out of the fog, part three;

out of the fog part three;

so there i was, a brand new mom, sleep deprived but so so happy. like most first time parents, all those hours spent awake and in zombie-zone got me thinking about what would be going in to the perfect little body of the child that was now our responsibility to raise and nurture. i made the goal of nursing for a year but i had no idea what i was getting into. [another story for another time. nursing isnt for everyone. and that whole thing about how its “natural”? baloney.] my main motivation behind that decision was looking at myself and wanting him to be as healthy as possible. i wanted the absolute best for him, like any parent does. so i decided: “if i can nurse, im going to nurse as long as possible.” we made it two weeks shy of his one year birthday- liam weaned himself naturally. it was a war [shout out to my husband for being our biggest cheerleader. we never would have made it without his support!] but we made it.

later we would find out how much i wore out my body by breastfeeding that long but it is a decision i will NEVER regret.

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the turning point: i was five months partpartum, liam was still waking every 2-3 hours at night and i was deliriously happy. but as the months went on i started to notice that i REALLY wasn’t feeling right. it wasn’t an emotional thing, it was physical. this is where doTerra comes in: a friend of mine in california posted online about her essential oil experience and offered to explain them more one on one when i asked for more info. at this point, what did i have to lose? we felt like we had tried everything. will was on board to give it a try so we placed our first order — and we haven’t looked back! the day our kit came, will had a horrible cold that had him kept him home from work for the past two days. melody texted some suggestions and within five minutes of applying peppermint to his sinuses, they were clear! he felt instantly better and continued to use them throughout the day. that night he slept great and went to work feeling almost 100% better. a few days later we used them to treat liam’s very first ear infection. our pediatrician was impressed and we were sold! i began diving into the essential oil world more doing research, taking classes and using them on myself, will and liam. it was a ray of sunshine & hope in a confusing, new time. [email me for the rest of our essential oil story. there’s so much more to it!]

at 8 months old, liam was finally sleeping 6-7 hour stretches but i was a complete mess. my vertigo had become a daily thing, i felt faint and nauseous all the time, and i STILL felt like i had morning sickness all day long. my stomach was constantly burning, from the moment i got up in the morning until i went to bed. since i was nursing, there wasn’t much i could do about it. i used my oils religiously and they NEVER let me down– but there was an underlying condition. something was wrong and it felt like it was getting worse. to figure out what it was, i had to keep searching. i was tired of having no energy, vision problems, freezing cold hands and feet, blood pressure that was way too low, ovarian cysts, night sweats, the list goes on and on…

my doctors in canada kept telling me i was just experiencing post partum symptoms and i was getting angry. the UTIs were still happening. the vertigo was debilitating. i was having episodes of suddenly losing strength in my legs and falling. i couldn’t leave the house even to go to the grocery store without thinking at least once i might toss my cookies right there in the cereal aisle. my sister traveled up to stay with us for weeks at a time that first year to help with the baby. there was no way this was “normal.”

finally, will had the idea to go back to my urologist in ohio and try his suggested treatment. it seemed logical to think that it all started with bladder infections so why not go back to the root of the problem? where it all started? it would mean a lot of change and hard work but we were desperate. my health was not only my problem but it was will’s and liam’s. that wasn’t fair to them. i decided right then and there i would do whatever else it took to get better. my family needed and deserved a better me! (as draining as the physical symptoms were, the daily emotional barrage of guilt was worse.)

so we arranged for health insurance in the states again and while waiting for january 1st for it to take effect, i began to take control and made some changes. first, i added magnesium to my daily routine after coming across wellness mama and her amazing blog. within a few days i felt better! next i tackled blood sugar regulation and learned all i could about proper food combinations and what super foods would benefit me most. with the help of a health coach who specialized in hormonal health, we built a protocol specially fitting my needs and within three months i was on my way to healing. when the first of the year came i began specialized treatments with a chiropractor, my urologist and pelvic floor therapy. i also began biofeedback treatments and worked with a functional medicine doctor– i really began to improve after that. i wasn’t back to old care free myself, but i was definitely better. finally.

fast forward to present day and i feel like a new person. do i still have weak days? absolutely. your adrenals take a long time to heal but as long as you are taking proper care of yourself, you have no reason to think they wont. i still deal with vertigo and low blood pressure on a daily basis but i am healing myself through nutrition, holistic remedies and self care. i am forever grateful to my team of doctors and healthcare professionals who have gone above & beyond by working together and working relentlessly to find my diagnosis. (more on that later.) my faith in God and His leading was my lifeline during these years. He truly was my arrow when i had no idea where to go.

-originally written in fall 2015

 

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adrenal fatigue is a very real struggle. there is a huge need for awareness, support and simple actionable steps to take when someone is suffering from a body in constant fight or flight mode. don’t give up! as a health coach, i am here to help those with adrenal burnout. i have been there. it’s in my rearview mirror. i was blessed with arrows in the fog and footprints in the sand and i am now on the right path, thank God. He has watched over me this whole time and He is enabling me to help you now.

 

there is still so much more to my story, but i will leave it like it is here. my recovery protocol was tailored to me, as yours should be you. do you have a plan? are you ready to take control of your health? lets work together!

out of the fog: part two

out of the fog part two;

to read part one of my story, click here.

 

by december 2011 will and i had a plan. we purchased health insurance for me in the states and i began to travel to ohio where i had grown up and meeting with doctors there. we would seek help from the well known health system in the states while continuing the search in canada as well. someone would had to know something.

i quickly found my urologist, an amazing man who specialized in long term urinary disorders and was the founder of some of the newest techniques in the urinary world. we worked together over the next few months to establish a baseline and discover what my “normal” was. there was daily note taking and experimenting at home with holistic remedies- something he was extremely passionate about. all of his patients got a crash course in holistic health at their appointments. (dr b was the one who helped me figure out what d-mannose was and how it could help me. i took my one teaspoon a day religiously and finally saw an impact on my UTIs.) this healthcare approach gave me a lot of control– finally, something i could do to help myself! i would travel home to canada encouraged and feeling a little less crazy. after about 5 months of this, dr b explained he had several methods he could try on me, but it would require multiple appointments a week and i would need to be living nearby to have access to his office for daily care, especially when an infection popped up. it was disappointing, but we couldn’t make the move, so we put him on the back burner as our backup and continued to look for answers.

in between appointments i spent hours researching and reading. having been introduced to the world of holistic health, i slowly became aware that i did have options. but decoding all of that info and figuring out what worked for me was a lot harder. i began to try different holistic approaches- acupuncture, chinese medicine, naturopathy, targeted chiropractic methods, yoga, EFT, NET and NAET. all of it helped- to a certain point. i would inevitably plateau at some point and the defeat would pour back into my heart.

during this period was when two women in my life blessed me immensely by being a sounding board. they had years of experience with similar journeys and were able to point me in the right direction and hold me up when i just couldn’t do it anymore. my immune system was still non existent, my periods were completely crazy, i was nauseated on a daily basis. sleep was a struggle, vertigo had introduced itself [wow! i quickly decided that vertigo was worse than the UTI pain. i still stand by that conclusion.] my marriage was strained, our future was questionable (we were told the kids we very much wanted may be either very hard or impossible for us to have) and we still didn’t know which way was up. i continued to constantly get sick with the usual seasonal bugs and miss out of life which left me feeling alone.

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what i didn’t know at this time was that my adrenals were burning out. they were almost at their endpoint but i didn’t have the knowledge and education to see that. i was working out, but not feeling the promised energy boost. i had changed my diet to gluten free and cut back on dairy but my digestive system was still a mess. i was taking all kinds of vitamins and supplements but they weren’t being absorbed. i was napping every day but bone deep tired around the clock. “good days” with family and friends was ALWAYS followed by a major crash. a simple sunday morning church service would leave me exhausted and dizzy to the point where i was bedridden for hours. i was 25 and still so confused. dr b’s procedures had shown my kidneys were stressed. i was bleeding from my kidneys into my urine and scar tissue was forming over my bladder and right ureter but we didn’t know why. that question hung over me like a cloud:

-why me? what did i do to deserve this? these were supposed to be the happiest years of my life!

-why the infections? why my bladder? why so many?

-why the weakened immune system and vertigo and exhaustion? wasn’t i doing everything right? i was eating better than i ever had in my life. i was working out and learning self care and following every doctor’s orders to a T. why wasn’t it working? why was i getting worse?

 

but the biggest question of all was: was i going to be sick, with no solid diagnosis, for the rest of my life?

 

 

then came our son. in april 2013 i discovered i was pregnant. while it was an extremely exciting time, i was secretly worried. would i be able to handle this? would my body be able to handle this?

let me stop right here and explain: at this point in my life, i wasnt driving much because of the vertigo. short distances were fine but anything longer than 30, 40 minutes was too much. will was leaving work early one day a week to drive me an hour across the border into michigan for my NAET treatments [one of the best decisions we ever made.]. it was about 3-4 hours per appointment and the required 25 hour recovery time included dietary restrictions and me being a complete zombie while my body began to heal itself. i often fell asleep on those trips home and would crash out for 10-12 hours at time.

it was spring, and i was trying to get outside every day. will had gotten me a puppy the year before so jax and i would take our daily walks and i would wonder why just the simple motion of walking was sending me into vertigo attacks. we later found out it was the wind affecting my inner ear balance.

but digestion problems were definitely clouding my days, the UTIs were still happening, and i couldnt work anymore. it was all simply too much.

my pregnancy was not fun. i wish i could say i enjoyed it but for the most part i didn’t. i threw up all along and he was very active which kept me awake even more. a UTI was found in my confirmation of pregnancy urine test at 7 weeks along. knowing my history, my doctor had it checked for group b strep, a test you don’t normally have done until the end of the pregnancy to determine if you need antibiotics during delivery or not. group b strep normally isn’t a big deal but ill forever be thankful for her running that test. –the bacteria count was off the charts and dangerous to the baby (and me!) if not treated. i was on double rounds of antibiotics the entire 9 months, usually amoxicillin-clav combined with something else. my numbers came down slightly but again, a special time and experience was ruined to me because of physical symptoms i couldn’t control. i couldn’t even explain it well to those who asked. however, my labor and delivery went fantastic and our little boy was born completely healthy and perfect.

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motherhood would renew my strength and determination and be the driving force when i felt weak. God knew that and He had already worked things out perfectly so that the next year would be the hardest one yet… but also the best.