Growing up, it seemed that I was the only child in a family of six who had constant health needs to be reckoned with. The most chronic illness I encountered was Atopic Dermatitis, an acute painful skin condition that is similar to eczema. The main difference between the two conditions was that mine was connected to both asthma and hay fever, which intensified when the seasons changed. I had grown accustomed to visiting the dermatologist on a monthly basis, only to be prescribed the same topical steroids over and over. The skin condition was sporadic throughout my adolescence but worsened in my adulthood.
As an adult the skin condition began to take over my life. The pain caused by small open wounds all over my body kept me from sleeping through the night. At first I was able to compensate by taking short naps in the day. But when I began attending school again, it ruined me. So I resorted to over-the counter sleeping pills, often tripling the dose, in order to sleep just two short hours. As a result of these health problems, my overall health suffered. I lost confidence in myself and was humiliated by my appearance. When I was in public, mothers would often guard their children around me, people would stare at me or flinch when they saw my hands covered in scratches, sores and blood.
In May of 2008, I was in a rural village in India doing missionary work (this is what I am in school for) when suddenly my heart began to race, making me dizzy and nauseous. My hearing started to wane and before I knew it I couldn’t walk any further. I informed my teammates that something was wrong with my heart and I needed to lie down. I was shuffled into a small mud hut and felt my heart rate rise to 100…120…130. This type of thing would continue to happen to me at random times, I couldn’t predict what would trigger the symptoms but it was very painful. After a year of suffering through these various problems, often times happening all at once, I was able to receive assistance to see a cardiologist to address the heart issue. It’s an arrhythmia condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia. At it’s worst, my teachers encouraged me to check out of school for a semester in order to focus on regaining my health. After wearing a heart monitor for a month and various visits, the cardiologist told me I wasn’t eligible for surgery, “You’re just going to have to learn to deal with it.” I was devastated. I was only 26 at the time, not the kind of news a young woman wants to hear.
In the late summer of 2010, my skin had reached it’s worst. It was inflamed, cracking, bleeding- very painful to say the least. My husband would wake up every couple of hours to apply different lotions, salves, burn relief and ointments just to ease the pain for a couple hours. Although I had changed my diet drastically to aid in my skin condition, it wasn’t enough- even combined with multiple lotions! Then, in September I came to a vaccine seminar hosted by Exodus. I thought I might come in for a consultation; I had nothing to lose at that point.
After discovering that my neck lacked the arc of life as well as my spine being slightly curved, I began to get adjusted three times a week, in addition to taking probiotics and berry greens. Within the first week, my insomnia was gone! Within the next several weeks, I realized I wasn’t scratching my skin, there were no scales, blisters or wounds anywhere. Although the change was gradual, it wasn’t slow. Everybody was complimenting me on my skin and how it glowed. My heart hasn’t given me any problems either, which is a huge relief. Members of my community were excited to see my body heal, as they have been a part of my journey to healing.
As somebody training to live in India in the near future, I count it a priority to be in good health so that I am both able to serve and be an example of health. I am planning to be in India with my husband a few others this upcoming summer, I look forward to a better experience full of strength, energy and life! In doing so, we will be taking the example of Christ by offering holistic healing to those we serve- showing concern for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the community.