No wonder life gives us a lot of lessons; I like to think of them as stepping stones that take us through life. Two years ago life gave me a boulder, one monumental obstacle.
Just before this happened, I had a lot of personal drama that I created in my life which helped me to heal a core issue of my self worth. I felt like a victim when I got sick; “Why Me!” And this little voice in my heart said “Why Not You?” there is more healing to be done.
Over the years I have advised the people I have been given the opportunity to work with to approach health from a team perspective and to build a bridge between natural health care and conventional medicine, everyone working together to help achieve wellness. So that’s what I did; I built a team.
At Sparrow Hospital, I was diagnosed with syncope, fainting, and loss of consciousness. My heart rate and blood pressure would drop so low that I would pass out. I had a heart catheterization which showed no coronary artery disease. I was given a medication to raise my blood pressure, but had little success so we made the first of our three trips to the Cleveland Clinic.
One of the tests they gave me was a Tilt Table test which measures your heart rate and blood pressure as you are moved from a lying position to an upright position at various intervals. The test usually takes about 45 minutes. In my case, the test was stopped after about three minutes because they could not get a blood pressure reading. At this time the team at the Cleveland Clinic started to consider the possibility of a pacemaker to regulate my heart rate that would in turn regulate my blood pressure.
A member of my natural health care team said that the neurological messages that regulate heart rate and blood pressure weren’t getting through to my brain the way they are supposed to. This was the same conclusion reached by the Cleveland Clinic team.
During one of my trips to the Sparrow ER, I was treated by a new cardiologist, Dr. R.K. Thakur. Dr. Thakur’s diagnosis was consistent with previous professionals, and a pacemaker was implanted, and the passing out stopped. I also credit the prayers from our friends at the Unity Church, our personal friends, family, and the energy workers sending healing and light.
I was so grateful, I felt like I had learned so much. I was so thankful we made it through this lesson, another layer of healing, no more wheel chair. We were on the other side of this. For the next six weeks I was feeling better and thought I was on the road to better health. I was wrong; this journey was just getting started.
I started having seizures and no one knew why. This stage was overwhelming for me, but even more so for my husband, DeWayne and my daughter, Teresa. After more frantic calls to 911 and trips to Sparrow ER, DeWayne got to know some of the Bath volunteer fire department paramedics by name. I remember thinking, “I’m not a victim, there is healing and wisdom here.” I was going to see this as an opportunity to grow and heal body, mind, and spirit.
One of my blessings was my doctor, Dr. John C. Siano M.D. and his associates at Lansing Internal Medicine. Dr. Siano did everything he could to help me get better, his humor always made me laugh no matter how bad I felt that day.
Humor is so important in the healing process. It lifts the heavy feeling that we tend to carry when we are sick. I also had a very strong bridge of trust with my health care team. I know that if you don’t trust your caregivers, fire them and hire new ones. Remember, they work with you to help you achieve wellness.
I don’t remember what happened when I’d have a seizure. I can recall things that took place after the seizures - doctors and nurses working together to get me stable, running at times even two IVs at the same time. After one seizure, I recall one ER doctor taking forty five minutes to put twenty stitches in my arm from a fall I’d taken during the seizure. Both the doctors and nurses were very kind, gentle, and calm which helped me to stay calm during really terrifying and confusing experiences.
We take so much for granted. Walking, brushing our teeth and hair, going to the bathroom by ourselves, talking - it’s enlightening when these things are taken away. For years I’ve been saying we are more than a body, we are mind, body, and sprit. Today I know this more fully and completely than ever before. It has become more than a concept, it has become my wisdom.
During a six day stay at Sparrow I was in the cardiac critical care unit and on a ventilator because I could not breathe on my own. Most of that I don’t recall; what I do remember is thinking, “This is it” and I wanted to thank everyone for all that they had done for me. I wanted to tell my husband, daughter, and grandson how much I would miss them and that I loved them. My life was better because they were a part of it.
I learned so much about myself during this healing journey. I also learned just how very blessed I am. I have a wonderful husband, a very special daughter, and the best grandson anyone could ask for. I have a mother-in-law who loves me and prays for me every day. I have a very dear friend who is a retired Dominican nun who says the rosary for me every day.
I have some very special memories from my numerous trips to Sparrow. 99.9% of my nurses were A+ and took great care of me. My family and friends were there every step of the way. One special memory is of my daughter coming to the hospital after working all day and bringing her third grader’s journals to grade and read together. They were filled with such joy and humor. It felt so good to laugh with her. Those special times I spent with her will always be in my heart.
When DeWayne and Teresa could not be with me, Teresa’s best friend, Kim was there. Many nights these wonderful women came when DeWayne left to feed our horses and dogs, staying with me late into the evening.
It wasn’t an easy trip but we made it. The cause is still undetermined, but I am getting healthier every day. I have such gratitude for this journey and the healing of body, mind, and spirit. My prayer for you if something like this happens is to be ready with a strong bridge in place. If you don’t have a support team now, get one because in a blink of an eye life can change.