By: Pattsy Dayley
I am originally from Oklahoma and am now 77 years old. I grew up eating lots of fried food. We had biscuits made from white flour and gravy. The gravy was made using bacon fat, lard or sausage or hamburger. Whatever we had, mom would fix. We ate plenty of beans and cornbread, but she added lots of bacon fat, ham, or fatback. Whatever little meat we had, she added it. Mom grew a garden and cooked with lots of vegetables, but they were heavy laden with fat. We used canned milk to make gravy. As we had babies, we used it for baby formula.
As a child I had lots of croup and tonsillitis, and my legs hurt all the time. My mom would rub them to give me some relief. She gave me cod liver oil to help my bones and then when we had sore throat, she would swab our throats with Merthiolate. For croup, she gave us a spoonful of sugar with two drops of kerosene added to it. It worked so I was able to breathe.
I had low energy levels even as a child. In my early 20s, I had some lumps removed from both breasts and under each arm. Thankfully, they were benign. At 25 I had a tonsillectomy, at 32 a hysterectomy. In my 40’s, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. My asthma came back about the same time. In my 50’s, I had my gallbladder removed. All this time I was still suffering with leg pain and then I was diagnosed with nerve problems; the doctor called it Morton’s neuroma. He wanted to remove the nerve. I refused. By this age I was tired of being cut on.
I tried being a vegetarian, and it helped. I felt better. With my family not doing the same diet, I went back to SAD (Standard American Diet). I also went back to lots of pain. The past two years I spent a lot of time in bed. I wasn’t able to walk far and had horrible stomach pains. The doctor prescribed Omeprazole generic stomach medicine. It didn’t help at all. I changed doctors. He thought I was gluten intolerant. I tried the gluten-free diet, and it helped the swelling in my stomach, but I still had horrible pain.
In August of 2015 I ended up in the emergency room throwing up from the horrendous pain. They did a CAT scan and found kidney stones. They gave me pain medication, and I was able to pass the stone. In December I ended up in the hospital emergency room again. This time the kidney stone was too large to pass. I had it blasted, and it broke up. I passed lots of mud, little stones and so far they haven’t come back.
In January of 2016, my fibromyalgia and asthma came back really strong. The pain was unbearable. I decided to go back to a vegan diet no matter what my husband or anyone else said. I had studied the Word of Wisdom for years. I wanted to eat that way, but I was allergic to wheat and all I could think was, “If wheat is for man than why am I allergic to it?” I was reading an article Jane Birch wrote, and she said that it would please Heavenly Father if we would eat animals only if we had nothing else. I wanted to please him. I started that day, March 1st 2016.
It has now been over 6 months. I no longer take any medicines except my inhaler for my asthma. My fibromyalgia is 99% better. The nerve pain in my feet is gone. The shoulder pain from torn rotator cuffs is gone. My blood pressure which use to be 199/89, went as low as 136/62. Some days I feel so good, I can’t believe how good I feel. I have a bad day now and then, but it is minor. I figure everything will heal. It just takes longer than a day to heal everything.
I am thankful for each of your stories on Discovering the Word of Wisdom. They keep me going. I am thankful Father in Heaven gave us the 89th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. I’m thankful for Jane. I’m thankful for now having a lot less suffering and for being able to go and do things.
When my asthma heals completely, I told my husband he IS going to start this way of eating.
Pattsy Dayley (77) lives in St. George, Utah (where they moved last February because her health had gotten so bad she needed the cleaner air). She and her husband were married on Christmas Eve 53 years ago. They have 5 children, 20 grandchildren, and 30 great-grand children—with more on the way. They have served several missions. Pattsy was the first member of the Church in her family. She loves doing family history research. She also loves to cook, read, watercolor, and watch good movies. She plays organ and piano and has played for Church about 51 years.