I remember so vividly the day I decided to take my health into my own hands. I had just arrived home from a long day at work with the kids. My husband was away on a business trip and all the responsibility was in my hands. I was absolutely exhausted, my head was pounding and my body pains were intense. Moving was impossible because nausea and dizziness accompanied my headache. I had a debilitating migraine, chronic fatigue and chronic pain. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. It was going to be another afternoon where I just laid on the couch unable to do anything. My children needed me and I wasn’t able to move. My oldest Gabriel was around 5 and Lucas was 2. Gabriel spent the afternoon caring for me and his little brother. I needed time to rest for the stress and symptoms to diminish. I needed time for my migraine prescription to take effect. Gabriel brought me whatever I needed and watched his brother. He played with him and changed the TV channels to keep him entertained. They both were so well behaved and worried about me that it was heart breaking. Lucas came to hug and kiss me periodically and try to get my attention. It took some time for my migraine pill to take effect and looking at their sweet little faces broke my heart. I was laying on that couch close to 2 hours. Eventually, I had to get up and prepare dinner, even-though I was still excruciatingly exhausted. I managed to feed and bathe them pushing through my exhaustion. On these extra exhausting days, I would fall asleep with the kids right after dinner. There was no watching TV or alone time, I was just too drained to stay awake any longer. As soon as the clothes was prepared for the next day, I would pass out.
I knew that feeling this exhausted and drained everyday was not normal. The problem was my doctors didn’t always understand or believe it. They often told me its normal, you are a young mom with a career, it comes with the territory. They said its normal for you to feel tired and drained. But they just didn’t grasp the true extent of my extreme exhaustion. I was exhausted every day all day long and there is no way that is normal. It didn’t matter if I had slept 7, 8, 9, or 10 hours, I woke up exhausted and spent the day exhausted. This type of extreme fatigue is nothing like being tired because the baby didn’t let you sleep. This was beyond sleepless night and new mom exhaustion. This was beyond fatigue from raising an infant. This was something much more profound and I was determined to figure it out. I knew that all my health issues and symptoms were related. I knew that I had to find an answer. I knew that I had to advocate for my health. I knew that I wanted my body back.
What I didn’t know, was that it was going to take me many years of specialists, prescriptions and health struggles to get my answer. I went to countless doctors ranging from primary care, gastroenterologist, psychologists, pain specialists, neurologists, orthopedists, rheumatologists and geneticists. I am sure there are more specialists that I missed but the point is after endless years and tons of money on prescriptions and doctor visits, I was still sick. Eventually, I became “Sick and tired of being Sick and Tired.” I knew I wanted to be there for my children, enjoy time with them, teach them, play with them and be a fabulous mom. But the fact was to accomplish that I had to change my health fast because they were growing quickly and I wasn’t getting any better. The problem was I needed to put myself first to accomplish my goals and I had always put everyone else first. If I wasn’t a healthy mom then I couldn’t care for my children the way they deserved. I had spent years focusing on everyone else, my patients, my students, my coworkers, my children, my husband and my family. This vicious cycle of caring for everyone but myself was ready to spiral if I didn’t take action. I had hit rock bottom and I needed to climb out of the hole. It was me now or death. Sounds strong but true, if health continues to fail, symptoms and prescriptions multiply, then death is eminent.
In 2013, I finally took the leap. I decided that I needed to be my priority. I changed my diet by removing foods that were harmful to my body. I started seeing a homeopathic physician and undergoing IV vitamin infusions, immunoglobulin and treatments. I also started incorporating fitness into my weekly routine. I was still fatigued most of the time but my energy levels were starting to change. I noticed I wasn’t exhausted the entire day. I slowly felt like my body was coming back. Of course, the treatments became very expensive and I had to stop. I continued the diet, supplements and fitness regimen. I made sure that I had some alone time to relax periodically but my body was still in pain, exhausted and filled with other symptoms. I spent years trying to wean of prescriptions and tackle things with OTC supplements. I researched and made my own OTC regimen but they really were not working.
I knew that there had to be a better way. But I just hadn’t figured it out yet. I knew my body was missing nutrients to enhance my health. Thankfully, I had a friend that was about to share a revolutionary new concept with me and I was open to learn more. She told me about her Multiple Sclerosis and the supplement she was taking. She shared a video that would change my future. It took me 5 months of research to finally take the leap but I did. I am thankful everyday for her and finding my way to nutrigenomics. Nutrigenomics is the science of using nutrient-rich compounds to impact your genetic expressions. This revolutionary supplement activates a pathway in the body that enable your body to produce its own enzymes to activate your good genes. It removes toxins, fight free radical damage and supports the body for the daily assault of oxidative stress. The research showed me that oxidative stress was the leading cause of disease and illness. It impacts more than 200 diseases and is published in PubMed. I realized pretty quickly that Nrf2 activation was a good step for me to take. So, I started and was amazed. A week after starting Nrf2 and Nrf1 my energy levels were increasing, I was sleeping better and less achy. I knew it would take time to reverse the damage my body had undergone over these 39+ years, so I was patient. After 1 month, my energy and sleep continued to improve. Like anyone, stressful nights with less sleep would make me tired, but I wasn’t exhausted all day long anymore. Month by month my symptoms kept getting better. I knew after 3 months, nutrigenomics was going to be a staple in my life. My health journey, was far from over and healing was still progressing but I was finally on the right path. Over the next year, I realized autoimmune disease and chronic illness is a lifelong battle. I learned that tweaking and adjusting diet routines, exercise, yoga, medication and my supplements were essential. I learned to deal with flare ups and create a plan that worked for me. I am thankful that I achieved my goals, I reduced my fatigue and pain successfully. It is essential to advocate for your health and remember your health needs to be a priority everyday. It is also important to find resources and holistic health treatments that enhance your healing throughout your journey. I still remember the exhausted mom with excruciating pain but I am thankful I don’t have to live that way anymore. Now, I live my life helping others find their own health and stop the constant struggle.