Without wanting to sound dramatic, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve never enjoyed good health in my life, since I was a teenager.
At the age of 16, on board ship in the tropics, I was given a massive dose of every antibiotic the ship’s doctor had in his pharmacy. That got me on my feet in time to disembark, but only days later effects began to manifest. Before long, my parents sought medical help, but it was not forthcoming. “Spots on the face? That’s just teen-related,” was the verdict.
Well, of course, for a teenager, spots on the face is a serious business, whatever the cause. But they didn’t diminish with time, and soon other symptoms followed – tiredness, digestive problems, pain in the stomach, and more skin issues. The tiredness got to the point where I was tested for bilharzia (schistosomiasis) – negative. Pains in the stomach had me tested for gall-bladder issues, and with a barium meal test – both negative. I had treatment for thyroid, and though that was helpful, it didn’t fix the problem. There was (almost) an endoscopy for stomach ulcer: aborted at the last minute.
I gave up on orthodox medicine, and tried to follow a diet that gave me the least digestive issues, while researching alternative health. I had no idea what was wrong with me, but I knew for sure it was not ‘all in the head‘, as some doctors alleged.
Through all this, I got 2 university degrees – the second in Law, while working in a legal position in government. So one might say, “Well, you can’t have been that sick.”
True, I wasn’t confined to bed, or hospitalized, but I continually felt ‘under the weather’ and most of the time life was a struggle. In my first year of study after I got the government job, I only achieved 1 law unit – though I enrolled for the normal 4. That was because of exhaustion. The only way to combat that was to move my lodgings as close to the university as possible, to make evening study less of a hassle.
Time marched on – without letup in the problems. Finally one day, as Regional Solicitor for the ACC in the Waikato, I conducted a hearing into a complaint by a lady denied cover for an illness contracted while picking a bed of sprayed asparagus. I was impressed by the knowledge and open-minded approach of the doctor who gave evidence for her. I decided to consult him.
When I told him my story, he didn’t have to think twice. His immediate diagnosis was Candidiasis – ie an overgrowth of candida organisms in the gut: something I had never heard of before. He said the huge dose of antibiotics did indeed kill off all organisms in my gut – the friendly ones as well as the unfriendly ones. This gave the Candida carte blanche to take over the territory. “I can’t prove it”, he told me, “but I will put you on treatment and if I am right, you will be very sick for a while.”
Sick I was.
I was lecturing in business law at the Hamilton Polytechnic and some of my male students told me I didn’t look well (!). One day – fortunately while my parents were visiting – I woke up from a mid-morning sleep feeling so bad my father drove me to my afternoon lecture because I felt as if my head wasn’t attached to my body. Definitely not safe to drive.
“Little green men….” the doctor had said. Such is the effect of ‘die-off’, when the Candida organisms are killed off and their toxins flood the system. How I got through that lecture, I don’t know. For some weeks I was tired, slept a lot of the time, generally felt horrible, and was difficult to live with.
But at least I had a diagnosis – after 27 years of trying.
It needs to be said that in those days, the general medical profession was in total denial about the implication of antibiotics in the spread of Candida. Even today, very few accept it – especially health professionals. This is largely the work of the pharmaceutical companies, who encourage doctors and veterinarians to administer antibiotics regularly as a backstop, whatever the problem may be – ‘just in case’. Aaah alas, the mighty dollar…
It may be years before the issue is brought into the open.
I moved away from the Waikato to the family 10 acre property. As we all tend to do, I hoped as time went on that I had got over it. I swore off bread, mushrooms, and other yeast products (so that’s why beer never agreed with me). I kept away from too much sugar, and boxed on. But still things were not right.
Then while working in a local health store the chance came to consult a visiting iridologist who was with one of the major health companies. She told me she could see signs of Candida throughout my body. That was a shock. My spleen, she said, was enlarged.
I didn’t even know where my spleen was. So I went home, consulted the books, and found the acupressure point for the spleen is under the bottom rib on the left. All of a sudden I realized here was the reason for the unexplained tenderness I had felt there for years, and which I had always put down to my bra “biting” me. It looked as if my immune system was shot.
By way of explanation: if you think you know all about ‘thrush’, you don’t know enough. Candida being a yeast or fungus has roots similar to the white, silky roots of mushrooms and toadstools – roots that invade the bodily tissues: it is indeed a serious business if it gets the upper hand in your system. It had had the upper hand in my system for 27 years.
It was frightening.
I had access to all the latest alternative products on the market, and tried many of the promising ones. Some helped, but still there was no final resolution. It was going to take more than that.
One Power was keeping His hand on me through all this, though I was only nominally a Christian and He had not yet openly come to my aid. That was soon to happen:
“…the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
There was a warfare going on in my life, that I hadn’t identified as such – a spiritual battle that started in my teens and had intensified as the years passed by. I am truly grateful that throughout all the years of this drama, with the exception of one period of treatment with Nilstat, I was kept away from taking Big Pharma’s drugs: grateful, too, that in spite of the struggles and weariness, I managed to make a success out of the ‘corporate’ talents the Father gave me.
The Enemy was on my case: I was truly under attack – mainly in the area of health, but there were other things happening also, of which I was totally unaware. Indeed, if you had said the words ‘spiritual warfare‘ to me, I wouldn’t have had a clue what you were talking about.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)
More to follow