Hello sunshine. This has been a milestone week for me in my personal healthy journey. My immunoglobulin numbers have finally returned to the normal range after 5 years of healing my body. While there is still some fine-tuning left to go, this was a major hurdle to overcome. One of my most valuable learnings on this long and bumpy road to recovery was the importance of taking time to reflect.
Five years ago, I was chronically unwell. I was working in a demanding job while feeling terrible. I was terrified because not only was I unwell, but I had no idea what was wrong with me. People thought I was making up my illness. Twenty-six years old, barely able to function and no diagnosis.
A stranger in a juice bar diagnosed me on the spot with Lyme Disease and Co-infections which I confirmed a week later. Years of conventional treatment helped me in some ways and made me way sicker in others. After 2.5 years of treatment, I was at my lowest point, feeling the worst I had ever felt. With a PIC line in my arm and fed up with treatment, I decided this path was no longer serving me. I opted for a holistic route to healing.
While “holistic healing” sounds nice – it took me years of trial and error, ups and downs and a few break downs in-between to get to where I am today.
I stuck to my path because there were little signs along the way telling me that this was working. One by one symptoms started to disappear and become less frequent. I still experienced bad days in between but my continuous reflections helped me to acknowledge my progress. I learned to savor the small victories and work through the set-backs. Each set-back prompted me to do more research and identify new ways to support myself.
Early in my journey, I created a medical binder that housed the results of all my blood work and medical tests. Not only was this practical as I consulted different doctors but it was a great resource for me to reflect on my progress. When things got slightly worse or stalled for a few months, I would flip to the beginning of the binder and remind myself of where I started.
My reflections helped me to identify what was working and what wasn’t. It was a process of continuous reflection and evaluation on what my body needed the most support in. At one point, I was doing so much to “heal” that I was burning myself out. Cramming in as many doctors appointments, vitamin drips, acupuncture, and other holistic treatments each week was not working . My reflections helped me realize that I needed to slow down my pace. This was a marathon, not a sprint!
Reflecting on my progress and lifestyle is the key to what got me here today. It kept me on track and forced me to stay on course. More importantly, acknowledging the small improvements kept me sane.
Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely days where I was angry, exhausted and on the verge of giving up. I let myself experience those emotions but I didn’t let them consume me. My motto was: experience, reflect and move forward.
This week was not only a time to reflect but a milestone in my recovery. A recovery that some doctors told me would be unlikely. I haven’t experienced symptoms in years and as of this week, on paper, my autoimmune response if finally in the normal range. I am taking this moment to embrace the victory and reflect on how much I’ve learned along the way.
With every goal in life, both health and non-health related, there are road blocks and set-backs that make you question everything. Reflection is a way to take a step back, put things into perspective and give you a clear mind to think about your next course of action. Embrace the journey and be grateful for where you are in this moment.