This photo is of me at the base of a steep climb in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This was a climb I was convinced I couldn't do. I had been very ill, unable to do most activities of daily living without support. I had been suffering from uncontrolled Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, made worse by an unknown leaky gut! Since 2011, my health had spiraled out of control. I was struggling to eat most foods without severe reactions. I was in chronic, widespread, debilitating pain. I stopped working in 2014 when I suffered a major cytokine storm. This led me to specialists in Gainesville at UF Shands and at Mayo Clinic. I eventually found myself on 13 prescription drugs and oral dose chemotherapy to modulate my rogue immune system. During this time, I dove deep into my side passion (nutrition and health). I enrolled in courses to better understand my body and what was happening in there. I was determined to not be my diagnosis and to climb out of the hole I had seemingly fallen into. What I would learn over the next few years of intensive study on the immune system, autoimmune disease, integrative and functional nutrition, is it took decades (likely my lifetime) to get my body that messed up and to be in such a place that in my early 40's, I could hardly function.
So here I was, on my 10 year wedding anniversary trip. A trip I was scared to death to take as I had not eaten meals outside of my home and I had not traveled to unknown places without bringing my own food and planning ahead for the worst (anaphylaxis and the ER). But my hubby knew better. He knew I needed to disconnect from my illness, my appointments, my specialists, and I needed to get grounded in nature and live in the moment. He took me away to Asheville for our anniversary, but really, it was to help me heal. He wanted me to disconnect from my "sick routine" and get out of my own way. I was in tremendous pain from fibromyalgia and had much difficulty eating without suffering from grade three anaphylaxis due to my mast cell disorder. He brought me to a farm-to-table community, a Bed and Breakfast that catered to my special needs, a restaurant that was 100% gluten-free and he took me on hikes in the forest where we could just exist and be together with no distractions. And on this day, he planned a climb.
At times I felt like I couldn't push myself, I was afraid (my fear of heights didn't help either), but my sweet hubby taught me living in that fear was adding to my stress which was increasing my inflammation and helping me to stay sick. He reached down to grasp my hand, looked me in the eyes and said, "Come on Babe, you can do this!" I grabbed hold of his hand and pushed my fear aside. I let him guide me every step of the way and when we reached the top and looked out over the wilderness, I realized my fear could have kept me from seeing such beauty. My fear could also keep me trapped in my illness. Fear is a liar! I had to let fear go and embrace the climb... all of the climbs that life was bringing me. It was a fabulous anniversary trip. I learned many things about myself. It was this trip that changed my mindset about what I could and couldn't do and for that, I will always be grateful!
You are only stuck if you believe stuck is the only place to be!
This climb, was not only a real-life, in the moment challenge, it was a metaphor for me getting myself up out of the hole I had fallen in and climbing above my challenges to the other side... Now in my 50's, I am better than I have been in decades, likely my whole life!
Throughout my healing process I have done several things consistently... ⭐Never became my diagnosis ⭐Searched for root causes ⭐Believed in myself ⭐Challenged myself ⭐Prayed often ⭐Tried new approaches ⭐Self-care ⭐Holistic therapies ⭐Asked for help ⭐Kept strong faith ⭐Found my tribe ⭐Sought more education ⭐Never accepted failure
Having an autoimmune condition didn't define me, I wouldn't let it. I kept researching and advocating for my own health until I figured out how to reduce my symptoms, pushing things into remission. Discovering and addressing leaky gut was paramount to my success. I also had to address the following: 🔥 SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION 👉Until you learn to reduce inflammation in all areas of your life, you are not likely going to get disease or conditions under control. 👉Finding out what's fanning the flames of your inflammation is key... What is triggering your symptoms? - toxic relationships, toxic foods, toxic environment, toxic beliefs... 👉As a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach trained in Functional Nutrition, I can help you take a deep dive into your issues, your lifestyle and your diet. Together we will figure out your triggers and set the stage for reducing inflammation and attempting to reverse disease. ☎️Ready to feel better? Want to make lasting changes? Need support? Give me a call and let's get you on the road to recovery, to transformation, to optimal health! 💓 #autoimmunedisease #inflammation #intestinalpermeability #leakygut #leakybrain #healthyhabits #advocate #foodismedicine #mcad #fibromyalgia #histaminedisorder #foodsensitivities #glutenrelateddisorders #nonceliacglutensensitivity #rootcauses #certifiedglutenpractitioner #holistichealth #holistichealing #faith #tribe #mindset #vibrantwellness #missionwellness #HealthCoachForYou