I started this Blog because God has sparked within me a desire to bring the message of health, hope and healing to all those who need it, but especially to those that have been touched by physical infirmities. At least some level of healing is available to all who ask, seek and believe!

Join me as I take a step of faith out of the boat and into the murky waters to begin my own journey of health and healing. We will be taking a closer look at how to find healing in our modern-day world and what God has to say about the process as well. Some of the posts will be on practical ways to achieve healing in our bodies; others will be inspirational and are meant to bring you hope. I think most of you will find that a lot of the information here challenges what you think you know about good health.

May Jehovah Rapha--God, Our Healer--open your hearts, minds and eyes as you explore this website. And may you never forget...to Always Hope.

Monday, April 8, 2013


It was one year ago this weekend that I returned from six weeks of treatment at Dr. Sponaugle's Florida Detox and Wellness Center. I don't really know why it's taken me a year to write this blog (or series of blogs, as I have planned it). With my illness, I have had a hard time finishing what I started so I am trying to be more cognizant of that. I guess for a while, I was waiting to see what the final outcome of my treatment was. I really, really wanted to give people an honest and in-depth assessment of my treatment, let them know what they could expect if they went, and most importantly, let them know whether it worked for me! But after a while, the task just seemed daunting and monumental. Quite a few people have contacted me in the meantime though and have asked me for an update; now I plan to give it.

I have yet to put all my symptoms on my blog because I really wanted the tone here to remain positive. I did write my symptoms down in my Journal and reading over them can be downright depressing, but I am now going to list them for you here because I remember scouring the Internet looking for anyone that had similar symptoms to me and wanting to know what they did to get well. I am going to write them verbatim from my Journal entry on October 8, 2011. I think doing so will give you an idea of the helplessness and hopelessness I was feeling that day. It is important to note that I never stayed in that mindset. I had to constantly renew my mind to pull myself out of feeling that way, but it is important to be honest and say that there were certainly days and even weeks that I felt very helpless, hopeless and desperate. When I look back, it was in those times that I can see God's hand on me the most.

October 8, 2011
I am having a rough day today. It's so frustrating not knowing what is really going on in my body, and even worse, not being able to do anything about it. I am so weak that I can hardly sit up or write. Even as I write this, I do it from my bed in a reclining position and I have to take frequent, short breaks. My mind keeps failing me as I cannot remember how to spell simple words and even if I could, recalling the words I want to use is a most difficult task in and of itself. I have also been transposing my letters a lot and leaving out words in sentences altogether. I cannot speak correctly either and am constantly changing tenses in mid-sentence. This is not what one should expect from a straight-A English major.

My eyesight is blurry and I have strange, depth-perception problems. I would go get glasses, but I have done so in the past and as soon as I did, my eyesight would improve. My anxiety is through the roof. The strange, neurological feelings and sensations that go through my body day and night are enough to make anyone uneasy. Agoraphobia comes and goes but even on the days I don't have that, I still don't feel well enough to leave the house.

I am constantly dizzy and disoriented. I cannot stand or sit upright comfortably and I can only stand and sit upright uncomfortably for a few minutes at a time. My oxygen saturation seems to be low, or perhaps it is my body's inability to convert anything to the energy it needs to function. All the things that a body is supposed to do without a person noticing (like breathing, swallowing, your heart beating, blinking, etc.) are noticeable to me.

My spine feels like it is in a vice grip and I am constantly contorting my body into different positions and poses to try to find some relief, but even if I find that relief, it is only momentary. Plus, my muscles are so weak, I cannot hold myself in any one position for very long.

My heart is constantly beating rapidly within my chest. I am always aware of it and often feel it in my throat and ears as well. I cannot escape it and it is exhausting. Many times, I have palpitations--anywhere from a small flutter to heavy-hitting thuds where I am sure my heart will just explode and that will be the end of me. These heavy-pounding sessions often steal my breath and I have to cough several times just to try to get everything going again.

Often times, I feel like there is a fire raging just beneath my skin, yet my skin is not hot to the touch. Many times, my skin feels sore and I feel like I have just been in a physical fight. I bruise easily and any sort of pressure on any part of my body for too long (including wearing a bra and socks/shoes) is uncomfortable and noticeable. I cannot even have a cat on my lap without it creating an uncomfortable amount of pressure for me.

Speaking of pressure, it is terribly difficult to fly in a pressurized cabin in an airplane. It seems to heighten my dizziness and the pressure changes play tricks on my mind. I have no fear of crashing--only flying. I had to give up scuba diving years ago because I couldn't stand the pressure changes any more. I also do not like to be in any enclosed spaces, but this may have something to do with being put under blankets as a child.

My mandible joint on the right side of my face has seemed to separate from its rightful place. It has shifted and I can feel a lump in the joint area itself. My gums will bleed for a few days and then won't bleed at all. My eyes and my mouth will be dry for a few days or even a day and then will seem normal. My limbs are constantly falling asleep and there are sometimes crawling sensations in my forearms and down my shins. One month, I will have terrible menstrual cramps; the other, hardly any at all.

My endocrine system is messed up. I am currently taking Amour Thyroid and bioidentical Progesterone. Before the Progesterone, I had six months of terrible, disfiguring, cystic acne on my face. I never had a problem with my face before that; now I have lasting scars that will be with me the rest of my life. Sometimes, I experience internal tremors--like I am leaning up against a generator. This improved greatly with Progesterone but it still happens on occasion--especially upon waking or going to sleep. I cannot handle stress--bad or good--as my adrenals are burnt out and I do not have the proper cortisol responses.

I feel dizzy, off-balance, even drunk at times. I have lost over 2/3 of my hair, including the hair on my head and the hair found on other regions of my body. I cannot move quickly for fear of a pounding head or a blood rush to the head. I am pretty sure it is P.O.T.S. My ears are constantly draining with a wax-like fluid and are wet to the touch.

I have bad episodes of Seborrhea Dermatitis where my whole scalp will become infected. My face is always peeling, as is the area around my eyebrows and lips. My face and chest have developed telangiectasias (small, dilated blood vessels). My body cannot regulate its temperature anymore. Doing simple lawn tasks will cause me to overheat but there are no warning signs.

My symptoms migrate all over my body. Someday one thing is affected; the next it is five things; the next ten. I feel differently minute by minute sometimes. I have food allergies. What may seem not to bother me one day will make me break out in hives the next.

I obsess over things I shouldn't. I am constantly worried about whether I said or did the right thing. Social interactions can leave me feeling elated or defeated. I long to interact with people but the obsessive need to be able to control peoples' perceptions of me is exhausting. I did not used to be this way.

I creak and crack and pop. There is pressure in my joints. I don't have a lot of joint pain, per se, but I am constantly laying down or reclining. When I find myself having to sit straight up in a chair, I do have pain. Also, one of my first symptoms was terrible joint pain in my knees.

Sleeping is difficult. I vacillate between insomnia and sleeping for 9-10 hours at a time. I crave fatty foods--meats and cheeses, but I am already overweight. I haven't had any success in losing this weight, including six months at the gym, working out 5 days a week for 1-2 hours per day. I would not be able to physically do that anymore.

I can be short-tempered, moody and irritable. My life seems to be lived in stops and starts. I have sensory overloads. Light, smells and sounds bother me and I don't seem to be able to process them well. I have what I call "Autistic-like episodes." The only difference between myself and an Autistic child sometimes, I believe, is that I have an already-developed brain and can verbalize to others what it happening to me. I can feel loud sounds or bass from a passing car deep within my chest and it is uncomfortable. When my husband lightly snores at night, my eardrums vibrate incessantly.

My chest and muscles are so tight. It is only by going to cranial sacral therapy each week and having my body manually manipulated that I feel like I can breathe a little again. But by the next week, I am locked back up and my breathing is again labored. I have terrible chronic fatigue. It literally feels like I am not making the energy at a cellular level needed to sustain my life force. I am not trying to be an alarmist, but I do feel like death could only be a moment away.


So there you have it: my symptoms as I was experiencing them in the days and weeks leading up to October 11, 2011. There have been others that were not included here, but this is a pretty comprehensive list. When I wrote this, I was feeling pretty desperate and was really seeking help from God with a specific request that I needed some sort of outside help. I just did not have the physical, mental or emotional capacity to treat myself anymore. A couple months later, my prayers were seemingly answered in the form of a bottle of probiotics that had an insert in it which led me to Dr. Sponaugle.

To be continued...

Always Hope

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