*Continuance of “My Story” starting with Blog #1: When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…
Spring was in the air! The snow had begun to melt as April came around.
Spring is a season of change and new life. I was ready for a season of change! Warmer weather was welcomed! Warmth, in those last years while growing more ill, had proven to be essential in healing for me, so much so that I had thoughts about moving to a warmer state. But realistically, moving to a warmer state was not going to happen anytime soon.
My health was teetering on the edge. I was in constant severe pain. Death was lurking. I had done everything recommended to me by natural health professionals. Since I’d quit working with my former FMD, I currently wasn’t going to any specific health professional for my left side pain. I was completely on my own, but I did have Mom’s help. I was incorporating all the information that I, we, had learned in the last 5 years.
I was eating an all Organic food diet that was feeding my body nourishing nutrients. That was important and I knew it, and I felt good about eating in this way. Diarrhea was a constant battle of going 7 – 15 times per day. I battled hot and cold sweats daily. I was malnourished and pale, even though I ate healthy. Nausea and dizziness were present the majority of the time. I had no energy and was fatigued, desiring to sleep all the time, although that too was unrealistic since lying down was very uncomfortable for sleeping. The left side pain deep underneath my ribs was severe the majority of time. My abdomen was always bloated after I ate or drank anything. The bloating pressure increased the severity of the left side abdominal and back pain. My whole abdomen hurt and would cramp. The left side of my back hurt all the time too. It felt like someone was stabbing me with a knife. It was a searing hot, jabbing, pain that grabbed me deep inside, working outward. The pain was 3D, starting from deep underneath my abdomen, going straight through to my back. The pain in my back was about an inch or two from my spine, on the left side. In my abdomen, the intense pain was just off the center of my body, to the left side about an inch to two. No matter how much I tried to reach in and touch that constantly burning spot, I couldn’t reach it. Try as I might, I couldn’t access it. I would lean against the corner of a table, or use a Thera Cane(self massaging tool), in an attempt to reach it. Sometimes I would lie on a racketball and put all of my weight into the ball. In one last attempt, I would use my fingers reaching under my ribs, attempting to access that deep burning spot. Finally, I would give up, enduring the hot searing pain within the deepest part of my being. It was so exhausting.
There were times when I couldn’t touch my left side of my abdomen. That was mostly when I was really bloated, and my abdomen hurt because of the bloating pressure. Sometimes Mom would put a hand on my abdomen when I was in pain, only to have me grab her hand to take it off because even her very gentle touch hurt.
Headaches had been constant for a couple years now. They’d gotten so bad that at times I just wanted to be in a dark room. Given my line of work, this worked out conveniently because I worked in a dimly lit therapy room. However, I knew that I needed sunlight too, so I opted not to spend time in a dark room besides while at work. Every day I would go outside. Sometimes I’d close my eyes, letting the sunshine warm my entire being.
My breathing was shallow and my frame was small and slender. I had been able to maintain some of my muscle tone by doing a very simple workout. Some of my symptoms had been getting better, subtly in the last couple years. Other symptoms had only gotten worse. I was gassier and more bloated than ever. Together, the two made all my abdominal and back pain worse. My body was exhausted from the fight that was going on deep within.
I still felt like I was existing, not really living my life. At times when the pain got so bad, it took all my energy to bear through it. I was having a hard time handling the pain. There were nights I would go to bed praying; God, if it’s your will I’m ready to come home. If it isn’t your will, help me Lord, because this pain is more than I can tolerate anymore. It hurts Papa, really bad. Help me, heal me, and show me what I need to do. Lead me in the right direction Lord. Let this be your will, not mine. Give me the patience to endure this fight. I trust you and have peace knowing you know what’s best for me. Thank you for hearing my prayers Papa. You know my heart. Help me, please!
Towards the end of April, 2015, while Mom and I were at work, I was working with a client and Mom was doing some computer work between clients coming in and leaving. We’d done a lot of research on natural health remedies in recent years, so we both received emails and articles from various organizations, holistic doctors, and a few chiropractors. Mom had checked her email while at the shop one particular day during this time, deciding to read an email from Dr. Tom O’Bryan(Dr. TOB). In that email, he shared how his good friend, Christa Orrechio, was launching a second group for one of her programs called “Gut Thrive in 5(GTin5)” to be starting in June of 2015. Both he and Christa had a short video they’d done together about the program.
Mom, more curious about the GTin5 program, watched the video since there was a link to it on the email. That video gave a broader information about the GTin5 program. She then googled and researched more about Christa by going to her website: TheWholeJourney.com. In doing so, a different short video about the GTin5 program was there with only Christa. Mom learned that the GTin5 program had been able to help a large group of people through a 5-step plan to eliminate inflammation, leaky gut, and the pathogenic overload on the body that causes them(parasites, yeast/fungus, protozoa, bad bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, and other toxins.) This program was transformative for people with chronic autoimmune or digestive disease like Hashimoto’s, Lupus, Crohn’s, Colitis, IBS/IBD, and Fibromyalgia, and also crucial for those with skin conditions like Eczema and Psoriasis.
The first video Mom had watched with Christa and Dr. TOB, talking about IF the GTin5 program is right for you, had gotten Mom’s attention. While she’d watched that initial video, deep inside her heart she knew the program was what I’d needed for my abdominal pain and digestive issues. She couldn’t explain WHY, later, but she just knew. When I’d come out of my therapy room after working with a client, Mom looked up from the computer, her eyes twinkling. Curious, I walked around to her side of the desk. She stopped the video, turned and looked me in the eyes, then said, “You’ll never guess what I just found! It was in an email from Dr. TOB.” Her eyes twinkled with hope!
“If I’ll never guess why don’t you just tell me then.” I chuckled.
“I don’t always open emails from Dr. TOB, but for some reason I opened today’s.” She then proceeded to tell me about the GTin5 Program. “I’ve already watched an informational video of Dr. TOB talking with Christa, the founder of ‘The Whole Journey’, who designed the program.”
“Okay…” I replied, listening intently.
“Kelly, I want you to watch the very first video that I watched. It’s about ‘IF the Program, GTin5, is right for you’. I know the information will resonate with you.”
“I can do that but not until late tonight, or tomorrow night after work.” I replied.
“Kelly? Please, make time to watch it within the next 24 hours. Enrollment for the program ends the middle of May, unless it fills up before that.” Mom stated. “I think this program is exactly what you need, Kel. With all your digestive issues and abdominal pain, you are a perfect candidate for it. Watch the video and find out for yourself.” She smiled, encouraging me.
“Okay. I will Mom. Thank you!” I smiled and hugged her as my client came out of the therapy room.
My heart didn’t know whether to believe that there was actually something out there to be able to aid in healing my digestive issues and abdominal pain. I had tried so many different avenues of healing that didn’t bring the results that I had hoped for. Could this possibly be something that could help me? From what little Mom had told me, the GTin5 program sounded too good to be true.
Later that evening I watched the video. Mom was right. The program sounded like a perfect fit for me in my ill state of health!
That weekend Mom and I together looked through Christa’s website. Christa is a clinical and holistic nutritionist and leading expert on gut and immune health, who created the “Gut Thrive in 5” program for all of those who have struggled for years with autoimmune disorders, infertility, SIBO, constipation, bloating, brain fog and endless other symptoms but could never find a diagnosis or solution. We read people’s testimonials who’d gone the GTin5 program, read more details about the entire program. I was beginning to see the reality of possibly healing through this Gut healing program! This could really be an influential factor in helping me be free from all my digestive and abdomen pain. After our research session, we both left the room with our own thoughts for a time.
I had to make a decision within a few days. Mom and I talked in great detail about the program later, how it could help me. We shared our opinions and thoughts we’d been thinking about the last few days.
GTin5 is an “on-line program” available(still today) only through “The Whole Journey”. We learned that there was a specific diet to follow depending on what group(of four groups) you were put in based on a (lengthy) ‘full digestive health assessment’ to figure out the root cause of an individual’s imbalances. The program included eating an all organic diet with weekly meal plans, including grocery lists, recipes, required supplements to purchase and take during the 10 week program, lots of material to read and food preparation to do, and more! These aspects of the program weren’t all new ideas, so I knew it wouldn’t be a huge problem for me. However, I would definately need some help from other people. I can’t do all of the things required here completely on my own.
Mom had been thinking about doing the program with me(which I didn’t know) since she’d found the information. It wasn’t until she voiced her thoughts before I signed up, saying, “Kelly I’m going to do this program with you.”
“You don’t have to do that, Mom. Really. I’ll be fine. You don’t have to.”
“No, I don’t HAVE to. I WANT to. Yes, I’m doing it for you… but I’m also doing it for me.”
“Are you sure you really want to do this?”
“Yes, I’m sure. I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days. I’ve made my decision and I’m doing the program too.” (Another example of Mom’s willingness to walk alongside of me so I didn’t go through this alone.) In all my years of having to change my diet, no one besides my Mom(until this past year, my brother did for himself) had ever been willing to change their diet, even if it was only to help me. Mom, whom had gone to Dr. R many years before I had, knew how hard it was to not only change a your diet, but in addition to being around other people eating foods right in your own home that I couldn’t eat, how difficult that is. We’d both dealt with that already! Mom would be very helpful in grocery shopping, cooking, and helping me to learn how to make meals in a completely different way. In the last few years, Mom has been eating many of the same meals that I eat.
I was thankful that Mom wanted to do the GTin5 program with me. It is easier when someone does something WITH you, not just cheering you on. I was glad we decided to both do GTin5 together! At that point, I literally had nothing to lose in regard to my health. In my eyes, this was my last chance. Whatever is going on deep inside my body is slowly killing me. Mom and I both knew that. If this program doesn’t work, it will only be a matter of time.
It may sound like I was suicidal when I say “It would only have been a matter of time”, but truly, there was NO chance at all I was going to kill myself. NONE at all! I was respectfully, and responsibly, having to face the reality that death was a REAL possibility. And if my health didn’t change soon, it would had been only a matter of time. So, this GTin5 program? Well, for the first time in many, many, months something just felt RIGHT in my heart. I truly had HOPE!