The unknown truth about invisible illness is that people live with it everyday and those around them usually have no idea. You might see a girl with a big smile going about her day hiding the pain she is experiencing. Only those close to them truly know and understand their pain. Even loved ones have trouble understanding their pain. There are many conditions that fall into this category and ehlers-danlos syndrome is one of them. This is the syndrome that I have lived with for years and never truly understood until a few years ago when I went to see a geneticist. Some of the symptoms of this syndrome are chronic pain, chronic fatigue, digestive issues, frequent infections and skin problems. I was the poster child for this condition. I had every possible symptom except a heart condition. Thankfully that was the one thing I didn’t manifest even-though I did need to see a cardiologist because I had frequent fainting episodes. The day I decided to see a geneticist I knew that this expansive list of symptoms had to be related somehow and I was right. The sad truth is there is no cure or treatment for it. The most you could do is use natural alternatives, exercise, diet modifications and prescriptions to help control symptoms. I was sick of using prescriptions and had already started incorporating diet changes and natural alternatives to help me feel better. I had reached a point in my life that covering up one symptom with a prescription that caused another problem was not an option. I wanted to get rid of all the prescriptions and I was well underway by the time I saw the geneticist. She told me everything I was doing was perfect. She said to continue my diet and fitness routine, use methods of stress relief and stay hydrated. At this point I was far from healthy but my body was slowly improving day by day. I had lived with pain to the right side of my body for almost 20 years. I remember feeling excruciating pain on my right arm beginning in 8th grade. The pain and symptoms worsened into adulthood. By the time I was 30 my right arm was always numb and in severe pain. By the time I was 35 my right leg was also affected and became numb as well. Any episodes of less physical activity or fitness routine would make all the pain and numbness worse. So I focused on staying active and eating what I thought was right. I was far from truly understanding my body and the foods that were harmful but I had already identified gluten and corn as huge culprits. By the age of 39, I had undergone a bunch of surgeries and I knew that more were eminent if I didn’t find a way to heal my body. Then one day my friend Daisy, who has Multiple Sclerosis another invisible illness came back into my life. She was experiencing some of the same symptoms and had found some relief in recent years. She spoke to me about nutrigenomics and using nutrient rich supplements to impact inflammation in the body. I was absolutely intrigued but I had to research it for myself. I took several months to research oxidative stress and nutrigenomics to see if it was my answer. I also had to research the ingredients to make sure I could take it. You see with all my food sensitivities, I had to be certain before I took the leap. Then one day, I jumped. I was pleasantly surprised that my energy was improving within the first few weeks. My pain pleasantly was down to 5/10 from 8/10 within a few months. After 4 months my numbness was gone and my pain was under control. I started to truly understand my body and the right fitness routine for me. This state of less pain also helped me identify more foods that caused symptoms to arise. I had flare ups and injuries at times but nothing compared to the life of severe pain I used to live. I was finally happy in my own skin and able to enjoy the world. I no longer had to hide behind a fake smile. I had a beautiful real smile that light up the room. I started to spread my story to the world. I am here to tell you invisible illness is real. You can never truly understand it unless you live it. People that live it need compassion and support. If you know someone with an invisible illness, I urge you to share my story with them. A story of hope is always a great thing to share. It is nice to know that you aren’t alone in the world. It is nice to know someone is here to support you if you choose to change your life. I fought back and won. It is a lifelong battle but I am here to support anyone through it with love and guidance.
Love your body! The truth is most of us don’t do this. We get stuck listening to the negative voice inside us. The voice torments us and makes us feel ashamed of who we are, how we look or the way we feel. I know first hand, how hard this transition can be. I have struggled with self-esteem my entire life. My friends always ask me, how is it possible, you are so gorgeous, why don’t you see it. The fact is, until you feel it, you won’t believe it, no matter what everyone else tells you. I worked my butt off to heal my body and finally started to feel a gradual improvement in self-esteem over the last 5 years. The fact is if you spend more time focusing on your health by healing your emotional and physical self, things will change and self-esteem comes with it. You will see changes in your physical body, thus improving the way you feel in your own skin. I can tell you the huge self-esteem change happened this year, over the last few months because I got out of my comfort zone. After, 1 year pain free, working on helping myself heal from autoimmune issues, taking time to relax and focus on myself, I was finally able to realize I needed to help others accomplish the same. After I started feeling healthier and happier, my self-esteem started to flourish. I started to truly look at my body as this beautiful gift, I was born with. I started to enjoy dressing up, putting on make-up and seeing the transformation my body had undergone. The true understanding of my beauty, didn’t come from close friends or family, it came from deep inside me but I had to work for it. Once, I started venturing out of my comfort zone, attending BNI meetings and networking happy hours, I realized the impact I had on others. I finally, was able to see what my friends and family had been telling me all along. When I really paid attention to the reactions others made, the complements I received and the way it made me feel, the changes started to happen. I no longer brushed off the complements, I accepted them and thanked those that gave them. I learned to give complements in return. I realized the power of complements and the desire everyone has to feel better about themselves. Over these past months, I have developed friendships with people that I never would have spoken to before. I was so shy and scared to speak to anyone because of my own insecurities and emotional struggles. When I got out of my comfort zone, accepted the complements and felt good in my own skin, my self esteem started to flourish. It allowed me to reflect on my childhood, the relationships from the past that affected my self-esteem and develop strategies to deal with those emotions. By accepting the hurt, developing a plan and actively working to improve my health, the emotional pain and self-esteem issues started to melt away. I share this because I know I am not the only person out there with self-esteem issues. I know that I am not the only person that stopped caring for myself and suffered emotional and physical pain as a result. I realize that sharing is the first step in helping others build up the courage to take on their own healing. A huge part of learning my body was physical but the emotional was just as important. Learning my physical pain, understanding it, feeling it, and learning how to combat it each and every day was the foundation for my emotional battle. By learning, how to relieve my own physical pain and tension, I was finally ready to combat the emotional pain. Emotional pain is hidden and harder to deal with and accept. It takes a real conscious effort to work on emotional struggles and make a change. These battles are easier when you have a coach to guide you through the process, I know that my holistic health coach, guided me through this final phase of healing. If it wasn’t for her, I would not have truly understand the reasons why I was so shy, why I had trouble speaking to others, and why I felt my voice was not important. This emotional process was difficult and left my voice silent again for almost 2 months, as I continued to learn myself. It was hard to express emotions and write my blog, while I was working on the final transformation. I realize now, that a lot of my physical pain, was caused by my emotional battle. I realize that holding in my emotions and not speaking my voice, caused my illness and pain. Now, 2 months later, I realize that it was the final step in my healing. I learned that self-esteem is impacted by your body and mind. I realized, that my voice is important, that my story is powerful, and I can help others heal. The power is in the journey, the connections and guidance you receive in the healing process. I am here to help others accomplish their desires and goals by helping them cherish, love and appreciate their bodies: mind, body and soul. I am here to help you find your self-esteem and keep it. I want you to know that you don’t have to struggle through this alone. There are plenty of people out there waiting to help you. I just happen to be someone that experienced it first hand, I am here to guide you through the journey, if you are ready to take the step.
What is a clean slate? It’s is a fresh start to finding your younger self. It’s trapped inside you waiting to emerge again. My health crisis has me feeling exhausted, fatigued and filled with pain. Through holistic healing I found so many possibilities. These are all new feeling and accomplishments for me:
- The love for nature and appreciation of the little moments with family.
- The drive and motivation to accomplish more and maintain health.
- The knowledge that you deserve to care for your health too.
- The feeling of accomplishment and happiness after a long stress filled day.
- The ability to care for everyone you love and yourself at the same time.
- Accomplishing your hope for a better way to feel and live.
- Energy and motivation to jump out of bed and seize the day.
- The freedom of pain to accomplish fitness in ways you never thought was possible.
- Flexibility to improve the circulation of your entire body.
- Savoring the healthy nutrient-rich foods you eat while your body reaps the benefits.
- The relief that your children don’t have to worry about you being sick or caring for you through a health crisis.
- Love for life and enjoying the beauty around you
- Reconnecting with your loved one and igniting the fire for passion.
These are only a few of the changes I made when I took a leap for a Clean Slate. The possibilities are endless. You can achieve more than you think. Let me help you BELIEVE!