A Year of Transformation, One Tweak at a Time
It's been a while.
Last July when I wrote about taking my life offline, I knew I needed some time to step back and reflect. I'd been struggling with pain, old viruses and chelation (frequent oral dose via the Andy Cutler protocol due to chronic heavy metal poisoning) for months. What I didn't realize was that nearly a year would pass before I wrote much else.
In an attempt to make up for lost time, and to be relatively transparent with readers, I thought I'd begin by sharing what I've been up to all this time.
In the past year, I continued to consult with clients and further developed my home practice but I also released myself of obligations.
I stopped posting content to my previous site and to social media, I unsubscribed from mailing lists and opted out of receiving comments - even from my own site. I knew I needed uninterrupted time to reach a better place with my health and well-being. More importantly, I needed to settle into a simpler space with less struggle.
In doing so, I gave myself permission to spend more time resting, reading and watching T.V. guilt-free. I devoted more energy to doing those activities which made me happy and I avoided those tasks that invoked feelings of dread.
I exercised more (which helps reduce my pain), I rested more (which helps manage my fatigue), I meditated more (which helps me keep life in perspective) and I practiced yoga (which makes me zen).
I even began working with a Brennan Healer in Ocotober referred by my pain specialist. I'd done a lot of work food-wise, physically and mentally but I knew I needed some guidance in the spiritual realm. It's been a fascinating experience and I continue to work with my healer every other week with daily exercises including color meditation (based on the seven chakras) and core star work.
I also sought counsel from a christian therapist to learn how to manage my coping mechanisms while living with chronic pain and disease. We work together monthly and this too has challenged me to grow mentally and spiritually.
Despite these benefits, in November I learned that I was the unfortunate host of Enterobius vermicularis, or parasites. This was confirmed by completing the Genova Diagnostics GI Effects Stool Profile. An unwelcome finding that supported what was described to me as "survivial of the fittest," particularly in regards to brain injuries and susceptibility. If you missed that post you can read it here.
As a vulnerable host with invaders like heavy metals, viruses, yeast, fungi and autoimmunity - it seemed I was a likely candidate for parasites too. And although this discouraged me, I've come to realize that it's all part of the process. I've also learned that until the metals are gone, I'm going to contend with chronic head pain, allergies, sensitivities (to light, sound, food and chemicals), yeast, parasites, viruses and disease because they're all interwined. In fact these biotoxins not only thrive in heavy metals hosts, but they hide within the metals and create a biofilm to make them particularly hard to destroy.
My job, beyond chelating, is to live my best despite these discomforts so I spend a lot of time each day managing symptoms. I use the most natural remedies first such as heat compresses, massage, rest, essential oils and homeopathic remedies. On the tough days when I exhaust those options, I reach for over-the-counter drugs. And although rare, sometimes I require a perscription strength drug as a last resort. One thing I've learned from severely debilitating pain is that there's no shame in seeking relief from medication, no matter how greatly your All Natural pracitioner frowns upon it.
In December, I decreased my chelation dose (for removing heavy metals) by half in order to enhance my quality of life. Although it felt like defeat at the time, the trade off has been worthwhile. The reduced dose allowed me to be more productive and to enjoy more days, while continuing to decrease my metal levels albeit slowly.
In February, we received confirmation that my chelation protocol is indeed working when a Doctor’s Data Inc. Toxic Metals Urine Collection showed reduced levels of Lead (5.6 down to 5.1 ug/g) and most heavy metals (aluminum, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, cesium, mercury (3.3 down to 1.7), thallium, tin and tungsten). The lead reduction is minimal after 1.5 years of oral chelation, but it's on target for the standard seven year detox to normalize my levels (beneath 2).
I've also done a fair amount of genetic testing in the past year using companies like 23andme, Genetic Genie and Genovations Genetic Testing. I realize many folks fear genetic testing and what it might reveal, but I take a different approach. I find that the more information I have at any given time, the better decisions I'm able to make - particularly when it comes to motivating my self care.
Not only do these tests give me peace-of-mind, but they've empowered me to know what I'm more prone to developing later in life and the related risk factors. I'm then able to use that information to be even more pro-active moving forward, and that's really the goal: to keep moving forward.
More importantly, these tests reveal detailed information about methylation defects and detox pathways - both of which help to explain why I've been prone to accumulating heavy metals in my body while others haven't. By understanding these concepts, I have the ability to tailor my medications and supplements accordingly.
So all the while, I tweak that which I consume: food, supplements and OTC meds based on the current symptoms and information I've acquired. I can touch on these topics another time, but if you have any particular interests email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll make your questions a priority in upcoming posts.
In March I began working with a Registered Nurse who practices cranial sacral therapy and lymphatic drainage. Both have proven tremendoulsy vital for my head and immune health.
Shortly after that my husband and I moved to a more permanent community - our fourth home in nearly six years of marriage. We're both relieved to have a home base (really for the first time since we each lived with our parents) and now we're gearing up for my first trip back to Pennsylvania in two years.
As mentioned, my diet is constantly evolving based on what I tolerate at any given time. What does hold true is that I seek clean (organic as able), simple, whole foods (minimally processed and free from most additives and preservatives) that don't result in delayed food sensitivities (inflammation hours to days later). I use a lot of coconut products, and in some ways you might say I have a coconut-based diet rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT's) - known to be healing and health promoting. If you have questions about coconut (given its stable saturated fat content), check out the book The Coconut Oil Miracle by Brian Fife, PhD, RD. You'll be amazed at all the benefits!
More recently I've been dabbling in a ketogenic diet merged with my already as high nutrient as possible-hypoallergenic- coconut based meals. Now because I don't tolerate dairy and beef, it's a modified ketogenic diet to include foods that work for me. It's complicated but in short, I consume low carbs and sugar to starve down the parasites, moderate protein and high fat to promote bile formation to support liver detox and ketone production for brain healing, neurological symptoms, and heavy metal detox.
I use coconut in most forms: milk, shredded, flakes, flour, oil, butter, aminos and more as long as it’s sulfite free (the Coconut Secret products are great). Thank goodness for coconut! I use organic as able especially for animal products. All store bought products must be as simple as possible and free from nitrites (no curing of meats), sulfites, benzoic acid, alcohol, artificial sweeteners (aside from Stevia), sugars and most other additives and preservatives.
All of the above makes it challenging to travel, to go out for extended times (not usually a problem since I fatigue quickly) and to be any degree of flexible - so my life has evolved into a rather quiet existence. I find solace in the silence, but my end game remains unchanged. When I meditate I envision myself as my Brennan Healer prompts, "pain free and in perfect health." And although I don't recall what it feels like to live without at least some sort of dull and constant pain, I do believe it's possible.
I still believe in the power of manifesting that which we think, speak and enact and for that reason I know that my best days are ahead...