*Continuance of “My Story” starting with Blog #1: When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…
JE November 18th, 2013
I’m frustrated, tired, and weak. I’m nauseated a lot of the time. I was told from Dr. R that the state of my Liver is VERY bad. Basically, it is on the verge of collapsing. Wow, I’m too young for this. Lord, give me the strength to go on because I certainly can’t do this on my own. I don’t know the exact reasoning as to why I’m going through this Lord, but obviously you have something bigger and better in store for me.
While working with Dr. R there were a LOT of changes that needed to be made in my life. Some of the changes were easy, and others a little more time consuming, and maybe even difficult or patience testers. None the less, her guidance and direction was appreciated.
I was eating my 4-6 cups of steamed greens each day. I was eating fully cooked hot foods that were cooked to the point of mushy, as she’d told me to. I liked not having to chew my food but I won’t lie, mushy food eventually got old. This was mind over matter, and I did overlook that aspect most mealtimes. I ate homemade soup once per day. Truth be told, I’d actually remembered saying to Mom one day at lunch in my last year of high school, “I could eat soup every single day.” Little had I known that years later I would be doing just that!
In addition to eating hot foods, Dr. R had recommended eating spicy foods and food with spices, meaning jalapeño peppers, red pepper, horseradish, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper. These spices were intended to address my sluggish metabolism(despite my physical appearance being very thin, which was partly due to being malnourished). Cayenne Pepper has a property called “Capsaicin” in it. Capsaicin increases heat in the body to burn more calories per day. I needed heat inside my body. Each of the spices suggested could, and would, help me in different ways.
I had completely quit exercising just prior to my first appointment with Dr. R because I didn’t have the energy for it. Now she was telling me that I needed to move and sweat. Why? Because she said I had muscle dystrophy(muscle weakness and degeneration- break down of the muscle fibers). Since I didn’t have much energy to exercise, she said it only needed to be 15mins a day to begin with, then to gradually increase the time. Because I was so ill(and prior to this time, prone to over exercising) I needed to find balance. Each day I would make myself do a short workout that got me to sweat. I’d remind myself of Dr. R’s words, “Sweating is important to help get rid of the build up of toxins in your body, Kelly. This will also help warm up your core body temperature.”
Another area that Dr. R addressed was my Liver that was on the verge of collapsing. To address this, I was not only taking herbal supplements but was told to drink Dandelion Tea every day. Truthfully I can look back and chuckle at some of my reaction to hearing things I was being told to do. Dandelion Tea? Who drinks that? Well, I learned to, and you know what, I actually LOVED it. In addition to drinking tea, I was instructed to drink warm water throughout the day to warm up me and to help in the gentle detoxing process for the Liver while taking supplemental herbs and D. Tea. Increasing my daily water consumption was important.
Green Tea was another tea that I was told to drink daily. Green Teas is loaded with antioxidants, is cancer killing, improves mental performance, and improves brain function(dramatically with some people). Truly, Green Tea is one of the best “go-to” teas I continue to drink!
Raspberry Tea was also a daily tea to help balance hormones, decreases inflammation, support faster metabolism, regulate hormones, boost/support the Immune System, addresses female reproductive health such as cramping before menstrual cycles and toning uterus muscles, and aided in preventing nausea and other gastrointestinal issues that I had. Raspberry Tea is loaded with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.
In addition to drinking various teas, I was started drinking store-boughten Bone Broth, intended to help heal the walls of my intestines from the damage done from Leaky Gut. I will talk about Leaky Gut more another time. I tried the Bone Broth for awhile, but found that due to certain ingredients(specifically for me, onion and tomato) in the pre-made broth, it was making me feel ill after drinking it. So, I stopped. Eventually, in a few months time, Mom embarked on the journey to making our own homemade bone broth. More on that later, too!
I quickly grew to enjoy my daily cups of tea. I also enjoyed the quotes and encouraging messages that some of the tea bag strings had attached to the bags. Tea gives me a feeling of “joy in the simple things” every day.
Having to drink daily cups of tea, and increasing my liquid consumption due to the supplements I was taking, meant there was no excuse for drinking or eating less. I admit, drinking and eating were a real struggle because they left me feeling even more ill. I was nauseated every day. Because my Pancreas was not doing it’s job in making Enzymes, I was taking supplemental Enzymes to help breakdown and digest food, and taking Swedish Bitters during meals to help activate digestive juices(bile, stomach acid) so I’d digest and ABSORB the nutrients FROM the food. I knew I had to eat and drink to live, so I did.
Mom was a big help in reminding me to eat and drink throughout the course of each day. She “had my back”, always. Mom also was a HUGE asset in making sure I was doing everything that I needed to in a day, encouraging me, and making sure I was eating enough. It wasn’t that I wasn’t hungry that I didn’t want to eat, it was the pain that came from digesting the foods that made me not want to eat. I literally had to constantly remind myself that I NEEDED to eat to get the right nutrients into me, that this is what I HAD to do to reverse my health. Some days were a real battle, and Mom helped to gently remind me and encourage me when I struggled. It wasn’t easy for me. And it CERTAINLY wasn’t easy for her to watch, being unable to take the pain away as I struggled. However, there WERE times that I had a good appetite!
The night sweats were addressed with a product called CALM. Calm is a Stress Management Supplement and is Magnesium based. It includes Vitamins B-6 and B-12, Folic Acid, and Chamomile and Valerian Root. Since I was magnesium deficient, and learned from Dr. R that a majority of Americans are deficient in magnesium(causing anxiety and depression) and we just don’t know we are deficient, then when I am/we are stressed we use more magnesium to calm ourselves. If we lack magnesium, we are actually causing more stress and inviting disease into our lives. Calm helped to lessen the night sweats, for a time, but they never went away completely. This product also helped to calm me, bringing a bit more balance to daily life.
One of the most influential helps from Dr. R that I was told to do was to keep a “Food Journal” of what I ate every single day. Furthermore, saying that I should write down how I felt after eating and any symptoms I experienced. This was actually something that helped her in our monthly appointments, to direct her as to what needed to be changed in my diet and what was working for me. Food journaling helped me to figure out what foods were and were not working/agreeing with me too, immensely. I continued FJ for the next 4 years, until I was truly well and healthy again(or for the first time ever).
Dr. R elaborated on the FJ, telling me that I needed to learn to “listen to my body”, to what it was telling me. “Your body, you, are your own best doctor… if you are listening to what it is telling you.” She was the one that really helped me to become more “in-tune” with myself, and listen to what my symptoms were saying. This has also helped to calm me, not panicking when I experience any kind of change that could cause stress, and is something that I truly cherish and appreciate to this day.
I’d too been told by the doctor to work on deep breathing, daily. I tried to do this, but honestly it didn’t work due to the even more severe pain on my left side under my ribs and around to my back, a 3-D effect, that resulted from trying to breath deep. This just wasn’t possible to do as often or as much as she(or I) would have liked.
I was doing everything to the best of my ability that I was instructed to do from Dr. R. Mom was my biggest cheerleader, walking alongside of me every step of the way. After my third monthly appointment with Dr. R, I wasn’t getting the results that I felt I should have at this point in time, and I was frustrated. I had things that I needed to say. Mom was going to get the brunt of my frustration…