Thursday, May 31, 2012

Out of the Woods by Katina Makri review (:

 About the book:
At the peak of her career, Classical Homeopath and health care columnist Katina Makris was stricken with a mysterious "flu". Only after five years of torment--two completely bedridden--and devastating blows to her professional and family life was Katina's illness finally diagnosed as Lyme Disease. But diagnosis was only the beginning of her journey toward healing.
Twenty thousand cases of Lyme Disease are reported annually, with thousands more still undiagnosed or mistreated due to faulty testing protocols. This infectious disease can create gaping physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds, leaving tens of thousands of people in progressive states of illness, collapse, and financial ruin. Yet, Katina Makris' vivid story offers practical information for diagnosing and treating the bacterial invasion, as well as powerful guidance for mending the broken spirit.
Rooted in personal recovery experience, a deep understanding of alternative medicine, and a poetic connection to nature, Out of the Woods transcends the boundaries of any one disease to reaffirm the power of hope for anyone grappling with life-shattering chronic illness.

Sample Chapter:
The clanging of the harbor bell rings with a clarion shrill through the thickening milky fog. I bundle deeper into my plaid woolen muffler, struggling to deter the piercing Nantucket wind straight off the darkening ocean. Damp and raw, it pries so viciously.

I love Nantucket. It’s a place of haunting passages to me. It feels like I walk between the veils of the worlds out here on this oceanic island. All of it—the stretching beach sands, the romantic heather moors, the cobbled whaling village streets—throw me backward in time, propelling me into a déjà vu sensation. In fact, I often wrestle with my conscious mind out here. Yesterday, in town, I fleetingly saw what I thought was the half turned face of my father, cloaked in a jet black, collared cape and top hat.

No, I reminded myself. He’s back home in his house on the Hudson River, not here at an oaken desk, behind a leaded glass window. It was eerie to have seen him inside that storefront. You’re daydreaming, Kim.

In early October of 2004, I’ve come to Nantucket with Hunter on a painting commission. My assignment is to capture four landscape scenes of a beloved family's heirloom of land and cottage, situated sweetly on a tucked away lee of the rambling heather moors. It’s one of the few old style properties left on the island, low key and understated in its simplicity and scrimshaw charm. The two-bedroom house, tiny in dimension yet raftered with family memories floating off the pages of the guest book, reminds me of my own barefooted childhood gambols collecting sand dollars and jingle shells along the still uncluttered shores of Fire Island and Martha’s Vineyard.

I head out, laden with paints and canvases, portable easel in tow, hiking up and down the moorland swales, searching and finding a nice pinnacle to paint from. The amber Indian Summer light bathes the endless swaths of russet and sienna heathers in breathtaking beauty. It’s actually quite daunting to try to portray the sensual beauty of these moors. I wrestle with two canvases well into the final weeping indigo rays of evening’s surrender. The next day I’m back again, tangled in my own attempts to capture the moors on my canvases.

By noon I’m drenched in sweat and paints, half clothed, and simultaneously euphoric and distraught, moved by the solitude and majesty of this untouched land, yet displeased with my efforts. The paintings are not as delicate as I have aimed for. Instead, they’re marked by broad strokes and even broader colors. Oh well, I think, tomorrow I’ll paint the ocean instead. Unfortunately, while trudging back to the cottage, a splitting headache and stiff neck are rapidly mounting.

By late afternoon I’m cramped in the vise of a wicked migraine. It holds siege through the next day, which is shrouded in mists and a drizzling, raw rain. Hunter helps me ride out my pain with ice packs and meds.

By evening, I’m still sick. The headache has plastered me down pretty badly. This one is particularly fierce, zapping my energy, making my mind foggy, and leaving me feeling dizzy and fragile. Thirty-six hours into it, I’m waiting out the passing of the final stages of the siege. I lie in a zombie posture on the denim blue sofa, watching the candle flame flicker and listening to Hunter clatter pots and pans in the kitchen. I study the woodworking inlays of the cathedral ceiling, noticing the shapes and faces hidden in the whitewashed knotty pine.

Essentially, this is a happy experience here on the island in spite of the migraine and weather. Hunter and I are blissfully content alone together, reveling in the romantic solitude of this idyllic setting. We chat and loll, nibble on savories, he plowing through a novel. Outside the window we watch flocks of goldfinches dangling from the bushes and branches, gobbling up the shiny autumn berries.

The next day dawns, heavily mired in more fog. The headache lingers, though not as badly. It remains well into my final day here. I force myself to work on the commissions, sketching now, since the light is so poor. I feel incredibly weak, though, barely enough energy to walk down the drive and back. I’m unable to venture back up onto the moorland hills. I lumber home to New Hampshire, dazed and not well. The Nantucket experience lays a muzzy film on me.

The ensuing months of autumn become a living nightmare. Dizzy spells come and go. In the usual busy season of autumn winterization—garden cleanup, wood stacking, and vegetable canning—I’m suddenly incapacitated. I get my son, Eli off to school each day, then crash. Days are slipping away from me. Nothing is getting done. I’m floored by the exhaustion and relentless migraines that began in Nantucket. My head is in a constant fog, my gut a wreck. I’m plastered on the sofa, barely able to even let the puppy out for housebreaking. I note a bruised feeling all over my body. Plus there’s this thready kind of predawn insomnia. My doctor and Neurologist both run batteries of tests, scopes, and scans. I drink barium, I’m injected with dyes. Still, I feel like hell, like I’m breaking apart. Labs return: no Epstein-Barr, no Lyme disease, no thyroid disease.

I crash at home, propped up on tranquilizers, and feeling as stunned as a bird who has hit a window. I’m too weak to drive, sleep is raggedy, and my head spins. My blood sugar feels like it’s constantly plummeting; I feel jittery and starving, and have anxiety rushes that only a solid protein meal can assuage. My metabolism has gone way out of whack. Suddenly, I’m packing on weight in a way I never have before.
I keep harping to the doctors that something is ransacking my own chemistry. “Check my thyroid, my adrenals, my pancreas,” I beseech.

I lean heavily on my trusted homeopath, Melinda, in Massachusetts to balance me. The homeopathic remedies at least settle my nerves and help me sleep solidly.
Days run into nights, nights into days, with me falling down a dark elevator shaft of despair. I’m racked with a weird vibrating feeling in my body and a high pitched buzz in my head. No one else can hear it when I quiz them. Burning, knifelike stomach pains, bloaty, gassy expansions, and bizarre three a.m. ravenous hunger pangs are intense. My GI tract is a mess. After the scans and cultures and blood tests mount, all that can be determined is that I have some mild digestive flora deficiencies and perhaps a PH imbalance leaning toward the acidic.

“Everything else is fine, Kim,” Malcolm, my GP, and the experts proclaim.
I’m confused by these medical explorations. Suspecting a malfunction in my gut, I end up following my own instincts and holistic understandings and attempt to soothe these persistent discomforts on my own.

Too weak to climb the stairs unassisted, Hunter guides me upward from behind, holding my hips for balance and a boost. We navigate around the oaken newel post at the left of the landing, steering toward the bedroom. In Hunter’s right hand he holds my bedtime tray, a train of ducklings strung single file across its edge. It’s absurd that this former wedding gift, anointing a glorious occasion, now houses the poultices for my pained and ornery tummy.

Graham crackers, a banana, a small yogurt, pro-biotic capsules, and ginger tea faithfully make their way to my bedside table. I nibble on the crackers, down my tablets and sip my tea as Eli and puppy Lucky, clamor on board for bedtime books. My head feels heavy lidded, obtuse, and waterlogged. With trembling hands I turn the pages of “Go, Dog, Go.” Eli and I nestle together, his stuffed animal and Lucky between us, as I weave through the twenty-one pages once again. In these blissful moments I swallow hard. This is my one spell of comfort in the long slavish days of illness.

Why can’t the doctors give me any answers other than a suspect virus?

About the author:
From her website.

 About Katina
Katina I. Makris, CCH, CIH has worked in natural health care for since 1983, with a busy Homeopathic private practice, as well as being a popular newspaper health columnist. She sat on on the board of The Council for Homeopathic Certification for seven years. Katina has taught homeopathic and now Lyme disease classes.
Katina is also a Certified Intuitive Healer, focusing her current work on healing the spirit as well as the body.
“The metaphysical relationship involving the mind and body regarding illness and wellness is a powerful tool we all possess, but may need assistance in harnessing. I value helping people gain insight into the ‘blocks’ impeding their return to wellness. Each one of us holds a treasure trove of inner tools.”
Please see Intuitive Healing page for Katina's consultations and fees.
Katina I. Makris is additionally a landscape painter. Her artwork can be viewed at

My review:
I loved this book and I never thought about intuitive healing and it seems like a good thing. I felt bad for her and I am glad of how she handled it. I am not giving any other details away sorry but that's not what I am here for. Even though I loved this book I am still not giving it five stars because it is not a book I would have picked up in the store. She is a great author just not my favorite. 

Stars I give this book:
**** (4 Stars)

(I have personally reviewed the product listed above. I did receive a free product to try out so I could evaluate and use it for my review. My thoughts & opinions in this review are honest and your opinions may be different than mine. I am not responsible for delivery of any giveaway items won from this blog, but if you have any questions about the item you have won, please email me and I will look into it.)

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