The Recovery/Recovering Stories : ME/CFS is heterogeneous disorder with many different subsets. None of the treatments in the Recovery/Recovering stories will fit all or even most patients.
In May of last year I received an e-mail from Berit Frivold a chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patient who’d been ill for 13 years. Like many people she’d tried just about everything she could get her hands on and nothing had worked. She noted that
“I have been sick for almost 13 years now, kicking and screaming all the way, always looking for a way out, trying this, that, and the other, and always planning to be on my feet again sometime next week or next month (but) after 13 years I am more sick than ever, in spite of all the positive thinking, “can-do”-attitude, research, treatments and specialists of different calibers and price ranges, and so on. I’ve spent much of the years since 1995 sidelined and underground, severely limited by fatigue, pain, brainfog, headaches”
Both she and her husband were extremely frustrated at the inability of the medical profession to help her – doubly so because they were both part of it; she’s a registered nurse (RN) and he’s a cardiologist. Her husband noted his frustration in an e-mail.
“Despite devoting my life to helping people overcoming sickness I felt completely impotent when faced with the disabling illness my wife was experiencing. I first referred her to a well respected Rheumatologist at our University Medical Center. He was very supportive and open-minded. He helped her with the sleep issues and then over the years tried a variety of analgesics and antidepressants.
Berit’s health, however, continued to worsen.
They went the alternative route trying acupuncture, allergy, kinesiology and with the help of the Internet various treatments such as elimination diets, different supplements, etc. At a chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) clinic in Torrance, Ca. after donating 26 vials of blood Berit went on thyroid replacement and a variety of supplements.
Her husband, however, became alarmed when she was prescribed an array of strong anti-pathogenic drugs including two antibacterials (Septra, Rifampin), an antiviral (Amantadine) two antifungal pills, silver colloid IV infusion and IM immunoglobulin injections – all at once. After doing a literature review and consulting with several infectious disease specialists he felt the treatment constituted a ‘shot in the dark’ that could have significant potential side effects and they stopped the treatment.
Her search for a cure at this point was just about over – managing the disease seemed to be the best she could hope for. Her participation in her family’s life was at a nadir; she’d been unable to attend a single of her son’s school events over the past year.
She did have one last option though. She contacted me in May, 2008 because I was doing the Amygdala Retraining process and she was going to try a similar process…Originally from Norway, she reported that a nursing friend from school who’d had severe ME/CFS for two decades stated that she’d been cured. Digging a bit deeper she found more stories of cures. Berit decided to fly back to Norway and give it one last shot. She did the Lightning Process course on July 4th, 5th and 6th, 2008.
I next heard from her almost a year later. Her tone had changed considerably. She apologized for not following up on sooner but noted that…
“Having my health back is busy! I had so many things to catch up on, with my kids, with my house, with just enjoying feeling “normal”.
She state that she’d gone into the process cautiously, not setting her sights too high. As someone with deep roots in the traditional medical profession she also had her share of skepticism and was somewhat surprised that she survived the ‘evaluation round’. (Patients must ‘apply’ and be accepted for the Lightning Process). Nevertheless she reported that the process had worked for her very quickly:
“I experienced a clear shift within the three day training…. I continued using the techniques over the next days and weeks, and was amazed at the effect on things that I had felt quite hopeless about, like brainfog, ‘blood sugar balance’, dizziness, sensitivity issues etc.”
Neural Plasticity – What does she attribute her success to? Neural plasticity and neural retraining – two processes that I believe have helped me greatly with the Amygdala Retraining process and other mindfulness techniques. This is all about creating new neurological pathways. It’s a process that stroke victims use all the time to increase their functioning. She noted that
“ Underpinning the LP is an understanding of the theory of neuroplasticity and how it is possible to improve physiological function by re establishing better neurological patterns. For me this helped explain my cleared physiological symptoms and provided me with tools to influence the recovery process.”
Doing the process has clearly been a life-changing event for her. It isn’t for everyone – I’ve have heard from people who have not had this kind of success but for Berit the LP was the key that unlocked the door to health.
“I have gotten my life back, and I can’t stop being excited about it, celebrating every day. An added bonus is when people around me comment on it, and wonders what kind of amazing super-vitamins I am on, comments on me looking healthy, even ( dare I say ) younger :)
Her husband concurred. This former nurse married to a cardiologist is now, of all things, training to be a Lightning Process practitioner. Her husband was skeptical whether she was up to the monthly flights to UK.
Traveling once a month from Loma Linda, CA to LAX and then to London – and then attend all-day lectures – first appeared like an impossible challenge, but have gone over like I could NEVER have imagined. After having gotten up at 5:30 AM in London, and traveled all day to Los Angeles – then 2-3 hours by shuttle from the airport – she has on more than one occasion come straight to a program at school (like a band-concert) and enjoyed it…. (Last year she only came to one such program – and I had to take her home – exhausted – before the program started).
Life is not perfect her husband noted that “She still has some days with sub-optimal energy, but don’t we all… she does experience some jet-lag, and can over-do house cleaning etc. – and drag some the next day.” Berit now has normal ‘problems’, that healthy people everywhere do; her old energy and level of health are back. Her husband, of course, was very thankful:
“Over the years I had resigned to the fact that the kids and I would have to plan our lives with very limited support from Berit. Now she is back in our lives and we love it!”
Berit and her husband have opened a website on her experiences. When we were in contact last June she was training to become an LP practitioner. Judging from her site she’s become one. For more on Berit’s story click here.