I had been feeling bad and in pain for a long time. I was also depressed because none of my medical doctors could tell me what was wrong. I had no hope to feel better. Finally, I quit a job that I loved, as a budget analyst, to give myself time to get help. After quitting, I continued to go to doctors, but they could not diagnose my problem.
Approximately 5 months after quitting, I awakened one morning in the most pain I had ever felt. This pain was worse than having debilitating menstrual cramps all over. This pain was sharper, like knives inside my joints trying to work their way out of my body. I couldn't set up in bed or put my feet on the floor without extreme pain. Moving my arms and legs was so terribly painful; I couldn't dress myself without screaming. My husband had to help me dress and carry me out to the car. I couldn't even imagine arthritis feeling this way. I remember going down the hall of the Doctor's office extremely slow, crying as quietly as possible, because of the pain of each step. I was thinking that I probably should have skipped this step and went straight to the emergency room, but I was hoping that instead, the Doctor would be able to just give me a pain pill and it would be over. I had tears streaming down my face, but I would not attempt to wipe the them because of the pain I knew would be caused if I reached up to wipe them (I didn't want to scream in his office like I did at home). The nurse had to wipe my face. I was so scared because I didn't know how much worse this pain could get or when it would stop. This doctor immediately had me admitted to the hospital (January 1980) and it was during this hospital stay that I was diagnosed with lupus (SLE).
I immediately told my family and friends and they recommended that I try herbs to help me. This gave me hope. I took their advice right away, since I felt that I really had no time in my life to be sick. I purchased an herbal program within 2 weeks after I left the hospital. I wanted to do something to help myself, since, when I left the hospital, I was still terribly ill, but then I could at least walk again. The pain was always there, but so much less that I could bear it. Before I actually started taking my herbal program, I asked my medical doctor about herbs in general. His reaction terrified me. NO, NO, NO, DON'T TAKE THOSE THINGS, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY DO!!!!! He was louder than usual and so very animated that I took his advice very seriously. At that point, I thought I would never do anything that would interfere with the treatment plan he had for me. Therefore, I never took the herbal program I purchased at that time.
I had so many repeats of that first morning. People in the hospital knew who I was when they saw me coming and immediately started doing things to try to make me more comfortable. Each time I would go into the hospital, they would first give me strong pain medications, which should have knocked me out - but they never did. The shot would make me more comfortable. I'm not sure what the pain pill was doing. After about a week, they would sit me down in the big whirlpools and eventually they would start giving me physical therapy and occupational therapy, all to try to get the use of my arms and legs back. It would take me at least 2 weeks to be able to go to the bathroom by myself, and that was still very difficult, therefore they made sure I had a little pottie beside my bed. I hated being in the hospital. I was always there a minimum of 3 weeks each visit. I was always still sick when I left the hospital, but I could always bare to, at least, walk again.
With the lupus, I also had problems with my heart, lungs and kidneys. I had pains in my heart, I was short of breath, and my kidneys needed help, but the pain in my joints were so great, my focus was always on my joints and not the other parts of my body that were failing.
Eventually I was also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and started taking more medication for that. Shortly after this diagnosis, when I was in the hospital, I met a woman (younger than myself) who also had rheumatoid arthritis. Her small, frail, body was twisted and distorted because her swollen joints had fused in so many places. I had never seen anyone like that and it scared me. It was then that I realized -- this could happen to me. A nurse would help me into a wheelchair, while in my last days in the hospital and let me visit with her a few times. She had been diagnosed in her teens. She didn't know what started it. And it was always getting worse for her. We talked about several things including the Bible, which seemed to be encouraging to her. She would always be smiling when I left. I wish I had gotten her information to stay in contact with her.
When I was released from that hospital stay, I was very determined not to let my body get distorted that way. At that time only my fingers were seeming to stay in a curved position. My fingers were almost touching the palm of my hand and when I tried to straighten them, it was very painful. Therefore, as often as I could stand it, I would straighten my fingers out. Many times this would bring me to tears, but I felt that was the only way I could prevent my fingers from closing permanently. Since it was so painful, if I didn't straighten my hands during the day, I would at least do it most nights. They would actually feel a little better after each time, but they would get tight again within a few hours.
When I got a little energy, I would start doing my cleaning and end up back in the hospital or on bedrest. Each summer, I had to be completely covered, since the sun would make my joints hurt so much more. After only 15 minutes in the sun, I would be in so much pain, I had to take something to calm it down. Was this ever going to end?
Yes, it's finally going to end, I thought. During two of the years between 1980 and 1987, I was in the hospital for 6 whole months (if you counted all the times I had to go in and the total amount of time I stayed each time). The last time I was in the hospital (in 1987), I thought I was going to die. My entire body had blown up. My face, arms, and legs were so swollen and tight that they were shinny and I felt like I had no more life. I couldn't even look at myself. I was surprised, but so glad that I was able to leave the hospital. I was not ready to die. I needed my Doctor to work harder for me and I had to do something different. I repeatedly asked my Doctor if there was something else we could do. I would have gone anywhere to get extra medical help. My Doctor assured me that there was nothing else that could be done --there were no other treatments or medications that would help me. He said that lupus would always show in my blood and that he would help to keep me as comfortable as possible with the appropriate drugs. I made up my mind that I would not go into the hospital again.
I decided that if I felt that I needed to go in the hospital, instead, I would just do nothing at home for at least 3 weeks (like in the hospital) to let my body get the rest I thought it needed. The only thing I would be lacking was the stronger pain medication and the therapy. Since I knew these things didn't help cure me and I was always still sick when I left the hospital, I need to just stay still at home for a while. I knew that if I just stayed still, if I did not move my joints, I would not have the pain and when I wasn't as tired, I would be able to move more, without as much pain. I was extremely tired most of the time. The pain made me even more tired. I wasn't afraid my joints were going to fuse because of inactivity, since when I was in the hospital I didn't move much either. My husband would set me up with what I wanted to eat during the day. The only thing I would do is go to the bathroom. Several times, when I went to the bathroom, I couldn't get off the toilet. Each time I would try to get up, it would feel like little knives were trying to cut through my knees. It kept me there for a long while. I remember how painful it was to use the telephone which was right in the bed with me, by my side. It was extremely painful to eat - painful to move my elbows and fingers. When I needed to change positions, I would sometimes scream. I was totally unproductive and that depressed me. I stayed out of the hospital for 2 years after my last visit before I felt I needed to go back.
In August 1989, I really thought I was going to die and after 2 years out of the hospital, I actually wanted to go back because I did not want to die at home. I thought that I could, at least, get a little help at the hospital. Again, I was approached regarding herbs. This time, I thought there was no reason for me not to take the herbs. My Doctor had told me there was nothing else that could be done medically or, according to him, no herbs would even help me at this time. Since I thought I was going to die anyway, there was nothing for me to loose and no reason for me to be afraid of taking the herbs.
In September 1989, I was put on an extensive herbal program, to help cleanse and build my body. I also made lifestyle adjustments, including drastically changing my eating habits to enhance the effectiveness of the herbal program. With the support of my husband, mother, and other family and friends, I stuck with my herbal program and found that it worked. The Herbs Really Helped Me! AND, after 9 1/2 years, I WAS BETTER WITHIN 3 MONTHS! I was amazed at how I felt.
My Doctor was amazed with my blood report. Originally, he thought that the lab had made a mistake and he made a HUGE fuss in his office about the report. I told him it was OK to take the test again. Since he sincerely felt that there was nothing else that could be done for me, when he got the second report back, it was still hard for him to believe. My blood reports had improved drastically and there was a huge improvement in the quality of my life because of my herbal program. I Got My Life Back!
It took 18 months from the start of my natural program for my Medical Doctor to say that my blood tests no longer indicated that I had lupus. I was feeling so much better, I didn't care what the blood tests showed, but when he told me that, we celebrated. I didn't have lupus anymore. No, it wasn't a fluke. AND, the medicine that I took for 91/2 years didn't finally kick in right after I started taking the my natural program. I stopped all my drugs within 2 weeks of starting my herbal program and haven't had to take anything for lupus since then. My blood tests have not indicated that I have Lupus for over 10 years after I started my natural program! We're still celebrating.
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