When life throws you sour grapes, what do you make with them?
The last few months for me have been filled with challenge. Each day causes me to look upon the days past and wonder. The reason I am going to tell you about this event, that has overruled all else in my life, is that I believe we can all learn something of value from it.
Let’s get started…
After my Mother, (84 years old) fell last February, her hands and legs developed a new type of pain that got progressively worse while her strength diminished. After many tests, x-rays and evaluations, all that could be deduced was rheumatoid arthritis and possibly neuropathy.
However, the next morning there was no rally . . .
She had debilitating pain and her strength was completely gone. The doctor’s office advised we get her to the hospital, so we dispatched 911. After she was admitted to our local hospital, the investigation continued. It wasn’t until the second day when she told the doctor that she couldn’t feel her legs is when everything shifted into high gear. A vascular ultrasound revealed there wasn’t any blood flowing to her feet. That evening she was transported to a major hospital an hour away.
By the time we arrived, she was on her way to the CATH Lab. The results were numbing. There was no blood flowing past the groin in either leg. The arterial blockages were so severe they had to enter through her right arm just to get started. After seven (7) Angioplasties, a few pints of blood (femoral artery hemorrhage), blood thinners and clot-busting drugs flooding her veins, they were able to get a pulse in both feet. However, the battle for her legs and ability to walk was far from over.
You can imagine the questions that were going through my mind. What could have triggered the investigation or instigated someone to ask about the condition of the circulation in her legs and could this be the cause of the mysterious pain? I believe the questions concerning circulation were never asked because of her long previous history concerning her feet and ankles. After all, my Mother has battled arthritis and gout for many years; this issue had to be related to something concerning that, right?
In this article I am not even going to get into the perception I was picking up that they were leaning toward the idea that some of the pain was in her head because after all, she wasn’t responding to anything they were doing. In reality, her legs didn’t give any visual indication that there was something majorly wrong. In the past, when she would have severe gout flair ups, her feet and ankles looked truly horrible.
Now if that isn’t bad enough, a little previous history…
Back during my Mother’s “Hospital Tour of 2007”, she was admitted for a severe Arrhythmia that was found to be caused by a large blood clot in her atrium. At the end of that hospital stay she was told by a very prominent cardiologist that she only had a few weeks to live, that if she lasted a year he would be very surprised. His opinion was such due to the results of her coronary catheterization revealing her coronary arteries were pretty blocked (80%, 70%,70%, 70%, 50%). Well, I am sure you can understand how my Mother was devastated by his “professional” comments. I don’t think I need to tell you what I thought or felt about him or his comments. Anyway, after he was gone, I had a long talk with my Mother about what we could do if she wanted to make a liar out of him, which was a nice incentive. Yah, I know my Mom. I told her she had to listen to what I was telling her and had to follow my instructions no matter what. Obviously, she promised she would.
So once she was discharged, I enacted the plan. I am not going to tell you that in three months she was jogging around the block, but I will say, she was slowly feeling better. After a year she noticed her heart didn’t start pounding when she would go grocery shopping. We focused on nutrition to build heart strength while promoting immune health.
Back to the current “Hospital Tour of 2011″….
While my Mother was in ICU, in between the Angioplasties, I watched her heart on the monitor. I couldn’t believe it was her they were monitoring. I even checked the cables as I very clearly remembered what the monitor display looked like back in 2007, and what the cardiologist had said. At that time, the traced green line looked more like something from a sound file instead of a human heart, but now it was strong and steady. Naturally, now while she was in the Cardiac unit, the doctors ran diagnostics on her heart, after all, they would need to know what to expect and to determine if she was strong enough to endure these procedures. Believe it or not, they found no reason not to go ahead. Looking back now, if her heart was in the same condition as it was back in 2007, I believe she would have never had the first Angioplasty.
My Mother’s heart is now in pretty fabulous condition, strong and beating away like she was in her 50’s or younger! I was very excited to see the remarkable results of all that we had accomplished. Her heart was not her failing system anymore. My Mother told every nurse or aid that had time to listen that a cardiologist, one that she will never go to again, said she should have died over 4 years ago. Yah, she gets a lot of joy saying that.
What can be learned…
As with all of the major health events in my Mother’s life, I have found that in each situation there have been multiple things going on that wind up blurring the picture. This has caused the response by many in the licensed medical field to investigate the lesser issue that screams the loudest, more times ignoring the silent antagonist.
Through my own journey and providing practitioner support, I find the “allopathic” approach alive and well. What I mean is the body is treated more like an automobile. When you take your car to the mechanic to find out why the air conditioner isn’t working, you don’t expect him to tell you the reason it doesn’t work is because the air pressure in your right rear tire is low. You “expect” your mechanic to say something like, your coolant leaked out or your compressor died. It is a similar analogy, but the body is vastly more complex than your car. Your magnificent body can adapt in fractions of nano seconds and divert what it needs to a critical system while allowing other systems to idle back as they are not critical to keeping the system alive. Many times those “nonessential” systems, when throttled back, seem to be the ones that will cause the symptoms that are so emphatically described to be the problem.
So, what am I trying to tell you?
First, don’t be locked in with blinders to what you are being told. Misdiagnosis is very common out there and once it is established in the mind, it will muck up the water for years to come. Many non critical health conditions are hard to nail down and some are just off-shoots of the original issue that was never really addressed or may even be the detrimental results of years of medication. It is important to learn to develop your own system of investigation, research, and questioning.
The Best Approach – “Small moves Ellie. Small moves.”
In the holistic health arena we are not licensed or trained to deal with critical health issues; however, we must be aware of their signs to better inform our friends and family when they must seek someone qualified to investigate further. Issues that never seem to go away or pain that is unassociated must be attended to by a qualified physician. But we can be invaluable to ourselves and those around us if we understand the cornerstones to improving health. We should all know by now the basic cornerstones are de-stressing the mind and body, eating natural foods, supplementation of depleted nutrients, ridding the body of accumulated toxins, exercise, fresh air and sunshine.
The key is to start now!
Even if you have a health issue you have been battling for years, you will see small improvements over time, but you have to start! Start small for big improvements!
In closing the truth cannot be denied….
Recently, we took my Mother to see her primary doctor for the first time since she was in ICU. He was basically surprised to see her and started going over all that had happened and was documented in the hospital records. He then told us there were several life-threatening concerns she was still dealing with. As he was going over the events he asked about the blood clot in her lung. I thought he was referring to one that she had many years ago. Then we find out that no, this was a new one that was documented while she was in the hospital. A floating clot that was dislodged from her leg found its way to one of the larger branches in her lung. We were never told, it was a battle to get any information.
Now comes the very interesting part. The doctor turns to my Mother and asked, “did you see the light?”
I think we were dumb-founded; we didn’t know what to say. I told the doctor that my Mother was far too busy fighting with them to let her sleep than to look for any light. He then got out his dry erase marker and started drawing on his white board — there is one in every examination room. The doctor starts to explain how that blood clot in her lung caused the one side of her heart to beat at twice the normal pressure (80 mmHg) because the blood flow was so restricted. The excessive pressure caused the blood to be forced’ past the heart valve and try to flow in the wrong direction. This amount of pressure could easily have blow out an artery, lung, heart, or wherever the weakest point happened to be.
We all looked at each other in astonishment. My Mother just looked at me and said that she had an angel watching over her. His reply to that was, “well something was going on.”
My Mother’s primary doctor is fabulous by the way — a true doctor. We are so blessed to have found him; he is a rarity indeed.
Don’t think you aren’t making a difference…
Just because improvements to your health is a long, slow road, remember, it didn’t take you two days to get in the malnourished, poisoned, overworked state you are in now.
Come on, you know better than that. Most of the time the improvements are so small or subtle we don’t notice them until something happens, or we answer one of those medical history questionnaires. Chances are there will be a few answers you are going to change on that form because you just realized that you don’t have that anymore.
Important note: We that are involved in improving our own health experience are not licensed to diagnose or treat anyone or anything, PERIOD.
The medical institution is a fabulous resource from which you should learn to work alongside and gain experience whenever the occasion arises.