Marisa Postlewate may suffer from Usher Syndrome 2A – a degenerative disease that consists of both Retintis Pigmentosa and progressive hearing loss. But most people wouldn’t know it by interacting with her.
At almost 61, Marisa has nearly fifteen degrees of clear central vision and hearing that works fine with the help of hearing aids—and she has been holding steady with both her eyesight and her hearing for the past ten years.
Her secret? A whole-body health approach—which she attributes to Dr. Damon Miller and his Better Eye Health program—that focuses on diet (in a huge way), supplements, daily cardio exercise, eye exercises and acupressure, regular micro-current stimulation, reduced stress and a positive outlook on life.
I’ve been tracking Marisa’s journey for the past two and a half years and recently asked her if she would share her experience and eye health regime on this blog. Her story reinforces everything I’ve learned during my own eyesight-saving quest: that when it comes to eye health, overall health is key.
IR: When were you first diagnosed?
MP: I was diagnosed with mild hearing loss at age 12 and was diagnosed with RP at 40 – after my eye doctor discovered that I had cataracts and sent me to a retina specialist. When I first heard the news, I thought, “whatever.” My vision was good and I still got around at night without assistance. I had cataract surgery in both eyes, at 42 and 45, and kept driving and going about my life.
IR: So When Was Your Wake Up Call?
MP: In 2002, after having cervical spine surgery, I started noticing more RP moments: like missing a curve, or bumping into book bags in the classroom at the university where I taught. Then in 2005, I went to the Retina Foundation of the Southwest and they did four hours worth of tests including the visual field and learned that I was down to only 15 degrees of central vision.
Not long after that, I heard about Dr. Miller’s Better Eye Health workshop that was being held in Dallas. We lived only an hour away so I went. Dr. Miller introduced his program and I decided to give it a try. The following year, he came again. This time he offered a comprehensive weekend workshop that included a consultation with him. As soon as he touched me, he said, “You have a lot of inflammation going on.” He told me that before any therapy could work for my eyes, I had to reduce that inflammation.
IR: What steps did you take to reduce the inflammation?
MP: I wasn’t overweight so that wasn’t the problem. This inflammation is nothing one is able to see, but that Dr. Miller was able to feel and he got me going in the right direction. I knew I had some food sensitivities and some more serious allergies, so I stayed away from those triggers but that wasn’t enough. I did some detoxification under his supervision and followed what Dr. Miller calls a ‘hunter and gatherer’ diet. In other words, if it’s something you cannot make in your kitchen, you stay away from it: no processed foods and no foods that come in cans, boxes, etc. because we wanted to avoid all chemicals. Whole grains were okay to include, but I felt bloated when eating them so I cut them out too. I have never been much of a “cow” dairy person so I limited myself to eating Manchego cheese (made from sheep milk) and added goat cheese, yogurt, etc.
IR: What do you recommend for others who are fighting for their eyesight?
MP: Most diseases start in the digestive system so I would recommend a comprehensive serum allergy test done to see what may be causing inflammation in their body. I had mine done through my local doctor who sent it to http://www.immunolabs.com/patients/ They set you up with www.BetterHealthUSA.com and offer very helpful dietary guidelines. There are also blogs where you can ask questions. With the results of the allergy test and Dr. Miller’s six-week Healthy Eating program and overall Better Eye Health program, I was on the road to health. What I’ve learned through all of this is that what helps to keep us healthy will also help keep our eyes healthy. I’ve also learned that it’s possible to have allergies/sensitivities to healthy food. For example, I love ginger and garlic but I have sensitivity to both so I have to go easy on those. It takes a conscious effort and we need to really listen to our bodies. If we didn’t overeat and feel bloated and/or have no energy after eating and sometimes have headaches, diarrhea or constipation, something we ate or drank is working against us.
IR: What supplements do you take?
MP: I follow Dr. Miller’s basic protocol, which includes:
- Colloidal liquid vitamins
- Colloidal liquid minerals
- Vitamin C
I also take:
- Vinpocetine – good for hearing and eye health
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
- B Complex
- Calcium (I like Ezorb and you can buy it online): http://www.elixirindustry.com/ezorb/
- Magnesium (chelated)
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin K
- Astaxanthin (works with Lutein for eye health)
IR: I know that diet and supplements are only a part of your whole -health focus. Can you walk us through a typical day?
MP: My day begins with the juice of a half lemon in lukewarm water. If I am home, I will juice some cucumber with celery (good anti-inflammatory veggies) with spinach and a quarter of an apple to add some sweetness. I also have a protein powder drink with super seed fiber. For meals, it’s vegetarian dishes or fish/chicken with a variety of vegetables. I love quiche and make the crust with ground almonds so it’s loaded with protein. For snacks I have different types of hummus and eat it with celery or carrots, a half apple with almond/peanut butter, goat cheese with veggies or Manchego cheese. In the evening when I feel like a snack, I have sunflower or pumpkin seeds. I only drink black coffee, lots of water and red wine (not every night).
For exercise, I do stretches and some lightweight exercises. In addition, I try to walk at least three miles a day. I do “sunning” (sitting in sun with eyes closed and moving the eyeballs around) before 10 a.m. on sunny days. I do micro-current stimulation twice a day and try to do it at least three times a week. The acupressure and eye exercises can easily be done while sitting and watching TV and I try to do those daily. I do the light therapy (using a color therapy lamp provided through Dr. Miller’s eye health program) once a week when not traveling.
IR: Thanks for sharing all of this. It’s an inspiring reminder that we all have the power to take charge of our eye health. Any last bit of advice?
MP: I would say that it’s not one thing in particular, but living a healthy lifestyle as a whole. Stress is also a negative force that causes harm and we need to find ways to reduce its effect in the body. For me, it’s going for a walk to calm down. That, along with everything I’ve outlined above, is what’s working for me.