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It was late October, 1998. Jane McDonald left the hospital where she worked as an Oncologist and looked forward to a relaxing dinner with her family.
Just an ordinary day.
Until something extraordinary happened.
Halfway through the meal Jane felt an odd sensation.
"I felt the walls close in around me, my family was talking to me and their lips were moving but I couldn't make out words, only sounds. The room seemed to spin and the sound rose to intolerable levels, before I knew what was happening I was standing at the head of the table screaming "Shut up, shut up all of you!"
Jane's breaking point came just as her daughter finished a story about play school and her husband started to talk about his day as a statistician.
"I've always loved my family, but I knew there was something missing. I just didn't know what. I realized that night that my family was the most boring family alive. I couldn't believe it, I fell to pieces. I remember my husband rushed to my side, gave me an Neo-Citron and ushered me off to bed.
"I thought that it was an isolated incident, but it was just the start."
Before long Jane found even the simplest exchanges hard to bear. She was unable to visit her neighbourhood convenience store any longer because of the proprietor's insistence upon talking about his arthritis and inner at the in-laws, once tolerable, became an impossibility.
"My mother-in-law is interested in miniatures." Jane says simply.
After a few weeks, Jane found it increasingly difficult to leave the house. She found the only joy she received was in television commercials. She was unable to communicate with her family any longer.
"My husband took me to doctor after doctor. I was diagnosed as having everything from Lyme disease to Yuppie flu. One doctor even suggested that it might be gout."
Frustrated Jane, sunk into a deep depression until Jane's husband found Dr. Harold Reloy "Dr. Hal" on the Internet.
"It was a last resort, I have to admit I did not have high hopes. His web site had a dancing stethoscope and most of the links were dead, but I was desperate."