On Tuesday, September 25, around 8:30 p.m., I put the homeopathic remedy under my tongue, let it dissolve and went to sleep.
Now let’s do a brief overview: on July 13 there was a power outage at my apartment building, which led to evacuation to the nearest hotel. My worst problem is immune dysfunction, type undiagnosed, and stress devastates the immune system. I was, therefore, devastated.
July 20: Nurse from the Visiting Nurse Association totally fails to see what’s happening and so they terminate me, leaving me with no one to change the indwelling catheter tube.
July 24: My family doctor and I decide that it’s time for a referral to Hospice. The road has become too long and steep; I’m ready to quit climbing.
Hospice refuses the referral. A PRI (Patient Review Instrument) is done. I score CC7—Critically Complex 7—which means that I should be in a skilled nursing facility.
August 20: Long Term Care increases my home aide coverage from 12-1/2 hours a week to 24-1/2 hours.
No one in the system is designated with the responsibility of procuring a nursing home placement for me. My trustee, aide and I try to muddle through but are unsuccessful. Weeks go by before I finally find Cecelia Resti at the Westcott Community Center. She is the Neighborhood Advisor from the Office of Aging, and she is experienced in doing nursing home placements. She tells me that nursing homes are refusing me, saying they only take patients from hospitals.
At this point, chronic fatigue has me bedridden. If I get out of bed then I become short of breath; when I turn over in bed, I get dizzy. Depression from the chronic fatigue syndrome is a constant problem. I drift through time, often uncertain whether I am awake or asleep. I am too confused to attend to business; I no longer can stay focused long enough to watch a television show.
My glucose level is around 450, and I’m eating Peppermint Patties, Fritos and ice cream. My aide keeps the refrigerator stocked with healthy food but I don’t eat it. A succession of unknown aides arrives at 8:30 a.m. to get me breakfasted and bathed, then they leave. Most days I am alone 22 hours. Three afternoons a week, Melia comes to cook and clean.
September 14: I call an ambulance to take me to the hospital. I leave my home, expecting that I never will see it again.
In hospital, I respond to the normalizing effects of human contact and proper diet. When I realize that Medicare will not provide full coverage for me because I cannot take drugs, I get mad and decide to fight back. I will live!
But how, since I can’t take drugs? My doctors and I work steadily and persistently to try to identify and gain access to non-pharmaceutical interventions. Dr. Tucker and I make another attempt to find an effective dose of insulin that I can tolerate.
Dr. Edwards talks about homeopathy, which I’ve never tried. That brings us to last Tuesday night, when I popped four homeopathic pills, as small as the head of pin, under my tongue. Dr. Mohan, the homeopathic, told me not to eat or drink—or even brush my teeth—for half an hour before and after taking the remedy. I called it the Dragon Tail Remedy, and kept a diary of what happened next:
Wednesday 26 September
Woke up after nine hours sleep and felt like dancing.
Blood sugar 341
I got the table in! St. Joe’s got new beds but didn’t get new tray tables and the tables don’t interface with the beds. For eleven days I have been trapped in bed, having to wait for an outsider to come and move the table. Today I figured out how to do it and have done it repeatedly. Problem-solving skill reactivated. Yeah, freedom!
6:35 a.m. Felt a rush.
7:00 a.m. Felt a warm flash when I started eating.
8:30 Got out of bed, brushed teeth, washed face, etc., and went back to bed without it having tired me out. That’s new.
9:15 Laid down for nap. Without intention, started taking exceptionally deep breaths.
I do self-hypnosis for sleep. Starting at the head and working down to the feet; starting with 10 and working down to one; starting with “getting sleepy . . . perfect peace,” etc. Also, affirmations of internal organs—“lungs are breathing well . . . heart is healthy . . .” etc. When I got to my pancreas, before I could talk to it, a cartoon man appeared from it, upper body only, green with round yellow head and hands. It was dancing and singing “RHUMBA, RHUMBA, BOOMP, BOOMP . . . RHUMBA, RHUMBA, BOOMP, BOOMP!” Apparently my pancreas is really getting off on the Dragon Tail Remedy.
11:29 a.m. Every time I hear music, I start swaying, tapping and bouncing to it. Haven’t done that in months—or years?
11:40 a.m. I am seriously hungry! I’ve been eating regular meals at regular times since I was admitted twelve days ago but I haven’t had any appetite. Now, I do.
11:45 a.m. Blood sugar is 371; nurse says, “Sorta dipping.”
11:50 I start singing along with Frank Sinatra: “If you are among the very young at heart.” Haven’t sung along with anything in months.
Another warm flash when I start lunch.
Out of bed for two hours—an hour more than any time since I was admitted.
2:00 p.m. My toes are wiggling! I haven’t had any reflexes for years and years, and my legs lay motionless in bed. I haven’t had any spontaneous movement in my legs or feet for longer than I can remember and now my toes are wiggling. I laid down for a nap, rested, but did not sleep, for 50 minutes, rolled over on my back to contemplate the universe or the inside of my eyelids, whichever came first, and my feet started talking.