Been a long time gone (or, why my brain hasn't really been functioning)

Yup. Forever. Once again, how long it took me to post. Not entirely my fault (some Blogger alternate universe loophole is that trying to access Blogger through Chrome means you no longer have a dashboard or any way to get to your blog. GOOD TIMES!) Technology is amazing. Except for when it doesn't work. Which is almost all the time in this house.

I digress.

I have been meaning to post about our fun little 8 week journey with a 3 year old in a full body cast at the height of the summer due to a broken femur. We found some fun tricks that helped us survive and not deal with the dreaded enema/ constipation nightmare that is typical of full body cast life. I will write this post one day. Hopefully in the near future.

Today, however, is reserved for the fun detour my health took and all the ways it made me a ball of stabby anxiousness.

So let's just jump right in, shall we?

For starters. People ask (and honestly I have contemplated this late at night too) "If you only eat organic, mainly non processed foods, and use all natural cleaning/ hygiene/ medicine products, why on earth are you so sick all the time?" This is the 6 million dollar question, friends. And though every body will have a different answer to this question, the overall reason is this-  because I am more in tune now with my body than I have ever been. I have cleaned up and out nastiness from years of chemical use on and in my body. So now, when I'm feeling "off", I try to solve the underlying issue, instead of masking the symptoms with more chemicals. Quick example. I used to have the absolute worst heart burn. My gastroenterologist put me on a prescription in a purple bottle (it's been a while and I'm totally blanking on the name of it). It helped for like, a week. And then it was even worse. I read up on it and realized that taking that pill daily was making the heart burn worse because it was blocking my body from making the acid necessary to break down foods. However, my body knew it needed acid to break down food with, and so made even more acid to make up for what the pill was blocking. A hellish circle of heartburn. So I started taking Braggs apple cider vinegar. And within a week, was feeling relief. Now I don't suffer from heartburn at all. (I don't understand all the science behind why something acidic like vinegar heals the heartburn issues. I don't science) So when the average person feels like crap, and the doc prescribes something that really only masks symptoms, down the road they could end up discovering they have cancer. Or an autoimmune disease. Or have a stroke. It feels like it comes out of nowhere, but maybe it's been building up all this time, little by little. Dealing with health stuff the way we do it sometimes means I'll feel real shitty for a while, but I'll be able to clear out whatever garbage is happening in my body, hopefully avoiding it getting to a serious health crisis place that's hard to cure.

There were a million and one things in my BO (Before Organic) life that I not only was able to deal with, but looooooved. Fabric softener, perfume, windex, scented candles, febreeze. Now, if I get a whiff of that stuff, it's instant pounding headache. Once you kick chemicals out of your life, your body does NOT want them back in. I happen to be ridiculously sensitive to all of it, but every crunchy person I know is the same way.

So, on this large scale overview of my body- I was starting to feel like utter garbage, and finally decided to get to the bottom of it.

From January 2017 through September 2017, the whole family was on a gluten, wheat, egg, peanut, chia seed, green pea, cashew, and watermelon free diet. We sent in a blood test for my son, which came back that he was highly intolerant to all of those things, plus a few other random ones. It was a huuuuuuuge change, and not well liked by any of us. We mastered it after a while, and boyfriend did  well on the diet. We finally started re-introducing those foods back in and he was fine with all of it.

I, on the other hand, was tanking fast.

I had stopped nursing boyfriend in June. And after 6+ years of either being pregnant or nursing, with no breaks, my hormones went ape shit. Off the walls insanity. My moods were uncontrollable, my period and ovulation were a nightmare (1 week of vomiting and constant nausea for period and for ovulation.) 2 full weeks every single month where I was completely non functioning. I had gained weight on the Asher diet, and felt awful every single time I ate. Those gluten free flours do not do well in bodies that don't have a gluten intolerance. Definitely more harmful than helpful.

And the surprise. My anxiety kicked it up into high gear. Looking back on my life, I realize that I've had low grade anxiety always. I never realized this. I thought it was totally normal to poop 12 times before you left the house to go anywhere, or always get nauseous when you have conversations with people (even friends and family). Or that everyone jumped straight to "they must have gotten in a car wreck and are lying on the side of the road because I called a half hour ago and still haven't heard back from them" (did I mention that I'm a sheer delight to be married to?) Suddenly, what was once my fun little quirk to deal with became crippling. It absolutely got worse after my back injury, mainly because I couldn't physically run after my kids and I have a son who's sole purpose in life is to run away from us and hide. But I still managed to meet up at a park every once in a while. Or take them food shopping. I stopped taking them or myself anywhere outside of our house without the hubbs. Which obviously put a ton of pressure on him. It didn't help that in the midst of this nonsense, he started traveling a ton for work. In the middle of September, he had to fly to Seattle for a week. I got my period, was literally throwing up as he was leaving for the airport, and I just started to spiral. My head and my arms went all tingly and numb, I couldn't really take deep breaths, and I showed girlfriend how to dial 911 and wrote down our address so she could spell it out for them if she couldn't wake me up. It was B A D. I called my mom and begged her to get on a plane and fly down- and she did because she is a saint and has a seat right next to Jesus saved for her. I called my friend Shannon and asked if she could come hang out with the kids until my mom got there, in case I passed out. And these are BIG STEPS for me. I never ask for help. It physically pains me to ask for help. This situation was dire. I really thought I might be dying.

Turns out, that's a panic attack. I had no idea. I truly believed that I would not be able to take care of my kids by myself. I could barely get out of bed. It became pretty clear that I needed to get to the bottom of my health issues, and probably start some counseling as well.

I set up an appointment with Merge Medical Center, which is a holistic center that tackles all sorts of stuff. They take a lot of tests, but it gives you the whole picture of what's going on. I also scheduled a Brain MRI, on the off chance that there was something going on since I have a blood clotting condition and my headaches and numbness and dizziness were freaking me right out.

A stool test, Bio scan, consultation going over every single thing that's every happened to me in my entire life, and 4 gallons of blood later, it turns out that I was a mess. I was in some serious adrenal fatigue- so every tiny little thing sent my fight or flight response into complete nuclear meltdown. My hormone levels were jacked up (I made zero estrogen the day they took my blood, which is pretty abnormal for my age). And I have a lot of infections in my gut and large intestine, and no good bacteria in my gut at all. It was no surprise then, that I was constantly feeling nauseous and panicked and moody and stabby. It was also clear that this was not gonna be an easy quick fix. The amount of supplements and vitamins I am taking, along with avoiding all sorts of random foods that were contributing to the near constant dizziness I was experiencing, is a little overwhelming, to be honest.

However. I'm seeing improvement. Every month, each period gets better and better. I have been able to take care of the kids while hubbs has been traveling without a panicky meltdown. I've been getting acupuncture to try to kickstart my hormones, and it has been fabulous. My body is starting to be able to handle heat again. Which is good news for my family, who wasn't particularly enjoying our 60 degree house in the winter time. (It still doesn't go above 65, because I'm part polar bear).

All this to say, it's been another crazy year here in Charleston. It certainly has not been uneventful down here. But I'm beyond grateful that there is a place like Merge, that looks at your entire health system to diagnose you. There is SUCH a strong bond between gut and mental health. So many functions are affected when your gut health is not up to par. Which is why we just took boyfriend there for a workup. I have a feeling we're gonna find some garbage in his gut. And once we get that cleared up, I think we'll see huge improvements in his speech and sleep habits.

If we're real lucky, maybe he'll stop always trying to escape. One can dream.


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