Angela Heldon tells an optimistic tale of hope and healing. While recounting her experiences battling Ulcerative Colitis, Angela shares her reflections and inspiration about the Lord's guidance and purpose in leading her through this challenging journey toward physical health. Originally published in 2008. -Editor
I had an epiphany. All the links seemed to come together all at once as I was on my run this morning. The condition I have, called Ulcerative Colitis (chronic inflammation of the large intestine), deemed incurable by the medical profession, has been with me for over six and a half years. It’s been a long yet wonderful journey which still has many chapters I'm sure, yet now the reasons for this healing process make a lot of sense to me.
I believe the sensations in our body are one way the Lord uses to communicate with us; this has played a huge part in my condition. I remember when I was young having difficulty breathing and letting go in many situations. I went on to get very bad reflux and was put on medication; shortly after, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. I was told by my specialist that my condition was incurable, that it was manageable with medication and when I inquired about diet I was told that “diet had nothing to do with it.”
Over the next six years I was put on three types of medication, cortico-steroids, immune-suppressants and anti-inflammatories, and was told I'd be on medication for at least the next thirty years. I remember thinking, “Oh no I won't,” but I didn't have much idea how I'd achieve this.
Well, I have always been interested in health and alternative therapies,so over time I gradually began learning and putting the pieces together on my condition. For example, understanding and accepting that yes, I had been predisposed to this condition through heredity, but it was I who unintentionally, through diet, lifestyle, and my thought patterns, had brought on the symptoms of this disease. I believe I needed to be brought along this path to enable me to be a good healer. I feel blessed.
Now, I am trying not to go into too much detail but it is very hard because as I have learned about the things that have contributed to my condition I have grown into myself as a person... my life story I guess. I'll try and write about the main points.
Over the last six years I have tried many different alternative approaches with much support from my family. For example, herbs, homeopathy, yoga, acupuncture, natural supplements, oils internally, cutting out different things in my diet, etc.. They all really really helped but I didn't seem to be able to achieve remission. I believe these complementary medicines were what kept me going and gave me hope though I seemed to go round in continuous cycles: I'd start a new thing, get really excited, start doing really well then I'd slide back down again. Each time though, and there were so many times, I'd always learn something and be that one step closer to knowing why.
Eventually I managed to get off the cortico-steroids, then finally off the immune-suppressants which I was so happy about. I had so much will not to be on medication because I knew they were just treating the symptoms and not allowing me to listen to my body properly. I was still confused about many things.
So now I just had to get off the anti-inflammatories, which are apparently meant to be mild with very little side effects and my specialist wanted me to stay on them for the next 30 years to help prevent “relapse” and colon cancer.
About six months ago I was given a book to read called Gut and Psychology Syndrome which started me on an incredible diet which enabled me (the very determined me) to come off all my medication! So now is when the greatest healing commenced...
One of the main symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis is very bad pains in the gut, and after three months on the diet my pains had greatly improved. However, I started getting chest pains and some reflux again and wasn't quite sure why.
Well, that's when I come back to this morning. The epiphany! I woke up this morning with the song “Listen to Your Heart” in my head. I had many things to do today but I felt compelled to go on a walk, so I went on a lovely walk, came home, but wasn't satisfied, so I went up and had a nice swing in the park, came home, still not really settled, and then my sister Carolyn said she was going on a run and I thought “excellent!”
During the run the chest pains came on quite strongly and I thought “why?” I was feeling quite negative about them. My sister went ahead but I kept persisting, walking then running then walking. About half way into the run I got into a really good rhythm with my breathing and the pains were calming. I turned a corner and this beautiful breeze blew across my being and then suddenly I felt an enlightenment, an understanding from the Lord of the whole healing process of my condition! I felt the Lord’s energy in my whole being, I couldn't stop smiling, I was so happy!
In that moment I understood how everything that had ever happened in my life fitted in so perfectly; I understood that the gut pains had moved from my gut to my chest and were moving out my jaw. I was letting go. The opposite to how things had started. I was growing out of my condition! I understood my body's sensations and I felt very closely connected to the Lord!
I, Angela, am a part of the New Church in Australia. I work in the Natural Therapies Industry as a Massage/Aroma and Bowen Therapist. I am very interested in continuing to learn more about all the wonderful ways in which the Lord reaches people on their journeys of healing.