Your check engine light

Check engine light

Most of us own automobiles. We read the owners manual and learn what regular maintenance is required to keep our investment and important mode of transportation operating at peak efficiency, for long life and to avoid any costly repairs in the future. We check the oil regularly and add oil BEFORE the light comes on. We don’t want to see the oil light or the check engine light come on. The goal is to maintain it, and keep the engine healthy, so we do not need to have it fixed. Right! Everyone knows that if you don’t keep the oil fresh and full, the engine will eventually die. The time for an oil change is not when the engine starts knocking. If you push the RPM’s too high, stressing the engine, it will blow.

The human body is more complex than an automobile and yet most people take much better care of their cars than they do themselves. The majority of Americans have not been shown how important it is to consume essential trace minerals, pure water, whole organic foods, fresh air, and get optimum (not adequate) rest and quality sleep. They don’t feel sick or tired, so they push themselves and then when symptoms develop, they self medicate. The warning lights of the body are pain and discomfort. Symptoms are the body’s language communicating that there is a problem, and it’s pointing to the problem. But, most people take medication to mask (tape over the warning light) the symptoms and just keep pushing their body (driving), with no thought about how to wisely care for the most important asset they have - good health and well-being. After a while, disease strikes, their engine (life force energy) shuts down and gets their attention, but by then the surgeon (mechanic) must do major surgery (complete overhaul). If the problem can’t be fixed, they blame the doctor (mechanic). You get my meaning.

When you take your car to the mechanic, because the check engine light came on, you expect him to run a computer diagnostic or look under hood and accurately diagnose the problem. What you don’t expect him to do is disconnect the check engine light! Yea, the light is out, but that was only a symptom. The message to the check engine light originated from a system malfunction that remains. How long will your car continue to take you where you need to go with the check engine light disconnected and the problem not fixed? The initial malfunction may have been minor, but when it is ignored, it will no doubt turn into a more serious system failure and eventually leave you on the side of the road. You may take your car to another mechanic, only to have him say, “The problem isn’t that bad, just keep driving and you will get used to it. If you only travel the back roads and stay off the highway, you will be fine”. You can buy another car when it eventually goes kaput, but you only get one body. Now, lets draw a parallel here. I went to the doctor, where I explained my symptoms (the check engine light is on). I was examined and told, “Your physical examination shows nothing unremarkable, but I will prescribe this drug to relieve (disconnect) your symptoms”. Some time passed and I still had the original complaints, plus a few more. I returned to the doctor (mechanic) and he sent me for a diagnostic test.

Keep in mind, that doctors rely heavily on the test results. When the test came back “inconclusive,” I was labeled a hypochondriac, even though they didn’t say it to me directly. You can just tell, you know. At the return visit, the doctor gave me the news and offered more drugs. The first medication already caused adverse reactions that were worse than the symptoms I was taking it for. There is a phrase commonly used by doctors and pharmacists that really annoys me; “This drug is well tolerated by most individuals”. The word "tolerate" means, “to endure hardship or suffering, bear up under, capable of being continually subject to something you dislike”. How does the body suffer “well”? My body most definitely does not “tolerate” drugs. And as for “well,” I thought that was the goal, to get well.

I was searching for the cause of my failing health, and when doctors couldn’t provide the answers, I didn’t know where else to go. I wanted to correct the malfunction, not just treat symptoms. Also, it has been my experience that my body was examined as if it were all a "heart", or all what ever specialty the doctor was trained in. The body should be looked at as a combination of systems that work with and depend on each other to function efficiently together.

I decided to seek a second, third, and even a fourth opinion. Still, doctors were unable to provide answers, and the label of “hypochondriac” followed me as my medical file grew thicker and proceeded to yet another doctors office. Eight years passed, and I could feel my engine begin to slowly die. Finally, it broke down. I couldn’t keep my job and was barely able to take care of myself, much less my family. I was leaking oil, almost out of gas, my transmission was slipping and the electrical wiring had numerous bad connections. I spent lots of money on physicians, tests, prescriptions and diets that made me less healthy. Many times I shared my plight with people, even total strangers, hoping to find someone with any information that was helpful, or who could recommend their doctor or some treatment. I was desperate!

The only alternative I had left was to get some books and study auto mechanics, I mean, how the body works, myself. This was before I was introduced to the internet. After some reading, I decided to find a doctor (mechanic) who had the diagnostic equipment that could confirm my hypothesis. The tests were unique and not used by the other doctors. He told me that my initial self-diagnosis of Systemic Candidiasis was correct. He prescribed drugs, herbs and a diet to combat the Candida, but when the yeast adapted, the drugs no longer had any affect. At least I had one answer, and I knew what wouldn’t work. I then focused my efforts to find another treatment for Systemic Candidiasis. So much time had passed since the check engine light came on, that now there were many system malfunctions. My health was declining faster than I could do research, study and learn. This lead to many wrong turns and dead ends. It was a race against time.

There are clearly two schools of thought out there. Mainstream modern medicine and alternative medical practices. I have tried them both. What I have experienced is that diagnostic tests have many, and I do mean several, limitations. By the time the tests show anything “unremarkable”, you are almost dead, or wish you were, figuratively speaking. Tests are created by humans, who are not flawless. Doctors are not god’s, and if they can’t think outside the box when tests are inconclusive, you are stalled on the side of the road without even a tow truck.

Every time I went for a test that required my intestines to be “empty,” the test came back normal. The inflammation that swelled my intestines shut for days at a time and the other evidences of my ill health disappeared when I was empty. If I could get through the rest of my life not having to eat, I would be fine. I was told “You have IBS, so just go home and learn to live with it”. Seventeen doctors told me the same exact thing, but they were all very wrong. All that time I had a progressive condition that was deteriorating rapidly; a large abdominal hernia and four prolapses, all at the same time. Of course, everyone said that is impossible! My internal organs were competing for the bottom of my pelvis, which caused a cascading effect that permanently damaged other systems. Even near the end of it all, a doctor said to me, “Your prolapsed bladder isn’t that bad, just cut your fluid intake in half and you will not have so many accidents”. It turns out I had neurological and anatomical incontinence. That doctor gave me a referral to a rectal specialist, but I didn’t go. I imagined I would hear words like, “Your prolapsed rectum isn’t that bad. Just stop eating and ...” You get the idea.

Doctors are no longer required to take the Hippocratic Oath, I am told, but even if they are, in my opinion, “do no harm” would definitely apply when doing nothing is just as, or more, harmful than doing the wrong thing. In the end, I figure God was keeping me safe from those who would do the wrong thing and make me even worse. In some parts of the world a physician is assigned to a village, where he is paid a salary based on the number of healthy, productive people in his village. It is in his best interest to keep his patients healthy. There are a few medical professionals who are on what I call my, “You can’t die, retire or move list”. Then there is another very long list of doctors who I wish I’d never met.

In the end, the one test that correctly diagnosed my condition was an MRI, but it didn’t show half of what was wrong inside me. Still, the GI surgeon who ordered the test, stood with the results in her hand and said, “You need biofeedback and psychiatric help”. I gave that same piece of paper to my OB/GYN who did the hysterectomy and pelvic floor mesh two years earlier. He said, “You need Abdominal Sacral Coloplexy, and you need someone who does it a lot!” I went to the doctor who did my bladder repair the year before. Holding that same MRI report in his hand, he looked at me and said, “You need Abdominal Sacral Coloplexy, and I do that a lot”. After 25 years of searching, I couldn’t believe my ears when he said, “When do you want me to do surgery?” After surgery, the doctor expressed his surprise to find a large abdominal hernia, in addition to a prolapsed rectum and prolapsed intestines. He told my husband, “It is no wonder your wife couldn’t have a bowel movement!” The MRI never showed the large abdominal hernia! I had to get things fixed in pieces, instead of all at once, because I had to take what I could get when I found a doctor who had a clue.

Coincidentally, one of the ladies I took care of who lived with me for 4 years, had an intestinal fistula and a vaginal fistula. She was in her early 30’ and had been g-tube fed since birth. When I observed feces coming out of her vagina, I knew exactly what her problem was. Formula was traveling through her abdomen and found a way out. I took her to a few GI doctors who ordered several tests, but all of them required her intestines to be empty. And, of course, everything looked normal. Visits to the emergency room, when she was in distress, were unproductive. What was I thinking?! It took years, and I was still awaiting a correct diagnosis for my condition. Why did I think it would be any different for her? She left my care and I don’t know what happened to her, but it required all the experience I gained from managing my own digestive problems and creativity, to keep her stable and out of the hospital during those last two years.

Life is still tough to manage with all the permanent damage that resulted from years of having the wrong mechanic. I couldn’t have managed without guidance from my Great Physician. Looking back, it is amazing that I survived it all. Often, I hear similar stories about people of all ages who are suffering from various disease conditions. I see so many people traveling the same dangerous road to disease I was on, and I want so much to warn them of the danger ahead.

You are responsible for your health. No body else. Don’t wait until you have symptoms to take care of your health. Prevention is the best medicine! Have you ever heard that? I am sure you have. Youth is very forgiving. Many of us learn later in life all the things we used to do that we shouldn’t have done. We try to share our experiences and knowledge that came from those lessons with others, in hopes that they will learn from our mistakes and avoid them. Not because we are older or wiser, but because we care and want the best for them. Ultimately, you get to decide. My father used to say, “Too soon old, and too late smart.” It’s true.

I hope this article has been helpful to you. If you need help, encouragement, more information or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me - Johnna. I look forward to meeting you!

You know your body better than anyone! Get a 2nd, 3rd, or 20th opinion. Just don't give up! The struggle you persevere through today is developing the strength and character you will need for tomorrow. Never give up!

If you have questions, email johnna@wholefamilyhealthandnutrition.com to schedule your free introductory consultation. I look forward to serving you. JVW