From Where I Sit
Working with thousands of clients around the world who are victims of chemically-induced immune system disorders, many home-bound, constantly reminds me how ill I was and how death was knocking at my door. However, it also pointedly reminds me, on a daily basis, all the blessings I’ve received and how dare I complain about economic downturns, an occasional night when my brain won’t shut-off and I don’t sleep my normal eight hours, or that our local health food suppliers may not have the exact food I’m craving or I need for my favorite gourmet recipe. How dare I complain when just over ten years ago I lived on carrot juice and brown rice because my body rejected everything…and let me know it by closing off my throat in anaphylactic reactions. How dare I complain because I have some extra pounds on me that are stubbornly wanting to stay in residence….although we are getting to the root of the cause thanks to great support from my natural health colleagues, and that’s encouraging!
During my odyssey from healer to victim recounted in my best-selling book I was Poisoned by my body, I’m reminded how thin I was and how terrible I looked with a skin as yellow as a banana from liver stress, nearly bald from hair loss (including eyelashes), and home-bound for months until my immune system recovered enough that the overall body burden was reduced significantly so I could again resume living rather than surviving.
How dare I complain about the weather….some people do all the time…. because they’re just so use to always seeing their cup as half-full. I live in a part of the country that has pristine lakes, world-renowned ski resorts, great forests and all the wild life you’d ever care to see, a quality of life that is indigenous in small town living; great eateries, supportive friends and colleagues, and four distinct seasons, which I always look forward to….I planned it that way when I moved here in 1989.
How dare I complain about snow in the winter…it’s beautiful and provides great reasons for wearing all those winter jackets, hats, and scarfs (have more than should be legal), reading all those books I’ve tried to get to all year and, oh! those aromatic homemade soups. How dare I complain about hot summers…they only last 2-3 months and at least our 90’s are not humid. How dare I complain about a couple of weeks in the spring when indigenous pollens cause me to take my homeopathic remedies to avoid itchy eyes and a runny nose. How dare I complain about the chilly mornings and nights in the fall when nature in all its glory is providing a fashion show of colors that I only wish lasted longer. Yes, reflection provides harmony to the soul, we should each take some time daily to do so, which is a promise to myself for the new year.
Reflections of 2009
The past year has been challenging for everyone, regardless of your stage in life. However, had I been as pressed with deadlines and commitments as in the past, I wouldn’t have been able to accept an invitation to be a delegate for presenting at the university and two hospitals in China. The Chinese were absolutely gracious hosts and our trip to Shanghai and Nanjing was a wonderful exchange of the latest in integrative medicine principles and research, and we all learned so much from one another.
This past year I was also able to complete and teach the certificated courses that I created, three years in the making. Health professionals from all over the world took my Wholistic Rejuvenation courses both via Webinar as well as on location here in beautiful Sandpoint, Idaho…a five-star destination lake resort town. Two organizations have now accredited all four levels of my courses for continuing education and seven more applications are being reviewed for acceptance. My goal is to have certified wholisitic rejuvenists all over the world so that my 30+ years of research and clinical experience continues to enhance the quality of life for generations to come.
This past year I was able to celebrate Mother’s Day with my son and his wife and my beloved granddaughter, Isabella. It was the first year in over 20 years that we celebrated motherhood, and grand-motherhood, together. I have to admit mothering was not my favorite stage of life; now being a grandmother, that’s a blessing that can only be understood by another grandmother.
I also had the opportunity to spend a long weekend with my two adorable grandsons, Christian and Kaden, and my daughter-in-law, Becca. The boys are both crazy about trains so I brought them to Sandpoint via Amtrak and we did everything “train” that weekend that we could. It was an exhausting jam-packed weekend but memories were created that will last a lifetime.
I attended several professional medical conferences and was an invited speaker at each.
I was elected to the National Board for Colon Hydrotherapy (NBCHT), of which I’m honored to serve. Those of you that follow my work and writings, know that I credit colon hydrotherapy for saving my life during my odyssey from near-starvation to wellness. This dedicated group that makes up the International Association for Colon Therapy (I-ACT) has become like family. Let’s face it, when you were a kid and the teacher asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, how many of you raised your hands and declared, “teacher, teacher, I want to be a colon hydrotherapist.” Therefore, those who choose this life-enhancing profession are very special, dedicated individuals who have either benefited from the therapy or know someone close to them who has…otherwise, why would you be in that profession? It was the 20th Anniversary of IACT and I look forward to the next 20 years when we can all be proud of how far the profession has progressed as more and more medical professionals acknowledge it’s health-enhancing benefits. I also volunteered to fly to Florida to partake in specialized training for “item writing” (a term for writing certification exams that meet national standards). It was an exhausting few days but the teamwork of the participants and the expertise of our instructor was an experience that I treasure and will benefit from in coming years as I continue to write and teach.
I was re-elected to serve on the board for the Fibromyalgia Coalition International in Kansas City for the sixth term. This organization supports those with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and Gulf War Syndrome. Their support and annual conference in the Kansas City area gives hope for recovery to those who are in the midst of “invisible illnesses” that are viewed with hostility and anger in a society insisting in double-blind studies before an illness is validated. As a recovered victim, let me tell you my friends, these are REAL illnesses with REAL causes and my life has been dedicated to uncovering clues to these disorders and assisting its victims to recovery, naturally. If you know someone with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue or Gulf War Syndrome, consider purchasing a gift subscription to their quarterly magazine…it’s a gift that keeps giving.
I presented my first lecture all in Spanish this year at the annual conference of the American Naturopathic Medical Conference. Even though Spanish is my first language, I don’t often have an opportunity to use it…especially since I moved from California to Idaho. My presentation was by request of the doctors attending and we filled the room! I hope again to lecture in English and Spanish next year and by then brush-up on my medical terms, which we all had a good time debating how to translate some of the conditions we were discussing….the consenses was that some just don’t have a translation.
I continue to write bi-monthly for our local co-op newspaper that goes to every resident of northern Idaho, Western Montana and Eastern Washington. My investigative journalistic contributions have been well received and our office gets calls weekly saying how much they appreciate the vast array of information I provide on staying healthy in a toxic world and my commitment to Health through Education.
I continue to be an associate editor for Total Health Magazine and contribute articles for each issue. The publishers are exceptional professionals. I am eternally grateful for their continued support of my work and research after more than 8 years; you are both truly a blessing…thank you Lyle and Katherine.
I launched my Health Blog so that all those interested in the latest natural health news can log-on and get a full-length article delivered automatically to their email. To sign-up simply go to my homepage at www.gloriagilbere.com and in the upper right corner click on the Health Blog. Yes, I’m tweeting too, don’t anyone think for a moment this grandmother is going to be technologically left behind. I must admit, it’s very time consuming and requires learning several new programs, which challenged me daily but I won! However, I am working with a business strategist who has walked me through the new age of cyber-communicating with patience, perserverence, and a professional standard bar none. If you’re in need of a true professional that can map out a successful path for your business, large or small, take a peek at his site on http://www.linkedin.com/in/billbranson … he literally saved my tech life!
I launced a Virtual Tea Party in order to fill a huge gap of emotional support for those victims of chronic illnesses, multiple chemical sensitivities, environmental illnesses, and those who are mostly homebound and need validation that their illnesses are “real”. It is by invitation only for clients who consult with me and it’s held twice a month at 4:PM Pacific Time. The members call into a central conference call line and we all support one another…one sip at a time. For details on how you can either become a participant or support my efforts by donating beautiful mugs or tea cups/saucers, click on Virtual Tea Party. As we accept members, they are mailed a beautiful mug or tea cup and saucer at no charge and there is no charge to become a member other than the charge to call the phone line. We have support groups for both men and woman. Mail your donated cups/saucers to Dr. Gilbere, P.O. Box 1565, Sandpoint, ID 83864 USA. We’ve had some beautiful donations that even included the three-piece European-type tea setting that includes the matching dessert plate…every time the recipient uses it, it serves as a reminder that someone out there thought about them.
Yes, I’m a writing nut, usually researching and creating content an average of 12 hours a day not including the creation of my course work. I’ve written over 1200 pages of coursework in the last year, not to mention dozens of health articles and professional presentation material. I continue to consult with clients via telephone around the world as well as at my beautiful new office condo that I designed and had built with all non-toxic finishes (thanks to a dream of a landlord and contractor). However, my work is really my secret weapon against premature aging….keep the brain so busy it doesn’t have time to develop disorders associated with aging! Afterall, remember that 60 is now the new 40.
As you can see, my life’s cup is always half-full, never empty. I make a conscious decision to live my life that way; not because it’s always easy, but because I don’t allow time for whining or negative beliefs. Maybe because I’ve almost lost my life twice I’ve learned to have a greater appreciation for everything. What use to be very important, seems insignificant now as long as I have my health, a beautiful place to live and loving supportive friends and colleagues who are always there to cheer me on and support each others efforts.
By the time my readers read this blog, I’ll be off on some faraway pristine islands between the Carribbean and the Atlantic getting some much needed overdue R&R and, a working vacation interviewing and observing local bush medicine doctors and clinics. In future blogs I’ll report my findings and, hopefully, share some new adventures as told to me by old masters of natural medicine.
2010 holds the promise of a schedule of even greater proportions than the year coming to a close….I like my life this way….after all…who has time to get old? I sure don’t….
Your Partner in Health,
P.S. I hope this lengthy overview answers all of you who lovingly keep asking “Do you live a ‘normal’ life now?”