I suffer from a number of chronic health issues that are still a mystery to much of the medical community, yet have left me disabled. I have cervical and migraine-associated vertigo, which means that I am dizzy 24/7, whether or not I am suffering with a headache or neck pain as well. I have chronic fatigue syndrome, which means I am exhausted by the slightest effort, so live a very tiny life, going out as little as possible. I have fibromyalgia, which makes my body stiff and sore. I have multiple chemical sensitivities, which means I am highly reactive to food and scents. There is more, but you get the point.
Since 2010, I have been on disability and also on the hunt for a “cure” for what ails me … especially the dizziness, which made my life completely unmanageable, not to mention the fact that being dizzy 24/7 is quite frightening.
Searching = Spending
I went on disability after coming into D.A. H.O.W. in 2009, and I cannot begin to tell you how much money I spent, while in DA H.O.W. recovery, on possible cures for my problem. I chased mainstream and alternative cures to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, which was abstinently (but definitely not soberly) spent.
While I didn’t debt, surely that money could have been used for more productive spending or saving … which is easy to see in hindsight. Yet, fear gripped me and so I lived in obsession. At least, I had a PRG team to keep me from debting and to keep sharing their concerns until I was willing and able to hear it. (more on that later).
I spent most of my time researching cures, which was exhausting and made me sicker. I would have a knee-jerk reaction any time I heard of some new idea and feel compelled to try it without taking a pause. Here is just a small list of what I’ve tried:
- Nearly $2,000 for six months of therapy for convergence insufficiency, an eye disorder. Problem was solved, but I was just as dizzy as before I started
- Hundreds on Buteyko method of breathing because I was sure all my health issues were due to hyperventilation – I now breathe through my nose … but I’m still just as dizzy.
- Hundreds researching mercury poisoning from amalgams. There was ultimately no evidence, despite multiple tests, that this was an issue for me.
- Hundreds on NAET, which was a completely ridiculous waste of time.
- Hundreds on multiple chiropractors, who were sure they would relieve my dizziness and solve all my problems. I ended up dizzier than ever and got rashes and other severe reactions from the expensive herbs. After one chiropractic session where I finally allowed the practitioner to “crack my neck,” I was incredibly dizzier for weeks.
- Holistic nurse practitioner with whom I spent thousands on vitamins and various other herbal substances, none of which I could tolerate because of my chemical sensitivities.
- Hundreds on nutritionist for LEAP program, that was a complete waste of time.
- Hundreds on distance evaluation with inept doctor who had no clue what to tell me.
- Lots of physical therapy that did absolutely nothing for me.
- VNG tests, allergy tests, brain scans, sinus scans, inner ear tests, blood tests, tilt table tests, and more, along with hundreds on various prescription drugs, such as antivirals, which my body wouldn’t tolerate.
- Hundreds on Gupta Amygdala Retraining, which was actually helpful in teaching me how to manage and cope with my health issues, and ironically, led to my art, which has been a Godsend for me. What I learned from this has been invaluable and I am very grateful I did it. But no, this was not a cure for me. If you go into it just to learn good methods of how to calm your nervous system, I do highly recommend it.
- Lots of massages, which is one of the only things that has provided any comfort for my symptoms. Not a cure, but provides some temporary relief for my muscle pain.
Enough is Enough
That is just a partial list of my journey, the money, and time I’ve spent going down the rabbit hole to find a CURE for a CHRONIC condition that doctors don’t really understand. Finally, about a year ago, I decided I’d had enough. No more. The journey was debilitating in itself, not to mention financially draining. Chasing after every huckster who promised a magic cure and even well-meaning practitioners was only making me more ill.
Let’s face it, there is a lot of money to be made promising desperate chronically ill patients that there is a cure for a price. And I learned first-hand that the one sure sign of a scam is when the practitioner blames you for the “cure” not working, which happened to me on multiple occasions.
That doesn’t even account for the doctors who treated me disrespectfully and insisted that my problem was either imaginary or just a result of anxiety and depression, none of which is true. The demeaning and disgraceful way the medical community treats patients with these “invisible” illnesses is a gigantic topic unto itself.
Unfortunately, until the medical community and medical schools begin to train our doctors in how to treat and manage chronic conditions, instead of only seeing acute problems and diseases as valid, this is going to be the plight of patients like me.
Using Intuition to Separate Truth From Fiction
In 2009, I wrote a book about a woman’s health condition that has been kept under wraps, but destroys a woman’s quality of life. This is yet another invisible illness that most mainstream doctors don’t take seriously. As part of the writing process, I interviewed many women on this subject.
As I, too, suffer from this illness, I truly hoped to find women who had found the answer. And, indeed, I did interview a couple of women who insisted they were CURED! Yet, when I drilled just a bit deeper, the truth always came out that they may have solved part of the problem in some way, but they were not really cured.
No matter how disappointing this may be, I am in recovery because I prefer to face the light of truth, no matter how painful, rather than live in the darkness of delusion using my addictions to distract me.
Cured Vs. Helped
From writing this book, I learned that there is a big difference between being cured and being helped. Since then, when I hear someone say they have been cured of a chronic illness, I have inevitably found exactly the same disappointing truth 99% of the time … that when you dig deeper, the person may have been helped by some treatment or other, but he or she was fundamentally not cured. And usually the other 1% have a vested financial or emotional interest in maintaining their stance.
But let me just add that there is huge value in being helped. I don’t mean to minimize the power of coping or temporary relief techniques. The Gupta Amygdala Retraining and the massages I receive definitely help me and increase my quality of life. It is coming to accept that I may find help, but not a cure, that took me so long, even while working a recovery program.
End of Part I…