Two years later, I had a part time job at my house supervising paper boys, and my husband had been through several exacerbations of his MS. I was terrified, unhappy, and felt very alone. I had wanted to leave my husband before the MS, but stayed because it was expected. Life looked very bleak to me.
A friend of mine, at my daughter’s co-op preschool, asked, “have you considered acupuncture for your husband?” I hardly even knew what it was then, but took the name and number of her acupuncturist. He was actually an MD/neurologist from New York who was diagnosed with MS himself. He knew that western medicine had very little to offer this disease and had pursued holistic medicine - mostly acupuncture and Qi Gong. At that time, he had been 13 years without symptoms. Being that he was an MD, his treatments were covered by our health insurance.
When I took my husband in the first time, he was paralyzed on his whole left side. We spent several hours in the acupuncturist’s office as he asked questions, probed, did a physical exam and then the first treatment.
When my husband got up the next morning his MS was in remission and I couldn’t even tell he had it. It was the most amazing thing!
After observing this, I wanted acupuncture too. About two months after my husband started treatment, I got my first treatment. It released my tears, tears I had held in for years. It was like someone peeled all the outer layers back and I could see down inside myself. I hadn’t seen that self for a long time. I knew that I had to leave the life that I was living. Within six weeks of starting treatment, I left my husband, left California and moved back to the East Coast.
It didn’t take long to figure out that I wanted to study acupuncture and offer this amazing medicine to more people. Again, I was still dirt poor. The acupuncture school in Florida in the early 90s was not accredited, so there was no financial aid available. I started writing to the head of the school. Weekly. Each letter had a new creative payment plan. (The school had never offered a payment plan before.) I think the head of the school just got tired of my letters and let me in. I couldn’t work in a regular job and go to school, so I started my own cleaning business. I worked my way through school, the first person with a payment plan, cleaning houses. I knew this was what I was put on this Earth to do, and I was willing to scrub toilets to get there.
Twenty plus years later, my daughters grown, I have never regretted pursuing this career. It is more than a career, it is a calling - it is a passion! I don’t consider “retirement”. I know I will do this my whole life. I love people, and I love that I can offer people this miraculous assistance to health and wellbeing, which is passed on to their friends, family, co-workers and life partners. In turn, this is passed on to the world.
No matter what you want to do in this world, start by healing yourself and if you’d like help with that, I would love to help you.
Postscript: Just so you know, the Florida school where I went is now accredited, plus I am licensed and nationally certified, and I have been a faculty member at Maryland University of Integrative Health for 15 years.