Making up for the Life Unlived
This is the fifth in a series of posts about my illness and recovery. You can read the earlier installments here at Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. As I returned to work I was ecstatic about all the little things I appreciate in my life. Rolling out of bed in the morning with no pain, going out of the house to see friends, and attending a concert and dancing. Because of the time I spent researching my disease and other maladies (for clients) and learning how to self-direct my care, I had missed a myriad of events and opportunities for work and recreation. Now it was time for me to figure out how to make up for this.
Traditional Medicine aka Sins of Omission
I found my gastroenterologist(s) took a flippant approach to my seeking other solutions to what had come to be annual flare-ups of illness. I took their advice and had a series of tests including a PET scan and multiple MRI’s to determine if I had any traces of other diseases. After being cleared through the PET scan for all other diseases but Ulcerative Colitis, I was then advised to have a colonoscopy, but the purpose of the recommendation was left unsaid. I have concluded that tests of this sort are routinely recommended for the benefit of payment to the doctor more than for the benefit of treatment to the patient. I don’t get paid for undergoing a test, but physicians do receive payment for giving the test. I had already had one several months prior and thus I saw no need to repeat it.
The plan, according to my Gastroenterologists, was to stay on Humira until I became immune to it and then try other biologics when I developed that immunity. Here I am, a person dedicated to recovering her own health and willing to make major life changes, having excellent health insurance now and seeing great specialists, and there is no discussion of how to sustain a remission.
Like other chronically ill people, I wanted not to think about the past and my disease when I had a little headway/breathing room from the memory of the pain, but I had promised a friend of mine to look into finding a solution when I was in a state of remission. So, again in the early spring of 2016, I directed my energy toward finding a solution to my repeated bouts of illness.
A Possible Leap Forward
One of my more learned clients was on an airplane coming back from Australia when he read about Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT’s) and Dr. Thomas Brody who operates his clinic in Sydney, Australia. My client emailed me the article and I immediately went to work researching the procedure. I was researching all available types of therapies for Ulcerative Colitis as I was determined to heal this and return to work helping others with their health.
My research led me to the Taymount Clinic in the UK. Taymount is unlike other clinics in that it is first and foremost a science-based clinic versus a medical clinic. This means that the Taymount Clinic does not treat or diagnose disease. Instead, it organizes and systematizes a procedure to enhance health, digestion, and well-being in the gut microbiota. The therapeutic benefits arise from supporting and improving the immune system function.
Time and Again K Healed Herself
The most recent flare in early 2016 had really rocked me again. I had to cancel appointment after appointment with my clients. It was so disheartening to watch all of my work on their cases fall away because I needed to put my own health first. My team of gastroenterologists recommended more bloodwork and iron transfusions for extreme anemia due to bleeding, but these treatments for the effects of my illness did nothing to reduce the severity of the flare I was experiencing.
I decided to use all the knowledge I had gathered to create a personal regime to reduce inflammation in my body. I could feel myself deteriorating and knew now was the time to put my plan into action. I used cryotherapy, infrared sauna, chiropractic, massage, self directed gyrotonic and gyrokinesis, advanced supplements, some parts of the Briggs Protocol, and Humira to move beyond the most severe part of the flare.
This was not the first time I had alleviated my inflammation successfully and completely on my own, but this time I had the support of my community through a fundraising project called GoFundMe. I even had a director and editor working with me on the video launching my campaign. Never before had I shared my experience as a critically ill person with others outside my immediate family, my very closest friends and my doctors. I could not have done the project without the help of a director and editor, but with their help, I recorded the GoFundMe video.
The success of that video project enabled me to purchase directly the type of care I thought would provide the maximum benefit to me. I was able to travel to The Taymount Clinic and begin treatment in August of this year. Currently, I am continuing treatment at home for the next few months. The follow up treatment involves receiving additional implants, monitoring and continuing with my anti-inflammatory regime. Today I have a plan for recovery and am certain that these procedures curtailed the development of comorbidity due to repeated flares.
One thing I have learned is every time we undergo testing and receive a measurement of our health, the results we obtain from various testing and analysis are but a snapshot of our health in any given moment on any given day. The most effective way I have found to approach gaining insight into my health and devising a strategy for improvement is using data tracking to determine markers of good health that I have found work together to create general well-being. Some markers I use are: quantity and quality of sleep, elimination of pain in every body part, having a pleasant happy mood, functional digestion, and good memory. As I look to these biomarkers as measures of good health, I use different products on a rotational basis to determine what is working at what time and why. These factors have largely contributed to my ability to keep myself well, and off prescription medication used during former hospitalizations.
Moving forward, I will discuss at length a variety of treatments and protocols used for autoimmune diseases and noncommunicable diseases as well as general well being and gaining an edge in human performance. I would like to share some of the products I have been taking during the reduction of inflammation and the plan I developed prior to going to the UK. It has been proven that reducing inflammation prior to a procedure will aid in the success and outcome of the procedure.
Below are several of the dietary supplements that I have been taking. Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that serve a specific purpose and benefit the body in a unique way. For Example, vitamin A supports vision and bone growth, whereas vitamin E strengthens the immune system and helps repair DNA. Vitamin and mineral deficiency can impair the body’s ability to heal and protect itself.
My recommendations: Good to keep these on your shelf:
Fast Tissue Repair - Upgraded Collagen provides the particular proteins that ensure cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of skin, cartilage and bone.
Greater Flexibility and Mobility - Upgraded Collagen makes the main building blocks of connective tissue more bioavailable and better absorbed into joints for greater flexibility and mobility.
Strong Bone and Joint support - Upgraded Collagen supports strong, heavier, denser bones and contains two building blocks of cartilage that are essential for refueling after exercise and sports.
Revitalized Skin - Upgraded Collagen promotes skin hydration, reduces the number of fine lines, prevents deeper wrinkles, and maintains the suppleness of your skin from the inside-out.
Build Muscle - Upgraded Collagen supports muscle building by facilitating the synthesis of creatine in the body.
Reduce Aging - Upgraded Collagen replaces the necessary proteins that diminish and breakdown from aging.
Deeper Sleep - Upgraded Collagen taken at bedtime deepens sleep, provides arginine to stimulate growth hormone release, and provides nutrients necessary to perform tissue repair while sleeping.
Brain Function - Upgraded Collagen provides glycine, a neurotransmitter involved in motor and sensory pathways as well as ATP synthesis. Use this link for purchase: http://bit.ly/2deTMuS
Restore & Rejuvenate
Use this link for purchase: http://bit.ly/2duzefz
Brain Octane softgels
Balances beneficial bacteria in the gut
Supports healthy digestion and immune function
1000 mg of Brain Octane in each softgel
Brain Octane is distilled from 100% pure coconut oil
Convenient and travel friendly
Use this link for purchase: http://bit.ly/2dmb3DD
Brain Octane oil
Reliable and quick source of energy from fat not sugar
Helps your body burn fat
Supports cognitive performance
Quality fats that don’t weigh you down
Distilled from 100% pure coconut oil
Use this link for purchase: http://bit.ly/2d1pAVX
InstaMix, Travel Packs of Bulletproof Brain Octane and Grass fed Butter
High Performance powdered creamer to instantly make Bulletproof tea or coffee
Convenient source of Bulletproof fats to power your day
No refrigeration required
Single serve packets instantly mix into freshly brewed coffee/ tea
Sugar free, all natural, non- GMO, gluten free
Use this link for purchase: http://bit.ly/2dmbjT7
Moral of the story is, be wary of relying on insurance to cover the types of procedures, appointments, and therapies you may need in the future. For the most part, the insurance paradigm locks people into a plan, which is extremely difficult to change once applied and approved by your network. If you locate a physician who is out of network, you will need to fund this directly. I expect this trend to increase in the future.
Following periods of severe illness, disease or injury, one requires follow-up care. The consistent follow-up care necessary to restore one to full health is often non-existent in the current model of medicine.
Doctors are overworked and have multiple cases to manage. Consequently, they are often unable to provide lasting solutions or to help plan for long-term sustainable changes. Further, since their contact is often limited to times when you are acutely ill (More than one doctor has inquired of my family during the most acute stage of my illness, “is she always like this?”), they do not know how you are when you are healthy. This makes consistent care difficult and planning for an integrated approach following the acute phase, impossible.
Be forewarned, you and those you love will be required to “Take Healthcare Into Your Own Hands”, the motto of my company, for lasting improvements to your health. You will need practices for the long run versus the short run where western medicine is best utilized and emergency care is necessary and, almost certainly, you will need to plan to pay these health improvement costs yourself.
The former life that I’ve lived in Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the saga, some people would label “sucky”. Still, these hardships have served me enormously in discovering what I really desire in terms, not only of my own health and happiness, but what is possible for restoring human health. We can see that the current medical systems do not support us and our optimal health. As I experience my own recovery, I look forward to creating systems that support the health of many people.
People who are living happily ever after in the present often faced a major hurdle, a tragedy or an extremely difficult time. Victor Frankl said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
It is that opportunity for growth and freedom with health that I strive to present to others. There is an opportunity for all of us to participate consciously and intentionally in achieving much greater health and well being than we may know. We can choose our response and we can choose those treatments and practices which build and sustain our health.
I hope my story will encourage you to Take Your Healthcare Into Your Own Hands and that you will join me in finding new paths to creating even greater health and well-being.