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Susan Wuttke's Personal Story
MSW, LCSW, Certified Neurotherapy Practitioner, Certified iLs Practitioner
"Neurotherapy (brainwave biofeedback) saved my life. This is my story."
I have always been fairly active physically. One thing I particularly enjoyed was biking around town through the older neighborhoods, along the lake and around campus. One day, on what should have been a typical bike ride, I was confronted with something very strange and foreign to me: my muscles would not respond and I could not make it up a slight incline. I was in tears and exhausted from the effort. This was alarming enough to finally get me to my family physician. Over the previous few months I had noticed that I was having difficulty maintaining my weight even though I had been increasing my calorie intake. There were also strange high fevers that would come on every few days randomly and for no obvious reason. Additionally, I was experiencing a great deal of physical pain; the kind that brings you to your knees and takes your breath away. I could hardly move because of the joint pain, but the bone pain and nerve pain raised it to a whole new level. My physician felt I needed a more complete workup so I was sent to Methodist Hospital in Houston to see a specialist in neurology. The first thing the tests revealed was that I was in bone marrow failure. Then more test were done. After nerve biopsies, muscle biopsies, spinal taps, MRI's and endless blood work and gastrointestinal work ups, the doctor finally had a diagnosis. He said that although my bone marrow had bounced back for now, I had a neuromuscular disorder which had no known treatment or cure, that I would become weaker and weaker as the disease ravaged my body, and eventually it would attack my lungs and I would die. He suggested that I go home and get my affairs in order; and then he walked out of the room.
In shock and devastated by the prognosis, I went home, broke the news to my children and family and made my will. The physical pain had become unbearable and I continued to get weaker and weaker. I was put in the hospital on the brink of death. The doctors were at a loss as to how to stop my body from destroying itself from this mysterious autoimmune type disease. They felt my only option was chemotherapy.
For almost two years I was deathly ill, in constant pain and in and out of the hospital. There were numerous rounds of chemotherapy, at other times blood infusions, TPN therapy, or gamma globulin infusions. This was uncharted territory and every effort was made just to keep me alive. Then unfortunately things got worse. I managed to get an infection while in the hospital, sepsis (a blood infection), which hit my lungs. They were certain I would die. Once again my family was called in to say their goodbyes. To this day no one understands why, but I didn't die; and even my bone marrow bounced back again. However, I still had the neuromuscular disorder, which no one knew how to treat, and I continued to be in excruciating pain. Added to that, (I assume from the high fevers with sepsis), I began having seizures.
Finally, after being in the hospital for almost four months, with little progress, I asked to go home. It was assumed by everyone that I was going home to die. A nurse came to my house everyday. She checked my vital signs and made sure I was comfortable and had sufficient continuous IV morphine pain medication; addiction was not a concern since I was going to die anyway. I was so weak I was either confined to bed or an electric wheelchair to get around. I could not see to read and just watching TV would trigger seizures that moved like violent waves through my body. The surface of my skin and nerves felt like the frayed end of an electrical cord. At times I couldn't even stand the weight of the bed sheet against my skin.
There was a point during those dark and difficult times when I actually witnessed my own death. I was looking down watching the life force leave my body, I could even smell the smell of death, yet I WAS STILL THERE... I had a profound realization - NO ONE DIES; none of us do - WE DON'T DIE.
We may shed the physical body, but we continue to have BEING. I began to question, 'Who is this ME that is not my body?' And, if I continue to have BEING whether I have this body or not, then perhaps I needed to get busy and learn how to heal my body and BE in it. I needed to figure out what was important and do those things. The scary part was that I was still too weak to get around and still experiencing enormous pain. And I didn't know if I would ever be any better than I was at that very moment.
For a time things seemed to have plateaued, I was no better or worse. Then there began to be small signs that I was starting to go downhill again. And, from a very deep place inside of me I knew if I didn't do something, get help from someplace, I would be dead in three months. Real or not this was a message coming from the core of my being and I was afraid. This began my journey for spiritual, psychological and physical health.
I knew about Neurotherapy because I had received training from Marty at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, when I was a therapist in private practice. I called Marty and made arrangements to come to his clinic in the North Georgia Mountains. I would end up staying for five weeks. I was a mess. I couldn't fly from my home in Texas because I was still on oxygen. I was taken by van, with a bed in the back with my oxygen machine, IV packs of morphine and various pain and seizure medications. I'm sure I was the kind of patient every health care provider dreads to see coming through the door. I had tried everything, this was my last hope and I did not look good. I'll never forget the words of one Chinese Doctor when he saw me. 'The spirit is strong but the vessel is weak'. That's what Marty was confronted with and he took it all in stride. He said 'you are fine'. He always saw me as completely whole and healed. And, I am. Over 12 years later I am healthier than I have ever been in my life.
Due to the severity of my health problems, I spent five weeks with Marty getting neurofeedback treatment two times per day. I was able to begin reducing the dosage of morphine almost immediately. As the weeks went by I could feel my body becoming healthier and there was a dramatic reduction in seizure activity. When I returned home my family was amazed at how much better I looked. Even without additional treatment I continued to get stronger, I had less and less pain and continued the process of withdrawing from the morphine. What I feel neurotherapy gave me was the strong foundation I needed to go home and continue building on that strength. The seizures are gone. Today, not only am I free of pain, I am free from asthma, something I had since childhood, (inherited from both sides of my family) and was told there was no cure (just management of symptoms with medication).
Today I try to live by the principles I have learned over those years of recovery. I try to meditate often (just lying on my back with my hands resting at my navel and watching my breath has great healing effects). I attempt to direct my energy to doing the things that matter the most to me, forget the things that do not matter, and surrender the things I don't have any control over. WE ARE MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT, and it is important to maintain that awareness when trying to heal ourselves.
This has not only been a journey of physical healing it has been a journey of deep spiritual healing and growth as well. I try to eat well (organic when possible), get out in nature often, and exercise regularly. I am a student of Kriya Yoga and Chi Kung, powerful practices which have taught me much about the importance of a healthy body, healthy mind and healthy spirit. I practiced Tai Chi and Qigong, which has taught me much about accumulating and storing energy and noticing how negative emotions, and thought patterns drain my energy. Healing my brain of destructive fixed patterns with neurotherapy, and now maintaining my health through physical and spiritual practices, has produced exceptional positive results."