And Hope for You
Anyone who has been following my story knows 3 things:
- I’m a very spiritual/religious person
- I have been receiving stem cell therapy as part of my healing journey.
- I have a son who was also injured by a pharmaceutical (in his case an antibiotic)
Let’s start in the middle. I’m happy to say that after 4 or 5 visits to the Calzada Clinic in Tijuana, to treat the trigeminal neuralgia and other effects of my brain/nervous system injury from benzodiazepines and fluoroquinolone antibiotics, I no longer feel the need to continue regular treatment! I still have some physical issues, but honestly, some of that might just be age, as it’s been just over a decade since my initial injury. Either way, I have been able to take on more and more responsibilities and live life more fully. The other night my husband and I went out on a double date, planned ahead of time no less! I’m raising two kids, one with a disability and the other who I’m homeschooling right now (she’s writing an essay as I’m typing this). I’m managing my Benzo Brains channel with over 7,500 followers, my Teachings of Jesus Christ Facebook page and YouTube channel where I create weekly videos. I’m still serving as an advisor to The Alliance for Benzodiazepine Best Practices, a founding member of The Council for Sustainable Healing, and now, out of necessity, I’m managing this website. To top that all off, I still fill orders every week for CBD oil and lotion for our mom and pop business Leefly Organics!
I must be crazy right? But I’m not. I’ve only every wanted to help people and that’s what each of these endeavors allows me to do. That and God’s grace. I only have the time and energy to do it all because a Higher Power orchestrates everything, not for my benefit, but for yours and everyone else who is within the sound of my voice. That said, there are some things that I do want just for my own selfish purposes. If I could rub a magic lamp and make one wish, I would ask for my son to be healed. I’ve spent the last 5 years watching my him struggle with chronic pain, nausea, fatigue, sensitivities, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and OCD, all triggered by his response to a couple of doses of Azithromycin.
Just when I was on the cusp of really healing and getting my life back, my son became so disabled I had to lift him in and out of a wheelchair on our way to visit specialists around the valley, searching for solutions. I was told repeatedly by various doctors that it was all in his head and he needed to take psych meds. Can you say deja vu?! It was like my benzo/floxed experience all over again! Eventually, I followed my instincts and ditched traditional western medicine for alternative approaches. When I first began stem cell therapy, I originally went for my son’s sake. We went to Mexico hoping the doctors there could help him. But they felt he was too young to receive stem cells. Looking back now I can see that we still had a lot to learn. Before Nathaniel could truly benefit from improved health, we had to diagnose and tackle the severe and enigmatic obsessive compulsive disorder he had developed. But now it’s time to move on.
IT’S TIME TO HEAL.
Dr. Calzada finally consented to treat Nathaniel, and his dad agreed to accompany him to Mexico this year while I stayed behind to take care of our daughter. Sitting at home, unable to do anything other than pray for my son, I reached out to an online religious prayer group. Over the years of relying on support groups for help with my benzo recovery, I’ve had experience with asking for prayers from my Christian benzo support community. And I’ve seen miracles in doing so. There’s a power in hearts knit together in purpose and prayer that cannot be replicated on my own. Tears flowed down my face as I received hundreds of comments and thousands of responses to my plea for prayers on behalf of my son. A long standing prayer of mine for my son to meet a friend was immediately answered as a mom messaged me, telling me about her chronically ill teenage son and asking if Nathaniel might be interested in getting to know him. Then my husband began to give me daily updates about our son’s treatments . . .
Above is a picture of Nathaniel in Tijuana standing in front of a statue of Abraham Lincoln holding broken chains. What a perfect metaphor for all our hopes for healing for our son! I’m happy to say that after 3 days of treatment we saw remarkable results. Nathaniel was chatty and lively with his new found energy. He began to stand upright, once he was no longer doubled over with constant 5-7 level pain in his stomach, and he even told his dad “Wow, you’re shorter!”. We discovered Nathaniel has grown to a full 5’7″. This was bitter-sweet as I also know he has not put on any weight over the past year. But just the other night he broke 100lbs! Woohoo! The plan is to celebrate with some very inflammatory Waffle Luv waffles.
I know this little glimpse into our lives might be bitter-sweet for you all as well. Like me, I’m sure you’re overjoyed when you see someone slay the benzo beast. And I’m sure it’s painful to compare your own progress to those who are much farther down the road. I know you would give anything to discover that some treatment or other might help you. I know many wish they could simply have the financial means and other resources just to try something like this in the first place. I wish I had enough resources myself to provide everyone that opportunity. I really do. So I guess that would be my second wish when I rub that lamp. But I also know that every journey looks different, and that it’s for a good reason. And yet, there are 3 things we all can have in common if we choose to learn and grow together through this experience:
- We all need help from a higher power, the God of our understanding, whatever that may look like.
- We all need to learn to stop relying on authority figures to take charge of our health and our choices, take back our agency and start taking responsibility for our own lives.
- We all need each other.
The one thing I believe we all ultimately desire (although it may manifest as a desire for healing, money, or a relationship) is to not feel disconnected, in other words, to be deeply connected with others. Think about that for a second and see if it rings true for you. If it does, then guess what? You don’t need a magic lamp! Just start with number 1, connect there. Move on to number 2, learning to love and accept all versions of yourself, past, present and future. Then, when you’ve got that down, you can expand to number 3, creating the ultimate connection and intimacy you desire in healthy ways from here on out. There is peace in connection, joy in unity, and miracles in love.
I HOPE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU EXPERIENCES A MIRACLE.