Doing What I Can
I get asked all the time how I came back from Lupus and my other autoimmune issues, and I spend a lot of my time helping friends with tweaking their health, but I don’t give medical advice. It’s all out there to learn. If I figured out what I have so far, so can anyone, but I see that is not true. We all need teachers and supporters. But still, I keep expecting that doctors are going to be shouting the same thing from the rooftops at any second.
This morning I came across a blog post from Dr. Terry Wahls that blew my mind. Titled “I Did All I Could,” this respected doctor and one of my personal (S)heroes tells of being banned from speaking at one point by the M.S. Society and lambasted by other doctors for giving “false hope.” It took her healing herself from Multiple Sclerosis and years of research to get anyone to listen to her. What was the controversy? Was she telling people to eat leeches at midnight under a full moon? Not at all, but she was saying that mitochondrial weakness causes Multiple Sclerosis and to cure it she needed to strengthen her mitochondria, so she figured out what they need. She also said, this will work for everyone with MS, and was almost laughed out of her profession.
Despite the lack of respect Dr. Terry Wahls continued to preach the gospel of mitochondrial health. She nourished herself, got off prescriptions that weakened her, and has gradually worked her way from wheelchair to functioning normally.
I remember MS commercials and fundraisers when I was a kid. The vision I had was a frail person in a wheelchair, who would eventually diminish until they were unable to move at all. Nobody mentions it is autoimmune, and I always thought it’s just something you are born with, an abnormality. I thought autoimmune was a curse, as my mom called it, and that there was nothing to be done, but take the doctor’s prescriptions and hope for the best.
Mitochondria were never mentioned. Those little power packs of our cells need to be Minded as Dr. Wahls famously says.
My mother died of Lupus complications, but technically from Vioxx induced stroke, so you can imagine my dismay when trying to figure out why my body was disintegrating, my doctor tells me I have hypothyroid, Lupus, fibromyalgia, and probably Multiple Sclerosis. He wanted to check for brain lesions because I had numbness, nerve issues, and couldn’t move my arms well. I could barely pick up my baby.
Luckily for me, he also made some remarks that made me question his medicine in general. He had diagnosed me with “almost no T4” from my thyroid, found lesions on it with ultrasound, prescribed Synthroid and sent me on my way a few weeks earlier. On this return visit when I told him nothing was better, he said “Oh yes it is, your T4 is way up there now. You can stop taking the meds now.” I explained, “I am still sleeping 12 hours a day, and may feel even weaker than I did. I hurt, I am limping, I can’t use my right elbow.” He responds, “you probably just need to work out more, but in the meantime, we’ll get you scanned for MS since you already have Lupus and fibromyalgia. Maybe you have MS too.”
I fired him because he told me to go work out, and I never got his scan either. And he was always late and running to golf tournaments. A doctor who says to a mom to work out who can’t pick up their newborn baby is a complete cad. I did go back to my naturopath and get my thyroid meds situated, and thankfully so. Getting a proper dose of thyroid feels like an iced tea in the desert.
Once my brain and body turned back on a little with thyroid meds, I thought to myself, "how can I learn more about why this is happening to me?" I did what all doctor’s hate, I googled. First Multiple Sclerosis to see if I had symptoms, and I did. Then I googled Multiple Sclerosis Natural Cures and found Dr. Terry Wahls talking about mitochondria and how she fixed herself with nutrition. I read her credentials and bought her book on the spot. That was the first time I saw a doctor give up dogma and what she was taught, passing over and beyond what was being told to doctor’s and the public about MS and disease in general, and getting to root-cause medicine. She was saving herself, and she wasn't going to die if answers were out there. I respect this as one of my core values.
Thanks hugely to Dr. Wahls, I have been on an upward trajectory of good health since understanding the cause of my symptoms. Had I stayed with “Dr. Caddyshack” as I think of him, I would have been sent down the prescription pill pathway once again, and God only knows how awful I would feel right now. You see, they don’t have a history of curing anyone of MS, just managing symptoms, with medicines that make other symptoms worse. If that sounds familiar, it is because that is the western model of healthcare.
All of this means nothing unless you know it works, and trust me I do. I reversed Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and all of my skin issues without their medicines. I also know two others who have MS in remission with Dr. Wahls, and there are testimonies all over the internet. I can't be more thankful for the divine intervention of discovering why I was falling apart.
Dr. Wahls mentions in her blog post how her hands were tied, she knew how to help people and wasn’t getting the word out. Banned even. To come out and say that almost all of the best health practices are doable without a prescription, or a particular brand of food or magical supplement is taboo in our capitalist age. Now, The Institute of Functional Medicine, who once criticized her have honored her with the 2018 Linus Pauling Award, their award for outstanding research in expanding Functional Medicine.
After reading of Dr. Wahl's frustration, I feel there is room in this world for my voice on health issues, as a life coach and health coach. My experience was not the same as Dr. Wahls, I am most assuredly not a doctor, and medical advice is not my jam. But health practices that keep us and get us healthy is my jam, and it’s what I have dedicated my life to so that I can be here for my family. Getting great advice, using common sense, leveraging positive psychology, and getting past traumas that stick in our bodies, have been essential parts of my healing. I am excited to help others do the same. Autoimmunity is not a death sentence. Trust your body, listen to it deeply, get help, and fire that doctor that isn’t supporting you in natural good health. You can find one that will.