From Trauma to Triumph
I had an adverse reaction to an anaesthetic which nearly killed me within the first year and left me in a state worse than death for over a decade. I was immediately discarded to the medical bin and could not even get a doctor to speak to me officially but was told off the record by a top vascular consultant I’d have the worst symptoms of Organophosphate poisoning, Gulf War Syndrome, and M.E. Yet even worse than the most physically painful and uncomfortable 24/7 existence imaginable was the reaction of the medical profession to their error and to my illness – they denied it and stonewalled me, neglected me, denied all forms of help and assistance and even tried to make out that I was crazy, so that’s how I found out that there was a place called THE MEDICAL BIN!
The lining of my veins was damaged in some strange way – I could only get a vascular consultant to speak off the record, no doctor would speak to me or write down anything that would lead to a court case/that might lead to me suing, actually I was too ill to sue anyway, in fact they wouldn’t even record my symptoms or give me tests. But every system in my body started to break down extremely fast and left me severely disabled – and it just would not stabilize, I had to take action fast to try to stop it and reverse it, and that made me try stuff like herbs as a last resort, but as it turns out a very lucky resort.
My body was unable to hold any position- seated, standing, or lying in bed- if you can’t put pressure on your veins or arteries then simple things like sitting or lying on a pillow or standing in shoes or wearing clothes all risk injury. The prognosis is confined to 24 hour care in a nursing home at a young age, on a ripple bed which just takes the pain away from an area briefly for a few seconds at a time, while body systems all break down and a cherry on top being rapidly declining poor cognitive ability, unlikely to survive a couple of years. Well, that’s not an easy situation to come back from, and moreso without help, without money, and without information.
So I did Gerson Therapy, a bit of wheatgrass, a lot of Dr. Christopher, but nothing was specific to my condition or to me and all the practitioners were banned by law from helping me at that time, as I could not travel to them and Europe had some strange laws being passed ‘to protect us’. And as I used to travel by ambulance back then, it was not an option to travel to a practitioner. Oh, and the doctors washed their hands of me, my old doctors wouldn’t return my calls, in fact the reason for the adverse reaction was they recommended an unnecessary procedure in the first place and then totally ignored the fact I was sensitive to chemicals, they dismissed my concerns both beforehand and afterwards – like I didn’t even exist – so here I am, I’m back, and I’m gonna tell it loud and proud.
I was lucky at the time to have already been getting into health and was immediately able to access a herbal brochure by Master Herbalist Jill Davies of Herbs Hands Healing UK where she described which tinctures to take for circulation, I purchased those tinctures solely on the basis of that brochure and they immediately started to give me vascular strength [enough to lie on a pillow] and stop the angina which used to wake me in the night. The thing is, that brochure became banned soon after my illness – it is like I got ill at precisely the right time to still have the right to choose alternatives, well I use the word ‘alternatives’ loosely here, because though herbs may be called ‘alternative’ medicine, in my case it was the ONLY medicine available…
It was not a smooth journey back to health, I may have recovered in a short fast time under certain conditions but those conditions were not in place and I have had many setbacks and the opportunity for many other illnesses to sneak in and pile up. But I’ve a huge improvement in quality of life, brain function, etc.
I regained the ability to walk [and move!] after just 4 months on Gerson therapy but didn’t know exercise would be dangerous for me and overdid it, so that setback cost me dearly. Along the way I did a basic leaky gut healing protocol from the School of Natural Healing and many other things, but bad living conditions, mold, poverty, and not understanding my illness meant I lost time and often took several detours in getting well, losing hard gained recovery several times, and also eventually had to take several training courses including Functional Medicine, Master Herbalism, Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, and Hypnotherapy, just to understand what was going on. Though I had several degrees before this in other subjects, life it seems is about learning and staying flexible!
Roll on 14 years, I made it through this far and greatly improved quality of life by grabbing on to alternative therapies I may otherwise have been scared of, like Gerson Therapy, Master Herbalism, stuff like Wheatgrass juice – not having a clue where I was going at the time, but each thing I did bought me more time. But I still have all the original vascular problems I woke up with after the anaesthetic and have to be very careful how I put pressure on my body or I will get injured and though I can walk for an hour or more on carefully selected ground with special shoes, I can lose that ability in a second by just standing the wrong way on something and aggravating a vein, etc…Update: one year after writing this I can say that I can now walk further and just did a one hour 45 minutes walk on the beach last w/e, and when I get injured I recover quicker so something I’m doing is really working even though in the first 9 months of 2-18 I’ve so far had 3 integrative cardiologists and 2 docs say there’s no ‘cure’ for my condition, luckily I know better than to buy into that and will push on.
I am currently building a protocol to heal my gut [again!], clean mold out of my system, deal with inflammation and oxidative stress, autoimmunity, gain more mobility and ability, and a lot of other things including working on the subconscious mind and psychology that goes with being in battle a long time – but it all starts with the gut. I actually dread to think what the new functional medicine tests might reveal in me at the moment and sort of aim to improve on as much as I can first, work on the solutions and don’t look too closely at the scary stuff. Which is a nice reframe on the fact I couldn’t afford them anyway after over a decade on disability, and the current medical system still ignores them and offers nothing in their place.
In hindsight, the ‘new wave’ of Functional Medicine testing could have really explained to me what was going on with my metabolism and given me the leverage I needed to talk to doctors, all of whom seemed to be making decisions now on whether or not I got social welfare payments / disability allowance, occupational therapy/ help with wheelchairs, pressure relief, living aids, etc., merely by sitting the other side of a table at an interview and deeming my condition wasn’t on their official list of illnesses so I didn’t qualify for help. But I see now that though Fmed offers explanations, the solutions still belong to old timers like Dr. Christopher & co.
Thankfully the internet has totally changed what resources we have access to and today there is a lot of information available to people compared to 2004, much of it good information, much of it conflicting, and some of it censored or beaten down by big pharma and other marketing interests.
At the moment with this website I’m making resources in health and lifestyle available to other people, telling the truth like it is and not like it was covered and misrepresented to me all those years back, and it’s for both patients and doctors.
- Everyone I meet these days is ill and not getting help, but that help is out there yet they are not hearing about it. Most of the functional medicine experts I meet are at it 20+ years, sometimes even more. So there is a big disconnect.
- I encourage all doctors to get trained in Functional Medicine and treat others as they would treat themselves if they had the chronic debilitating illnesses. Time to stop hiding under the old way of doing things that doesn’t work, come out from under big Pharma docs, and start treating cause, building health, and stop medicating symptoms.
- I want to get well, improve my quality of life, end unnecessary suffering – because that is what the last 13 years have been – unnecessary suffering all because doctors are ignoring the truth about health and illness.
- There also needs to be proper historical perspective and credit given where it is due to the old naturopaths and trail blazers whose work it seems is being taken over by the new generation who sometimes act like the older generation never existed…hm!
- A new development I see as necessary is to speak from my years’ experience as many of the online health summits while giving great advice also give biased or narrow or even misleading advice and sometimes they just don’t even listen to each other and someone needs to pull it all together and remind them, LOL!
The right to health is ours, and informing ourselves and becoming aware is empowerment.