I recently came across a video on YouTube titled Gastroparesis (GERD) Cured, My Journey to Recovery. Of course this intrigued me as would anyone so I quickly clicked on the link, anticipating a story that was probably too good to be true.
A beautiful voice began singing Blackbird by the Beatles, the sound so sweet it gave me chills. Tess, diagnosed with severe idiopathic gastroparesis and GERD, begins by going over the definitions and prognosis of both, then talks about her experience as she became sicker and sicker, and the limited options that were available in Western medicine, none of which provided her relief. Both her and her mother began exploring alternative options which led them to visit Dr. Matsen, a naturopathic doctor, as well as a doctor of Chinese medicine, Dr. Che, both in Vancouver, B.C. Between the two, she slowly started a path to wellness and within a year fully recovered. With the help of a family friend, they were able to create this professional video, hoping reach out and to give others hope.
Her story is inspiring, knowing that there is hope to one day feel good again. Being that I am only an hour's drive away, I contacted her and have been in touch with her mother via email. Tess is currently traveling out of the country but I look forward to possibly connecting this summer. She has been accepted into medical school in Europe next fall, where she plans to study and research gastrointestinal disorders. Meanwhile, her mother has given me the information to contact both doctors and encouraged me, if anything, to at least see Dr. Che.
On Friday, I had my first appointment with Dr. Che. He spent about an hour going over my history, asking detailed questions, explained the health problems from a Chinese medicine point of view, and how he would like to approach treatment. Because I studied this form of medicine for a year at Bastyr, it all made perfect sense to me, how each organ affects another and the health problems that can occur over time. Because he was so thorough and genuine with his explanations, my dear friend, who was kind enough to take me and sit in, also was able to follow along. I was given a 30 minute acupuncture session, something that I find very healing as the body seems to sort of melt into the table as the energy in the body begins to awaken and the muscles relax. Afterwards, Dr. Che prescribed herbs to begin taking daily in addition to some dietary and lifestyle advice. The plan, if all goes well, is to visit once a week for treatments and adjust herbs as needed.
This Thursday I will be going in for a second visit followed by an appointment to see Dr. Matsen, ND. I contemplated this at first, not sure if we should/could spend the money. The fact that I am so close with the possiblity of a doctor who understands the situation and could maybe help, I'm taking the plunge with a HUGE leap of faith! If it feels right then we will go from there on how to approach making this all happen. One day at a time and baby steps is the only way to move forward without feeling overwhelmed and defeated.
As time passes I will be posting updates. We are still waiting on results from SIBO test. In the meantime, my weight and energy are holding steady with TPN and eating small, nutrient dense meals.
I am one who is open to try anything, especially when recommended by someone who had a successful experience. Though funds are extremely tight, I'm praying it will all somehow work out. I'm creating a website that will be used to collect donations from anyone who can help and have friends offering to hold a fundraiser. Just the thought of this brings tears of gratitude to my eyes because I don't know where I would be without such loving support.
Here is the link to Tess's video along with the lyrics to the intro song. I hope you find it inspiring with the hope that maybe, just maybe, there is a chance for recovery someday :)
"Blackbird singing in the dead of nightTake these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Black bird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
all your life
you were only waiting for this moment to be free"