Thursday, 12 September 2013

Access: DENIED

Happy Autumn one and all!

I want to share with you an experience I had last week which in my world has unfortunately become only too common. My rheumatologist who I have been with since I was 18 - who supports me fully with my decision to treat myself holistically - is now semi-retired. It has become increasingly difficult to get an appointment with him and soon he will retire completely and I will be left with a team of 'text-book readers', as I like to call them. As in, the young rheumies straight out of med school who think that no matter what you tell them, you can't be right because they read about it in a text book and heard about it in a lecture so they must be right. You know what? As someone who has suffered with the same illness for 27 years and has overcome the worst of it more than most people are able to, I think I am better qualified to make those decisions and I hate these young Dr's who think otherwise and are condescending. ("I'm sorry Miss Vaknine, but if you don't take these infection-inducing, life-threatening, organ damaging drugs, your joints will be permanently damaged and there will be nothing we can do to fix it, and it will all be your own fault, not ours." "Actually Dr know-it-all, I've had this since I was 2 and aside from a 10 month stint where I took a drug that nearly killed me, the rest of the 27 years have been drug free and lo and behold! I have no damaged joints! My joints and bones and muscles and organs are in better condition than any of the people who have been on these drugs for long periods of time and, actually, everything about my body is how it should be for a normal 29 year old. Explain that??") You get the gist... But they still don't EVER look at me and say, oh, she might have a point, look how healthy she is, perhaps there is something in this - 'why don't you tell me more about that Miss Vaknine?' - said no conventional Dr ever! Aside from Dr Keat... he is wonderful. Agrees that whatever works for me and keeps me looking and feeling normal is what I should continue with and should I need an injection or a draining or some advice every so often, he is there to help... anyway he recommended a new rheumy that I should go and see so I can - begrudgingly - start with a new one so that I'm not left in the lurch when Dr Keat retired.

So I went... She barely looked at me - always a great sign when they're more interested in the notes in front of them than the person in front of them. I'm sure if she gave me 10 minutes I could tell her more about me than the notes could. The first thing she said was 'how can I help?' I told her I needed a new rheumatologist as my current one was retiring. Second question? What medications are you on.... and this is always the volatile part... 'None. I treat myself with homeopathy, supplements, diet and other holistic therapies such as kinesiology, osteopathy, acupuncture...' she smirked, and replied coldly... 'ok, so you don't have an ACTUAL treatment plan?' 'Errr that is an ACTUAL treatament plan, just not the one you administer. I appreciate and respect what you do but I choose to treat myself in this way, it is what has worked for me personally over the years.' 'You do know that your joints will start getting very damaged very soon don't you?' Here she goes.... 'Yes Dr, a paediatric rheumatologist told that to my parents when I was 2. I'm now 29. Still waiting.' 'Well that's not a very good attitude is it?' 'Well, I think it's MY attitude, it's my decision, it's my choice. It works for me. I have no joint damage, have never had surgery, I have no deformities. I feel good, that's the main thing isn't it?' 'No,' she answers, 'I'm very sorry but if you're not willing to follow the treatment plan recommended by us then I'm afraid this isn't the right place for you, I think you should find another rheumatologist.'

I would like to say I was shocked, but I wasn't. I've had this before and have heard it from other people who have been through it. 'Are you saying you refuse to treat me because I treat my illness holistically?' I asked. 'I'm saying that I don't think this is the right place for you.' 'Yes, I think you're probably right.' And with that I got up and left.

I'm not an expert, but I'm sure that when doctors take the Hippocratic Oath, they swear to treat all patients free of judgement and discrimination.... does anyone know if what she did was even legal? I wouldn't want to see her anyway but it would be good to know...

Whether or not I use their medications, I deserve to be monitored like everyone else with the illness. I should have my blood tests and xrays and scans when needed and have a doctor read them to me... no??

So, this was the story. I'd like to hear your thoughts on it... was she right in turning me away? Or are you in agreement that people have the right to choose how they treat their bodies when it comes to illness and anything else? If someone is clearly harming themselves its different. But the facts speak for themselves here when you look at me and look at my scans and bloodwork. So opinions please?

Friday, 28 June 2013

Wheelchair Wedding - Part 2

Where did I leave off? Oh yes, I'm in Israel, a week from my wedding unable to walk. Well there was no miraculous recovery. No Vitamin D related miracles as everyone suspected.. "your body hasn't seen the sun for a long time. As soon as you get on that beach and your legs touch the sand you'll be fine!"... Well, no, not really. First day, we went to the beach. Second day, we went to the beach. Third day, same. Nothing. And on Wednesday we had to make the journey to Jerusalem to sign the marriage documents and I burst into tears in the rabbis office because I couldn't believe I was collecting my marriage certificate in a wheelchair.

Thursday - beach. Nothing. And everyone was starting to arrive. I was devastated because they were all seeing me in a wheelchair and I couldn't enjoy my time with them like we'd planned. We had so many events planned and I was just getting more and more stressed and more and more anxious by the minute. On Thursday afternoon, after succumbing to the fact that the hundreds of people - from all backgrounds and denominations - all over the world praying for me, the so-called healing sand, and the 'wedding adrenaline' weren't working, I decided to call a doctor. I figured if Hashem, Allah, Jesus Christ and The Virgin Mary couldn't cure me, we needed to call in 'The Mortals'.

Friday morning. In walks Dr Butcher - as he is now affectionately known to us. 5ft2 and 20 stone, wearing jeans and a counterfeit polo shirt with breath to rival the entrance of the rhino enclosure at the zoo. And I'm being told to relax! By this point I just figured that things couldn't get much worse so I might as well take off my knickers and let him put that humdinger of a needle in my bum cheek. Which he did. It hurt but it was a nice distraction (from his breath, and the pain.)

After handing us his bill, we paid, and he left. I told Daniel to go and entertain our guests by the pool and I had a little nap. Lo and behold - blessed be Hashem, Allah, Jesus Christ, Lord Ganesha, The Virgin Mary, The Dalai Lama, Buddha and every freaking rabbi in the holy land I was standing on - I COULD STAND. And I COULD WALK. It wasn't immediately 100% better but after a few hours I felt relief. And when I woke up on Saturday morning I was able to put my feet on the ground and get myself to the bathroom. I was so excited I woke Daniel up at 6am to tell him.

We spent that day at the beach and come Monday, I was well enough to enjoy my wedding :)

Albeit I am the only bride in the history of the world to fall asleep in the wedding car next to her husband be on the way to our wedding! (A story for the grandkids)

The day was perfect. I had to sit down at lot and by about 11.30 they brought a chair to the dancefloor and I sat on it as everyone danced around me. By the end of the night, my wonderful husband put me in the wheelchair and wheeled me to the coach that was taking us all home and we got a great picture of it which I will post when I get it. But for the time being, below is a picture of me on the day. Who knew I couldn't walk 3 days before right???

Thank you to everyone who supported me through this time. It really was the hardest time of my life and having to mix that in with what should be the happiest time of my life was very difficult and extremely testing on my faith. But we got there in the end and the most important thing is that Daniel and I are now happily married, back home, and apart from a bit of a dodgy hip, flare free.

Happy Friday everyone xxx

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wheelchair Wedding - Part 1

To say it has been an emotional few weeks is a bit of an understatement. I don't think I've ever felt so many emotions in one time period...

So here's what happened. We were due to leave for Israel for our wedding on Sunday 2nd June (wedding on Monday 10th June) and the Sunday before that, I came down with some sort of horrific virus. It started with a sore throat and I woke up at 1am with a raging fever and insanely ridiculous joint pain all over my body. This kind of joint pain I have only experienced once before - and for someone who has had Rheumatoid Arthritis all their life to say this was bad, it really must be bad. The last time I experienced this pain it was only in my knees. This time it was every joint in my body and it felt like something was attacking them, like knives and saws and needles - that is the only way I can describe it.

I lay writhing in pain for hours while my-then fiance tried to figure out what to do. He called NHS Direct (always useless), an on-call doctor, and finally, an ambulance. The paramedics came and I have to say, my experience of paramedics has always been a great one. They are usually wonderful and caring and helpful. But this time - not so much. They acted as if they didn't want to be there and were bored and this upset me even more. To the point that when they said do I want to go to hospital and at first I said yes, they said 'well you'll have to walk downstairs.' I couldn't walk. Don't they carry people on those seat style stretchers all the time?? I changed my mind and said I didn't want to go to hospital and they were very happy. In the meantime they'd left the door wide open the entire time they were upstairs and unbeknownst to us, the dog had run out and we lost him. The paramedics left and Daniel was looking all over the house for Milo and I was stressing and crying as I couldn't move but I was so worried about the dog - he's like my child! Daniel then had to leave the house (at 4.30am) with a torch calling out for Milo and in the process waking up the whole street. After about 10 minutes the paramedics called us to say they could see him down the road so Daniel ran down there and got him. I've never cried so much in all my life.

Once we'd calmed down from this ordeal I suffered another fever and come 7am we couldn't take it anymore so my mum came round and we all headed up to A&E. I was literally rolling around in my wheelchair in pain so when the triage nurse told us to take a seat back in the waiting room I nearly screamed. I needed to lay down. So they gave me a cubicle with a bed and after about 40 minutes the cocktail of diazepam, cocodamol and ibuprofen kicked in and I calmed down.

I left with antibiotics even though they weren't sure if it was a virus or an infection and had to come back to my parents house as Daniel had work the next day and I continued to have raging fevers every 6 hours that lasted 2 and a half hours at a time. This went on for 2 days and the fevers were real shaking, sweating, shivering, painful type of fevers. I've honestly never been that ill in my life, I don't even remember the last time I took antibiotics or had a fever. After those 2 days my throat swelled up, I got severe headaches where I couldn't open my eyes for 7 hours at a time and the joint pain continued, just on a more dull than sharp level. And all the while I was on a countdown to when I was due to leave for my wedding which obviously made me even more stressed. I was so ill I didn't even watch TV or read a book until the 5th day.

By the Friday I felt a bit more 'human' again and by Sunday the virus was much better but I couldn't walk. We got to the airport and as we sat at the gate and I looked over at my wedding dress in its bag while I sat in my wheelchair waiting for Special Assistance to escort me onto the plane, I burst into tears. I couldn't believe this was happening. I've never asked 'why me' with my arthritis, but this time I did ask 'why now?' I just couldn't understand it. I couldn't stop crying and my parents were scared they were going to kick me off the plane. I stopped and calmed down but the flight was extremely traumatic - physically and emotionally.

We arrived in Israel with me utterly spent, in pain, and unable to walk - having to take the wheelchair everywhere and having to be carried to the bathroom, with 1 week to go until the wedding...

I'll leave you all guessing as to what happens next until my next blog post tomorrow...

Friday, 19 April 2013

To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate?

As I'm sure many of you are aware, the recent cases of Measles in the UK has caused concern within the medical world as to why people are not vaccinating their children. Some parents are lashing out at the parents who are not vaccinating their kids, calling them 'bad parents'. But it has come to my attention that most of these people who are quick with their opinions on who is a bad parent or not, has never had a sick child.

If your eldest child had a vaccination and then got diagnosed with Autism, would you give your next child the vaccination? Most people say no, they wouldn't, for obvious reasons.

We're hearing today that peer reviewed trials have been done and there is 'not a shred of scientific evidence' to prove that the MMR (Measels Mumps Rubella) jab causes Autism or induces any other disease.

What I am about to say now is purely my own view on the situation. Let us imagine for a moment that these research trials were done and the scientists found evidence that yes, in fact the MMR does increase chances of autism, and the National Health Service in this country, along with medical bodies and governments around the world have let this happen, there would be international outcry. It could never happen. Even if there was scientific evidence, I don't think that they could ever come out and say what they had found because the repercussions would be huger than Thalidomide in the 1960's.

I accept I am sounding slightly like a tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist, but when it comes to health care, and the way our modern society believes health care should be, I am a conspiracy theorist and I believe wholly in what I say. Do you think that in 2013 when they can put men on the moon, play a Will.I.Am track from a satellite on Mars, and we can communicate instantly through computers and telephones, that there is no cure for cancer? I think there is a cure for cancer, but if they give it to everyone the pharmaceutical companies and therefore the governments stop making money. Let's be honest, whether you know it or not, we can find most of what we need for our health through natural sources including fresh fruit and vegetables and certain herbs but if they 'allowed' the uneducated sector of the pre-conditioned public to know this, no drugs would ever be sold. Why do the Royal Family use homeopathy and very rarely use conventional medication? I'm sure they are well enough informed....

Going back to the MMR, my personal belief is that a child of 1,2 or 3 years old has not yet built up a decent enough immune system to be able to accept the huge amounts of disease put into them during a vaccination. If that child has an underlying or dormant autoimmune disease such as Juvenile Arthritis, that vaccination will trigger it. It may be that yes, that disease was already lying dormant in that childs system, but it may never have needed to be triggered if that childs immune system was built up to a strong level with the right nutrition, not medication.

I know that there is no 'scientific based evidence' on this, but I also think there are reasons for that as I have mentioned above. We do know that in America, which has the highest rate of vaccinations in the youngest age, there are the most amount of autistic children. 1 in 88 children to be exact. Whereas in Norway, where they vaccinate in single vaccinations at older ages, they have the lowest rate of autism in children in the developed world. These statistics are enough for me and I don't need 'scientific based evidence' for that.

Parents who believe their children got autism through the MMR have reported things like, having a 4 year old child who talked and played and made eye contact, then had the MMR and within literally a week they stopped talking and playing and making any sort of eye contact.

To end, if you want to get your children vaccinated, how about thinking of going to a place that offers the single vaccinations and have them done a year or so apart so the immune system can process it? And perhaps it is worth thinking about doing it after you have spent sufficient time building up your childs immune system with things like infant probiotics and other nutritional goodness.

I think the main problem here is that the modern society is completely uneducated when it comes to healthcare. They believe what they are told to believe and that is it.

I know that this is a controversial subject, but I'd like to know what your thoughts are on it? Are you for vaccinations in one go? Do you think parents who don't give it to their children are bad parents? If so I'd like to know if you are educated in the health care system and if you have ever had a sick child and this is no judgement, I'd just like to know for myself. Or do you believe that your child got sick from the vaccinations? Please share your thoughts....

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

2 Weeks Later...

I told you I wouldn't just disappear! But I did need a couple of weeks after getting back to London to just get back to normal life.

And as I stare out of my window to the grey skies, bare trees and mundanely identical buildings in the development I live in, I am beginning to miss Tel Aviv. Not just for its blue skies and beaches but for its character. The constant buzz and great vibe, the character of the city and of each building - everything is alive. Here it feels as though people just live to work, in Israel people work to live. Despite all the troubles they have - war, economy etc - they love life and they show you this time and time again. The thought of going out on a weekday evening in London in winter is a difficult one. Its cold, its miserable, and most of us are miserable because of it! There is no such thing as 'let's go for a last minute coffee'...

When I'm out and about, or simply looking out my window, the country seems to be in a constant state of melancholy. It is a hard thing to explain but that is how it feels.

The sun did come out for a couple of days and it was as if the Mesiah had arrived in London!

Anyway, I personally refuse to live in a constant state of melancholy and am therefore trying my very hardest to stay happy and positive.

My joints have stayed pretty stable since the treatments, all except my jaw and left wrist which still seem to be a problem and I feel I could have done with another few treatments but time did not allow it.

I am however back to meditating every day, personal trainer twice a week, swimming once a week, homeopath, acupuncturist, osteopath and hand therapy to keep myself healthy.

This week particularly has been a bit of a shitty one in terms of hospitals because I was away for so long so everything seems to be catching up in one week. This week alone these are the appointments I have from Monday - Friday: hand therapy, moorfields eye hospital, osteopath, homeopathic hospital, dentist and GP appointment. I'll be happy to get this week out the way!

But I'm continuing to write my book and although I'm not sure if I'll managed to get it finished before the wedding which is in 3 months, I am certainly trying my hardest.

In general most days I feel good, I am just working towards getting this jaw pain out of me, and then I'll be perfect! But most of all, I'm working on remembering why I named my book 'My Enemy, My Friend.' I am constantly learning things from my illness and the more it goes on, the more wonderful people I meet and the more I change for the better. So I'm dedicating this post to my book, which helped me understand myself so much better, and has thankfully helped others too. If you'd like to buy a copy you can do so here

I'll try and keep you all up to date as much as possible with how I'm feeling and my progress, but for now, as always,

Love and light xx

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Day 25 - The Last Day! Goodbye TLV

Well it certainly has been a long and eventful month, filled with highs and lows and emotions on every level. But today was my last full day in Tel Aviv.

After yesterdays episode of not feeling well, we had to cancel our plans today which I was really annoyed about. We were supposed to go to meet the Rabbi who is marrying us and he lives in Jerusalem so we were going to take a trip to Jerusalem and have a walk about, go to the Kotel (Wailing Wall) and then go to meet the rabbi, but we had to cancel as I wasn't feeling well enough to endure a trip like that. He understood of course but it is a shame because it would have been nice to meet and go over all the wedding stuff. We are going to speak to him on Skype instead for the time being.

We took our time this morning and went to have coffee in the flea market, but by the time we were sitting there I was starting to get a headache again, so we made our way back and I got back into bed at midday. I decided to put a meditation CD on so that I was fully focused on the positive instead of thinking about being in pain, and I drifted off into a nice sleep for an hour. I woke up feeling better and because the weather was so gorgeous we went down to the beach for lunch and I tried to get as much Vitamin D in me as possible as I'm sure the next time my body will be seeing sun like that is next time I'm back here! Lord knows London is freezing at the moment!!

Then another spanner in the works; we were due to go out for dinner with friends but I ended up not feeling well again once we got back from lunch and all I wanted to do was stay in bed. The room we have in the hotel doesn't have a bath, only a shower, but the helpful girl at reception gave me a room with a bath to use so that I could relax in a bath and it was really needed. We spoke to our friends whom we had to cancel and they understood but more than anything I was pissed off that I had to cancel yet another arrangement and although I know it is all the after effects of the treatment, I wanted to enjoy my last day.

My stomach felt so weird that it took until 11pm for me to feel hungry and we eventually ventured out to eat pancakes, as that was the only thing I fancied. And that was my day!

So not a great last day and we leave the hotel at 1pm tomorrow but I always knew I wasn't here for a holiday, I was here to get better and aside from the facial pain which I am still putting down to reactions from the treatment, the rest of me is 100% better so I am happy.

I am really looking forward to getting back home to reality, to my dog, to be physically able to get back to the gym, to my family, to finishing my book and generally to just living! And of course looking forward to being back here in 3 and a half months to get married!!!

This will not be my last post, I will be updating you all on how I am feeling and how and when the reactions wear off. And of course how being back in cold London town affects me.

So for the time being, as usual, I wish you all....

Love and light xxx

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Day 24 - From High To Low

Strange day today. I was on such a high, and still woke up feeling light and happy this morning from yesterdays treatment and the positivity it brought, but I had the faint signs of a headache above my right eye and on my right temple, where it usually comes. We got up and went for a walk, then I went to have my hair done which was lovely, and went to meet Daniel on the beach where he was sat having coffee. It was a beautiful day, although a bit windy on the beach, but nonetheless it was much better than England!

We came back to the room and the headache got worse, and before I knew it, it turned into one of the full blown crazy headaches which make me feel like my head is being screwed tighter and tighter into a vice, and the jaw was throbbing uncontrollably too. I tried to sleep so Daniel left me for a bit so I could sleep. I faintly fell asleep but woke up an hour later feeling even worse and Daniel came back. The headache and general facial pain got so unbearable that I couldn't even hold a cup of tea that Daniel had made me to try and help me feel better. I was lying in bed, propped up on two pillows literally unable to even keep my head up and I couldn't open my eyes from the pain in my head. I was lying with my mouth wide open trying to put as little pressure on the jaw as possible so I must have looked an absolute delight!

After four very difficult hours it finally started to pass. It went slowly from a 10/10 to a 9, to an 8 where I started to feel more human (we always measure my pain out of 10 to help us gauge it)to a 7. We were supposed to go out for dinner to a restaurant/bar with friends but I had told Daniel I just couldn't go. But by the time the pain got to 6 and I started to feel more normal, I thought it might be a good idea to go out and get myself out the room. I had a shower and got ready and we ended up going to a more relaxed restaurant just the two of us for an easy dinner and were back within two hours.

I know it is just the effects of the treatment and isn't part of the illness. Todays experience hasn't taken away my positivity. I'd just like to hope that I won't be going through that again tomorrow!

I'd also like to send lots of love and strength to Mandy and Michael whose puppy Laila (the one I was raving about on Saturday) passed away this morning. For an 11 week old puppy she went through so much and eventually lost her life to the Parvo virus which she ironically was supposed to get the vaccination for this week. She was such a beautiful, kind, good natured dog and I know Mandy & Michael are devastated as I would be. As a dog lover I can only imagine how hard this is for them and I am sending lots of love.

Have a better day tomorrow everyone.

Love and light xx

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Day 23 - The Last Treatment... Thank You IPEC!

Today has been quite a sensational day, and as I sit and write this at 11pm, without having had an afternoon nap, I am still full of energy - although ready to sleep!

Something happened in todays treatment, an emotional / physical / spiritual shift of some sort that made me feel 100% better.

We worked on synovial fluid and urine, as part of the bodily fluids we started working on a few treatments ago, and we revisited the 'I take things lightly' emotional part of the treatment and added to it 'I am growing a thicker emotional skin.' These two sentences are very important things for me to work on as it turns out my sensitivity to, well, everything could well be the cause of many physical ailments. It was a very long treatment as we released all the emotional attachments from all organs through reflexology touching on all the organs these emotions are held in for example the liver, kidneys, heart, bladder, spleen and stomach. Each one hold different emotions. for instance the stomach holds fear, others hold anger, self esteem, worry etc.

I'd like to give a special mention to Fanny, the very special lady who performed my treatment today. She spoke to me during the treatment, explaining what each point she was working on was for, and how in turn I could help to let go of the non-positive attachments to them. She reaffirmed many things that I already knew, things like 'that which I see in my mind, I hold in my hands', which when I got so sick a few months ago that I couldn't walk, I gave up hope on, after so many years of belief. It was a hard time, when after so long of being positive I got so sick regardless, so I decided to give up hoping and trying anymore. I gave up meditation because I stopped doing it properly enough to believe in it. But today all my belief and positivity came back in one hit. I saw myself dancing at my wedding, being pain free and most importantly, not even worrying about it.

After a long hour and 45 minutes, I said goodbye to Ady and all the therapists, and left feeling exhilarated, healthy and light - as if a huge weight had been lifted off me and I was now free.

I went the entire day feeling like this and although I had some slight jaw pain by the end of the day, I truly believe it is simply the after effects of the treatment and that after the next 2 weeks (it usually takes around 2 weeks after the end of the last treatment to fully recover), I will be pain free.

Having Daniel here has obviously helped, and it was lovely to be able to have him to share it with, but I truly believe that between IPEC and my own mind, we did it ourselves.

After the treatment Daniel and I enjoyed a lovely day together of walking around in the sun, having lunch, and sitting on the beach together watching the sun go down. I really appreciated the opportunity to enjoy his company without having 'pain' as a third wheel in our relationship.

I still have 2 full days left here, but after the end of the last treatment, I feel like I have nearly come to the end of my journey and I am so positive for the future.

I hope this post gives hope to anyone suffering with anything at all, whether it be physical or emotional. You don't need to give in to illness. Illness or dis-ease are just ways for your body to tell you it's not happy with something. If you choose to take conventional medication, you are simply suppressing what your body is trying to tell you, which is why more often than not, that medication will bring on other ailments. Until you listen to your body naturally, your problems won't go away, but if you have the strength and courage to listen and work on yourself, and you have the DESIRE to get better, and the BELIEF that you can, anything is possible. I am living proof.

People may ask then why I still get flare ups. I believe we are constantly being taught lessons, and perhaps these flare ups are a way of bringing me back to the point where I need to believe, where I need to work on myself again and that way through hard work and perseverance, I can teach myself that the mind is capable of pretty much anything.

Today is a great day! And tomorrow will be even better :)

Love and light xx

Monday, 18 February 2013

Day 22... The Reunion

Has anyone seen that episode of Friends where Rachel refuses to go on a run with Phoebe because Phoebe runs like a lunatic weirdo?? Well that's pretty much what I looked like running towards Daniel when I saw him at the airport, an 'I love you' balloon in one hand trailing behind my flimsy uncoordinated body, my handbag hanging down the side of my arm... He laughed. That was his first reaction. So I'm guessing I looked as stupid as I am making myself sound... but it was worth it. I couldn't bare to move myself away from him so when he was sitting in front of the taxi and I sat behind, I was sat forward with my arms over his chest holding his hands. (sick bucket anyone?!) A short 20 minutes later we were back at the hotel and we went for dinner.

What a new experience it was to not be eating alone. Dinners I usually ate with people but lunch today, well, I'd forgotten what it felt like to eat lunch with another human being! Anyway you can pretty much get the gist of it - I am thrilled to have him here and it has only made me more excited to return home in 4 days. Don't get me wrong, even when it's cold here (and by cold I mean 16 degrees), you are likely to see the sun at some point in the day. No 2 consecutive days go past where you can't sit outside a cafe enjoying the buzz of Tel Aviv and watch the sun set beautifully into the sea, so I am going to miss that, and I am not looking forward to 10 consecutive days of grey sky - making it near impossible to remember what it felt like to have Vitamin D in my body - but still, looking forward to getting back to reality all the same.

We had a few wedding errands to run today which all went smoothly and we just generally spent time together which was lovely.

Today was my 6th day without a headache but I started feeling the beginning of one at around 6pm but it went away within an hour. My jaw has still been stiff but definitely easier, there are no more new bruises - although the ones that are already there are pretty dark now, and the tiredness was a little better today. The wrist and ankle were also much better today.

All in all a good day physically and emotionally! Last treatment tomorrow! EEEKKKK

Happy Monday everyone!

Love and light xx

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Day 21 - Treatment 6

I am writing this blog before the day is over, because my fiance arrives very shortly after 3 very long weeks apart and I am going to collect him from the airport in half an hour so I thought I'd write this now as I won't have time later and today was the penultimate treatment so quite an important one!

Every time I walk towards the clinic, there are a group of Filipino people who are carers for elderly people, who sit in the sun with them every morning and they always seem to be there around the time of my treatment. Every time I pass I see the Filipino people sitting playing on their phones, very occasionally in conversation with each other, and the elderly people are just sat in their wheelchairs staring into the sky and although it always upsets me, today it really upset me. Maybe I am being overly emotional (what's new), but why are they not talking to them? Why are they sitting there playing on their phones ignoring them like they are vegetables when in fact most of them seemed pretty lucid. Do these carers not know that they were once intellectual beings, and perhaps still very much are? Do they not realise that these people were once daughters, sons, and perhaps still are mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, brothers, sisters, friends? It really upset me and I wanted to walk over and tell them to talk to them, to stimulate their minds, make them feel useful and needed. But of course it is not my place and I can't change the world.

Before that, there was a cat outside an office right by the hotel which has been sat there every day for 2 weeks and looks like it is dirty with oil or something black. It doesn't move but is very much alive. This also upset me. I wanted to take it back and wash it and feed it.

There are so many other things that upset me on a daily basis and they are all things I cannot change, not on a large scale anyway. The money I give to charities and the charity work I do myself help a very minute fraction of people and animals that exist on this planet. The statistics overwhelm me.

So I told Ady.

It is something I told him about last time I was here but we didn't have so much time to work on it and the older I get, the more other peoples problems and problems around me generally, seem to affect me. He said this could be a big reason for my jaw not getting better. I am carrying the worlds problems on my shoulders and that is exhausting - no wonder I'm tired! It is carried in acupressure points or organs so certain emotions are carried in the liver, the heart, spleen, bladder, lungs etc and we worked on releasing all of them.

So he worked on this as well as digestive enzymes which apparently was something my body wanted to work on. It was a long treatment! But I came out feeling way more positive. Also because he asked my body if these 2 remaining treatments were enough for now to help me through the wedding and forseeable future pain free and the body said yes. And I believe in this treatment so I feel happy!

I then went to meet cousins who are here from Paris and we sat and had a drink on the beach. I haven't seen them for years so it was really nice.

Anyway, off to pick up my fiance now!! Hope you all had a great weekend.

Love and light xx

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Day 20 - Last Single Day!

I probably moaned about the same thing last week but Saturdays are sooooooo boring in Israel! Nothing is open and it is worse if it is raining which it was today. If it is sunny it doesn't matter because it's a beach town so even if it's not hot, people walk along the promenade, sit at cafes on the beach or in the street and just enjoy being out.

I slept until 10 which is great for me and went down for breakfast. Then I managed to get six hours of writing in which I was very happy with. I then went over to friends who have a new Siberian Husky puppy called Leila. She is the most beautiful thing ever and made me miss Milo even more - if that is possible. She is only 9 weeks and has broken her elbow by being too active and is now recovering. Poor little thing was feeling very sorry for herself but wanted extra cuddles which was lovely.

I left after Shabbat went out and went for a mooch around the Dizengoff Centre which is basically Brent Cross in Tel Aviv - just not as good, but I had nothing else to do so I bought myself a top, had dinner - on my own (sad loser I am!) - and came back to the hotel which is where I am now at 9pm. I intend on getting into bed right now and hopefully watching a film if there is a good one on.

Tomorrow my fiance finally arrives after 3 very long weeks without him. I have my treatment in the morning and he lands in the evening which gives me time for an afternoon nap! (what will I ever do without afternoon naps when I get back!?)

Treatment wise, the bruises have got worse which is so strange. My legs are completely covered in bruises! But not strange I guess because it is just my body throwing the toxins out in any way it can.

Feeling generally mobile and pain free except of course the jaw and the exhaustion. 2 treatments to go so please keep your fingers crossed!!

Good night all!

Love and light xx

Day 19 - Laundry Day

My poor friend. Since I've been here every time I go to her house I take a bag of washing with me and we sit there like a pair of old Moroccan housewives drinking tea, waiting for the washing to finish. But on the upside it is one of the few places in Israel where I can get a nice cup of PG Tips. Being a devoted expat, she keeps boxes of them at home and she was even kind enough to give me a handful to take back to the hotel. I have since had 5 cups... I don't even drink it that much at home! I guess we just enjoy things that make us feel at home... (Thanks Lee!)

As you all know by now I've been feeling extremely exhausted and yesterday was no different. I came back to the hotel from my friend and all I wanted to do was sleep but I didn't really have enough time before my uncle was picking me up to take me back to theirs in Ra'anana for dinner. Have you ever got to the point where you're so tired you could cry? If you have you'll know how I felt. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep for as long as I could. The pains in the rest of my body had improved but my jaw was still stiff and throbbing.

Anyway I got myself ready and headed off to Ra'anana for my cousins sons 4th birthday party surprise. My uncle has his own Shawarma machine so they made shawarma with all the hundreds of salads, borekas, chips and loads more, followed by 3 different cakes, cake pops and nuts and fruits. You gotta love Israel! And more importantly, family. I feel so at home with this particular group of cousins (my dad is 1 of 10 so there are loads of them scattered around) and it kind of made me feel better.

It sounds like a cliche but sometimes when you get out, however crap you're feeling, you start to feel better, and I did.

Suffice it to say that the exhaustion has returned with a vengence today but it will all be over soon!

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend.

Love and light xxx

Friday, 15 February 2013

Day 18 - Culture Shock

I started off the day by going to the gym again - yay! But despite this my joints have been a little achy. The treatments do throw toxins out of your body, which I see from the spots on my skin, the random bruises on my body, my hair being weird, the headaches and the stomach problems, but when my joints have been better, then get achy again, I get a bit worried. The wrist that had been so much better, started hurting again, as did the other wrist (which never usually hurts) and the right ankle and jaw. I should just leave it and not think about it too much but I tend to start thinking, I only have 2 treatments left, is it enough? When I first came here 9 years ago, I never bought a return ticket. I stayed indefinitely and after 3 months of intensive treatments Ady said right, you're ready, we're done here! And I was fixed. But this time I have chosen how much time I have to devote to it and a month was quite a long time to take out of my life as it is but it was the longest I was able to do. So I am hoping that the 7 treatments are enough to keep me going at least until after the wedding. Meanwhile I have to stay positive and think that the pains are reactions to the treatments and not anything else.

Anyway I still went to the gym because I'm not swollen, just a bit stiff, and still enjoyed it. I then took myself to the flea market in Jaffa as I had to buy some props for the wedding and I just love it there, it is such an experience. I keep thinking for all my friends who have never been to Israel, or don't know it too well, I wonder what they'd think if they went there. It is not really a place that tourists get to and it would be such a culture shock. All the screaming and bartering, the random antiques and clothes on sale amongst mini humous restaurants and juice bars. Men sitting outside their 'shops' on tables as old as the market itself playing backgammon. People like me trying to disguise my British-ness by speaking in as firm an Israeli accent as possible in order to not be over charged. In the 'Shuk Ha Pishpishim' (flea market), you have to walk with conviction, like you know where you are going and what you are looking for an how much you are prepared to spend for it. The moment they see you dawdeling they realise you could be a tourist and therefore highly vulnerable to their Aladdin like 'come, let me show you what I have in my store of wonders' *insert scarily spoken Arabian accent here*. But I got what I needed, had a bit of a mooch, and left to go meet an old friend for lunch.

This is becoming a bit of a daily 'thing', but todays 'Only-In-Israel' experience came when my friend and I were walking to a cafe to have lunch and there was a cute little dog on the main street trying to crawl underneath a garbage tip. It had a collar on but seemed as if it was alone. I couldn't bare it, so I kept asking every person that walked past if it was their dog. Everyone said no. I asked the few shops around and all the people in the shops said no. I said to my friend, what do we do, the collar had a name on it but not a number and I wasn't prepared to leave this dog on a main street to get run over. I asked her who we call in a situation like that... then we went into a shop a few shops down and the lady said so flippantly, 'ah yes it's my dog'. I literally went mad shouting at her! I told her to keep her dog where she can see him and if she can't look after her dog properly, letting him eat from underneath a garbage tip and walking over the road, then she shouldn't have a dog. She went out to get him and stayed silent but this seems to happen all over Tel Aviv. People take their dogs to work and just let them roam around. There are so many strays here too and it is really upsetting. But the nice thing is that most people who get dogs get rescue dogs that have been strays and are now in shelters.

Dr Lauren Dolittle to the rescue!

We eventually got to lunch, had a lovely catch up and then I came back to rest, and decided not to leave! I was too tired. The tiredness is started to get to me and make me angry. There's only so much of it I can seem to cope with on a day to day basis but I don't have a choice and my mum keeps telling me to stop complaining about it so I better had!

Tomorrow is another day!

Have a good weekend everyone

Love and light xxx

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Day 17 - 3 Weddings & A Funeral

I woke up feeling great. Jaw was a bit stiff but I'd had an early night - went to bed at 10pm the night before - and woke up at 9.30 so I was feeling pretty energised.

I needed to get a few bits from a place called Neve Tzedek so I took myself down there. Neve Tzedek is a tiny neighbourhood tucked away in South Tel Aviv that a lot of people, especially tourists, might not know about. It is actually the oldest neighbourhood in Tel Aviv and is just beautiful. They have kept the original style of all the buildings, some of which are different colours, most of which have shutters and flower pots on the outside - more like a quaint French village but with an Israeli twist. It is what I would call 'Shabby Chic / Vintage'. There are lots of jewellery and clothes shops, as well as gorgeous homeware stores and very quaint cafes and restaurants. At night it is beautiful as most of the neighbourhood is lit up with fairy lights.

I had breakfast at a place called Dallal( which I would highly recommend if you are ever in Israel. Then I did some homeware shopping at which point came the 'only in Israel' experience for that day... I was walking along the street, and out of nowhere came a man with a beautiful German Shepherd. The man came out of a side road and was walking in the same direction as me, practically next to me as the roads are so narrow and I asked if I could stroke the dog. We started walking together, talking about dogs, Israel, London and weddings and it was as if he had come out of nowhere, joined me on my walk and we started speaking as if we knew each other, then said goodbye when I reached my destination. To contradict yesterdays story about the moody bus driver, most people in Israel are that open that you can just start up a conversation in the middle of the street with someone you've never met. And in the same note it just proves what I said yesterday about Israels people being a paradox of themselves..

I then took myself back to my hotel where my friend picked me up and we went back to the area near Neve Tzedek to sit in 'Ha Tachana'.

Ha Tachana means 'The Station' and was an old railway station from war years that they have restored and put a little museum there. There are now also lots of cafes, restaurants and shops, and because they have restored the area to its original character, it is a choice destination for couples to have pre-wedding photo shoots.

It may seem weird to those of you outside of Israel but people get married pretty much any day of the week here (except Saturdays), and the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony to have pictures in the daylight. So they often choose a nice place near enough to the venue where they can have some good pictures, and because of its quaint vintage character, Neve Tzedek is a great place for it.

My friend and I sat at a cafe drinking hot apple cider in the sun and we saw 3 sets of brides and grooms posing for their own pictures and it was beautiful. I started realising that my own wedding is just around the corner and I got a bit emotional! (To which my friend of course laughed!)

While we were sitting there watching these brides posing with their grooms, we got a text from our friend who told us that her aunt had passed away and we left immediately to pick her up from work and take her home where she had to wait to hear about funeral arrangements. After a few hours she had to go and pick up her mum from the airport so we left her to it and went to another friend for dinner.

All in all, a day packed with many different emotions and physically, although my jaw was still stiff, it was the 2nd consecutive day without a headache and pretty much the 5th day without any other joint pains.

Have a good Thursday everyone!

Love and light xx

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Day 16 - Treatment 5

I woke up exhausted. For some reason I woke up before 7 and was just completely and utterly exhausted. I couldn't get back to sleep and couldn't get myself up either. I did eventually get up, have breakfast and make my way to the clinic - nearly falling asleep on the bus, only to be awoken by a screaming Russian bus driver.

In Israel there is a thing called a Monit Sherut which is basically a mini bus that fits 10 people, and works as a bus, having its normal routes and picking up people along the way. The only difference is you don't need to wait at a bus stop, you can hail it down from anywhere you are standing along its route. It costs 8 shekels (about £1.30) so a bit more expensive than a bus but it is much more comfortable. The reason I am telling you this is because I wanted you all to be more of a part of my experience in Israel, not just the treatments.

Israels people are a paradox of their own selves. On one hand, they are the most kind, generous, open people, who would never see anyone hungry or without a bed and would invite you in for dinner even if they'd never met you before. They are very family orientated and warm. On the other hand, they can be aggressive, loud, obnoxious and rude. And the bus drivers usually are. This particular bus driver was so moody I'd never seen anything like it. Another part of the experience of the Monit Sherut is that you sit down first, then get your money out while the vehicle is already in motion and if you are sitting at the back, you pass the money from person to person until the person at the front gives it to the driver. He kept shouting at anyone who didn't have the right change and everyone kept shouting back at him saying why should they have the right change. Then we past a burst water pipe and he opened the window and started shouting at the man from the council who was obviously there trying to sort it out. He was literally shouting at him saying this is ridiculous, the country needs to reserve water and now my bus is going to drive over the water and it is not acceptable! Then shouted to no one in particular that it was very rude and inconvenient that the water pipe had burst. Everyone on the bus started telling him to stop moaning, that the burst water pipe wasn't anyones fault and of course, he started shouting back. Someone then asked if he stopped at a certain road and he shouted at them, basically saying 'No I don't stop there, why would I stop there? Stupid road'!! Everyone at this point got so annoyed and started shouting back at him.

Just a taster of every day Israeli life!!!

Anyway, I eventually got to the clinic and Ady could see I was exhausted when I got there but reaffirmed that there is nothing we can do, when you have treatments that intensively, you're going to have reactions. I also said that we had had had to do something about the headache and jaw pain because now everything else was better, this needed to go as it was getting unbearable.

My body wanted to work on a combination of things so we worked on: vegetable fat mix, animal fat mix, food phenol mix, salicylates, salt mix and chloride mix. Along with cold, dryness, humidity, temperature changes and weather changes. After half an hour of tapping, vibrating and other such things I had a 25 minute rest and then left. I felt a lot more energised after but I decided to stay in for the remainder of the day. Ady said there was no way of avoiding those things and I was wearing the Tachyonised disk which would help the process along so there was nothing I needed to avoid except for the usual things for the first 25 hours.

I spent the day writing - only managing to muster half a chapter after an entire day - annoying. At 7.30 I took myself round to the Organic food restaurant again as it was such a nice experience last time and had dinner there, then came back.

Not the most exciting of days, but it was nice to rest all day and not move!

Hope you all enjoyed Pancake Day! I missed it!

Love and light xx

Monday, 11 February 2013

Day 15 - 'The Trial'

Day 15 started out as a great day; I had my hair and make-up trials for the wedding. All in all it took 3 hours - much less than it will take on the actual day! But it was great and started to make everything seem really real...

By the time I got back to the room at around 3.30, my head was banging so much that I couldn't even open my eyes. Mum called me on Skype and I couldn't even look at her, I told her I'd call her back. I'm not sure if the headaches are coming from the jaw although it feels as though they are. My jaw was in agony and my head felt like it was in a vice. I laid down in bed, closed my eyes and put a hot water bottle on my face to try and relieve the tension. I couldn't fall asleep but the tension did cease eventually.

Ady said it is more likely the inflammation itself, just made worse by the treatments. Going back to him today so we will work on it and figure out why everything is getting better except the facial pain...

Wish me luck!

After today, as every week, I have a break from treatments until Sunday :)

Love and light xx

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Day 14 - Treatment 4

So, fourth treatment was interesting. I seem to be sneezing and having an itchy throat every time I'm in a bedroom - in the hotel and also when I stayed with friends. I didn't seem to be going, happening every time I was in bed so I told Ady. I had a feeling it was dust mites and it turns out it was - well, dust mite secretion... nice!

We did a combination treatment that treated the dust mite secretion, and also base, saliva, hormones and blood - bodily fluids basically which had something to do with the inflammation in the jaw so this was indirectly for the jaw too.

After the treatment you rest for anything up to half an hour - my body usually chooses 25 minutes - but I couldn't seem to keep my eyes closed, I was so restless. Ady said perhaps because I'd been resting too much - which is quite possible (how am I ever going to live without afternoon naps when I get back to London??)

As always after a treatment there is some weird thing I need to do for 25 hours to help it along. This time I had to ask the poor housekeeping staff to re-vacuum my room, including the mattress and all the sheets! They must think I'm mad!

The treatment finished at 12 and by 2.30 I had the most crippling headache that just didn't seem to go and the jaw was very tense. I had a sleep for an hour, and usually, the headache was still there when I woke up. So I spoke to Ady who said it was a reaction and it was ok to take painkillers which I very rarely do but it was unbearable. Thankfully it seems to be gone this morning but my new best friend 'Tiredness' seems to be here with force...

So you may be wondering why I uploaded this particular picture attached to this post? Well, as I said, I'm halfway writing my second book and am so deeply involved in it that I finally feel as though I'm achieving something with writing. When anyone asks me what I do, I say I'm an interior designer - which I am - but I never say, I'm an author. I've already written and published a book and am now writing another one but because I don't personally feel that the success of my last book, being an autobiography, was successful enough to warrant me calling myself an author, I don't. Then I saw this picture posted and realised, I feel as though I am accomplishing something now, and it is just a shame that it has taken me until now to feel like that because I am always worried about how other people will judge me. But why should we determine what we are by how other people see us? We shouldn't.

So I'm posting this picture for all those of you out there who have not always believed in yourselves, to re post to facebook, to show the world that you believe in yourself!

Have a great Monday everyone,

Love and light xxx

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Day 12 - Day Of Rest

While Fridays in Israel are buzzing, full of life and simply electric, Saturdays could not be more different. Most things are closed. Businesses and shops are usually all closed for the Sabbath, and some restaurants and cafes are closed. The Kosher ones are all closed. If the weather is nice people tend to take walks, sit on the beach or simply stay at home relaxing and eating.

As I am in a hotel, and pretty much everything around me was closed save for a few cafes, I decided to make the most of my time. First, I got up and went to the gym. This is the second time I've used the gym since I've been here and the first time in many months that I have physically been able to. I am thoroughly enjoying it - as is the Bridezilla inside of me. I then came back, showered and sat down in front of the computer for best part of the day and wrote.

For those of you who don't know, I am half way through writing my second book, this time a fiction novel, and I managed to get two chapters done yesterday which made me feel like I had accomplished something. The fact that I had been to the gym and written 2 chapters had basically meant that I had accomplished a hell of a lot!! At about 5pm I got back into bed with a book and had a rest before I had to leave to meet a friend for dinner.

I walked the ten minute walk up the road to meet her and we sat and had a lovely dinner outdoors but I came over feeling all strange towards the end and so left to come back to the hotel. I know the treatments often make my stomach feel quite strange but I have a phobia of vomiting (currently having hypnotherapy for this!) so any time I feel even slightly sick, I panic. It eventually passed - after having my fiance stay on the phone for the entire walk home. I then proceeded to spend the next hour on Skype with my mum. Nothing like your mummy to make you feel better! - Even if you are nearly 29!

It's strange with the treatments because for two days now I have felt so great, but then out of nowhere it can hit me. But all in all, I am starting to feel a lot better. The jaw is still painful so hoping that will start getting better very soon as I now only have 4 treatments left.

About to leave for treatment number 4 now....

Only a week now until my fiance arrives so I am literally counting down the hours...

Love and light xxx

Friday, 8 February 2013

Day 11 - Fridays In Israel

Well as you know from the last post, I woke up this morning feeling pretty exhilarated... the wrist that I haven't been able to barely move for a year and a half I could now move completely, and the ankle and knee also seemed to be pretty much back to normal, or as normal as normal will ever feel for me.

The sun was shining, I wasn't exhausted - maybe a little tired but not exhausted - possibly because the side effects of Tuesdays treatment may have had time to wear off a bit now, and I just felt generally good.

I took a long walk up to Dizengoff Centre to meet a friend for coffee, then took myself on a walk around Dizengoff antique markets and flea markets then through central Tel Aviv to take in the atmosphere of Friday mornings in Israel. Friday mornings in any part of Israel are alive and buzzing with a happy atmosphere. Their last working day of the week is Thursday so on Friday mornings while housewives young and old are busy cleaning and cooking in preparation for Friday Night Dinner, and the smell of cooking travels out of their windows onto the busy streets, most of the other people are sitting at cafes enjoying the buzz and anticipation of the weekend that is upon them.

I grew up spending my time in Israel in Netanya, 20 minutes north of Tel Aviv, and although the two towns - despite both being coastal towns - are quite different, Friday mornings in both towns have the exact same feel to them and it is one of the things I love most about Israel and miss most about it when I am in London.

After my long walk breathing in the undeniable atmosphere, I made my way back to the hotel where I did a bit of work then rested for a while before going to a friend for dinner, whose lovely children kept me entertained for most of the night.

All in all it's been a great day. I've not only been appreciating being in less pain, but I've also made time to appreciate the little things in life, like taking in the atmosphere in town, and sitting on the balcony watching the sun set into the sea while admiring the plethora of breathtaking colours that ensue during that half hour period. Happy Lauren!

Have a good weekend everyone...

Love and light xx

Day 10 - Don't Worry, Be Happy

I've uploaded this particular picture because today I'm feeling particularly happy. For the first time since being here I can really now feel the good effects of the treatment. My wrist is able to move in every direction for the first time in a year and a half and I can generally feel all my joints improving.

Yesterday - day 10 - however was a different story! The exhaustion that was taken to new levels the day before, had now been taken to new dimensions and realms, let alone levels, and I didn't move all day. I ate, and got back into bed, sat at the desk for a bit, ate again, and got back into bed again, and eventually by the evening I managed to put on some clothes that didn't consist of baggy jumpers and trousers, and dragged myself out to have my nails done and meet a friend for dinner. I'm happy I did because it made me feel better.

That was literally the extent of my day but I had a solid 9 hour sleep and have woken up today feeling wonderful! I will obviously report on today, in tomorrows post.

The quote in the picture attached to this post is so true. Somehow, however hard it is, we have to appreciate the life and beauty all around us and try and be happy regardless of what is going on, because if we relied on things being amazing all the time to be happy, we would never be happy. So today I'm realising how lucky I am, and I am going to go out with a smile on my face and be HAPPY... :)

Love, light and eternal happiness! xx

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Day 9

Well day 9 was a pretty busy one! I was excited for it since I got here because it was the day I was going with my wedding planner to the wedding venue to finalise some details and then go to meet the DJ to talk music.

I didn't feel great when I woke up, tired as usual and with the start of a sore throat. It was also another windy, grey day but I was determined to make the best of it so Naomi picked me up at 11 and we made our way to Caesarea where the wedding venue is. We met first of all with the florist and finalised flowers and table arrangements, and also where all the tables will go (these minor details make an interior designer very happy!) We then met with the lady who was finalising the menu for us from when we were here in September and did the food tasting. We saw a couple in the food tasting room, there for the first time to do theirs and I was jealous they got to do it again as the food tasting was so amazing! So the waitress kept bringing us tasters which was fun!

We left the venue and made our way back to Tel Aviv to meet with the DJ and I was going to cancel as my headache had got so bad that I could barely function but we stopped off at Max Brenner Chocolate Bar on the way instead. Yes, you heard me right. If you've never been to Israel and experienced the wonder that is Max Brenner you are missing out! Divine! I felt a little better after a rest, a bottle of water and a hot chocolate, then we went in to the company that supply the DJ and sat down with the DJ we picked last time we were here and we had a 2 and a half hour meeting choosing all the music which was so much fun.

The headache had subsided by the time I left and Naomi dropped me back to my friends house where I packed and moved back into the hotel. I have been feeling so crappy that I decided I needed my own space. This way I can see friends when I want to as the hotel is right in the centre of everything, and if I am feeling bad then I can stay here in my own comfort. So this is where I now am.

Exhaustion has been taken to a new level today and after I finish writing this I am going to get back into bed and have a nap. I have so many things to be getting on with but I'm so tired the whole time that I keep taking myself to bed! I don't mind as this always happens and I know it will pass. The sore throat has got worse and I'm not sure if it is because we worked on my immune system in Tuesdays treatment so it is low, or because it just seems to be going round here.

The problem is I look so normal (apart from the suitcases underneath my eyes) so no one realises how tired I may feel or how much pain I may be in at any time. I guess it's a good thing on one level but people need to understand more that not all illnesses are visible.

On the upside again, the jaw, wrist and ankle are definitely feeling better so that is a really good sign and the tiredness is just something I need to put up with until the treatments are over.

Have a good day everyone.

Love and light xx

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Day 8 - Treatment 3

I didn't sleep that great so the morning started off in a bit of a daze. I kept feeling like I had a cold at different parts in the day but it turned out I didn't. Not sure if it is the treatment or certain bed sheets like in the hotel and certain houses that seem to give me a cold but it goes soon after I'm out the room!

Anyway I left my friends house after a light breakfast and made the short journey to the clinic as it was only down the road from where I was staying.

After asking my body what it wanted to work on, Ady said that my body wanted to do the same treatment that we did the time before - inflammation and immune system and that I should continue to wear the Tachyonized disk on my thymus gland as a necklace. Ady said that he expected my body to say it wanted to work on something different, but that it was good that things didn't always happen as he expected them, because it continues to prove that it is not controlled by his mind but by the patients body. If you want more information on this, Google Kinesiology or Muscle Testing.

After the treatment I walked in a bit of a daze back to the apartment, feeling completely and utterly exhausted and drained, but exhausted on another level, as if I could have just sat down in the middle of the street and gone to sleep. I didn't sleep during my 20 minutes of rest after the treatment as the clinic was quite busy and therefore noisy. So I got into bed the minute I got back and slept for a much needed 2 and a half hours. Had my bladder not have been screaming at me I think I would have slept more... but I woke up and went with my friend to a shopping centre where she had an interview, then to check out an apartment on Dizengoff Street for my sister who is moving here at the end of the month. We then went back home with another friend and made dinner.

I went to bed still feeling exhausted and drained but still didn't sleep very well, waking up at 4.30am with another one of my 'cold' episodes.

So the general feeling of the day was coldy, cold, tired and drained. Jaw was feeling a bit better so there is my silver lining playbook for the day :)

Tomorrow is a new day!!

Love, love, positivity and silver linings :)

Monday, 4 February 2013

Day 7 - Moving Day 1


Day 7 consisted mainly of me 'cleansing my chi' every four hours - IE making myself look like a prat in public - and moving. I moved from the hotel into a friends apartment for the week until I move again on Saturday!

The headaches were coming and going pretty much every hour which was annoying and I woke up to find my joints very stiff. My jaw, left wrist, right ankle and left knee were all stiff and painful. It put me in a bit of a bad mood when I woke up because I had to pack, then schlap suitcases and boxes while being in pain, with a headache and feeling like I hadn't slept for three weeks even though I slept for 8 hours.

I know I shouldn't moan or complain, because the treatments are going to make me better in the long run, even if they are hard now, and there are people going through a lot worse but sometimes I just can't help getting moody about it and my poor fiance is the one who has to deal with it on the other end of Skype...

Anyway I have my third treatment today and I know this one will be hard because having two so close together is not easy, but then I don't have another one until Sunday so I have a bit of a break.

It's quite cloudy today although the weather report says it's supposed to be sunny and 20 degrees so we'll see how that turns out as it would be nice to sit in the sun for a bit.

The main gist of how I felt on day 7? Moody, tired, missing my fiance and wishing my mum was still with me!

Anyway, onwards and upwards.

orrow I have lots of wedding related meetings so I'm really looking forward to that.

Have a good day everyone.

Love and light xxx

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Day 6 - Treatment 2

Today I had my 2nd treatment. The day started off well because I opened the curtains to find clear blue skies and a very prominent - and very warm - sun. That always puts a smile on my face.

I had breakfast then walked the short distance to the bus stop, enjoying feeling the sun seeping through my bones as I walked. I arrived at the clinic early, so I finished the book I was reading - Ernest Hemingways The Old Man and the Sea - and sat waiting for Ady.

I told Ady of my constant jaw pain and tiredness, and that these were the 2 main problems I wanted to get rid of - although the whole point of IPEC is to treat the body as a whole, not just certain parts, but if one thing is worse than the other, it usually tells you something.

Ady asked my subconscious what it wanted to work on in todays treatment and it ended up being the immune system. Funny because I really feel lately that I have boosted my immune system to such a great level. With an autoimmnue disease one expects to be ill so often but I have really worked hard on this, especially with diet and probiotics as I believe the gut plays a huge part in the immune system.

Anyway, we did the treatment by cleansing my chi through a range of different approaches including tapping and vibrating in the right places for the meridian system. I then rested and when I woke, Ady gave me a 'Tachyonised Disk'. I'm finding it hard to explain Tachyon in the right way but it is basically a range of products that were invented with energy fields that travel faster than light and put the right energy into your body to help heal. I am wearing the small disk on a string around my neck so that it sits at my chest the whole time.

I have to cleanse my chi through tapping every 4 hours that I am awake - I like light a right idiot if not alone! Atheists, skeptics and non believers look away now!!!

Already feeling the effects of todays treatment as the tiredness was taken to a new level, I've had the dodgy stomach that always comes after a few sessions, and my skin has gone blotchy and my hair limp! Usually about 2 weeks after having the last treatment all the side effects go away and I feel healthy again.

On the upside I don't have to cut out any foods today and apart from the usual post-treatment rules of no exercise, no cutting hair and nails etc, I can pretty much do what I want - which right now, is sleep!

Goodnight! xx

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Day 5 - Tiredness Kills!

As you can probably gather from the title of this blog post, I am exhausted. I have bags under my eyes that are so dark I look like I've been beaten up. Amazing how only one treatment can make me that exhausted.

Although I have to say, day 5 was a lovely day. We woke up and had breakfast and guess what, the sun was shining!! All I wanted to do was go back to bed but mum dragged me out and said we should go for a walk on the promenade to wake me up a little. It is also something we both enjoy doing and unfortunately she didn't get the chance to do it at all while she was here as the weather was so bad. We had a lovely walk and sat down outside a cafe for an hour and let the sun soak into us.

We then walked back to the room, mum packed, and I went to sleep. At 4pm I saw her into a taxi and waved goodbye :(

I was supposed to have moved straight from the hotel into a friends apartment with her but her aunt is sick so her mum is here from London and needs the spare room so I am still at the hotel for the time being but will probably move in with another friend tomorrow. So I skyped my fiance so I didn't feel so alone and of course, mum called me at least 5 times before boarding the plane!

I then went for dinner at friends. The dinner was lovely but mostly it was nice to not be alone, and they have a dog which made it easier to be away from Milo!

The headaches are still here pretty much all the time which is really annoying as headaches make you even more tired. They seem to sit behind my right eye and on my right temple. The achiness from the damp weather has passed a little but jaw, wrist and ankle are still stiff. I've just woken up and after a solid 7 hour sleep I feel more tired now than when I went to bed which is so annoying...

I have my second treatment today so it will be interesting to see what I can't eat/touch/go near for the next 25 hours!

Will keep you all posted!

Love and light xxx

Friday, 1 February 2013

Day 4 - Missing Milo!

Will this weather ever get better??? It has literally been one constant storm since the minute we arrived and it is not helpful in my quest to get healthy again!!

I had been feeling really good but I think the effects of the first treatment are starting to show. I'm exhausted and got a constant headache and seem to be sneezing all the time! Don't have a cold just constantly sneezing!

We had a few errands to run today which we did in the rain (great) then sat for coffee outside a cafe under the canope until it got too heavy and we returned to the hotel to have a nap.

Going to family for dinner tonight... hope I can manage to stay up... feel like my eyes are going to close all the time...

Anyway, onwards and upwards. Mum leaves tomorrow so I hope the weather improves even just for tomorrow for her.

Obviously I'm missing my fiance like crazy (only 2 more weeks until he arrives!) but I am seriously missing my dog. I keep going up to random dogs on the street to get a doggy fix!!

Sorry not all the blogs are full of interesting information but literally just keeping a day-to-day diary of what is going on.

Feel free to share this blog and my facebook page and if this blog inspires you to buy my book you can do so here

Have a good weekend

Love and light xxx

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Day 3

Day 3 has been mostly.... doing, doing and more doing. It's 10pm and I am sat in my room in the Orchid Park Plaza Tel Aviv (great hotel by the way) exhausted and glad for the day to be over!

Although I actually feel really good - a little less pain in the jaw after only one treatment - I am really tired and have really bad headaches most of the time. I am used to this, it is all part of the treatment so I expect it. But today we had a busy day. We had a meeting with the hotel we'll be staying at for the wedding in June, then we went to see family in Netanya (25 minutes north of Tel Aviv).

When I lived here when I was 19 when I first had IPEC Therapy, I stayed with my aunt and uncle, and we went to visit this aunt today which was quite hard as she has cancer. I was happy to see her though, and my cousin who was like my sister growing up and has a new baby.

We then went on to visit another cousin and her baby, before making our way back to Tel Aviv at 9pm. Suffice it to say I'm knackered! I have just put on my PJ's and made myself a hot water bottle (hurricanes and cold weather STILL going on)and I am about to get into bed!

Let's hope mum can manage one night before waking me up!


Love and light xxx

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Day 2

Well as you know from yesterdays post, the 25 hours after the treatment I was only allowed to eat organic food. It's pretty amazing when you follow the journey that life takes you, where you can find yourself.

We looked up some organic restaurants in Tel Aviv and chose one for dinner last night and one for breakfast today. We went to 'Taste of Life' last night, which upon entry didn't come anywhere close to resembling what we might call a fine dining experience. Mum laughed as we looked at everything on the menu that my fiance would describe as 'pigeon food'; bean burgers, veggie burgers, juices and salads.

There was a buffet, so we walked over to that and a man with what sounded like an American accent, even when he spoke in Hebrew, explained that Tuesdays are buffet day. Then an older, large lady walked in with plates full of food from the kitchen and started speaking to him in English with a strong American accent.

We sat down at the bar, ordered food and drinks and asked one of them where they were from.

It turns out they are the Black Hebrew Israelites, a group of people mostly of Black African ancestry situated mainly in the United States who believe they are descendants of the ancient Israelites. Many of them moved over to Israel just after the civil rights movement in the States and have continued their migration ever since. They are given permanent residence, not citizenship, but some of them even serve in the Israeli army and are then given citizenship. They speak English amongst themselves with strong Chigaco accents but speak fluent Hebrew and integrate into society aside from their education.

They like to educate their own children and live in a kind of Kibbutz lifestyle. All their businesses are owned by the community, not by one person, and they all have shifts to help out in different businesses and others look after the children or do chores in their community. They live in their own kind of kibbutz.

They say it is more of a lifestyle than a religion, which I identify with so much, and their main ethos is TO LIVE! Everything about life is what they love and what they do. They don't eat anything which has lived or come from something living, so they are all vegans and eat only organic. They wear only cotton and fabrics that are good for the body and don't harm the environment and generally live a bit like Buddhists I guess.

I was so intrigued by this community that I had never heard of that I kept asking question after question and hoped that I wasn't annoying them. But what I learnt is that no matter where life takes you, if you just follow it, you get led to the most interesting things and people, and you learn lessons you never would have learnt.

This morning we ate breakfast at an organic cafe by the market in Tel Aviv and experienced the real boho lifestyle of tel aviv. The whole cafe was filled with bohemian musicians, artists, writers and other such creative people and I felt right at home. I have been loving the organic food and luckily in Tel Aviv it is easy to find.

My 25 hours were up at 1pm when we met with the wedding planner and had some other wedding related meetings but I am excited to see what the next treatment throws at me!

The side affects this time were not awful, I kept getting a pounding headache every few hours and I feel tired, as always after treatment but I had a rest this afternoon and am now preparing to go for dinner with a friend.

Let's see what tomorrow brings!

Love and light xx

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

IPEC Therapy, Day 1

I am writing this from the bed in my hotel room in Israel, as I stare out the large balcony doors at the sea - not too shabby!

I am in Israel for a month, having the treatment that I had nine years ago when my arthritis was at its worst - IPEC Therapy. It stands for Integrated Physical Emotional Clearing. Very complex and hard to describe but it basically uses a mix of 7 different types of complementary therapies and integrates them into one; psychology, homeopathy, reflexology, acupuncture, kinesiology, bio-energy and chiropractic. It forces toxins and allergies out of your system to make you healthy, but you would be surprised how many allergies we have without even knowing about it.

Through a technique called muscle testing, your sub-conscious tells the doctor (and yes, he is a real doctor who has studied medicine!) what allergy it wants to work on that day.

In past treatments I have worked on metal, wood, dairy, wheat, sugar, certain fruits and vegetables, atmospheric changes and even air! For 25 hours after the treatment you cannot exert yourself physically and you have to stay away from the thing you worked on. For example when we worked on wheat, I couldn't eat wheat for 25 hours - easy. But try staying away from metal (door handles, elevators etc etc!)

Today we worked on chemicals such as pesticides, insecticides, chlorine and many other man made chemicals that exist in our every day lives. So for the next 25 hours I have to eat only organic - completely organic! I had to find an organic food shop and buy some things that I could eat for lunch, and we looked up some organic food restaurants so we have chosen one for dinner and one for breakfast. It is sometimes hard but I always know that after my treatments I will have to stay away from certain things so the body can fully get rid of it.

I will be having treatments twice a week. They are very intensive and most people have them only every fortnight or once a month in most cases but because I don't have that sort of time to stay here, I will have 2 a week. I've done it before and it is draining, exhausting and challenging - mentally and physically, as it draws all the toxins out of you so you can have a number of reactions. Some can be emotional and some can be physical.

Aside from all the things I can't eat or do, and how it affects me, I have had this treatment before and it worked. It made me better when I was at my worst so I am confident it can do the same for me now and I will be on top form for my wedding in 4 months. I am determined to get better again as I will not succumb to an illness I do not want or accept that that is my life. I accept the things it has taught me and I accept that I have it, but it will not take over my life.

I'll be writing daily blogs to keep you all updated on my progress and how I'm coming along with the treatments as well as all the side effects and anything else worth mentioning.

For more information about IPEC visit

Love and light xx

Friday, 11 January 2013

Get Thicker Skin! No thanks, I'm fine In My Own :)

So much for a written documentary, it's been three weeks since I last wrote a blog so I'm not doing very well at documenting my illness... I guess it is because I have been feeling a little better, and life has been a little easier to get on with.

Isn't it funny how when we're sad we become so much more creative? I tend to write and create more when things aren't so good, because when they're good, I'm busy again. So I guess every cloud does has a silver lining.

I read a book recently called 'The Highly Sensitive Person - How To Survive When The World Overwhelms You'. I instantly knew the book was right for me because the minute I was given it by my mum and I read the title, I was offended. You know you are highly sensitive if you get offended by the title of a book given to you! - Ironic! But then I started to read it and it has had such a profound effect on me that I thought I would share it.

It turns out that about 10-15% of the population are Highly Sensitive People, or HSP's, and although non-sensitive people can get annoyed with us telling us things like 'Stop being so emotional', or 'It's just a film' or 'Get thicker skin', the world would not function without us as it is likely that if you are a highly sensitive person you are more aware of other peoples feelings and emotions. It is people like us who sense the need to help, say, elderly people crossing the road with heavy shopping bags, or in a group of siblings, the most sensitive one would be the one most likely to visit an elderly relative in a care home more often than the others. We are more sensitive to the pain of others, including animals and usually, highly sensitive people are more aware of our environments, therefore being more involved with helping others, the environment and animals and being more involved in charities, trying to do our bit. We also try and keep our own bodies and minds as healthy as possible, so more HSP's are likely to be healthy eaters, veggies and regular meditators! We are more likely also to be in therapy...

This is because non-HSP's aren't as bothered about the little things as much as we are and yes, they will get annoyed sometimes with our actions as they don't understand. This is because they aren't sensitive enough themselves to have the same feeling and emotions as us, - our nervous systems are literally made differently and function differently to non-HSPs - so our constant need to 'save the world' can make non-HSP's label us as Hippies.

But that's ok because the world needs both. World leaders and CEO's of large corporate companies need to be thick skinned, they could not survive in what they do if they were not. But on the flip side, you will then find that the majority of artists, writers, actors, musicians and all kinds of artists are HSP's. That is because we are so emotional, constantly full of emotion, that this doesn't work in normal every day jobs and we need creative outlets. Sometimes this can border on genius or even sometimes psychotic, because our minds cannot keep up with the constant thoughts. This is why we find so many of the greatest artists have committed suicide or died young or have been labelled 'mad' - (Picasso, Leonardo DaVinci, Jim Morrison, Tupac Shakur, Amy Winehouse.... the list is endless)

I could go on forever explaining the great things that this book has taught me but what I took away from it was that you can be an HSP because you have been brought up in a highly sensitive, artistic family (and even then, it is likely that only one of the offspring will be made up like this), because you have been born like this (because our nervous systems are built differently, we feel more, emotionally and physically and this is why things like bright or flashing lights affect us and why we are more sensitive to alcohol) or because you have grown up with an illness and this has made you acutely aware of other peoples pain as well as your own. (and again, not all people with illnesses will end up as HSP's, you still have to have been born like that to an extent anyway, but it could explain people like Stephen Hawking.)

So I started to wonder if I am so sensitive because of my illness, or was I born that way? Or is it a culmination of the two? I guess I'll never know but I do know that my sensitivity - although sometimes a hindrance in my own life - means that other people are helped and cared for and it gives me creativity; imagination and inquisitiveness, the need to always know and learn more and a desire to create and inspire.. (unfortunately this also comes from HSP's constant need to be liked!)

To end, I hope that some of you (probably only the HSP's) have found this interesting. It was so profound for me because I don't think it's ever been considered a 'thing' before. Being too sensitive has always been a negative and people tell you to 'get over things', 'move on' and 'stop watching films if you're going to cry every time'. But it's never been acknowledged that we make up a very interesting part of the population and being highly sensitive helps the world. Now that I know this, I will not stop being who I am, and when people tell me to 'get thicker skin' when watching the news, or seeing a homeless person, I will not, because it's not how I am made and I can now accept that. Instead I will turn off the news, and go and give the homeless man some money - and that is how it now is for.

Love and Light

Lauren x