It may be multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or even a brain tumor. Ten years later, those words coming from a tall man in a white coat still haunt me. Fortunately, my condition turned out to be none of those possibilities. Yet I still suffered from a chronic, incurable, and debilitating auto-immune disorder called uveitis. I needed a miracle, and today I've found one.
The news of my disorder came uninvited. I was in the midst of my senior year in high school and preparing to enter college. With so much going on I had no choice but to ignore my diagnosis as best possible, trying to carry on as a normal seventeen-year-old.
Very little was known about uveitis at the time, and thus being in unchartered waters, I merely followed suit to my doctors’ most educated guesses for an effective plan of attack.
For the first three years of my disorder, my regimen consisted of weekly doctor visits, daily dosages of prednisone, methotrexate, azathioprine, and cyclosporine pills and periodic steroid injections into my eyes.
The plan wasn't ideal, but neither was the alternative: going blind. Complications still arose, however, despite the meticulous schedule enacted by medical professionals.
The steroids were creating cataracts and glaucoma in both of my eyes. I could no longer walk outside without always wearing sunglasses and even then I could no longer recognize my friends from across the street. Reading became a challenge without the perfect chemistry of artificial and natural light.
I had to stop participating as a starting player on my college tennis team and my eating habits were dramatically altered in an attempt to minimize the side effects from my medications.
Most importantly, due to these complications from the medicines, the future of my treatment was thrown into flux. I needed the prednisone to keep the uveitis from causing permanent eye damage, yet it was the prednisone that was creating cataracts and glaucoma, as well as causing damage to my liver and weakening my bone density.
This was the first time since my diagnosis that I was forced to consider the fact that I may not be able to lead the life I had been working toward. All of my future goals were becoming unattainable as my health and eyesight continued to deteriorate.
My doctors didn’t have reassuring words for me either. In fact, they told me that since my uveitis was so severe, it was unlikely that it would burn itself out, as is the case for many other patients with uveitis.
These were specialists, the top in their field, with whom I was working, and they could not find a solution to my condition. I, therefore, conceded to the idea that there was nothing I could do to help myself. I just had to keep on the regimen of medications, hope and wait.
I graduated from college and attempted to enter several professional positions in the workplace. Each attempt, however, was sabotaged by my inability to see properly, the fatigue from all the medications and my waning spirit.
My self-esteem plummeted and under such stress, my uveitis grew worse as the glaucoma in my left eye reached a point that was of immediate risk. I was forced to undergo emergency surgery to reduce my pressure. Yet operating on an eye with so much inflammation caused grave complications. The surgery had to be done three times over, and the vision in that eye was dramatically lost.
I was left with only one eye through which I could see. That eye, however, was infected with a fully developed cataract and the prospect of another glaucoma surgery. I was terrified. To me, it became a matter of surviving or succumbing. I wanted to be able to see. I wanted my life back.
When I sat down on the floor of a bookstore to peruse the section on spirituality, I wasn't searching for a cure. Since Western medicine wasn’t aiding me in the emotional and spiritual aspect of my disease, I needed to find help outside the hospital that enabled me to function in harmony with my disorder. I wanted to find a means in which I could heal from the long-term side effects I suffered from my medications, the surgeries, and to face my future with these.
Nestled among the profiles of thirteen other spiritual healers in a book entitled, "Healing Spirits; True Stories From 14 Spiritual Healers" is where I found Kay Cordell Whitaker.
Kay is a shaman with healing practices rooted in the traditions of the western Amazon basin of Brazil. I read her words and they struck me deeply: "A disease inside the body does not really enjoy being there: it's out of place, a stranger in a strange land. It's usually very willing to leave. But if you try to force it out without any consideration for it or its purpose for being there - the message that it has to deliver - it fights back, because its job isn't done."
Hope once again resonated in my soul, and I instantly contacted Kay.
I sent her a detailed history of my disorder from the first time my vision became blurry, to my current situation of a tired body and legally blind eyes, which prepared us for our first healing session. It took place over a long distance phone call. Kay asked me to lay back and relax for an hour while she "worked" on me. After that time, I was to call her back and she would tell me what she saw. I had no expectations, but that phone call back was one of the most exciting and fascinating of my life.
In her work, Kay "journeys" into a patient's body. She explains, "In the healing traditions that I’ve learned, we literally take a part of our awareness and move it inside the person’s body and into their energy field and their physical tissue - and examine it. In one sense this is a journey.
We are removing our point of awareness, a piece of our body-energy system, out of our physical body, and into somebody else’s. The context and framework for that is to go in, in a very peaceful, non-aggressive way."
She always asks permission to be there and to do the necessary work. Once permission is granted, Kay begins to search for any disorder in the body, guided and aided by what she calls her spirit helpers.
Once inside the body, and in contact with the disorder, she actually talks to what she refers to as the "spirit intelligence" of the diseased tissue. According to Kay, "Every cell in our bodies and every inanimate object in this world, have spirits, consciousnesses, including the disorders themselves."
Communicating with these intelligences is the key to getting them to go elsewhere.
Her work is rooted in the philosophy of peaceful, non-aggressive communication with all of life. This way, one can get the disorder to leave on its own accord, once it's purpose and message have been addressed.
When I called Kay back, she immediately asked if I had ever had a traumatic experience or accident happen to my eyes.
My entire body tingled. About six months before my diagnosis with uveitis I dropped some paint remover into my left eye. Since the onset of my condition, my Mother was convinced that my accident had some connection to my uveitis. Yet all my doctors waved away the idea, describing my condition to be systemic and brought on by an internal disorder. They argued that even if it was somehow related, the fact was moot. To them, the issue was treating the problem by suppressing the disorder, not worrying about what had caused it.
This perspective is understandable.
To Kay, however, the goal is to heal, not to overtake or suppress. To her then, the cause becomes very important.
In this first healing session, Kay communicated with the cells in my eyes and discovered that the chemicals from the paint remover had severely traumatized the tissue and distorted the cells in the area.
Thus, Kay knew she had to first remove the "shock" that was stored in the eye tissue ten years earlier, for tissue will not heal if it is in a state of shock.
She also had to remove the enormous build up of waste and debris, which had collected in the tissue around my eyes from years of improper immune function.
Kay explained to me that the tissues of the body are constantly discarding debris and that it is the cells' job to carry this debris to the lymph nodes for the immune system to break down. None of this process was taking place in the area around my eyes, clogging and overwhelming my entire lymph system.
Kay successfully removed the "shock" and debris build-up from my eye tissue, and now had to work on re-instating new information, or energizing frequencies, to facilitate and ensure the continuation of proper systemic and eye functioning. In other words, Kay had to change the blueprint of my cell's DNA patterns, encouraging them to let go of the distorted one they had been replicating since the accident. The process began to re-create a new and healthy system under which my body was to function and the results showed immediately.
Three healing sessions later I was examined by my doctor. We were both amazed at what we saw.
My uveitis was almost non-existent!
Kay explained this miracle through the fact that after she gave the proper blueprint back, "…the cells [grew] in the correct way again.
There is always some memory in the body of correct DNA and growth patterns. As we heal, we connect to what's left of that pattern and wake it back up." Kay and I have been working together to reinforce this correct DNA pattern for about nine months, and my disease remains relatively inactive.
Some cases don’t need this extended reinforcement time. I had a great trauma and a long history of incorrect cellular growth and pattern replication, thus requiring more repetition. As the saying goes, old habits are hard to break!
Yet steady progress continues. Due to the fact that my uveitis was so low in activity in the months that followed my first few healing sessions, I was able to have my cataract removed without complication.
I can now see with 20/20 vision from my right eye and the glaucoma is controlled.
Furthermore, I have been able to taper off all my medications except for seven milligrams of prednisone and occasional topical steroid eye drops.
My improvement baffles me every single day I awake and open my eyes to the vision of a clear tree top outside my window.
Equally amazed are my doctors, family, and friends.
This sudden improvement made me wonder; "Was I feeding my disease in it's earlier years by initially ignoring it and then falling victim to its effects?" I wondered if I could have played a role in suppressing or even correcting it with a different, more pro-active or self-healing mind-frame.
When I asked Kay, she responded by saying, "There is a mind-body relationship in which one can develop mental habits. One can feel as if there is no choice, so they support the disorder in their own mental habits." Kay says this with sympathy, for although she feels one can cause physical ailments with their own mind, there are numerous pathogens, toxins, and other pollutants in our world that interact and engage in our disorders.
With Kay, there is always hope. To encourage well-being,
Kay urges us to learn what is healthy for our physical systems in terms of the environments we put ourselves into.
For instance, the foods we consume, such as sugars, caffeine, and chemically grown produce, can literally destroy our immune systems. Smoke and chemical toxins from cleaning products and pollutants also are very harmful to us. "We must pay attention" she urges.
On an emotional and spiritual level, Kay states that the healthiest thing one can do for the body is to find out who we are. To know what it feels like to truly be who you are, and to know your own "Song," as she calls it.
To know your own Song means to know that you have your own destiny and not to tie yourself to the shadow of another being, or to another being’s habits or expectations.
Her elderly teachers said to her, "We are beings expressing our existence in the midst of tide after tide of movements. If we do not learn how to manipulate ourselves within these currents, we spend our time being tossed about like seaweed in a storm. One can learn to perceive the points of change and use them. This is Ka Ta See, the learning of the ways of balance." (The Reluctant Shaman, p.31)
Kay explains that once we feel this unique signature in ourselves, we discover how immense our spirits are and how much information, gifts and abilities of love and healing power we all hold.
This knowing is energy, and this energy can be constantly fed into our bodies. "Feeding a holistic, beautiful, healing and nurturing energy into the body is the most potent thing we can do to build our immune systems."
This is where I must be diligent in my role of healing. Kay does the intricate, psychic surgery, but I must also play an integral part in my healing process. I do daily energy work, filling my eyes and body with good, healthy energy. Yet to retain this healthy energy in my physical body, I must do visual imaging where I picture, and thus reinforce, healthy eye and bodily function. I also am to practice yoga and deep breathing to keep the circulation strong and vital throughout my body. In addition, I take daily supplements of bromelain and quercetin enzymes to promote cellular growth, as well as mineral supplements.
I certainly did not volunteer to embark upon the long and frustrating journey through which my condition has taken me. And my uveitis is not entirely gone. Yet I have learned invaluable lessons and philosophies engaging life, which have enlightened and empowered me in ways I could never have imagined.
My faith was challenged and my system of thinking was turned upside down. But this forced me to instigate change within myself I would never have found the strength for otherwise.
Kay has introduced me to another world, a numinous world where we have the power to communicate with our bodies and our environment in cooperative ways. It is a world in which we can heal.
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Chapter One - The Reluctant Shaman
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