Great Wall of China – May 2011. I was still amazed I was able to climb all the stairs & hills & still be standing.
If you’re just joining, here’s where we left off with the story.
Not really knowing what I was going to do after college, I eventually ended up moving to Appleton, WI just a few hours north to help start a church. My health was still a roller coaster ride of medications, infusion treatments, fatigue, and pain. As more medications had adverse effects on my body, I was quickly losing options. I was still getting several rounds of pneumonia and sinus infections during the winter months and was on high alert for sickness all of the time.
A year or so into the church thing, I was finally feeling well enough to begin some regular physical activity. Nothing more vigorous than walking, but after three and a half years, being able to walk a block or two was progress. I was still on way too many medications and had fallen into the medication domino game where you start taking meds to treat side effects of other meds.
THE SEEDS OF CHANGE
I don’t recall when it happened, exactly, but somewhere along the way my dad encouraged me to go see a holistic doctor down in Chicago one summer. The drives got old real quick. But, the visits I made to Dr. Mercola’s office planted the seeds that perhaps there was a better way to heal my body – things like real food and exercise and vitamins.
By March of 2010 I was miserable in every way. I wasn’t physically making progress because stress and unhappiness with my job were weighing me down. After months of resisting it, I decided to leave that job and ended up in Nashville, TN. That was a move that may have just saved my life.
CHANGE IS THE BIRTHPLACE OF NEW LIFE
I’m really not sure where I’d be today had I chosen miserable-but-comfortable over unknown and risky. While it hasn’t been easy, that dramatic transition has given me the motivation and space to do the work to get healthy. Not to get skinny or lose weight, but to become a whole, healthy person.
In the beginning, my health was still quite up and down. But, as I settled in, started researching how food effects my body, and eliminating stress, things slowly started quieting down. It was May of 2011 when I realized that I was finally on the road to healing. I was preparing to take a month long trip to China and went to see my rheumatologist to make sure everything was stable before I headed off to a foreign country. The lab results came back and I emailed him to confirm. His response was “Pick up your bed and go to China.” I sat and cried in a Starbucks as I read that.