After dealing with some pretty serious health issues for a while and learning how to overcome those issues through diet and exercise (ok, I’m STILL learning), I felt I needed to share and help people. But how? I’m not a medical professional or a nutritionist. I’m just a 48-year old mom who has learned a lot and want to share something I truly believe in; that you can change the course of your health through diet. When I began this journey the first time, (yes there was a first time) there just wasn’t enough support or options available, I felt, to sustain this way of life. I remember calling my husband from the grocery store in tears because there was nothing I could eat and I didn’t think I could do this. I was connected with a nutritionist at my local grocery store and she walked me through the store and shared some tips with me. But trying to find recipes for healthy food that tasted good was almost impossible. I gave up and went back to my old ways. And, my health declined.
My story. In 2007, I came down with the worst respiratory infection of my life. I was in and out of the emergency room. I couldn’t breathe. The doctors kept throwing more steroids and more antibiotics at me. It took a good three months to heal but I was never the same again. My immune system seemed to just stop working and every infection was worse than the last. I ended up seeing an ENT and a Pulmonologist and three surgeries later, while my sinuses were vastly improved, I continued to get very ill. Luckliy for me, my ENT pushed for more tests and got me in to see an infectious disease doctor who discovered I have ABPA (allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis). I also have asthma and this makes it worse. I was placed on antinfungal medications and higher doses of prednisone and I improved. Because prednisone is a wonder drug. Right? Wrong. But more on that later. From there I was referred to an asthma clinic and put on Xolair injections to improve my lung function and they began weaning me off prednisone. Because nobody should be on prednisone for almost nine years straight. That’s right nine years of very high doses with NO break. I was in a crisis and my health was failing but over time I started to improve because again prednisone is a wonder drug (sarcasm). I was even feeling good enough to do the Alcatraz Swim. And then caught the dreaded H1N1 in 2014. This time, it took a little more time to recover. Now fast forward to 2015. In July of 2015, I noticed something wrong with my right breast. The doctors believed I had inflammatory breast cancer and my husband I spent a terrifying three months in total shock. Thankfully, after a long course of antibiotics because that is how they test for IBC, I finally responded to treatment. It turned out to be a form of MRSA they think. Thank God! (When have you ever heard anyone thank God for MRSA?) We didn’t know it at the time but my body was angry and started attacking itself in new and creative ways. And then I got a cold and went down hill from there, becoming incredibly ill. I had a serious bronchial infection that ended up with me back on very high doses of steroids. My immune system was so compromised I ended up with oral and esophageal thrush that would not go away. I was dehydrated and weak, I wasn’t eating and this was serious and scary. My body was in crisis. Thanks to a very special person who stepped in, I was referred to this wonderful Integrative Medicine doctor who I believe, saved my life through supplements and changing my diet. My immune system is still fragile, I have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and fibromyalgia on top of everything else and am STILL being weaned off prednisone. But I now have the tools and knowledge to fight and want to share in the hopes that what I’m going through will help someone. Everyone kept asking me to write a cookbook or a blog. I know nothing about cookbooks and very little about blogging but here goes.
*An update one year later – after a tortuous few months of a prednisone taper, I am now off all meds. I’m feeling great, I’m running long distances and my immune system has finally gone off strike. All because I eat the right foods for my body, I exercise and am kind to myself. This is doable. Changing the course of your health by eating right does work. I’m living proof.
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