A SjoDry Update


Debbie Downer

Well let’s see…I last wrote about being at Rock Bottom and so I was. I was tired of chronic illness, tired of condescending doctors, tired of good doctors; tired of taking meds, tired of not having answers, tired of living each day with horrible pain, tired of not knowing if chronic illness and feeling horrible were to be what I had to look forward to forever, exhausted and depressed with medical bills and so on and so on. You get it I know, because we all live it. And not to be a “Debbie Downer” as they say, but it is pretty dang hard to feel happy and positive, when one feels so badly each day.

What To Try?

lady with question mark

For many months, I researched various food plans. If you’re like me, you read these things, but really have no idea which eating plan would work best for a person battling autoimmune disease. There are merits to each. Some folks would swear by one method, while other people indicated how ineffective the same approach was. I always ended up at a place of indecision and confusion as I have told you before. For awhile, I tried to figure out how I could marry certain features of different food plans to arrive at the one homerun which would be the answer I had been searching for. That never happened, at least not at my creation.

A Timely Meeting


It was in May of 2016 that I learned about an Alternative Medicine Doctor from Florida who does very economical phone consults. I learned about the doctor from a friend who has been greatly helped by the protocol that the doctor put her on. With a “what have I got to lose attitude”, I called to set up a phone consult. I called her on May 24 for our one hour phone consult. I was very impressed. It wasn’t just her easygoing style and the low cost of the consult. I could hear her genuine concern and desire to help me. I have never had a doctor who promised to address every symptom I have and also, to try to get me off of all of my medicines. I was excited and hopeful, but realistic.

So What’s Been Happening?


Let’s see. I started the Paleo Diet or should I say the Paleo Food Plan on May 24th. Dr. King explained that she would be treating me with the Proteolitic Enzyme Therapy Approach. So what is that? From my research I learned that high potency proteolytic enzymes have an immense ability to improve vital health processes. This includes their ability to enhance processes of detoxification, normalize and reduce inflammatory processes and to enhance the production of white blood cells and the body’s defenses. Proteolytic enzymes can stimulate immune cells to destroy fungus, mold, bacteria and viruses….all of which I need.

So with that knowledge, I started my ‘several times a day’ supplement schedule, as soon as I received them in the mail. Admittedly, I have never taken so many pills in my life, but the way I started to feel (very soon after starting the protocol) has reinforced my decision to continue my natural approach to my health. I will add here that I have not abandoned my traditional western medicine approach, but am enhancing it.

I am not going to tell you what my initial weight was before starting this plan (what girl would do that), but I will happily share with you that I have shed 13lbs. to date. But more important than my weight and the impetus to start this plan, is that I am feeling better. I have been able to stop taking my high blood pressure medicine, am tapering down from my Prednisone, am having more energy (no twice a day energy drinks needed anymore) and less pain and am just feeling better in general.

Have I stuck to the plan 100%? Well almost. I have read that if you are following the plan at least 90%, that is acceptably compliant.Does that sound like caution: rationalization ahead? I recently attended a wedding down south. As with any down-home southern get-together, there were all of the typical food delicacies (fried chicken, grits, biscuits, macaroni & cheese, baked beans, banana pudding and more). It was not easy to stay on plan…if I didn’t want to starve. I will admit to succumbing to the Mini Moon Pie and part of the giant S’mores favor after a couple of glasses of wine at 1:30 a.m. before falling into bed. As punishment, my stomach let me know that it did not like the food deviation. My stomach was quite unhappy for two to three days after the wedding. The good thing about this, is that it underscored how much the Paleo/GF/Sugar-free/Dairy-free/Vinegar-free plan I am following, is helping me. If your chin just dropped at all of the food groups that I am not having listed above, just know that this is only a temporary condition. After the first phase of my plan, Dr. King says that I can slowly add some previously enjoyed foods back into my diet. But only when paying close attention to their effects on my body. I’m okay with that.

Is It Working?

So far so good is my answer. Truthfully, I felt so bad when I started this strict regimen that I was desperate for some relief. The improvement in how I feel is what is reinforcing my ability to follow the plan with little deviation. There have been moments which have made me feel like the old me! So what is that worth?! To me..it is worth a lot. If I feel this much better at the beginning of the plan, think of how much better I stand to improve as I continue the program for many months. I am more than encouraged about my health, I am excited. And that is a feeling that I have not had for a long time..until now.


What Would You Do?




Remember that cute commercial about, What would you do for a Klondike bar? What would you do to feel like the old you again? This is a very individual journey for each of us. What works for me, may not work for you and vice versa. But when you feel like you have gotten stuck at a horrible place with few options, sometimes you gain the strength to try something that you didn’t think you could ever do. If you had bet money that SjoDry could never give up sugar or chocolate…a few months ago, you would have won that bet.Not now. My new mantra is: I want better health more than I want that ______________!


I am hoping that this post finds you feeling as well as possible. If you are feeling ready to throw in the towel, don’t. It may be that the right solution has not found you yet. Am I cured? Of course not. But I am grateful for whatever improvements I can get. And if that means I am able to do even a few of things that I used to enjoy…well I call that a  homerun!


SjoDry and mending…







About vitalsignspgh

Sandy Burkett is the Creative Engineer, President and Owner of Vital Signs. Vital Signs is a certified Native American/Woman-Owned custom sign and graphics company located in Carnegie, PA.
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One Response to A SjoDry Update

  1. Abe Heinrichs says:

    Oh, I’m so glad for you! My daughter has been greatly helped by a naturopath when the medical profession had no answers. She, too, had a radical diet initially but has been able to re-incorporate foods. She has also been helped by his lymph drainage treatments which reduced problematic lymph nodes. All the best to you!

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