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Archive for August 31st, 2012

New book encourages YOU to take the driver’s seat in your search for health

I want to go off-topic today to write about something really important. It was a year ago today that my mom

Betty P. Orsini
1/8/1929-8/31/2011

passed away from a massive stroke. She was in a nursing home and her health had been declining for some time. Nearly a dozen years earlier, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease – a diagnosis I protested futilely for nearly that entire time. “It doesn’t present like Alzheimer’s!”I would tell her neurologist, again and again, only to be told each time that he was the doctor and this was what his test results indicated. His test results were wrong, I just knew it – but I had no way of proving or validating my point.

After the stroke that eventually claimed her life, a specialist was called in at my older sister’s request. He spoke to my younger sister, asking, “What exactly are you expecting me to do? We can’t save her.”

My younger sister told him, “I just want you to release her back to hospice.”

Our older sister was protesting our hospice decision and needed the word of a doctor before she’d accept the reality: Mom was going to die. Turns out, she did all of us a huge favor, because the doctor also said something that resolved my years and years of bafflement. He explained that in looking at my mom’s CAT scans, it was obvious that she had severe vascular dementia – meaning she’d probably suffered a severe stroke, or a series of strokes, much earlier in her life. Vascular dementia – not Alzheimer’s.

Ever since I can remember, my mom was always a bit off, but the very noticeable decline began just before the

Source: helpguide.org/elder/vascular_dementia.htm

Alzheimer’s diagnosis. To us, the dementia presented like mental illness. Odd behavior. Tantrums. Rambling sentences that made no sense of any kind. All of which were punctuated by periods of extreme lucidity – times when, heart-breakingly, she’d tell my sister she felt like she was going crazy. If only we’d known, we might have been able to do something. Stroke damage is permanent – but we might have been able to allay the future strokes and assuage some of the more severe symptoms.

As difficult as it is to think about and write this, my message to you is this:

If you know in your heart you are right about something so important, stand up for yourself and/or your loved ones and demand to be heard!

My client, Natasha Deonarain, is a medical doctor who has written a book called The 7 Principles of Health. In it, she outlines steps each of us can take to reclaim our health – and they begin with wresting control back from the doctors. Doctors are not infallible – but somewhere along the way, in the establishment of our current medical system, we’ve given them all the power to decide for us. Natasha’s main point is that doctors can’t lead us to health because they’re trained in disease, and they all begin from a place of disease orientation first. In order to find health and healing, we must begin from a health orientation. That means it’s up to US – not the doctors – to find our own paths to health.

It’s a great book – one I would recommend even if I hadn’t worked on it. Be warned, however: if you grew up with the mindset that the doctor is always right, this book will shake your belief system to its core. But I promise you will come out better for it on the other side. The book is still a few months from publication, but you can visit Natasha’s website to download Chapter 1.

Since my mom passed away, I’ve often wondered what it would be like to talk with her now. Not as a ghost or a spirit, but without the filter of the illness. What would it be like to have a normal conversation with her? What would it be like to have a real mother-daughter relationship? I don’t miss her in the way that most daughters probably miss their moms who’ve died. I miss what might have been – but more than that, I’m glad she’s finally free.

Please use your voice and speak up while you still have the chance to make a difference for yourself and those you love. And reserve a copy of Natasha’s book. You’ll be glad you did.

Laura

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