Kirsti’s Story of Severe ME turned around with Lightning Process
Photo: Kirsti Dahl Johansen as she is now, 2011. She was keen to have her story shown on this website to inspire other people about what is possible.
It’s been 3 years now! Since I took myself out of bed! Thanks to Heather and the Lightning Process, thanks to my family and to God! To me it was a miracle!
When Heather came to me, I had been stuck in my bed for 2 years and two months. The room was sound isolated and completely dark. I was too weak to eat by myself or to chew, so my carers had to feed me with mashed food. I could not even hold a carton cup of water. They had to hold it for me, as I was lying down. When the carers entered my room, they had to wear socks on their feet, in order to reduce the noise. And because they needed a small light to be able to do the work, I had to put a black bandage over my eyes as long as they were in the room. If there was something they really had to talk to me about, they had to whisper, saying: “Is it OK if I tell you something nice today?” Or: “I need to ask you something, can I do that now?” And very often I would reply: “Not now. It will have to wait.” The only food I could tolerate was boiled fish, a special kind of bread and some particular vegetables. Mashed! My eldest son was 25, I didn’t have the strength to see him at all for more than 10 months. Each time he came to see me, I was too weak. My youngest son was 21, he was living in the house over periods, and luckily he happened to be there when I was able to receive him. For a few precious minutes, once every 3rd month or so. My daughter was 12 when I no longer could take care of her at all. She was now 14. During this period I had been able to have her in my room for some terribly short, but extremely sad and happy moments, far too seldom. On her birthday, on new years eve, on my birthday and so… I had been sick with M.E for 9 years. After 4 of them house-bound, sometimes walking on crutches, sometimes using a wheelchair, mostly lying on the sofa. The last 26 months totally bed-bound, lying in this horrible, but very well protected room. With no other visitors, no TV, no radio, no computer, no papers, no books. Nothing! I felt like I was buried alive.
People seem to assume that lying in bed like that is like resting, like being apathetic or even being in a sort of coma or at least a kind of sleep. But it was nothing like that! My mind was working full time! And there was very little sleep, especially at night time. There was just a lot of pain and extreme weakness; my legs, my feet, my arms, my fingers, my back and neck muscles simply did not work. They were just aching. So did my head, my ears and my eyes!
I don’t think I’ll bother to mention all the types of treatments and medications I had tried over the years! You name it, I tried it! None of them helped me! Not to mention the amount of money I wasted on it all. By the time when the sound isolated room was built to me, I had given up all kinds of treatment!
My carers were mainly my parents, my cousin and his wife, in addition to some friends. It was very difficult to get the help I needed from the public health care system. Some homemakers and some nurses visited me from time to time, but I needed 24 hours surveillance 7 days a week, so my parents had to leave their home and move in with me! My mother was 71 years old at the time, my father was 81.
Then, after 26 months in this “prison”, Heather came! After approximately one hour I put the light on! She was looking so good! So healthy! So calm! So full of energy! And she said to me: “I used to be like you! I was in bed for 16 years! If I could do it, so can you!” And somehow I believed her! Two days later I walked down the stairways and entered my living-room! I hadn’t seen it for more than two years! First i hugged my dad! For a long time! Then my mum! Even longer! Then we sat down in my beautiful sofa, around my extraordinary shining table, eating the most wonderful sandwich meal, drinking the best milk I had ever tasted! My father wanted to help me! Pouring the milk! But Heather stopped him! “She can do it herself now!” And I could! I could do it myself! Wow! What a change! As I was reading at the back of the milk-carton, Heather continued to teach me issues from the Lightning Process! But I said to her: “Give me a break! I haven’t been reading for years!” Then we laughed! For several minutes we just laughed!
I had to work a lot! Doing the Lightning Process every day for a year! In the beginning several times a day. But I was never back in the dark room. I was never back in bed during daytime! Never back in the wheel chair! Never back on crutches! I was retaking my life, piece by piece. I still am! After some weeks I went back to singing in a choir! I had been missing that for 9 years! A few months later my daughter moved back into the house, to live with me. Last year she and I moved to Gran Canaria, where we spent a wonderful year! Dancing a lot of sevillana together! Before I got sick, I never exercised! After I got up from bed, I have been exercising 2 or 3 times a week. I have never been in such a good shape as I am now! Last Christmas I arranged a big family gathering. We were 17 people! In my house! I was cooking and baking and preparing everything! Just like the old times! Isn’t that fantastic?! Yesterday I turned 52! And I am so grateful! That I am alive! That I am healthy! And for all the love and joy I have got in my life! My life is wonderful! I am enjoying every single day of it! Thank you, Heather! Thank you so much!
Kirsti Dahl Johansen
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