Lawrence Farrow – My Story
It all started in the year 2000. I had a job that I really liked, was fit, healthy and enjoyed running, water sports and was generally very active.
I worked hard and played hard too without giving a thought to the welfare of my body. Looking back, I guess I was one of the lucky ones as no matter what I ate or drank I always remained slim and healthy, or so it appeared.
“See How it Goes”
In October 2000 I noticed my vision was not as good as it was; it just looked misty and for a few days I put it down to fatigue and presumed it would get better. As it was certainly not getting any better I went to the opticians.
They had a good look and though my vision was by now quite poor they could not see a problem with my eyes and told me to ‘See how it goes.’ I was not at all satisfied with that advice and asked for another appointment the following week but unfortunately got the same response. I was really quite worried so I went to see my doctor. He just said I was working too hard but should go to the gym! I then asked to see a specialist and was referred to the local hospital.
When I saw the consultant, after a full eye examination, despite my poor vision he also told me that he could not see a problem, and that I should therefore have a second appointment to see him in a month. By this point I could not drive as I could not see well enough and to again be told that there was no answer to my difficulties was very alarming…
My mother then made an appointment for me at a private hospital in Colchester. When I saw this consultant (although I could not see him!) he felt I should have immediate tests and an MRI scan.
I was by now feeling very unwell and as a result of my MRI scan was admitted promptly to Oldchurch Hospital in Romford.
When in hospital I was given medication that helped me get some of my vision back. It was such a relief but I had no idea what lay ahead.
I had been in hospital for some time, having tests but still with no idea what could be wrong – until the day came when I met a man who pulled my bed curtain round and said he wanted to talk to me.
He asked if I knew what was wrong with me. I said I had no idea. I was a very laid back 27 year old – until I found out what was wrong. ‘You have a brain tumour’ he said. He explained this was what was causing the problems with my vision and what they were going to do. (He was, in fact, my surgeon) I asked ‘What are my chances of coming through this?’ as his description was quite unpleasant and all I could remember from that point on were the words ‘50/50.’ He did say other things but they all seemed insignificant after that.
It seemed to me that my life had come as close to ending as flipping a coin. ‘50/50’ resonated in my head a lot but it was made so much easier by the constant stream of visitors I had, and cards, even from my customers (I was a very happy Chrysler Jeep salesman).
I was thankful that I had had a great life. Being grateful for that kept me going and I started to think that if my time had come then I had had a great time being here.
After surgery I did not feel able to speak or move but could communicate by wiggling my feet.
Anyway, I have just realised this is going on a bit so will get on to the bits you are probably more wanting to read. I just wanted to tell you how I got to this next part!!!
In my mother’s words, ‘You just ballooned in front of us,’ and I did. I went in to hospital a size 28” waist and 11 stone but after surgery I was just getting bigger and bigger. Two weeks later I came home to stay at my mother’s. I had been in hospital a month. I could hardly walk and used two sticks. My pituitary gland had been removed during surgery and I now had a number of medications to take, including steroids.
I felt, and looked, unrecognisable to myself and others too. I had to buy a complete new wardrobe of XL clothes and 42” waist jeans AND new shoes as even my feet had grown! I felt enormous but just thought I would lose weight and get back to my old self.
After three months I returned to my own home having made slow but gradual progress. Over the next ten years I tried many ways to lose weight but nothing worked for me. I clearly remember going to the doctor at 17 stone pleading for help. I knew there MUST be a way. He said, and I remember it so vividly, ‘IT’S UNLIKELY YOU WILL BE ABLE TO LOSE WEIGHT BUT IF YOU ARE CAREFUL YOU CAN PROBABLY MAINTAIN IT.’ ‘Maintain it,’ I thought, ‘I don’t want to maintain 17 stone.’ I used to love to run but now it hurt to walk. I felt I ate healthily but generally I was extremely unhappy. I was single (I’d had a long-term girlfriend) and found it hard to hold down a job. I would have been very happy, then, if in fact I had not made it through surgery. I could no longer participate in any of the hobbies I had enjoyed before and thought ‘What’s the point.’
I plodded on. A few highs, a lot of lows. I had 4 TIAs over a short period and then, after collapsing and a week in hospital , I was told I had Type 2 diabetes. My sleep was awful, I was constantly tired, and that’s how it went on.
Raw Foods were the answer!
I then discovered the RAW FOOD COACH, http://therawfoodcoach.com ‘Karen Knowler‘ and I went to one of her raw food workshops. I really enjoyed the food she made but the turning point was that she lent me a DVD called ‘Raw for Thirty Days’ about some people in the USA who went raw and reversed their diabetes.
Since my illness I had thought that if I had enough money I would go to a health retreat and stay there until I felt well again or at least more alive. I was up one night researching such retreats, in case I won the lottery, and found one that had recently opened offering really good deals. It later came up in conversations with my family and it was agreed that I should go.
I was there for three weeks, mainly juicing and eating plant based food. It was a very simple place but it changed if not Saved my Life. We walked, rebounded and drank lots of juice with the addition of plant based foods. Also, I had been suffering from a skin condition which I had been on antibiotics for for months. While I was there my skin totally cleared up and I stopped my antibiotic medication. I checked my blood sugars frequently and they became, and remain, very stable, which has allowed me to change my diabetic medication.
One evening I went for a walk. I was reminiscing to myself about how much I used to like to run and wondered if I could do it again as I felt so well. I broke into a jog and was smiling from ear to ear. Then I broke into a full-blown run, almost a sprint. Being big I felt like a jumbo jet taking off but was also ecstatic that I had run again. I went into the house and managed to puff out the words that I had just been running. I sat for a moment with the other guests and then got up and did it again. Just to be able to again was amazing, even though it felt somewhat unnatural!
After three weeks, at my last weigh in, I had lost exactly a stone. I was now 16 stone and absolutely overjoyed although I knew I still had a lot of work to do, but I had found a way.
As soon as I got home I put my microwave on Ebay and replaced it with a juicer. I juiced and made what I called Super Salads all the time. I bought my own rebounder (mini-trampoline). My skin looked amazing and my blood sugars were still very stable. I did not deny myself any particular foods but mostly drank juice and ate salads. I carried on…and two years later I had gone from a 38” to a 34” (now 32”) waist and was able to finish a 10K run in Greenwich Park dressed as Father Christmas in aid of the Pituitary Foundation. It was a massive landmark for me. In the same year I also went wake-boarding which, writing about it now, I still can’t quite believe it. I never thought I would be able to do any type of water sports again. I also went snow-boarding (on a dry ski-slope) and it felt amazing to do some of the things I used to enjoy.
Another two years on and I still felt great. I was unfortunately in and out of work, partly down to redundancies and partly down to just totally the wrong jobs for me but I would take almost anything as I so wanted to work. Whether in paid or voluntary work – I usually took a green juice for lunch!
Birth Of The JuiceWorks
For over a year I had been working part-time while seeking full-time work. People had noticed the ongoing positive changes in me and asked me to make them juices also. This had happened more and more and led to me giving a talk on juices at my local hospital and also at a complimentary healthcare centre. As well as these I was even asked by a local businessman to give three juice demonstrations at his companies in Manchester !
I still have routine check-ups with my endocrinologist but juicing has had a profoundly beneficial effect on my condition and thereby positively influenced the amount of medications I need to take. I am still on my journey but am so glad I took the Juice direction and am able to introduce the benefits of juicing to others.
People have referred to me as ‘The Juice Guy’ and I cannot think of a better title especially as my friends and family have seen the transformation happen in front of them since I became a Juicerholic!
And that’s My Story.
Looking back, if I had not gone through all that I would probably still be selling prestige cars, but I would far rather be doing something positive and healthy for the wellbeing of myself and others.