4. The Newly Married
4.1 Younger Adults
Fewer problems having to do with Natural Hygiene usually arise among the members of this group, probably due to the fact that rarely are health concerns major—as yet. In other words, the abundant supply of vital force possessed, on the average, by younger members of society, as contrasted with a considerably diminished amount customarily present in the more elderly, produces more acute symptoms which are then commonly treated with drugs which suppress them, whereupon the symptoms are forgotten and young married couples who have thus been temporarily troubled continue their customary lifestyle and eating habits without further thought about the matter.
However, sometimes major crises do arise and then the maintenance of a correct attitude on the part of both partners toward the marriage can become an issue. To illustrate what can happen to a young married couple and cause them to seek the counsel of a Hygienic practitioner, let us consider the plight of Ruth Y. Ruth and Jack were married in August. In October of that same year she “came down” with a severe case of bronchitis which just would not go away. As a result, of course, she became listless and anxious about many things but particularly about keeping her marriage intact. Sexual intercourse had become a trying event instead of a joyful union. Jack had become impatient.
Before Christmas, Ruth was admitted to the hospital. Numerous drugs were given and tests performed. X rays apparently showed some kind of lesion or tumor on her right lung so surgery became the treatment of choice. A small tumor was excised. In due course, Ruth recovered and went home armed with an array of drugs which she dutifully swallowed.
Within six months Ruth was back in the hospital with similar symptoms but this time they seemed more severe. By this time, too, the marriage had become somewhat shaky. Ruth was only 24, Jack aged 28. Again her chest was invaded, examined and nothing of major import was found except, of course, a considerable area of scar tissue, the aftermath of the first surgery. However, after a stay of several weeks, she left the hospital with a confirmed diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (an inflammatory connective tissue disease with variable features, frequently including fever, weakness and fatigability, joint pains or arthritis resembling rheumatoid arthritis, erythematous skin lesions on the face, neck, or upper extremities, lymphadenopathy, pleurisy or pericarditis, glomerular lesions, etc.—from Stedman’s Medical Dictionary). The diagnosis was confirmed by specific blood tests.
This young man certainly suffered from the weakness, the fatigability, the joint pains and, additionally, rather severe muscular pains, but had none of the lesions commonly associated with this condition.
A friend suggested that she consult us. On her first visit to our office, Ruth came with her husband.
That was the last time. On subsequent visits she came accompanied by either her parents or her elder sister. Since she had to travel a considerable distance to get to our office, she always came with another member of the family, all of whom gave her encouragement and support.
Due to lack of support from her husband, however, she felt she could not consider going on a prolonged fast. Therefore, all of us agreed that she should do the next best thing and that was to embark on an extended program designed to cleanse her body fluids of toxic debris but to do it more slowly. We made it perfectly clear to Ruth that this approach would require considerable willpower and conviction on her part because changes would be slow in forthcoming, but we emphasized also the “positivities” with Ruth as we should do with every person who seeks our counsel. She affirmed at this time that she was willing to follow our recommendations.
We wanted Ruth to see Natural Hygiene’s many fine points; visual word reinforcement like ‘lessons’ or articles supply this need. This eager young woman began a planned program which introduced her to a new concept of the nature of disease, one that taught her simple facts about the different kinds of foodstuffs, about nutrients and why they are important, about organ functions, about metabolism. She learned why a restrained protein intake was vital to her condition, also how to select foods at the market and then how to combine foods properly at home for maximum acceptance. As she progressed in her knowledge, she developed a deep sense of personal conviction. She knew, without a doubt, that at long last she was on the right path, that she was doing what had to be done if she were again to know the joys of superior health. She also found that she was enjoying this new way of eating and living.
We instructed Ruth that she might build up some resentment on Jack’s part if she tried immediately to change his habits of eating and living; that it would be far better to instruct by example, then by nagging insistence.
Ruth’s progress was encouraging; so much so, as a matter of fact, that her parents decided to come to us for private counseling, also. A definite spin-off began to evolve: first Ruth’s parents, then the sister and her husband, then the asthmatic child of the sister, then a friend who lived in a far northern city and also had systemic lupus. However, Jack still remained on the sidelines.
Within three months, Ruth was fasting one day every week. Her energy flow had soared to a level she said she hadn’t experienced since her teen years. She purchased a log to take along with her on her solitary morning hikes. Amazingly perhaps she has not had a single adverse symptom of any major consequence during this whole time, not even a drippy nose! The old symptoms, the aches and the pains, are slowly lessening.
A year has passed. The marriage is still intact. Her newly-found vitality permits a normal sexual experience with her husband. Jack is happy and Ruth is ecstatic, filled with the “positivities” we talked about earlier. Jack doesn’t know it as yet, but he, too, is slowly becoming a Hygienist. How? Because Ruth has made some, important changes without, as a common phrase has it, spelling them out “in spades.” For example, all the meals she serves now are combined properly. She has eliminated most of the health destroyers and all of the canned juices, canned fruits, canned vegetables. Instead, she now purchases only the finest kinds of food as each variety comes into its own season.
Instead of going to bed in the wee hours of the morning, after hours of staring at phantom figures flitting by on the television screen, she and Jack now have developed the habit of retiring to their rest at ten P.M. When they entertain, as they both enjoy doing, Ruth caters to the customs of her friends but sees to it that some fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts are available also. She tells us that Jack now looks for these, too. On weekends Jack, Ruth and the little dog make a trio and go hiking. Jack enjoys the mountains so off they go in their car to a favorite spot and hike up and down the trails. Of course, Ruth always packs a Hygienic lunch.
Obviously Jack is not fully “into” Natural Hygiene but he is at least more into it than he is now aware of, all because Ruth approached her immediate problem with intelligence and grace. She avoided making “points,” she neither preached nor pushed. She sensibly opted instead to take “baby steps,” and she is being rewarded for her patience.
Furthermore, she is now certain of her own progress toward a much higher plateau of health, she is more confident of the stability of her marriage and she is certain that, at some future time, Jack will come to realize the benefits accruing to them through application of sound Hygienic principles both now and in the future when it comes time for them to consider having children.
4.2 Older Newly-Married Adults
As the number of people as a whole increases, in the normal course of events, we see also an increase in the number of elderly adults. Unfortunately, in many cases, the marriages consummated in youth are often severed by the untimely death of one of the partners causing the survivor to go through a period of considerable adjustment: emotionally, socially and often also financially. We shall consider this matter in greater depth in Lesson 83, which is entitled “Senior Citizens Living Hygienically.”
The intensity of this period of traumatic readjustment can, and does, of course, vary from individual to individual. It can last for a shorter or longer period of time. A few of the bereaved partners insist on returning over and over, again and again, to the grave of their deceased mate. However, the average period of acute mourning is from two to three years, at which time many begin to search around for a new mate.
In many parts of the country bereavement clubs have been established to counsel individuals and to help them better to cope with their immediate concerns, all within a social home setting and with other similarly bereaved persons of both sexes, many of whom, of course, are faced with very similar problems. In Tucson, we are happy to say that two of our long-time students each sponsors such a bereavement group.
Marry widows and widowers retire to mobile home parks, to retirement centers, or to other communities for the elderly where a wide diversity of programs, clubs, hobby groups and other activities are usually offered. Most communities now offer a varied assortment of activities geared specifically for the elderly. Through these social encounters, marriages between the elderly frequently ensue.
Initially, in most cases, these unions are happy events but we often find that the happiness is short-lived as multiple problems arise, some of which are no doubt triggered by the recently experienced trauma. However, many prove to be no more than conflicts between diverse patterns of living, these having been long established in both partners. Some become especially frustrating when the backgrounds of the partners have been quite different.
For the most part these conflicts do not come to the attention of the practitioner until a problem of another kind arises. We refer, of course, to the illness of one or both of the partners, this illness generally being of a vertical (degenerative) nature, the most common disorders among the elderly proving to be arthritis of one kind or another, an assortment of kidney disorders such as nighttime incontinence, lung and heart diseases, sclerosis of the circulatory channels leading to forgetfulness and early senility; and so on, including cancer.
As practitioners, we must accept the reality that, for the most part, the principles of Natural Hygiene will be entirely foreign to most of the elderly who may come to us and that most will not come to our attention until they have previously explored every other possible avenue. Eventually, after a prolonged period of failures, a few will reluctantly be persuaded to “try” a Hygienist. The prognosis for a successful resolution of whatever condition troubles the elderly can be problematical unless the practitioner is fully cognizant of the mental barricades that must first be overcome.
In most instances, when working with newly-married elderly adults, we recommend a very conservative approach. These individuals are still feeling their way within the new marriage relationship. Many retain some measure of guilt, a sense of having abandoned their lifetime mate.
Sometimes this last complex is not perceptually accepted but it is there, nevertheless, and must be dealt
with. Some become very emotionally torn and especially so when the illness makes itself manifest shortly after the wedding ceremony. Also, the elderly often have preconceived and set ideas about what constitutes “proper” therapy and become greatly concerned when exposed to this “strange” new way of approaching health.
For all these reasons and there are undoubtedly others, we require a rather complete bionutritional evaluation and profile. Then there is a gradually-progressive introduction to the principles of Natural Hygiene. In some instances we introduce the possibility of a prolonged fast.
We find an analysis and profile useful, not because it defines symptoms, but rather as a motivational tool. It gives many of these people their first real understanding of their condition. Also, for the first time, they come face to face with a verbal and pictorial reason for taking a new course and entering into a new dimension of living. Sometimes with the elderly we need a powerful motivating force.
May N. and Harry S. provide us with a superb example of how this kind of approach can be highly successful. It also shows us an example of how family interference can be highly traumatic, both for the practitioner and for the patient.
May had been a widow for more than five years. Because of years of exposure at high altitudes to severe extremes of freezing weather when she and her husband were missionaries, often enduring extreme hardships, working long hours, and lacking suitable food, May developed Charcot’s Syndrome (intermittent claudication), a condition that is caused by ischemia—a local anemia due to a mechanical obstruction to the blood supply caused mainly by a narrowing of the arteries—of the leg muscles due to sclerosis. It is characterized by attacks of lameness and pain (according to Stedman’s Medical Dictionary). At this time she was widowed, lonely and suffering severe depression although she tried to smile through her tears. She was able to walk using two canes but only with considerable difficulty. She was living alone among strangers in a rather isolated community of elderly people.
We first met May at a social gathering. We mentioned that we were Hygienic practitioners and urged her to read one of Dr. Shelton’s books, Health for the Millions.
Some later time we received a call from May and an appointment was made whereupon a new experience began for her. May was an intelligent woman. The usual tests were arranged for and then a program of learning about Natural Hygiene/Life Science, was set forth. May proved to be a wonderful student and made rather rapid progress. We will probably never forget the afternoon when we asked her to stand up on her feet, then took away her canes and removed the chair. Then we re-paired across the room. We held out our arms and, looking May directly in the eyes, we commanded her to “Walk!” And perhaps what followed was a revelation even to us for, indeed, May did walk! She fell into Dr. Elizabeth’s arms emotionally exhausted. We probably all cried a little that day but we were all very, very happy.
We felt that May’s future progress might be more difficult and even slower because of her age and also because of the seriousness of her ailment. We encouraged her to go to a fasting retreat and eventually she did fast at Dr. Shelton’s School at San Antonio, Texas.
However, then she made a grievous error. She went to visit a son and daughter-in-law who lived in another state. They were horrified at her appearance. She had not waited a sufficient length of time to recover from the fast. She felt so marvelously well she wanted her loved ones to rejoice with her but, instead, they re-acted.
Unfortunately for May, she had given her son power of attorney not only over her financial affairs but also of her person, prior to going to Shelton’s. The children immediately took the necessary steps to place to her in a hospital where she was forcibly fed and drugged. After two weeks of this kind of “treatment,” May “escaped” from the hospital and fled to another fasting retreat for a period of five days to recover both her sanity and some measure of the health she had lost by the abuse inflicted upon her.
However, the damage had been done and very effectively, too. Furthermore, the children had not finished their meddling. Within a matter of weeks, she was to be physically transported to a retirement center miles removed from us. We well remember how May cried over the telephone. We did our very best to calm her and to reassure her that all was not lost. We told her she knew what she should do to care for herself and how to do it. We encouraged her to care for herself as best she could under the existing circumstances. She was, of course, restricted in her food intake to the meals prepared and served for the guests at the center. Fortunately, however, May learned that the meals were served buffet-style and that fresh fruits were often available to her. She took heart and gradually adjusted to her new environment.
In due course, May improved, her emotional equilibrium was reestablished and she began to enter into some of the social activities offered at the center. She met a man there of about her own age, a widower, and the two began to visit back and forth. A marriage was finally arranged. May successfully removed herself from the domination and legal control of her children and acquired a husband for her to care for and to be cared by, should the need arise.
The two newly-weds flew off to Hawaii and there took a cruise around the islands. Harry, you see, willingly became May’s legs while she became his joy and the center of his life.
After the excitement was over, May again renewed her Hygienic lifestyle. Her new husband willingly entrusted his life to her and the two of them settled down into a happy relationship, not at the center, but in a brand new home. We recently visited these two lovely people. They have successfully made an important transition. May’s handling of this delicate situation reminds us of the fact that so often a woman (or man) must necessarily become the guiding force within the family structure and, as always, the guiding must be firm, but also intelligently loving.
Natural Hygiene, by its acceptance and application, gave May hope for the future but, when not understood by interfering members of the family, the possibility always exists that unexpected problems can arise. The successful practitioner knows when he can step in but he also must know when he must back away, let go. May’s story provides us with a perfect example of such a situation and how the Hygienic practitioner can often lead the elderly distressed patients to a happier and more meaningful life.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Influencing Factors
- 3. The Modern Family
- 4. The Newly Married
- 5. The Infant And The Family
- 6. Adults Within The Family
- Article #1: Feeding Diapers By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Introducing Grandchildren To Hygienic Living
- Article #3: How We Can Stimulate Our Children’s Physical Development By Chuck and Mimi Young
- Article #4: Avoiding Compulsory Immunization By Dr. Christopher Kent