I ended up here because I am fighting illness, and I am trying to not only understand the root of the illness but am also trying to prevent its progression (and with some luck see relief in my symptoms!) And I wanted to share my journey. But how did it all begin?
For me, it was about 7-8 years ago (so 2006 ish or so – very hard to determine as my initial symptoms were all so vague) when things just started to seemingly ‘fall apart’. It started with one symptom which turned to two and then five and before I knew it, I was going into my doctors office with a list a mile long trying to figure out why my body was spontaneously de-combusting.
Between the starting point in 2006 ish and the spring of 2013, the years were spent chasing symptoms and specialists (and alternative therapies – some of which I would rather soon forget) who never really had any answers for me. They did however have many suggestions of medications that they would have liked me to try, which I pretty much resisted across the board.
Then on April 1st, 2013 – I embarked on the real journey. The journey of truly learning about my autoimmune diseases and how to find relief from them. I started on the Autoimmune Protocol and that is when, finally, I started to see and feel some change.
To date, I have been officially diagnosed with 2 autoimmune conditions: Psoriasis and Raynaud’s syndrome. I suspect that there might be something else going on as well, and that has been part of my goal – uncover what might be missing. But what could that be?
There might be a 3rd, as of yet undiagnosed AI disease, which would put me into a special category of having MAS (multiple autoimmune syndrome). Read more about this here. I say I ‘suspect’ as no 3rd issue has been diagnosed to date but once you get one autoimmune condition, the likelihood of developing another one (or more) is very high unless you can intervene and stop the progression. And with MAS, one autoimmune disease is almost always skin related.
Or there may be something else holding me back from healing further? Perhaps an infection (viral, bacterial, parasitic?) These would certainly fit with my work history (I’m a registered Animal Health Technologist and have worked in facilities from coast to coast – New York, Seattle and Vancouver) or my travel history (which up until I had kids was extensive!)
If you were to look at me, you wouldn’t say that I look ‘sick’. My friend and health guru over at Alt-ternative Autoimmune writes a great post about this here. If one were to look at me, what you would see is the psoriasis, and if you were lucky enough to be around when it hits, bone white fingers or toes from the Raynaud’s. You would certainly know me to always be cold and have a serious intolerance of lower temps and windy days. But you would never be able to see the havoc that was/is brewing inside my body.
That long list of symptoms I referred to earlier included about 30+ fun filled mysteries that could never be explained away. They wax and wane and appear to sometimes fade away but come back with a vengeance when I least expect it. Some examples include:
Blood sugar dis-regulation
Revolving allergy symptoms (to jewellery, dental fillings, food, etc)
Extreme susceptibility to colds and sinus infections
Peeling of entire regions of skin (thumbs in particular)
Insomnia and/or inability to fall back to sleep
Difficulties with concentration, reading and speaking
And of course, the Psoriasis and Raynaud’s
And the list goes on and on…..
Up until I started on the AI protocol, I had resolved to the fact that since my overall health was deteriorating at such a rapid pace, I might not be able to remain a functioning mother to my two boys (ages 6 and 3 at the time). Most days at that point were very difficult to get through truly feeling good and the bad ones far out weighed the good.
That is until I started to put the all pieces ‘together’, instead of trying to take them all apart. I’ve always known and believed that our bodies are not made up of different systems that work entirely on their own accord. Instead, if one thing goes down, it more often than not will take a host of other things down with it. It wasn’t until I had this light bulb moment AND started digging a little bit deeper, did I truly understand that my body wasn’t just spontaneously imploding on itself but rather it was fighting against an illness, that started many years ago, and was progressing to the point of starting to take ‘things down’ with it. Now I have managed to gain control of not only my health but my families as well. I have become my/our biggest health advocate and have spent endless hours coming up with answers to many of my/our health related questions.
This is why I am here. To tell my story in an attempt to share some valuable information that may help someone else gain back some of the control they feel they have lost. One of the worst things one of my specialists ever said to me was: “There is nothing you can do about this. You need to resign to the fact that this will be your life”. I will never regret not heeding that advice.