November 24, 2008

Giving Thanks

It's the week of Thanksgiving and you might be expecting a gluten-free recipe to tempt your taste buds, but today I decided that while food is important and I am very thankful for it, there is more on my heart that I want to write about.

At this time of Thanksgiving, I want to share a special person with you who I found on my healing journey. But first, I need to tell you a bit of my story. I apologize for the length of this post, but feel that it's the only way for you to appreciate why I'm feeling especially thankful.

In the Spring of 1999, I was pregnant and began having difficulty with the pregnancy. At 13 weeks I had a miscarriage. A few weeks later at my checkup with the obstetrician I was told that my platelet count was seriously low and continued to drop into the mid teens. A normal platelet count should be in the 130-400 range. I was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, immune mediated thrombocytopenic purpura or ITP.

Treatment with high doses of immune suppressive steroids for about 7 weeks failed to correct the problem. Then about six weeks later my spleen was removed. The surgery went well and my platelet count rose up wonderfully. After my last checkup visit with my hematologist, he followed me out of the examination room and as I turned to say goodbye he reluctantly warned me with the words, "most people come back". I knew this meant that the only treatment would be those horrible drugs that they didn't want to give me when I protested that I didn't want to give up my spleen. At that moment, I made a choice deep within myself that these words would not frame my life. I prayed and was determined that I would find a better way.

Four months later I was expecting another baby and my platelet count remained stable.
On October 3, 2000 the Lord blessed us with a son, who is now eight. I had been told by the OB that there was a chance that my baby could have low platelets from the antibodies that were still in my body. When he was born his platelet count was seriously low at 25 and was administered immune globulin through IV. After 3 months his body began to clear my antibodies. He is a miracle, as are all babies, and he is a normal healthy child.

With a newborn there were many sleepless nights to add to the chronic fatigue symptoms that I had experienced since my first son was born. I quickly lost weight to 87 pounds and experienced chronic yeast infections. None of my doctors could figure out what was wrong with me. With little energy left, I searched more doctors for answers. They had none. I began to read and study all that I could and learned that I needed to find a naturopathic physician who understood these chronic health issues. But where would I find one?

My dear husband spoke to a co-worker about me and asked if he knew of a holistic doctor. His co-worker didn't, but thoughtfully contacted his physical therapist, who gave him two names. I held on to them for a while because I had no energy to go to another doctor.

One day I was feeling so bad and noticed the bruises and red pin point dots (petechiae) on my legs which meant my platelets were too low. I knew I had to get help. I called a name on my list. This is when I found a doctor who I'm honored to call my friend and I want to share him with you. My special person is Dr. Maurice Werness. He practices naturopathic medicine and resides in Durham, North Carolina. I could spend days writing about all he's done for me and what he means to our family. To learn more about Maurice and his practice, you can contact him at:

Within a week of following his recommendations of holistic treatment for a leaky gut and candida my legs became perfectly clear. I knew my platelets were better than ever. Healing was beginning to manifest and I had found my miracle and answer to my prayers.

After all the difficulty I had finding a doctor who understood my health conditions, I am thankful that I found Maurice. He has always given me the support and time that patients with multi-dimensional illnesses require to unravel. I never have returned to the hematologist. I give great thanks! My last platelet count was normal at 272!


  1. I love the part about how you were determined the doctor's words would not frame your life. While sometimes words given as advice or counsel must be heeded, there are times that faith rises up within us and we know we've been given a gift from God to believe outside of our circumstances.
    Thanks for sharing,

  2. What a wonderful blessing that the Lord led you to such a wonderful caregiver. You have been through so much and your thankfulness shines through!
    Thank you for visiting and following my blog. It is also such a blessing to find new blogs to read. I'll visit again! :)
    ~Have a blessed day.

  3. Yay! For naturopathic doctors! I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis five years ago. After going on three heavy duty meds, I saw my body deterioting even more with the fear of the meds doing damage to my organs. I knew I had to try something else. Four years ago I started seeing a naturopath in Chicago. With her help, I began an elimination diet and started on many supplements that my body was needing. Within two months, my inflammations rates were back within normal which hadn't happened in a year. Slowly the pain in my joints disappeared. I was scared to go off the meds but finally this year in February my body just said, "I am not taking these drugs any longer." I took myself off meds. Thanks to my naturopath, I can now follow a diet that works for my body, reduce stress in my life and live a drugfree life. I am so glad you have had the same experience.


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