There are times in life when we just aren’t listening to our bodies and they have to start shouting ENOUGH in our ears. It’s time to slow down, regroup and rethink the situation.
Last December, my dog got very sick. It was totally unexplained, but one day she just couldn’t stand up. She would fall over when trying to eat or go potty. We took her to the vet and she had a seizure. They called to have me rush her to the emergency hospital on the other side of Puget Sound.
She was diagnosed with encephalitis of unknown origin and was put on a round of high-dose steroids and we took her home to hope for the best. She eventually responded to the treatment, but I was exhausted. I had been so stressed out and worried about her and then, when things were getting back to normal, my body decided it had enough and started to shut down.
I had no energy. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep, but I was constantly tired. I had low grade nausea and everything in my body ached. I went to the doctor and she ordered every test under the sun and sent me home with instructions to rest as much as possible. I just went to bed until test results came back.
When results were back, my MD had found high cortisol levels, some elevated calcium and many other measures were just “off”. She ordered more blood tests, a CT Scan, an ultrasound, etc. She told me to rest in between appointments and we’d see what we found.
A week later, my husband took me back to the doctor for results. He never comes with me to the doctor, so I knew he had been worried by all the tumor talk. But, as usual, my tests were indicating no serious health issue.
I was given Xanax to reduce my stress levels and sent home to rest. And rest I did. Taking the Xanax, I was sleeping 15-16 hours a day and barely conscious for the rest of the hours of the day.
Was this my life? Was this the new “normal”? How is that acceptable? It’s not!
So I had to go back to the drawing board. I talked to some of my team members and they encouraged me to call a local naturopath and see what she had to say about my situation.
I’m pretty resistant to adding new medical team members because it always feels like an exercise in futility. They usually tell me the same thing – Your numbers are pretty much in range. Lose weight. Exercise more. YAWN. And despite assurances from people I trust, I was really reluctant to call.
But I did call and the doctor happened to answer the phone. We had a nice conversation about my situation and set an appointment for later that week.
She had me fill out an extensive intake questionaire and we discussed all the issues. She ordered a huge number of tests and assured me that we would figure this out together.
Dr H. was also the first doctor who ever took a moment to look me in the eyes and say “This must be so difficult for you.” I thought I was going to cry in front of a stranger. It is difficult! It’s awful. I wish I could do things that everyone else seems to be able to do, but the harder I try, the further back I slide. I am not asking to be a superhero, I just want to be able to participate in my life without having to go to bed for a week as a result.
Long story short, Dr H’s tests found a number of systems that were out of balance including my adrenals, my gut-bacteria and my thyroid. I also tested positive for high-levels of candida in my system, so that was a place to start.
Dr H referred me to a book to help me wrap my head around what was going on. The book was The Stress Remedy: Master Your Body’s Synergy and Optimize Your Health
In it, Dr Doni Wilson breaks down the systems that support your health and how any one of them being out of sync can disrupt the others.
I read the book, although I did sort of tune out once she started talking about a cleanse and her diet regimen because we were doing our own protocol. I had a clearer picture that self-care had to become a priority and I had to slow way down in my life and just do the things I am able to do. This meant asking for help, which is not my favorite thing to do.