My mother at 97 lives alone, writes a column for a local newsletter, paints watercolors, writes poetry, takes classes in current events, walks every day and recently started studying Yiddish. At five feet tall and ninety eight pounds, she’s spritely and outgoing. Up to a couple of years ago, she was swimming laps at the pool.
Some years ago my mom felt “uncomfortable” in her chest and so my sister, who’s a D.O. and somewhat anxious, rushed her to the hospital where they did a cardiac catheterization. The doctor said her arteries were fine. “It must have just been gas,” he said. In general I keep mom away from doctors and, when they sometimes offer her drugs, she consults me before taking them. I advise her to “toss them in the trash,” which she does without question. Each flu season for the last ten years, when her friends were getting mercury laden flu shots, she was taking Influenzinum and has never suffered a sniffle.
Mom has a copy of my book and a collection of about 100 remedies. In the beginning she would call me about what to take. Nowadays, when she has an ache or pain, she analyzes it, takes a remedy and tells me about it afterward. A decade ago, I taught her how to use Spectrochrome Light Therapy, which was developed by Indian physician Dinshah Ghadiali. It uses twelve different colored lights to help balance the body’s energy. You have to lie under the light in a darkened room, uncovered for about an hour, at specific times of the day. Most people would prefer to take a pill rather than go to that trouble. Mom read the book, understood the concept and has used the therapy ever since.
A few years ago, I called my mother to say hello, and when she answered, her speech was slurred and she sounded intoxicated. She said she felt confused and was having difficulty “figuring out what to do”, meaning she couldn’t remember her daily routine. She said she was feeling fine when she went to bed, but in the morning the confusion started. She was a couple hours into this problem now. I asked if anything else had changed and she said “The lights look so bright.”
I believed my mother was experiencing a stroke or a TIA. Under stroke remedies which have speech impairment, I found Baryta c., Crot h., Ipec, Laur, Nux v., Caust, Lach, and Crot c. The morning aggravation and sensitivity to light led me to choose Nux. Even in this confused state, with a little guidance, she managed to get her kit and take the remedy. We stayed on the phone and within twenty minutes her normal voice and mental clarity returned. I drove to her house and we spent the rest of the day together. While I was driving over there, mom called my sister, who insisted that she see a doctor and get checked out.
Reluctantly, I took my mother to her local G.P. who examined her and then started asking questions to see if she was oriented.
“What day is this?
“Monday, October 21st, 2007”.
“Where do you live?”
Mom gives her address.
“Who is the president, the doc asked?”
“George Walker Bush and he’s doing a terrible job. Cheyney (the VP) is certainly running the show. Condoleezza Rice is the secretary of state, and what a trio they make!”
“Thank you,” the doctor continued. “How much is 12 minus 5?”
“And 25 13?”
“Can you subtract 7 from 100, then 7 from that and so on”?
Mom rattles off .. “Ninety three, eighty six, seventy nine, seventy two, sixty five….”
“Thank you, that will be fine.” “Can you name the months going backwards from October?”
Mom begins …”September, August, July, June ”…
I interrupt : “Doctor! I think it’s obvious my mother is oriented. We need to go now!” (What was next, quadratic equations?)
The adventure ended well and with a good diet, some nutrients, occasional remedies and exercise, my mother has remained in good health. We escaped the medical system one more time.