Successful recovery and renewed gift of life of a psychological counsellor on the CFIDS Protocol in Australia!
There was a programme on our National TV station a couple of months ago on CFS with a panel consisting of a GP doctor, nutritionsist doctor and a naturopath specialist in Energy Therapy. The programme series is on our ABC and is called "Second Opinion". I contributed to the email review afterwards that appears on the programs website, and mentioned your Protocol! It's good to be able to let people know about it, and who knows, you might just get some enquiries.
Hope all is well with you, and thank you for the gift of renewed energy and life!
Kindest regards Marg
An excerpt from Margaret Lambert’s forthcoming book.
Chapter 4: Towards Hope
My God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me,
I cannot know for certain where it will end…
- Thomas Merton
In the middle of 2002, I had taken on a part-time position of Counsellor and Educator. This position suited me both in the type of work in which I was experienced and in the field in which I was eager to pursue. The flexibility of this position also meant that my continued study in Psychology was more manageable. However, as the previous few relapses of CFS resulted in a diminished recovery rate and a progressive reduction in energy level, I decided to defer one of my final two Psychology subjects when I was faced with the demands of learning a new job. This proved to be rather a fortuitous decision as I also encountered a serious decline in my health during the semester. Up until this time I had always believed that I was one of the lucky ones with CFS, being able to continue with a normal life, managing my family and working. I had heard and read about so many whose lives had come to a standstill on account of CFS, and I was extremely grateful that my illness had not become so permanently restrictive. After recovering to a point where I could do almost anything during the ‘well’ times (with the exception of playing sport or excessive exercise), I did not see my illness as a great limitation. Sure, I had setbacks, and certainly CFS had restricted my career but I felt fortunate that for most of the time I was still able to hold a job and be reasonably productive as well as care for my family, which was so much more than many others with CFS could do. Apart from the year that I took off work when I first became unwell, I was never forced to give up work on account of my health, though I was often forced to take time off or reduce my hours. I remained very much motivated by the challenges that each of my jobs offered me and I always seemed to be able to perform tasks, even if it meant that I dragged myself through them or would suffer afterwards. The pattern of my illness was often spending a couple of days a week in bed after doing my week’s work. In addition, from time to time I would suffer prolonged relapses lasting some weeks. Most setbacks and relapses I took in my stride, as the tendency with this illness was to bounce back after a setback, building up energy and strength again to continue on with my regular activities. However if the setbacks continued for weeks, I became anxious about recovery. On one hand, I came to know that my relapses were only transitory and did not see that them as anything more than temporary setbacks, but on the other hand, each longer setback period presented me with fear and depression, as I never presumed that recovery would follow.
A turning point came with my illness one morning in October when, upon waking and feeling highly energetic, I was eager to sweep and mop our large tiled floor at home before settling down to study for my forthcoming exam. I exerted all my energy into mopping the floor, elated that I was feeling so well and full of energy. The study however, did not go too well as I was already feeling the CFS effects of my energetic burst. This downfall turned into the most severe and prolonged relapse of CFS I was ever to encounter and as such, became the time when it became apparent to me that my health was in a fluctuating but steady decline. I was seriously debilitated, being bed-ridden for many weeks, progressing to being housebound for many more weeks. My main symptoms with this relapse were extreme body weakness, to the point that every muscle in my body felt like it had collapsed, muscle aches in the lower back and legs, inability to concentrate, periodic chest pain, heart palpitations and insomnia. Emotionally I became depressed when it became apparent to me that this was no passing phase of CFS but that my life was now seriously limited and there was no improvement in sight.
Being housebound meant that I was still often in bed, but I managed to walk at snails pace between the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and verandah of our home. I would occasionally walk downstairs to the TV, laundry or pool area, but I usually found that I was too weak to manage this and I always had to remember that if I walked downstairs, I needed to get back upstairs again! Some days I would get up and the act of showering and dressing myself wore me out and I had to go back to bed for the day.
I felt totally unwell and debilitated for many months and I have no idea how I was able to carry out work requirements over this time but somehow, miraculously, I managed essential work demands. Looking back, I am amazed at where the energy came from for carrying out my part-time work, but somehow I was able to carry on at times when I thought that I would not make it through. The flexibility of my work position was indeed a blessing: there is absolutely no way I could have maintained the regular hours of a normal job. I could not have managed even the reduced and flexible work load without the enormous contribution of my brother with household chores, and my husband taking on all of the ongoing duties of shopping, cooking, washing, children’s taxi service, almost entirely for six months, and with the children helping out where they could. After several months I was able to take on some of these tasks again, in a minor way, but only some of them some of the time.
It was after a couple of months of being seriously debilitated that I started to doubt whether my condition would ever improve. I prayed that this illness would be terminal if the alternative was that I was to continue to live in this state of debilitation. My concern and fear for my ongoing state of health arose from the knowledge that CFS is not a terminal illness and that there is no cure for it either. So once again, in the course of this long-standing illness, I investigated on the Internet, management strategies and possible treatments for CFS, though I was not very hopeful about finding anything new or promising. In my hit-and-miss type search, I stumbled across the website for Dr Nash Petrovic, a medical doctor working in Johannesburg who claimed to be able to cure CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome), an alternative name for CFS. This site took my interest because of the amazing claims it contained for the successful treatment of CFIDS. I became even more interested as I read of some Australian connections with this treatment, people who had supplied their names and contact details. I viewed it carefully but cautiously, very aware that in the traditional medical arena and in my own investigations in alternative fields, there is still no cure for CFS. I wondered whether the people mentioned on the site had financial connections with this Petrovic Protocol. However, this website held promise and seemed worthy of further investigation and I wondered why it had not drawn my attention before during my periodic searches on CFS.
For the next two weeks I researched the Petrovic Protocol, studying the entire website and communicating with some of the Australian connections mentioned on the site. I commenced regular communication with Mr Roy Collins who was listed on the website as the Australian contact person for the Petrovic Protocol. The story about Roy’s involvement with Dr Petrovic was both intriguing and reassuring. His grand-daughter, who also lives in Darwin (and coincidentally has the same surname as me), was diagnosed with CFS when she was seven years old. Roy also had found out about Dr Petrovic through the Internet and he had become the Australian contact for him, as an offer of community service in gratitude for his grand-daughter’s recovery. Roy suggested that I email Dr Petrovic regarding all my questions and concerns of which there were many. So commenced the communication that was to regain my life.