Chrons & Inflammatory Bowel Disease
"Confusion set in, the word 'disease' scared me but the doctors seemed so casual we didn't know if we should laugh or cry."
In October 2006 I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease. I remember looking at my wife and two sons and wondering what it all meant. Confusion set in, the word 'disease' scared me but the doctors seemed so casual we didn't know if we should laugh or cry.
Slowly we learnt more about Crohns and IBD's (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and the severity of this uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing illness. My health slowly deteriorated and I started taking courses of antibiotics which only gave me brief periods of relief. Then came talk of steroids. We decided that this was not the way to go, but we were unsure of what to do. One day we met a lady who had suffered with Crohns, but after going to Living Valley Springs, it had become a thing of the past. That was it! My wife and I decided we had to go.
October 2007, we went to Living Valley Springs. Our expectations were exceeded beyond our imaginations. The staff were fantastic and the information just blew our minds. I realised that I could control my body and my destiny and change my health for the better. We came home renewed and excited about our new way of living and I was better than I had been in some time. All went well until I went back to work. I am a mechanic and my job is very physical and I failed to give my body the time it needed to heal.
By December, I was ill and frail once again and frightened for my health. Overwhelmed, I turned to my doctors and started on steroids hoping for the best. This started a cycle of steroids and other immune suppressing drugs. After a brief period of relief I again started to go downhill. Stronger steroids were prescribed but to no avail.
One morning my feet were so swollen I could not put my work boots on. I felt then that abandoning my Living Valley Springs program and taking medication was a mistake. My wife made plans for me to return to Living Valley Springs. Upon arrival I was greeted by familiar faces and was glad to be back in such a caring and loving environment.
I stayed for ten days during which I had a severe healing crisis which was scary and emotional. However, Gary and his team went out of their way to care for and reassure me. I can't thank them enough for all that was done for me during this time. I decided to stay for the next program, which was a blessing as I improved every day. So much so, I was able to drive myself home, which at one point would have been impossible. I attribute a big part of my healing to my counselling sessions with Joanne and doing the Empowerment Package. This enabled me to deal with many emotional issues from my life.
I am home now and feeling great. I have been totally off all drug medication for over a month and I am improving incredibly every day. I am by no means out of the woods yet and I intend to return to Living Valley Springs many more times in my life. For now it is rest, good food and faith in God. I cannot express my gratitude enough to all the staff at Living Valley Springs. I would like to extend a special thanks to Graham, Tony, Nita and Janet for all your amazing care.