Wisdom is in the journey.
Being the daughter of a surgeon and an O.R. nurse, I grew up with the certainty that modern medicine could cure anything and everything. As a child I struggled with asthma and allergies, was frequently ill, and seemed always to be slurping down some grape-flavored liquid. I never really "got better" but I came to believe that for every ill, there was a medicine to fix it.
The panic attacks began in my twenties. I saw a specialist who prescribed Xanax and sent me on my way. Psoriasis appeared in my thirties. I went to see a dermatologist (several in fact) and added a collection of steroid creams to my medicine cabinet. On the cusp of forty, I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (an inflammatory bladder condition) and was in constant pain.
Angry at my body for betraying me for so many years, I felt lost, alone and helpless. When surgery and medication failed to address my pain, my doctor said to me, “There is nothing that can be done. This won’t kill you but you will die with it….you should probably join a support group”.
That was the moment when everything stopped falling apart….and fell into place. I looked at my doctor and knew he was right. He had nothing to offer me. He was no different than any of the doctors who had prescribed me various pills, creams and inhalers over the years. Not one of them tried to get to the bottom of my symptoms. Not one of them looked beyond their medical specialty to consider that all of my symptoms might be connected. Not one of them ever truly saw me as a whole person. I knew I had to take control of my own health and to stop just treating the symptoms.
I studied nutrition and herbal medicine. I went to acupuncture school. I found a wonderful naturopathic physician who helped me combine the best of both western and eastern medicine. In 2010 another piece of the puzzle fell into place….I discovered I have Celiac Disease. (Yep! I was one of those "silent Celiacs" who never have the typical GI symptoms). I learned everything I could about Celiac Disease, gluten sensitivity, gut health, leaky gut, autoimmunity….you name it. I got certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® and became a Primal Health Coach. I became a certified Gluten Practitioner. I developed a meditation practice to help reduce my stress and I started making my own personal care products and cleaning supplies in order to reduce my body burden.
My journey has taught me that my health is the expression of everything that makes me unique; genetics, childhood trauma, food choices, sleep habits, exercise, stressful events, habits of thinking and feeling….the list is endless.
And though my health isn’t perfect, I can honestly say it is transformed. I no longer have interstitial cystitis. The anxiety and panic attacks are gone. Asthma and allergies are a thing of the past. And psoriasis flares are mild and manageable with diet, exercise and meditation.
My message to my clients is simple…and what I wish someone would have said to me thirty years ago…Your symptoms are not problems to be medicated away. They are the body’s way of letting you know that something deeper is out of balance. Together, we can stop the cycle of chasing symptoms, get to the root cause of your health issues, and reclaim your vitality.