A Patient’s Story – As told to Ffranses Wharten-Faraut
Editor’s note: The patient wishes to remain anonymous, and not identified by her picture. She writes:
I am profoundly Deaf and a single mother and had no access to Deaf services or interpreters in the 1980s. I had to communicate with the GP all on my own by writing things down, English is not my first language. The GP would just write the prescriptions without any discussion with me. I am glad that I met my homeopath Ffranses who was a really big help and supported me homoeopathically to stop my 20 year addiction. I had looked for rehab before I met Ffranses but unfortunately could not find anywhere that treated painkiller addiction, plus there was the added problem of communication; I communicate in British Sign Language.
I am a profoundly Deaf woman. British Sign Language is my first language. Whilst on an appointment with an interpreter, we were chatting before the meeting and she told me that she was just finishing her course in homoeopathy. I was very interested as we could communicate and it is extremely difficult for a Deaf person to get access to any kind of alternative information.
I had become very aware that I had too many chemicals and drugs in my body, and I had been living on just rice and eggs for about 12 years as I couldn’t digest my food. I had a 2 hour homeopathic consultation for the first appointment. I told her that I was taking too many tablets from the doctor and was addicted to Paracetamol and Beta blockers and Gaviscon and had been for 20 years. She said that I would go on a journey and she would be with me and she was, all the way.
I was about 12 when I first took Paracetamol for my headaches and at 15 I took Calpol instead as I had been very sick after taking too many Paracetamol washed down with coca-cola. I remember visiting my GP and he advised me to throw the Calpol sachets away as they were only for children and told me to take Paracetamol tablets instead. I was hooked on Paracetamol tablets by the time I was 16 years old; taking 8 a day.
Aged 16, I moved to a different town where I didn’t know anyone. I had no job, no home and no money at all. I started having panic attacks due to various problems in my family so I went to the GP on my own with no interpreter. There was no communication between us, he just wrote a prescription for 200mg of Beta-blockers. I was 16, I had no idea what they were, but they became the routine; as soon I woke up in the morning I took 2 Paracetamols and one beta blocker, then at mid-morning 2 more Paracetamols and another two at mid afternoon with another Beta-blocker. At evening meal, I took another two Paracetamols; they were supposed to be every four hours, but I took them every three hours. I had no access to interpreters to translate for me and I was all on my own for lots of trips to the GP and I never knew what any of the tablets were actually for.
My headaches got worse and migraine followed, sometimes it stayed for about three days. I had to swap Paracetamol to Anadin Extra tablets (8 every day). I got pregnant when I was 20 so I had to stop taking Anadin Extra tablets and swap back to Paracetamol. My doctor gave me prescriptions for Co-codamol tablets when I was pregnant because I was feeling so dizzy.
When I went travelling I always had to make sure that I had my tablets with me in two separate bags – one in case I lost my other one; I would panic if I did not have spare tablets in my bag. I also had to have them at the same time every day otherwise I would get a terrible migraine. I lived like that for 20 years, always carrying tablets with me everywhere with a bottle of water in my bag.
The doctor knew that I had been taking beta blockers when I was pregnant. I had a check up and had a scan at the hospital where I was told that my baby would be small due to taking Beta blockers. My first born daughter was born weighing only 5 lbs 4 ozs.
After the emergency Caesarean to deliver her, I was given various medications for bacterial and fungal infections and was very ill. I had to go back to Anadin Extra as my headaches got worse – still 8 tablets a day plus the Beta blockers.
At Christmas 1997, I went back to the GP and told him about having to take all the tablets. He gave me another prescription of Citalopram for anxiety but the side effects were too strong, even after the first dose. I didn’t realise that it was actually for depression. I was referred to the hospital about my Beta blockers and I was given lower dosage Beta blockers. Also I was given a course of Remedeine for my headaches; I was not told that I was not supposed to take any painkillers along with it. I was already on Anadin Extra at that time and when I took only one Remedeine it left me feeling so high that I was a bit frightened and stopped it. There was no access to interpreters at that time and I had no knowledge that I was not supposed to mix Remedeine along with painkillers.
I was also prescribed various antibiotics for ongoing ailments; sinus problems and sore throats, as well as the contraceptive pill which made me very ill with headaches and migraines resulting in me taking more painkillers. I had a Salbutamol syrup at June 1998 for my dry cough, as I was pregnant with my second daughter that time.
During 1999 my second daughter was about 6 months and I remember, after I ate prawn cocktail crisps, that I suddenly had a really sharp pain my in chest but I didn’t know what it was. I had to go to the GP who confirmed that I had heartburn. I had lots of various tablets to treat my heartburn – these are Omeprazole, Zoltan, Gastropod, Losec and Lansoprazole – however they were not working out for me. They gave me terrible side effects and also headaches as well. I had to take Gaviscon medicine after that and became hooked on it, I would finish a large bottle of 100ml every two days. This went on for about 12 years without me knowing that it all would have a terrible effect on my tummy. I had lots of tests in the hospital to check my heartburn and was told that I had a Reflux. I also took a drug called Prochlorperazine for migraine with dizziness, nausea, vomiting and problems with balance.
Over the following years my prescriptions grew:
Kolanticon Gel and Colofac tablets from January 2004 for IBS. However I suffered from side effects ranging from dry mouth to palpations, to blurred vision and nausea.
I paid for a private Nutritional Consultant who advised me to remove wheat and dairy foods out of my diet. I had a terrible pain on both my knees for about 8 years, I couldn’t walk properly and had been referred to a specialist in the hospital who confirmed that I had cartilage problems. I was given tablets called Vioxx in 2004 for my knees which again did not work out. I also had a terrible blocked sinus and went to see a specialist in the hosptial. I had a course of Nasonex nose spray started at March 2005 and stayed on it for few years. Also Beclomethasone. I was given a cream called Traxam for my rheumatic hands.
My homeopath revolutionised my perspective and helped me to wean me off the tablets, I used Nux Vomica and Spagyric herbal essences acting as organ supports for my liver and heart to start with. Taking a steady approach after one whole year, I finally went cold turkey and totally withdrew from all medications from the GP, everything! Suddenly I felt so free and happy especially when I woke up without the compulsive feeling that I had to take any tablets. After 20 years on a regime of drugs I became totally clean.
[Homoeopath’s note: The patient uses “cold turkey” as an indication of the mental concept of stopping only, we definitely did not give up all medication overnight. I did at the start of the case recommend she go to her GP to let him know what she was doing so he could support her, and the kind gentleman just told her to stop; I personally was shocked to the core.]
On my first homeopathic appointment I wore all black clothes, jeans, socks and shoes even on a really hot day! I looked so pale and my hair was not very good; it was greasy. My Homeopath explained that I needed more vitamins in my body as I had not had any vitamins for 12 years due to my diet and all the drugs. During treatment I went through lots of realisations about myself and others too; I felt homeopathy made a really positive impact for the good on my life.
I worked very hard to complete my journey and kept focussed on my growth and change. I did get anxious most of the time as I was stuck with my habits, so I thought – the dependency on the tablets.
With homeopathic remedies, deep seated emotions came to the surface for me. I had Carcinosin that brought up lots of grief. I couldn’t grieve properly as I was controlled and abused by my ex-partner. Carc really worked very well for me as lots of my past came up. Clearer, clearer, bit by bit… things I had suppressed or pushed down began to release. My eyes were very dry.
Previously I’d spent years and years trying to look for answers inside my body, wondering why I was that unbalanced and why I always felt so guilty for being happy. And then finally last year I realised that I had borne the responsibilities for other people since I was a child and that I have a fear of letting go of that responsibility.
My homeopath introduced me to a Kinesiologist who tested me for food allergies and diagnosed a leaky gut and candida overgrowth due to the repeated use of antibiotics, Gaviscon and the tablets damaging my stomach and upsetting my hormones. Working with my homeopath and the Kinesiologist we tackled the issue of candida overgrowth. Homeopathically, we worked on my chronic 12 year heartburn; it has been a very hard journey, but worth it.
Previously I had felt so trapped, like I was a prisoner in my own body, I had OCD; if there were any germs or dirt, I had to clean them repeatedly until I was satisfied they were all gone. Now I am getting much better with the OCD. I have extended the natural approach to my whole life; I have no chemicals in my house, no bleach, no polish.
I remember when I was 13 coming home from a school trip abroad for a week, I did not like the posters on my bedroom wall of the clown Pierrot. I turned all the china dolls of Pierrot around and took down the poster. I could not understand why. Then last year I realised why; because I do not like their eyes, as their eyes were watching me all the time. I was trapped by their eyes, like a prisoner unable to escape. I had never been able to have a poster on my walls since 13 yrs old, now I have got lots of posters all over the house and do not live in fear of eyes any more.
The first poster I bought last year was a girl trapped in a cell, crying blood tears; it is as if the eyes are the window of the soul. The poster reflected me and I felt a link with that girl. I have changed posters quite a few times since then and now I have got a lovely poster on my wall: there is no prisoner and no cell around it. The new poster is like a lady who fought back and reflects how much stronger and more confident I am now.
I had a test that shows that I am not allergic to any foods. I have finally found my old self again and have grown a lot and been through bad and good times on my journey. I stopped taking Gaviscon 18 months ago which was the last addiction to go. I have also not taken any Paracetamols and Beta blockers for two and half years now. I continue my journey with my Homeopath.