Halfway Healed-My Autoimmune Journey
A little over two years ago, I was told I had Hashimoto's, an autoimmune disorder that "attacks" the thyroid. I also took a food sensitivity test that seemed to point to leaky gut. Leaky gut is the theory that holes are made in the stomach lining from years of eating foods that do not agree with you. I am a strong-willed person. In fact, my first sentence was, "I can do it." I am independent and fierce. So when I was told that this was my diagnosis, I asked, well what can I do about it? I was with a health coach, not a doctor (thankfully) and he gave me two protocol suggestions. I also started reading books from the Thyroid Pharmacist and joined an online Hashimoto's support group. And of course got a PhD in Hashimoto's from google searching. What I didn't do is see my primary right away.
At the time here were my symptoms:
-cold all the time
-body aches like I always had the flu
-a swollen tongue
-feeling like I always had a sore throat and like I couldn't clear it
-swollen lymph nodes in my neck and armpit
-anxiety but also depression
-hot flashes at night
-catching every cold/flu
-digestion issues of all kinds
-injuries that wouldn't heal
-rash around my chin
-tingling in limbs
What did I do?
-I followed the idea of adding more protein and fat into my diet.
-I ate/drank fermented foods every day (water kefir, ACV, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc.).
-I took a ton of expensive herbs and supplements (no regrets).
-I took betaine with every meal.
-I quit eating: dairy, soy and gluten as well as some other foods that seemed to bother me.
-I stopped taking NSAIDs and any other over the counter medication I could quit.
-I lowered my sugar intake dramatically and even quit it all together for a month.
-I took Restore for over a year.
-I drank a protein shake every morning with ashwagandha.
-I took turmeric.
-I used MCT oil.
-I took Doterra rosemary for detox and lavender for aches and pains.
-I started taking a detox bath weekly (Epsom salt, baking soda and Doterra Rosemary oil).
-I started practicing Yoga with Adriene on YouTube every day and stopped trying to run and do other more strenuous exercises.
-I started drinking dandelion root tea every morning.
-I gave up caffeine for long periods of time.
-I gave up all alcohol.
-I drank aloe vera juice every night for months.
-I started meditating every day.
-I even tried CBD oil for the anxiety and body pain.
Two years later, I have a healthy thyroid according to tests. My stomach is stronger and I hardly ever have issues, in fact, I stopped taking the betaine because I didn't need it anymore. I don't catch every cold/flu and I think it has something to do with my lowered stress and taking fire cider or four thieves vinegar at the first sign of getting sick. I have lost weight. I am stronger in body, mind and spirit. My hair is healthier. But, I still feel exhausted all the time. It is worse than when I was a brand new mom with a preemie who had acid reflux. My body aches all the time, especially my back and joints. My injuries don't heal. I still get face rashes and have a swollen tongue. I get headaches a lot. I have menstruation issues and often have nausea.
At some point, I just accepted that this was my new normal. Through prayer, meditation and yoga I am able to manage my pain. But I am not thriving. In fact, I accepted that I would probably get cancer and die at a young age. I decided that this was all the more reason to live in the present moment. I practiced mindfulness all the more.
When you have an autoimmune disorder, you are told your body turned against you.
This news about autoimmunity made me feel so betrayed. I had to work hard to love my body again (thank you Adrien Mishler). Even though, I was doing everything right according to many, I still had so many symptoms. This lead me to the following questions:
-Why do so many people have autoimmune disorders?
-Why do the autoimmune disorders seem related?
-What triggered this to all happen?
-What do my other symptoms mean, the ones that others say are not related to my thyroid?
-Will I have to take synthetic thyroid, but those people don't seem better either?
-Do thyroids in women just go bad?
-What can I do to prevent this from happening to my daughter?
-Did my grandmother have this? She had stomach issues, no eyebrows, weight gain and thinning hair.
I count my blessings every day. I practice gratitude all the time. I am especially grateful for my two children. I had a miscarriage in between my children and so many of us with autoimmunity cannot conceive. I look at my children and feel pure love.
But I am halfway healed.
I am not thriving. I am living my best life but I am still sidelined. I had to resign from classroom teaching because my lack of energy could no longer keep up. There are many days, I turn down friends because I have a "flare" and I feel like I have the flu. I miss out on playing with my kids and going on vacations because of fatigue. I focus on the positive and in my mind, I feel better but some days my body just lets me down. I practice self-care and try to give my body what it needs but some days I have to ignore it, otherwise I would spend most of my time in bed. My "niece" who is a loved one and my chosen family started drinking celery juice last winter. She then recommend I watch Heal.
She planted a seed and when I saw the Medical Medium on the documentary I was intrigued. I got his book, Thyroid Healing, on Libby and stayed up late reading it. I sat alone reading and crying. I felt a mixture of gratitude, excitement, hope, sadness and validation. Anthony William's book answered ALL of my questions and explained ALL of my symptoms but the best part is he made me feel like I wasn't broken. I felt like I had a defective body but he explains I don't. He even explained that my body is not turning on itself. These ideas made sense to me for the first time. Nothing about autoimmune disorders make sense. Doctors don't understand them. No one can explain why they happen. Everyone is just searching for something that works. It is all guess work.
When you have autoimmunity you feel confused and like you have been left in a dark room.
Everything in William's book made intuitive sense as if he was speaking to me on a deeper level. I am open spiritually and have completely surrendered. I felt guided to this book.
So here I am. I ordered the book to have a physical copy (trust me after using the Marie Kondo method this means this book sparks real joy), I ordered a juicer, I ordered supplements and I ordered Doterra oils to take (I prefer them to teas when I think the herb is something I really need).
So what am I doing now? Like I wrote earlier, I am a survivor. I am going all in on this new protocol.
-I wrote a list of Food Allies from Chapter 22 of the book and am keeping copy on my fridge and one on my phone to help me shop.
-I am continuing to eat fermented foods.
-I am continuing to take d3, b-complex, zinc (but changed the type), magnesium and eating gluten, soy and dairy free.
- I gave up corn and eggs. This intuitively always made sense. Every time I eat them, I get more inflammation but I have a weakness for tacos and thought I needed the protein in the eggs. I am also saying goodbye to canola oil which means no more Earth Balance for me.
-I am adding cat's claw (do you know how many times I researched a natural anti-inflammatory? So glad to have found one).
-I am adding spirulina and vitamin C (both of which I took in the past but was informed that I didn't need them).
-I maybe adding iodine but may not take it every day--I am exploring this one still.
-I will also be juicing and adding myself to the many who drink celery juice every morning.
-I will go back to drinking aloe juice at night but may also try cucumber juice.
-I will drink lemon water twice a day---this is so interesting because I have been doing this for weeks because I just like the taste and how I feel.
-I will drink licorice tea when I feel like it...I used to take the root years ago for my stomach.I may still drink dandelion root tea too.
-I will take Doterra thyme, cilantro and fennel each day in a glass of water. I have been reading about the benefits of thyme for a while now and feel it is time to give it a try (pun intended). The oils are not pictured because they are on their way.
-I will continue the detox baths but use lavender oil instead.
-I will continue, to pray, meditate and practice YWA.
-Finally, thanks to Lesson 97 in A Course in Miracles: Workbook for Students, I will be meditating on and repeating the mantra:
"I am spirit. I am healed. I am whole. I am free."
Want to know more? I recommend you read Thyroid Healing and watch Heal, if my story relates to you in anyway. And follow my 90-Day Thyroid Rehab journey on Instagram: @broken.better. I will post an update on here soon. For information on Doterra: www.mydoterra.com/cresheahilton, my friend Cre'shea is a wealth of knowledge: http://www.motheringwild.com/