Whitton, Dr Joel - Case history Heather Whiteholme 01
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
Life between Life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher
Allergic to Life!
'Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme diseases.
'My body is a wreck and my life is in tatters,' Heather Whiteholme told Dr Whitton when they first met in the spring of 1979. This lament was supported by a medical record which chronicled the failure of conventional medicine to halt her steady, if mysterious, slide into physical disintegration.
Heather looked deceptively healthy. Her cheery disposition and rosy complexion belied the fact that her body was a battleground of allergic reactions which impaired her hearing with constant ringing in the ears and delivered pounding headaches, chest and throat congestion, massive rashes and skin blisters. The simple act of breathing put her at risk, discomfort usually succeeding exposure to such workaday influences as dust, pollen, cat fur, cigarette smoke, dairy products, angora sweaters, perfume, paints and detergents.
'I cannot help but feel,' forty- four-year-old Heather admitted shyly, 'that I'm allergic to life itself.’
These troubles were compounded by repeated attacks of pneumonia and bronchitis, which left her bedridden for most of the winter, spring and fall. Ever since Heather and her biologist husband, Philip, had moved to Toronto from Mexico City in 1977, the attacks had worsened in response to the Canadian winters. Yet the Whiteholmes had only left the murky Mexican capital because a specialist had warned Heather: ‘Get out of here - or the smog will kill you within five years. '
The specialist was just one of a long retinue of doctors and medical consultants who had been presented with Heather's predicament. One medic pronounced her body to be in a 'state of war, while conceding the role of peacemaker war beyond him; another ordered complete rest for six months so that Heather's system might have a chance to recuperate from its 'total exhaustion'.
There was a seemingly endless succession of X-rays and blood and urine tests which determined nothing and led nowhere. Meanwhile the sickly decline continued as doctor after doctor prescribed vast quantities of medication allergy pills, antibiotics, antihistamines and cortisones - which were often of negligible benefit and, in some cases, provoked fresh allergic reactions. Heather also suffered from severe psychological problems. Lacking self-esteem, she was easily intimidated and extremely susceptible to criticism. This overwhelming sense of inadequacy had caused her to abandon a promising career as a jewellery designer. Every time she made the effort to create, she felt compelled to withdraw from her workspace because she dreaded the prospect of failure.
Her fearfulness was only heightened by periodic black depressions that advanced 'like waves of rolling water'. These depressions - which always struck when she was happiest - had flooded her sensibilities since her university years. Incidentally, Heather wasn't about to take anti-depressants to help lift her mood – she was allergic to them!
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
Observation contributed by: Rosie Rock-Evans