Monday, May 6, 2013

Inspiring Video: Story of a Girl Who Cured Her GP

"It is better to believe than to disbelieve; in so doing you bring everything to the realm of possibility. 
-Albert Einstein

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 night
Take 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" 


  1. Good luck, Stephanie! I am holding good thoughts for you. I know there has to be a way through this illness. Western medicine just does't have all the pieces figured out, yet. Blessings, and let us know how it goes.

  2. This is so exciting Stephanie! I just got his book today and am absorbing every does make so much sense considering the many many years I was on anti~inflamatories and antibiotics,with no break. I too hope to get up to see Dr. Matsen sometime soon, but in the meantime I'm learning and having Faith to trying this healthful approach : ) I'm so excited for you, can't wait to hear more!

  3. Stay strong my beautiful friend. Love Pete

  4. Thank you friends for the kind thoughts and support :)

  5. Beautiful, poignant review. Ongoing best wishes as you continue along your Healing Journey. You are an inspiration to all of us, Stephanie.

  6. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts what you are doing for all of us...Cant wait to hear from you and the latest info...You, Tess and Crystal have given us so much info and for making us feel we are not alone and for giving us HOPE ...

  7. Hello! Is there any chance you could share the doctors contact information with me. I really need some help with gastroparesis, as my partner is extremely sick with it and cannot work or eat. We are from Vancouver, Canada but are willing to travel because we are so desperate for some help. So if you could please inform me on some contact information on doctors that can actually help with this, as we have been to many doctors but no one has been able to help. Thank You

    1. Hi, I would be happy to share the doctors contact info with you. Dr. Matsen has a website with all the his information at Dr. Fei Che's #: (604) 926-0238. Hope that gives you some direction and wishing you the best. There are some excellent GI doctors at University of Washington Digestive Disease Center as well if you end up coming down to the states.

  8. How are you doing? Did any of the approaches that Tess found helpful, work for you? Are you still in contact with Tess (girl from video)? I'd love to connect with her and/or her Mom if you could forward me their contact info I would so very much appreciate it my email is trishmul -AT- gmail-DOT-com One of my dearest and closest friends has a son in high school suffering from this. It's horrible & heartbreaking. Drs are at a loss - it's been 3 painful years, such a long time especially in a teenagers life!! Even just knowing someone else close to his age that has gone through this might be helpful. Thank you in advance for any info you can lend. And I am wishing you strength, hope and healthy vibes on your journey

    1. Hi Tricia,
      I am not in contact with Tess but did connect with her mother at the time of this post in 2013, though I'm not sure I still have her email. If I can find it I will forward it over. If your friend's son is in the Vancouver area it may be helpful for him to visit with the acupuncturist Dr. Che, who is very knowledgeable and compassionate. It was too far for me to continue making the trips but work with someone local to help manage symptoms. There are many resources available online that also may provide some ideas to try. I just recently wrote about a woman who has helped others with essential oils and some dietary changes. Those post are from this month, February 2016. Highly recommend checking out! Also, Crystal Saltrelli from has tons of info. Wishing him the best and feel free to contact me if you have any further questions!