My wellness journey really began back in 1986 when I made the decision to start living alcohol free. There were lots of things that lead up to this decision, but one that I remember the most was a simple picture. (which I don’t have anymore!)
I looked like a boozer. My face had the flushed look of a young woman who spent too much time at the clubs.
It wasn’t pretty.
Taking that first shaky step was the most important thing I ever did for myself. As it turned out, it was the last one I ever had to do alone. Anything that’s positive in my life today is because of that decision I made 32 years ago.
My recovery journey has taken lots of twists and turns. I had a lot of inner crap to wade through. But I’ve learned a whole lot about balancing mind, body and spirit along the way. Managing the stresses of special needs parenting while wrestling with my inner demons took a toll on me and years ago I began to suspect I had autoimmune problems.
In 2010, I was diagnosed with cervical dystonia, a neurological movement disorder similar to Parkinson’s disease. I was in devastating chronic pain and desperate for help.
That’s when I found yoga. I could only start with basic chair yoga but little by little, I began to inch my way back.
Over time I regained my mobility and some normalcy but it was always a thorn in my side. I felt like I was on the sidelines and unable to function like the rest of the moms around me.
Just because you have one chronic condition doesn’t make you exempt from getting anything else. Last December I started noticing some abdominal pain when I was doing yoga. My initial gut reaction (see what I did there!) was that something was very wrong.
Still, it took me a while to get to the gastro and finally to the fateful colonoscopy that confirmed a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis in April of 2018.
This is some scary stuff. I have pancolitis, the form of ulcerative colitis which affects the ENTIRE large intestine. Which explains the pain I was getting under my ribs..and here I was worrying about liver problems.
My Wellness Journey
As a special needs mom, I had some familiarity with the GAPS diet and was able to source a few things right away. Seeing pictures of fellow Crohn’s & Colitis sufferers in the hospital made me scared to try to do this holistically, so I reluctantly took the two week course of prednisone and then began the course of meds and hoped for the best.
Despite my continuing on GAPS, some of my symptoms got a little more distressing.
Like incontinence. Sorry, I’m too young for this.
This last weekend after crapping my pants for about the 20th time, I decided to go off the meds. (Be assured that I have a gastro and a primary doctor that I won’t hesitate to use if things worsen!)
Am I scared? Yes. But I know via anecdotal evidence that many Crohn’s & Colitis patients were able to do this holistically and get rid of most, if not all, the meds. Nutrition, stress relief and cannabis can go a long way.
Doing My Research
I’m not against traditional doctors at all. You need the diagnosis, the tests and at times, the meds, the antibiotics, the traditional treatments and the surgeries.
But many times they just send you off with a bunch of expensive prescriptions with frightening side effects with no real answers.
I’ve learned to network with others and find out what works for them. I follow what some might consider sketchy alternative health social media pages.
In this day and age, you have to become your own advocate.
The learning is never going to stop.
Moving along..yes, I’m a little scared. But if things begin to escalate I know I can get into my doctor’s office right away. But so far I’m slowly feeling better OFF the meds than I was ON them.
And I did check the formulary for what the next meds to be considered are. They cost from hundred to over a thousand dollars.
That’s motivation enough for me!
Disclaimer: As always, I like to remind my readers that I’m not a health care professional, just a graduate of the School of Hard Knocks. I’m only sharing my journey. Always consult with a trusted health care professional before making any life changes.
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