I must have told you this story before. There is no harm telling the story again. I spent years frequenting the Uganda Heart Institute in Mulago. As the years went by I moved from one hospital to another as my pressure rose to worrying levels: Kampala Hospital, Mengo, International Hospital Kampala, etc.
At one time, when my pressure reached 227/117, I thought my time on Earth was nearing the end, but never lost hope that my situation would you improve. When you lose hope that is the beginning of the match into the other component of the life-death cycle.
So, when my doctor at Kampala Hospital, Dr. Lukoma, told me he had failed to establish what was was causing my constantly and persistently high pressure, I began to pray to real healer, God, to intervene. And yes, He had another plan.
One morning when I visited Dr Lukoma, he told me he was sending me first to a certain professor (I always remember names but this one has completely vanished from my memory) at Mengo Hospital. For the first time in my life I was put in the back of an ambulance, all alone, and driven at supersonic speed, to the professor.
He was to establish if there was a clot in my neck blood supply; a very costly exercise on my part since it cost me almost half a million shillings. After a long search for clots, the professor concluded there were no clots and wrote down some notes for Dr Lukoma.
When I arrived at Kampala Hospital, Dr. Lukoma told me, “Now I have only one solution left. I am sending you to a cardiologist, Dr. Lwabi, at Sassi Clinic, on Kampala-Jinja Road. He has a unique way of treatment, which does not, or may not even include medicines. I have already told him I am sending you to him.
After thanking Dr. Lukoma for all he had done to restore my health, I left Kampala Hospital for Sassi Clinic. Dr. Lwabi was waiting for me. When he saw me arriving the first question he asked me was:
” Do you really want to continue having that huge abdomen?”
I told him that if he could remove it I would be very happy.
Then he measured my weight and said, “You are 85 kgms. That is too much for your height. It makes you obese. We shall work to make it 66kgms. Beyond this one is obese”.
I told him, “Any steps you take to restore my health I willingly approve”.
He said, “Come to my office”. When I went in, he said, “Your problem is a good problem. You do not eat carefully. But let me hear what you eat?”
I told him everything I eat as he wrote down: two eggs in at breakfast, two eggs at break, two eggs in the evening almost daily; cow meat, goat meat, posho, rice, sweet potatoes Irish potatoes, matooke, chapati, some fruits, some vegetables and some fish sometimes, bread, chicken, meat almost everyday goat meat every other time.
Then he said, This is the list of things I want you to eat. You can see it does not work ncluded most of the things you love to eat. You have to reduce to a bare minimum the high calorie foods – rice, posho, sweet potatoes.
Eat red meat only once in a long while. Goat meat is the worst meat one can eat. Remove it from your diet. Eat plenty of fruits, fish and vegetables. Irish potatoes, local chicken (without skin), one local egg a weak, drink a lot of water even when you do not feel thirsty. Eat some pork it is white meat.
Avoid cakes because they contain a lot of sugar. Use honey instead of cane sugar. And when you go home , make sure you walk half a kilometre everyday, slowly. I will not give you any medicine. Come back to me after one month.”.
Indeed, after one month, the pressure had fallen from 227/117 to 130/70 with no medicine. I really thank Dr. Lwabi for introducing discipline and care in my feeding habits. I said good bye to the Heart Institute and concentrated on proper feeding. And my health became better with passage of time.
When I want to eat posho, rice and sweet potatoes I do so sparingly. The amount I take of each, and separately on separate days, sometimes weeks, is equivalent to the size of my fist. And when I eat them I take a lot of water.
I believe many people in Busoga, including children, are developing, or have developed pressure, mainly because of consuming large of quantities of posho, sweet potatoes and rice, together or separately, and many regard drinking water as a waste of time. Of course the pressures of survival in a very difficult environment are compounding the problem.
I hope this article will help you to rethink your food habits. It is your first line of defense against heart, kidney and pressure problems.
For God and My Country
The Writer is a Ugandan Scientist and Environmentalist
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