to the bathroom. I couldn't lie down - I had to be propped up and sleep that way for many, many months. I had to use a cane or a walker to get around.  If I was in the sun without covering myself up, I would get rashes from the sun. I would get really painful nose and mouth ulcers that would last for months.  I had to wear adult pee pads because I had urinary and bowel incontinence.  I had severe depression, brain fog, lupus fog, memory loss, double vision, blurry vision even while wearing glasses or contacts. 

What was your blood work like?

Because I was clinically diagnosed based on my medical history, my blood work for a positive ANA always came back negative. However, my white blood cell count (WBC) was always elevated to show that there was something viral going on in my body.  That my immune system was "over-active" and fighting off something.  My WBC was always between 15-24K when the normal range is between 4-10K.  I had anemia for over ten years.  My pancreas enzymes and liver enzymes were also really elevated showing that I had pancreatitis and fatty liver.  And my blood pressure and cholesterol levels were also above range.  I was also pre-diabetic.

What medications were you taking?

When I was first diagnosed, my treatment included high dosages of Prednisone at (60mg), Azathioprine (Imuran), Plaquenil, Indomethacin, Gabapentin, and Hydrocodone with my first rheumatologist.  He kept increasing my Gabapentin dosage which then caused me to have one of the rare side effects of suicidal ideation.  It wasn't until my husband (fiance at the time - pointed this out to the doctor and I was immediately taken off of it).  My current rheumatologist likes to say that the "P" in Prednisone stands for "Poison."  Prednisone may help to stabilize the symptoms but the side effects of this medication is also one of the worst.  Side effects can be: weight gain, moon face, red or dark purple stretch marks (which go away), severe depression, mood swings, vision problems from the increase of pressure in the eyes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, increased appetite, acne, hair loss, increased sweating, nausea, dizziness, headaches, change in bowel movement, bloating, stomach pain, thinning skin, easy bruising, heart palpitations, to name a few. My first treatment was not aggressive enough to eliminate the flare and I was still being admitted into the hospital with a pericarditis flare.  So, with my second rheumatologist, I was put on weekly Methotrexate infusions at her office. I lost a lot of hair, I was nauseous, dizzy, vomiting, and had chronic fatigue from the chemotherapy. I was still on high dosages of Prednisone with the intent to decrease but every time we would try to get down to 25mg, I would flare up again. I was also still on Plaquenil and Imurin at that time when I started the Methotrexate infusions and it almost killed me. By the time I was admitted to the hospital the ER doctors immediately gave me a blood transfusion because my red blood cell count (RBC) was at a 1 and my white blood cell count was at a 2.  They usually give transfusions at 7.  I also had pancreatitis and my liver was severely effected at that time as well.  Other medications I was prescribed along the way in addition to the Prednisone and Methotrexate were Omeprazole, Panteprozole, Vitamin D3, Colchicine (Mitigare), CoQ10, B2, Amitriptyline, Ondanestron, Butalbital, Celebrex, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Flexeral, and Fentanyl patches.  When I finally was transferred to another rheumatologist who is my current rheumatologist (which was a God send), he switched me over to at-home methotrexate injections and continued all the other medications.  

What protocols have you tried to help in your healing?

When I was first diagnosed, I didn't know how severe and serious Lupus is.  I started reading a lot of books on Lupus and chronic illnesses as I was bedridden. And one of the books I first read mentioned that the life expectancy rate for after a lupus diagnosis is 5 years.  This scared me and I was determined to find anything that would help me reduce my symptoms.  I tried being vegan, keto, paleo, vegetarian, fireman's diet, military diet, the Thomas DeLauer protocol (because he said his wife who had an autoimmune disease cured herself on his protocol and so I tried it and it made me so much worse), the Goodbye Lupus protocol, and all of these failed for me.  It wasn't until I came across the Medical Medium that I was able to fully and completely heal myself over a 2-year period.

How and when did you come across the Medical Medium?

Because I was ordering and reading so many books on chronic illnesses off of Amazon, Amazon kept recommending the Medical Medium book to me for a few months. So, instead of ordering it and making a commitment, I decided to get it from the library, this was end of May 2017, beginning of June 2017.  Whenever I had good days, which were very few in between, one of the errands I would run was to go to the library. At the time when I started, Anthony William AKA the Medical Medium, only had one book available, his first book, "Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illnesses and How to Finally Heal." I got the book from the library and I read the chapters that pertained to my health issues and the last section of the book. It made so much sense to me that I realized that I would have to purchase it.  It's one of those books that you just use every day to keep referencing back to like the menu, the 28-day cleanse, the soul healing techniques, etc.  

What was it about the Medical Medium books that was different from other books that talk about healing and healing with food?

The main difference for me was recognizing that all my symptoms were caused from a viral infection and other factors.  Anthony talks about the variant forms of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) that plagues our bodies.  He talks about how many of our symptoms are caused by not just one thing.  He explains that it's a mixture of viral, bacterial, pathogens, environmental factors like pollution, toxic chemicals, pesticides, DDT, radiation, heavy metals, harmful plastics, war, the industrial revolution era that these are all to be blamed for so many of our chronic and mystery illnesses and symptoms. And he shares how we can heal from all of those things just by eating the right healing foods, which means that it's going to be pretty different for each person and each case. 

How did you get your doctors to approve doing the Medical Medium protocols?

When I started Medical Medium, because I was so sick, I was seeing all of my doctors every month: my primary care doctor/general practitioner (GP), cardiologist, rheumatologist, neurologist, and gastroenterologist.  After reading the book, I took the book with me to each of my doctors' appointments.  What I said to to them was, "I'd like to try this diet change with the medical treatment you have me on to see if it may help.  Basically these are the foods that I will be eating (showing the menu) and here is the supplement list - would you please let me know which supplements I can take with the medication I'm on?" I have to say, coming to them with this kind of attitude of wanting to work together with them really made them happier to help me more.  They advised me which supplements I could take while doing the methotrexate injections and other medications.  What I found most interesting was that three out of the five doctors approved the menu, especially with the amount of fruit I was eating each day.  And really the most interesting part is that three out of the five doctors are Asian Indian who studied in India, which I'm sure they had some kind of Ayurvedic and nutrition courses in their medical schooling.  And the other two doctors who were against the amount of fruit on the protocol, studied here.  Needless to say, because the other three were okay with the amount of fruit I would be eating and trusting in what Medical Medium said about fruit fear in the book, that I decided to do the fruit and smoothies.

How quickly did you notice your symptoms getting better on Medical Medium?

When I first started the 28-day cleanse in his first book, he shares that if you are the type of person who flares easily then to adapt the protocols over time.  And because of my previous experimentations with other protocols, I learned that it is best to adapt new things very slowly.  What I learned is that the body does not react to immediate changes very well. In fact, it retaliates.  It is best to make small incremental changes over time.  So, the first three weeks on the 28-day cleanse, I was only doing 8oz of celery juice and then gradually increased it to 12oz and then 16oz.  I was still bedridden for majority of this time.  By the fourth week, there was one particular morning I woke up feeling almost normal.  I decided to do a deep clean of our master bedroom (something that I was unable to do for over two years).  I flipped our queen size mattress by myself and while holding up the box spring, I was vacuuming underneath the bed. But then, after that, I noticed my energy levels were improving even while on methotrexate injections.  By the 6th week, I got my blood work done.  Then by week 11, I saw my rheumatologist and he was happy to report that my blood work improved. I was no longer anemic and pre-diabetic.  My WBC lowered to 13K and my liver and pancreas enzymes lowered. I was doing so much better that my doctor gave me the okay to the Walk to End Lupus that week.  I walked 1.5 miles plus walking and riding the subway to Downtown Los Angeles all by myself without a cane or walker. Two weeks later, I got into a Rheumatoid Arthritis flare which set me back but also, it gave me another symptom and illness I needed to focus on healing.

How long did it take you to heal from your symptoms?

I noticed I stopped getting lupus rashes and stopped using a cane around the 9th month on Medical Medium.  I was still experiencing some neurological issues and RA symptoms like joint pain, chest and spinal pain.  But, I didn't have to cover myself up anymore if I went outside.  By the 6th month starting on Medical Medium, my MRIs and CAT scans showed that my tumors were shrinking.  And then by the 12 month on Medical Medium, my MRIs and CAT scans showed that my tumors were gone and my brain disease was completely healed; it didn't even look like I had a stroke! I began to notice that I wasn't getting any lupus flares, especially when my husband was getting sicker as I was getting better. My husband had some gut issues that led to an unsuccessful surgery where he almost died the first time.  He had an emergency colostomy bag put it and that's when I started introducing the Medical Medium gut health protocols for his health. His stoma healed so quickly and so beautifully after 2.5 weeks that his home care nurse was in disbelief and walked away with writing Medical Medium's information down. Then in September 2018, my husband had his colostomy bag reversed but he was bleeding profusely after the surgery, so much that he lost 10 units of blood when we normally have 14 units. By the time the bleeding finally stopped by Day 4, Hubby went into full cardiac arrest and was dead for 46 minutes. I saw him dead on the hospital bed. After working on him for 46 minutes, he came back and he was immediately intubated. Interestingly enough while he was intubated, the cardiologist found that whatever he was doing in the last couple of months (medical medium gut health) also helped to save his life and his heart.  He mentioned that the bottom muscle of the heart was so severely damaged that it would never heal.  During this time, this kind of stress of course would send anyone into a flare-up and we were all really worried about that. But I never flared during that time and that's when I knew that my lupus had healed.  I was still experiencing a little bit of joint pain but it had gotten so much better that by 20 months into doing Medical Medium, I noticed that I no longer had any joint pain in my chest, spine, hands, elbows, feet, and knees. Hubby has also healed his heart from the Medical Medium Heart protocols, his doctors say that his heart is healthy and doesn't look like he even had a heart attack.  The bottom muscle that the cardiologist said would never heal? Healed.  Just know that everyone's healing time and healing journey is different and that healing can happen.

 

 

What is your Doctor in?

 

I got my doctorate in music at University of Southern California.  I honestly believe that being able to access certain journals and knowing how to research helped me in my healing process.  It helped me to understand how to go about the healing process, to experiment and analyze, reading and researching and applying it to my health and to other people's health as well.  In addition, I taught life through music for 18 years to few hundred people and now, I am teaching life through healing foods and healing modalities to thousands to help others on their healing journeys.

Do you do wellness consultations?

Yes. The consultations incorporate in-depth menus, meditation, reiki, breathwork, yoga nidra (coming soon), and other healing modalities specific to the client and the client's specific needs. Look under the Services page for all the services I offer. Contact me in the form below or email me at EatPrayLupus@gmail.com to set up a consultation.