When we're newly diagnosed with a serious disease, people seem to come out of the woodwork claiming their product, method, diet, supplement or service can cure us. As if we don't already have enough to deal with, the tactics some of these people use create more stress in our lives at a time when we need to reduce and eliminate all stress.
When I first sharing my diagnosis publically, I immediately started receiving emails from well-meaning people. And I say “well-meaning” because I simply can't bring myself to believe people were trying to make me feel worse. But they did. And if you're reading this, chances are you've had the same experience. It's because of this experience, I created a list of talking points for the newly diagnosed, so we'd have a quick reference sheet with ideas on how to respond.
You'll find the Talking Points for the Newly Diagnosed here.
Before I was newly diagnosed, I researched all kinds of things to help relieve my symptoms. The joint pain and stiffness in my hands being my main concern at that time. I read about turmeric, magnesium, essential oils, going gluten-free, detoxing, tapping, and more. I even thought I'd found the cure when I read about soaking golden raisins in gin and then eating nine every day. Note: I like gin and golden raisins, so I really wanted this to work. Not only did it not work, they tasted like sh*t!
I've been an EFT (emotional freedom techniques) practitioner since 2003. I personally trained with Gary Craig, the founder of EFT, received certification, worked with master practitioners and consistently honed my craft. I've used EFT to help many people as well as myself. But let's be clear, EFT does not cure and it does not stop disease progression.
I've used essential oils for years, although probably not in the way those selling oils want me to. As I type this, I have an electric diffuser on my desk, diffusing an oil blend for mental clarity. Lavender is a staple and I've created my own cleaning products with tea tree oil. What I want you to understand is that I'm not opposed to essential oils and I know they are wonderful for many things. That being said, when newly diagnosed with a serious illness our focus is on more important things than what kind of oils might help us feel better. Essential oils do not cure, and they do not stop disease progression.
Spices, Supplements & Solutions
As I said, even before my diagnosis, I was searching for something to relieve my symptoms. My spice cabinet contains turmeric, although I've never figured out how to cook with it. I put the contents of a turmeric capsule in my green drinks, but haven't noticed a difference. Magnesium hasn't helped my symptoms, but it does keep me regular and sleep better (when I use it.) Tart cherry juice tastes horrible and does nothing, while apple cider vinegar makes me gag and feel worse. Other people have had different experiences with these things, and that is why we read about them. And yet, once again, none of these things are cures. And none of them will stop the disease progression. (are you starting to see a pattern?)
Diets & Detox
I saved the best (worst) for last. While I believe there is a time and place for looking at our diets and how our bodies respond to various foods, that time is not when we are newly diagnosed. And sadly, that seems to be the time pushy health coaches pounce. I'm not saying all health coaches do this, nor am I suggesting you avoid health coaches. There are many excellent coaches out there who have helped people live better lives. Just remember, nothing a health coach does will cure your disease or stop the disease progression.
And if they tell you they've healed or cured others with your condition–RUN!
When we're newly diagnosed, we are dealing with so much new information AND a tremendous amount of emotion around our diagnosis. It's terrifying to hear we have a disease with no cure. And it's no less scary when we understand our disease will continue to progress if we don't take the medications.
We want to believe we will feel better with the more natural alternatives. We don't want to believe the doctors, the research, the statistics. And we
want need to believe there is an easier, safer, more natural way to cope with everything. And that is precisely why well-meaning offers of assistance are so damn tempting.
It's also why it's so difficult to say no. When we say no to these offers, we silently wonder if we're making a mistake. We fear our common sense is wrong; we start to think our intuition is flawed. And when the person attempting to get our business is over-zealous in their approach (or intentionally using our fear to promote their offering), we can even feel shame when we reject their offers.
Note: If you're feeling shamed or blamed about your disease and not doing what this non-medical professional is telling you to do, pay attention. When others attempt to blame us or shame us into doing something, we need to run the other direction as fast as we can.
The best thing we can do when newly diagnosed with a serious disease is to surround ourselves with those who truly support us, without trying to blame, shame or sell us something. There will be a time when we may want to try some of the more natural options to supplement our well-being, so don't feel like you have to do everything now.
What's the craziest thing someone ever suggested to you as a “cure?”
P.S. If you're having a hard time figuring out what to say when someone wants you to try their product, service, diet, etc.? Get my free resource, Talking Points for the Newly Diagnosed here.