Some of my friends and family have suffered from chronic pain and disease. I wanted to offer some hope for those that are afflicted. My story. 2 1/2 years ago when I returned from volunteering in Guatemala I was hit with a very unusual and inexplicable head rushing. Major neck pain. Ulnar neuropathy. Knee pain as I’ve mentioned. Horrible fatigue. Arthritis in both thumbs. Depression. It all hit over 3 months. In October of 2015 I was diagnosed with Lyme disease (even though I had two negative tests) as I had been bitten many times by ticks and my symptoms presented themselves as classic Lyme. I was started on what ended up being a full year of heavy antibiotics (doxycycline) and other antibiotics, probiotics and supplements. I took north of 60 pills a day. I tried every practitioner imaginable. Acupuncture. Chinese medicine. CT scans. MRIs. Counseling. Body work. Rolfing. Meditation. Just sitting on my ass.
About August of last year I hurt my back so badly that I went to the ER and spent a week in bed and on painkillers. I was planning on quitting my job and traveling Italy with my best friends Joe and Jenny and my god daughter Elena. All was put on hold. I was really in crisis with no where to go.
I stayed positive with the support of friends and family. I examined auto immune clinics etc. Once I hurt my back I went radical and did 26 days (of a normally 12 day) elimination diet. Just to get a baseline.
I learned tons about my body, our food systems, and the lack of nutritional knowledge in mainstream medicine.
I got to see what it was like to be in our health care system. Spent over $40,000 out of pocket but felt lucky I had health insurance, a job, and no dependents. Not sure I would have survived.
When I went on the Elimination diet I (correctly) determined I didn’t have Lyme. I stopped the Antibiotics. Some of my friends are not as fortunate and still battling Lyme. It’s a very controversial diagnosis. Once you are diagnosed, it’s like a red letter on your charts. No one wants to see you.
The reason I’m writing all of this is to give folks in that space some hope. A year ago I had hand surgery, a PRP injection in my knee (another controversial procedure) and was basically told “over 50, your knees have no hope.” After the surgery and PRP, it was November, I could do nothing. Rock bottom. I canceled South America and again didn’t quit my job! Haha.
I went to Baja to repair. And did. I also met Pandora right before and, as I mentioned, she helped me figure the last nagging piece. My knee.
So as i continue on the second half of this incredible trip up to Everest Base Camp, just remember one thing. Do NOT think practitioners know it all. Seek help. Seek support from WHOMEVER you can. Reach out to me. Politic for a sane and fair health care system for all. And do not give up. Your body, with the right care and nutrition, has the ability to heal itself. And I am so grateful for every single person that has helped me. I attacked each affliction individually and won most of the battles. I’m living proof you can do it. Never in a million years, even as recently as four months ago, did I comprehend I could pull this off.
And the next two weeks will blow your mind if you haven’t been up here. Hope my pics do it justice!