When Monica arrived at Kibidula’s Wellness center we learned that she had been suffering with diabetes type 2 for 16 years.
Monica had been a successful woman as a business person and then she became a nurse. She hoped that her health would improve being a nurse working with diabetes patients, but it has been getting worse. She had gone to all the major hospitals in Tanzania and the only conclusion those hospitals came to was to take medications such as insulin. Her sickness had progressed to the point of being bedridden for one year and she was completely unable to walk. Some medications gave a positive effect and she tried to return to work, but because her limited ability to walk she worked for another year or two only until she realized she could not meet the demands of her work.
A friend in Matanana recommended that she come to Kibidula’s Wellness Center to get some help. Monica was hesitant to come because there are no doctors or nurses here at Kibidula, and she herself is a nurse. She had been already getting the best treatment from her co-workers (doctors and nurses.) and wondered what Kibidula had to offer in her case. So after some discussion for about three months, she finally made the decision to come.
On the scheduled day of her arrival, Kori, on her way to prayer meeting, met her as Monica arrived in a vehicle. Kori suggested that perhaps Monica could walk to prayer meeting with her and then the vehicle could take her back to the house afterwards.
"No! No! I can’t walk. No!" Monica replied.
"This is going to be difficult." Kori thought.
After returning to the Wellness Center, we introduced ourselves, and Monica had to sit down right away. She could not stand. At that point Kori realized that they were dealing with a very serious case. Monica was not just a difficult person, but she really could barely stand. After getting to know her a bit and understanding her situation, we realized Monica had many, many problems but these all seem diabetes related.
Before coming to Kibidula, she was advised by her doctor not to drink water because she had an enlarged heart, and she was retaining water in her extremities. She was to the point of only urinating once daily, so her retention of water was only getting worse each day. She had neuropathy in her legs from her toes to her thighs and from her fingers to almost her shoulders. This was the one of the worst cases of neuropathy Kori had seen. Monica had suffered from insomnia for years now, even with medication. She had extremely high blood pressure, and was on two different blood pressure medications to keep it under control. There were many sores on her tounge and it seemed that everything in her body hurt.
When Monica arrived at Kibidula she was taking a total of 106 units for insulin a day to control the diabetes, 46 units in the morning and 60 before bed. Her weight was about 260 pounds (119 kg) when she arrived even though she is only about 5’ 1” tall. The additional weight gave her challenges as she struggled to reach all areas of her body as necessary. All of these problems were the results of a very luxurious diet. She adopted a “rich person’s diet because of her success as a business person. Certain foods like vegetables and beans were considered poor-man’s food, so she was not eating them. She was eating lots of fish, eggs, food with lots of oil, chicken, and other foods such as this. The foods are the ones that are associated with success in this culture.
It was time for change. One of the first things Kori explained to her was that because of the water retention, her body needed her to drink more water. Every function of the body requires water to fulfill its purpose. She explained that the water retention would go if the body had the water it needs and didn’t have to save water for future use. The results were rapid. As soon as Monica started to drink water, she noticed the swelling in her ankles started to reduce immediately. Now she was eliminating liters of urine (per her own admission.) Being a nurse she was measuring it.
She eliminated her evening insulin of 60 units immediately because there was no evening meal. Her blood sugars were still under control with this significant reduction in insulin. Within three days she brought her 40 units of morning insulin down to 20 because she was now on a two-meal plan totally plant based without oil. After five days, that 20 unit was reduced to 15. After 6 days, she was down to only 5 units, and at the same time, her blood pressure was getting so low that she chose to eliminate both blood pressure medications. Since discontinuing her blood pressure medication her blood pressure are still staying in a very good range such as 110/70.
Food choices do make a huge difference with God’s blessing, but it wasn’t just the food choices that brought such good results. Exercising twice a day after meals, the medicinal teas, drinking water, hydrotherapy treatments, massage, getting a good night’s sleep and many answered prayers also contributed to her healing. We had been praying daily with her asking God to bless the efforts put forth by her and the other health guests. God is answering those prayers!
When she came to the wellnes center, Monica could barely stand, let alone walk, but she progressed and she was soon able to walk for longer and longer times and further and further. After just eleven days she walked two kilometers and only resting once! On this walk, she expressed she was thankful to get her life back. She felt energetic. The pain in her extremities was very minimal now. Even the loss of feeling in her thigh had improved after only three days. There was one miracle after the next as God blessed her efforts to follow His plan.
She said that after tasting the foods at the Wellness Center she was sure she would not go back to eating meat. After learning of the different herbs placed in the food for health and to enhance taste she declared that the problem here in Tanzania is that the Tanzanians just don’t know how to prepare their food. She said that is why meat is such a desired object in her household. How to prepare simple foods with taste is a challenge it seems for many people.
The following day (Sunday) we had a cooking class for the guests. She told us she wanted to write every ingredient down so she would be able to confidently provide tasteful healthful food for her family when she returns home. Her excitement and joy are encouraging to all of us. So far, as a result of her lifestyle changes and God’s blessings, Monica lost about 12 lbs in two weeks. She was very excited to be able to wear her skirts again instead of only being able to wearing very loose gowns. Her countenance is brighter and healthier. She looks happy and younger and her husband is very pleased with his new wife.
All these things are wonderful news, but the thing that thrills our hearts the most is that she senses her need to be more intimate with Christ. She feels that by eating the right things and exercising, these things are increasing her mental and spiritual clarity. She said that this experience has really been a blessing in every way and she has her life back. She has hope! Please continue to pray for Monica and many like her.