In February of 2007, I embarked on a life-altering journey. I was going to the office of a naturopath, Dr. Kelly Upcott. I had been ill with a condition that is sometimes called myalgic encephalomyelitis and sometimes chronic fatigue syndrome. It often is referred to as ME/CFS, when it is referred to at all. No conventional medicine had helped me. I had been unable to function as a normal human being for many years, spending much of my time in bed. I couldn’t think clearly, had no energy, and lived with constant pain. Hope had been in short supply for me for some years, but I felt a flicker of it when I went to see Dr. Kelly.

That appointment was a long one. She willingly wrote down everything for me because I had no short-term memory to speak of, and I knew I would remember next to nothing without notes. I was exhausted by the exertion of getting to the appointment, sitting through it and being driven back home by my husband. The exhaustion, though, was par for the course for me back then.

It has been nine years since that first visit and, as it turns out, she has been the saving of me.

In that time, I have sampled a number of different remedies at the hands of Dr. Kelly. She offered up tinctures and homeopathic remedies. She recommended omega-3 oil, Vitamin B12 and an assortment of other supplements for my particular ills. I drank liquid chlorophyll and did some vegetable juicing. I learned how to do dry skin brushing with a loofah for its lymphatic benefits and applied a beauty of an ointment called Lymphagen for the same purpose. I learned how to put water up my nose for nasal irrigation. (Quite an experience!) She performed acupuncture on me every month and I experienced both immediate and long-term benefits from this.

Initially she invited me to email her between appointments, as a means of keeping her updated as to how treatment was going. In the early months, it took tremendous effort for me to send her short vague emails once every week or so. Most of them said some version of “I feel like low-grade crap.” Over time, my emails began to get longer, and began to cover more than a description of symptoms. I credit this interest and attention from her in helping to bring the Jody who had existed before ME/CFS back into existence once again.

Before illness had flattened me, I had been a prolific writer, whipping off many articles every week. But by the time I met Dr. Kelly, I had been reduced to only being able to write 10 minutes at a time as I filled out my medical history, and then going to bed after the effort. My hands were so crippled and sore I could hardly hold a pen. My thoughts were so fragmented and gossamer that … I had nothing to say.

I’m writing here now because of her guidance. I’m able to work as a writer and editor because of her support. I’m connecting with people in a way that was impossible for so long, because of her confidence that I could heal.  She has backed me and supported me through this metamorphosis from what I was to what I am now, aiming me in the direction of wholeness.

Dr. Kelly has convinced me that I can become much more, and that I can reclaim a full life once again.

She has shored up and undergirded a most fragile and frail physical body, and a fractured and beleaguered brain, so that I can continue walking into life.

If you are thinking about coming to see her, do it. She may be the saving of you.

J.S. Kingsville, Ontario