I was born with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, which affects everyone slightly differently. For me, it has restricted my mobility and muscle control and my eyesight and visual perception were severely limited.
I grew up reassured by the knowledge that cerebral palsy was a stable condition, which would not degenerate. In common with many people with congenital (lifelong) disabilities, in the UK, I was put through a mix of special and mainstream education and I was treated by a succession of doctors, surgeons and therapists of all kinds, many of whom added to the toxic cocktail, usually called prescription medication, of which they all seem to be so fond. Therefore, once I accepted my limitations and overcame or managed some other difficulties, it should have been possible to live a life, which was not dominated by my health… or the lack of it.
By the late 1990s, cerebral palsy was ready to remind me that it often has a sting in its tail, about which very few people are told until it strikes. It is true that the underlying brain damage which caused it had not changed, but the cumulative effect of the wear and tear caused to every system of the body simply by living with it, combined with years of toxicity from prescription medication had begun to overpower me and to send my health into a relentless downward spiral. In December 2005, I had finally accepted that this would be my lot for as much time as I had left and that there might not be very much of it.
So much has changed since then; I am now seeing the world with fresh eyes. My return to naturally sustained good health, since January 2006, continues to amaze me every day.
My Serrapeptase Adventure is the remarkable story of “The ‘Miracle’ Enzyme”, *Serrapeptase, which gave me back my life in January 2006. It goes on to chart the four life-changing years in which I learnt that many of the symptoms from which *Serrapeptase has rescued me were, in fact, known, and even expected, side effects of the toxic cocktail of prescription medications, which I took before I knew about *Serrapeptase and to which I have never needed to return.
Since I learnt about *Serrapeptase, I have been able to move away from medically controlled symptoms, towards naturally sustained good health.
Writing Before I Could Read
For people who have only known me for a relatively short time, my enjoyment of books and my determination to write, have been slightly difficult to explain. It is true that my eyesight and visual perception only improved enough to make reading a pleasure, or even particularly useful, as the most remarkable ongoing part of My Serrapeptase Adventure. Books and writing have been part of my life for many years and I was determined to write, despite doing so being physically difficult and often painful, before I learnt about voice recognition in the early 1990s.
Fortunately, I grew up with a family and friends who enjoyed reading, and many of whom were happy to read to me, and to encourage me to write. Perhaps it would be fair to say that what I think of as an enjoyment of books could be more accurately described as enjoyment of the spoken word. As a child, I was fascinated by radio drama, without my eyesight being a problem.
Now that my health is stable and my continuing progress suggests that the future is one to which I can look forward with confidence, I am, at last, able to concentrate, more fully, upon the writing I had intended to do, so many years ago.
It has been most exciting to learn how much easier it is to research information now that my eyesight and visual perception have both improved enough to make independent reading a practical option. I still need to work very hard to improve my fluency, but it is already better than ever. I like a challenge and life is good.
My return to naturally sustained good health has only been possible thanks to the willingness of authors, broadcasters and natural health advocates, around the world, to share their knowledge. Regular readers will know that many of these remarkable people have also helped me to share my own story.
The Disability Maze Books
The Disability Maze Books is a series of books, which poses a number of significant questions and explores several specific answers as well as ways of thinking, which encourage innovative responses to the challenges of the positive assessment of the individual needs of people with disabilities.
When I started work on these books, colleagues and friends asked me if I wanted to replace the assessment systems with which we are all familiar, with one of my own. Many of them also wanted to know where my focus would be set. Would I concentrate on the fields of education, social-care, or the health system?
My hope is to encourage a holistic, positive, approach to the assessment of individual needs. There is much evidence to suggest that assessments carried out by professionals in the fields of education, social-care and health, often have a negative focus. In simple terms, the aim of many forms of assessment seems to be to highlight limitations and to focus on the things that someone finds difficult, or impossible. This approach is often referred to as ‘the deficit model’.
My argument is not that the assessment process itself is negative. I believe that the problem lies in the limited way in which the information given by assessments is used. There is widespread reluctance to look beyond any deficits, which may have been identified.
The major difficulty with deficit modelling arises from predictability. The danger is that instead of working to find the most appropriate course of action for the individual, this approach encourages assessors to decide which stock responses an individual can be made to fit.
Replacing the deficit-focused approach requires new ways of thinking. Clearly, assessors still need to identify the things that individuals find difficult or impossible, and to identify limitations. It is my contention, however, that having done so, the assessment should continue to find any skills and abilities, which might indicate possible solutions.
A positively focused assessment will consider the impact of the individual’s needs as well as that of recommendations. An impact model takes full account of the consequences of recommendations on all aspects of a person’s life. It includes consideration of the impact upon family members, friends and colleagues, whose lives may be changed when a person with a disability gains a new skill or level of autonomy.
The Health-Care Survivor’s Story
I started working on the new book, The Health-Care Survivor’s Story, at the beginning of January 2012. The progress continues but I can say that it tells the full story of the four life-changing years of My Serrapeptase Adventure, and of “The ‘Miracle’ Enzyme”, *Serrapeptase. It is a story of personal determination, inspired by the kindness of people around the world.
The book will provide an overview of the research findings, which encouraged me to embark upon my adventure, together with my current and continuing research and my belief that it is crucial to defend the right of people to know the difference between health care and medical care, and to be able to make an informed choice between them. The more I learn about the pharmaceutical industry and its undue influence upon what most of us think of as ‘health services’, the more convinced I become that many of the good people who work within the allopathic health system, often feel as trapped by its enveloping power as many of its patients do.
For me, freedom from prescription medication has been the freedom to live a life that is so much more vibrant than the mere existence, offered by allopathic medicine. Disease control and symptoms management have their place, and I have benefited, and suffered, from both, but they must never be confused with health care.
My research focuses upon some of the critical issues, which I believe that each one of us must be able to address at a personal level and as responsible members of society, in order to regain and maintain naturally sustainable good health.