Elize's Healing Recovery
I was once told by my dear friend, Doña Queta, that the path of a true healer is rife with pain and suffering. Doña Queta believes that all true healers have suffered and that the deeper their suffering, the more profound can be their ability to heal. She recognized this healing energy in me.
There are many things of which I am proud but one of my greatest accomplishments was healing myself of Lyme Disease. When I was finally diagnosed CDC positive for Lyme Disease in 2006, I had suffered this infection for at least 37 years. Though I rarely appeared ill, I constantly suffered a plethora of weird physical symptoms: the skin on my hands and feet peeled off in sheets as a child; most of my life I heard as if through a foghorn, and I experienced sudden neurological sensations regularly sometimes feeling as if I were being electrocuted. These symptoms and many more eventually manifested into an incapacitating illness.
As a child, I was always the one being run to the doctor. I was fed antibiotics for chronic earaches and acne. In fact, my mother, a nurse, later told me that she had expected me to be deaf by the age of 30. I was miserably cold, even in the summer. At 19 years old when my joints blew up and I wasn’t able to walk for six months, I undertook four years of detoxification that rehabilitated me such that I was able to carry to term three children. (I later learned that infertility is a common problem for the Lyme infected. In addition, the infection is transmitted transplacentally, and so all infected mothers transmit the infection to their offspring.) I experienced serious memory loss toward the end of my last pregnancy, and severe postpartum depression. I lost my appetite for 30 years making eating a serious chore - though I continued to love cooking. I was temporarily blinded on three occasions and experienced pelvic inflammatory disease three times in my 30s. In my early 40s I was diagnosed with chronic shingles. Eventually the fascial tissue holding up my pelvic organs was destroyed by the infection, as I now know, and required pelvic reconstruction surgery. For years I suffered pain that made the 2-day ruptured appendix crisis at 13 years old feel like a hang nail - and no one believed me. Depression and a sense of isolation were overwhelming. As the infection infiltrated my brain I developed brain allergies and uncontrollable emotionality. I somehow learned to live with it all and keep trudging. I credit my daily hatha yoga practice with keeping me semi-functional until my 40s, when a traumatic insult tipped the delicate balance and threw me into a downward spiral that has taken years to overcome.
Life was a constant struggle. I was always researching health information to feel better. The few doctors I went to made me feel worse about myself with their misogyny, condescending attitudes, illogical diagnoses and toxic, useless treatments. When I complained of pounding chest pain, breathlessness, and the sensation of elephants sitting on my chest, I was told that my heart was skipping every third beat. Another doctor recorded that my heart was skipping every fourth beat. Both called me high strung and disregarded the arrhythmias. I never dared tell anyone the extent of my symptoms or suffering because despite my manifold accomplishments, experience told me that I would be considered a hypochondriac, unstable, neurotic and at the least, unable to handle stress. So, though I experienced the symptoms, I avoided most of the medical labelitis games commonly experienced by persons with Lyme Disease: costochondritis, neuralgia, arrhythmias, peritonitis, food allergies, tachycardia, pericarditis, cluster headaches, pleurisy, early onset Alzheimer disease, rheumatoid arthritis, neuritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Renaud"s Syndrome, leaky gut, hypoglycemia, pelvic inflammatory disease, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic depression. In fact, after so many years, the only Lyme symptom I didn’t manifest was an aching prostate gland! By the time I was correctly diagnosed I was dry heaving 6 to 20 times a day and was unable to digest anything; I had reactions to virtually everything: I was regularly experiencing cardiac events; as I spoke I could not remember the beginning of my sentences; I could make no sense of what I read; and had no short term memory. There was not much going right. I was so relieved to finally have a diagnosis, however, that I simply followed the natural protocols advised by the diagnosing physician. I ended up at death’s door. I survived that year thanks to the generosity and amazing healing power of a Chi Gong master. I worked with her daily for more than a year.
Some nine months after the initial diagnosis, I found a Lyme-literate doctor (LLMD). Following a physical exam and review of my health history, he said, "You need a miracle. Everything I have to offer you will kill you. You can try checking out these ’miracle’ doctors." I couldn’t believe my ears! I was doing so much better than before and yet he had no answers for me. When I asked him about the pain episodes that pushed me to the edge of suicide, he advised me to simply continue with Chi Gong - the only modality providing me some relief.
Going home empty handed, I resolved then and there that I had to heal myself, by myself, since I didn’t have any money left to work with the miracle doctors. I undertook to treat myself as if I had fourth stage cancer for I knew how to do that. Over the next year I put myself through a Gerson-style detoxification. It cleared my mind, thank goodness, but left me so debilitated I could barely walk down the hall. Eventually I was able to read and comprehend, enabling me to research Lyme disease. I started by studying syphilis, another spirochete bacteria, but one whose disease process is well-defined and understood by conventional medicine. Was I in for an awakening!
Suffice it to say that over the next five years I figured out how to heal myself without any pharmaceuticals, without the advice of a medical doctor, and without help from family and friends (who routinely abandon Lyme disease sufferers because the diagnosis has been deemed controversial and treatment even more so.) Life is different now. I am learning to live as a healthy person for the first time in my life. I can’t believe my stamina and I can do yoga and fingertip push-ups again!
Throughout my healing journey, since I was a teen, I have acquired the knowledge and skills to keep myself going. Since Lyme disease was conveyed to my children in utero and they too needed healing, I chose to study and master the healing modalities that would lead us all back to health. I now have a plethora of ancient and modern healing modalities at my fingertips. In retrospect, the hardships turned into blessings, leading me deeper into service, onto the path upon which I now walk.