About 6 months prior to coming to our clinic, Janelle Colpitt began a terrifying spiral downward. She lost feeling in her face, hands, and feet, suffered from severe headaches and started having memory losses. She and her worried husband, Don, visited one specialist after another.
Janelle had suffered migraines in middle school, was later diagnosed with cerebral vasculitis, and had also received some concussions. Nonetheless her symptoms were variously attributed to Fibro Myalgia, MS, or ruptured discs. “None of it made any sense” Don said.
His wife was suffering from a complex brain disorder called “Dysautonmia” and its causes and symptoms share many symptoms with other diseases. It is defined as a condition in which the autonomic nervous system malfunctions. This is a broad definition, however, and may apply to nerves that carry information from the brain and spinal cord to the heart, bladder, intestines, sweat glands, pupils, and blood vessels.
To further complicate a diagnosis, Dysautonomia does not produce unique symptoms. It is only the totality of symptoms that suggests that a dysautonomic state may be present. Taken individually, a patient’s complaints can be identified as part of another disease process, often leading to misdiagnosis. Collaboration between many specialists is often necessary but care should be mainly directed by a neurologist.
Nobody seemed to be able to help and Don felt helpless as he watched Janelle’s rapid descent downhill. He was emotionally drained as she lay on the couch in excruciating pain. They finally decided to contact Carrick, where Janette would work with Dr. Jake Shores.
According to Dr. Shores, when she first arrived, Janelle’s brain was in a fragile state. She walked extremely slowly, hugged the walls, had no color, and kept her eyes downcast. She was uncommunicative and exhibited no personality. Dr. Shores is quoted in this video as saying she appeared to be “getting ready to die”.
Janelle’s one month of therapy began with eye exercises and very low stimulation to the brain stem. These exercises served to turn on the light bulbs in the brain one baby step at a time. She was also given brain nutritional food to provide fuel for the mental exercises. She responded quickly and no one, except Don, could be happier than Dr. Shore.
“It’s been a lot of fun working with her and she’s done beautifully”. He’s happy to have finally met the real Janelle. She can fell her hands, feet, and face. She’s no longer hugging walls. She’s engaging in spirited conversation.
As for Janelle, she swears she’s “never seen anywhere like this – the atmosphere is uplifting, and they’re willing to do whatever it takes”. See video below.