I am among those who in a hallelujah-mode have been preaching the Lightning Process. Today I am ashamed, embarrassed and sorry for the pain I may have inflicted on others who are ill.
My story begins in 2007. Shortly after starting a new job, I get a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes and fatigue. I’m defying my body’s signals and go to work. One doesn’t ask for sick leave in a new job! Ten months later, my body says stop and I’m on long term sick leave. Blood tests show that I’ve had mononucleosis. My doctors send me for an assessment at Kragerø Hospital and I quickly get diagnosed with ME. In the hope that the diagnosis is incorrect, I get in touch with a private specialist and receive the diagnosis once again according to the Canada criteria (I’m not sure which criteria were used the first time). Then I get left to myself, with the message that there’s no cure. I don’t receive any information about what ME is, what I can do to make everyday life better. I get no information on communities, aids etc.
Unfortunately, ME doesn’t fit with my lifestyle. I who have an active life, a job I love, extracurricular activities, a large network with a lot of social interaction. A family, with a husband and two boys in kindergarten and primary school.
I therefore try lots of things in order to get better. Acupuncture, osteopathy, healing, various vitamins, walks and more. Unfortunately only rest seems to have some positive effect. I am just as exhausted and drained.
Then I hear about an ME patient who got better. I get in touch with her and she tells me that she’s taken the Lightning Process. I throw myself at it, not asking any critical questions. After an “interview” with an LP instructor, I get to join. In the autumn of 2008 I pay 15,000 NOK plus hotel to participate on a three-day course in Oslo, with an instructor from England.
Already after the first day I’m convinced. Self-hypnosis and learning to say no to the fatigue work wonders. I return to the hotel, practice on the exercises we’ve learned, and return next day with great optimism. I don’t have ME, I’ve been DOING ME. Of course I can recover, as long as this was self inflicted. On the third day my husband picks me up, and with great conviction I tell him that I have recovered. I start to work again gradually, I dare not start 100% as I have to be sure that the self-hypnosis does work. But I return to a 100% position which was the most important goal for me.
I tell everyone that I’ve recovered and try to convince others that this is the best ME sufferers can do for themselves. I debate with other ME sufferers and strongly consider becoming an LP instructor.
At this point, I don’t know that ME is more than fatigue. Since I decided early on not to read about the disease, I measured my health only on level of energy. It’s incredible how far you can push your body until it completely stops.
Over the years I got recurrent infections. 2-4 times a year with bronchitis and/or pneumonia. Stomach flu 1-2 times a year and all the flu that was circulating. If something was making its rounds, I got it. I went to a chiropractor on a regular basis, because my body had locked itself. I had a constant headache and struggled with concentration. The lymph nodes in the throat were constantly swollen. I pushed the fatigue aside, because no, I didn’t do ME anymore.
in 2012 I start to wonder if I have been working too much? Am I burnt out? I change job and reduce work hours. Things are working out to some degree. I really enjoy my work, but have little energy in my spare time. Then I receive an offer about what I believe is my dream job, and accept. I have to work hard and when I go on vacation after four months it’s as if the body gets spasms. My hands are shaking and I have memory loss. After three weeks of vacation, I feel a little better and return to work feeling optimistic. One week of work and the symptoms return. After a long process I decide to quit. At this point I’m certain that I’m burnt out (because I’m still not doing ME).
I become unemployed, but after three months without a job, I get offered a temporary position, a new management position. I’m not feeling well, but the job is tempting and I accept. Challenging, exciting and with nice colleagues, I really enjoy it. But nevertheless the body starts failing. The level of energy sinks, chronic headache, brain fog and recurrent infections make me realise that I need sick leave. In the autumn of 2015 it’s full stop.
Once again the doctor sends me to an assessment and I am diagnosed with ME for the third time. This time I’m diagnosed with moderate degree. I used to have mild degree.
In connection with work assessment allowance I get a place at (the rehabilitation institution) Eiken in 2018. It’s here that I for the first time learn about the other symptoms and am able to see the connections. The relief was big when I realised that brain fog was a symptom. At one point I had gotten afraid that I had become less intelligent. Reading longer texts is impossible and words disappear when I speak. I also hadn’t understood that lactic acid in the body was lactic acid and not symptoms of flu. I had many light bulb moments.
Now it’s 2022 and I’m still working on understanding what triggers symptoms and how to avoid it. It’s a long way to go, but for me accepting the disease was the most important step.
I want to apologise to anyone who has felt pressured to take LP. I’m sorry for having contributed to making other people deteriorate, to wasting money, feeling looked down upon and mistrusted. I was blind, but now I see.