What the $%@# is Wrong with Me?!
Updated: Apr 20, 2019
This is what I've been asking myself over and over for the past year. I've had chronic sinus and digestive issues that have made me pretty miserable.
It all started back in 2016 when I traveled to Costa Rica. I came down with a pretty bad stomach bug. I was very sick, with painful stomach cramps, sweating and unable to keep any food down for a few days. I took some charcoal pills and eventually felt better. Luckily, I was able to enjoy the rest of my trip, however things in my body never returned back to normal. When I got home I went to the doctor and was told I probably had a bacterial infection and was given antibiotics to treat it.
Over the next couple of years my stomach never really got back to normal, and gradually got worse and worse. I would feel alright for a few days but then would wake up in the night with stomach pains, usually after consuming alcohol, and I would feel terrible again for a few days. I would have acid reflux and diarrhea that would be pretty intense. To fight this I would clean up my diet, usually stop drinking coffee and alcohol, which would bring me some relief but then as soon as I had even one glass of wine the symptoms would return full blown. I went to the doctor many times who would prescribe an over the counter acid reflux medicine and usually more antibiotics.
Then last year things went from bad to worse. I woke up one morning with a sinus infection that was so bad my eyes were practically swollen shut. More antibiotics, which made my stomach situation worse, and didn't clear the sinus issues up. In addition to the sinus and digestive issues I was also having other symptoms- I was always tired, but I couldn't sleep through the night, I had anxiety, my hair was falling out, my skin was breaking out and I felt like I was always in a bad mood. I had no energy to exercise and didn't know if I should push myself harder, or let myself rest.
At this point I was living with stomach issues and sinus issues that didn't seem to go away. My doctors didn't think the two things were connected, and every time I went to the doctor I would leave with more questions than answers. I had a CAT scan and an ultra sound, always to be told, "nothing is wrong". I had an X-Ray of my head and sinuses where again everything "looks great!" I did blood tests and stool tests, where they tested for any deficiency or abnormality and parasites, but everything always looked "totally normal". They made me feel like I was a hypochondriac. I was told that I probably have allergies and one doctor said that this is just what happens as you age! Well, none of this sat well with me. How can I be feeling so bad if everything is fine?! There had to be answers somewhere and a way to feel good again.
I then decided to try some Eastern medicine. I had a friend at work who suggested an acupuncturist who had helped her. I began going to this acupuncturist who said my blood and my adrenals were very weak. We needed to build up my yin energy and bring my body back into balance. When I asked her how to do this, she said if I could go live on a tropical island with lots of healthy food and just lived a life of relaxing and no stress in six months I would probably feel better. If only! ;) Well, obviously that was not going to happen. But I realized that lifestyle changes were in order, so no more working a full eight hour day then going out dancing all night. I also changed my diet, added some supplements such as B12 and a probiotic, and made sure to always get a good night's rest. I also began a pretty consistent meditation practice.
Almost a year later and I'm feeling a lot better. I self-diagnosed a candida overgrowth, and tried different diets and protocols to get that under control. I'm not totally 100% back to my previous self, but my stomach issues are much better and my sinuses are finally clear for the first time in over a year. I still get tired much more easily than before, and don't have quite my old levels of energy. But I feel as though I am on my way. I have learned to listen to my body and give it what it needs. I still don't have all the answers, and am continuing on this journey of finding complete wellness and health.
If you have a health problem, and you don’t have answers, you need to just keep looking. Look everywhere and listen to your gut (pun intended ;)). I would suggest looking into alternative healers, try different things and see what feels good. And until you figure it out, in the meantime you can do things for your body that are good for everyone no matter what- get more rest, reduce stress, eat more fruits and vegetables, meditate, drink more water, practice gratitude.
I believe that sometimes health challenges are put in front of us to teach us something, to help us grow, to become a better version of ourselves. We can either give up and submit to the illness or see it as a challenge to grow and change. In the process of finding health we end up trying different things and finding out what works for us and what doesn't. Going through that process will eventually bring us to a new way of living and we emerge stronger than ever!