I had acquired the ability to see what went through people’s minds. Call it mind reading, precognition, prescience, or psychic ability. I don’t know, but I had it.
I had reached my sixty-fifth birthday and decided that it was time to retire. After forty-five years as a dentist in a well-to-do community in Venezuela, I had great memories of an incredible practice. I knew that I had to stop when my left hand began to tremble. Some called it shaking, some called it a tremor, but I knew that it was a neurological manifestation of so many years of hard work. I went to a neurologist, and he reaffirmed my diagnosis.
At first I ignored the trembling, but then during a procedure, my assistant told me that my patient was aware of my shaking hand. That awareness made me hesitate, and I asked my assistant to continue with the patient. After another incident where I couldn’t properly grasp an implant instrument, the patient made me aware that I was having a neurological tremor. That was when I made up my mind to move to Miami, the retiree’s paradise. I resisted retiring at first and went for physical therapy, but that didn’t help much. Then I went into a navigation spree on the Internet, searching for miraculous, nontraditional cures.
Many alternative treatments turned up, and my curiosity pushed me to explore. Many of them were far out of the scientific realm or not applicable to my type of tremor. For example, ResoFus Alomar used highly focused acoustic sound waves to pinpoint the affected area. This precise pinpointing stopped the improper transfer of electrical signals that induced the tremor. Some of the physicians I visited said it would help my tremor, which was cataloged as “an essential tremor,” the most common neurological disorder in adults. Although this type of tremor was not well understood, it was probably related to a disruption of the normal functioning of the cerebellum.
All this information made me worry, because it might be the beginning of other associated neurological problems. I needed to stop my tremor. I wanted a tremor-free life, if possible. I studied all the alternative treatments. Initially I tried the medications that were prescribed. I was told that they might drastically reduce the severity of the tremors. They didn’t work. Then I was given the option of the Neuravive procedure, which is an MRI-guided focused ultrasound technology procedure. When that didn’t alleviate my tremor, I was told about surgical options and gamma-knife options. This was when I stopped and decided I would either live with the tremor or search for a healer or magician to cure my very uncomfortable ailment. With great difficulty I sold my practice, and with even greater difficulty, I left the city where my three children were born, where my wife and I received part of our education, and where I had spent probably the best part of my life.
The next step was to travel and see a part of the world that we hadn’t visited yet. My wife had been insisting that we travel, but I had always postponed it. I didn’t want to leave my practice for an extended period of time. But now I was free. Brazil was on my itinerary. I had always wanted to visit the famous Ipanema Beach, Iguazu Falls, and a thousand other places. But Brazil was not the only place we wanted to visit. We had Norway, Finland, and Sweden in mind, as well as Turkey, Russia, China, Singapore, and Japan.
Brazil was where my real story began. I had read about the many spiritual healers of Brazil. Some were well known, some were considered quacks, and some were considered God’s messengers.