I am sharing this story in the hope that it may help someone who finds themselves or their loved ones in a similar predicament…In March 2022, quite out of the blue, my elderly Mother stopped eating. By day three of not eating she was extremely weak, confined to her bed and it was hard to even persuade her to take small sips of liquid. My Father and I felt that she had given up on life and was preparing to die…. Since I started practising Ayurveda about fifteen years ago both of my parents have benefitted from Ayurvedic treatments and supplements, and although they are quite old (86 & 92) and both have failing eyesight, neither has any chronic illness (in stark contrast to their contemporaries). Although my Mother had no symptoms, due to the severity of her condition I decided to call the GP. The GP came the following day and checked for any signs of an infection. Despite finding nothing beyond a very slightly elevated temperature, she declared that my Mother probably had Covid, that she required an intravenous antibiotic and need to be admitted to hospital without delay. She suggested that we call an ambulance there and then. My Mother said, “I don’t want to go to hospital.” The Doctor was quite coercive, implying that if we did not follow her suggestion, my Mother might not be able to get well and if we would just call the ambulance she would have a good chance of recovery. She also made it clear that my Mother would be admitted to ICU and we would not be allowed to visit her. I, on the other hand, believed that if my Mother was on her own in hospital she would feel very alone and have no incentive to get better and if she was going to die, wouldn’t it be better for her to die in the comfort of her own home and surrounded by loved ones? Eventually I managed to persuade the GP to leave by saying that we needed more time to make a decision… After she left, I phoned a friend who is a Doctor to talk things through. We also spoke to my brother who lives abroad. Finally, after a couple of hours, my Father and I felt ready to make the decision and confident enough to disregard the GP’s advice and to keep my Mother at home. About 15 minutes after we had made that momentous decision, my Mother opened her eyes and said, “I think I’m feeling hungry.” What a miracle! It felt like an endorsement: that we had made the right decision. I should also add that for the previous 3 days my Mother had been given small sips of ginger tea at regular intervals. Ginger is called the “Mother” of medicines because of its central role in supporting digestion, which itself is the true foundation of our wellbeing. Now one thing about my Mother is that she is extremely attached to her cat. I am convinced that bringing the cat in to sleep with her in bed was also a big part of the healing process. The day after the Doctor’s visit and shortly after getting up in the morning, my Father collapsed: the stress of the GP’s visit, the decision and fear of losing his wife had taken its toll…. So then there were two invalids to take care of! Fortunately I was soon joined by my brother. Things got easier from then on, and I am happy to report that they are now both fully recovered. So what can we learn from this story? It is a story about where we place our trust: Undoubtedly there is a place for experts; but when their advice conflicts with our gut instinct or inner knowing, then which will we decide to follow?
A personal story of healing and recovery
- December 8, 2022