For as long as I can remember, I struggled with personal health issues: bouts of severe “phantom” intestinal pain; chronic and debilitating allergies (we’re talking itchy eyes, nose, ears, throat, post-nasal drip and nose blowing that often called for a family-sized box of tissues every day — 24/7, 365 days per year); chronic bronchitis October through April every year; frequent colds and infections such as strep throat, asthma, acne and other skin disruptions starting in college and continuing well into my late thirties; anxiety; inflammation and weight gain despite “eating right” and exercising; chronic muscle and joint aches and frequent running injuries; lack of energy; irritability; brain fog; and an inability to concentrate on simple tasks. The list goes on.
I’m not gonna lie. Life sucked.
As a child, my parents just chalked it up to my being a hypochondriac and rolled their eyes, and the doctors said I was “fine”. In college, I was a frequent visitor to the infirmary, where the doctors either prescribed more antibiotics for my frequent infections or told me I was “fine” (there’s that word again) behind their polite eye rolls which betrayed their real feelings (“She’s such a hypochondriac!”). Into my twenties and thirties, the symptoms increased, and the doctor visits continued. Something was wrong in my body, and I needed help, but no doctor seemed to be able to help me, aside from prescribing more pharmaceuticals. The blood work, the CT scans, the ultrasounds … you guessed it: I was “fine.”
But I was not fine. In fact, I was miserable. I was in my thirties and taking several pharmaceuticals for allergies, asthma, anxiety and frequent rounds of antibiotics for infections. My face was covered with humiliating acne (Oh, the thousands of dollars I wish I had back for the lotions, potions, and treatments for that!), and I was STRESSED to the max with two small children, working full-time as a teacher, and living each and every day in misery.
The icing on the cake was a severe, 20-month health crisis from October 2009 through May 2011 that nearly led me to losing all hope. I went through the cycle of trial and error, from practitioner to practitioner, ranging from conventional medicine that included multiple surgeries, 21 rounds of hefty gut-busting antibiotics, MRSA treatment, and anti-inflammatory steroids. I was even sent to a world renowned hospital in Boston to see the “world authority” (insert sarcasm) on my condition. He merely offered more antibiotics, more surgery and a very cold bedside manner (some “world authority”!), in addition to non-conventional treatments and therapies, all of which focused on treating symptoms, but NONE of which led to healing.
All this was happening, by the way, despite living a “healthy lifestyle” by conventional wisdom.
By the end, I was clinically depressed and felt completely ravaged and hopeless. It seemed that I had tried everything, and ironically, throughout this process I had been working toward a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition from a well-respected university, where I was learning (and continuing to follow) the flawed approach to nutrition that has been making Americans fat and sick since the seventies. It was here that one of my professors, week after week, kept encouraging the students to read the information on a website that he couldn’t require as part of his course because the information went completely against the conventional wisdom that was mandated for accreditation! Finally, after many weeks of his pestering, I visited the site, which led me to dig deeper and deeper, ultimately empowering me to take charge of MY OWN health.
I made an overhaul of my diet and lifestyle, and I finally began to rebuild my health.
Throughout my health crisis, I had promised myself that if I got through it, I would turn my misery into something positive for the world. And so my quest began – a quest to bring empowerment to other human beings to improve the quality of their lives so that they can enjoy each and every day. Today, I enjoy my life symptom-free. I have boundless energy, I feel joyful and I participate in athletic endeavors that I enjoy.
I THRIVE, and I want you to THRIVE, too!
Today, my quest continues. I am always a student, continually seeking new knowledge and understanding in the areas of health and wellness, nutrition, and neuroscience. I read and research, attend conferences, take educational courses, and listen to approximately 7-10 hours of podcasts per week so that I can stay actively abreast of the best that can be offered to my family and my clients.