My Wellness Journey

I’m here to share. My goal is to help other people who feel sick, powerless, tired, confused. Those who are frustrated with their health and the typical western medical advice and are looking for real answers.  You are not alone in this.

About three years ago, I “suddenly” became very sick. My body seemed to be shutting down. It felt like it was attacking itself from the inside. Everything I ate made me super sick to my stomach. I was in my last semester of college and I was not only commuting to classes, but I also had an internship and two more jobs to pay the bills. I could barely keep my eyes open at work or while doing school work. My brain wasn’t working properly. My thoughts were fragmented, slow and unclear. My speech was slurred and I had a hard time verbally communicating the thoughts I did have. My body ached and felt so heavy. It felt like my body weighed a thousand pounds. Just walking around a store felt like hard work and I’d have to take breaks and sit down. I had no idea what was happening.

I put “suddenly” in quotes because at the time, it felt like it came out of nowhere. But looking back now, I see that this was a slow and gradual decline, until finally the stress of that time in my life was enough to finally push my body over the edge to its complete breaking point.

When I started to think about it and become educated, the story of how this all built up goes pretty far. Like birth.

I wasn’t born in the easiest of circumstances health wise. My mother, while pregnant with me, became incredibly ill with a rare blood disease and even had to be quarantined for a month or more. She was under intense treatment (and obviously pumped with a lot of drugs). They told my parents I wouldn’t make it. Then, a few months later, there I was.

When I was 6, my world came crashing down when I realized those burgers and chicken nuggets I was eating came from animals. I immediately became a vegetarian. And it worked because I loved veggies even then… In elementary school peas were my favorite food and I enjoyed taking giant tomatoes to school for lunch and eating them whole like an apple alongside some plain romaine I’d eat out of a baggie as if they were chips (somehow I still had friends). Although I did love me some veggies, I also ate a ton of junk. Donuts, Cheeze it’s, hot pockets, packaged queso, frozen pizzas, little Debbie’s, cheese fries and mozzarella sticks from Sonic, cinnamon buns, sugary coffee drinks, processed fruit juices, processed cereals, spahjetti-o’s, pop tarts. I’d eat a vegetarian hot pocket with some watermelon or carrots (with ranch) on the side and thought that was a healthy meal.  Even as I got older and a little more “health focused” in college (I started working out and wanted to be in good shape), I consumed a TON of grains and soy. When you don’t eat meat and you don’t know better, you usually replace meat with bread or grains of some kind. The things I thought were super healthy blow my mind now.

As a pre-teen, I started popping NSAIDs every single day. I had back pain due to scoliosis that appeared seemingly out of nowhere at 13 and progressed very quickly during an already difficult time in my life. A few months after being diagnosed and turning 14, I had major spinal surgery to correct it (although it was actually so severe that even though it absolutely saved my life, I still have scoliosis today). While weening off the pain killers (that was a pretty dark time in itself), the doctors told me to just replace them with Advil or Aleve every time I felt pain. Actually you’re taught with back pain to take them BEFORE the pain – before it “sets in”. So of course you’re always anticipating pain and it’s not a great cycle to be in. For the next 7 years, I took NSAIDs every. single. day. It became a habit . Gotta get to it before the pain settles in. I started working when I was 16 and my jobs always involved being on my feet. This made by sensitive back sore even more often as I had no strength (I did basically 0 therapy, rehab or stretching) and down went the pills. It never occurred to me that this could be bad or damaging to my body. We’re taught that this is the right thing to do.

I also started drinking the summer before I turned 15 and starting doing some drugs after that. And off and on I’d tweak my back and get a Vicodin and/or muscle relaxer prescription fill from my doctor. After my little injury healed, I’d save up these pills and started abusing them. Along with Benadryl and Nyquil. I would take a frightening amount of these as a form of self harm. And eventually I was prescribed Adderall which I quickly learned makes you lose weight (I also had an eating disorder off and on since I was 13) and also goes great with alcohol (which by this time I was abusing heavily). It was all very, very self destructive. And I guess at this point, I knew that but didn’t care. The truth is this all didn’t slow down until I met my partner. For me personally, it got hard to hide secret drug abuse and an eating disorder when you’re in a loving relationship. Eventually we both grew up together, and the partying slowed down.

Oh, but I kept taking the Advil. Then Advil didn’t work anymore, so I took only Aleve. But then the Aleve didn’t work much anymore, so I took double the dosage. Until finally around age 22-23 I started getting debilitating migraines and didn’t know why. I was scared I had some kind of serious illness or disease and would cry often, not knowing what to do. Until one day after countless hours searching the internet, the google gods suggested it could be NSAIDs. I stopped taking them immediately and the migraines stopped.

I should go back a bit and also mention throughout my entire teen-hood, I was ALWAYS sick. Like, it was a known thing with my teachers and classmates. I had allergies, a small lung capacity and minor asthma. Also I got everything. Lots of bouts of tonsillitis and the flu meant I was on antibiotics at least once a year, usually more. I even got whooping cough one fall. I was given drugs for everything. Not only was I taking the things I’ve already discussed, but I struggled with depression and anxiety and in high school was rotated on many different things for that. I often complained of being very tired all the time and was even (without much thought or testing) put on a dose of narcolepsy medication at one point. No one taught me to look at anything besides popping these quick fixes. I was taught to treat the symptom, not the cause of it. It was literally always “there’s a pill for that.” I was never encouraged to ask questions, or look at my diet or lifestyle in any way.

And when my health “suddenly” collapsed in 2015 at age 23 during an especially stressful time, I wondered how this could happen… lol. I had been slowly killing myself for over ten years.

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