Dr. Erica Kosal is the founder of “Bounce to Resilience” and author of “Miracles for Daddy: A Family’s Inspirational Fight against a Modern Medical Goliath.” She’s also a blogger for “Traveling Troubled Times.”
Dr. Kosal discusses if stress contributes to outbreaks of disease. She explains the connection between wellness and a healthy internal environment. She also shares how one can get their internal body in the best “fighting” form possible.
Visit “Bounce to Resilience” at www.BouncetoResilience.com.
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Jason Hartman: Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show. This is your host Jason Hartman, where we talk about protecting the people places and profits you care about in these uncertain times. We have a great interview for you today. And we will be back with that in less than 60 seconds on the Holistic Survival Show. And by the way, be sure to visit our website at HolisticSurvival.com. You can subscribe to our blog, which is totally free, has loads of great information, and there’s just a lot of good content for you on the site, so make sure you take advantage of that at HolisticSurvival.com. We’ll be right back.
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Start of Interview with Dr. Erica Kosal
Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Dr. Erica Kosal. She is the author of a book entitled Miracles for Daddy: A Family’s Inspirational Fight Against a Modern Medical Goliath. Erica, welcome. How are you?
Dr. Erica Kosal: I’m doing well, thank you.
Jason Hartman: Good. You’re coming to us from Raleigh, North Carolina I believe?
Dr. Erica Kosal: That’s right.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic. Well, tell us a little bit about what caused you to write this book and your story with your husband’s illness, and overcoming it.
Dr. Erica Kosal: Well, when my husband got very, very ill to the point that he was in the hospital and we weren’t even sure if he was going to survive or not, and some of the physicians there had given us a six months to live, I started writing on a web page to let our friends and family know about Jim’s condition, who lived in Michigan and Alabama and Singapore and all over the world. And as I started writing about him and hearing people’s responses to Jim, I realized how helpful it was for me to write it, but more importantly how people responded to Jim’s story and how inspirational he was.
And here he was not only surviving when the doctors said he wouldn’t, he was able to go back to work for a year. It turned out to be a year, and he was just doing some really amazing things, so I thought you know what? More than just my family and friends need to know about Jim’s story. Everybody who meets him even today says the same thing, just this man is amazing and his perseverance and his will to live, and his quest for the truth is really pretty remarkable. So that’s what prompted me to start writing the book.
Jason Hartman: Okay, so tell us what happened though. He was sick, and then they couldn’t figure out what the sickness was, right?
Dr. Erica Kosal: That’s right. He had different symptoms here and there, and nobody put them all together. So for example, he started having these unbelievable massive headaches, especially after he drank red wine, is what we noticed. And we just decided it was just that he was getting older, and we heard that your alcohol… so we thought okay, that’s that. And then he started to have a really awful crick in his neck, and he saw a chiropractor and the chiropractor was trying to fix that. And we just sort of assumed it was he was sleeping incorrectly. And he got a special pillow and all of this, and then he started having some flu-like symptoms. And that was sort of, again, something was going around work and lots of other people were sick. So same thing – we just sort of wrote that off as everybody is sick, it’s that time of year.
The thing that really started getting us to take things seriously was when Jim was having fasciculation which is when your neurons start randomly firing. And then he was starting to have trouble twisting off bottle caps, and cramping really bad, like Charlie Horses and his whole body would seize up, and then he got to the point where he was so tired he would literally stumble into our front door after a day of work and make it to the couch where he would crash and he would fall asleep until I would go over there and kind of wake him up so he could eat dinner. Then he would kind of stumble up the stairs and crash in the bed until the next day, and then go back to work. It was just crazy.
Jason Hartman: Okay, so how old was he at this time?
Dr. Erica Kosal: At this time he was 49.
Jason Hartman: Okay, and what were you going to say about alcohol and getting older, and the red wine issue?
Dr. Erica Kosal: What did we find out about that?
Jason Hartman: No, what were you going to say about that? Because you just assumed like tolerance to alcohol goes down as you age?
Dr. Erica Kosal: Yes. So we had just done a little bit of a Google Search I guess probably the way most people would, and Jim had learned that as you get older your body, for some people, has a harder time breaking down alcohol. And we even went to a local whole foods store and they sold these supplemental tablets that supposedly would help your body deal with the alcohol the same way that if you were lactose intolerant you can take something before you eat ice cream.
Jason Hartman: I think the listeners would like to know, what are those called? Do you remember?
Dr. Erica Kosal: I do not know.
Jason Hartman: Well there is such a thing, so that’s interesting.
Dr. Erica Kosal: Yeah, there is. I remember the tablets, and it didn’t help Jim but yeah again it was easy to write off most of these things as just kind of getting older or working hard, or just…
Jason Hartman: Okay, got it, got it. So he was 49 at that time, and then you started in with the medical community probably and when was he finally given the proper diagnosis?
Dr. Erica Kosal: The proper diagnosis was probably close to almost 2 years later.
Jason Hartman: Wow that’s amazing.
Dr. Erica Kosal: And the thing that’s so frustrating to us, is he used to play golf all the time and would get tick bites all the time. And he’d come home with ticks on his body and we would take them off, and this one time in particular that I talk about in the book, because it was such a turning point and I wish we could go back in time, but he had taken a tick off of his right hip and the next day he got out of the shower and he said look at this Erica, and he had this rash on his right hip, and it was a streaky rash. And I just very plainly said, oh it’s not a bulls-eye rash – it can’t be lime disease. Good. I’m sure it’s just that your body is sensitive. And we didn’t think much about it. And I think gosh, if we only knew that any rash is bad…
Jason Hartman: So what difference would it have made? Would there have been a treatment you could have done right after the fact that would have changed things potentially?
Dr. Erica Kosal: Potentially he certainly would have gotten antibiotics sooner, and you never know how much bacteria was already in his system and how long the bacteria was in his system. So you never really know whether it would have gotten rid of his problem on the front end, and we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now, but we certainly would have been aware of lime and would have gotten more help and the lime literate physicians on our team much more early in the story. And therefore I can only assume that Jim would be in better physical shape at this point.
Jason Hartman: Right, right. So what happened after the proper diagnosis two years into it? Do you consider him cured?
Dr. Erica Kosal: No, gosh no. Unfortunately not at all.
Jason Hartman: So just treated? This is something you don’t cure – you treat?
Dr. Erica Kosal: Yeah, and actually our vet was so helpful in getting us… she recommended her physician because she had diagnosed lime in her dogs, and she had been diagnosed with lime disease as well, so she recommended her physician. And I remember when I was first talking with her she used this term, remission, which I thought was so odd when referring to lime disease, but she and her doctor discovered that if she took three days’ worth of oral antibiotics every month she could keep all her symptoms at bay. And if she didn’t take any antibiotics, the symptoms would start coming back. So she used that term remission.
I think Jim has still got a lot of problems. We thought we had the lime bacteria on the run but then they seemed to kind of rear their ugly head again. And so he is definitely not where he needs to be. So he again, he’s got a long way to go. But I think different people have different immune systems, different genetic predispositions, different levels of health getting into this, and so you just have all variations out there for people who get lime disease.
Jason Hartman: So what were some of the successes then, that were used in his treatment?
Dr. Erica Kosal: I don’t think I answered the other question you said, but it’s related to this. So, when Jim first got diagnosed, because he had such neurological problems the doctor immediately plunged him into IV antibiotics for six months. And it was great. All of his symptoms went away, the cramping, the fasciculation, he got some vigor back, he wasn’t quite so tired, he was working, all seemed well. And then when he got off of the IV antibiotics he started having trouble again to the point of he crashed, he was having trouble walking, breathing, and every time we would go to the doctors they would say you’re fine because they would stick a pulse ox probe on his finger and it would say 100% oxygen. But it was clear he was laboring with his breath, and one night he crashed and we ended up in the emergency room.
He had to have a tracheostomy. And he still is on the ventilator today. So we had kind of been working off the ventilator and that was a real success in and of itself, and then he caught the flu and then he caught some other kind of bug from our kids who are still quite young. And at the time they were even younger and things were being passed around daycare all the time. So there was some other kind of bug that he got, and then he’s just had a really hard time since getting back to where he was. So his story is two steps forward, one step back. So we’re still moving in the right direction in that he’s getting stronger all the time, however again, if you looked at him without knowing how down he was you would probably say oh my goodness, this man is unbelievably sick. And he is. But he is definitely stronger than he was about 6 months ago, for example.
Jason Hartman: Well that’s good, that’s good. What lessons can listeners take away from this experience? Any action items? I guess maybe the first one is don’t trust the medical establishment.
Dr. Erica Kosal: That’s for sure.
Jason Hartman: Which we’ve heard all too many times. And with our recent political climate it’s probably going to be worse.
Dr. Erica Kosal: I know. It’s really such a mess. It’s hard to find those treasure doctors. They’re there, thank goodness, but I think it’s unfortunate the way our health care system is set up. Obviously you have people entering the medical field with extremely good intentions, and then it’s like the way that the system is set up, it forces this ultimately in and out, in and out, ignore, ignore, ignore kind of system that we seem to have too often. But fortunately one sort of action item that we learned definitely is to be mindful of your own gut instincts and to keep chugging along and waiting for that good physician to come along.
Because I would say to Jim often enough when we would get discouraged, we just need one good guy. We just need one. And it took us a long time to find that one. And then we had so many awful other people that we encountered in the hospital and everything. But since that time I think we now have four good guys on Jim’s team. So I think that’s huge. And that comes from just again, believing in yourself and not listening to all of the reports and saying wait a minute. I’m an intelligent person, I’ve done my research, my vision is a lot longer than this physician that might be looking at the computer screen and Jim’s data for 15 minutes and then coming to a conclusion. I’ve got years of his ups and downs, and the whole story. So I think that’s really important. We tend to as a society, really put so much faith in other people’s opinions, especially if they’re an expert, that we ignore our own gut instincts which are so valuable.
Jason Hartman: Okay, what other lessons?
Dr. Erica Kosal: I think that traditional medicine has its place and that Jim would not be here without all the modern technology that is available to us. So we would not be alive without his ventilator, for example. However, there are such fabulous alternative kinds of support and different modalities out there.
Jason Hartman: So any you’d recommend? Like Acupuncture, any other ideas?
Dr. Erica Kosal: He did acupuncture for a long time and he really enjoyed it, and then it was just too hard to do everything. What we are really enjoying right now is Reiki. So I do Reiki on Jim, so I got some training. And then also there’s something called a wet cell battery, which was totally new to me up until about a year ago when I was like what is that? And this is something that, as its name implies, is a battery that I make up with all these liquid chemicals into this large paint can and you run a solution through it and you rotate the solution so it’s a new solution every three days. Like it could be iodine or camphor or silver, and then you hook it up to Jim’s body and it runs a current through his body, and it’s supposed to stimulate his nervous system and his muscles. And he meditates, which again I think is something that’s really important.
So while that’s kind of going through his system he meditates, and then 30 minutes later he gets a massage over his legs, his arms and his back. We’ve seen some real progress with that, where his breathing seems to be better as a result of trying this wet cell battery. So we’re excited about the possibilities.
Jason Hartman: Good. Any recommendations about where somebody finds out about that? Where did you find out about the wet cell battery?
Dr. Erica Kosal: Well it’s one of these sort of fortuitous things where somebody says something, etc. So I was talking to a woman who is involved with a lime group in Georgia, and she mentioned a book to me so I said, oh I don’t know that book. She said it helped her so much, and of course I ordered it right away. And in the book they mentioned the wet cell battery, so as me and Jim are reading the book we’re like wet cell battery? What is this? Then it led us to the company that makes the wet cell battery, which is Baar.com, and it’s a husband/wife team. Doctor Baar talks to you over the phone and kind of tries to get a sense of what you want to use it for, and when I told him that Jim’s got lime disease and he has ALS symptoms, they have this whole protocol for what to do, what solutions to do, and they have some data to kind of back up that this might work.
Jason Hartman: The wet cell battery kit is $238. I’m looking at their website now – it’s very interesting.
Dr. Erica Kosal: Oh did you just pull it right up as I said that? That’s great. Yeah, and Doctor Baar is really great. Just a nice, nice guy.
Jason Hartman: Is there one more recommendation that you have?
Dr. Erica Kosal: Well, I do. Again, reiki I find very enjoyable and very helpful. And then there really is power in meditation and/or prayer depending upon your beliefs. We have some men from church and just some good guys in the community that come over, and there’s something really great about men caring for men in that kind of supportive way that women can’t do. And I think likewise, women supporting women has a really special place too. There’s something about getting these little groups together, and they’re just cutting up with each other and telling stories, but it’s that connection, it’s like that positive energy and the power of feeling good, the power of the mind.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, Norman Cousins really wrote about that extensively in his book Anatomy of an Illness. That part about he was diagnosed in the 60s with some rare, incurable blood disease. He was told he had a very short time to live, and I think he lived into the 90s or 2000s. And he did it by watching candid camera re-runs and…
Dr. Erica Kosal: I was going to say, he commented a lot on the power of laughter.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, the power of laughter – getting those endorphins flowing. Good stuff, very good stuff. Thank you so much for sharing this story. Give out your website and tell people where they can find out more.
Dr. Erica Kosal: Yeah, so our website is called BouncetoResilience.com, and we have some of our sort of philosophies, we call them our game strategies of how we’ve made it this far with such a great illness. And also I write often for some online magazines, so I have several of my articles on there. You can get a copy of the book Miracles for Daddy on the website or you can also get the book at Amazon as well.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic. Well, Doctor Erica Kosal thank you so much for joining us today and sharing this touching story. We wish your husband well, and your family well and keeping the faith is obviously very important. Great story.
Dr. Erica Kosal: It really is. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
Narrator: Thank you for joining us today for the Holistic Survival Show. Protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Be sure to listen to our Creating Wealth Show, which focuses on exploiting the financial and wealth creation opportunities in today’s economy. Learn more at www.JasonHartman.com or search “Jason Hartman” on iTunes. This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, offering very general guidelines and information. Opinions of guests are their own, and none of the content should be considered individual advice. If you require personalized advice, please consult an appropriate professional. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.
Transcribed by Ralph
The Holistic Survival Team
Guest: Dr. Erica Kosal
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