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High Blood Pressure, Dehydration, Memory Loss and Coconut Water

What do all these things have in common? More than we may realize. All the medical tests in the world sometimes don’t give us the story we need to heal ourselves. This is my mom’s story:

“She is 87. It’s to be expected.” That’s the doctor’s prognosis. I don’t buy it. Not so long ago, my Mom was healthy and independent, enjoying her great grandchildren’s birthday parties. She is now laying in a hospital bed, completely incoherent tied to an IV.

Its Mom’s third visit to the hospital. With each visit, her symptoms worsen. This time she was brought in for chronic dehydration causing weakness, hypothermia, high blood pressure and confusion. Doctors surround her. Are we losing her? Its not that I deny she will one day pass; I simply don’t think it’s today.

My sisters have exhausted themselves and their options. Desperate times call for desperate measures; they turn to me for help. I am the sister whose healing beliefs were considered strange; weird. I came to peace long ago being called the “black sheep” of the family. I am now ready to move from the past and into the present, doing what I do best - teach people how to heal themselves. For the first time ever, I take the role to teach my mom.

When mom entered the ER, we were told that her ammonia levels were high and she was suffering with a UTI. We did what any good daughters would do; we googled high ammonia levels. 

According to Healthgrades:
“The liver plays a vital role in most metabolic processes. One of these processes is the detoxification of ammonia in the blood. Ammonia is a by-product of normal protein metabolism and is produced by bacteria in the intestines. When the liver is damaged, the detoxification process may be disturbed and cause rising blood ammonia levels. High levels of blood ammonia can cause problems in several organs, most notably the brain.”

I voiced my concerns to her primary doctor, “All of her symptoms suggest high ammonia levels.” Yet he informs me that no report from the ER with this information exists. I am learning that test reports are golden in the medical field. Nothing can be done without the essential report. My concerns are dismissed. Luckily, I am not easily dismissed. I continue my research. After three days on the IV, my mom is looking better and is now able to speak, although her words are slurred and slow. A few words together are better than none at all.

I continue pushing about high ammonia levels. To appease me, her doctor orders an ammonia test. It comes out a bit high at 40. He is not concerned. I ask him if being on the IV for 3 days could have flushed her system and brought the ammonia levels down? “It’s possible,” he agrees, still not convinced. He orders another test the following day; her ammonia levels increased to 45. He is now concerned.

I explain about the liver and chemicals. I request that all medications that are not essential be eliminated, one of which is an anti-cancer drug she was put on18 months ago. He offers his blessing; I call the oncologist. After explaining my concerns, I am told by the oncologist office to “get her off that med as soon as possible.” The office also admits, “I’m not even sure why she’s on it. Her cancer was so insignificant. She really doesn’t need it.” I have to wonder.. then why is she on it? I make sure the hospital stops the anti-cancer med immediately.

Although still weak and tired, each day Mom shows signs of improvement. She is brought to rehab for therapy to increase her stamina and muscle strength. She is now eating food and water on her own. However, her blood pressure continues to be an issue. The only answer at the hospital is to add more blood pressure meds. Slowly, her blood pressure balances. 

My next step is to clean up her diet.

I explain my concerns about the city water and the cranberry juice filled with sugar, red dyes and blue dyes that the hospital offers. Finally, the nutritionist picks up the cranberry juice and reads the label. She looks shocked. She admits that she never read the label before. She wouldn’t drink it. My mom takes note; I may not be so crazy after all. 

Most of the doctors and therapists deny the connection. Their belief is that small amounts of chemicals have little impact on the body. I assure them differently, “If you were serving my chemically sensitive son this food and water, he would not be able to think either. I want as many chemicals as possible eliminated from her diet.” With a shrug of their shoulders, I am given the green light to do as I wish. 

Two days away from discharge, I focus on cleaning up her home.

Upon discharge, her home is filled with pure spring water, organic cranberry juice, and coconut water for electrolytes. Each day her memory improves, and she is feeling better. 

However, it doesn’t take long before her blood pressure and heart rate begin to dangerously drop. I’m pretty sure she’s over medicated. Maybe the coconut water is helping? I make an emergency call to the doctor. He suggests we cut her blood pressure meds in half. I agree. 

Three days later, my mom’s blood pressure is perfect; her heart rate is good. Her memory is back, her stamina is improving. We watch her heal. There are still two complaints; a heaviness in her head and shaking of her hands. I believe both are side effects from one of her meds.

Three weeks later, mom takes a huge step backwards, and we are back at the hospital. What happened?  After a four hour evening away from home, mom began fading fast. She drank little water and no coconut water while she was out. She quickly became completely dehydrated, confused, weak and lethargic. Her blood pressure peaked. Increasing her meds was the doctor’s fix; I thought differently. Instead of trying to fix the blood pressure, why not fix the electrolyte problem?

Mom being away from coconut water with electrolytes caused severe dehydration which caused the body’s rise in blood pressure. I was focusing on an absorption issue.

After a week on the IV, her blood pressure was still not normalizing; after a short time off the IV, dehydration returned quickly. I knew the coconut water was instrumental in my mother’s health. I ordered her back on it. The nurses and my sisters complied. Within two days on coconut water, my mother’s blood pressure was stable and she was taken off the IV. Her body was able to maintain health. 

My sisters and I made the decision to mix half spring water with half coconut water. Mom drank it throughout the day. Each day she improved physically and mentally. By the third day she was discharged. The last hurdle that needed attention was her constant light headedness and her uncontrollable shaking of her hands.  

The following week, we went to the doctor’s office for a quick check. Her blood pressure was now too low. Mom was able to eliminate another of her morning blood pressure pills. Within a short time, the light headedness disappeared and her hands stopped shaking. She graduated from her walker and was able to use only a cane for assistance. Her interests in reading, cooking and cleaning returned. My mom is healthier now than she has been in a long time. 

When she complains about having to drink coconut water throughout the day, I remind her that if all she has to do to be healthy is drink coconut water, then she has nothing to complain about. I get her to laugh at herself.

I learned as my mom’s advocate that those who spend the most time with our elderly parents have the most knowledge to help them heal. A medical test does not always give the answers we need. It was up to me to keep the vast array of doctors on the same page, something that was lacking between them. I made sure I did my job well.  

Its not that I expect my mom to live forever, I don’t. However, while she’s here, I do want her to enjoy her life. We were able to go to dinner the other night and she truly enjoyed herself. I plan on more of these adventures together.


Life is meant to be joyful... what we eat and drink makes all the difference in the world. Advocating for your elderly parent(s) is essential, and drinking coconut water may be the secret weapon! 

Healing The "I Can't Stand Anyone" Anger

Water Violet is a flower essence used to heal the anger associated with wanting to be left alone or more appropriately put, the anger tied to“I can’t stand any of you”.  Aloof, proud, disdainful and condescending are some of the words used to describe the Water Violet personality type. 

At the end of Sarah’s “water violet” layer, she admitted, “I didn’t see the energy of Water Violet in me at all. I don’t understand why I took it on this layer.” I've worked long enough to know that flower essences work in mysterious ways. It was time for Sarah to find that something in herself that Water Violet was attempting to reveal.

What Sarah did recognize on this layer was how dysfunctional her friendships had become. "Why do I have a need to be involved in dysfunctional relationships?" She admitted she didn’t have a lot of friends to choose from; hence.. were they better than nothing? Yet she still questioned, "How does Water Violet relate to me?" As we talked about her experiences through the layer, I asked if she recognized Water Violet anger in the friends she deems dysfunctional. “Yes,” she admitted. “That sounds more like them than me!”

It was time to find the Water Violet in Sarah. We spoke further. She admitted that once she hangs up from her telephone conversations with her dysfunctional friends, a deep anger emerges within herself. Through this anger, she has a need to call another friend to let out the steam. There it is .. water violet anger at its finest - I can’t stand any of them!

My next question was, “Why are you so attached to their dysfunctions?” As long as Sarah is frustrated with THEIR issues, does she avoid dealing with her own issues? Does she use frustration to hide her pain?  “Exactly what is the pain you are avoiding?”

Sarah realized the pain she is avoiding is tied to feeling unloved and alone. Her Water Violet anger toward her friend's dysfunctional behaviors hides her loneliness. To heal, Sarah will have to detach from their pains so she can feel her own. This is the path to healing.

Its healthy to guide and support our friends through their pain; its unhealthy to be mad because they are in pain. This “ah-ha” moment has the ability to help Sarah redirect her anger away from them, and begin focussing on loving herself.

The next time Sarah feels her frustration emerge will be an opportunity to heal herself. This is the moment she can consciously choose to change her own patterns. Will she be able to avoid the need to vent her anger? Will she honor her anger and choose to do something that stimulates her own joy? One day, Sarah just may remember that joy is so much more fun than anger.

Healing Childhood Trauma with Courage

Jane’s background is not as uncommon as one would think. Her family life was abusive, not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. “I grew up with what many would call a harsh and cruel father and a disconnected mother. My father would embarrass and humiliate me and my mother allowed it.”
Because of her upbringing, everything in Jane’s life felt traumatic. She lived in a constant state of anxiety. “What I thought was fear and shyness was actually embarrassment and humiliation. Although I did not realize it at the time, embarrassment and humiliation kept me from trying new things, meeting new people and going to places that were unfamiliar. This is not to say I didn't do some of these things; however, if I did I felt an enormous amount of anxiety. I learned to avoid what I could. I feared looking stupid, messing up, being laughed at.”

For years Jane dug through her fears. What she kept coming back to was a profound truth that the way to heal her old trauma was through courage.. the courage to be who she really was. Who was that? 

Because of her childhood trauma, Jane lost herself and became a follower. Following felt easy, less traumatic. Her layers, however, consistently guided Jane toward her leadership qualities. Fear kept her from getting there. 

Fast forward to her adult life, and anything that remotely resembled humiliation or embarrassment stimulated Jane’s old trauma. Jane never learned how to cope with her childhood abuse. She ran and hid as a child; she did the same as an adult. She understood that most of the time running and hiding made no sense, yet she had not put the pieces together and had no control over her reaction.

Most recently, Jane had a huge breakthrough. She recognized that all her trauma and anxiety was attached to the humiliation and embarrassment she experienced as a child. This time, however, instead of running and hiding, Jane kept working this energy. Her next step was to learn how to deal differently, with courage. 

As with all old patterns, when we are ready, life will present opportunities to heal ourself. Jane began to have experiences that showed her a new way of being. When embarrassment or humiliation reared its head, Jane used all her courage to face the situation and deal with it.. in a healthy way. Each experience allowed Jane to grow stronger and more confident. And within a short time, Jane knew she was healing the pains from her childhood.

“Once I understood the connections, I imagined that there was going to be one big event that was going to bring me from 0% courage to 100% courage, like a battle of wills. However, that is not what happened. The shifts occurred in stages. Little things started to change, and I felt myself slowly gaining courage with these little changes. As I gained my inner courage, I was able to verbalize how I felt without my cheeks turning red. I started to make decisions that I knew were right for my family without having to get approval first; it felt great. I started requiring my children to listen better; I'm the Mom and I deserve respect. Things started going more smoothly and peacefully at home. Now I feel so much better, I am happier and stronger and more quietly courageous than ever. What a wonderful feeling to finally be free from embarrassment and humiliation. I am looking forward to finally trying something new for myself that I've always wanted to...maybe learning how to dance!”


As Jane so eloquently voiced, “Courage is not loud, it does not scream or fight; courage is not aggressive or confrontational. Courage is a quiet strength from within...”

I Am Not Responsible for Everyone's Happiness

As my most recent layer unfolded, it become clear that I have this underlying belief that I am responsible for everyone’s happiness. Its not like its an elephant in the room. I’ve cleared all the elephants. Its more of a subtle reaction to life’s simple moments. 

Its the Wednesday before Christmas. I arrive at Whole Foods early in the morning. I’m ready to shop until I have everything I need. I am determined to make this my final pre-Christmas trip to the grocery store. A few hours later, my Mom needs a ride to the market. I’m on Mom duty. No problem. By the time I arrive back home late in the afternoon, I am exhausted. I have no desire to see another grocery store shelf.

In walks Bill. “Did you get stuffing?” Its the one question he asks of me. I’m amazed because I forgot the stuffing. How did he know?

My mind begins to race. I feel the anxiety surface. Stuffing? I’m instantly aware of this creepy crawly feeling that tells me its my responsibility to ensure Bill gets his stuffing. From anxiety to responsibility, anger begins to surface. “I didn’t get the stuffing, and I’m not going to get the stuffing. I’m done with shopping.” Why do I have to be mad about it?

A few moments later, I have this “ah-ha” moment. The “stuffing scene” plays out in my head, and I am able to clearly see all the emotions I use to protect myself from my "I am responsible" feeling. The truth is, I don’t want to be responsible for everyone’s happiness (in this case stuffing). Now that I have this information, what do I do with it? How do I change me?  Luckily, I’ve done more than enough work to know that the truth will set me free.

I approach Bill with a different attitude. “I handled the stuffing situation very badly. I apologize. You want stuffing; you should have stuffing. I want stuffing too. What I don’t want is to have to go to the market to get it, nor do I want to make it. My list is already way too long. Why don’t you take charge and get what you need and make it yourself?” 

His reply was simple, “Okay.” 

That is how I began changing my “I am responsible for everyone’s happiness” pattern. I owned that which was mine, which freed me of the anxiety my responsible nature created; Bill was happy to take care of himself. It was a win/win situation. 

I look forward to the next opportunity to shift this old energy pattern. I have no doubt it will be shown again and again until I can bypass the anxiety and get right to the truth. Bring it on.

P.S. The stuffing was the most delicious part of the meal. 

Healing the Pain of Abuse, Fear, Anger and Depression

Mark began his session with, “I had a deja vu moment on this layer.”  What did he mean? 

For the past three years, Mark has been working to heal anger and depression from old wounds attached to mental and emotional family abuse. Both parents were quite mean to Mark as a little boy. Now as a man, he felt victimized at work, attracting abusive customers and supervisors. There was always someone doing something to Mark to stimulate his pain.

Slowly, throughout the years, Mark was learning to be responsible for his own angers. I would see gentle shifts with each layer, sometimes too gentle for Mark to recognize himself. This layer was different. Mark could see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is Mark’s story:

“At a recent work seminar, I asked my supervisor what I felt was a relevant question. The supervisor’s reaction shocked me. The supervisor became extremely angry toward me for asking a simple question. It felt exaggerated and uncalled for. And then, a memory within me surfaced. I remembered this very same scenario playing out in grammar school years ago. I had asked my grammar school teacher a simple question, and the teacher reacted the very same way as this supervisor.  It really was a deja vu moment.”

“How did you handle the situation?” I asked. 

“I was able to see his behavior as an opportunity to heal myself.  Instead of going inward with fear, which would be my normal behavior, I continued to ask appropriate questions.”

In the not so distant past, this very same situation would have sparked a deep fear in Mark that would have led him directly to depression. The anger from another would have become absorbed into his cells. He then could call on this anger to protective himself during a fearful situation. Mark was getting healthy enough to begin changing the old programming, which by the way goes well beyond both of these situations. It goes back to the way his family responded to him when he was a little boy. It was a very unhealthy way to go through life.


Mark was proud of his new way of reacting. I was proud of Mark. As Mark continues to heal his fear, anger, depression and abuse issues, he is attracting healthier relationships. Mark is learning the true essence of healing.. loving his own choices. And as we all are learning, love really does heal all.

Using Anxiety to Heal Guilt...

Two weeks after returning from a three-month holiday in the Caribbean, I found myself back to the reality of being a Gma who was needed by many. The push and pull of other’s needs can play havoc on our happiness. Guilt has a way of making its way in and before we know it, we wonder if we are choosing what we WANT to do (freedom) or what we feel we HAVE to do (guilt). There is a huge difference between the two. One is healthy.. the other not so healthy.

“Mom, Wendy has to work full time all week. Can you watch the kids?” What this means in real terms is that I will be babysitting Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for Ayla and Wes; Friday for Connor and Avery; and on Saturday I’ll be sponsoring my annual Easter Egg Hunt. That’s a full week of babies, leaving very little time for myself! 

Stress and anxiety surfaced almost immediately; exhaustion was in line behind them. Eventually this energy could turn into resenting the whole situation, which would not make me (or anyone else for that matter) happy at all. By recognizing what I was about to do, I was able to choose differently. I spoke to myself and my emotions. “Exactly what is it that I’m stressed and anxious about?”

Once I asked the question, the truth quickly revealed itself, “I’m stressed over the 40 minute drive back and forth, morning and night. That feels exhausting!” Now that I understood the problem, what is the solution?

I picked up the phone. “Okay, Josh, I’ll do it. However, I have one condition. Tell Ayla and Wes that Gma is coming for a sleep over.”  

I packed my bags and moved myself into my private room at Ayla and Wes’ house. What a fun three days we had together. Something special happens when Gma shows up for a sleep over anxiety and stress free. Happy and free replaced guilt and resentment.

Anxiety is our spirit’s way of letting us know we have a problem. Healing can be as simple as taking a moment to understand our attachments. For every problem there is a solution. My solution was to love the choice I ultimately made.. and love really does heal all.

Apis for Healing Bites and Stings

Like heals like; that is the basic premise of homeopathy. So in homeopathy, using Bee Venom to help heal a poisonous bite makes sense. Red, itchy, raised and stinging are many of the symptoms Apis may help heal.

Recently, I experienced a mosquito bite that became inflamed, raised and itchy. I sat for a while rubbing and scratching until it dawned on me that this might be a good use for Apis. I never leave home without certain homeopathic remedies; Apis is one of them. 

I’ve used Apis in the past for wasp stings, bee stings and spider bites. Why not a mosquito bite? My bug bite resembled all the symptoms Apis is known to help heal - raised, itchy and red (see picture below). 


After my first dose of Apis, I waited an hour or so and took a second dose. An hour after the second dose, my bug bite changed dramatically (see picture below). The inflammation had decreased, the welt was now a tiny speck and the itching was non-existent. By night's end, I hardly remembered I had a bite at all.



(Here's another little tidbit. If later in the day or the following day, your bug bite speaks to you again, try taking one more pellet. It just might need an additional push to heal it fully.) 

We have been given many options to heal. I choose homeopathy as one of my options. It has the potential to work magic; and if you know me at all, you know I love magic.