Sometimes you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, which is where I was at this past summer. I was tired of being tired all the time. I was frustrated with how sick I felt all the time and was ready to do something about my health. But we need to go back a bit to understand my health journey.
Early Elements of my Health Journey
As a young girl I was very interested in nutrition! So much so that when I was being interviewed by a school Phycologist in elementary school I told her that ‘I wanted to eat perfectly’. So maybe you could say eating healthy foods was important to me at a young age. In high school I wanted to be a Dietician so I could teach people how to have healthy eating habits. But for one reason or another I decided that Nursing was the best option for me. Nursing would incorporate my desire to help others during their hardest time of need and allow me to educate them about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. It would also allow me to have a career in which I could help support myself and my future family.
Through out my life I was taught the importance of exercise and keeping active. I started playing competitive soccer when I was five years old and continued to participate in multiple sports all the way through high school. In college, I ran and completed a marathon during my senior year of college. I learned during the training for my marathon that my knees wouldn’t hold up to that amount of running much longer, so I changed to triathlons. I really enjoyed the challenge of triathlons. Swimming was the most challenging and logistically it was difficult to find a swimming pool for training. Eventually I transitioned to spin classes at my local gym, and running on the treadmill.
I always stayed with running and even did a few half marathons. Next I turned to weightlifting at the gym first, and then transitioned to weightlifting at home. I still run off and on, but not consistently like before. I also walk each morning with my husband; plus other activities like hiking and pickle balling.
Starting in my 30s
As I have said previously I knew that good nutrition was key for a healthy lifestyle. After researching on my own I decided to make some changes to my eating habits, but in my early 30’s I started to not feel great. I had gut issues, weight was harder to come off, and cravings were hard to overcome. From my nursing education I knew that modern medicine plays an important part in health, but I knew that what I needed was functional medicine. Functional medicine works holistically looking at the full picture of a person but not limited to just physical, but mental, and emotional as well.
I looked for a Functional Medicine doctor or NP near where I lived and found a Nurse Practitioner. She evaluated me and took some lab tests. Ultimately I was instructed to take some supplements. This would help reduce my Candida levels (fungal infection caused by yeast) and to go off sugar and gluten. We all have stress, and I was instructed to figure out how to deal with stress; so they gave me a pamphlet to read. (Great solution) Well, I took the supplements and felt better. Did my best with not having gluten and sugar (for a while). I felt better; but never really figured out the key to dealing with my stress.
Needing real help
In my early 40’s it became apparent that I needed to make some changes. Sure I was exercising regularly and trying to eat healthy but finding myself so fatigued/tired throughout the day. Honestly I couldn’t go throughout my day without a nap because I was so exhausted. Then there was the continual headaches, my gut had some major issues, I also had a flare up of psoriasis, and weight gain that was continuing to go up. I had increased sugar cravings, and low libido.
I had a friend that had many ailments similar to mine. She was able to find a great Functional Medicine doctor with the help of Just Ingredients recommendations. I watched her progress and saw her get better and better. She was able to do things she hasn’t been able to do in years. My friend was able to get her health back and I was intrigued. I knew that this Functional Medicine Clinic didn’t take insurance and that would be a big obstacle.
Finding the right Functional Medicine Clinic
I looked at other clinics and options but nothing seemed to feel right. I found a few things to help some of my symptoms but I knew I needed MORE. Reaching out to this functional medicine clinic they were able to answer some of my questions about the process and in late spring of this year they sent me a video to watch. I wasn’t ready to take the first step just yet. However, I would get emails from the clinic and finally at the end of May they were having a “deal” on the initial appointment.
I am all about deals! I called the office up and scheduled my first appointment for the end of June. My husband is very supportive. He genuinely wants me to feel and function at my best. I had my first appointment with my husband by my side.
Making a Decision
At my first appointment the Nurse Practitioner performed a health history and a physical, and I had a bunch of labs drawn.
We (my husband was with me) made an appointment about 2 weeks later to review my labs and the findings. The clinic director reviewed the results with me. Fortunately the news was that I didn’t have any major illness or disease. This contributed to why I knew that modern medicine wasn’t the right fit for me. However, I did have lots of labs that were off. The labs showed a ton of inflammation going on throughout my body.
I was presented a plan that would help me to get back to a functional and healthy lifestyle. My husband and I had to decide if this was the right fit. Ultimately we decided that this path was the right one for me. But the question still remained: was ‘I ready to start on this path of my health journey’? And the answer was yes; this was the right path for me on my health journey. I was ready to take my health back and continue on my health journey!
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