*Continuance of “My Story” starting with Blog #1: When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…
In mid November, I meet my new Functional Medicine Doctor(FMD) that was referred to me by my Chiropractor. As Mom, I, and the FMD sat together in his office, he asked me many questions. The questions were virtually the same as the ones I’d been asked in the past, “How long have you had this left side pain? Where does it hurt? What are your symptoms? How are your bowel movements? Are your periods regular?” Etc. etc. etc. After a good length of questioning, he had me sit on his examination table. It was time to have my vitals checked and have my abdomen palpated. I was NOT looking forward to that.
As the FMD palpated my abdomen, I resisted the urge to tell him, “STOP! It hurts!” He needed to do his job to figure out what was going on, so I let him. I held in my reactions as best I could to the very real pain from the uncomfortable pressure.
“Does this hurt here?” he’d asked.
“Yes. It hurts.” I replied. A couple times I grimaced as he ever so gently palpated. Even his gentle touch hurt.
After the palpating the FMD had us go back to his desk sitting in chairs again. He stated, “Nothing feels abnormal. I think I’d like to do 3 tests giving us insight to the problem of your pain.” He proceeded to tell us about the 3 tests: A Comprehensive Stool Analysis Test, a Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth(SIBO) Breath Test, and a Food Allergy Test. “These 3 tests will be helpful to expose a possible bacteria overgrowth, parasites, H-Pylori, Candida, an under or over abundance of good and bad bacteria’s, Salmonella, and a number of other things. You can do all but the food allergy tests from your home,” the FMD stated.
Mom and I agreed that I should do the 3 tests he recommended. So, he went to the front office, grabbed his package of goodies and came back in. Then he said, “I’ll send these tests home with you,” while he opened each one up for us to see. Next, he explained exactly how to do the SIBO Breath test, and made clear how to do the other. “When you complete the SIBO Breath test and the CSA test, then you send the specimens via pre-paid Fed Ex express back to the labs I use so they can test them. The third test you will need to have blood drawn at a local clinic, then they can send it to the Lab I have labeled on the packaging for that text packet. Once I get all the tests back, then we’ll go over the results next time you come back, in 3 weeks.”
The FMD had also recommended nutritional supplements, which I purchased before we left the office. We were there for over an hour. As I walked out of his office I thought, Alright, I’m finally going to get some REAL answers from these tests! I’m truly going to find out what is going on inside my body.
I knew I had Leaky Gut. The FMD had confirmed that during the first part of the appointment, saying, “Kelly, your diet is absolutely amazing! You’re eating organic, fresh, whole foods! No processed foods. No Dairy. No Grains. No sugar. You obviously have many indicators(symptoms) that point to Leaky Gut, but you ARE doing all the right things to heal the Gut.” My daily diet consisted of vegetables, a few fruits, a few servings of meat, homemade soup, and homemade bone broth. The FMD knew that what I was eating wasn’t the reason for my left side pain. “There’s a deeper underlying issue for the left side pain,” he’d said.
I started taking the nutritional supplements and other “aids” I had purchased that day. Just like every other time in the last 2 years when taking them, some of those “aids” being “detoxifiers”, they made me feel worse(bloated, increased tension headaches, searing abdominal pain going straight into my back, and A LOT of gas). This time was no different. If I knew anything, I knew that I needed to take the supplements even if I felt worse. Over the next 3 weeks I had some really, really bad days. For the most part, there were no positive changes in my symptoms, only worse.
JE November 27th, 2014
I’m so very pale. I’m utterly exhausted all the time. I’m so weak and all I want to do is sleep. I know that I can’t do that though, because I need to stay moving. I need to try to keep my body temperature stable, try to get stronger and utilize that muscle I have so that they don’t atrophy. This is really getting hard on me. I feel like I’m slowly sinking and can’t grasp the surface of what is really going on inside my body. Help me Papa, give me the patience and strength to go on.
Pictured above is our homemade Bone Broth before straining, right after cooking for 22 hours. YUM!
Mom started making Bone Broth in 2014 when Dr. R had told us, “Homemade Bone Broth is easy to make. There are different recipes, according to preferred seasonings. If you want to make your own, find a recipe that works best for you AND your body. I will send you home with some recipes. You can find more on-line. Organic grass-fed beef bones or Organic free-range chicken carcasses are the base for bone broth. Use clean filtered water, the best you can find.”
Chicken Bone Broth is what we make. We use body cavities, necks, and already cooked bones from other meals of roasted chicken and then freezing them. “Chicken feet makes the Broth even more nutrient dense from the extra collagen in the feet, which is great for intestinal healing of Leaky Gut.” Dr. R had told us. She’d continued, saying, “Bone broth is historically proven to aid in healing of Digestive issues, Allergies, Immune System health, Bone and Joint health, Brain health, and Skin conditions.”
As we began daily consuming Bone Broth at home, Mom didn’t care for the taste, but she drank it anyways. Over time, and cooking it with extra ingredients such as more vegetable scrapes/peels and cooking herbs, she grew to like it. I liked the taste of Bone Broth from the start, but I grew fonder of it as time went on. We add Ghee(Clarified Butter- no Dairy in it) and Coconut Oil to help promote healthy brain function, weight loss, reduce brain fog, reduce the risk of developing Dementia and Alzheimer’s, and to over-all help our bodies function optimally. We also add Sole(saturated Himalayan Sea Salt we make in a jar) and extra Collagen powder(in a non-invasive processed form) to each morning cupful.
As we continued making B. Broth we learned that Collagen, found in bones, the joints, and the feet of chickens, contains “gelatinous matter.” Collagen is the substance that holds our whole body together! Not only does Collagen give skin a beautiful glow, it strengthens and makes it more elastic. And, it replaces our dead skin cells, reduces wrinkles, revitalizing skin from the inside out! Collagen promotes better digestion, stronger bone and joint health, healthier hair and nails, reduces the speed of aging(Mom thinks THAT is important at her age), gives greater flexibility and mobility to our bodies, improves sleep and brain function, makes tissue repair happen faster, increases energy, and improves all around body function. Our bodies LOVE Collagen!
During the first year of drinking it, I often thought to myself, My health is changing for the better every time I drink this, even if I don’t see my symptoms changing. I believed that my health was changing, simply by sipping on this daily hot drink. To this day, Bone Broth is a morning staple we choose not to miss. My brother and grandma drink it daily too! Grandma makes hers from scratch herself and shares it with a loved one. I’m so proud of my Grandma for doing that, and for my brother who takes the time to drink it daily too.
Bone Broth is like our “morning coffee”. We can kick-start our day with this nutrient dense drink, helping ourselves to heal from the inside out.