How My Daughter's Terrifying Illness Taught Me To Trust My Intuition

The powerful way one intelligent, science-minded mom learned to listen to her gut.

sick woman in hospital bed MR.Yanukit / Shutterstock

When my little girl, Jessica, was four years old, she developed a life-threatening blood disease called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

My happy, innocent child was covered in black bruises and had bleeding sores in her mouth.

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“This condition,” her hematologist explained, “is an autoimmune response by the body to the virus, and Jessica’s spleen is destroying its own blood platelets.


There are two options to treat it,” she continued. “We can either suppress her hyperactive immunity by administrating high dosages of steroids” (which we had tried for a few months with no lasting success), “or, we can remove the source of her malady, her spleen.”

When the doctor offered me this second, brutal option, something deep within me stated firmly: “No! This is not necessary."

For a split second, this powerful inner voice quelled my inflamed mind, and I made a decision to explore other options.

I thanked the doctor for her opinion, picked up my child, and left the office.

Driven by this unexplained, newly emerged determination, I embarked on a journey of discovery to find what else might be possible.


Page by page, book by book, blog by blog, I was gaining knowledge.

More and more I grew confident that if my daughter’s body created this glitch, it had the ability to override it.

My job was simply to provide a beneficial environment for her to do so.

Surprisingly, for the first time in months, my mind was sharp and clear and I knew that I was on the right path.

Inspiration from within was pouring in: natural, organic nutrition; positive mental affirmations; energy healing; chiropractic adjustments; homeopathic treatments—all forming a powerful army of allies to resolve this predicament.

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Soon enough, within weeks, I began to notice Jessica’s bruises diminishing and her skin rash and mouth sores clearing up. But the greatest reward was seeing the actual physical evidence that my intuition was working: my daughter’s blood work showed her platelet count was gradually increasing.

Photo: Author

Then one day, months after Jessica’s steady recovery had evolved into solid remission, I was sitting on my balcony, staring at the endlessly stretching horizon where the sky meets the sea. And I began to wonder about the inner voice that had carried me through the madness and trauma of Jessica’s illness, feeding my mind with answers and solutions and my heart with confidence and hope.


What was that voice?

I had no idea.

Could it be that mysterious spiritual phenomenon called ‘the sixth sense,’ unexplained, yet real, just like the emotions of love and trust?

Growing up in atheistic Soviet Russia and trained in the medical field, I was a practical scientist. I had not been raised to acknowledge this unseen part of myself.

Then, strangely, an old memory came to mind with metaphoric meaning.

Back in Russia, right after I got married, I remembered how one night, when I returned home after a long day at medical college, I heard strange noises emanating from the bedroom—a mixture of static and some foreign language. My husband was listening to the forbidden radio station called Voice of America, transfixed by its message, dimming the hissing voices of fear in his mind and replacing them with meaning and purpose: a better life for his family. 


Now, as I watched from my balcony, the orange disc of the sun began its glorious descent, melting into the ocean, captivating my senses and bringing me back to the present.

I could hear my intuitive voice speak: I am always here for you. When your mind is calm, you can hear me.

That was when I sensed strong mental imagery: a bright column of light (which I sense is my intuition) surrounded by layer upon layer of shadowy, human conditioning, all forming a kind of grandiose carousel in my mind.

I realized that in order for me to receive guidance from my intuitive core, the carousel has to slow down; my brain’s activity has to diminish.

And I wonder, what’s more important? The pursuit of action—a constant race to do and achieve—or slowing down and reconnecting with this voice within?


As I sat quietly, my brain ran a recap of all the times in my past when I intuitively knew better, yet turned a deaf ear to this inner voice.

How much unnecessary pain and drama I’ve had to endure as a result! But why?

Because since childhood, nobody ever taught me to listen to my inner self, to trust its voice, and act upon it.

Instead, I was always told what to think and what to do. And so, these outside messages became louder than the intuitive knowledge I had within, even though it was always there, buried beneath the static.

Now that I'm an adult, it is up to me to train myself in the habit of tuning into my intuition. 

And as life has taught me, it’s important to develop this skill, as my inner voice has proven itself to be extremely useful. Besides, it’s kind of cool to know that deep within me the answer exists before the problem arises; that there’s strength to meet any challenge, and clarity before chaos appears.


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So how do I tap that inner wisdom?

I’ve learned that I must find ways to calm myself down, consciously and purposefully throughout the day.

The goal is to self-induce this meditative, trance-like state of the mind. Not by hypnotism or even traditional meditation, necessarily. No, it's even simpler than that.


The way to achieve this, I’ve found, is by doing small things that I already enjoy doing, like watering my garden, daydreaming about an upcoming vacation, or thinking about a joyful experience.

I feel this inner calm when I’m taking a bath, baking a pie, sitting in the lotus position while gazing at a candle, building Legos with my kids, or running my fingers through the soft fur of my golden retriever.

And then it happens … When my five senses are captivated, something within me speaks, and this voice is always positive and reassuring.

Radiating from the heart, it fills my mind with practical suggestions and appropriate guidance.

It’s awesome to know that there’s something bigger than me, louder than all the static in my head, ready and available to assist and carry me through all the ups and downs of my life.


We all have this inner voice, so why not listen? Why not make it easier on ourselves, not harder?

Oh, well, I guess it’s just another habit that nobody thought to teach us…

But we can teach ourselves now. 

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Katherine Agranovich, Ph.D., is a Medical Hypnotherapist and Holistic Consultant. She is the author of Tales of My Large, Loud, Spiritual Family.