As I began to think about how I wanted to start this blog, I decided I first needed to address some questions people might logically ask me: Why are you making this trip to Texas? Is this planned trip to treat your MS–or is it for dental work? Are you going to try some new, experimental MS drug/treatment you’ve found? Or is this upstate New York girl travelling all the way to Texas just for dental work? Are you crazy? Couldn’t you have had all your nasty amalgam fillings removed here in New York? And if not, why not?
I think I need to take a few steps backwards before I answer all those questions, and explain where I am, both mentally and physically. In 1995 I was diagnosed with something called transverse myelitis, a particularly nasty neurological disease that caused me to go completely numb from the neck down. It sounds better than it felt, because the ‘numbness’ in question was more like the numbness you feel when your arm has fallen asleep and is just beginning to wake up: That tingles unbearably for a minute or two and then goes away. Transverse myelitis tingled unbearably for nine months before it went away, and I spent a long time in bed doing nothing but feeling awful. I considered myself blessed later though, when my friend, a nurse in New York City, told me that she often cared for people who’d also gotten the disease I had, and they didn’t recover at all. Many were paralyzed or bedridden for the rest of their lives, and some even died, so I used my recovery as a reason to thank God for His care–and as a wake-up call to straighten out a life that wasn’t acknowledging the Creator who had made Himself known to me from childhood.
In 1996, when I was almost entirely recovered, I rededicated my life to the Lord and tried to get on with what He wanted me to do. In June of that year we also lost my husband Paul’s mother to cancer (a woman I dearly loved), and I was again forced to consider how short life is and where I might be headed with mine. I buckled down, started talking to God a lot, and watched things get better. As a couple Paul and I began attending a local church after the home church we were going to broke up; we began to tithe, and watched God do miraculous things with our finances and our friendships. In late 1997, at age 40, we bought our first house. Not long afterwards I also got pregnant, and my daughter, Joelle. was yet another thing God healed in my life. Becoming a mother at 41 was astounding, and I loved every second of it. Things looked better everyday, and I was grateful to the God who had taken a wounded life and turned it completely around.
Fast forward to 2004. In February I began to have a lot of weird and seemingly unrelated symptoms like hives, dizziness, bad balance, and an increasingly impaired ability to walk. Many doctor visits later had uncovered no causes, and other than several antibiotics, I wasn’t allergic to anything. My home life was great though, Joelle was almost five and healthy, and we’d recently had a new Sun Room added to the back of our house. I did a lot of shopping for that new room, and noticed that I was having more and more trouble walking around. In April that year Paul was awarded a trip to Hawaii from his employer, but by the time we left we had to arrange for wheelchairs in all the airports we landed in. I had some trouble while in Hawaii, and though I did as much as I could, there were still things that I didn’t dare do. (I still regret not feeling able to accompany Paul in an outrigger canoe when I had the opportunity, but canoes and bad balance don’t mix well!)
I came home from Hawaii feeling somewhat discouraged. Finally agreeing to have an MRI right after we returned, I was diagnosed with MS on June 1, 2004, and discovered (too late) that transverse myelitis is usally seen as a precursor to MS. (Why didn’t they tell me that in 1995?) It took another two months to see a neurologist, whose opinion on MS sounded like a Chinese menu: You can choose one drug from column A or one from column B, or, oh yes, there’s always drug C or drug D you might want to try. And if, by chance, that’s not enough, if you don’t take any of these you will lose the use of your arms and legs rather quickly. I left that office with my back up and never returned; I also didn’t accept any of the drugs he offered when the list of side effects from them were longer than the real effects of the disease. Over the six years since then I have tried several alternative approaches to medicine, like going vegan (hard to maintain), using green drinks and nutritional supplements (still using these), and was, contrary to the neurologist’s opinion, failing rather s-l-o-w-l-y.
Fast forward once more to the fall of 2009. What changed? Something began happening all of a sudden–something bad–but why? By Thanksgiving I was having real trouble walking, and by Christmas I had to cancel our usual holiday dinner with guests. First the cane made brief appearances, next it became essential, and then, by August of 2010, I began using a walker. Again I couldn’t help but ask–why? What had changed, and why so rapidly?
It took an unanticipated (but clearly not coincidental) change in churches that would provide an answer I also hadn’t anticipated. After kindly inquiring why I needed a cane, a woman in my new church said, “It might be ‘all in your head.'” Before I could take offence, she then asked, “How much dental work do you have?”
Dental work? Also not coincidentally, I had just read an article in Health News (from Hallelujah Acres, makers of the green drink I buy) that made the reccommendation that amalgam fillings were 50% mercury and should ALL be removed. I had shuddered at the time, thinking about how many fillings I actually had. Have them all removed? I’d have to be crazy to do something like that. Still, the Bible says that we need two or three witnesses to prove guilt (Deuteronomy 17:6) and I now had two to prove truth, which is essentially the reverse. The third witness, amusingly enough, was the book called “It’s All In Your Head,” by Hal Huggins, who has led the charge against dental amalgams for nearly 40 years. (I later found that it’s also backed up by thousands of research articles on the internet, as well,)
OK, so here I am today, September 18, 2010, about to go officially CRAZY! In Part Two I will begin to detail the process I took to reach this milestone (!), and to explain why I am now, God willing, facing a trip to the Huggins Applied Healing Clinic in Texas in two weeks to have all my amalgams removed and to rebalance my body chemistry. Stay tuned.