At some point, you may wonder why I have such a love for home remedies, vitamins and special diets.  Let me preempt some questions with a bit about my health past and present:

I started being habitually sick when I was 7 (or was it 4, mom?)  I was ALWAYS sick.  I took antibiotics almost constantly as a kid.  By the fourth grade, I had flipped from being the tiniest kid in the class to the plump kid.  My health was bad.  I had strep throat a few times a month, even the week after I had my tonsils out.  My parents were at their wit’s end.

And that’s how I ended up visiting my first alternative medicine doctor at age 11.  I don’t remember much other than it didn’t look like a doctor’s office and this crazy lady (the doctor!) took the tongue depressor and wiped it on her dirty sweatpants before putting it in my mouth.  I was appalled.

My mom shortly started our family on the candida diet.  I remember I had to cut my milk intake significantly and got paid 10 cents a cup to drink water!  Air popped popcorn replaced our warm chocolate chip cookies for an after-school snack.  And after 6 months or so, I felt great!  I don’t remember specifically waking up and realizing I was healthy, but I do remember playing more, being more outgoing and teachers commenting on the change (perhaps because I got into more trouble?).

But illness continued to plague me.  When I tried to take antibiotics, my body would rebel with hives or vomiting.  I had doctors putting me on all kinds of crazy medicines. My diagnoses: a goiter at age 12, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at age 15 and Fibromyalgia at age 17. All this and on thyroid medicine before I graduated from high school.

I’ve spent years filing in and out of doctor’s offices, both mainstream and alternative. I’ve spent thousands of dollars (and I’m thankful I don’t know the total!) and am still left with few answers and many questions.

All this to say: Antibiotics are a last resort for me, so I’ll be posting about natural remedies or vitamins I take and recommend.  I’ll post about radical diets that have helped me and recipes to help others. And now you know why :).

But also to say:  Life with constant illness is difficult.  In everyday life, I haven’t talked much about my health because I haven’t wanted it to be what defines me. But I’m beginning to believe that’s not right. It’s an advantage that you can’t look at me and always know I’m sick. It’s the nature of these illnesses–symptoms that a struggler can often hide.  But it’s also a disadvantage because a silent struggle can become a lonely struggle.  So, I’ll also post what keeps me hopeful and joyful–God’s promise that his grace is sufficient for me, for God’s power is made perfect in my weakness.  And I’m encouraged by the author Paul’s response to this truth in this chapter 12 of 2 Corinthians in the Bible.  He says, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Join me in boasting about our weaknesses and claiming the promised strength!

If you have had similar struggles or want more details into my journey as a child, adolescent and adult or want to hear how I finally came to peace with the cards I’ve been dealt, feel free to comment and let’s connect.

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About ohappydaisy (Leslie)

I love happy things. That includes my silly husband, giggly daughter, polka-dots and daisies. We used to live in India, a land far away from the familiar, but we're back in the states. I cook a low-processed, gluten-free, sugar-free menu. I've struggled with my health since childhood. I learn a lot as I journey through my life and hope that readers with parallel paths will be encouraged and inspired towards happiness.

12 responses »

  1. As someone who’s been your friend for 11 years, I enjoyed reading the specifics of your health past. I can’t believe you put that tongue depresser in your mouth!! I also think that all this made you who you are, including a Barrell of Monkeys champion!

  2. What a journey you’ve been on Leslie! Thanks for opening up to share. I think it is beneficial for those of us struggling through things like chronic illness to have fellow journeyers who understand and can walk with us.

  3. Karen Clayton says:

    Leslie, I had no idea about the health struggles you’ve had! Bless your heart! Thank you for sharing. It only makes it easier to pray for you. And I assure you, you and your sweet family are in my prayers! Stay strong in your firm faith — we have full confidence our God will carry us thru this life! Love you!

  4. Betty Sue Worley says:

    I have watched in wonder as you grew up. When you were about 4 Sister(Leslie’s Grandmother) had been visiting me and she found out that when your parents went to pick you up from the nursery that your legs were swollen and purple. You will encourage many people.

  5. Mom says:

    It was 7 years old you had your first strep diagnosis, the Christmas after moving to Roswell. The Dr. said Roswell was the “strep capital” of the world when you continued having it so often.

    There were so many other health issues along with it, but you would keep going until you” dropped.” Hmmm … I think you still do Sweetheart!

  6. I remember having to eat that popcorn, but I don’t remember you going through a “plump” stage – who is in that picture?!?!?

    My favorite story from those “crazy” doctors HAS to be the guy who made you hold things in your outstretched arm, and then if your arm started to dip when he pressed on it, he said it was clear evidence that you have some sort of sensitivity or allergy to that product! You know, like a gallon of milk!! To this day I’m allergic to really heavy objects 🙂

    Keep fightin’ sis!

  7. Kristi Law says:

    I knew you during most of this journey and yet you did let God shine in your life and not your illness. Now that I have RA you are an inspiration to me and I pray daily for a spirit filled life that you have demonstrated. Love you and love this blog. Love looking at your precious daughter.

  8. Thank you all so much for your kind words! I’m overwhelmed reading them. You’re all blessings to me.

  9. Kendra (Cleveland) M. says:

    Hey Leslie, I’m glad to have found your blog! I’m sorry you’ve had to continue struggling with your health through adult-hood. I feel for you from one “silent illness sufferer” to another. I developed fibro on top of the RA after having my first baby. I went through several years that I now refer to as the dark dark years feeling terribly sick but with no one finding anything wrong with me. I find it’s sometimes difficult to find a balance between not talking about my health struggles and sharing them with others. Anyway, thanks for sharing your struggles!

    • Wow, Kendra. I’m so sorry to hear that from you, but happy to hear from you at the same time. I’d love to hear what you’ve done to manage your illnesses while taking care of your children. I had found a good place of management before Lucy, but have struggled re-balancing. I don’t pace myself well. Never have!

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