I have mentioned more than once here that I have food allergies including the stupid, ubiquitous sugar cane allergy. People generally try to say I have an intolerance then get wanky with semantics until I shut their mouths with the degree of my anaphylaxis including not getting full access to oxygen. After 13 years of this crap I am still stunned and almost in tears most of the time to say that my ordeal may be over. I sought treatment with John Stebbins and only wish I would have done it sooner.
My symptoms were adult onset. I had gone through handfuls of general practicioners, ob/gyn’s, acupuncturists, and gastroenterologists trying to pinpoint what was affecting me. At first it was hard to pinpoint to food because my reactions seemed to occur with no single trigger. My third gastroenterologist was at the point of recommending experimental gall bladder removal “to see if it would help” by the time a random encounter with a chiropractor at a Whole Foods salad bar happened. I met Dr. Mike while eating salad after a Bikram Yoga practice in 2005 as he was doing a celiac lecture. We got to talking afterwards and began communicating online because I was taking off for the tropics for a few months and scared to have a reaction in the middle of nowhere Central America.
My sugar cane allergy diagnosis came about in December 2005 after an IgE antibody test where Dr. Mike was my point of contact to receive the results for. At this point we knew what was making me sick then it was the journey of being scared of food, playing roulette when eating out since sugar is in everything, and becoming a super savvy cook in making anything with modifications at home. I can now talk with some expertise and personal experience about natural sugar alternatives as well as the psychology of being scared of food and our current food system.
I had been living with my limbo of knowledge but wanting to be normal and eat out with friends for a while when I learned about John Stebbins. My anatomy and physiology instructor with my 200-hour yoga teacher training recommended I see him in 2009 after he reversed a severe tree nut allergy of hers. She was apparently at the point of limiting flight travel for fear of reactions to bags of peanuts being opened in an enclosed space. After working with him she no longer needed to run for an epi-pen if she ate cross-contaminated food.
I did not seek treatment in 2009 perhaps out of skepticism and not knowing how much of a financial cost the process would take. Since then Dr. Stebbins’ name has popped up in various circles including my husband being sent to him for treatment last year and having success. We have recommended other friends to him who have come back raving about their progress. I figured I would wait until two years post-partum from my last son to finish breastfeeding thus having a full-blown level of reactivity. In pregnancy and with breastfeeding there is an immunity suppression that occurs as to not reject a fetus as a parasite with some lasting effects. I thought I would have some of this suppression for a while but had a full blown reaction six weeks after having my son. People with food allergies and other reactivities can sometimes have a honeymoon of a time around having a kid.
I called Stebbins’ office in May this year after essentially passing out at home with a newborn. I could not get in to see him until September because of his packed schedule. What follows is an account of the treatment process I went through. This is BioSET.
September 16 (visit 1) – Initial consultation. I sat in a chair and held two copper cylinders with wires extending out through the top of them and connecting to a laptop. A PC. Dr. Stebbins pushed a button and sat back waiting for readings. Apparently frequencies were pulsed through the cylinders and my body reacted back through the conduits for recordings to be obtained.
This was the weekend of the horrendous flooding this past year so I was dehydrated, emotional, and simply a complete system at stress. Dr. Stebbins’ readings were consistent with a sugar reaction which I had expected. I apparently also had some nervous system issues going on, a reaction showing no iron metabolism occurring, some funny things with insulin, and a number of other odd readings associated with hormonal imbalance. The hormonal imbalance was to be expected at being almost six months post-partum and still losing clumps of hair.
I was next moved to a table adjacent to a cart full of vials. I mean trays stacked and neatly organized on three or four shelves of a cart full of vials. The good doctor first tested my physical reactivity by extending my left arm straight out from my body at shoulder-height. I placed my right hand on top of my head with palm side down. He pressed on my left hand to see how much it moved. Then I flipped my right hand at the wrist so it was palm side up. He pressed on my left hand again to see what kind of movement I had. My arm easily lowered and he noted that was good.
Given the severity of my sugar reaction he aimed to work on sugar first. He set a glass cup up with various vials that were right side up and upside down. These vials represented parts of my body I believe. This cup was eventually placed closed to me leg. I held another cup that various vials were placed in in my left hand and were followed by a gentle pressure test on my right hand to see if my arm lowered. If my arm lowered then there was some reactivity to something placed close to me or in my hand.
When reactivities were recognized a blue light was placed near my ears. When I began attending this was a transition from this magnetic series of tracks previously moved up and down the back. After a while the reactivity would be tested again to see if the bodies new adjustment to the frequency held.
This is where my husband apparently repeatedly exclaimed “HOKUM!” while on Dr. Stebbin’s table, but he would go in every week for his treatments.
Following this first initial consultation and treatment I felt great. I could eat some sugar and feel limited reactivity in my sinuses or with headaches. There was no severe diaphragm cramping or throat swelling that week to compare anything to.
Sept 23 (visit 2)
I returned thinking things were awesome after being exposed to cooked sugar near a funnel cake truck at the Botanical Garden corn maze. I figured we would wipe out this sugar thing. We did the vials, we did the light, and I left. As I was driving home I was not feeling good. This was a bad week with diaphragm seizing and a hard time breathing.
Sept 30 (visit 3)
I was not in good shape when coming in for this visit and Dr. Stebbins immediately remarked that my reaction was not normal and that I should have called him. He pinpointed the breathing issue to an aggravated celiac ganglia and almost instantly resolved the discomfort. The previous week sucked but in making lemonade out of the situation he was able to figure out some the craziness that had eluded GI specialists of the past. I left feeling better from the previous week’s discomfort but no better than when I walked out after my first exam.
October 7 (visit 4)
Yep, no real progress beyond week 1 and I was at that scared sensation of not wanting to feel sick again. I had a visit to wine country this week and had hoped to go cured but Dr. Stebbins suggested baby steps. He figured my bad week was a result of trying to do too much. I would go to wine country essentially forbidden from drinking anything that was not dry.
October 15 (visit 5)
Back from wine country, feeling o.k. without going too hard at anything. My face is a wreck though. I come into the office looking like a calico cat with red patches under my nose and around my mouth that apparently show a crazy reaction with some of my organs. Now that I am back from the trip he gets back to the last nuances of my stupid sugar thing.
October 24 (visit 6)
Really still with the sugar? Nope, not really. Things are pretty much great. We talk about touching up on other things. We do a bit of hormone balancing. Sugar is a non-issue at this point.
For those curious the method is BioSET and is derived from NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique). Dr. Stebbins can be found at http://www.acuallergy.com/.