From the time I was very young I wanted to be a nurse or a teacher. This was my goal in life. So after graduating from high school I went to the University to study for my Bachelor and Master's degree in Nursing. Everything seemed to be going as I had planned until one day, when I was still in graduate school I was struck with numbness and the loss of feeling in parts of my body. I went to the University Hospital and saw one of the staff Doctors. He gave me a very thorough exam. After he completed the exam he looked at me very seriously and told me that he felt that I had Multiple Sclerosis.
At that time I was in my mid-twenties and I hadn't finished my Masters degree yet. All of my career goals were still yet to be attained. I thought about what the Doctor had told me. To me, what he had said was like a death sentence. I looked up Multiple Sclerosis in one of my Nursing text books and I read what he had told me, it was a degenerative muscle and nerve disease and also an autoimmune disease where your body's cells attack your own body's organs, leading to extreme disability.
In a few months the symptoms went away, and I told my self that the Doctor must have been mistaken. I was young and healthy. I knew much more than he did. I continued working on my goals, finished up my Master's degree and started working. Over the next several years I worked in hospitals, clinics, home health, taught nursing at colleges and universities. Never did I think that the illness I had was just lying dormant and would reoccur again and again.
When it struck for the second time the nerve involvement caused extreme pain and my digestion was affected. I lost 30 pounds and weighed only 90 pounds. I told myself that I was working too hard and this was nothing but stress so I quit my job and moved to a rural area where I could relax more. After a few months I was feeling better and the symptoms once again subsided. I became Director of a Nursing program, then Assistant Dean of the College of Health Sciences. I was pushing myself and steadily moving up the professional ladder.
I was working on my Doctorate degree nights and weekends while being an administrator and teacher during the day. I began having severe headaches, numbness and weakness in my right arm and strange nerve sensations down my back and legs. I went to see one of the school doctors and he told me I needed to see a neurologist. I went to see the neurologist, a very nice gentleman who ordered an MRI, which is a test that can look inside the body much like an x-ray but gives more detailed pictures of whatever they are looking at. He wrote an order for an MRI of my spine in the neck area.
I figured he must be looking at the curvature of my spine. I was thinking that that must be what was causing the problems. So I had the MRI pictures taken and he wanted me to bring the pictures right back to his office when I finished so he could look at them. He put them up on the light box and looked at them for several minutes. He then called me over to take a look at them too. He started pointing out these funny looking markings in my spinal column. I just laughed and told him it looked like someone sneezed on the film. The doctor turned around and looked at me and very seriously said that what I was seeing on the films were called plaques. They were caused by the autoimmune disease process that was attacking my body and they were a diagnostic sign of Multiple Sclerosis. He also told me that they had new treatments for Multiple Sclerosis and that I should get started with the treatment right away.
If I started the treatment it would make the diagnosis too real. So I left his office and never returned. Still I thought it can't be what they think, because it would always get better in a few months. Maintaining my belief that stress was the cause for all of my problems I quit my job and sold my house and decided to take a sabbatical. While I wasn't working I had time to think and read. I realised that my symptoms were getting more and more severe and were occurring more and more often. I started to really read about MS and I found out that every symptom that I had was a sign of MS and there is a type of MS that has cycles of remission and exacerbation. Furthermore with every cycle the MS would get worse, would become more frequent and that was what it was doing.
I was stricken with the disease on several other occasions and the symptoms were rapidly worsening. At this point it was affecting my eyesight and my vision was getting poorer and poorer, I was having difficulty walking, and having muscle spasms all over my body causing pain and discomfort. There was blood in my stools, I was unable to digest my food and I was having allergic reactions to most of the foods that I would try to eat. My balance was being affected causing me to fall down when I tried to walk. I finally understood what the doctors were trying to tell me for so many years.
At this point I was unable to work, my savings had run out, and I was living in a trailer with a friend. We struggled with no heat, no running water and just the bare necessities. My friend shared what she had with me. She was a true friend and tried to help and care for me when my life was looking so grim. Many days I prayed that I would die and wondered why a person should have to live the way that I was living. People that knew me thought I looked like I was about to die. At one point during all of this I visited a Chinese Medicine Doctor and he said he wouldn't treat me because my pulses were too weak. I saw an Eye Doctor who told me there was nothing he could do for me and to come back and see him when my vision was totally gone and I was blind. As I continued to spiral downward I thought there was no hope for me and that I would just have to accept my fate.
One afternoon on her way home from work my friend heard an interview on National Public Radio. The interview was with an older woman who had been sick with a number of illnesses. She talked about how she had found Falun Dafa and how, within a year's time she no longer had any signs or symptoms of her illnesses. My friend came home and told me about what she had heard on the radio. She said maybe it would help me and I said I had nothing to lose. So we searched the Internet. We didn't even know how to spell Falun Dafa. But we were determined. Finally we found what we had been looking for. She ordered the exercise instruction video, and the books Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun.
I can remember receiving the small package in the mail and playing the exercise video. Then I slowly began reading Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun. I struggled to read the words but continued to read. All my questions were answered and I knew I had found the Teacher that I had been looking for all of my life. I forgot about my illness and I felt like I was starting my life over from a new beginning. Now it didn't matter if I still had the illness or didn't have the illness because what the founder of the practise, Teacher Li Hongzhi, said to me in his writings spoke to my heart, soul and my very being. I knew that I had found a righteous cultivation practice.
I continued doing the exercises, sometimes sitting in a chair and sometimes standing. I slowly read Zhuan Falun. I became stronger and stronger and my vision became clearer. Within a few short months all of my symptoms disappeared and now I have been symptom free for over 4 years. My eyesight has improved and I have the least amount of correction in my glasses that I have ever had since I started wearing glasses. I have been able to go back to work, and I am leading a full and busy life once again. In the Memorial Day Parade I was even able to perform the exercises on a moving float without falling off. Before, I had a hard time standing on the ground without falling.
I sincerely thank Teacher Li Hongzhi and I thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my story with you.
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