Saturday, March 28, 2009

Drowning in an Invisible Flood

In July of 1999 I was 24 years old, a college graduate, and recently returned from a 1 ½-year mission for my church to Russia. I had just gotten my first real job working as a lab technician at an immunology lab on the campus of Florida State University doing research on nut allergies.

I was healthy, or at least I had no reason to believe I wasn’t healthy. I was exercising, getting adequate sleep, eating from the four food groups, and I had my whole life ahead of me. I was ready for the next step in life.

The next step came, but it wasn’t what I expected. It’s been 9 ½ years now since I woke up that morning in July 1999 with a flu bug, and I unwittingly began a journey that would effectively shatter all but a few core layers of me over the course of the next 6 years.

My roommate Rebecca was the one who gave me the bug – she got it from someone at work. Strangely enough, Rebecca’s co-worker recovered after a week or two. But somehow she and I plunged into the abyss commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome.

I got much sicker much more quickly than Rebecca. And besides the fact that both of us eventually went from fully-functional, active and contributing members of society to pretty much the exact opposite of that, it wasn’t immediately apparent that we had the same illness.

I honestly don’t remember everything about those early days of my illness, and don’t want to. I do know that I called in sick to work about every other day. I couldn’t sleep when it was time to sleep, and I couldn’t function when it was time to function. Some mornings I couldn’t move – brushing my teeth was so laborious that I would have to crawl back in bed after the exertion of it all.

I was thirsty -- all the time. And nothing helped. I would wake up in the middle of the night to pee from drinking all that water, but I was still thirsty.

Sleeping pills didn’t help me sleep. I remember some nights I would finally fall asleep just as the sun was rising. Any little sound in the night would jar me out of my semi-conscious state, flood my body with adrenaline, and make my heart race.

Exercise didn’t help me either – I remember one day I decided to walk up one flight of stairs. I spent the whole next day in bed. Occasionally, I would force myself to take a walk around the block. Each and every time, I paid big-time by needing to sleep the whole next day, or being extra exhausted the whole next week.

And what did my doctor have to say? My well-meaning doctor had little to offer me. Over the course of the next several months, she ran every test she could think of. Nothing significant was found to be wrong with me.

On the outside, I didn’t really look sick. I didn’t have any tumors or growths, my eyeballs didn’t turn yellow, my teeth and hair didn’t fall out. I didn’t become emaciated or morbidly obese.

But day by day, something very wrong was taking such an extreme toll on me that I was losing myself – my personality flattened, my sense of humor went into hiding, my previous drive to do my best at whatever I was doing in life took a serious beating, and I couldn’t be counted on to show up for work. I couldn’t move my body half the time, and I couldn’t function in society.

It’s like I was slowly drowning in plain sight to everyone in my life, but while they could see that I wasn’t my usual self, the deepening flood of water that was overtaking me was completely invisible.

On this blog, I will share with you my 6-year journey with chronic fatigue syndrome, and how I was finally able to find healing. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, you may see some similarities with my story. You may also see some differences.

Either way, my hope is to share how I overcame the odds and recovered from this devastating illness. You may not like everything I have to say. In fact, like some others with chronic fatigue syndrome, I might make you mad with some of the conclusions I have come to.

I am not here to prove that chronic fatigue syndrome is a “legitimate” illness, whatever that is supposed to mean. I am not here to petition the CDC to increase funding for research on the illness. I have no interest in pushing for a miracle drug that will magically remove the causes and effects of the disease.

I am simply here to share how I have healed. I have healed. I am still healing. But I lead a full and active life without the constraints I was previously under, and without the laundry list of hundreds of random and unpleasant symptoms I previously experienced.

Do you want to know how I did it? Do you want to know how you can heal?

Keep reading . . .

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Healing from chronic fatigue syndrome

Protocol for Helping with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

1) Stop the thing(s) that caused it to begin with in its tracks:

- Change lifestyle, Change YOU
- Nutrition
- Eat an alkalizing and detoxifying diet (I recommend Crystal Parrott for dietary coaching -- )

- Hydration
- Water w/ lemon juice or Young Living lemon/grapefruit essential oil ( , Vitalyte if chronically dehydrated (

- Sleep
- If you can’t sleep, I recommend these essential oils from Young Living: RutaVaLa, Peace & Calming, lavender, valerian (
- Magnesium taken at night

- Exercise
- Do NOT exercise to exertion. Do less than you think you can.

- State of mind, thoughts, and emotions
- Determine what (subconscious) benefits you receive from being sick (anytime you think to yourself – “even though I’m sick and I can’t ______, at least I get to/don’t have to ____________.”. Reconcile yourself to not receiving those benefits any longer, and to rejoining the world at large. Or find a way to get those benefits without having to be sick.

- Stop fighting the illness. Give in to it. Accept it.

- Release negative patterns of needing to prove yourself by overachieving. Even if you had your health back, you would drive yourself into the ground again if you don’t deal with this now.
- Realize YOU have more control than you think you do. You can change how you react to events, you can let go of things that hurt you.

- I recommend Carol Tuttle’s book “Remembering Wholeness”, and the Carol Tuttle online healing center – . Also, working with an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) practitioner is a great idea (Julie Behling – 850-294-9683).

- Kill the parasites, bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeasts, and/or molds (I highly recommend working with Dr. Gene Harkins of Salt Lake Homeopathy – 801-293-3456)

2) Detoxify (colon, kidney, lung, skin, lymphatics, liver, blood)

- Open the body’s energy channels with:
- acupressure,
- reflexology,
- acupuncture,
- massage therapy (lymphatic drainage may be particularly helpful)

- Detox through the skin with:
- Epsom salt baths,
- sauna,
- foot patches,
- dry skin brushing

- Cleansing –
- I personally benefited from the Master Cleanser. You may want to consult with Dr. Harkins of Salt Lake Homeopathy (801-293-9683) about what type of cleanse would be most suitable for you.

- Heavy Metal detox, if necessary
- Again, I recommend you consult with Dr. Harkins about this one.

- Deep breathing exercises
- Pranayama yoga breathing exercises
- Andrew Weil has some good breathing exercises as well

3) Repair damaged organs and systems

- Restore liver function

- NingXia Red worked GREAT for me – after one week, I was about 95% better!! ( )

- Immune system
- high quality whey protein, such as ImmunoPro ( ) or Young Living Pure Protein ( )
- Taurox SB ( )

- Brain
- I recommend you consult with Dr. Harkins about this

- Endocrine system
- I was helped by taking Young Living’s Thyromin (
- Again, I recommend Dr. Harkins

- Digestive system
–digestive enzymes -- EssentialZyme from Young Living (