Is it possible to weep tears of joy and tears of sadness at the same time? If so, the streaks running down my face are just that — a mixture of both. I’m sad that it has taken so long to get answers, but I’m rejoicing that my daughter’s health is being restored and her story will help so many people across America.
The journey began six years ago when my twelve-year-old daughter complained of an achy knee. Ever since this child was little, she’s been super active so little bumps and bruises were a normal part of life. So, we simply put an ice bag on her knee, not giving this ache too much thought, although she wasn’t doing anything when it began to ache which seemed awfully odd for such a young child.
And then it happened.
She broke out in an allergic reaction to the cold and it quickly spread up her thigh and down her shin. From that time forward, my child began to experience a skin allergy to the cold — and sometimes to the heat. The dermatologist had a fancy name for it and predicted my daughter would “grow out of it.” No big deal.
Then came a lower back sports injury from supposedly hypermobility in her back while swinging the softball bat — her favorite sport. On the ride home, her level of pain was similar to the level of pain one has with a kidney stone. Pursuant to the injury, the resulting achiness began to “crawl” up her back. It ultimately made her shoulders, neck, and muscles stiff.
Fifty or sixty massages over the next couple of years didn’t help either. Eighteen months of physical therapy hardly touched it.
Then came pain that radiated down her arm to her right hand beginning in 8th grade. Writing became a major painful movement. More doctors, but no answers. Little did I know that by 11th grade she would teach herself how to write with her left hand in order to succeed at school — and succeed she did.
We followed the yellow brick road of traditional western medicine and big phara: orthopedic doctors who recommended neck epidurals, MRIs and X-rays; rheumatologists who said she did not have Lyme or Lupus or other infections and diseases; an endocrinologist and an allergist who said all looked great; physical therapists who made her more flexible though she really needed strength training; chiropractors who gave temporary relief; and a fascia massage therapist who thought he knew for sure what was wrong — her fascia surrounding her muscles needed massaging — $3,000 dollars of massaging. We had the well water tested, but those tests came back fine. During 11th grade, she had some scar tissue removed from her elbow where the tendon meets the bone. It temporarily helped, but then the pain returned.
We even dabbled in eastern medicine with a Chinese acupuncture doctor. He didn’t have a cure, but he said she was very ill. He just didn’t know what.
Everyone had hope, but nobody
had real answers. . . only
temporary relief at best.
One of the most frustrating appointments was with a top John Hopkins pediatric neurologist. I recall begging his scheduler to squeeze my daughter in for an appointment. I’ll never forget when this top-notch doctor entered the room. “The good news is you don’t have muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis. The bad news is I don’t know what you have. So, we put you in a basket called ‘fibromyalgia’.”
I noticed he began writing a prescription so I asked what it was a prescription for. He replied, “It is for an anti-depressant. We have found that people with fibromyalgia tend to feel better if they’re taking an anti-depressant.” Thank you, but no thank you. Upon returning to the car, I ripped the prescription to shreds. This mama bear —with daddy bear by my side —were pursuing a diagnosis and a cure, NOT a big pharma band aid.
Mild neuropathy in her hands began to set in during 11th grade, along with cold hands and feet and periodic hot flashes. The chronic constipation seemed to be the least of our worries — or so we thought.
In the month of March of her senior year, a new friend of mine recommended we have her “live blood” looked at under a microscope. He recommended a professional who could do just that. The professional explained that he could not diagnose any disease or illness, but he could tell us what bacteria or other matter he sees in the blood.
In less than three minutes — and after six years of misdiagnosed ailments —my daughter was beginning her journey toward healing. My daughter and I were getting answers and we could hardly believe what we saw in her blood and what we were about to learn.
And then the professional said, “Just wait till the 60-minute mark when the red blood cells begin to die. See what happens then.”
We were poised for a major surprise!