|Just a handful of my new treatment plan...excited!|
Basically, I have been feeling pretty lousy and exhausted for the past three years. I have felt fatigued, anxious and depressed, with recurring infections (especially eye infections), minor skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes, unexplained abdominal pain which had me in the hospital twice, dizziness and the occasional fainting episode, and stubborn bouts of thrush that no doctor-prescribed medicine could completely get rid of. I believe my immune system was and still is pretty run-down, and I ended up contracting glandular fever last year that knocked me around to say the least. Doctors have suggested that I feel so shitty due to post-viral chronic fatigue syndrome, health issues stemming from severe endogenous depression (I am still medicated for this) and even irritable bowel syndrome.
|How I feel a lot of the time|
This past fortnight I caught a virus that left me virtually bedridden for three days, and hung around for three weeks; this past fortnight alone I have had to visit the doctor three times at between $75-$130 a pop. On top of that, I have been prescribed several different medications to try and band-aid up my symptoms- the last medication I bought was $85 for a few weeks' worth. And guess what? I don't feel any better, and I definitely don't feel reassured in the slightest that any of their tablets or creams will help me heal for the long term.
|I tried to treat myself|
I have really tried to give my body the best chance it can to heal itself, but I am only a semester into my studies and am very much still a novice at this holistic healing game. I changed my diet to plant-based vegan (as you know), which I think has helped a lot with the thrush and the abdominal pain (I think eliminating yoghurt was the best thing I ever did). I introduced a daily probiotic to my diet to try and crowd out the nasty microflora and restore my gut health and immune system.
I self-prescribed natural anti-fungal supplements like pau d'arco and garlic, and drank calendula tea made from dried flowers. I avoided refined sugar and grains. I culled my skincare and make-up down to coconut oil, organic herbal shampoo and a couple of organic vegan lip balms and concealers (this was actually an ethical move too, due to my vegan lifestyle). I will try almost anything to try and make myself feel well. But even with all my efforts, I know that I am still unwell and I have a lot of difficulty recovering when I do get sick.
|Gluten-free pasta from now on (this was delicious!)|
I feel like a pain in the ass and my social life has suffered immensely as a result of just not "feeling up to it." I used to go to house parties and fall asleep two hours in! I still feel that I am a burden on my beautiful fiance, who has been crazily patient and cares for me like no other; he has been known to drive half an hour to the chemist at eleven at night to bring me antibiotic drops for my eye infections! My family have also been very supportive and sympathetic to my plight, although I'm sure I bore them with my complaints sometimes!
Today's naturopathic consultation with Ally was admittedly an expensive appointment, but I feel that seeing a natural, holistic practitioner and purchasing supplements and herbal tinctures is justified and I believe in it. After reading my health history and a self-assessment, she ran a reflex test (98% accurate!) which revealed a diagnosis of hypothyroidism (also known as an underactive thyroid), which explains a lot of the symptoms I have been experiencing. My results were apparently pretty bad, so I am glad that I am starting to get on top of it now. She has given me information on the condition, explained some dietary changes I can make to give my thyroid the best chance possible, and prescribed iodine, magnesium powder, vitamin B supplements, vitamin D supplements and a herbal tincture to help my body and immune system begin to heal itself.
|The "witches brew" she made for me|
I will see her again in three weeks to check my progress and tweak the doses if need be. In the meantime, I have to start eating my kale and spinach cooked instead of raw (bye bye, green smoothies; they have actually been worsening my situation instead of improving it by blocking my thyroid hormones!) and try to cut out gluten. I am excited for this step forward for my health, not least because it is now around a month until my wedding and I want to be feeling and looking my best!
|I'll have to limit my raw kale now- sad!|