Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Hola Mexico!

The point at which my health went down hill; age ten. Caught a chest infection off the Lung Function machine at my annual check up. Cough presented from then on out. On and off oral anti-biotics kept it under control, plus lots of VitC, Vit A, garlic, Echinacea and zinc supplements. Despite this health was deteriorating gradually. In Australia I saw countless of the best complementary medicine practitioners around, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, Homeopathy, Osteopathy, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Naturopathy... there's more, but you get the picture! Each one helped in their own small way, but could never completely fix the cough. It had already caused lung damage. You may be thinking,"well if the natural approach is so great, why did you get sick?". First of all, it only helps, assists and contributes to my general well being. The degenerative effects of CF are too big to tackle with a little remedy here and there (my goal being to slow down the degeneration). It seems common for CF to flare up during teen years, hormones and a teenage attitude probably contribute. Once lung damage occurs, its an uphill battle. Why didn't natural remedies prevent the damage? Like I said I hit 10 and beyond and became rebellious toward my health. I felt good and took it for granted. I didn't think it would hurt to have as much junk food as I could get my hands on while mum wasn't there! That's one reason, I also stopped physical activity by at least 75% compared to what I was doing before the age of ten. I didn't think, period!

Another cause to my health decline, without going into details, was that my family experienced a very difficult period. Which caused me more trauma than I can say. This traumatic period lasted until I was 17. Stress has a very detrimental effect on health.

I ended up in intensive care unit for a week, after a bout of serious pneumonia, which I might add had hit Adelaide in general that year with a vengeance. I flat lined. My oxygen level dropped below 75. I could hear them getting those electric shock paddles out. I was thinking,"I don't want to die, please God, not now, not now, not now, please please please". I felt my body floating just above my still body on the bed and then woosh, back it came... they said I needed to go on the list for a liver, heart and double lung transplant.

So Mexico? Why on earth Mexico? True they're not particularly renowned for CF treatment. But there is a cluster of hospitals across the boarder that provide sick people, mostly Cancer patients, with different choices of treatments and therapies. It is considered by the medical profession as radical and false, that's why the hospitals that do this have to set up in Mexico, because the FDA don't approve of them.


"Hatter: Have I gone mad? 
[Alice checks Hatter's temperature] 
Alice: I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are." 

So what led me to this "madness"? Well first off, it's not nuts. That is an assumption made from ignorance. True, unfortunately there are false people in the alternative health scene that are to be avoided like the plague. Generally, people who offer quick expensive fixes are not to be trusted.
It was concluded that I needed hospital care. We consulted with the Children's Hospital, which unfortunately was also one of the most traumatic consults of my life. It was scary. I think had the doctor's manner been better I may not have been so terrified. The 6 foot + doctor manhandled me down the corridors by the back of the neck into the physio room to get percussion's from the physio, but he hurt me. It was so tight and rough that I was scared. Given the home issue, I was a bit hypersensitive too. They said admission "right now". Mum had the pen ready to sign the admission papers, I was beside myself. I tugged at her sleave and begged to go home. So we said we needed to go home to pack a bag and we'll be back later... Pack a bag alright!! To Mexico!!

Enter the mind of one who chooses to take an alternate path... In an instant I grew up. I took responsibility and for the first time grasped what was a stake. The inevitable end, which I could see my life leading to at the Australian hospital, was terrifying to me. I had experienced life without constant hospitilisation, I craved it again. I didn't want to live like that. I wanted a family. If I stayed on their course there was no hope of that. These thoughts were not talked about, nobody influenced me to think this. I surmised it by witnessing what the hospital's here offered, the life other CF patients had to lead. I wouldn't go down without a fight, this other path offered a glimmer of hope to me that I one day could have a family, live a better quality of life. Fortunately my father could afford to pay for it! So I grabbed onto it with all my might. Similar to an athlete, totally single minded and dedicated myself 100% to getting better. I had an absolute drive to survive this differently and live on to better things... right or wrong, it worked out pretty well!

In the endless reading about different therapies, mum discovered The Gerson Therapy. There are a lot of 'Nay' Sayer's about Gerson, but the results of the "proven" drug treatments at the time weren't a whole lot better to me! I rolled that dice!!
It was discovered by a German doctor, Dr Max Gerson, originally to treat Tuberculosis, which he had great success. A common misconception is that the hospitals in Mexico are rather lacking, but the opposite is true! The hospital provided standard hospital care: Doctors, nurses, physios, pharmacy that prescribed drugs if needed, oxygen, surgeons, xrays, emergency department. etc. The therapy was the primary treatment though and drugs were avoided unless absolutely needed. For instance, I ended up taking an oral course of Cipro whilst there, to help kick the puedomonas. The doctor's were world class, amazing, intelligent and very compassionate people. My first stay there was six weeks, I left feeling the best I had in years! The process of detoxification was painful, I persevered and reaped the rewards! Without the Gerson therapy I wouldn't have been able to have children. It restored my body to the best it could be. It took a long time though, 2 years on the maintenance therapy. I returned 4 times, also to  Ingles Hospital, Hospital Santa Monica, for oxygen based therapies would finally eradicate drug resistant MRSA ad Aspergillius (BTW: they make you feel like your dying!) that I picked up back in hospital in Adelaide 4 years earlier.
*Please see note at the end of this blog.

Pictue of me returned from Mexico after getting the all clear of Golden Staph & Aspergillus


Obviously, this is not for everyone, actually I was the first CF patient they'd ever had and only 2 years ago they got their second one! It's concidered extreme and risky by some, but I was always cared for by the best in their field. It was a very well informed, considered and calculated decision ("risk" some would say) on our part. I never risk more than I can afford to lose...



*Disclaimer: 26.11.2012

Dear Readers,

I am a big supporter of The Gerson Therapy & only have positive things to say about it. However today it has been brought to my attention that articles on the Internet exist about my medical history relating to The Gerson Therapy, that contain some inaccurate information. I have written today to the The Institute to get this clarified and corrected. My Cystic Fibrosis was NOT "reversed" as stated in the articles.
I am happy to state this much about the Therapy: It improved my digestion & nutrition, it helped reduce mucus production, it cleansed my body of built up chemical's, relieved my chest, slowed down degeneration and prevented me from having multiple Transplant's. Generally helped me get better from where I was & enabled me to go on to have children & better quality of life. I would return in an instant if my health required it! 
I was not cured and do not believe The Gerson Therapy can reverse CF. I believe that it helped treat my CF better naturally.
I wish to clarify these points so not to give false hope or misinformation about my experience.

Thank you,  Faye Upston

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