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For Women Only
Thoughts on Illness
by Anne Zapf

This past year reaffirmed for me that mental, spiritual, and physical health travel together. Last year I experienced a great deal of emotional turmoil, which was accompanied by bouts of illness—a cold, the flu, and finally gall bladder failure.

After speaking with a wise woman who associated a persistent cough with gall bladder problems, I realized that all of my winter illnesses were part of the same problem. The gall bladder is a valuable organ. When the gall bladder is not functioning properly, an individual becomes timid and indecisive. The five "F's" of gall bladder disease are: Fat, Fair, Female, Fertile, and Forty. Except for not being fat, I filled the bill. A surgeon told me "You can live without it," but why? The malfunction of any organ should be a red flag to the individual that there is something wrong with their lifestyle.

I realized that I had been putting undue stress on my gall bladder and adrenals, worrying about the Church, my family, and money. I was also at a spiritual low, doubting my abilities and wondering if I was in the right place - doing the right thing, or just afraid to do anything else. I felt that "timid and indecisive" perfectly described me. I couldn't eat without becoming ill. I was dying, and wasn't sure I wanted to live. I discovered that a gallstone had been nudged from the bladder into the bile duct, where it had become lodged. My approach to life was hurting me.

Thankfully, my family rallied around me and encouraged me to seek help. I went to two doctors, and ended up finding the help I needed within myself, the holy sacrament Peyote, and my soul mate. I studied various texts and talked with my Myopractic Practitioner friends. I discovered the importance of the admonition in the Word of Wisdom, Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, to moderation in all things. For several years I had strictly adhered to a Vegan/Macrobiotic/Candida restricted diet, completely lacking in fruit. Perhaps if I'd been eating apples (organic only!), I would not have had this problem. So there is truth to the saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." The Malic acid in apples helps to dissolve gallstones.

After several attempts to remove the stone by a technique hailed in many herbal texts, it was the "All-Healing Hand" that finally removed the obstacle. While in prayer with the holy sacrament, my soul mate Matthew squatted over my prostrate form. His appearance had altered so that he looked wild and aboriginal. He laid his hands on my abdomen and then threw something invisible into the air. I laughed inwardly. "He is trying to heal me." I was grateful for his effort but doubted that anything had occurred. After all, the pain in my side was still there.

It took a week or more for the pain to diminish, but the stone was gone. A sonogram indicated that the gall bladder, after three kids, was full of "sludge," but there was no stone.

I continued with a three-day apple juice fast, followed by three doses of olive oil and grapefruit juice at eight-hour intervals. After I completed this last herbal liver flush, I began eating again.

My gall bladder is functioning again. I help it with liver stimulating herbs, Milk Thistle, Burdock, Dandelion, Oregon Grape Root, and Wild Yam (which is also reputed, by the way, to be a natural contraceptive). Gradually, my body is healing.

I also stimulate the healing of my gall bladder by speaking my mind. One reason I believe women are prone to gall bladder disease is our nature to repress feelings. I know I had gotten into a pattern of repression followed by defensiveness. Don't do it! Speak your mind.

So, what's the bottom line? Life may be full of obstacles, but it is four-dimensional. Nothing is as important as it may seem in the moment I had a wise man in Tempe tell me that Death was my motivator I see that it's true. Death is my companion. I'm reminded that death is the ultimate outcome. What I do in this life should have value on the same ethereal level as death. Am I compassionate, forgiving, giving and spreading joy? These are the important values.

My admonition to all my sisters, based on this experience, is this: Be good to your body. Speak your mind. Do what makes you feel good and happy, and share your joy. Know that you are the image and likeness of the Goddess, just as man is the image and likeness of God.

Road Runner