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.