Everyone starts life the moment they come into this world…or so it would seem it should be that way.
I was always the sick kid, I knew all my doctors on a first name basis by the time I was 5. My favorite blanket was one I had taken home from one of my many hospital visits. From the moment I was born I was being given medicines, pills and ‘remedies’ for all my factory defects (as my dad used to say). I always suffered from ear infections, throat infections, colds that would last what seemed like forever..
My parents (well my grandparents really) tried their best to have me grow up like any other kid, they’d let me play in the dirt (eat dirt even!) I was allowed to play in any weather just like all the kids. I guess they hoped I would eventually build a normal immune system. At age 9 I was hospitalized after passing out at my grandparents. The doctors suspected juvenile diabetes, then sickle cell anemia…then they just sort of gave up and said I must of had too much sugar. “Something, insulin levels too high, something, something…here are some pills and vitamins…have a good day!
Getting to my teens didn’t make things any better. I was anemic, weak, always sleepy and I had a horrible diet. Age 14 I was in a lot of physical pain, all my joints, lower back, and neck ached. I had constant migraines and Iwas always moody (then again what teen isn’t?). I was told I had herniated lumbar discs. Oh, no… no… a pinched nerve No wait… juvenile arthritis with sciatica. Eventually I was just told I had a lot of growing pains and bad genes. Four years of growing pains and I only grew and inch!!! At one point some doctors suggested all these ailments where in my head. They said that I had mommy and daddy issues and I should be going to a psychiatrist instead.
At 19 I was ready to give up on doctors and just crawl under a rock. I only wanted to be like other teens. I was sick of being sick. As a last shot I went to a neurologist; and he diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia (after many visits and many many tests to confirm). At the time, (2001), not a lot was known about Fibromyalgia and the little information I was given by this doctor and others that followed that confirmed the diagnosis wasn’t enough to console me. I spiraled into a horrible depression, which only made my symptoms worse. I was constantly in pain, movement was minimal, and sleep wasn’t something I was familiar with. I used a cane to get around during winters and my GI problems were all over the map.
I was a 19 year old living in the body of a tubby, bitter 90 year old. I disconnected myself from the outside world to become a hermit. Many friendships were lost and family ties severed because I found it easier to keep away from those who ”didn’t understand”. Instead I buried my feelings in Krispy Kreme boxes. Once I hit rock bottom I tried every drug on the market that came out for Fibromyalgia, which only made me more depressed and even less functional.
I wasn’t sure if I would make it to 30 at the rate I was going. I was popping two Vicodin and one naproxen a day. Worse yet, I was drinking on top of that. One day while while visiting family, which was a rare thing, I stepped onto the scale they had in the bathroom. It read 163 pounds. I’m not even 5’3 and have a petite frame!
That was my wake up call. I was slowly killing myself. I was unhappy because I was making all the wrong choices. I started dieting, trying all sorts of soft exercise like yoga and such. I lost some weight but it always came back. The Fibromyalgia only waxed and waned but never got better. The emotional part of the recovery was also a yo-yo, but I did not detour I was determined to fix myself and turn my life around.
This year an acquaintance mentioned I should look into the Paleo diet and recommended I read The Paleo Solution. I did the research, took the challenge and 4 months in – here I am a new woman! I have never felt better in my life! I am full of energy, sleep well, eat delicious foods, and am at the fittest I have ever been. I jog, run, and climb – things I enjoyed and had not done since I was a little girl. I am cheery, happy and my true self is finally coming out. My outlook on life has done a 180. I feel better than I did at 19.
Now at 28 (this September 16th!), getting to 30 looks quite doable and I’m looking forward to it as I continue down the road to recovery and remission. I have had no severe Fibromyalgia symptoms since week 3 on Paleo and it just keeps improving!
I can now start living fully. I’m enjoying the ride and loving this new lease on life