Sunday, August 26, 2018

Mourning Myself- dealing with chronic illness

Hi Babes! Obviously I don't get one here much lately. I've been dealing with a lot health-wise and just haven't been able to bring myself to post anything for quite a while. After I was sick, I planned to do a post sharing my story, but after a while I just got so exhausted with all the appointments, talking about it, thinking about it.... I just couldn't bring myself to do it. The gist of it is that I haven't been feeling great since before the Holidays last year. I ended up in the ER the week or two before Christmas with vertigo, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain. Everything checked out ok for the most part. Just some minor things that I've since addressed. I started feeling ok a couple months later, but never really got back to myself.

Fast forward a couple months and I end up with an ear infection (haven't had one since I was a child), and was put on antibiotics for weeks. I actually hate going on them because of all the things they can do to your gut, but the pain was bad and I couldn't hear out of one ear, so there was no way I was chancing anything. Shortly after my second round, I got Shingles. And everything went downhill from there. After being on antivirals and my shingles started to clear up, I really got sick. My throat swelled up and felt like I had the worst case of strep throat in my life. Every lymph node in my body swelled. I had headaches, vertigo, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, could barely get out of bed and was the most sick I had ever been in my life. The Doctors didn't know what to make of it and with all the questions they were asking me, with a tiny bit of fear in their eyes that they couldn't hide, I knew Lymphoma was on the table. Luckily, that was not the case!!

However, since I had been reading Medical Medium on my holiday break, Epstein Barr came to the front of my mind. Thankfully, the Nurse Practitioner I see is amazing, and after pressing it, she added an Epstein Barr panel to my battery of tests. It turns out, I was correct. I had Mono in High School, so I knew I had a past infection, which did show on the panel, but I also had a current active infection as well, which seemed to turn into Mononucleosis. And before you think that you can't get Mono twice, or even shingles twice, you absolutely can - I'm living proof of that.

Armed with a wealth of information from Anthony William (the Medical Medium) I started on his food and supplement protocol. I eliminated all of the virus-feeding foods, and took most of the supplements or teas he recommended - Berberine, Monoluarin, Oregano Oil capsules, Vit C, and my typical vits, and also Lemon Balm Tea. I got my infection mostly into remission. I say mostly, because as of late, I'm not feeling well again and I don't know if it's due to the infection being mildly active or from the damage it's done. Constant exhaustion, headaches, hair thinning and loss, and weight gain isn't fun.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. The part where I feel sorry for myself, as well as anyone else out there battling chronic invisible illness. I mourn for myself. I mourn for the old me. The woman, who just a year ago, was able to run 30+ miles a week, and was able to  do plyometrics and lift weights several times a week, every week. The me who was in the best shape of her life. And now, I'm lucky if I can even come home from my part-time job and do something other than getting in my bed for a nap. I'm sad. I'm angry. And I don't know why things like this happen. I've always been a person that is passionate about health. It's just not fair. But I know deep inside that I'll figure it out. I'll rally and start making appointments again, start getting all the tests done, and I will get to the bottom of it. I'm thankful that it wasn't something worse. My heart breaks for anyone that has major health battles. I know how this feels, I can't fathom something worse.

And at the very least, I hope my story helps someone going through the same thing realize that you aren't alone. There are many of us with these viral issues and with autoimmune diseases that they cause. I hope that any bit of information, from the things that I did to get better or just sharing my story, could possibly help someone else. If you are someone struggling, I strongly suggest you read Medical Medium. Anthony is not your average Health advocate. However, he knows his stuff and I've done the research to back up every bit of information in his books. Even if you don't follow his entire protocol, the main points being followed like I did, can be a huge help. Push for the tests you need, research optimal results (not just the lab results), and be your own advocate. I can't stress this enough!

I hope you don't mind me feeling a little sorry for myself. Some days it's just not easy. But I'm thankful for the self I do have and I'm hoping this all will pass some day. Just know, if you are going through something similar - I'm here for you. Leave me a comment, reach out to me on Instagram, or shoot me an email! There's strength in numbers and we can support each other!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Getting Real - Purity vs. Balance

Hey Lovelies! I can't believe my last post was October!!!! Where does the time go?!

I know, I know.... I always start my posts off that way.... But in all honesty, it's been a really rough year. I came down with my second case of shingles last week, after a really really long run with severe stress. The crazy thing is that I wasn't always such an anxious person. Many years ago, I was. But in the last several years, I was pretty zen. I never got stressed out over anything and was basically a living yoda. So what happened? Life in all its gritty glory is what happened. In January 2017 my Father in Law was diagnosed with Lung Cancer, and to say it rocked our world is an understatement. That year was such a blur of heartache, sadness, and stress, that I almost forgot anything else that happened in that period of time. Add in every day life stresses - raising a teen boy, financial commitments, vet bills, things in the house crapping out, then you just have a recipe for a nervous breakdown. I don't think I ever got to that place, but I got close.

Anyway, I think so many months of constant stress just took it's toll on my body and I came down with a really bad case of shingles. So bad, in fact, that I've been on bed rest this entire week. And what do you do when you're on bed rest? Other than catch up on reading and Netflix bingeing, of course. You think. And you think a lot! So I've been thinking about the last couple weeks and this blog and really just pondering what I'm all about. This is where I get real, get raw, and get honest. Going through what I went through, what so many people go through every single day, really puts life into perspective. 

Recently, I had some conversations with some friends on Instagram about being a Purist. If you're not entirely sure what being a Purist is, it basically means someone that lives their life completely chemical-free. Like nothing, nada, zilch. I am by no means saying there's anything wrong with this! Not at all. If this is what works for you, that's amazing!!! I once strived to live this lifestyle, but I realized that it just doesn't work for me. I may or may not have mentioned before that I'm a perfectionist. It's something that can serve me well professionally, but not well at all in my personal life or for my mental state. Years ago, I attended IIN, which I absolutely LOVED, and don't have a single regret about doing. However, the reason why I don't currently practice as a Health Coach is because of my perfectionist personality. I could never eat, sleep, and breathe Holistic Health. It would make me a very unhappy human. As much as I love this lifestyle, and know that I have a lot to give the world as far as helping others live a healthier life, I choose to try and do it through this blog. I tend to get obsessive with the lifestyle and am really working on balance at this point. For me, it's necessary for living MY healthiest life. Does that mean I don't recommend IIN or other programs? Absolutely not the case. That really depends on you and what you want in life and is really a whole other post. But if you're someone, like me, that tends to obsess and worry over every little ingredient, what it might be doing to you, etc, that might just be a "rabbit hole" you don't want to venture down. Just sayin. 

So what does this all mean as far as me and this blog.... Nothing really has changed. My lifestyle really hasn't changed for the most part. I still use and love green & clean beauty. I just don't stress about some preservatives here and there that a Purist might avoid. I have a lot of sensitives and allergies to foods, ingredients, chemicals, and even completely natural and organic components. So honestly, when I find a product with mostly organic ingredients, but doesn't contain something like chamomile, for instance..... I'm severely allergic to chamomile by the way.... and it's in EVERYTHING!!!! So if I find something that's mostly natural, but has phenoxyethanol in it, I will use it and if it works well, I'll recommend it. I've learned to be ok with that. It's my truth. But I do worry about coming off authentic to all of you. That is something that's very important to me. I didn't always venture out of the Purist realm and I'm not going to be using any conventional products, ever. But I want to make sure that I'm always transparent with all of you. Which brings me to the perfect example:

Recently in my quest to try out some conscious beauty products, I jumped the gun and got involved with a nail company. One of my biggest gripes is that when I paint my nails, it always chips off so quickly. Especially because I've always used many of the green beauty brands. Think 100 Percent Pure, Pacifica, etc. My little digits have been looking rather haggard lately, and it finally drove me to try something that wasn't completely up to my standards as far as ingredients. But being that it was 8Free and 1 ingredient shy of being completely clean, I was ok with this, because it was such an innovative product and solved a lot of issues for me as far as painting my nails. After doing what I thought was my diligent research, I jumped in, and starting using the product, starting a new Instagram account (which you won't find now because I deleted it), and even recommending to my inner circle. When the product was on my nails, I loved it. I ignored the sensitivity in my nails, the rashes I was getting when I scratched my skin with them on, and the irritation I was getting on my fingers. I thought "I haven't used anything but Clean nail polish in years, maybe I need to adjust". Until I started reading about many others experiencing the same exact thing. 

Have you ever gotten so excited about finding something new and something that you thought was really this great thing that you kinda whisper to the world about it, and ignore that little inner whisper inside you telling you that it might not be a good idea? Yea, that happened. I'm a human, what can I say. I make mistakes. But I will never ever compromise my moral standards or integrity and recommend something to any of you that I wouldn't use on myself, or on my own family. On this occasion, I may have been a little late to the party as far as listening to my inner voice. But I realize now, and can promise you that moving forward I won't jump the gun on myself. I can't always promise pure, but I can promise safe!!! I'm not here to bash any companies, and I recognize that this product might be ok for many others out there. I just happen to be one of the many that had an issue, unfortunately. And because of that, I cannot recommend them to you!

This will always be a place where I share my healthy & SAFE options, but will never be place for preaching purity or making anyone feel inferior for their lifestyle choices. I may have been guilty of coming off this way in the past, I don't know. If I have, I apologize. I just want to help others live a healthier lifestyle. Whatever that means for you. 

Oh, and if you have any recommendations for a good "green" nail polish that doesn't chip off after  days, please send them my way!!!