Aspartame Insight by Pete Swales

Hi Honey, I’m Home!

Published in “The Source” June/July 1999 Issue

Hi, it’s early January 1999. Still having problems with the lower extremities, bowels, etc. Doc must be right, the Christmas bringing can be hard on the metabolism. I’ll try the Metamucil for a couple more days, Wish I had more energy though, seem to tire out so easily.

February 1999

Wow, really got to take a look at my diet. Pooped out, pain in the lower extremities, must have got up at least three times in the night. Time for meditation. Got to get to the bottom of this. Meditation goes well. I now realize there is more to my discomfort than basic diet/rest measures. Doc visit goes fairly well. He is convinced there may be more to it as well. Usual test inconclusive.

On February 26th I visit with Lynn Dunning at her Clothes Sew Clean laundry mat as I do most every evening after dropping off the clinic laundry. During our visit a most incredible man walks into the laundry mat, hands Lynn his cleaning tag and claims his clean clothes. As he leaves he notes that I am drinking my usual Diet Cola. He stops, looking me directly in my eyes and in a voice I soon won’t forget tells me “That stuff will kill you. Did you know that it is believed that the sweetener in this stuff (aspartame) turns into formaldehyde at 83 degrees F and your body is 98 degrees F?” He followed by challenging me to take a look at aspartame on the ‘Net’. As this stranger left I placed my cola down proudly declaring this my last. Lynn giggled, I’m sure not quite believing me.

March 1999

We just moved into our new home. The excitement in the air grows with every day. New plans shared for each room, one to a massage room, paint the fireplace room, our antiques proudly displayed in our living room. Crystal’s energy and room sense has it looking like a museum. The pride in her eyes is awesome. Yet, as happy as I am, I grow increasingly tired. In fact, I start to stumble and even fall as I try to walk my dogs during the evening. What is going on? I return to the Doc in mid March. It is quite apparent things have gotten worse. He leaves the room and makes a call. I’m off to a new Doc, a specialist. He take a lot of notes, has me do things. Excitedly explains a possibility of coccygcal equinal syndrome, orders a cat scan and mylogram. He needs to know where the swelling is, where to cut open the spine in order to release the pressure threatening my lower limbs. I can’t quite believe how fast things are happening, he says every moment counts. It’s Friday, two days after my appointment with the specialist. I arrive at the hospital, my wife at my side. On the stretcher and down the hall, as I arrive at the scan, I am informed my procedure has been cancelled. I will have to return Monday. This brings tears and anger to my wife’s face. Why? “Were we not told that every moment counts?” she asks. “Sorry”, we hear, there is nothing they can do. I tried to be calm and instill the same in Crystal. She is scared. We remind each other things happen for a reason. Crystal, I think at this point, wishes for a moment I wasn’t so damn metaphysical and would like me to feel and react sick instead of intrigued by all of this. “To hell with your experience,” she proclaims, “I’m scared.” I was too. It is, however, incredibly neat to experience the syndrome as it happens to my body. I’m thinking already about my next column.

Saturday arrives. I can barely walk, something new. As well, the discomfort has begun to move into my chest, lungs, and later in my arms, first the right, then the left. Sunday, vision and headaches. Wow, what is going on?

Monday arrives. The scans are done but the Doc has new concerns. If this syndrome is right, it should not be affecting anything above my waist. While we wait a day or two for the results I’m sent to yet one more specialist – this time to determine if I have Multiple Sclerosis. This I doubt as in my work with metaphysical I come to know this syndrome as a discomfort usually associated with a personality that shows to be somewhat inflexible. (I’m sure I’ll draw some heat for this remark. I will address it further in upcoming issues.) This new Doc can’t say that it is M.S., however, there is an apparent impediment of neurological stimulant causing some confusion to the muscles.

As the days go by I fall sicker and sicker. I open my line of communication, reach out to friends, Reiki, massage, nutrition and it helps me focus. I hear aspartame one more time. We access the ‘Net’. Crystal reads on. “Oh my God!” I hear her say. There are countless hits all about the possible affects that are being associated to this sweetener. Gulf War Syndrome, mimicking M.S., Lupus, and body pain as I am going through. Scary, scary stuff. Could this be it??

I head off to see a chiropractor, a long time associate. I ask him his thoughts. He uses a scan on my back telling me he hasn’t seen a scan result like that for a while. I mention the sweetener to him. His eyes open, he thinks for a minute, then tells me a story of a doctor (ret.?) who he met while skiing in the U.S.  The Doc has written articles suggesting the ugly side of these sweeteners. Next thing the Doc knew his lease was up. He couldn’t renew, etc. As the story goes he now drives a cab, still writes his articles, still explains his story to those fares who care to listen, determined, I suppose, not to let big brother get him down. I listen. I know the message is here. When I search further into the ‘net’ I find reference that indicates total withdrawal of Aspartame for a period of no less than 60 days will help to determine where you really are. Crystal searches all of our food products for Aspartame, artificial sweeteners of any kind. She finds that Phenylananine is a new way of packaging sweeteners in a double strength form. She watches for that name as well. We toss out jello, chewable vitamins, some jams, gums, even antacids, some antibiotics, all diet pop, and to my horror, we find the suggested orange flavored Metamucil contains the highest concentration of Aspartame. Metamucil, the product suggested to me at the beginning of this malady may turn up yet to be one of my biggest foes. I talked to Marnie at Pure Energy, she suggests switching to psylium (no additives). Armed with new information, I approach my Doc. He listens, however his diagnosis of a viral infection within the spinal column remains his final diagnosis. He lets me know that I may be ill a minimum of four to six months. I thank him and leave. The ‘Net’ says sixty days.

As I sit here writing this column, on this the 74th day Aspartame free, I’m excited to tell you I stumble less, feel better, bowels move regular and I can once again do massage (at this point only four a day but I know tomorrow there will be more). In my heart, I thank every day the ‘angel’ who walked into Lynn’s laundry mat. I really do believe this man saved my life figuratively, if not literally. I now freely -if not somewhat forcibly- share, explain, send copies to family, friends, clients, the lady drinking diet cola in the mall, of sweetener toxicity, hoping that I too can make a difference –someone’s got to! Oh yeah, honey I’m home!!! – Pete Swales, RMT

Published in “The Source” June/July 1999 Issue

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