Viva Sano Canti

It seems I have been recommending magnesium supplements to my friends and family a lot lately. The most common issue I hear is “I am having trouble sleeping”. Many health issues can be alleviated by proper diet, eliminating processed foods and those foods we are all sensitive to. (For me that would be wheat dairy, sugar and anything fungalized  including most grains) Another way to help our bodies heal and function properly is through supplements. I think Magnesium is one of the most basic needs many of us are just not getting enough of.

Magnesium is the most important mineral in the body. Magnesium activates over 300 different biochemical reactions in your body all necessary for your body to function properly. Most importantly Magnesium needs to be paired with calcium so the magnesium doesn’t leach it from the bones. The proper ratio should be two parts calcium to one part magnesium. Another element to consider in your magnesium supplement is vitamin D. Vitamin D3 also aids in calcium absorption and can also helps with depression.I think liquid forms are more easily absorbed by the body which is why I don’t take magnesium supplement in a hard to digest pill form. I do take multivitamins in pill form that are not synthetic because liquid vitamins taste a lot like the chewables we all had as kids. (I don’t care for that taste)

Natural Calm was first recommended to me by my acupuncturist to help with mild insomnia and constipation issues. It also helps with many other issues such as muscle fatigue,leg cramps, PMS,Osteoporosis, stress, and even kidney stones and gallstones.  Please click and read more about Natural Calm. I recommend the Natural Calm with the calcium since you should take calcium with magnesium. I also like that this product has boron in it since that was also recommended to me along with Vitamin D3. I like to show my three year old that it fizzes like a science experiment and I like that it is sweetened with Stevia and  prepared like a warm tea. I also prefer the lemon flavor to the lemon raspberry and haven’t sampled the plain or orange flavors. I also recommend starting with one teaspoon and increasing until you get your desired results. If stomach or intestinal cramping occurs in the morning it simply means too much was taken and the amount should be slightly decreased.  I found this to be momentarily uncomfortable but was nothing serious and a common side effect. The cost can be around $14-$24 depending on the size of the product and where you purchase. I think the larger size is 16oz and will last for about 3 months. There are also kid friendly formulas and one for pregnancy as well.

Supplement Facts
Serving Size: About 4 Teaspoons
Servings per Container: About 12
Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Magnesium 600 mg
Calcium 400 mg
Potassium 198 mg 40
Vitamin C 500 mg 832
Vitamin D3 200 I.U 50
Boron 500 mcg *

Bluebonnet-Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate–  comes in a 16 ounce bottle. I like this product in many ways better than the CALM because I can take a tablespoon of it before bed instead of drinking 6-8 ounces of liquid and making an extra trip to the bathroom. Bluebonnet’s Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate Plus Vitamin D3 provides 1200 mg of calcium and 600 mg of magnesium in a 2:1 ratio, plus 800 IU of vitamin D3 which is great for me since I am trying to take 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. I really like the blueberry flavor and have not tried the other flavors. It says you can bake with it but I have never tried that either.  I just take just under a tablespoon and follow it with a little water about 20 minutes before I go to sleep. It works the same way as the CALM does and has all teh same bennefits and same side effects. It comes in a lot of different flavors and the price is about $9.  One bottle should last about a month. There is a kids formula of this as well.

LifeTime Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate– is very similar to it’s bluebonnet counterpart. It tastes slightly different but is pleasant. I checked through all the flavors and found the grape flavor to be the closest formulation to the Bluebonnet brand. This one can be a dollar or two cheaper than bluebonnet. I mostly buy what I can find when shopping and found a great price on this at vitacost.com.

I have also tried Ionic Fizz but I did not like the flavor.  It reminded me of a bad emergen-C (which is not a bad product but not the best way to get vitamin C)  The product I linked to has a 250 to 350 ratio of calcium to magnesium which is incorrect according to what I have been told. There are several different formulations and perhaps one without the calcium paired with another form of calcium might provide the correct ratio. I would recommend the magnesium plus with a separate calcium supplement. Be sure to take twice the calcium as the amount of magnesium.

You can find these products in your local health food store, whole foods market or my favorite online savings store for supplements www.vitacost.com.  Natural Calm is also less expensive at Natural Foods Warehouse. Always talk to the people who are working at a health food store. Many of them can give you guidance and look up information for you. (at least that has been my experience versus the folks working at Whole Food who may or may not be able to give you good advise) I caution against ordering probiotics from vitacost as they should be kept refrigerated since they contain live organisms.


Natural Calm

Natural Calm with calcium

Bluebonnet-Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate

LifeTime Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate

Ionic Fizz

Vitamin D3

www.vitacost.com

This could possibly be one of  the least known highly versatile natural medicines available to man. A lot of people are skeptical of “holistic” medicines due to misinformation or ignorance. Lomatium Dissectum (LDM-100) is a plant based broad spectrum antibiotic that is that has the ability to suppress the growth of 62 types of bacteria and fungi. It is derived from the wild carrot which is a member of the parsley family. It’s history dates back to use by  the Native Americans and is particularly effective for upper respiratory aliments.  Not only is it effective, it is even safe enough to give to children. I have been known to slip a couple drops into my daughter’s juice when she is sick and I have been taking this medicine for over 10 years.

ldm01 Anti-viral, anti-fungal also
Use for all kinds of infections – ears, cold sores, asthma, hay fever, respiratory, urinary tract, candida and more
Effective for colds, flu
Easy to take, add to water or juice

Basically you can take it orally or apply it externally for any kind of infection viral, fungal, or bacterial. The only side effect is the possibility of a non-fatal mild rash. From my experience you don’t run the risk of becoming “immune” or building up a “tolerance” to this medication but some infections may require a stronger dosage. It works by stimulating the body’s own immune system to fight the harmful pathogens/micro-organisms without destroying the good micro-organisms that reside in the body. Unlike man made pharmaceuticals, it attacks the cause and not the symptoms which is the proper way to heal. With the over prescribing of antibiotics and other toxic medications, I highly recommend this product as a safer alternative.

Interesting fact: During the fall of 1918 when the influenza epidemic visited a region of Nevada, the Washoe Indian tribe used Lomatium in the treatment of their sick. Whether a coincidence or not, there was not a single death in the Washoe tribe from influenza or its complications, although Indians living in other parts of the State where the root did not grow died in numbers.

These website have more information:

http://www.choosecra.com/store/immune/ldm-100.html

http://www.barlowherbal.com/article_info.php?articles_id=8

https://momentum98.com/ldm.html

Often when we think of energy an image of a field of windmills might come to mind or that nuclear power plant Homer Simpson works at. When I think of energy I think of the force that pushes our bodies to do just a little more than we though we could. Energy is so much more than all of that combined. It is all around us everywhere and we use it every day. It can be positive, negative, strong, weak, hot or cold. It can heat your house or heal your body. We can get it from the food we eat, from the air we breath, from sleeping and meditating and from all around us. We can even get energy from those around us. It’s unlimited and all encompassing.

Qi, Ki,Chi, Prana…There are many names and terms for energy. There is Universal Energy, Chon ji geum and Chun Ji mom (Heaven energy and Earth energy in Korean) some call energy God, Allah, Jehovah, The Native Americans believe the universe is bound by spirit energy, some believe in sun and moon energy, the Chinese believe in Yin/Yang energy and the list continues. These terms are very limiting, so when I talk about energy, I talk about ALL of these things and even more than the mind can explain or see. It is something when you are truly connected to it you can feel, expand and use. Anyone is capable of feeling energy and using energy and everyone is capable of using healing energy to heal themselves and others.

Energy is used in many holistic ways by many different kinds of healers. Feng Shui uses Universal Energy to heal the home and spaces. Massage therapy uses healing energy to heal the body and mind as does Yoga. Acupuncture helps unblock and move “Chi” in the body in many of the same ways. Other healers, naturopathic doctors, and chiropractors also use energy to heal the body.

When the word “healer” comes to mind, some envision faith healers and think of wacky religious cults trying to heal the blind and crippled by laying hands on them and chanting or think it is just another “snake oil” sales pitch trying to bilk people of their life savings. Belief in Energy Healing is not like that. Energy is a tool and when used properly by those with an open mind, it works. The key is you have to believe in order for it to work.

It is a universal faith much like religion, not excluding religion but encompassing ALL religions. The greatest healer I can think of was Jesus. According to the bible, he used energy to heal the sick and perform miracles and all good Christians believe this is true. I don’t think Jesus sold “snake oil”, he did God’s work. Buddahists have a strong belief in positive and negative energies.  Tao,  which is a constant force in the universe, is a concept found in Taoism, Confucianism, and more generally in ancient Chinese philosophy. All of this is not exclusive of the other but more inclusive as energy truly is universal and all encompassing.

Energy can take on many shapes and forms. There is spiraling vortex energy, infinity energy which moves like a figure eight,and a third that moves much like stair steps. There is even a meditation called energy dance in which your body moves with the energy in a natural dance. Singing is another meditation that uses energy (it actually is energy) and all singers use energy whether they are meditating or not. Thoughts and intention can also shape energy which is why meditation is important to clear the mind.  Through meditation and practice we can feel  energy, grow energy, and use it to heal ourselves and others. The key is belief, focus, and practice.

The most important thing to remember about energy is that everything has energy from a rock on the ground to the sun and the stars. People and places also hold energy which is why it is very important to surround ourselves with positive energy and people because their energy becomes ours. Even our thoughts have energy and should remain positive and free of preconceptions and negativity. This takes a great deal of practices and sometimes is impossible to fully do but in the same respect it is critical to our own health and well being. Energy imbalances, cold, stagnant, and negative energies rob our bodies and degrade our physical and mental states and leave us susceptible to illness and other maladies. Just like the expression “negativity breeds more  negativity”, positive breeds more positive and can reverse the damage when properly focused. Remove as much negative from your life as possible and you will see a silver lining in the clouds instead of only rain and your physical and mental state will dramatically improve. You have to use energy to gain more energy and by healing the body and healing others you can grow your energy just like a crop and harvest the fruits of your labor. Remember, you must first believe in yourself and your own personal energy and anything is possible.

I have often heard that you only need to see a chiropractor when you have had been in a car accident or had some other major trauma like that. Some even think that chiropractors aren’t real doctors and that they can do more harm than good. A lot of people tell me they think Chiropractors are “quacks” or that they aren’t real doctors. I’ve also been told how they can damage you that adjustments are not good for you. I don’t know where these people do their research because quite the opposite is true. I believe in quality Chiropractic care and even have Dr.Saul adjust my child who is three. It is very safe.  I recommend anyone with any health issues go see Dr.Saul or a chiropractor near you.  This really isn’t a sales pitch. Just like with any other doctor make sure you check out any Chiropractor before scheduling that appointment because some are better than others and there are  a few bad ones  out there. The fact is everyone should be seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis or at minimal once a year if they are in perfect structural alignment.

As you may have guessed, I have a very good relationship with my chiropractor and often credit him with saving my life. My chronic pain illness was robbing me of my quality of life and also causing physical damage to my body. I had never really been under the care of a chiropractor before and had I not gone, I would have had degenerated disks in my neck just like my grandmother suffered with. I actually should have been under care a lot sooner. No drugs, no surgery and relief. Holistic medicine is truly wonderful. It’s treating the body as a whole instead of just treating symptoms of an issue. It has been described to me as driving your car and the  oil light comes on, so instead of  adding oil and fixing the leak, you just put a piece of tape over the light and keep driving. This is what traditional medicine was doing for me. My pain was being treated with pills that didn’t work or  by having surgery to cut off the nerves that were sending the pain signals. What I needed was to find the source of my pain and deal with that.  So chiropractic care, physical therapy,stress management and yoga seemed to be the solution to the problem and not just a mask for the symptom. (I also should include massage therapy. When I could afford to incorporate that into my treatment plan, it really helped)There was a reason why I had this headache and I had to work on understanding it before I could really conquer it.

I started coming in to see Dr. Saul three times a week. He worked on my issues both structurally and internally.  I filled out a long form and went for blood tests and we did all kinds of testing to find out what supplements might help me. My body condition was in pretty bad shape from all the toxic medications I had been ingesting and I was lucky I didn’t have liver damage. Sometimes I would spend extra time in the office laying down on an icepack. Dr. Saul really took a great deal of time  and care with me and sometimes I was pretty challenging.  Eventually I made improvement and reduced the frequency of my visits. I now only go for an adjustment once every four weeks. I am much more aware of my body condition now and can actually tell when I need an adjustment.

One of the best stress reducers and natural healing things you can do for your body is Yoga. I  started going to a class through continuing education when I lived in Stockbridge around 1998/1999. I really liked it. It was very relaxing and I was increasing my flexibility and just enjoying it.

When we moved to Roswell, I discovered Dahn Yoga.  At first I wasn’t sure about a place that had a uniform and that had classes every day but I soon found it was exactly what I needed. Monday classes focus on intestinal exercises, Tuesday and Thursdays is regular yoga and Wednesdays are Tai Chi and Friday is more of a fun energy class using music and dancing, and some classes offered Saturday morning. This yoga technique also incorporates  elements of Qigong, and Hangong intestinal exercises that can be individually customized. It also focuses on meditation and brain respiration which is the spiritual aspect of yoga. Unlimited classes for less than $200 a month  is a good deal. Click here to find out more about the program.

You do have to purchase a uniform. It is also suggested that you start with an Energy Check up which can be free or $35. It is a great way for the Master to assess your body condition and a very relaxing experience. It may also be suggested that you sign up for healing sessions which are an expense much like seeing a massage therapist. There are also programs and workshops you are encouraged to sign up for for additional cost and other activities to participate in that are no additional cost. The most expensive program is the Healer School Program which is a very advanced and special program. All of these things are optional but encouraged. I personally went through all of the workshops and programs and lectures and enjoyed every bit of it and am a better person because of this.

Now if you Google Dahn Yoga Cult you will find a plethora of misinformation from how this is a high priced cult that brain washes to people have died trying to become Dahn Masters. You really need to read all the responses to the various blogs and opinions posted out there. It is far from a cult. It can and should be a way of life or a lifestyle choice. The foundation being Healthy body, healthy mind, and healthy spirit (soul) and the mission to heal the world with peace is hardly a controversial idea much less “brain washing”. This is from the Korean culture which is very different and it is a discipline that requires training and practice.

I admit I was skeptical after I payed $80 and walked home with a uniform after one class because I had made a commitment without visiting other yoga studios as I intended and this was going to be more than once a week.  I then felt like this was the right thing to do and started to “enjoy my pain” as I worked on ridding my body of stagnant energy, stress, and tension, and started to become more flexible and more relaxed. I started seeing changes in my physical and mental state that were very positive and I was truly healing.  I did experience some fatigue as the toxins were being released from my body much like you do when you get a deep tissue massage and then I would feel even better. This was good for me and my husband and I was becoming happy and healthy and less stressed.

I then signed up for a series of programs and would stay after class for a lecture or two every month about the power brains we used in class or meridian channels. I even took classes to be a BR teacher which is a lot like brain gym which is used in public schools. I was enjoying my yoga and all my experiences that went along with it. The workshops were intense for a weekend at a time and there were a series of 5 of which I took four over the coarse of a year or so.(They were worth every penny.) I also did a lot of one on one healing sessions which are a lot like going for acupuncture or massage therapy. They were all about self discovery and this whole Dahn experience was becoming a life style choice. It was becoming spiritual and personal so if by reprogramming my brain I was “brain washed” then I am very grateful. This WAS the end of all of my physical and mental problems and I was living a drug free, pain free life with very little stress.

I can see with the expense of the programs and the healer school that it seems like a high pressured sales pitch. The simple answer is to never pay more than you can afford and if you pay the $10,000 to go through healer school and see all the months of classes, workshops, instruction and practice and trips to Sedona that go with it you can see where the money goes.  There is an issue if you don’t have the money and cause yourself  harm by financially overextending yourself, then you only have yourself to blame and not some peace cult.  Some of the students there who were not going through all of the programs would talk in whispers about this being a cult and some even dropped out of the programs and left the center with those thoughts. It is my opinion that many don’t want to face their true self and deal with their own fears and preconception so it is easy to just be afraid and blame it on a “cult” instead of looking inside themselves.

During my training to become a Healer, I was pregnant and suffered a miscarriage which not only saddened my husband and myself but also my yoga master who was sensitive to my energy. A few months later I was pregnant with a wonderful bundle of energy that became my beautiful little girl. I think she is healthy and happy because of all of my training and good eating, positive energy, song and dance and healing sessions I went through. This was a baby who knew joy, energy, music, and love before she was born. I could feel her energy and I could feel that she was a girl before any test could because I had such incite into myself. I’m not going to get heavily into energy and healing energy in this post.  Many people don’t understand what that is and I’d like to go into more details at another time.

I learned to become sensitive to energy, emotions, feelings, and the physical state of my body and also in others. Anyone who is a healer of any kind knows these things. It is possible to feel energy, move energy, and use energy as a tool. My chiropractor does this, my acupuncturist does this, my massage therapist does this and to a larger extent Jesus did this.  I am not comparing anyone to Jesus but he WAS the greatest healer and we should all be healers like Jesus. Everyone has the ability to feel and use energy and to become a healer and heal themselves and others if they are open to it and learn to use the natural tools we are all born with.

Since having my daughter I haven’t taken the time to go back to the center or finish the last step in my healer training but I use what I learned there everyday and I use it in my singing and my teaching and I know what my greater purpose is and have a deeper understanding of myself and others than most people do. I still have a lot to learn but that is the joy of it all.

As I’ve said before I developed a migraine headache issue in college with stress being the largest trigger. Like most fellow sufferers, I learned to live with them, pop some pills with a strong dose of caffeine and just hope for the best. This seemed to work until my second full time teaching job.

I was married and living in Stockbridge and just landed my first full time music teaching gig sometime around 1998. I had been commuting to Marietta for a part time music teaching job that I loved but I longed for a full time job with full time pay and benefits so I jumped in head first to what didn’t feel like the ultimate best opportunity in Riverdale which is in Clayton county. It turned out to be a horrible place. I had no support from the parents, the administrators or even my fellow music teacher and had no hope of transferring for three years.  I would push my cart up and down the hallways I could have done a survey of all the different kinds of antidepressants and other medications the teachers were taking and my migraines were becoming chronic. In fact I missed 32 days of school my second year there and quit without another job to go to the last week of school. It was the most horrible working environment I have ever experienced in my life.

By  1999/2000, my migraines were so bad I was not only missing work, I was canceling plans with my friends and making my husband pretty miserable. There were days where he would literally have to pick me up off the floor. He was so desperate to help me that one day he made some nauseating concoction with herbs and cayenne pepper and I thought he was trying to kill me and not cure me. I was miserable and miserable to be around. I was not the happy healthy person he married. He did everything he could but he wasn’t a miracle worker. Some days I resembled a green-eyed monster. What I had become was just awful.

Out of desperation, I tried everything I could to get better. I tried taking a calcium/magnesium supplement, ginkgo biloba, feverfew…I can’t even recall all the things I tried. I tried an elimination diet and went from doctor to doctor and was starting to think this pain that was so real was somehow psychosomatic but I knew it was real. It was a struggle to get out of bed everyday. All of these doctors would run tests, and prescribe drugs with no relief in sight. If it was in the triptan family, I had probably taken it. The list of medications  I tried took up an entire sheet of legal paper. I would take that list with me to each of the seven different doctors I went to. The local pharmacist got to know me so well, he would just hand me my bag as soon as I walked in. My general practitioner had no idea what she could do to help. I had exhausted two neurologists and was on a waiting list for headache specialist at Emory.

The order of doctors is kind of a blur but it seems I had seen seven. One of the neurologists actually tried his best to solve my issue and took time to explain things to me. He was truly a good doctor. Many doctors don’t take the time to explain details to the patients and explain the possible causes, possible treatments and what each medication actually does.  When he was out of ideas I chose to see the headache specialist that took me three month to get an appointment with. He was just too busy to really take an interest in my case and seemed to have a bit of a “God” complex.  Each time I would call in because the latest battery of medications were not working, he would just get someone to call in something else that didn’t work. I had no idea what I was taking. I was just desperate for relief. One of the few times he spoke to me on the phone he suggested a try a yoga tape.  I was so drugged out, I would go out to my car to get something and forget why I was even out there. I think this is when my cat got locked out of the house a few times. I was so bad off, I couldn’t even make a trip to NY to visit my dad as I had done every summer of my entire life. I was then in search of another Dr. who actually cared.

My lists of failed medications was growing longer. I didn’t even know at the time some of the medications were anti-anxiety drugs. I had even tried old fashioned ones like migranol and one called statedol which later had a class action law suit against it. These were some serious toxic things I was putting in my body. The pain was radiating into my neck and shoulders and I was loosing mobility in my neck and my quality of life and my marriage were degrading. I had to find a way out. I was a mess and emotionally at my whit’s end.

I went to a pain management clinic to look into a treatment called radio frequency where they were actually going to disconnect the nerve endings in the back of my head so I wouldn’t feel anything. I actually went for two nerve block treatments where they stuck needles into my neck and numbed my head. It was much better but the pain was not gone. That Dr. actually sent me to someone who would change my life.  My chiropractor! I finally met a doctor who understood there was a cause for my pain and we had to treat the cause and not just the symptoms. He explained it was like when the check engine light comes on in the car and instead of adding oil and checking for a leak, we just put a black piece of tape over it. I was relieved that he thought he could help. I also looked into alternative treatments and supplements and cleanses that he recommended through blood tests and bio testing to try and cleanse some of the toxic waste that was left from all the medications especially the Depakote and Neurontin that were toxic to my liver. I had actually made the appointment to have the radio-frequency done but my chiropractor convinced me to wait. I spent so much time in his office, that I knew he had to be right so I canceled the appointment and never went back. Looking back, I wish I had known about acupuncture. I really think that would have been an excellent pain management treatment for me.

I was teaching at Marietta Middle School  in 2000/2001 and loved my job until the following school year when I was asked to teaching reading instead of chorus and band.  I was seeing my chiropractor 3 times a week, a physical therapist every week and I forget who prescribed a TENS unit to block the pain but I was starting to become functional even if I had to work with this TENS unit on and an icepack on the back of my neck, I was making progress. This was about a year and a half since my initial issue popped up.  I also got a prescription for physical therapy which I got insurance to mostly cover for six months and began getting mobility back in my neck. We also had moved to Roswell during my second year teaching there and it was closer to my job and my doctors. My chiropractor, a TENS unit and physical therapy were actually working but there was still that issue of cause. I can’t remember who recommended stress management but that the next step on my journey to being a normal healthy person.

My family was very concerned about my stress and my pain and assumed it had to be my marriage. I thought I had a great marriage but they convinced me there must be a problem I just wasn’t seeing. My husband had been nothing but supportive of me and my condition. Literally picking me up off the floor, holding my hand when I would cry because it hurt so much, making me the infamous Cayenne Tea, taking me to appointments, putting up with my bad moods, my lack of interest in life in general and putting up with my family blaming him for my illness. Well, the solution was to go to marriage counseling and for me to receive stress management. Even though we went to marriage counseling under false pretenses, I learned that everyone who is married can benefit from marriage counseling and that I in fact had a wonderful healthy marriage. We went for couples counseling and also individual counseling which my husband was soon told he didn’t need. I had a few issues to work on. The biggest one being Stress Management, and another one Being Assertive, and the third that I never quite fixed was Time Management.

Stress management was obvious because of my pain issues, so we made special relaxation tapes for me to listen to and exercises for me to do. I had to do a lot of dialoging and thinking and lots of “homework”. We all need to have the right tools to deal with our issues and this counselor recommended by my family was giving them to me and teaching me how to use them. The ironic thing is my family was a large part of my issue and I had to learn to be more assertive and stand up to them and not let them convince me  their ideas were correct. (This gets into family dynamic that are quite interesting but I won’t go into them now.) Basically my whole life my family never believed I could think for myself and that was the issue. The last issue is Time Management. I think this is either a genetic or learned issue that I can see in one of my sisters and even to a small extent in my mother. I think it has to do with being highly intelligent creative and well, ADD. Again I have a theory about this that I will explore further in another entry. I still have time management issues but they are much better. I honestly did not want to do the work and continue treatment for this.

The last thing this doctor suggested was to go on a mild anti-anxiety medication called Celexa. I had given up all of my medications and was cleansing my liver and my body from toxins and had sworn to never take another pill again so this was a big deal. I went to see my General Practitioner and got the prescription along with samples and stared at the pack for three days. I actually got a migraine and threw up over the thought of taking a pill and then realized that is why I needed them. I had anxiety over taking the anti-anxiety pill. At this time of near recovery from my illness I also was undergoing some serious stress in my life. It was a real blessing to be in counseling  during this time in my life when I was recovering from this chronic pain illness, and I changed jobs and my father was dying of cancer. In fact I went through  five deaths in my family within a year and was commuting from Roswell to Covington every day and had jumped into another unsupported situation. This is what I call two years of pure hell that I survived.

After that summer of 2003, I left my teaching job after having a couple of meltdowns and being treated poorly by my parents, a few students,and  my administration. I gave up teaching in public schools period! I also quit or was kicked out of a choir I was singing with. So within two years I was being treated for a chronic pain illness, moved, changed jobs, had five deaths in the family, lost my job, my choir and that was soo much stress. I also quit counseling and started taking yoga which again I will detail in another entry. I had quit the Celexa by this point as it was intended for short term use and was determined to work for myself . I had to reduce my stress somehow and that was a start. The root of all of my health issues was stress!

I am lucky, my husband was very supportive of my decision to not go back to teaching in public schools.  He witnessed first hand hand how awful the schools were to me and what they had turned me into and he did not want that for me. He was there with me through the five deaths and all the trips back and forth to NY and through all the moving and changing jobs and even more stressful things I am not documenting. The point is without proper treatment, someone to support me, and stress management I would not be here right now. I learned to be proactive and take charge of my life and squash the stress monster that was ruining my life. I have told this story in a variety of ways to many people over the years and have found my experiences seem to help others who are going through this.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel and there is a way out. There is a way to reclaim your life by making the choice to not take no for an answer and to not let stress run your life.

* please note I am a horrible speller and am sure I have misspelled countless medication names.

You may be wondering what my medical history has to do with a health and wellness blog.  The purpose is to provide a background for my insights and show how I got from there to where I am now in my thought processes and current health condition. There will be plenty more entries dealing with other topics of interest.

I think my health issues started when I was a baby and small child. I remember always having ear infections. Even at four years old I remember the pain and going to get drops to put in my ears. My youngest sister suffered even worse ear infections and even had her ear drum burst several times. I am fortunate mine were never that bad.  I often wondered if the build up of fluid was actually caused by a reaction to a food allergen. I know in children the ear canal is very small and can be malformed and fluid builds up and doesn’t drain and you end up with ear infections. Then comes the issue of over-prescribing antibiotics and it becomes a vicious cycle.

The next thing in my heath degradation cycle was constant tonsillitis and ingrown toenail infections. Looking back I understand why those two things  coexisted so easily. The infected toes lowed my immune system and my tonsils were catching all the pathogens before infection could spread elsewhere.  Again I was prescribed antibiotics.  When I was a teenager I actually had surgery to correct my big toe nail issue and haven’t had a problem since. Again diet was never looked into.  Looking back I think the surgery was the right thing to do for the toes and we must have had a pretty good doctor who never removed the tonsils.

One  doctor I had as a child was a bit of a natural path and used the “bio computer” to determine a few things like vitamin deficiencies and such. It was a different Dr. that prescribed Donogel for my nervous stomach. It seems like I was always throwing up but it was probably stress related but no one thinks a child 6-8 years old has stress. Imagine if I had been taking yoga and learning relaxation back then? Again I think wheat and dairy could have contributed but we’ll never know for certain.

After the toe surgery and headed toward college I started developing sinus infections. Again, I think stress and diet were the instigators but this was just another stop on the degrading health train called life. I then developed a new fun issue called “The  Migraine” headache. I would have to lie down in my dorm room in the dark with a cold wet wash cloth. My kind friends would make me tea and then leave me to my agony. If you have never personally experienced a migraine headache, then you can’t really understand what true debilitating pain is and the agony of it all.  This was before the days of  Imetrex. I have a family history of migraines stemming from my grandmother who would take caferagot(sp) and a double espresso as her cure and my mother who would take darvocet for hers. I think it was Fiorocet that I took for them but it was some blue prescription pill that didn’t work for my mom but did for me.

I then began seeing specialists including an ENT and a second opinion for a sinus surgery I didn’t need (because I had a deviated septum which a lot of people have). After taking blood pressure medication that made me depressed and didn’t help, followed by numerous other attempts I was told there was nothing this Dr. could do.  It seems like I spent time driving back and forth from Milledgeville to Atlanta for these appointments to find out there wasn’t much anyone could do. I even went through allergy testing to discover I was allergic to dust.  I’d like to know if there is anyone NOT allergic to dust.

My Junior year in college I got devastatingly ill to the point I had to come home and missed the last two weeks of school. We never did a spinal tap but was told it was most likely viral meningitis. I had a fever at some point and I was dizzy and in excruciating pain. My little sister even brought me an icepack because my head hurt so bad I was crying.  It even hurt to walk. My mother took me to the ER and they ran tests and pumped me full of drugs. It still hurt, but then I didn’t care and I could at least sleep. I finally went to a neurologist and got some different prescription drugs and probably antibiotics and narcotic pain killers and got better. With the exception of having to make up 14 finals the next quarter, I somehow made it through that. Again looking back I can see the correlation between poor health and high levels of stress.

I also was seeing a dermatologist who again was prescribing a lot of antibiotics and chemical treatments for my acne. After I got married, I even went on Accutaine which is so toxic, they even insist you take birth control pills because it can cause severe birth defects. The side effects of that medication were awful. It made my whole body turn red and my skin pealed and itched. It was pretty toxic stuff as are most of the treatments I was trying. I never thought to heal my skin from the inside.

I continued with Migraines and I began getting them more frequently. I was desperate for a solution and tried an elimination diet to see if I had food allergies.  Other than being able to smell chocolate milk from the next room, I found I didn’t really have food allergies. Looking back I see the diet I followed was good, but a true detox cleansing diet would have shown better results.  My only known triggers were Giardelli chocolate and chocolate covered gram crackers which I didn’t need some crazy diet to tell me. My migraines were turning into a chronic pain illness and food was not the cause. My chronic pain illness really deserves it’s own entry .

The question in all of this is does stress and diet contribute to all of these health issues or is just genetic and environmental? My conclusion is yes to all of the above. I may be genetically predisposed to a weak immune system and to the migraines. I also think environmental could factor in since  I was born in Long Island NY which is a farming community with all kinds of pesticides in the ground and well water. I lived there until I was six. As an adult I have learned that stress is toxic and can even kill you. As a child I moved to Georgia because my parents got divorced which is a very stressful thing for a family to go through.  And as far as diet, a lot of the food we all eat every day is not good for us with additives, preservatives, and other artificial  ingredients we could all be sensitive or allergic to and not even know it and something simple like wheat and dairy could cause any or most of these conditions.  So I see it as a stress management issue as well as environmental, dietary as well as genetic.

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