The Ups and Downs of Healing

I rarely post these health updates but I just thought I would share the ups and downs. I think the hardest lesson I have had to grasp about healing is that it is in no way linear. My mind still tries to focus on cause and effect but it just doesn’t seem to work that way.
 

This past month has been pretty killer. I had a pretty good January and was feeling back to my normal healthy self. I would only have nerve pain on very cold days and I only had one or two days with fatigue. Then at the end of January everything fell apart. First, I got food poisoning and then four days later my nerve pain increased severely. After five days straight I finally broke down and took two gabapentin. The pain went from a 9/10 to a 3/10 within the next hour. I instantly felt a little silly for waiting so long and then the brain fog I experienced the next day brought full clarity to why I waited. The following day after the brain fog my arm was finally feeling like a 3/10 without any...

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Believe What YOU Want

I clearly remember sitting around a table discussing our weekend plans when Monty said that he would be taking me to a tree to pose naked that evening. He said he knew I didn’t care if I was body painted or just butt naked. In my head I laughed a little and was quite nervous to go down to the beach and strip naked at a popular sunset spot! It is not that I don’t care but that I have realized my once conservative beliefs on nudity are rather silly and have no basis. 

 

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But here were my next thoughts while contemplating if I was up for the task. There is no aspect of my life that I strive for the approval or acceptance of others so why should I follow societies beliefs on nudity when I don‘t even know where they come from? To me being nude is our natural state and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is not “perverted” or “dirty” unless that is what YOU have...

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5 Books I Would Read Again

These are my five favorite books I listened to in 2017. If you haven't read them yet, I strongly encourage you to! 

Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

This book is a complete game changer. Every person I have shared these principles has benefited from putting them to use. I tend to be a morning person but I think this would be super helpful for people that drag themselves out of bed in the morning. Hal has a super interesting life story and the morning routine he created is absolutely wonderful. One of the best parts about it is that you can really customize it to what resonates best with you. He also has a ton of free resources on his website.

The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins

This is the best audio book I have ever listened to. Mel is a passionate, motivational speaker so listening her did not feel like listening to an audio book at all. She has a great TED talk if you want to use that as a preview! The five second rule is all about counting backwards from 5 to 1 as motivation...

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Walking Out of the Storm

 My last blog post was close to a year ago. I have had a slight aversion to say the least. I titled it "Is The Journey Over" and less than two weeks later I ended up back in the hospital with Guillain Barre Syndrome again and unable to walk. My question about the journey was quickly answered as my healing had to start from scratch. My first hospitalization was in July and it took about four full months to start having good days again, this time it followed a very similar pattern. The first time fatigue was my biggest issue, this time both fatigue, numbness, and seizures have been problematic. The fatigue started to lift about four months later but I had to stop working out and start working even less too. Listening to my body and not pushing myself has been challenging - it's hard to battle your true nature.
 

Now that I am getting close a full year of recovery I feel like I am seeing the light. I can start making plans again and most...

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Is the Healing Journey Over?

 

I haven't posted an update in quite some time! Healing took awhile but I finally feel like myself again. I still don't have my reflexes back but nobody seems too concerned. The fatigue is gone and I am working full time and exercising again! I have been working out most mornings but my strength is still 50% of what it was. I want to start working harder on that in the new year and my doctor gave me clearance to go full speed ahead. I am cleared for everything but hurdles! I still have a couple minor disconnects in the nerves that make it easy for me to trip. It caused me to fall down outside and down the stairs a couple times but I haven't had any falls lately. I read that it can take over four years to get back to normal strength levels but I am hoping with my personal training knowledge I can beat those statistics.

 



An article by neurologist Dr. Parry explains why strength suffers "Surviving axons send out small branches called collateral sprouts that restore...

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Two Months of Healing

 

The bumpy road continues! I know I am making progress but it is very subtle. I feel a little embarrassed to admit this but I think I cry almost every night. Nothing major, just a minute or two of pure frustration being released. I have these moments every day that I forget that I am not fully capable of my normal activities and lifestyle. Overall, I have full function of my body now although the right side is significantly weaker. This weekend I lost control of my right leg for a couple hours but it seems to have fixed itself. My biggest obstacle is the fatigue and knowing what my limits are. I tried seeing three clients in a day and spent the entire next day vomiting. It was a pretty clear sign that I am not quite ready for that workload yet. I am still unable to work full time at this point but am pushing my limits every day.

 

 

I have gone off of the Neurontin and am able to stay awake all day now. I have wanted to make the best use of all this time in...

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The Price of Having a Life

It seems like having a life comes at a price during recovery. I went to a weekend long meditation retreat in New York and having been paying quite a price ever since. I seem to keep forgetting that I am not my normal healthy self. I wake up every morning slightly disappointed that I still don't feel well. But even though I have been severely exhausted since I got back, the trip seems worth the setback. It was nice to have a little freedom. I remember driving on Friday and realizing I would be in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York all in one day made me feel like myself again. I had to take a 2.5 hour rest break in the middle of the four hour drive and then when I arrived I felt like a limp noodle and had to lay down for quite some time. The excitement dissipated and I felt a little defeated. I drank more coffee this weekend at a meditation retreat than I think I have drank all month but the caffeine helped me push through. I also took more steps this weekend than I have...

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The Laughing Doctor

I haven't really known how to give an update these days as it seems like nothing is changing. I did have my neurology appointment this week and he said to expect to struggle over the next few months and not feel like myself for a year. In a way this news felt disappointing but in a way it was a relief that it is "normal" to feel this way. My doctor was laughing at me a lot during the appointment - he laughed that I have already taught a couple yoga classes and trained a couple clients, he laughed that I went for a run, he laughed that I thought I could beat this. He couldn't believe how hard I have been pushing myself and found it quite funny how I thought I could just get my life back to normal. He told me that I need to get it through my head that I can't win - the nerves take a long time to heal and this is going to be a long journey. He laughed again that he was actually tempted to double my dose of Neurontin in hopes that it would sedate me and I would rest...
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Sweet Surrender!

 

 
 
 

Those are my FitBit stats since I have left the hospital. Nope, not obsessed at all lol. The cardio and fat burn is based on the amount of minutes my heart rate was in those zones. This has helped me realize that walking is so challenging for my body that it is sometimes a form of cardio. This has helped me mentally embrace how hard my body is working just to walk some days so even though the amount of steps may have decreased, the effort I put into those steps actually increased.

 

I am still searching for all the lessons to be found in this experience with illness. In hindsight I feel like the first lesson wasn't new but applying a lesson I have known for a very long time. We can't control what happens to us in life, but we can control how we react to what happens to us. I didn't experience fear or panic like you would think. I felt a certain amount of surrender to the fact that I couldn't feel my limbs. I felt like I could trust the...

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Coping with Chronic Illness: Attitude of Gratitude

 
I was standing in the shower tonight washing my hair and almost fell over backwards. I forgot that I no longer have the ability to balance with my eyes closed. Surprisingly, my immediate feeling was gratitude. I feel grateful for this experience. It is challenging, frustrating, and tedious but I am learning so many lessons along the way. I immediately thought of this photo by Monty Knowles, it has been in my mind all day. To me it is a reminder of both my inner and outer strength, my courage, and my flexibility in all aspects of life. I know these rough days suck and I can't always make the best of them no matter how hard I try but tonight I do feel blessed and grateful. I am grateful that I can walk again even if I do have a little limp some days and every step hurts. I am grateful that I have had new ideas to help people in similar situations. I am grateful for the challenge to stay positive in a difficult situation. Most of all I am grateful for my friends, family, and...
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