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 am now committed to sharing everything I learned about achieving full health by providing individual coaching, classes, speaking and writing my recent book, 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.
Working with Janette
Finding and committing to my healing path was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. Using what I learned to make it easier for others to get healthy is a passion as well as a real pleasure for me!
Rather than telling people how to exercise, what to eat, or what treatment to pursue, I believe that everyone can find their own path to health as well as the resources to find and stick to that path, with the right support. Through my book, Everyday Healing; individual coaching; classes; and speaking engagements; I assist people to explore their options, commit to their healing work, overcome obstacles, make necessary lifestyle changes, and get the support they need to get their healthiest.
Other Things You May Want To Know
- I spent my early career as an activist; advocating for access to health care and food support for low-income families, or for peace and security in the Middle East.
- I’ve played leadership roles in major public health projects in Tokyo; Northern Pakistan; Jerusalem; and Boston, Massachusetts.
- I completed the Relaxation Response Resiliency Program at the Benson-Henry Mind Body Institute in Boston, affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
- The Life Change Program at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida really did change my life.
- I completed the Stress Reduction and Qi Gong training at the Marino Center for Progressive Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- I was trained in emergency counseling and worked as a phone counselor for the Mi-Lev Crisis Hotline in Jerusalem, Israel.
- I have completed thousands of hours of training in peer counseling, with a focus on health and wellbeing.
- I am married and raising two fabulous sons in Sharon, Massachusetts.