Healthy Is Better Than Wealthy
I was way too busy to break out of my to-do lists each day to form any kind of self-care habits. In fact, I would even go so far as saying I was a workaholic.
I barely had time to stop to eat, so meals were always on the run between appointments from quick restaurants or drive-thrus. I never exercised. I slept very poorly.
When It’s More Than a Headache
Over the course of a few years, all of my unhealthy choices culminated into a major health crisis. It’s like my check engine light was on, but I just kept on driving!
I had known for a while that I had some autoimmune issues. I have a blood-clotting disorder called APS. (Antiphospholipid Antibodies) This one was responsible for all 3 of my pregnancy losses. This causes my blood to form too many clots.
I also have a couple of genetic markers for certain disorders. I am compound heterozygous MTHFR. Say what??
Basically, my body doesn’t methylate or absorb properly. This means that people with my condition are often undernourished even though they eat a fairly healthy diet. I also carry more toxins around, so I have to make sure to detox regularly. This mutation makes me more prone to stroke and cardio issues.
In addition, I have very bendy joints and weak veins and had a geneticist evaluate me for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. He determined that I had a somewhat mild case of hypermobile EDS.
I began getting daily headaches in 2015. I wasn’t sure of the cause, nor did I honestly care…I was too busy to listen to my body. I just popped a headache pill and kept chugging along. I just figured it was hormones or the weather.
In 2016, I got my first migraine. It lasted 32 days. No medications, not even prescription strength, helped to get rid of it. I finally had to take an entire week off of work to rest in a dark room. The migraine finally broke and went away.
In between migraines, I still dealt with a daily chronic headache.
In 2017, I began to notice my heart was racing constantly, even at rest. I had dizzy spells and bending over to pick things up off the floor left me in pain and unsteady.
Later that year a friend mentioned that I should get tested for POTS by a cardiologist. So, I did and I finally had an answer. I was diagnosed with POTS, which has symptoms of daily headache, chronic fatigue, and rapid heartbeat.
In December 2017, I had a sudden onset of intense nauseating head pain that I basically ignored – It was Christmas season, and I had to keep up with my to-do list. I’m a mom and I had a business to run. I didn’t have time for a headache!
On Christmas Day, I lost the hearing in my right ear, and in its place was what sounded like an airplane engine. By New Year’s Day, I couldn’t walk in a straight line sober! By January 2nd, I began having twitching spasms.
Three ER visits, 1 CT Scan, 1 MRI and 2 neurologists later, they FINALLY were able to give me a proper diagnosis.
I learned a few things that day that changed my life:
- The CT scan showed that my brain had begun to sag
- The MRI showed that there was no brain fluid around my brain to protect it
- My brain was literally sitting on my skull
…No wonder the pain was unbearable!
I was diagnosed with a spinal fluid leak and was kept in the hospital for 27 days.
I underwent 2 different procedures—entirely awake without being numbed. When I was released, I spent the better part of 12 weeks in bed to allow my spine time to heal and seal.
During my time bedbound, I began to formulate a plan for how to heal my body from the inside out. I read all about my conditions and the effects certain diets and lifestyles had on them. I wanted to give my body its best chance to be nourished, detoxed, and healed. I researched day and night for months.
This health journey landed me in the plant-based world.
No, I’m not a vegan. I occasionally eat fish and a little chicken here and there. But I cut out caffeine, most alcohol (I enjoy a rare occasional glass of white wine), dairy, gluten, refined sugar, and high sodium, along with most meat.
Certain foods even within my “allowed” list can still cause brain fluid to increase or decrease so I also have to be cognizant of that! It’s a lot to change all at once so I eliminated in phases over the course of a few months.
Let Food Be Thy Medicine
This major health crisis sent me on a long journey of self-awareness and spirituality, and it totally changed my life.
Living life, the way I live it now, with a healthier lifestyle and lower stress levels, is how I want to live the rest of my life!
I say NO to things that cause my schedule to be too busy.
I only take on a client load I can comfortably manage myself.
I do everything in my power to get a good long sleep every night.
And I make every possible effort to take care of this one body I was given. We don’t get a second one!
So, take care of yourself so you can be there for your little ones for decades to come!