Thursday, October 31, 2002

Woke up this moring with a crick in my neck, having spent the night on the sofa. Kate started throwing up at 3.30am night before last, and the impossibility of looking after her on her cabin bed when she needed to rush to the bathroom meant that we ended up downstairs, plastic wastebaskets in hand.

Monday October 28
We travelled to Suffolk to see Matthew Manning. I had been intending to travel by train, but at the last moment John's interview was cancelled and so he was able to drive us. Thank goodness that he was, as there was total choas on the train system, following the storm the day before. My mother came and picked up T and K and then we set off at about 10.30 - only half an hour late. The journey was fine, although there were a lot of trees knocked down by the wind, at the side of the road. We arrived very early, and decided to have lunch in the pub. Hartest is a very olde English type of village, with a green, lots of old cottages, and a proper pub with nictine yellow walls and horse brasses. It must be popular in the summer and at weekends, as there were vast rooms of empty tables, and a very comprehensive adventure playground in the garden.

We sat and ate green lipped mussels while Alistair sipped a glass of water. He was quiet and a bit apprehensive, never having visited a healer before. We went for a short walk around the village and then arrived for our appointment fifteen minutes early, as instructed.

Sturgeon's hall is a yellow painted substantial house overlooking the village green. There was an instruction to enter the house using the stable door, and so we found ourselves in a large waiting room with a big fireplace, lots of paintings and comfortable sofas. We were greeted, and then sat on the sofa. There were some interesting books, including a What Doctors Dont Tell You publication about different diseases. I quickly looked up Chron's disease and scribbled down some recommendations about alternative treatments. MOst of them I knew about, but licorice root was a new one on me.

The previous patient made his way painfully out of the treatment room, assisted by Matthew and two helpers, and two sticks. I thought initially that he was an old man, but he didn't appear to be. I was afraid of seeming to stare, so concentrated on returning the book to the table, and getting our things together. We were called in.

I have read so much about Matthew Manning over the years, seen him on television, followed his career with interest. I wondered if I would instantly feel a bond, or feel the power of his healing ability. I warmed to him immediately, he was very relaxed and friendly. He talked to us quietly about what was wrong, told us that treatment might not make any difference, although the other people he was treating with Crohn's had responded to treatment.

The treatment room was a lot smaller than I was expecting, with a warm yellow decor and little stars. Matthew put Alistair on a chair in the middle of the room, and gave him some cushions to put under his feet. Matthew put on some music and then just placed his hands on Alistair. I closed my eyes and tried to meditate and "hold them in the light" as Quakers say.

The time seemed to pass very quickly indeed. It seemed like only a couple of minutes, but must have been half an hour. We came to, said goodbye, and then made our way back to the car.

I must say that I felt very relaxed and calm. I had been suffering from a headache and feeling very stressed out, but as I walked back to the car I could feel how much tension and anxiety had disappeared. The effect is still with me three days later.

Tuesday, October 29
We had to go into town for a number of errands. I needed to pay in some money to my bank account, we had to buy a birthday present for my niece, and pick up a prescription from the doctor's surgery. On our way back from the doctor's, Alistair and Thomas were having kicking competitions, to see who could kick the highest, and I suddenly realised that Alistair was running and jumping - something he hasn't done for months and months.

Wednesday, October 30
Started several hours earlier than planned, as far as I was concerned! I heard Kate make a funny noise at about 3.30am, and called out to her. She woke, ran to the bathroom and started throwing up. She was sick every half hour for the next few hours, and we decamped to the living room. She complained of bad stomach pains, and was yelping in pain - to the extent that I thought she might have appendicitis. She slept fitfully on the sofa, as did I. Alistair woke up at about 10 am, and was bouncing about in a way that I can't remember him doing for years. He was very happy and seemed excited too.

Kate was very disappointed that she wouldn't be able to go to her cousin's birthday party, but didn't want to because she was feeling so poorly. She seemed to improve in the middle of the day, but was feeling ill again by the time that the boys had to leave for the party at 4pm. I gave her some paracetemol for her headache, and stopped worrying that she had appendicitis and started worrying that it was meningitis....