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“It was all very well to say `Drink me,’ but the wise little Alice was not going to do THAT in a hurry” Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The most extraordinary event happened about three weeks ago. Our family was gearing up for the wedding of my younger daughter. The wedding was out of state, outside and, well, large. All three of these things scared the tar out of me. Of late, I had felt so fragile that the idea of a trip out of town, lots of people, noise, emotion, and food I could not eat left me more anxious than eager.

I could take all my own food and store it in the kitchen at the suite. That wasn’t a problem. But what to do about the back-to-back schedule and all the people? I did not even want to think about the reception with a loud, live band.

The week before the wedding, I attended a baby shower with about 30 other women in the home of the honored guest. Women sat around the living room on couches and chairs borrowed from other parts of the house, balancing small plates of chips and carrots on their laps, and quietly catching up on family news. I left the shower in tears. My head had begun to hurt and I could feel the seizure cycle begin as the sounds lost their natural layers  and began to press in on me at one level.

My skin began to crawl and I wanted to run. Run out, run away. Which was kind of funny because my gift was the children’s book The Runaway Bunny. I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible and hide in shame. Why I felt shame is anyone’s guess since I did not display any of this to anyone inside the house. There is some kind of nasty, automatic response with respect to shame.

In the car on the way home, my older daughter looked at me and said something to the effect that she was worried: If I couldn’t handle the obviously tame environment of a baby shower, how was I going to make it through the wedding? I was worried, too. The memory of running out of my daughter’s graduation rather blindly into the rain because I was having a seizure and I HAD TO GET OUT OF THERE was still a fresh my mind.

On that occasion, my husband had seen me go by and chased me down, talked to me in the rain and led me back. He also did this a lot in Hobby Lobby until we figured out the fluorescent lights were causing seizures.

During the graduation I had seen the kids lined up in their robes turn into animals, as in giraffes and baboons and pigs. I hadn’t mentioned it to my husband. He seemed busy trying to keep the family group organized. Live and learn.

So on this particular day when the extraordinary thing happened, I had thoughts in the back of my mind about how I was going to deal with my body and how I was going to make it through what should be one of the happiest days of my life.

I was standing at the sink when a car pulled up and my older daughter rushed into the house holding a clear bag containing a plastic bottle of liquid. She handed it to me and said, “Drink it.” The liquid turned out to be a custom blend of oils belonging to a friend of hers who had Lyme disease. This liquid had brought her friend back from the depths of depression and pain. My daughter was sure it would do the same for me.

“Drink it.”

At this point, I would like to say the difficulties of the last eleven years and the love and gratitude to my family for never giving up went through my mind as I gradually poured a tiny amount into a spoon.

That is not exactly what happened.

I was scared of this stuff. After all, I had side effects from everything. This was not even blended with me in mind. What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking of the wedding for one thing. When you are backed up against a wall, you will make unexpected decisions. I looked at the bottle for a couple of days while I justified not taking it because of the ibuprofen I had taken for a sinus headache. Finally, two days after I got the bottle, I drank a tiny bit.

Nothing happened.

At first.

I kept mentally checking everything, worried I would break out in hives, go psychotic, or begin projectile vomiting (that was the clove oil experiment). But nothing happened for several hours. Then I noticed I felt no nerve pain. It was simply gone. OK, well, that was huge. I was excited. I could lie flat in bed and not sway back and forth to deal with the pain. There was no pain. And, I would find out later, there would be no seizures for a week. When I did have a seizure, the impact was reduced and the recovery time was much faster.

I took my tiny bit of oil and got better. When it came time for the wedding and the gauntlet of relatives and friends, of laughter and frustration, of nerves and sound and tears and joy, I made it through just fine. I saw everything, felt everything, and heard everything without losing control of my body or mind. I even made it through the reception with the live band. I danced with my husband. Something I thought I might never do again. I felt normal and whole and incredibly grateful.

The custom blend came from a chemist. I met with him over the course of an hour or two. During that time he was interrupted by other customers who had serious conditions, such as cancer.

He is an expert in plants and has degrees in chemistry and God only knows what else. He showed me the plants he was growing, such as sandalwood and lavender, and explained what he was going to harvest from them. I saw the green house he was building, went through his business and looked at all the oils and soaps. It all looked pretty normal, but it’s not because he knows how to really use these things.

He gave me a lecture about purity and the FDA failings. He held up a bottle of Argan oil bottled in France and explained that the brand I was using was probably tainted, and why.

So much information. But this man knew what to use to heal. Could it really be this simple? Apparently.

I have experienced a major change over the last three to four weeks. I never experience depression anymore, my seizures are manageable (when I have them), my body is strong and relatively free of the nerve pain. The best part is the hope and creativity I feel now, which I once thought were lost to me forever.

I have no idea if this will last, but this time I am not wasting a minute of it.