Parkinson's: 'Like Lazarus, I'm coming
By Jan Radtke
[Note: The following article appeared
in the November/December, 1997 (Volume 13, No. 6) issue of Venture Inward.]
My symptoms - overwhelming
exhaustion after any physical activity as simple as taking a shower, diminished
clarity of speech, lack of physical dexterity and coordination, and a constant
tremor on my left side - certainly got my attention. They made it
difficult for me to lead an active life as a psychotherapist, a volunteer
in church and community activities, a teacher, and to keep a busy social
calendar. I constantly found myself drained of energy and stamina
and unable to push myself into the physical reserve as I had done so many
times before. Because of my history of excellent health, these symptoms
perplexed me and my medical doctors. In 1992, an astute neurologist
finally labeled them as Parkinson's disease (P.D.). I had some knowledge
of Parkinson's disease since my father, in his latter years, had been diagnosed
with this disease; and my paternal grandmother had also displayed Parkinson's
symptoms. But not me - I argued that I was too young at 49 to have
this geriatric disease.
I knew enough to know that
I wanted to be very cautious about taking the medication recommended by
most neurologists, the dopamine derivative Sinemet. Sinemet is a
doubleedged sword. It helps some people with P.D. some of the time
but causes permanent disfiguring dyskinesias (continuous uncontrolled and
often painful jerking muscular movements of the extremities, tongue, and
head). Many medical and lay persons now feel that a major drawback
is that the drug actually causes additional damage to the neurons of the
brain. For these reasons I refused the medication for three years
until I felt that I had no other options.
Sinemet gave me the ability
to coordinate my body's movements for approximately 45 to 60 minutes at
a time, enabling me to perform an activity like getting dressed.
However, a rebound effect subsequently occurred that actually increased
the uncoordination, tremor, and fatigue. I began to carefully structure
my day around my "on" time (a phrase often used by those on Sinemet), doing
what had to be done - bathing, food preparation, seeing clients - in this
precious "on" time. If I waited until the 45 to 60 minutes passed,
my body would be. unable to do something as simple as untie a twisty tie
securing a loaf of bread.
Parkinson's disease causes
disability by gradually and inexplicably killing dark cells near the base
of the brain, called substantia nigra, producer of dopamine. Like
the household lubricant WD-40, dopamine provides fluidity of movement.
Without dopamine, I was robbed of the ability to perform the simplest of
tasks. Tying my shoes, rolling over in bed, getting in and out of
the tub, and driving a car became Herculean feats.
By late 1995, it took every
ounce of my energy simply to dress, bathe, and prepare food. Even
with medication, after each such activity I had to lie down and rest for
an hour or so in order to regroup for the next activity. I managed
to see a couple of clients a day, for I loved my work and found incredible
satisfaction in helping my clients. But I knew the time was fast
approaching when I would have to give up the career I had worked so long
and hard to actualize.
A series of losses last year,
including the unexpected death of my father in January and the death of
my life work in February, plunged me into a deep, dark chasm of depression.
I experienced feelings of uselessness as well as grief. I identified
with Job's wailing to God. I found moments of solace with prayer,
meditation, reading scripture, and by writing poetry and painting during
In only a few years I had
metamorphosed from owning a thriving, satisfying business and enjoying
an active lifestyle to no income, applying for disability, and living a
recluse's life, rarely leaving the house. I had stopped driving due
to the inability to coordinate movements.
Being of an independent nature,
I hesitated to honestly share the depth of my dilemma. Once I shared
how desperate my situation had become, the outpouring of support from my
family, friends, and neighbors was overwhelming. Friends bought and
prepared food or took me to the grocery store, dentist, doctors, and church.
They wrote checks for bills, took me for outings, or came over for a cup
of tea and to pray together. Neighbors did my yard work and picked
up books at the library. One of the brightest experiences of my week
was when my friend Normale and I visited a friend at the nursing home.
I felt as if I had something to give someone else for a change.
My illness created a willingness
in me to become more open and more creative to pursue avenues that offered
even a hint of healing. I was familiar with alternative medical approaches
since I had been involved in acupuncture for years. I now ventured
into Reiki, craniosacral massage, chiropractic, hypnosis, homeopathy, Chinese
herbs, psychic readings/ healers, and kinesiology.
My dear friend, Diane Kowalski,
a member of A.R.E. for years, suggested I explore Cayce's approach to Parkinson's
disease. The next day I joined the A.R.E. My initial response
to the readings for Parkinson's disease was mixed.
Cayce described various protocols: massage, the Wet Cell appliance, diet,
living one's ideals, prayers, and service. Yet there were no success
stories of people recovering from Parkinson's symptoms. I decided,
nevertheless, to order the Wet Cell appliance and began my own treatment
program. After a few months of stops and starts of my Wet Cell, I
was contacted by the Meridian Institute about a research project on Parkinson's.
I applied the next day, and Diane, a self-employed horticulturalist ("Gardens
by Diane"), drove me to Virginia Beach and served as my support person
during the week-long A.R.E.-Meridian conference last November.
When we arrived, Kieth VonderOhe's
service-oriented manner and hospitality set the prayerful tone for a wonderful
week. Throughout the conference, Diane and I wondered if we were
experiencing a fantastic dream. I experienced an instant connection
with most of the attendees and felt immediately comfortable in sharing
intimately as if I had known them before. Psychic Mary Roach later
confirmed this observation, saying that we had been together in previous
lifetimes. Four of us close in age giggled, played, and talked into
the night about our lives.
The staff of David McMillin,
Eric Mein, Carl Nelson, Doug Richards, Tom Dewey, and Kieth presented a
conference that Diane said "was a 10 course meal, with each course more
scrumptious than the last." We experienced the nurturance of the Cayce
diet with Gabrielle Drinovan's miraculous culinary skills. We learned
the Cayce food principles, such as not to eat animal protein and starch
at the same meal (no bread, rolls, potatoes, or rice when meat is served),
and how to keep the body alkaline by eating fruits and vegetables as 80
percent of the diet.
The week was filled with Wet
Cell applications, breathwork, attitudes and emotions, ideals, Cayce diet,
healing prayer from the Glad Helpers, meditation before breakfast and lunch,
daily dream work at breakfast, a chiropractic adjustment, a steam bath
and massage at the A.R.E. Health Services Department. The climax
for me was when David McMillin read reading 4085-1. 1 knew at that moment
that Cayce's protocol would work for me. Cayce prescribed alignment
of mental attitude, daily applications of the Wet Cell appliance alternately
with chloride of gold solution/nitrate of silver solution, and a thorough
daily massage following the use of the appliance. Having studied
this disease since my father's diagnosis, I had never read or heard of
any promise of cure for this progressively debilitating neurological disorder.
And yet Cayce said: "If there is that attitude of bringing help and of
keeping helpful forces through the periods when the applications are made,
we may eradicate almost entirely this deficiency that is called the Parkinson's
But fear crept in: How was
I going to have the energy and strength to integrate these complicated
protocols into my life? I also knew that my old independent nature
would have to yield to be able to accept the help I would need. There
was no way I could massage my own back. I would have to deal with
my issues of asking and receiving if I was going to heal. My choice
of life or death was clear. Was I going to be stoic and go it alone
and not actualize Cayce's God-given recommendations, or was I going to
let others into my life by asking for their help?
When I returned home, I prayed,
got out my church bulletin, and began making phone calls for help.
Again, I was overwhelmed by the response: 19 people now help implement
Wet Cell protocol into my life. People
volunteer as they can; some come monthly, others weekly - yet another lesson
for me of life's abundance.
Using the Wet Cell, which
is like a low-voltage battery with the voltage of a flashlight, I sometimes
feel a tingling in my extremities and a sense of peace and calm.
I meditate during the one-half hour application time and return from the
experience feeling blessed by God's presence. I have made the Wet
Cell / massage a priority in my life and rarely missed any days using them.
The dietary principles, other than giving up
sugar, were easier to apply than I expected. Like many persons diagnosed
with P.D., I crave sweets, especially pastries. When I ate sugar,
I quickly felt a surge of energy but subsequently dropped like a lead weight
and felt my valuable stamina and strength drain away. Eliminating
white sugar and drastically limiting other sweets (honey and maple syrup)
have been crucial to my body's healing.
I have always eaten a fairly
healthy diet, so I found the recommended foods not a dramatic change.
I had been eating organic fruits, vegetables, and grains for years.
The amount of vegetables Cayce recommended was, however, a shift.
Since cleaning, chopping, and preparing vegetables was labor intensive,
friends offered to do this and store the vegetables ready to use into zip-lock
bags. This gift helped me conserve energy for other activities.
My meals became simpler: oatmeal
or fruit for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and some protein (lamb, fish,
poultry) and steamed vegetables for dinner. I savored every bite.
Between meals I carefully squeezed in six to eight glasses of water with
lemon juice to keep my bowels regular and provide my body cells enough
liquid for proper functioning.
After applying the Cayce protocols
and Wet Cell appliance/massage for five months, I found that some aspects
of healing were very subtle and others dramatic. The most dramatic for
me has been regaining the coordination to return to driving my car. As
energy and coordination permit, I now drive to the grocery store, to a
doctor's appointment, or to church. On many days my voice is stronger
and more audible. I am able to write checks for bills or write a
short note in cursive with more ease, and do my own food shopping and food
preparation. Most nights I can turn over easier in bed, consequently
waking up fewer times at night. I am able to get out of the tub with
less struggle. Although my energy, stamina, and coordination are
still unpredictable and I have not been able to return to work, I feel
a pervading sense of inner peace and strength knowing that God's presence
is a given in my life.
I have found this healing
journey to be one of peaks and valleys. Some days I can do many of
the activities listed above, and on other days the only activity I can
perform is to pray and meditate all day, since that is all my body will
allow. For me, this healing experience has not been a graph continually
climbing, rather, a line that runs a very jagged zig-zag course.
I was not alone in benefiting
from the Cayce regimen. Several of the other nine participants in
the program shared their results. "My health and happiness grow stronger
each day," says Glen Goessman of Kirkland, Washington. "I can tell
even after this short a time that good changes are happening in my body.
The Wet Cell works! My smile has returned and I'm sharing it with
my friends. I am no longer such a 'dead pan.' I have more stamina.
I require less sleep. My eyes are stronger; they don't cross as much
and I can do more reading. Miracle of miracles, my sense of smell
has returned! ... I am more aware that the Lord walks with me."
Marissa Richardson of Durham,
New Hampshire, says: "I have moved even more clearly into absolute certainty
that healing is taking place or will take place. I have the sense,
actually, that this is the final chapter in my seven-year quest for this
healing. Physically, I go longer periods between doses of Sinemet,
some improvement in energy and experience of movements when I'm tremor
Judith lovonna of Meridan,
Connecticut, writes: "Less rigidity, more great days as opposed to not
so great.' More relaxation. An inner awareness that I will be fine.
Also a concern and heartfelt feeling of wanting all of our group to heal."
I am encouraged by periodically talking
to David Atkinson of North Carolina, who has dramatically recovered from
ALS, an "incurable" neurological disease, since he used the Wet Cell/massage
therapy. He is an inspiring example of what Edgar Cayce stressed
in reading after reading for P.D., that we must apply the healing protocols
"consistently, persistently, prayerfully." He also said, "Don't give up!"
- important words for those of us diagnosed with P.D. or any chronic illness.
I will continue the Cayce
remedies until the "still, small voice" within directs me otherwise.
But already I feel like Lazarus.
I have come alive again and, bit by bit, am regaining strength, stamina,
and coordination. I felt God's hand placed upon me in blessing to
be able to be
a part of this experience.