I have a Masters in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health that gave me some nifty skills and knowledge. But, most of what I needed to know to heal, I learned when I was sick, during the thousands of hours I spent talking with health care providers, researching alternative and conventional treatments, interpreting lab results, talking with others navigating the health care maze, and managing the complex emotional and logistical puzzle of creating a healing lifestyle, all while raising small children.
I committed to sharing everything I learned about achieving full health and wrote, Everyday Healing: Stand Up, Take Charge and Get Your Health Back . . . One Day at a Time (July 2015, New Page Books)
In the fall of 2002, I got sick when I was 33 and pregnant with my second son. I was pretty much completely debilitated for the next six years. I never got a clear diagnosis. Depending on who I asked, it was either Chronic Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or an as-yet unidentified autoimmune disorder. All I knew was that I went from being a very high energy, athletic person to someone who often had a hard time making a fist or sitting upright for too long. Muscle aches, vertigo, a chronic cough, weakness and crippling exhaustion turned the simplest daily activities into Herculean feats of will. It was terrifying.
Below is a partial list of the health care providers I saw over those six years in my never-ending search for a diagnosis and cure. Many are in the plural because I saw two or three of them:
- Physicians specializing in Chronic Lyme Disease
- Physicians specializing in Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
- Infectious Disease Specialists
- Aryuvedic health counselor
- Cranio-sacral Healers
- Massage Therapists
- Medical Intuitive
And here is a partial list of treatments I tried:
- Anti-candida diet
- Body ecology diet
- Aryuvedic diet
- Low dose steroids/hormones
- Asthma medication?
- A gzillion supplements
- Many different herbs
- Homeopathic remedies
- Magnesium/Vitamin C and other vitamins – weekly IV drip
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- High-dose long-term antibiotics
How Janette Healed
In January of 2008, the two doctors whom I most trusted recommended that I take a potent cocktail of an antibiotic, an anti-parasite drug and an anti-malarial drug, possibly for months and likely with many side effects, as my best treatment option. I filled the prescription and put the medicine on my shelf, prepared to start the meds, when finally, I decided that I had had enough. I decided to let go of any excuses and make complete health on my terms the highest priority and organizing principle in my life.
I resolved not to try another herb, supplement, drug, diet, or alternative or conventional treatment unless I could speak to two people who had used that method to fully heal, and were still well and active two years later. I also decided that I was willing to make whatever changes in my life were required to get completely well and get my life back.
In two months, I found a handful of people who had healed from Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Lyme Disease using a plant-based, living foods (mainly raw) diet, with a focus on wheatgrass and green juices. Along with that diet and a commitment to regular exercise, I adopted a fierce confidence in my ability to heal and took on a number of detoxifying, healing self-care practices. (For more details, you can check out my blog post, How I Healed.) After years of trying everything under the sun, I thank God every day for the miracle of finally returning to full health. I am also forever grateful to my family, friends, health care providers, and the staff at Hippocrates Health Institute for the support they gave me to heal.