I am undergoing a kidney and gall cleanse, and I thought it fitting to start today, Ash Wednesday, so I will have outstandingly fulfilled the fasting and abstinence requirements. The cleanse goes for a full four days, so it takes care of the first Friday of Lent, too.
This wasn’t pre-planned, though, just coincidental. I had come across this cleanse around twenty years ago, and had been meaning to try it, but for various reasons it had eluded me. Prominently, I had always talked myself out of it because I couldn’t take three days off from my active lifestyle. But I guess at the back of my mind there was the thought that I was young. Young and invincible.
That phase, sadly, has gone by. I am still healthy, and haven’t been confined ever in a hospital unless it was for giving birth. But I am noticing little changes which make me aware of the wear and tear my body has gone through these indomitable years.
Anyway, I had been on medication to treat an infection the last five days, and yesterday the repeat lab test showed the infection had been overcome. The elevated red blood cell count, however, has not improved. Because I am a girl, some gender-particular factors have to be considered, and so the doctor opted to wait out two weeks. After that I undergo another lab test, and depending on the results I may have to be checked for stones.
That I may have stones got me agitated. My employment requires mandatory regular general check-ups, and except for some stubborn fat, my tests have always come out clear. My diet consisted mainly of fish, vegetables and fruits, and I've tried to avoid anything processed as much as possible. I drink gallons and gallons, and more gallons, of water every day. At home we drink freshly-squeezed kalamansi juice at dinner. Stones? Impossible.
I cannot wait out the two weeks, so I thought I’ll be proactive about it. Honestly, I don’t think I have stones, but I’m taking this opportunity to cleanse my body, hoping in the end that I shed off some pounds, too. I had been travelling these last four months, out of the country and in and around it, and of course when on trips all caution, and diet, are set aside. I had eaten my way from restaurant to restaurant to cake and dessert shop across all the regional centers in the Philippines, and four months of that probably reversed the healthy living I had maintained for most of my life.
The first time I came across this cleanse it was a three-day affair, involving apples and apple juice. Now it seems to have evolved, stretching to four days and requires an exclusive apple juice intake. There is a daily saltwater flush, too.
It goes like this – drink up to a gallon of apple juice and up to a gallon of distilled water daily for four days, no solid food intake and no other liquids. For three days a saltwater flush, consisting of two teaspoons rock salt dissolved in a quart of warm water, is drunk first thing in the morning. On the third night before going to bed slowly sip half a cup of cold extra-virgin olive oil, followed immediately by ¼ cup undiluted freshly squeezed lemon juice. Sleep lying on your right side with two pillows under the right hip. Continue with the apple juice and water intake the following day, then gradually incorporate solid food, preferably vegetables and fruits initially, into your diet beginning on the fifth day.
So finally I’m trying it. If in the end I don’t expel stones, I will smugly wait out my repeat lab test. If I do expel stones, I will be stricter with what I eat. But either way, I would have cleansed my body, at the same time I have complied with my religious obligations. In the meantime I’ll continue writing about my travels. If I could, that is. If only this could go on for forty days so I could look young, and invincible, again. But then again let's see if I could even last the four days.