There have been a few rather significant experiences in my life that have shaped how I reached this point. I’ll tell you why and how I decided to get here and about my journey along the way!
This is the first big one:
When I was a Junior in High School I was at a friend’s concert and a few of us were standing in the parking lot chatting when suddenly I felt very woozy and dizzy, a moment later I opened my eyes and I was laying on the pavement.
A few friends drove me home right away, I sat quietly with my head resting near the window the entire 45 minute drive home wondering what had just happened? My parents suggested I could be dehydrated and made me drink lots of electrolytes and I went to sleep.
The next day I woke up feeling fine and figured it was simply a fluke incident. Unfortunately later that day the same thing happened again and thus started a four year health journey that was not much fun.
Every few weeks or so I would have a day or two that I would feel terrible and sometimes faint or just feel very weak that I needed to sit down, if it came on suddenly enough I would essentially just fall down, lose all my energy, but still be conscious.
We started seeing doctors and specialists and doing many, MANY tests. One test was an EEG and they told me to stay awake ALL night and come in the morning so they could monitor my sleep. Well, all throughout the night I was near falling asleep everywhere we went. My wonderful dad tried so hard to keep me awake, taking me to 24 hour open places but oh my goodness I felt like I had never been so tired before in my life! I almost fell asleep on the floor of a Walmart – gross. Then as soon as they attached the 30 some little plugs to my head and laid me down in a cold hospital room I was WIDE awake. It seems like a massive oversight, right? Let me come in at night time when I am used to sleeping and am tired… anyway… There was even a month in college where I wore little electrode patches every day attached to a large battery pack to monitor my heart, yay.
The tests and the specialists were all inconclusive; that’s when the panic attacks started happening.
Every time I started to feel weak I would begin to panic and get an anxiety attack because I had no clue what was happening to my body, why it was happening or how to stop it and I was so tired of it. I HATED the idea that this was becoming a normal, expected part of my life. I had to tell my teachers and classmates that this could happen and to help me get back to my dorm room when it did. I honestly have no words to describe how humiliating it was. How embarrassed I got every single time I disrupted a class or event and needed to be carried away, to call my parents and tell them it happened again, to deny an ambulance when strangers would freak out because I told them I’d been through this so many times before. I became incredibly self-conscious.
My strong woman confidence shot down the drain every time I collapsed and it significantly impacted the way I saw myself, I began to feel worthless and ashamed.
Then my anxiety grew worse, I started to think that whatever this was, causing this to happen was slowly killing me. That maybe every time I felt sick it was taking time away from me on both ends. My hands would start to curl into a distorted position, my lips and nose would become tingly and numb and I had a hard time breathing and, at the time, I didn’t understand this was a panic attack, I just became more and more fearful of feeling this way.
As if the humiliation, physical pain and fear weren’t bad enough, people said some rude comments. “You’re faking this,” “You’re just trying to get attention,” “There are better ways to get guys to like you.” To the last comment, I sure hope so! Would I rather have the hot, strong guy help carry me than the girl half my size that makes me feel fat on top of everything else in this situation? You bet! Would I rather have the help and comfort of a close friend (girl or guy) than a stranger or acquaintance? Of course. But that does not mean it was for attention or to get someone to like me, that would be a terrible, terrible way to try and make someone like me. But the truth is no one knew what was happening inside my body, unfortunately that included doctors.
Then something happened. I went to Europe for a month (with a college class, my sister and dad) and felt great the nearly the entire time, what was that about? There was only one night that involved sugary alcoholic beverages that I felt questionable, a little drunk but also a little of this particular, familiar dizzy.
I later learned that in Europe, they do not put nearly the amount of preservatives and toxic bullcrap in their food as is allowed in America.
I returned from abroad and went back to my normal eating habits, not thinking anything of it, and immediately had incidents of collapsing again.
Then a bestie of mine told me about a Naturopath that helped her with her knee that kept swelling for no apparent reason. I decided why not give it a try, I have nothing to lose, except some money because Natural care is expensive and health insurance doesn’t recognize it as a form of health care. Nuts right? But I gave it a try and it changed my entire life.
I met with the Naturalist Doctor and she did a myriad of tests including a muscle reaction test. She would place different viles filled with supplements on my chest and test the resistance strength reaction of my arm to see what my body was deficient in. She determined I had a form of a parasite living in my intestines and a compound of other things that made me so susceptible to it. That freaked me out.
Most people can eliminate a parasite or live with one without ever having it affect them, but I had a weak immune system among other things that allowed it to thrive. Grosssssss. It was eating my food and taking my energy.
I had certainly never heard an explanation like this before but I was willing to go with it 100% if it might help me. She put me on a strict regimen for 3 months of 30 supplements a day and absolutely no gluten or sugar of any kind. Whaaa??? I thought I had misheard her, how can someone not eat gluten (I was like that’s bread right??) or SUGAR for 3 months??!
I have a severe addiction to sugar and this was extremely hard for me to hear. But I committed, I did it, for the full three months and IT CHANGED MY LIFE. Not only did I feel amazing and lose weight but it opened my mind to a different way of life and changed who I am as a person – I never had another “incident” again. NEVER.
I struggled with anxiety attacks for awhile after but came to learn what those were and how to control and calm them- and it has now been years since I have had ANY of these struggles.
For people who are familiar with natural health, you probably read my symptoms and immediately said “Change your diet!” but from 2006-2010 I didn’t know anything about food as medicine or natural healing.
I am fiercely grateful for this new perspective and new found health. This experience changed my paradigm; made me see life through different eyes.
Natural health is often referred to as “holistic” and that is a big part of why I love it. I know that no part of me is left out.
ps. Not totally sure what holistic is?
Holistic meaning “comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole” I believe this is how we must approach life and each other.
During college I studied many things but my degree was in Anthropology. Why you may ask? Because people fascinate me, because nothing is more interesting to me than how different varying cultures are and how they became that way. Because I love traveling and love being able to deeply and truly appreciate the country I am visiting. Because the idea of looking at someone or something holistically is the most valuable and important thing we can for one another. We are not parts of a whole, we are the sum of all our parts.
We take a HOLISTIC APPROACH FOR A STRONG MIND AND BODY.
Welcome to my journey, thank you for coming along for the ride.
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