John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” That pretty much sums up my 2011. At this time last year, I had been struggling with my health for about six months but seemed to be on the upswing. I launched this blog and had high expectations of what I wanted to accomplish this year.
As the 2011 New Year rang in, things were going my way. I ran a great half marathon at Lake Mead in January. I had clarity in my business. I was gaining new clients and expanding my reach within existing customers.
But less than a month in, I began sliding again. It was a slow decline at first. Chronic fatigue. Lack of clarity. Headaches. Stomach pain. But as the Texas summer began heating up, I became nearly bedridden.
For the last year, I’d been seeing numerous doctors: internist, endocrinologist, allergist, rheumatologist and multiple gastroenterologists. I prepared a 12-page document with all my symptoms, information I found doing my own research and theories I had to what was ailing me.
Yet after more than 100 individual blood tests and more appointments than I can count, they could tell me only that I had an unknown source of inflammation and my body was producing an auto-immune response although I didn’t have a clinical auto-immune disease. I even wrote to the Mayo Clinic requesting an appointment, and they turned me down.
Although I was experiencing 30 different symptoms, there was nothing “clinically” wrong with me. The doctors would shrug their shoulders and say I’d have to live this way.
But that wasn’t an option.
I wanted my life back.
At this point, however, my life had turned into mere existence. I wasn’t myself. I stopped running (a BIG deal for me). I stopped keeping up with friends and family. I stopped writing. I couldn’t think. I certainly couldn’t work. It was all I could do to get up in the morning.
Luckily, my journalistic instincts were still intact. On the good days, I kept researching, reading all kinds of blogs and books on digestive health. I knew in my heart that’s where the problem was. I had asked my physicians numerous times about a syndrome called leaky gut, but none of them new anything about it. Perhaps it’s because there are no prescription or OTC drugs to “cure” it. In fact, it’s the prescription and OTC drugs that cause it.
When the intestinal flora isn’t in balance with the healthy bacteria keeping the bad ones in check, the bad ones take over…with a vengeance. Did they ever. The integrity of my gut became compromised, which resulted in the inability to absorb nutrients properly (thus the chronic fatigue) and the inability for cells to maintain permeability (thus toxins leak out into the body causing the auto-immune response).
To make matters worse, consuming protein set off a reaction. It started with gluten, Then soy. Then even one serving of any kind of protein put me in a excruciating toxic haze for anywhere from three to seven days until my body fought and killed the “foreign invaders.”
But my persistence paid off. I finally began finding answers. One source would lead to another, and another, and another. I found programs that addressed leaky gut naturally, and for a near vegan who tries to eat primarily organic, that was extremely important. I began following a stringent diet and supplementation program—and it began working. I stopped feeling toxic. The chronic fatigue became less severe. The headaches that plagued me for nearly six straight months began to subside. The stomach pain resolved itself. I began running, socializing and working again.
While I am significantly better than I was six months ago, I still have far to go before I’m completely healed. But I finally understand what has been happening to me and have implemented a plan to fix it. I am ready to put 2011 behind me and welcome 2012 and all its possibilities with open arms. I’m optimistic. I’m feeling like myself again.
What does all this mean to you, my readers? It means that Content Matters, which ironically has be devoid of content, won’t be unattended for much longer. I’ll be back in 2012, stronger than ever. But I’m taking things slow. Being cautious. However, I want you to know that there is much for me to do to fulfill the mission I have this website—and myself. I have so much to give, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Thank you for reading. And thank you for your patience. I appreciate all the love and support I’m receiving as I go through this life-changing journey.
As we get ready to ring in 2012, I wish you great health, lots of laughter and much love. May this year be the best one yet.