Sunday, August 28, 2011

healing anniversary

Phoenix by Amorphisss

It has been one year since I started working intensely on my healing with a clinic that specializes in nutrition and psychology practices for people with ME/CFS. It has been a really long road and I was hoping I'd feel great when it came time to write this blog, but writing it has also been therapeutic. It's hard to see on a day to day basis how life has improved but taking stock over the last year really helps me see how far I've come.

Since starting the program, this is how I have improved:
-My fibromyalgia disappeared after 3 months.
-I lost any excess weight (between 15-20 pounds) almost immediately, in the first 3 months.
-My brain fog lifted considerably after about 5 months, I can now read and work on my computer for great lengths without to much issue. I used to always forget my phone number or email address and now that problem hardly happens.
-the overall Pain and Poison feeling has really dissapated
- I have had at least a dozen days here and there where I actually felt really WELL
- in the last few months my cortisol has subsided enough that I have started to gain muscle (despite minimal exercise, the muscles are growing on their own)
- Miracles have happened: I've had jobs pop up that allow me to work from home, other little miracles have awed me on so many levels.
- I sleep very well most nights, and my horrible anxiety and nightmares have nearly evaporated completely.
- I seem to recover better from set backs, quicker and more completely.
- I don't spend most of my time in bed. It went from 4-6 days a week in bed, to 1 day a week in bed, to very recently maybe a few days a month in bed. Now I can spend more time on the computer working and outdoors.
- My thinking has shifted from a world full of rules and "supposed to's", to a world of miracles and endless possibilities.
- I got over my addiction to sugar and caffeine after about 3 months of nutrition guidance.
- I used to vomit quite frequently, for no apparent reason. I couldn't tell if it was a stomach problem or a brain problem (balance or neuro-toxin or exhaustion), and now I hardly ever get sick like that.
- Any use of my muscles, lifting my arms to hang clothes or do dishes used to be unbearable, so much pain and poison feeling, now even if I'm tired they just feel tired and I know to rest, rather than feeling that awful pain.
-I've had moments where I really thought "I'm not ill anymore", and I know more and more of those moments will come.
- This time last year I could not stand up to shower. Now I rarely have to take baths, I can shower 4 times a week and be fine, without needing to nap for an hour afterwards. Now I can meditate just 10 or 15 minutes afterwards and be ready to dress and move forward.
- the four previous years I had the flu about 3 times each year and was on antibiotics twice each year.. in the last year I have not had the flu or had to take antibiotics.

This journey to recovery is grueling and I have to be disciplined on every level imaginable, but I have seen beauty and appreciation for life also emerge from this experience, as I wrote in a previous blog. I like to fantasize that I'll get the last 5 years of my life back with interest, and envision a future full of activity, travel, wealth, health, friends, people, experiences, and more. I plan to make up for my lost 20's and see my life as being better for the experience, and know I will treasure every moment even more because of the hardship I've seen.

I want to take this moment to thank my family and friends who have been so unimaginably supportive and continue to endure the confusing times they've had with me through this process. I have an enormous amount of love and respect for all of you.

Bless.

2 comments:

  1. What do your treatments entail?

    So happy to read about your improvements!
    KEEP IT UP!!!

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    Replies
    1. Good question! The OHC works on a full mind-body life style so that your body is in the optimum state for healing. I have a nutritionist and something like a psychology therapist. Nutrition wise I had to cut out anything that made my body work hard, sugar, coffee, most breads, alcohol, anything processed or not coming from a garden or farm! It was really challenging at first but completely changed the way I think about food now. I'm not 100% strict but I got over my sugar and caffeine addictions and have a need for fresh food now. In addition to that I was taking about 20 different highly custom supplements, but have had to stop taking them as I cannot afford them.

      The psychology department works to help you create a state of as little stress as possible since excess cortisone, adrenaline, and an overactive central nervous system are symptoms of CFS. Basically our bodies are stuck on "fight or flight" mode, as the brain stem and nervous system are affected by the illness (not as a psychological response), but understanding and being witness to our psychological responses help patients choose to be something other than their thoughts, including choosing to have an experience outside of physical pain, not getting emotionally and psychologically identified with our physical illness since it can cause depression to constantly live in such a state. Through meditation, study of psychology, spirituality, community, social relationships, and all those other aspects of mind body, the idea is to be as educated as possible in the best ways to take care of ourselves, and a lot of that has to do with un-learning the psychology that we somehow aren't worth taking care of ourselves the way we should.

      In addition to the nutrition and psychology, yoga has been an integral part of my physical body pain management and strength, and spirituality (in an incredibly broad sense!!!) has helped me past the limitations of my day to day living and see a bigger picture of a life still full of gratitude and beauty.

      Thus the OHC provides one on one sessions plus hundreds of hours of education and training on health, psychology, and ME/CFS in general with the idea that what ever the cause of ME/CFS, we can create a healing state in the body that will allow us to recover.

      Thanks for asking!!


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