Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My Journey to Health - from Chronic Illness to No Pain & No Meds

Towards the end of my sophomore year in college I started to get sick pretty often – I couldn't eat, horrible nausea, horrible pain.  And it progressively became an issue that was happening more and more often.  I was missing class, missing work, canceling plans with friends.  It was affecting my work life, my grades, and, unfortunately, some friendships.  Towards the end I lost a total of about 30 pounds – My 5’9” frame weighed a mere 95 pounds.  Test after test, specialist after specialist, brought no answers.  I had so much blood taken I wasn't sure how there could be any left to take.  ;) 

Finally, almost two years after going to the doctor initially, they decided it was my gallbladder.  No sludge or stones but it didn't seem to be working properly.  So they scheduled surgery for right after my finals week, May 10th.  And out came my gallbladder.  According to the surgeon it was off color and horribly scarred.  We were beyond ecstatic to have the problem solved.

Except it wasn’t.

Shortly after surgery all of my symptoms returned.  Back to more testing and another specialist or two.  This was the routine that had become my life.  Go to class on the good days, work (occasionally from home when I was having a bad day), doctor's appointment, trip to the hospital for blood work, doctor's appointment, trip to a different hospital for a specialized test, and so on.  

By October, only 5 months later, we discovered that I had what is called Gastroparesis.  Essentially, without using big words, my stomach muscles were rendered paralyzed because the nerves in my stomach didn’t work right.  I wasn’t really digesting my food which was causing nausea, lack of appetite, pain, inability to keep much down, and weight loss.  If we fixed this, we fixed the problem at hand.

The solution? A pill.

No more surgery.  No more testing.  I’ll take it! 

Well that pill caused some side effects and I ended up on two other pills as a result...daily (sometimes multiple times a day)...for the rest of my life.  And the kicker?  I still had some pretty bad days.  Yeah, I was back to life as normal for the most part, which was beyond satisfying.  And I gained all of my weight back.  But I still had horrible awful days on occasion – days where I couldn’t get out of bed because I was in so much pain.  And eating?  Well, forget that.
And I was reminded constantly that this was just the nature of the beast when it comes to chronic illnesses.  So I resolved myself to the fact that this was my life now and I moved forward.

My sister-in-law, knowing I was still struggling, mentioned this product she was selling that she thought might help.  Something called Greens from the same company that sold this crazy wrap thing she was talking about on her Facebook all the time.  I wasn’t interested.  Call me a skeptic, but I just didn’t think anything natural could fix the problems that modern medicine wasn’t able to.

Fast forward another year…or two maybe??  I needed some extra income.  So I decide to start selling this Crazy Wrap Thing as well.  I had seen how it worked for my sis-in-law as well as a couple of friends, so I hopped on board and decided that the first product I wanted to try were the Greens that I had so adamantly avoided before.

Just TWO days after our shipment arrived, I noticed a difference in my overall health.  And the energy!  My goodness!  It was like I was a whole new person!  The afternoon slumps were gone.  I no longer felt like I needed a nap while the kids I were watching napped.

But the best part?  After about a week, I felt better.  I hadn't had any stomach issues - which was a phenomenal feat!  I could barely go a day without some pretty intense pain or nausea or combination of the two.  Now I was at a week without any problems...and then another week.  At my next specialist appointment I was given permission to use my meds as needed instead of daily.  Over the next month, I used them once.  Just once.  My next appointment, I was given the clear to stop my meds altogether and to come back if I had any other issues.  I haven't been back.  Not once. 

Without a doubt, the Greens changed my health.  They gave my body the essentials that it needed in order to heal itself.  In just one short month I was able to stop taking my medicine completely – the medicine I was supposed to be on for the rest of my life!  I don’t have horrid days where I’m stuck in bed anymore.  And the only pills I take are vitamins!  My life is so much better.  I can't imagine where I would be today if I had settled in my chronic illness - sick in bed I suppose.  ;)

I just wish I had listened to my sister-in-law sooner.  :)

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