Recounting 2 Years of Healing Journey

The recollection of events that happened 2 years ago is still vivid in my mind. It sometimes felt surreal that we’ve been through such drama, especially now that I am in a much better state physically. Just a few weeks ago I shared my grace of healing with a Myasthenia Gravis (MG) support group, one response that I got was pretty astounding: “that’s crazy, you are one lucky person!”. Indeed I am really blessed to have found healing through Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

I can count so many blessings that came out of my healing journey; one of them being my openness to unlearn what I thought I know to be the “right” way of viewing sickness and relearn to connect to my body through natural means. As a former drug rep, this is a sanctifying journey and I am just simply amazed at the grace of openness that I was able to tap on. Because of MG I enrolled myself into all sort of health education programs and the irony is that I finally understand a little bit of the principle of TCM through an English speaking American program despite growing up more deeply rooted in Chinese culture (I only speak a few Chinese languages but am unable to read or write Chinese scripts).

Acupuncture has been attributed to being quite helpful for MG, with that knowledge I started praying and looking for an acupuncturist from the very beginning of the diagnosis. I finally found one after more than a year of searching when my friend shared his experience with his TCM who also does acupuncture. Meeting my TCM doctor was an answered prayer. I only wanted acupuncture to supplement my current conventional medicine regime but I was given more.

At my first appointment, I found out that my TCM doctor did his masters in autoimmunity, hence he was totally unsurprised by MG with thymoma. Another assurance came my way when I met his wife who had MG with thymoma 17 years prior. That gave me a lot of hope as I know then the doctor I found knows what he’s dealing with as MG is a rare condition. I started off with just acupuncture as I wasn’t sure about taking herbal meds on top of my current conventional regime. After consultation with my TCM doctor, his advice was to take the different meds at an hour and a half apart.

It was Aug of 2021, I started experiencing slight worsening when I finally met my TCM doctor. Came Sept, I lost my dearest younger brother and that bout of emotional stress threw me to the floor of MG flareup. I was so weak to the point of having difficulty in swallowing water. So at that time, I restarted steroid and pyridostigmine to help control the symptoms. Both my neurologist and TCM doctor had great empathy and were really supportive.

By early Oct, I started herbal meds with weekly therapy that involves cupping, chiro work and acupuncture. Within 3 months, I showed signs of improvement to the point of wellness. One example would be computer screen time. At the peak of when symptoms was relatively low on conventional drug treatment, I could withstand computer screen time up to 10 minutes and then my eyelids will start to droop. By that point, my whole body would feel a tiring sensation like an out-of-sync-electric-current numbness that runs through my body. I would need to lie down for at least 20 minutes to recover. After 3 months of TCM treatment, I can withstand computer screen time up to an hour before I started feeling my eyelids. I only need to take an eyelid rest by closing my eyes for about 30 seconds and then I am ready to continue with my work at the computer again. That’s a massive difference and I can only praise God for His grace that led me this far into my complete healing.

Today I am on yet another milestone journey – the last leg of immunosuppressant dose reduction prescribed by my neurologist. The last appointment in Dec showed how much I improved clinically and that somehow gave him the confidence to propose the beginning of the dose reduction. I am ever so grateful at the mercy God is showing me. His mercy that enveloped me from the beginning of the journey. His grace that led me to decide to make this a meaningful season. I’ve learnt so much through this and it has certainly changed me in the way I view life, the world and the way I honor my relationships. My heart is filled with gratitude towards everyone who jumped in support of me and my family during the most difficult time. I am praying for you daily as I thank God for the healing I received.

Being able to turn any circumstances into blessing is indeed a grace I received and happy to tap on. One of my way of blessing others is sharing my journey and what I learnt. My next post will be focused on what I’ve learnt through my healing journey. When I prayed for healing, I was expecting an immediate miracle. God, however has a different thought (Isaiah 55: 8-9). In His mercy, He allowed me to experience the fullness of loving myself – transforming my mind, teaching me patience, forming me in His love and my trust in Him. I experienced a miracle that manifests itself in the ordinariness of life, the power of natural remedies and the effectiveness of life long mental fitness training. Praising God in my own transformation and looking forward to share more with you.

With lots of love,
Irene

The Joy of the Lord is my Strength!

I could finally doze off once I received that scripture after a whole night of struggling with fear. It was Mother Mary’s birthday, 8 Sept 2021, we had our appointment cancelled in the last minute and we thought let’s still make the best of the day. I made the decision to happily finish my food despite struggling with difficulty in chewing (due to worsening of Myasthenia Gravis) for the past few days. As I sat down to have lunch, my mom called with the news that my younger brother had a stroke and was unconscious. That immediately sent me down the spiral of fear. I cried and started shivering the whole day through. We made preparation to get back to my brother as soon as possible.

The Joy of the Lord has indeed sustained me through this difficult time of losing my younger brother. The stress from this has also taken a deep toll on my health as my condition continue to worsen. As I try to make sense of the whole situation I came to realize fear was the main factor that may have triggered the thymoma in me which eventually led to MG. For that revelation, I am grateful. Balancing between regulating my emotions, taking care of my body, being present for my child and husband and at the same time fighting for my brother in prayer was quite exhausting. By the grace of God, he received the sacrament of baptism. Then on Saturday, a day we honor Mother Mary, my younger brother Bartholomew was called to eternal rest.

When the stroke happened on Mother Mary’s birthday, in the midst of chaos, a still small voice whispered hope in me. I could not put everything in perspective as there were just too much fear of losing my brother. On the day he passed, that gentle assurance came back. I knew Mother Mary is taking care of Bartholomew. When I found out that his funeral was going to be his birthday, 15 Sept, I knew without doubt he is in the safe care of Mother Mary. 15 Sept is the day we celebrate Our Lady of Sorrows.

Seeing his final resting face gave me so much of peace. He wore his signature smile and looked absolutely peaceful. With peace begins the grieving process. It is very raw at this moment and once again learning from my father’s passing, I encouraged everyone to grieve with gratitude. I certainly am going to do that. That process does not take away tears, rather grieving with gratitude elevate our praise of God. The loving memories become something we cherish. Healthy grieving is so important as part of our human experience.

We were best friends growing up and sometimes best fighting buddies too

God is seeding something in my heart – a desire to help people through an experience loss. Let’s see where this is leading. Dear friends, as you read this please pray for the soul of my younger brother, Bartholomew and I pray that you are immensely blessed in your journey.

With lots of love,
Irene