It wouldn’t be appropriate to start a healing blog without giving you a brief history of my own healing journey. I was 13 years old when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease—I’m 31 years old now. I was born and raised in a tiny northern California community, 75 miles from access to any specialist. Can you imagine my limitations to healthcare options?
It took the doctors 2 months to diagnose the disease, and by then I was extremely ill. Because of where I lived, I had to travel an hour and a half to see my Gastroenterologist. My GI doctor immediately put me on steroids and pharmaceuticals. The medications helped mask the symptoms, and I started feeling better.
I was eventually referred to a doctor in San Francisco who was up and coming with the latest medical research. He put me on a biologic drug called Remicade. For those of you who don’t know what biologics are, have you ever seen those TV commercials advertising for Humira or Remicade? Towards the end of the commercial the narrator spends about 2 minutes listing the scary possible side effects. Back then there weren’t many of those commercials yet, at least not for this new type of medicine. In a moment of desperation, my parents agreed to give it a try. It would get my sick body into remission, right?
For a couple of years, every 6-8 weeks, I visited different hospitals and care facilities to get the drug. It’s given intravenously—through an IV—and it would take between 5 and 6 hours for the entire IV bag to drain into my veins. It was painful and would sting. I was given Benadryl to knock me out (more drugs!), so I was able to doze off uncomfortably while I waited for the medicine to finish.
Once I started college I moved to another city and found a GI doctor there. I was in remission so my new doctor took me off Remicade. Since the day I was diagnosed (up until 7 months ago), there were certain medications I took daily.
In the years to come, I battled with the disease. I would get sick and my doctor would prescribe a new pharmaceutical or antibiotic, or increase my dosages. Sometimes when I got well enough, I convinced my doctor to take me off the new meds and decrease my dosages. Throughout those years I was in-and-out of remission, and yet Crohn’s was always lingering like a computer virus waiting for its moment to attack.
I can’t tell you how often my family listened to my emotional pleas, crying and desperate for relief. It was messing with my mind and emotions. My moods were constantly up and down—tired, unmotivated, depressed—I had a mental fog hanging over me. And I was in physical pain. Have you ever had a constant pain that doesn’t go away? I was used to it and I dealt with it, but I didn’t want to accept it. I frequently declined invitations to do things because I didn’t feel well. Furthermore, I was often physically incapable of doing what I desired and loved most: traveling. I worried that I was becoming more and more socially isolated. Was this changing my friendly and outgoing personality? My mind craved to do things, but my body wouldn’t allow it.
Ever since I had been on medications, my liver showed early signs of sickness. During a checkup in college, a doctor found a nodule near my thyroid. A couple years ago, I suffered extreme headaches on either sides of my head. I had 3 surgeries in one year relating to Crohn’s. My wrist started squeaking and creaking one day, only to find out I had “arthritis.” I got a crazy rash attack on my face one summer. My hair and nails were fragile and weak, and my skin was dry. My weight was constantly up and down. And I was regularly sick with the common cold or flu. These were side effects and symptoms of imbalance in my body. My body was crying for help.
Eventually I got ill again, and the meds stopped working. My doctor’s only option was to put me on another biologic drug. I wasn’t going to allow that in my body again! So I became my own advocate. I found a Holistic Nutritionist, who I call my Angel. The minute I met her, I knew it felt right. After telling her my story the first thing she said to me was, “I can help you.” I burst into tears. Her faith in her abilities to help me was contagious, and I trusted her with my whole heart.
One year later, I’m happy to say I am in complete remission and off ALL pharmaceutical drugs! Never in my life have I felt better—physically and mentally. I’m not going to lie and say it was a walk in the park. It took dedication, desire, and a strong will. But I did it, I dove head first into the Alternative World of Healing and haven’t looked back since.
I absolutely love my new health protocol. And I feel good about what I put into my body. It has proven to work for me, without any terrible side effects. The only side effects I have are feeling better and better! And the side effects from the medications have since subsided and gone away. I took action, listened to my intuition and decided to do what felt right for me.
Why am I telling you my story? I want you to feel inspired, to take action and be your own health advocate! If you don’t like what your healthcare provider is telling you, get another opinion. Not all opinions are created equal. Not all health practitioners are created equal either. And not all practitioners listen and care about what you want. I want to stress this: It is important to find a healthcare provider who makes you feel good. Who listens to you. Who will collaborate and work with you. It’s important to find the right balance for you.
Finding my go-to person has been extremely rewarding because I trust her and I have a great relationship with her. She’s proven to me—as my current health status shows—that following her advice, my natural health protocol is working.
There is a ton of information out there and it can be difficult to navigate through everything. Which brand do I use? Which technique is best? Which product do I choose? All of the information we sift through daily can be overwhelming. I’m not here to tell you what you should do. I believe each body is different, and what your body is asking for may be different than what my body needs. But I will share the healthy things that I’ve done and have incorporated into my life which are working for me.
Eighteen years ago, Crohn’s Disease changed my life. But I’ve chosen to listen to my gut instincts—no pun intended—and do what is right for me.I promise my upcoming posts will be more uplifting. I didn’t feel right about starting this blog without pieces of my back-story. Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section or you can send me a personal message.
Now we can move on to all the fun, healthy stuff. What I’m doing to heal naturally…
I look forward to hearing from you!