by Cheryl Kluge, U.S.A
March 18, 2011
"I knew the best resolution to my conflict was to get another pig"
In 1997, my husband and I bought a potbelly pig, Uncle Frank. We had a lot of other animals so we figured we'd get something different. Pigs are highly intelligent, and listed as #6 on the 10 Most Intelligent Animals Chart according to the Discovery Channel. Dogs are 7th. Uncle Frank was very unique, as pigs are indeed. I referred to him always as my baby boy. My husband and I didn't want to have children because we didn't feel the desire to do so, but we did like having lots of animals in the house.
I've always known that as Uncle Frank got older and bigger (some males weigh almost 200 lbs.), if he was ever unable to walk, there would be no way for us to carry him around. Arthritis is very common in pigs and I knew if he became lame with arthritis, I'd have to have him "put to sleep". But that wasn't going to happen to my baby boy. I knew how to keep him healthy. He was never overweight and got regular exercise. He lived in the house, and had a very soft, warm bed to sleep in.
One day in 2008, I was walking him outside on his leash when he went down on his front knees to eat some grass. He crawled around a bit on his knees, and continued to eat the grass. That was the beginning of his arthritis. My fear of losing sight of Uncle Frank had begun.
After a week of him walking on his knees on occasion, I called a vet to come to the house. He confirmed that my pig most likely had early stage arthritis. He gave me some sort of medication to use, and I was optimistic the medication would cure Uncle Frank of his disease. That night, my eyelids started itching terribly. When I woke in the morning, they had a few red and swollen patches on them. I assumed that I was allergic to something. I was not yet aware of German New Medicine.
Well, the pig's medicine worked while he was taking it, but wasn't meant for long-term use, so when it ran out, he resumed walking on his knees. During the next 2 years, I searched far and wide for a cure that every drug company in the world also searches for. I put Uncle Frank on glucosamine & chondroitin, fish oil, all kinds of supplements for pets with arthritis, antibiotics, and I even tried MMS solution. Each time he seemed to respond and walked more upright, I felt relief that I had saved him. I noticed that my eyelid problem corresponded to my ups and downs of treating Frank. Each time, the skin eruptions were worse and worse. I kept thinking I had some sort of allergy to my eye mask that I wore at night, or my detergent, or something. I'd use Vaseline, coconut oil, Neosporin, cortisone cream, anti-fungal cream, anything and everything. My eyelids both above and below my eye were either dry and crusty, or red and inflamed.
I learned about German New Medicine from my medical doctor and started reading the GNM website. I began to understand the connection between skin conditions and "separation conflicts". I remember one particular night when I was crying to a pig breeder about Uncle Frank and she told me she swore by these Chinese herbs called Solitary Hermit Teapills for all her pigs. She said they are like miracle pills. I was so hopeful after talking to her, that I ordered them right away and my eyes began to itch like crazy. I made the connection to GNM. I realized whenever I felt hopeful, my eye skin would go into healing, hence the red inflammation and itching. When I'd stress over losing Frank, the healing would stop. It was a cycle being repeated over and over.
Now I knew what the cause was. I tried to accept Frank's limitations. And my eyelids got better when I accepted him as he was. But I still couldn't stop it completely.
The summer of 2010, Uncle Frank developed arthritis in his back legs. Once outside, the plate of food was placed about 10 feet away from the steps. But this time was different. He'd walk about 3 feet and lay down. Then he'd get up, move another 2 feet and sit down again. He didn't care if he got the food or was soaking wet.
By the end of August, he rarely moved anymore. He still ate, but wouldn't go back to his room to his bed to sleep. He'd sleep right on the floor after he came in from going to the bathroom in the morning. It took me about 20 minutes to get him outside each time. The vet came again and confirmed he had osteoarthritis in his back legs as well, and prescribed a very strong pain medication. I read about it online and it had bad side effects, including causing liver and kidney failure. Surely this was not a solution for Uncle Frank, and it didn't work for him anyway.
The time had finally come after 13 years to end Uncle Frank's life. The self-doubt and guilt was immense! I kept going back and forth in my mind on whether or not to make that phone call. I finally conceded that no cure was ever going to come. The vet came to the house; I was with Frank the entire time.
I knew the best resolution to my conflict was to get another pig, and the longer I waited, the longer the conflict would take to resolve.
Within a couple weeks, I had found a breeder in Missouri that was expecting a litter of piglets the end of September! I was so excited! When they were about 2-3 weeks old, she sent pictures and told us to choose which piglet we wanted. We knew we wanted a girl this time, and when I opened the file and saw the pictures of the 3 little piglets, guess what? My eyes started to itch!!!
Phoebe was going to be her name, and with each bit of information I received from the breeder, the more my eyelids would redden and swell. The final and worst episode was when I received Phoebe's harness in the mail! The day after I got the harness, my eyelids were like nothing I had ever seen before!
We picked up Phoebe from the airport about 2 weeks later, at the end of November. My eyes didn't react as much that night, they were already in the final stage of healing. So fascinating!
Oh, one more thing. Although both eyes were affected, the left eye (I'm right-handed) was always worse. According to GNM, that's the side associated with a mother/child conflict.
Disclaimer: The information in this testimonial does not replace professional medical advice.