Hope in the Face of Discouraging Words – Part Three of My Medical Health Journey

HopeSo, many (very many) weeks later, I am finally posting again. *sigh* I am determined to write more this year! I promise! Today I am continuing with Part Three of my medical health journey, which will complete this series. I am excited to finish this because I am ready to move on to other things! If you are just now joining me, or if you need a refresher since it’s been FOREVER since my previous posts, here is a little bit of a recap: In Part One, I talked about how I grew up on pharmaceuticals and used them liberally for the health issues that I faced, including allergies, asthma, thyroid disease, and GERD. Really, I am probably not much different than most Americans, since prescription and OTC drugs are so commonplace in almost every household, they are practically like family. In Part Two, I discussed how the medications I was taking were failing to help me (and also were actually hurting me), and how my conventional medical doctors had given me the old “There is nothing more we can do for you” and “you’ll just have to learn to live with it” spiel.

So today in Part Three, I want to talk about how I moved forward after receiving those very discouraging words from my trusted docs. When your quality of life is so poor that you have difficulty just getting out of bed and doing normal everyday activities, and your doctors say there is nothing that can help you get better, that is pretty devastating, to say the least. My health problems were getting worse, and my body tissues had started swelling really badly. I had already gained some weight due to the problems with my thyroid—enough so, that someone asked me when my baby was due, and I wasn’t expecting (yep, that’s always a great feeling and a boost to the ego!) and I’m sure she wasn’t the only one who thought I was. But the swelling made me look even more huge and all the more unhealthy, and it was also quite painful. I look back at pictures from that time and I hardly recognize myself. It’s bad enough to feel bad, but when you look awful too, that makes it even harder. I was already depressed, and that just made me sink even lower. That, compounded with some very devastating losses and challenges in my life that happened throughout 2010, made me wonder if things could get any worse. But by the beginning of 2011, I had a new resolve. I was determined to get well.

berkey ceramic water filter for well water

I was praying daily for an answer as to what to do and where to go. Then a sweet friend who was praying for me and knew my situation told me about a family friend of hers, a naturopath who specializes in deep tissue and lymphatic massage. I booked my first appointment with her, and we sat down to discuss my laundry list of issues.

Can I tell you how encouraged I was just to hear her say that she could help me, that I didn’t have to live the rest of my life being miserable? She gave me more hope than I had had in months—maybe years. The first thing I did was to start Drugs in trashweaning off the medications I was on, replacing them with natural herbs and supplements, and essential oils. Within the first few weeks, I could tell a huge difference! I was feeling better, and more like my old self again! It took awhile to wean off all the meds I was taking, and let me tell you, it was NOT a fun experience. There are detox symptoms/reactions when you stop using almost any drug, and some of mine were really bad. I had horrible allergy symptoms almost daily for a couple of months. That was one of the ways the garbage was getting out of my system. My face broke out terribly and stayed that way for about 8 months as the toxins made their way out through my skin. Getting off the Nexium was the worst, as the rebound issues it created were horrible–reflux and pain 5-10 times worse than I ever experienced before. There were times I thought seriously about giving up, but I kept telling myself that I had already gotten too far along in the process to quit.  I am SO thankful I stuck it out. The difference in how I felt was remarkable, and I believe it was absolutely worth everything I went through to get to that point.

I was feeling better and doing better, but after a year, I still wasn’t completely WELL. I believed I had taken the first big step of the journey, but that I still had a ways to go. After much prayer and discussion with my husband, in July of 2012 I decided to go see a doctor in Frisco, an hour and a half drive from my house. This doctor is a chiropractor/naturopath who specializes in Nutrition Muscle Response Testing and also treats with whole food supplements and essential oils. He came highly recommended by a trusted family member. So off I went, with excitement and anticipation.

Well, I finally found what I was looking for—someone who could help me! The verdict? I had both a widespread fungal infection and a widespread parasitic infection that had ravaged my body. In fact, that was precisely what was wrong with my thyroid—it was one of the organs most damaged by infection, and that is why it wasn’t functioning properly. I was over-the-top excited to learn that this damage was entirely reversible, and that once my thyroid was healed, I would no longer have “thyroid disease!” Quite a different story than I had been told by the conventional medical doctors. I was also so very encouraged to hear that I could eventually overcome all my medical issues and get WELL!! It would take some time, which was understandable—all that damage didn’t happen overnight, so the healing wouldn’t either! But one day, I would be healthy again!

So where am I now in this journey? I am finally fungus- and parasite-free (WOO HOO!), and currently working to heal the damage to my thyroid and other organs. My asthma and my GERD are so much better, and that is without any medications. My allergies have taken a little longer to get better, but I am finally doing just as well as I ever did with meds, only I’m not taking any drugs–AND, I haven’t had a sinus infection in at least 2 years! The swelling in my body is gone and I am back to my normal weight again. I am feeling SO MUCH better than I have in years, and am continually getting stronger and having more energy each day as I move further along in the healing process. I still have some issues we are working through (it’s like peeling layers off an onion), but I have already seen so much progress. I think it is pretty clear how and why I have made the paradigm shift from conventional medicine and pharmaceuticals to alternative healing options. I am so optimistic about my health at this point in my life, and about my family’s health, and so grateful for this journey and where it has taken me. I am thankful for key people in my life who helped me to get to this point. I am thankful for my husband who has been there for me every step of the way. And I am thankful to God who is THE HEALER! Without Him, none of this would be possible.

There is one last thing I want to say about all this. The mind-body connection is VERY strong and a large part of healing comes from how people perceive their illnesses and prognoses. It grieves me that there are doctors out there who are squelching the hopes of patients by telling them that their situation is hopeless, that there is nothing that can be done for them. I believe that is truly a tragedy. I am not a proponent of giving people false hope, but I think when you take away any shred of hope people have, that is absolutely devastating to them–mentally for sure, but physically as well, and it can serve to function much like a self-fulfilling prophecy in their lives. I pray that my journey might encourage those who may have lost their hope to get well or feel better. I have had my own hope restored by those who have come alongside me and encouraged me not to listen to the naysayers and not to accept simply one school of thought. I have seen healing in my life that my previous doctors said could never be. And in the lives of others I know, I have seen miracles come out of the bleakest and darkest of situations and complete healing in impossible scenarios. No matter what the diagnosis, I think there is always, ALWAYS hope. And I think there is plenty of it to go around.

Thank you for allowing me to share this journey with you. I would love to hear your stories of hope and healing! Please share!


This story is my own personal journey and one I chose of my own will after much prayer and research. Please do not substitute my judgment for your own when it comes to your health. I am not a medical professional, nor do I advocate making any major changes to your health management without seeking the help and advice of someone (or a multitude of counselors) who is qualified to help you make responsible decisions for your unique and individual situation.

I'd love to hear what you have to say!

About Susan Cunningham

Susan lives in Texas with her husband and son. She loves sharing about her faith in Jesus, writing, homeschooling her boy, natural living, eating real food, pursuing health and wellness, and teaching others about essential oils. She blogs about real life at www.livethereallife.com.

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