One day in 1994, I went to the doctor for a routine pelvic exam and came out with the shocking news that my blood pressure was through the roof (190/110) and I had a giant fibroid tumor.
What happened? I was doing all the right things, I was lean, I exercised, I drank little, never smoked. I didn’t know it could get worse despite my best efforts. This was only the beginning of a long downward health spiral, and I was only 41. This led me down a path of researching health, reading dozens of health books, medical texts and articles.
At that time, I felt that I did not want to excise my uterus just yet or start down a path of medications which never sat right with me. Every medication I took had side effects, from serious itching and hives, nausea, bloating and brain fogginess. Yet, if I had followed conventional medicine, I would have surely ended up down that path because in my readings and questioning doctors, this was my only recourse.
Fortunately, I was living in Germany at the time and discovered homeopathy and naturopathy, both which were far advanced compared to what I had left in the United States in 1986. I was lucky to have had one of the top homeopathic doctors in Germany nearby and was able to “partner” with her to find my way back to health. We learned from one another: I learned new concepts about health and healing and she learned more of the scientific method. I consequently experimented on myself based on her recommendations and “testing”, trying every kind of “therapy” that showed promise. I dug long and deep as my career in research had me doing on completely different topics. It translated well. I discovered that a lot of what is written out there, particularly anecdotally, is ineffective. However, certain truths came out and I felt that after developing my “health strategy”, I should be relatively invincible.
I was never more wrong!
After I solved the blood pressure and fibroid tumor problem, I developed a wide array of symptoms when I got near menopause. In the final two years, ages 52-54, I gained 40+ pounds, developed a painful arthritis where holding a pencil was painful, developed a very high cholesterol at 290 (considering it was always around 160 before), and suffered through a severe mould poisoning, which left me with only one or two days a week in which I didn’t suffer severe migraines.
I was pretty frightened at this point because I felt my mortality closing in on me. I had two grandparents that died at about my age and two that lasted until their mid 90s.
The worse part of it, I had to function giving lectures at the university, and care for my teenage children. When my weight climbed to 165 from a lean 117 a few years before, I started trying new things because all the methods that were effective before were simply not working.
It has been a long climb back to health and leanness. The lifestyle changes I made are in my books and articles, some of which have been published on the web. I have participated on forums for weight/fat loss, fibroid tumors, and cholesterol, helping as many people as I can. My first complete book is “Get Rid of Bad Cholesterol”, which I am writing just as I am retiring from the University. I plan several more on the various topics I have grappled with.
Education: I divided between my interests in geophysics/mineral physics and health. Nutrition courses were too fundamental, so instead I chose Chemistry as a major, to understand health (and the “universe” at a molecular level). I attended UCLA and Caltech. You can find out more about me on my facebook page (achopelas).
I have had a successful career as a research scientist, publishing over 50 articles and book chapters on original research in geophysics. I continued to read about health, fitness and nutrition in the meantime as you can surmise from the intro.
To the right: You see me at age 53, nearly at the top of my weight range (left side of picture). It was shocking to see I had gotten so bad. The picture on the right, at age 59, was taken last month. Not only do my lifestyle changes reduce cholesterol, it’s also like a time machine set to backwards. I look much younger now than I did 6 years ago!