The Struggle that Changed My Life
12 years ago I got sick and was faced with making a drastic change to my lifestyle. I didn’t look sick and I could semi-function with pain medications; but any amount of activity caused me stabbing pain in my chest. Seriously. Hot-Poker-Through-The-Chest-type of pain. It was so bad that even just the simple act of breathing was painful at times. It was frustrating. The chest pain and inability to breathe put my life at a stand still until they passed. I had no clue what triggered them. There were the episodes of hyperventilating because my brain was telling my body that I was not getting enough oxygen. My oxygen levels were always within optimum range.
During this time I went to 12 doctors. 6 doctors believed I was truly sick – that is only 50%. 2 of the 6 doctors witnessed first hand my sudden hyperventilating state – one was an ER doctor and saw me off the gurney from an ambulance. Only four believed me and honestly wanted to help me feel better — 4. Four out of twelve doctors. 33%.
I was on 5 months of antibiotics with my doctors shrugging their shoulders. Not even my primary care doctor believed me and she implied that I was a hypochondriac when she couldn’t fix me within one month – and she was not the only doctor to do so. This was my struggle 12 years ago.
What My Lifestyle Was Before I Got Horribly Sick
Leading into that struggle, my healthy lifestyle was anything but healthy. Sure I worked out – I loved to run but how I fueled my body was horrendous. I loved eating at McDonald’s and Burger King. I filled body with chemicals, fake food, and junk. Add to that my job was at a high stress point. By high I don’t mean 2 story building and I could just take the stairs down – I mean rocket ship to the moon high – which is what I think triggered the perfect storm happening in my body from my poor lifestyle.
The Lifestyle Epiphany
I had to become my own health advocate. That is what caused me to search out alternative medicine and I scheduled my first appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND). My ND quite literally cured me within one month — something that 11 other modern medicine doctors could not do in 5 months. She spent time with me and discovered subtle symptoms that I did not attribute to being symptoms and after 1 month under her care my health returned. No more stabbing pain in my chest. I could breathe normally again!
She, also, taught me about food. I had chronic sinus headaches. My doctors always told me to take allergy medicine. My ND talked to me about food and how she recommends I do a food sensitivity test. I was skeptical — after all we have the FDA and all the food we eat is FDA approved — right?? I never thought about reading labels before – it never occurred to me that it was something I should do. After all what’s wrong with easy to make prepackaged food or even fast food?!
The test results showed that I react to dairy, soy, grapefruit, and eggs. Not an allergy, but a food sensitivity. Removing all the suspect foods changed my life! I went from having daily pounding headaches and reacting to everything in my environment to no headaches and being able to have pet cats. The doctor prescribed allergy medications stopped — saving me tons of money. To top it all off my energy levels improved with time.
12 years ago, 50% of our medical industry tried to degrade me to being another hypochondriac. Once medical conditions become apart of your medical record – you will live with that diagnosis for the rest of your life! I still fought. I sought out doctors that would listen to me and I found 4.
If food had such an impact on my day-to-day life what else could I do? This whole experience motivated me to work towards a chemically-free lifestyle and to be more conscious with what I allow into my body. I started with my food – buying organic when possible.
I Am Not Alone
The reality is I know I am not the only one. I fought and am still fighting for optimum health in my life. I have talked to so many people about my struggles since then and they have opened up to me with their own health struggles.
The medical industry is great at treating you if you are critically ill, but if you have a walking illness, such as, pleurisy (inflammation in the lining around the lungs) or costochondritis (inflammation in the sternum) it is a hard uphill battle to try to get better. I have spoken with many people after this experience that have had the same experience with the medical industry. Some are stuck in a rut and just want new insights – while others have completely given up!
I have tried a lot of alternative products since this experience. Since I know I am not the only one who haas struggled with subtle health issues I have decided to include this section into my blog. This really does lead to a lot of decisions I make during my day-to-day lifestyle.
It is my hope that by doing this I may help others avoid my pitfalls or improve their lifestyle and help them feel good about themselves. This is entirely my experiences and everyone is different, but maybe I can help give you a different perspective to struggles you may be facing.
Full disclosure: I have tried many products including Young Living Essential Oils, Beachbody, Azure Standard and Activated You. Please know that I have a YL membership (#10503974) and had a Beachbody membership. I have tried many, many things to the point of even making my own body care products. I plan on writing about all my experiences with those things. You can also check out my other blog posts on Quilting, Homesteading, and Painting.