Facing a Serious Ilness
Our first pregnancy was a high- risk one, with twins expected. In spite of our constant and vigilant care, about 4 months into the pregnancy Liz miscarried one of the twins. The second identical, twin whom we name Lance, died during a difficult breach delivery at 7 months. The trauma of losing a son whether at birth or later in life is an extremely emotional event. My grandmother, who had 5 live children, lost one baby in delivery and throughout her entire life was always emotional about her loss. She always missed her baby who never got to experience life.
We spent the next 5 years trying to have another child. The doctors had a name for the reason we were not able to have a child, luteal phase defect. We were told that we most likely had already had our family. This is where our journey of self-empowerment began. We could not and did not accept that we would never have children. This gave us the strength to read and research everything we could on the subject. Liz scoured the medical journals at the medical library, as this was many years before internet. In our research, we realized that there was a simple procedure that Liz should have had in her initial workup, after which 30% of patients with unknown causes of infertility become pregnant, but this test was overlooked. It is called a hysterosalpingogram and when she asked the OB GYN Specialist about it, she was told that it wouldn’t make any difference. She insisted that she be given the test. Within a month of doing the test which involved flushing her fallopian tubes with dye, Liz became pregnant with Adam weighing in at 10lbs 2 ounces. Fourteen months later we had our healthy baby girl named Sarah.We thank our lucky stars that through sheer determination, we took control of our health situation and have our beautiful family to prove it.
Within 1 year of losing Lance Liz started experiencing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. This certainly added to the emotional stress we were experiencing. Several years later we were in the doctor’s office when the neurologist broke the news to us. The doctor said that the tests are back and that Liz has MS. At that moment his phone rang and he had a somewhat heated discussion with someone on the phone to do with his boat. We were sitting in his office shocked at what he just told us. At the same time we heard him say over the phone, “I need that boat ready by the weekend.” He hung the phone up and said now where were we? “Oh yes, your MS in relapse-remitting which usually advance to chronic progressive. You will most like be in an extended care ward within one year.” Before we left his office with Liz in a wheelchair he received another call about his boat. It is difficult to explain how this hit us as we left the doctors office trying to navigate the unfamiliar wheelchair back to our car. The doctor receiving the phone calls were very significant to us. At that point we knew that this was our problem and that we had to deal with it on our own.
Once we overcame the initial shock we got our feet back on the ground and took control of the situation. Now we shifted our focus to understanding MS. The MS progressed to the point where she was sleeping almost 15 hours a day. I had to learn to hold a job and run a house with a disabled wife and 2 children. We researched some of the drugs available to reduce the symptoms of MS and decide that they were not for us. Instead we researched alternatives, changed diets and were able to manage the MS and keep it under control. When I look back on the experience I have no idea how we made it through those times. As time went on we learned to live with her MS attacks, which happened about once a month. An attack would render Liz incapable of walking or talking and frequent attacks of trigeminal neuralgia, which was a stabbing pain in her head.
As if we didn’t have enough happening in our lives, Liz finds out that she had a brain tumor located on her optic nerve. We went through another accounting of all that we have to be grateful about. This time our kids were wonderful incentive to get better quickly. Thanks to modern medicine Liz had the tumor removed with a full craniotomy and it has been almost 7 years without reoccurrence.
The MS symptoms and trigeminal neuralgia continued. At this point we started to notice unusual things happening with Adam as outlined in his first book. That was when Adam decided to do something about his mother’s pain in her head. It has been almost 5 years and Liz has not had another attack of trigeminal neuralgia and her MS seems to be in check.
What did we gain from our experience? We always remained hopeful. When faced with infertility, we always envisioned that we would have children when all signs were pointing to a different outcome. We worked through the MS even though the prognosis was not good. The tumor was just another challenge for us to deal with. In all instances we took control of our own situation and learned as much as we could about infertility, multiple sclerosis and brain tumors. We feel that positive thinking, taking control and learning about what we had to deal with; and using the medical system where possible along with other more metaphysical means of healing, all played a part in our positive outcome. This is why we fully support an integrative approach to any illness. We encourage all doctors to accept and gain an understanding of other healing options as well as the allopathic medicine they have been taught. Over 80% of those with any illness use some form of complimentary treatments. Many are unable to discuss these options openly with their doctors. Doctors could be a wonderful resource to help patients customize their visualizations and consequently positive attitude towards healing. Healing is the goal and should be our focus.