Oh boy. Woo-woo. There’s no faster way to earn your very own leper colony than by saying you believe in something “woo-woo”. Trust me. I’ve been on both sides of the equation. With that said, I’d like to say that I don’t believe in a lot of things; levitation, alien abductions, astral projection, love potions, etc. My perspective is a bit more unique than most in that I have a fairly hefty disease. Ulcerative Colitis. It’s very similar to Crohn’s, but my lower intestine takes the full brunt, and I’m more likely to get cancer. Crohn’s has its own fun problems. It’s wild.
I Was a Baby Witch.
I grew up in a mildly “woo-woo” house. Andrew Weil was someone to trust, fruits and veggies were my friends, Native Americans can heal anything, and video games might kill you. We were wildly modern and hip, but we did look at things from a different perspective. Hell, I loathed hamburgers, hot dogs, and mac & cheese until I was a teenager! So my parents never pushed anything on me, and when I wanted weird “magic” things at the age of 10, no one questioned it. I was quirky. Tarot cards and a book called Dancing With Dragons. Go ahead, make fun of me. Just don’t expect me to talk to the dragons on your behalf!
I dabbled and wished. I thought was a powerful witch. Ha. Then we moved.
Ya Got Da Colitis!
I was diagnosed with Colitis at the ripe ol’ age of 11. New school, new friends, strange place, funny accent (or my lack thereof), and a brand spankin’ new disease! Did the stress trigger the disease? Was it such a drastic geographic switch? Was it hormones in food? No one knows, but I had it, so who cares? Fix me.
Let me tell you a bit about IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease, not to be confused with Irritable Bowel Syndrome); there is no cure, not even surgery. There is only a shoddy kind of remission. The methods used to reach that remission are bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face. A doctor’s medications of choice tend to cause liver damage/lymphoma, so they watch your liver function like a hawk. Then prolonged use of steroids can send your hormones through the ringer, you might grow weird hairs, and potentially stunt your growth. Of course, there is always surgery! The doctor cuts out the damaged bits, which could be a little, lot, or all. It might work, it might not.
To me, none of those options are very holistically curing. Holistically damaging? Definitely! For a disease that attacks holistically, shouldn’t there be a way of looking at it that addresses the whole instead of “treating” the individual symptoms? I have Colitis, and from that I’ve acquired rheumatism, anemia, tendonitis, and clinical depression. Never has a single individual tried to treat them together (clearly they all stem from one issue), until now…
Enter Woo-Woo Brigade Stage Left!
After 16 years of doctor hopping, side-effects from poisonous medication, horrifying bedside manners, and scare-tactics, I found myself in the waiting room of a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner. A friend sent me to him after he had cured her ailment in less than a day, and she said he could do the same for me. Now, I get people telling me how to “heal” myself all the time. You should be vegetarian! Have you tried paleo? Just meditate. Yoga fixes all! Maybe it’s all in your head. My cousin’s neighbour’s aunt has IBS and drinks a glass of lemon juice and cow piss! Seriously, it’s absurd. For some reason this one spoke to me and this particular person went so far out of their way that I had to listen.
The doctor (he is one, a real one) whacked me around with one of those chiropractor guns, stuck me full of needles, and actually TALKED to me. It wasn’t an in and out appointment, which is what I’m used to; a doctor that barely looks up from a clipboard, that thinks you are the flesh sack embodiment of a medical history to be dissected. Nope, he asked about my past, my personal past, not the history of my disease. In fact, when I mentioned my disease, he waved it aside as if it was a minor player in a much bigger picture. I had always felt that way, so it was amazing to have someone confirm it.
It Worked. He’s a Witch.
Basically just that; it worked. Within a few weeks, I was doing amazing. This was the first time in a long time when I didn’t have to have a constant mental map of every public restroom in a 2 miles radius. Dr. Witch (this is how I’ll refer to him from now on and in future posts) had prescribed some Chinese herbs, but other than that it was a lot of visualizing the things that hurt, angered, and saddened me. I’m not going to go into the details of the exercises, but suffice to say, you will cry and ya better buy a journal. Alas, I started doubting. I stopped doing my “homework”, listened to people who doubted my personal experience, and started to feel silly. Voila! Sick again. We worked to get me back, but ultimately he sent me to an herbalist to “heal the inside.”
I’ve been back in square one for a bit now. The herbalist knew right off the bat what to give me, what symptoms I had, and what those symptoms meant. She knew that I had been having a flare-up for a long time based on some of the things I told her. Later I would look up that Colitis is more common than Crohn’s in Asia. Go figure. Six little BB-sized pills, three time a day, for a month. If that doesn’t work, she has a tea that apparently tastes like toe jam deep-fried in dog drool. Fingers crossed. Then I can go back to Dr. Witch!
Blockin’ Out the Haterzzz!
Listening to the doubt and closed-mindedness of others ultimately lead to my downfall. IF SOMETHING WORKS FOR SOMEONE, IF IT MAKES THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE BETTER, WHY GIVE THEM GRIEF FOR IT?! I wasn’t eating babies, slapping grandmas, or sacrificing kittens to Ra the God of Sun. I was learning about chakras, having needles jammed in me, choking down herbs, and talking to the occasional crystal. Pretty harmless stuff. Why did someone have to plant seeds of doubt in my mind?
Something Dr. Witch told me was that I’m allowed to be mean. Stop trying to see the world through rose-coloured glasses. I delete people that don’t accept that what’s best for me might be different. I’m tired of the lectures, and I refuse to make space for the people who give them. I have had this awful disease for over half my life, and that kinda makes me more knowledgeable than Stan with the MBA on what I should or shouldn’t do. I finally found something that; A) Wasn’t going to cause liver failure, B) Wasn’t going to make me sweat buckets every night, C) Looked at how my WHOLE BODY was responding, and D) Was working and now, again, IS working. It’s not like I’ve rejected gravity, think fossils were put there by aliens, or believe the Earth is flat. I love science, but science doesn’t know everything.
Holistic healing for a disease that attacks holistically. This was my shower thought, and I decided to share my experience. I’m going to try my damnedest to be as open about my woo-woo journey as possible from here on out! Crystals, chakras, acupuncture, herbs, Tibetan singing bowls, aromatherapy, blah, blah, blah. Feel free to scoff, but it’s working for me. If you have a problem with it, insert my middle finger here. I might be a “free spirit” but I’m done taking guff off anyone.