- Three-thirty PM, working under deadline, trying to write
two reports- one for the 5 PM newscast, another for the 6 PM news. My heart
was pounding, my hands numb, breathing labored, and I was overcome by a
feeling of dread. It wasn't stress, it wasn't nerves, and I certainly wasn't
frightened of making my deadline. I've done it thousands of times.
- I'd had a late lunch at a Chinese restaurant. It was
a place I thought I could trust. They swore they didn't use MSG, and I
had eaten there in the past will no ill effects. Today my cameraman commented
that there seemed to be new owners. We didn't recognize the manager or
waiters. I ordered a vegetarian dish that had always seemed safe. What
can go wrong with vegetables and noodles?
- It sure tasted good. Too good. The portion was large
and I couldn't seem to stop eating. Even after my appetite was satiated
I could not resist eating one more bite, finishing off the last tiny pieces
of noodles. I almost licked the plate. When the waiter took the empty
plate away I felt a twinge of apprehension.
- It started on the drive to the newsroom. My tongue felt
dry and I was suddenly jittery. A feeling akin to stage fright came over
me, for no apparent reason. When I sat in an edit room and screened my
videotape my heart started racing. It was hard to sit still, and I couldn't
focus or concentrate. As hard as I tried to breathe I couldn't seem to
get enough air into my lungs.
- I was having a full-blown Panic Attack. The term panic
attack is a poor name for this terrible affliction. It conjures up the
image of a timid woman standing on a chair, scared to death of a mouse.
I'm not someone who "panics." What I believe happens is a chemical
imbalance, a misfiring of synapses in your brain. It feels like someone
has injected a terrible drug directly into your veins that reacts like
an awful overdose of adrenaline; it short circuits your nervous system,
and makes you feel like your body is about to convulse and in the next
moment you will die horribly.
- Thanks to the work of Dr. Russell Blaylock, Betty Martini
and others, I learned about MSG and aspartame. I did my own personal elimination
studies. I eliminated everything and started with raw uncooked, unprocessed
plant food, and gradually added more processed foods. I learned which ingredients
not to trust. I will only eat at about 4 restaurants in Honolulu. I now
mostly cook my own food, make my own broth and seasonings, read labels
religiously, and I don't eat out often. But sometimes because of my job
as a journalist-on-the-go I make mistakes, like today.
- You may read this and ask, "How come not everyone
who eats processed MSG laden food gets panic attacks or migraines? Why
did you have such an acute episode after just one meal?" I believe
it is because I have changed my diet, and having cleaned out my body I
am now hypersensitive. An alcoholic who drinks many ounces of alcohol every
day can ingest three, four, or five drinks without feeling much effect.
They build up a tolerance, while someone who never imbibes alcohol would
drink the same amount and fall down drunk and throw up.
- I believe most Americans have a tolerance to MSG and
aspartame. So while the effects may not be acute, they don't realize this
may be causing many of their chronic conditions.
- It took an intense effort, but I got my stories written
for the evening news. I came awfully close to asking to be taken to the
hospital. I'm okay now, later in the evening as I write this, but it feels
like a band is tightening around my head. If past experience with MSG is
an indicator I expect to wake up at about 4 AM with a blinding migraine
- Damn that MSG. It is difficult to make all of your own
food from scratch, and it is so sad to have to avoid restaurant food, but
that's what it takes to avoid this poison.