I had tried everything but saw no way out. I began to think less about recovery and more about death. I prepared for my own funeral. My husband was still young and I worried that he might remarry and my children would be mistreated by their stepmother. I often woke my husband at night and asked him to divide our property so that I could leave my share to the kids. I would say, “Death is after me, my time is near.”
My will was sapped. Instead of believing I could summon enough energy to fight off my many diseases, I began to enjoy listening for the sounds of the pathogens lurking in my body, waiting to attack when I was at my most vulnerable. At night, all I could do was count each breath as I gasped for air.
I had run out of tears, and my heart was broken over and over again by the endless suffering. I no longer took medication. I didn’t care anymore and only waited to be taken by death. I wished I could just fall asleep and never wake up.
This is the sorry state I was in after years of debilitating disease and failure to find relief. I had given up all hope when a suggestion from my brother opened the way for me to experience joy and health in my life once again—an incredible turn of events.
I grew up in a poor, god-forsaken village. It was hard to make a living, so the young people would flee to the cities hoping to make a fortune. I did the same, choosing to leave home and start anew. I found a husband who was a dedicated man. We had a sustainable business and two beautiful children. Overall, life was good.
But you can never guess what the future holds.
One day at the age of 26, when I was still enjoying my youth, I suddenly collapsed. From then on, diseases attacked me one after another. Some became chronic or were incurable, and I had no choice but to live with them.
It started in 2008 with chronic stomach pain due to a bacterial infection in the stomach lining. It’s an inflammatory disease that can lead to stomach cancer.
I also had swallowing and breathing problems, which the oncology hospital diagnosed as nasopharyngeal inflammation (inflammation of the mucous membranes of the pharynx that connect with the nasal cavity). Although I took the prescribed medication, I was in unbearable pain. I went back to the hospital several times, but the diagnosis stayed the same. I was exhausted and my body got weaker. I lost my appetite and had insomnia.
Then I started losing weight rapidly and had diarrhea almost every morning. I went to the hospital and was diagnosed with proctitis (inflammation of the lining of the rectum) and an internal hemorrhoid in the anal canal. Then came a diagnosis of arthritis, followed by sinusitis. By 2011, I was also suffering from vestibular disorder (damage to the system includes parts of the inner ear and brain) and severe cervicitis (inflammation and irritation of the cervix).
Adding to my suffering was the fact that I could never have a proper sleep. I needed to change the position I normally slept in, otherwise I might choke due to a tumor partially blocking my airways. I had been diagnosed with a tumor in the nasalpharynx, the upper throat that lies behind the nose. This explained why I had breathing and swallowing problems.
I was completely distraught. I totally depended on medication. At an age when most women were blossoming, I was in terrible shape—so sick and weak that a gentle gust of wind could have knocked me off my feet.
Seeking Help in Vain
I travelled to different hospitals across the country in hopes of finding a cure. I would try new treatment regimens but nothing worked, and in the end I saw I was just going around in circles.
When I realized that Western medicine was a waste of time, I looked for help from Chinese traditional medicine. I switched to herbal medicine and visited every doctor I heard of.
By this time I could barely eat. The only thing I could force myself to swallow was plain porridge, because if I ate anything else I would have diarrhea right after. I spent a lot of time in my bedroom, though I could only sleep for one or two hours a night. The rest of the time, I gritted my teeth in suffering and wondered how life could be so tough. No matter how I tried, there was no comfort for me.
Having had no luck with everything I had tried so far, I ventured into the realm of non-scientific, spiritualism-based treatments. I invited all kinds of shamans and other types of healers to my home to perform ancient rituals, divination, magic, etc. I didn’t care how much it cost, all I cared about was getting my health back.
However, nothing changed and my hopes died. I saw nothing ahead of me. I had no gods to count on. There’s a saying that when one door closes, another opens, but to me, the only door open at that moment was the one to the underworld. I gave up everything and was ready to be welcomed by death. I began to make arrangements for my funeral.
Yet life is full of surprises. One day, my brother came by to see how I was doing. I told him: “I’m not any better. I will probably die soon.” He suggested I look up Falun Dafa, a practice from China that had spread around the world and had helped cure many people.
Every time I heard of a new treatment my heart leapt in happiness, which was why I lost my money for nothing many times. However, I still looked up Falun Dafa on the internet, also called Falun Gong. I came across a demonstration of the practice’s easy-looking exercises and, honestly, I was disappointed, because how could this simple practice help me recover when science-based medication could not?
I continued to read about Falun Dafa and the more I read the more curious I became. I learned that it consists of doing the exercises and following moral teachings, summarized by just three words: Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.
After finding the Falun Dafa website called minghui.org, I was touched and broke into tears when I read the articles written by people who had found peace, health, and happiness from this practice. Among them were some who had suffered from the same diseases that I had.
Although I was still doubtful, hope indeed rooted in my soul. I called the number of a volunteer contact person who answered all the questions I had, including how much it cost to learn.
I was surprised that everything was free on the internet but if I wanted to buy some books, they were very affordable. Since no one scammed others for such little money, I decided to buy them.
A Suffering Body Cleansed
After I got the books, I looked at them and sighed, unconvinced that this practice could help me. I put the books away and forgot them for a long time.
My condition got worse, and the pain haunted me day and night. One night, I got up and walked around to ease my mind and stopped by the bookshelf where I had put the Falun Dafa books. Suddenly I wondered what was written in them and thought I should give it a go. I picked the one named Zhuan Falun and began to read it.
Thus, I began practicing Falun Dafa.
As I did the exercises and read the books, my body began to be purified. I had diarrhea more frequently and the pain got worse. The book had mentioned this, so I trusted that and continued to practice. It also emphasized the importance of following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. After a short period of suffering, I noticed positive changes in my condition.
The more I studied the teachings and strove to follow them, the more changes I experienced. In about a month, the pain decreased tremendously. Amazingly, I began having better sleeps, undisturbed by trips to the bathroom due to diarrhea or excess urination.
Soon, the pain was completely gone and I was able to sleep through the night and wake up refreshed. My appetite also improved and I was able to eat food that I’d been unable to eat for years.
After three months I felt like a new person, and I truly believed that Falun Gong had healed me. My complexion improved, I gained weight and was no longer “Miss Skinny,” and I enjoyed life once again.
People were astonished to see the significant changes in me. From a person in a sad, pale, and weak body, I returned to my old self as I was before the onslaught of illness.
Some who had witnessed this “rebirth” joined me to practice Falun Dafa. I reached out to as many people as I could, since by now I was aware of how powerful this practice was. I gave them the books for free and helped them learn the exercises.
My sister, who also suffered from poor health and spent more time in hospital than at home, took up Falun Dafa after seeing the changes in me. She, too, recovered quickly.
Zhuan Falun teaches us to be kind, put others before ourselves, and raise our moral standard. As a businesswoman, I’ve seen both good and bad in the business world. I strive to apply truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance at work and have achieved remarkable outcomes.
It has been four years now since I first started practicing Falun Dafa. I shudder to imagine how my life would have turned out without it.
I am grateful from the depths of my being, and I hope that more people can discover the beauty and grace of this wonderful practice and experience its boundless benefits as I have.
Nguyen Thi Tuoi lives with her family in Vietnam.
Falun Dafa is a cultivation practice of mind and body that teaches truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance as a way to improve health and moral character and attain spiritual wisdom.
For more information about the practice, visit www.falundafa.org. All books, exercise music, resources, and instructions are available free of charge.