I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the doctors office seeking answers only to be blind sided with the passing words of… I’m not ruling out X-Y-Z, but it’s a sucker punch to the mind, heart, and soul.
I truly hope your never hear these words muttered to you in a clinical, less than caring way.
In early June, I was at a highly anticipated ENT specialist appointment seeking answers for my undiagnosed health challenge. A few moments of optimism turned to fear, panic, and anger. My specialist who shall remain nameless - mutters, well… I am not ruling out MS and then went on his moved onto the next topic.
Um… excuse me?!
Only weeks prior I had a telehealth call with another ENT who ruled out any signs of tumors, lesions, signs of stroke, or MS and now this! Not gonna lie; I wanted to run, hide, and cry until no tears were left. I physically felt myself sink into a ball right in the office and the rest of the words said faded and I couldn’t focus.
To add more insult to injury, I was given a “migraine diet” to follow. If I hadn’t had any health coaching backing I would have taken the diet and ran to nearest grocery store and let the tears flow while I endlessly ate a sheet cake. Sound extreme… keep reading to find out what items were on this “approved” diet.
Reading the “approved” list of foods turned my upset state into flat out anger:
Remove: homemade baked goods, donuts, sourdough, yeast from diet
Okay to consume: commercial baked goods, breads, english muffins, SUGAR, CAKE, hard candy, and an assortment of other okay to eat, but we all know it’s shitty foods.
THIS READS: enjoy a sheet cake and wash it down with a diet soda
(FYI, this was a diet established by John Hopkins)
I sat on a curb at a nearby Wendy’s - and melted down as I ate my chicken sandwich and fries. My poor parents who accompanied me to the appointment had to endure a lot of curse words and tears.
On our 30-minute drive home a switch flipped in my brain and the reminder to be an advocate for ones own health became hella important.
My personal quest was sparked and it went a little like this:
tell my chiropractor immediately…
slam laptop lid closed…
cry a bit more…
call all of my holistic friends…
create a battle plan…
Before I share my battle plan, let me say this… I am not ragging on my health care team, but I don’t think it’s right to spout off potential diseases in the way he did and/or without taking more time to look at my paperwork, files, etc. He had only received my MRI and MRA scans moment prior to walking into the exam room.
I am also not saying that I don’t believe in modern medicine and should the need for steroids, physical therapy, or surgery surface, I’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
To the battle plan: Clearly my body is suffering from inflammation asit’s screaming at me to heal. One of the best ways in my opinion to heal is to reduce inflammation through food, mediation, gentle movement, stretching, and stress reduction. Go ahead, argue me!
Oh, let me step back for a moment.
My MRI & MRA show NO signs of MS, tumors, lesions, or signs of stroke - and this has been reconfirmed since my appointment above.
My CT Scans are showing signs degeneration in my neck / spine and a bit of scalloping which could lead to bone spurs. All of this could very well be the root cause and be triggering the bobbing and swaying sensation (Cervical Vertigo) that knocks me down for days or weeks depending on how bad the flare up is.
Back to the treatment plan:
Until we [my chiropractor & I ] view the CT scans; treatments, adjustments, aggressive stretching, or weight lifting will be put on hold.
At the suggestion and guidance from my dear friend, health coach, & yogi, Paige- I have transitioned to a plant based gluten free diet.
I’m on day 16 and have passed the headaches, body revolting, grouchy phase. My energy and stamina is also on the upswing and my sleep has vastly improved. CBD helps with pain management and aids in minimizing minor freak outs or bits of anxiety that creeps in.
I’ll be adding restorative yoga into my daily routine this week and have been documenting my progress in an a mixed media journal (photos to come).
My morning coffee and social media consumption has been traded for, Dandy Blend (a coffee alternative)and morning mediations with Deepak.
P, has been an incredible support system at home and is in full support of our/my new plant based lifestyle and is enjoying the veggie filled meals which I plan to photograph and share in the coming days and weeks.
Looking back to my late 20’s and early 30’s I would have never expected my body to revolve and have this incredible awakening. On many levels having this challenge become so present during a pandemic has been my silver lining. I’ve had the chance to heal, to rest, and to explore alternative options for transforming my health.
Please use my story as a reminder to be an advocate for your health, if things aren’t improving, seek to heal the root of the problem rather than put a band-aid over it with another medication. You owe yourself the space to heal and my suggestion - as holistically as possible.