Cabbage saved my life (sort of)

Let me tell you about the time that cabbage saved my life.

Sort of.

Before I can tell you how, I need to tell you what led to my religious cabbage experience. This is lengthy, but if you love horrifying, on your edge stories, read on and enjoy the ride. Back in September 2015, I was about 6 months into my official health/fitness journey. I had cut out all terrible foods, wasn’t eating out any longer, exercising about 5 times a week religiously, and I lost around 40 pounds.

I was feeling better than I had ever felt in my entire life! I was happy, and blasting through my fitness/health goals.

Then it happened.

I woke up on a Tuesday (yes, I remember the day of the week), and my entire stomach was about triple its normal size, and I had this incredibly sharp pain in my lower right abdomen. I knew something was wrong immediately, but if you know me, I hate, HATE going to the doctor. I will avoid it at all costs. For some reason, I blamed it on just a weird day. Well. Obviously, the pain continued the next few days and I went to urgent care.

They sent me home with medication for a UTI.

I didn’t have one. But that is what they guessed what was wrong. Even though the tests were negative. After about a week, in constant pain, I called the urgent care doctor, and she suggest I go to a lady doctor. At her request, I made an appointment with a specialist. Two appointments later, another two weeks of hell, I was informed I was just dealing with an ovarian cyst and I would have to “deal with it”.

This went on for another month.

Yes, you read that. Another entire month. We were about two weeks away from Thanksgiving at this point. Every day I had searing pain on my right side, extreme nausea, I wasn’t eating, and I had developed severe anxiety. I was in full blown crazy mode. I was stressing everyone I knew out and I couldn’t think about anything but what was going on with my body. I was shaking uncontrollably, and having consistent chest pains from the stress. No joke, I was having such bad anxiety attacks that I went to the ER and had a full heart work up (including blood panel and EKG) because of the radiating arm pain.

How did NO ONE know what was wrong with me? After obsessing over WebMD posts (never do this, seriously, super dangerous).

I was put on anti-anxiety medication.

Yes, actual anti-anxiety medication, to get a few hours of sleep. This was absolute insanity!

The doctors all told me I was fine. Every. Single. One.

But how was I okay? I had searing side pain, and I could barely eat with throwing up. Was this all in my head? I was starting to scare my family and friends. I was scaring myself.

I told Jake I couldn’t deal with it anymore, they were all wrong. I knew they were wrong. So, I scheduled an appointment with another doctor. I was hopeless at this point. Surely this doctor wouldn’t tell me anything different than the last one. I was on my fourth doctor and my 7th week in excruciating pain.

I walked in, my hands were already shaking, she told me to hop up on the exam table. She scribbled away, and I moved slowly, sliding onto the crinkly paper. She wasn’t asking me any questions, I felt the lump in my throat growing as my anxiety intensified. Without eye contact she casually stated, “so what brings you in today”. That was it, that was all it took. I started rambling, as my hot tears stung my cheeks. I completely unloaded the last seven weeks of hell upon her. The doctors, the anxiety medication, the EKG, the symptoms that everyone tried to convince me “weren’t there”.

She leaned against the counter, taking everything in. She actually seemed to be listening to me. She walked up, and touched my arm as I finished, taking my pulse, listening to my heart. I felt my heart thumping as the cold stethoscope moved from my chest to my back.

I had no idea what she was thinking.

“Can you please lay back for me? I want to check your abdominal area.”

Robotic in her instruction, I followed suit, wincing as my abs clenched.

“Has no one checked your side?”

“No, they told me it was an ovarian cyst.”

With a sigh, she pressed into my left side. “Any pain here?”

I shook my head no.

She moved toward the center of my stomach.

“Here?”

I winced slightly, “a little”.

She moved to the right side, I was terrified. With the smallest pressure she pushed inward to my right side.

“Here?” She inquired as my entire body lurched forward in sheer pain.

I laughed, “I think you know that answer.”

She told me to sit back up, and she scribbled some more. And she said the most glorious sentence I had heard that entire 7 weeks.

“Miss Allie, I think I know exactly what is wrong with you.”

I stopped breathing, cancer? Some strange disease? Ulcers? (which is what I was convinced it was). Honestly, I was in the darkest part of the web, I was a full-blown member of crazy town at this point.

“I think you have gallstones.”

WHAT? F-ing gallstones? I was 26 years old. My mouth dropped. The next 10 minutes was a whirlwind as she explained what would happen next, the testing, scheduling surgery, blah blah blah. Within the next two weeks it was confirmed I had gallstones, and basically my gallbladder was operating at a very low percentage, so they were going to cut me up and remove it immediately before sepsis started.

They promised everything would be fine within a few days after.

They were half-way right. Without boring you with details, I continued to have issues. Basically, I was having extreme nausea every day after the surgery. I was recommended to a gastroenterologist and he put me on acid reflux medication (gastritis) and told me to stop eating gluten (sensitivity). It seemed to be working, but not really. I still didn’t feel like myself.

Fast forward to almost two months on these pills, and I still wasn’t eating, I had dropped almost another 20 pounds (in an unhealthy way) and I was finished with this.

I was pissed.

I was done with taking medication that was barely working, and it was going on 6 months of this stomach garbage. I did a little reading and decided to try something rash.

I mean, at this point, what the hell did I have to lose?

This is where our cabbage family comes in. All the forums online swore by this method of healing after gallbladder surgery/gastritis. The theory was that because I was basically operating with a sick gallbladder for two months (or possibly longer), I had an extremely damaged tummy.

So I made myself a giant batch of cabbage juice.

Oh yeah baby, raw cabbage juice.

A big glass of pure green, fart scented cabbage juice. I know, and yes, you are given the permission to gag. I did. Every day, twice a day for three days I drank raw cabbage juice. It was one of the most repulsive things I have ever drank in my entire life. It stunk up my entire kitchen. Jake couldn’t even be in the same room when I did it.

My eyes watered as I poured the concoction into a tall glass, plugged my nose, and CHUGGED. It didn’t taste as bad as it smelled, but it definitely wasn’t a delicious fruit smoothie.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor could I ever be one because blood is gross. So, don’t think that this is medical advice.

BUT IT WORKED. This is absolutely the truth, on my life honest. Within three days, my stomach was back to a normal size, the nausea started to dissipate, and I felt like my normal self once again. I did it the next week, and within two weeks I wasn’t taking anymore acid-reflux medication, my anxiety was completely gone, and I was eating normally!

That beautiful, foul-smelling smoothie had officially healed all the damage done! Now, why in the world would cabbage heal my food pouch? Cabbage juice is high in substances that protect your gut’s mucous-membrane lining. Barf. Mucus. But this just in: the human body is both gross and incredible! Some of the amazing benefits of this humble veggie include L-glutamine, an amino acid. And something called gefarnate, which apparently helps the gross mucus as well.

Basically cabbage is just all around amazing, and supports your tummy like the bad ass that it is. Gut health is only one of the nutritional benefit groups for cabbage, there are a ton more, which I outlined in the cover story.

This sulfur smelling vegetable, is not only delicious, but it seriously helped me in one of the worst medical time periods of my life. My story wasn’t to depress you, or freak you out, and yeah, to tell you about it was difficult. I am not one to share so personally, BUT I think it is necessary. I want you to remember that above all, your body is YOUR body. Doctors are incredible, and this wasn’t a post to discredit the medical field, but I want to use it as a warning. If you know something is wrong, fight for your voice to be heard! I am not sure what I would have done without the care of that fourth doctor. She was incredible and listened to me. Really heard everything I was saying. Even if you feel like the only one in the world, someone will listen. And they will help.

And sometimes, you just need a tall glass of sulfur smelling juice to help wrap up your healing process.