A lot can happen in a year. I knew that all along, but was still apprehensive to make the necessary changes in my life to be healthy. That’s all it was right? I was just unhealthy and that was making me feel old and frail. It couldn’t be anything out of my control right? I made poor choices which made my body weak.
I’ve been struggling to write this blog for some time now. I wanted to write a confident and motivational story about 365 days of healing my body. How far I have come in the past year and some of the defeats and triumphs of my lifestyle changes.
I got the idea for this blog on a good day. Now, a good day in my body and a good day in your body may be completely different. Remember the first time you tried a new sport? Like skiing or snowboarding, swimming or running or maybe your first experience with two-a-days at football camp? Now, remember the next day. You were achy and sore and found out you used muscles you didn’t even know you had. It hurt to move, but you suffered through the soreness to continue on.
That’s my good day. Occasionally, I will wake up and actually be relatively pain free, but it doesn’t last that long. So, on a good day a week or two ago, I had an idea to write about my healing process. Fast forward to this week as I try to write it. I’ve had a string of bad days and every blog I write comes out cynical and angry. Here are some of the things I have written this week:
“My body is failing me.”
“People tell me I look fine, but I feel like an 80 year old woman.”
“To everyone who thinks I am still lying about this, FUCK YOU.”
Not a whole lot of love and light going on in there. I lost sight of happy and healthy for a minute. I even told the guy I am seeing “sorry for being argumentative last night, being a dick is pretty much my only defense mechanism to pain.”
What the hell, Adelle. Get ahold of yourself. Before I start telling you what did work for me, let me tell you some of the things that didn’t:
Being negative towards my body
These were my first responses to sickness. Which began roughly 6 years ago. My fear came across as confidence in an egotistical push to manage my chaotic life. I hid from my symptoms. I didn’t tell many people of the number of doctors appointments I had, embarrassed that I didn’t see my friends going to the Student Health Center once a month.
About a year ago, I was hospitalized after a routine procedure and decided to seek out better medical help. 15+ doctors consistently told me “you’re probably just stressed, here take this.” I was prescribed pill after pill with no further testing, no blood tests for diseases and certainly not a second look at my lifestyle outside of how many drinks per week I had.
The ultimate question was one of the chicken and egg sort. Did I have anxiety and depression that was causing physical ailments, or was I anxious and depressed because I was sick and no one was helping?
I immediately booked an appointment with Denver’s top Immunologist and Lyme Specialist. I was sure that I had Lyme Disease, but no doctor would test me for it. I walked into this Immunologist and the first thing they did was take 36 vials of blood and did a 40 scratch allergy test. The only thing that came back, I had low B12 and I needed a retest on Lyme.
I asked why I needed a Lyme test redone, and they said “there wasn’t a large enough sample.” Upon further investigation, it had come back positive but they wanted to retest because of the false positive fail rate.
The western blot test for Lyme disease can result in a false positive 60% of the time. 60% of the time!!! Why do we use a test that is wrong more than half the time? It is beyond me.
I started doing my own research. Obviously doctors aren’t finding anything, maybe I can find someone who is dealing with something similar. Wow, was I surprised when I found out there are literally hundreds of thousands of people dealing with the same symptoms and issues with doctors, they are all “diagnosed” with something different and none of them are getting better.
Amongst the other tests, I had an inflammatory response test done to test 150 different foods for inflammatory responses in my blood. A few came back positive and I jumped at the opportunity to possibly change my lifestyle to make me healthier. I removed these foods along with other common inflammatories and began to see immediate changes.
Here is what did work for me:
Mindful movement- yoga, hiking and physical therapy
Travel and nature
Being grateful for my body
Knowing I am not alone
Many of you probably look at that list and go “yeah, diet and exercise are important to being healthy.” You’re missing the biggest points. Being happy, actively loving yourself and constantly thanking your body for being willing and able to participate in your life is what I found the most peace in. Diet and exercise came after the decision to respect myself.
Fast forward 365 days. I am still sick, but I am managing my symptoms and finding out what is causing more problems. I have taken my health into my own hands and made the necessary lifestyle changes to improve my ability to function on a daily basis. I am finding out that some of my symptoms are caused by body misalignment, others are caused by unhealthy eating, and some are still just mysteries waiting to be solved.
I dare you to ask yourself a question the next time you pull up to a fast food window, or decide to watch TV instead of go for that walk or the next time you call yourself fat in the mirror.
I dare you to ask yourself “do I respect me?”
On a side note, please go check out my friend’s art work by clicking on the link below. He took this photo on a short trip we took in college to Minnehaha Falls.