Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"Strange brew...killin' what's inside of you." -Eric Clapton

When you think of homeopathy, what comes to mind first? Scam? Hogwash? Snake Oil? Worth a shot?  All of the above? Me too. I had absolutely no idea what to expect at my first appointment with Dr. Fred Tinari of Holbrook, NY. I was skeptical (no surprise there) but also hopeful and open to trying a new approach. I wanted this to work, I really did, and I now believe THAT is exactly why it did work so well.

I didn't know this at the time, but I have come to realize, that you must plan to wait for a good doctor for at least an hour before they see you. If you arrive at an appointment and they take you in right away, run. So yes, I waited and waited to be seen in a waiting room full of reflexology and reiki literature. Getting my "learn on" about all things unconventional with my future husband by my side, his eyes filled with high hopes. Admittedly, I sarcastically thought  "ooooooh kaaaaaaay", I can't help myself. I have to see to believe.

The most unexpected part of the visit was the doctor himself. Envisioning a tall, thin, pasty & pale, granola munching half-a-quack, quiet the opposite entered the room. Short, well fed, Italian father of a lot of kids with jokes to spare. Immediately I was comfortable with and trusted him. Make me laugh and I'm on the hook. It also helped that I knew someone who had great success following his regimen. And the clincher...he told me NOT to stop taking my meds. That was shocking. I guess because I naturally associated unconventional with radical. My mistake. Funny thing is, I did stop my meds. (Disclaimer: I do not suggest anyone/everyone stop taking their medications) I stopped because, well, how would I know what was working if I was practicing both? If I was going to do this thing, really do it, I resigned myself to committing to it wholly for 3 months and take it from there. My burning desire for PROOF could have really put me in harms way. It was irresponsible, I admit it and I am fortunate things turned out the way they did...but back to the visit.

It was odd, I ain't gonna lie and I often glanced over at the handsome face who brought me to this strange place, as a reminder that I now possessed a wide open mind. ;) There was a lot of testing going on, but testing like I'd never experienced before. The good doctor was checking for impedance against various substances. Impedance, with regard to homeopathy (as I understand it) is a sort of electrical activity that occurs in response to certain variables. Basically, I would hold a vial that contained say, wheat gluten. I would hold the vial in my right hand and lean it against my chest. With my left arm extended out in front of me, the doctor would ask me to "lift up" while he provided resistance. If I had no trouble lifting my arm, the contents of the vial were a non issue. If I had trouble, it was an issue. It was simple, non threatening and quite interesting. I could feel the weakness come over me when I held certain vials which was alarmingly wondrous. How I felt during that visit can be best described by assimilating it to the moment when Dorothy Gale steps out of her black and white farm house into the technicolor world of Munchkinland. The instance of realization that there were possibilities out there, that I never even knew of, let alone considered, that could help me get an edge over lupus-in a healthy natural way, was a magical moment for me.  A door was opened.

The toughest information I would learn that day is that I had a severe sensitivity to wheat gluten. Going "gluten free" back in the late 90's was no easy task. Luckily my parent's combined DNA provided me with a solid resolve and amazing will power. I would need it. In addition, we found there were many vitamins and minerals I was lacking and was put on a course of dairy free, gluten free and supplements. Soy cheese was no delight either back then. Gross. And the prices were outrageous! How do you put a price on your health though? I bit the bullet and went full steam ahead. Resolving to do this thing hard core for at least three months. No cheating, no meds, faithfully taking the supplements and believing down to the depths of my soul, this was going to work. Screw you naysayers, I'm on a mission!

For three years I stayed this course. Eventually becoming a vegetarian to boot. I think that's when I stopped getting dinner invitations. ;)  Though my family was very supportive and always, ALWAYS had "Kath's food" on hand. These three years were amazing for me in many ways. I was living life, gaining confidence, growing up, taking control and making decisions without regard for anyone but me. As you know, a foreign concept to my former self. I eloped for heaven's sake! In Vegas no less! Maybe those books were right after all. I SHOULD mourn my former life, because this one is SO MUCH BETTER. F U lupus, you will not bring this chick down, no way. In fact, maybe I should THANK you. :P

So pumped, so restored, so confident so...cocky. A quote comes to mind:
"Before you attempt to beat the odds, be sure you could survive the odds beating you.”

What transpired after the three symptom and medication free "Golden Years", as I call them, was a humbling, frightening dose of reality. The aforementioned odds I was fiercely trying to beat, still had quite a bit of fight left in them too. Pleurisy, pericarditis and joint pain...oh my. We're not in Symptom Free Land anymore Toto.


  1. So glad you are continuing your blog. As your Mother I have
    been proud of you for many reasons but not more then how you
    handled this cross of Lupus you have had to carry. For so long
    I cried with worry and now I'm still crying with worry (because that
    is what I do) but also crying with joy because of the way you have
    met Lupus head on and vowing not to let it get the best of you and
    you won!!! I have to borrow a line from your blog which kind of
    sums up the way I feel too F U Lupus you don't have any idea of who
    you are up against!!

  2. I know I posted this yesterday! But I will repost my comment - even though It was REALLY well written yesterday ;)

    Being a patient of Dr. Tinari - I can attest that all you say is absolutely true! And I am a strong believer in being able to try to heal our bodies (at least that which deals with inflammation) through diet etc. I am not naive in thinking that this will work for EVERYONE or FOREVER, but i'll take it as it comes!!! So if it's a year, a month or a few weeks, we'll take it!!!!
    And if you need help fighting, I'll be right behind you!! Lupus doesn't stand a chance!!!

    Pft!!!! Lupus Shmoopis indeed!



    1. I can't imagine it being more well written! Thanks Lilli, I just LOVE that you also see Dr. T, what a very small world. Please say hello to him for me next time. Thanks as always for your friendship and support girl! xoxo