Hey everyone! At the time I post this blog, we are bumping into 2022! I hope all of you are safe and healthy with your family despite all the uncertain world events. If 2021 has taught me anything is that all things I believed to be “true” aren’t so. This starts with my personal beliefs about cause and effect, science and evidence. And even all things I believed that I “knew” with certainty that I really didn’t know. This year has been the most challenging year for me both personally, professionally, and physically. I lived through the emotional turmoil of being stricken by a severe dose of my autoimmune flares out of nowhere.
I do have my theories of what happened but again, for the purpose of this blog, I want to share only what would be empowering to you.
A Year of Ups and Downs
2021 started strong for me with my Wellness-Yoga studio newly opened after the pandemic. I was regaining my footing in the business and deciding how to move forward. I had big plans to make significant progress in all areas of my life despite all the obstacles and setbacks we experienced in our lives. However, I began to experience mysterious and debilitating fatigue which progressively got worse.
My personal Yoga practice became hard and laborious, I missed my son’s high school graduation. I had to take lots of sick days and rest, and was hospitalized with a “lupus flare” that puzzled my doctors at the end of May.
I believed I was out of the woods when I was discharged from the hospital in May but in September I became so anemic that I needed blood transfusion. Then shortly after, I had full blown lupus nephritis which caused acute kidney failure sending me into the hospital yet again at the beginning of December.
Despite My Efforts
I am still in the recovery phase but what I experienced this year is something I am still trying to process. I’ve tried every holistic, functional medicine, integrative nutrition, and all the supplements that I knew can support me but the autoimmune inflammation was so severe that it burned me out fast almost to the point of losing my kidney function.
I have Lupus which has affected my kidneys in the past. I usually recovered quickly and was able to resume a normal life without losing my functional status, but this time was different.
I’ve been struggling to stay productive due to my physical condition. For as long as I’ve been living with Lupus which is over 2 years I’ve never really been debilitated to the extent I’ve been this year.
The fatigue, exhaustion, physical changes from under functioning kidneys, mental, and functional decline got me in a state of depression. I finally understood what it feels like to lose control over every aspect of your life due to an illness.
Letting Go of What I Can’t Control
The worst was that I had no control over my body and health no matter what I tried. It wasn’t until I let go of all my expectations, ideologies, the shoulds and clouds and sit with the painful experience that I found some moments of peace within.
The peace within provided me with much needed assurance that all would be just ok no matter what. That all the worrying about who I was and who I want to be is irrelevant. That the present was more important to me and each moment was precious with those I wanted to share them with.
Fear is, and will always be a Parasite
For about two weeks that I was hospitalized, I lost function of my body. My body was going against my mental will in healing and was being destroyed from within. The fear sprung up within me when I realized there was nothing you can do to stop it from burning out my kidneys. The only thing I can do is to take heavy duty medications. But even with the medications, my body failed to respond. From high dose corticosteroids, chemo, blood pressure meds, the doctors tried everything.
Plus, with the inflammation so bad, my red blood counts along with hemoglobin/hematocrit/platelets began to drop.
This is because kidneys as an essential organ that filters all the impurities out of the body and creates acid/alkaline balance in the body. But when it’s attacked by autoimmunity, the first order of intervention is to take the fire out before it burns everything. The things is, my autoimmune flares happened to be a very aggressive fire.
Even after the first dose of chemo, corticosteroids, and meds I wasn’t getting better. Plus the complications with hematoma to my kidneys when they biopsied it added the pain and digestive issues that made me bloat up to where I felt like I was 9 months pregnant.
When Emotions Overpower Mind
My brain unraveled and became impatient with the lack of progress. I felt anxious yet weak and slowly was able to detach from the consequences of these flares as opposed to thinking about the worst case scenario where I would need kidney dialysis or a transplant.
I didn’t know what to expect but I knew I was at the end of the ropes and there was no hope. When discharged, I was still sick and inflamed without having control over my autoimmune flares.
My holiday plans with my family needed to be cancelled and I spent time nurturing my body and resting as best as I can.
Here’s what I learned from this experience.
- I don’t know what I don’t know and autoimmunity can strike at any time.
- Doctors truly don’t know how to heal you, they know how to manage the disease.
- When you’re sick, nobody can help you.
- Hospital protocols may cause more harm than good.
- Patients should know how to advocate for themselves.
- We need self empowered healing modalities that we live everyday to stay healthy.
- Health truly is wealth.
- Your relationship with yourself dictates your prognosis.
- You must have dominion over your mind and body.
- Your disease is much deeper than your symptoms.
I am still in recovery and I can tell you that my life trajectory has changed direction. Right now I am still processing what happened and am working on loving myself through this healing process.
While There is Still Time
I want to remind you that it’s so much easier to protect and safeguard your health while you have it vs losing it to be reminded.
Our bodies are miraculous, we must nurture, love, and trust it without any attachment or punishment.
I experienced just how broken our healthcare system was. I didn’t feel “safe” in the hospital, with specialists who weren’t communicating with each other and Doctors who are contracted with the hospital with so many “travel” nurses without any loyalty or commitment. I’ve witnessed the messiness, unkind practitioners, incentive Doctors, medical protocols that has the power to potential harm patients, it’s not a place where you want to go.
Autoimmunity can strike at any time. There is no black and white answers, but what I do know is to be better at communicating with my body and mind, nurturing my soul, seeking truth in who I am, holding steady and staying committed to what’s truly important to me. Life is short, it’s worth living it to your fullest potential preferably on your own terms.
I’m hosting a FREE live training January 10-15, 2022 to show you How to Think, Act, and BE Healthier Than You Ever Thought Possible By Getting To The Root Cause Of Your Autoimmunity. Let’s make 2022 your healthiest year yet.