|An Alternative Approach For Myasthenia Gravis|
[ March/April 2000 ]
An Alternative Approach For Myasthenia Gravis
by Laura Philemenof
"Mom, I have double vision!" exclaimed my 13-year old daughter, Kristin, on June 12, 1994. After two days, my daughter's double vision did not improve. Her eyelids began drooping and she experienced fatigue as well.
Consulting with a pediatric ophthalmologist led us to a neuro-ophthalmologist. A diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis (MG) at least gave us a starting point. Since MG typically affects women in their 40s or men in their 60s or 70s, even more questions transpired with the diagnosis of a 13-year old child. MG documented in children under the age of 18 is rare.
Kristin continued to experience typical symptoms of MG: extremely droopy eyelids (ptosis), double vision (diplopia), facial paralysis, respiratory difficulties, and arm/leg weakness which all worsened with fatigue. Kristin became more disabled and doctors did not have hope for our once healthy daughter. Our faith and prayers, however, kept us going each day.
By August, the muscle strength in Kristin's arms and legs had diminished substantially, and her chewing and swallowing inability meant facial paralysis. In September, we decided to enroll her in school anyway, without ever realizing what lay ahead for her. By October, our teenage daughter found the wheelchair her main mode of mobility. We fought each day to stay strong for our daughter but we were forced to take her out of school. Home schooling our invalid daughter and becoming her eyes, arms, and legs became our new life.
Kristin began taking the prescribed Mestinon® in 60-mg doses as directed. We declined several other prescription drugs offered for her illness. The research we followed indicated to us that Mestinon was the only acceptable drug that would not make Kristin's illness a life-long challenge. We declined the surgery to remove the thymus gland (a thymectomy) because the doctors could not find a tumor present. In some myasthenics, the enlargement of the thymus gland may indicate a thymoma, in which case removal of the gland is essential. Our reasoning for not removing the organ was that Kristin's thymus was healthy! Further, the thymus gland controls the immune system, and Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune illness.
One neurologist told Kristin to accept the wheelchair as a way of life and to accept the patch over her weak eye to eliminate the double vision. She then could use one eye instead of two! This mother's expectations of healing included more than drugs, immobility, and lack of vision, so this mother went to labor in prayer and in research.
Charting each symptom every day became a task in itself, but God told me to do this in a meticulous manner. I charted Kristin's blood pressure, blood sugar, and peak flow three times a day. Charting the number of hours she slept, the foods she ate, and the clothing she wore each day also proved valuable in her treatment. Her double vision, droopy eyelids, facial paralysis, respiratory difficulties, and arm/leg weakness became worse each day. Fatigue with this illness is great and only allows the existing symptoms to worsen.
Assigning an evaluative number to her health each day to indicate her well being became a valuable tool for us. A detailed monthly report updated every symptom and variance in each symptom of her illness. This information would prove the most helpful in her successful treatment.
After consulting with another neurologist, he stated, "You know more than I do about MG with your research; I cannot help." This humble response was a blessing for us, for it proved to us that our daughter's health was truly in God's hands.
Obtaining additional information on the Internet and finding doctors who knew anything about MG throughout the United States and the world was a task. Drug therapy and surgery was the immediate answer from the doctors to treat this illness, and only one doctor offered some form of alternative care.
Being familiar with alternative health care myself, I contacted a complementary medical doctor, Dr. Robert J. Rowen, in Anchorage. He encouraged me to continue my daily documentation of Kristin's symptoms until he could find more documentation and confirmation on treating MG.
In late October 1994, Dr. Rowen called us at home to inform us that a practitioner in Massachusetts suggested an experimental hormone treatment for our daughter. This treatment was not a guarantee for her healing, but both medical professionals felt that this treatment would balance her immune system. They at least expressed hope for our daughter that we had not heard from anyone else.
Six days later, Kristin received the experimental hormone solution intravenously on a daily basis. In one month, the results were dramatic. Kristin's droopy eyelids and double vision improved significantly; some of her strength was back, and her shallow breathing improved. However, her extreme fatigue and facial paralysis remained.
During this time, Kristin also received oxygen therapies administered by Dr. Rowen. Photo-Oxidation increased her energy levels; however, her veins were difficult to find so Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT:2) became the best choice for her. Increasing the oxygen saturation to her tissues through HBOT resulted in higher energy levels for Kristin. For MG this is crucial, because higher energy levels means less fatigue and less fatigue means fewer symptoms.
During the following six months, we also followed a program of colon and liver detoxification. Our entire family began to change our eating habits to include more fresh fruits and vegetables. Limiting meats, glutens, and excluding refined sugars and flours from our diet became a worthwhile challenge. Thoroughly cleaning fruits and vegetables with an herbal rinse to rid them of any pesticides, bacteria, or parasites was a daily ritual. If the food did not grow from a plant source, Kristin did not eat it. Our family continues to live by this nutritional plan for continued health.
With proper nutrition, I also began to study and use of vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements. I learned to test the nutritional deficiencies and need for supplements by using Contact Reflex Analysis, and Applied Kinesiology. Each of these tests helps to determine the types of foods Kristin could successfully eat and the nutritional deficiencies corrected by special nutritional supplements.
As tap water contains many bacteria, chlorine, and salts, our entire family began to drink only purified water. I also took all cleaning chemicals out of our home including laundry soap. I cleaned our home with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, sea salt, and water.
Kristin experienced more improvement, so in January and February the doctor and I decided to reduce the intravenous solution to three times a week. By mid-March, 1995, we saw even more improvement. We continued a strict use of vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements as well as alternative therapies. By June 1996, two years after Kristin's initial onset of MG, all of her symptoms diminished. When her stress level increased, however, she did become tired and her eyes drooped slightly.
In August of 1998, our family had an opportunity to travel to England. Knowing that Kristin would tire easily in the large airport and not wanting her to depend on a wheelchair, we needed a special blessing.
I prayed all night on a Saturday, and God answered my prayers again. I received a telephone call Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. about an immune modulator product. Requesting research and information on the product (Bio-Oleate: 3), I received the product on August 5 and Kristin began to take it immediately. After four days of use, Kristin arose as usual, and I asked her how she was feeling. She exclaimed, "Mom, this is the first time I felt normal in four years!" The results of this last natural treatment were fantastic. As Kristin walked two miles our first day in London, we saw a miracle of healing.
Kristin finished her senior year in May 1999, with great success. Not only was she able to walk and function normally all year, but she graduated with honors and sang a solo at her graduation. Five years before, we hoped that she would just be able to live.
Today, Kristin attends a Christian college taking 18 credits, singing in a touring honor choir, and taking part in the college yearbook. She teaches a youth program at her church each week, sings each month, and tends to 'Nana', a 93-year old lady who needs hospice care. She lives independently with three other girls in an apartment and walks to and from college. Fatigue is still a minor factor with Kristin occasionally. Then mom must remember that with this schedule, what college student would not be fatigued?
To prevent a relapse of the illness, Kristin continues the colon hydrotherapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy intermittently. She continues to use Contact Reflex Analysis to test all foods and nutritional supplements she consumes. (Anyone can learn this wonderful tool of testing for allergies, pesticides, and body approval.)
My quest for a total natural cure continues each day. Through this challenge, I am currently working toward a doctorate degree in nutrition and health sciences. As mother and daughter, Kristin and I faced a challenge. God's faithfulness proved to answer our prayers each day, a little at a time. God knew how fast to heal our daughter, and He knew the challenges we faced would allow us to grow and to share healing information with others.
For more information on any of the products or treatment programs mentioned above, readers may contact Laura Philemonof at (907) 338-1310, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.healthy-start-alaska.com.