Frannie has an angelic voice. I play her music in my classes all the time! I’ve been blessed to watch her heal and grow over the years and hope you enjoy her story.
In 2006 I took an antibiotic drug called Levaquin that I was given at a walk-in clinic. I am a professional singer, and had a number of concerts coming up and felt like a sinus infection might be coming on. I rarely took any medications for anything. I’m a longtime meditator, did lots of yoga, ate organic food, and exercised.
Unbeknownst to me, this was an antibiotic with two ‘black box’ warnings on it, one for tendon damage and the other for neuropathy, with a slew of other very serious long term side effects. This class of drugs is supposed to be prescribed only if a patient didn’t respond to other antibiotics for pneumonia or very serious illnesses.
But many doctors have been given this medication from pharmaceutical salespeople, and then give it out for any small infection, having no idea of the potential for serious side effects. It was given to me for something much milder than what it was intended for – a possible sinus infection.
After taking this drug my life changed drastically. It limited me in many ways and left me with chronic illness. Unable to walk, I was in a wheel chair for over six months, and slept with splints on my legs, in severe pain, especially in the Achilles tendons, and with uncontrollable twitches all over my body.
Even now, I am still unable to put my body in any kind of stress without causing injury or a tendon tear. I developed atrial fibrillations that I continue to deal with most days. I had a spontaneous retinal tear which is also not uncommon among people who have taken Levaquin, as well as very painful facial neuralgia, among other things.
My mind and emotions were also affected and I had very bad anxiety from this drug. Some of these health issues I’ve faced have improved but have not gone away completely. It is very upsetting to me that many doctors continue to prescribe this class of drug called ‘fluoroquinolones’ even though they may be hearing about the potential ramifications from its use, and there are many less toxic antibiotics that can be prescribed.
Thank God I had been meditating since I was sixteen years old, exploring spiritual practices, and had my music and singing as an anchor and sanctuary for my entire life! I had some good tools, but the major life change in my body and health was way bigger than me. That’s when I started on a deep healing journey toward acceptance and finding joy in what I loved most.
It was during this difficult time in 2008 that, walking with a cane, I visited Kripalu to take my dear friend Douglas Brady’s course “The Body Never Lies” that I came across Jennifer’s yoga nidra CD in the bookstore.
My favorite is the ‘Infinite Healing’ journey and once I found it, I practiced it every single day for over five years! It helped me so much with anxiety, and deepened my connection to God and my true self, coming to know on a much deeper level than before, that all is truly okay. I am okay just as I am.
Regularly practicing Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra with Jennifer’s CDs, and my other spiritual practices, gave me the quiet time I needed to get in touch with myself. I developed more awareness each day and in so doing experienced spacious openness. I learned that I was much more than my body or my thoughts.
During my healing journey I wrote and released two music CDs as well as started teaching meditation. I believed so much in the power of the practice of yoga nidra, and wanted to become certified so that I could share it with others. I was very excited to be able to train with Jennifer.
In Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra Teacher Training I was impressed by Jennifer’s wide knowledge base. I particularly enjoyed learning about the mudras and the positive affirmations. During the workshop, I felt a need to speak with Jennifer, and she was open and accessible. I am so grateful that I got to train with her! I have since studied other practitioner’s yoga nidra books and CDs, and Jennifer’s remains a favorite. I always give her name out whenever anyone asks about a training or CD.
My journey has come full circle where I am grateful to be co-presenting at Kripalu, Omega, and Esalen, singing and sharing various practices including yoga nidra that I continue to use in my own healing and with others in Nancy Slonim Aronie’s transformational writing workshops.
My life experiences over the past ten years have been filled with an abundance of joy as well as a lot of challenges, including the drug reaction, leaving my full time job, as well as dealing with my son and husbands serious illnesses.
All of these experiences have made me acutely aware of the many blessings in my life. I feel deep gratitude for my beautiful family, friends, community, lovely home, and for all of my practices and teachers who I have learned so much from about navigating this beautiful life that I love. We don’t come with a manual!
I recommend yoga nidra, Jennifer’s Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra teacher training, and her wonderful CDs. Thank you Jennifer for having played a really important part in my healing, and for the training that gave me the knowledge, confidence and tools to share this beautiful practice with others.