I've been fighting a battle for a very long time, trying to heal my body. The story is too long to tell in its entirety. I'd heal from one thing and something else would blindside me. Doctors scratched their heads, tested this, tested that, came up empty, until I was finally given a diagnosis of Crohn's. I opted OUT of the medicinal route for treatment, since all they could promise me is horrible side effects and a slow degeneration with surgical removal of my intestines piece by piece and a slow and lingering death. I thought I could do better than that!
I did. A year later, Crohn's was no longer diagnosable as Crohn's. I still had a finicky digestive system, and chemical exposures (even airborne) still had the ability to knock my digestive system out of whack for a few days to a few weeks at a time. But it was nothing like what it had been.
The chemical sensitivities, perpetual exhaustion, progressive muscle weakness, persistent obesity, degenerative liver and kidney function, nerve inflammation, and brittle bones that developed over the years continued to worsen. I wasn't even aware that I had compression fractures in my spine until I ended up in the ER with angina (heart pain), which was diagnosed as "inverse angina", or angina that occurs when you are at rest, and not when you are active. They did a series of X-rays, MRI, and some blood work. There were three things that stood out from that visit.
A blood test result that, by itself, pointed to one thing. Metabolic deficiency.
Compression fractures, not caused by calcium deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, or a diet low in protein or phosphorus. This is consistent with metabolic deficiency which either causes protein (collagen) deficiency in spite of a high protein diet, or metabolic dysfunction which causes lactic acidosis and phosphorus deficiency.
Are we seeing a pattern yet?
The third thing is the inverse angina. Generally associated with metabolic disorders.
I took that and ran with it.
Through a series of strategies I changed the way I eat, going back to older heritage meats, vegetables, and fruits. Less commercialized varieties. It seems the protein and carbohydrate and fat structures are different in them, enough so my body knows what to do with them better.
Things started getting better. I'd have a week or two at a time when I actually was able to get a few things done! I took up canning. I could get 1 canner load done on a good day. I started canning meals and meal starters. Not only could I digest my homemade food better, but when all I had to do is open a jar and heat it to get a healthy meal on a bad day, we were eating much better. That added to the healing momentum.
I figured out some of the things that were triggering flare ups. Started finding ways to avoid them (figuring out which local bathrooms were "safe" and did not have toxic air freshener).
Each little bit of progress is SO HUGE, and yet it makes such a tiny difference in my life to an outside observer. So I spent only 10 hours today in my recliner instead of 14. So I got up at 9:00 this morning instead of 9:30. Not much difference to see, but OH the difference I feel when I make a bit of progress.
- When suddenly I can do a thing that hurts, and it does not hurt as much!
- When I can slowly accomplish a task in a few hours that I could not do AT ALL for the last 10 years.
- When I learn how to make a new kind of food that helps me heal, and I can SEE the difference.
- When I go to bed after a hard day and I do not have so much nerve inflammation that I crawl out of bed an hour later with a screaming headache.
- When I can go up the stairs in the morning without having to stop every third step just to get my thighs to stop aching like I've run a mile.
- When I can go to sleep at night, without insomnia, or racing thoughts, or back pain that keeps me up half the night.
- When I can take an extra trip up the stairs during the day and not have rhabdomyolysis from it.
Just little things. Things I took for granted for so many years. Things that made me think I was lazy, because I could not acknowledge to myself even, that the reason I had stopped washing dishes is because it made my back hurt so much I could not stand it (now the X-rays show me that the pain was real - my back was literally collapsing on me from ordinary tasks).
And I am healing. It is oh, so slow. But it is oh, so real.
Like watching a flower bloom. In real time. So very slow. But undeniably making progress.
I want to shout and celebrate every time some little thing happens.
But nobody else gets it. Normality just doesn't allow anyone to comprehend what these little things mean.
Herbs, and food, and clean air, good water, and not pushing my body when it has nothing left to give.
It is not easy. And I could not explain to anyone else how to do this. I could give them a list of herbs, and tell them go pray about it. But I find my way through, every day, and use various herbs and foods according to my daily condition.
Maybe, just maybe, there is hope. Because if this can get better, maybe other things can too.
UPDATE: Six months later, I am still in recovery mode. It is still very slow, but I am now walking about 1-2 miles a day, most days. I could not do that even three months ago. For me, this is like seeing the bud on the flower burst.