Part of my desire in starting this little blog was to share natural living and health tips for the benefit of others. Maybe someone might just be able to make some positive changes if they happen upon little ‘ol me, yanno? A lot of my writing will show a natural way of living, right down to drinking milk straight from the goat. However, a little over 10 years ago, our life looked very different. We certainly did NOT start there, so I come from a place of hopelessness in order to give you hope. Allow me to explain.
We got married when we were just over 20 years old. Pretty young! We already had one child, who is/was on the Autism Spectrum. We were just living life. We were so happy, doing what normal people do. Work, work some more, having fun on the weekends. Enjoying married life, sending our son to school. Just a “normal” day to day. We were very average.
My husband started gaining weight. I didn’t really notice, because I just see my beloved in the best light. Sure, maybe a few pounds, but being so young and in love, we didn’t care. We didn’t even own a scale. Who needs that? A couple of years into our marriage, his health started to suffer. The weight he had gained was starting to put a lot of pressure on his joints. He already had asthma, allergies, and suffered from terrible tension headaches. He went to the doctor several times before our doctor finally looked at him and said, “well, you might want to lose some weight.”
So, we bought a scale. I was shocked to see just how much he weighed – almost 300 pounds. I just did not see it in my rose-colored glasses. We came up with a plan — the same plan many of you are probably coming up with right now on New Year’s Day: a plan to exercise more and eat less. This was in 2005. By 2006, he was down nearly 75 pounds.
That sounds fabulous, right? It’s good to lose weight. The only problem for my husband was this: he actually felt worse. It made NO sense. We thought like everyone else: lose weight, feel better. Isn’t that how it is supposed to go?? But it didn’t for us. He actually did feel worse. What was worse? EXTREME fatigue. Tired, beyond reason, all the time – even though he was exercising regularly. Frequent digestive trouble. Worse headaches — in fact, pain everywhere. All the time. It was so bad that some days, he simply could not function very well. His joints always hurt. Everyday. He had muscle spasms, especially at night. Once, he accidentally hit me in the nose with his elbow in his sleep. He just had no control over it. Then entered the panic attacks. Legitimate anxiety attacks – from one of the least anxious people I’ve ever known. They were so bad and would often hit him while driving, so he would have to pull over and pray to make it home after it passed. He would be so exhausted by it all, every single day. It was so discouraging and really, truly frustrating. We thought we were doing everything right.
Back to the doctor. I don’t know how many times, actually. We had blood work, MRIs, CT scans. A whole pile of prescriptions. You name it, we tried it. At the end of the day, here’s where we ended up:
I had heard that word before, though I didn’t really know what it meant. So I did what every person does, and I consulted Google. And let me tell you, I was NOT happy with what I found. If you don’t know what Fibromyalgia is, it is basically a “diagnosis by elimination.” Now, they know “more” about it now (more is in quotes because they still don’t know much about it) – but 10 years ago, if you didn’t really test positive for anything else – but you had chronic pain and fatigue – you got the fibro label. Fibromyalgia literally means “pain in your fibers.” So that’s where we were.
The medications prescribed to manage fibromyalgia are prescribed to manage your symptoms, because there is no known cure. So, that means: pain medication for your pain. Sleep medication for your sleep. Anxiety medication for your anxiety. Etc. Get the picture? I’ll tell you where that had my husband:
He’s an engineer by trade, and unfortunately, the medications prevented him from functioning well at work for other reasons, including lots of side effects. At the same time, our family was growing. By now, we had toddler twins and another baby. But our older son was in therapy and still suffering from some of the “digestive chaos” that comes along with Autism. If you didn’t know, digestive troubles are one of the number one signs of Autism, and he was no exception. That was something I could never quite figure out with him, and just figured it was “one of those things.” That was difficult too, because he was always uncomfortable. All of this stuff was just becoming overwhelming.
We had piles of medical bills and now prescriptions to boot. Plus, we were just in our 20’s!!! We were doing the right things – dieting and exercising. Why wasn’t it working? Finally, I asked myself this: If this is what it looks like now, what does it look like in 10, 20, 30 years? That was a future I didn’t want to know. I became determined to find a better way. I knew there had to be answers.
I cannot fit all of our changes into one blog post, so I am going to make a series out of our journey. We made so many changes, and all of them are worthy of their own individual posts. I would like to wrap up this one with this: We were at a crossroads. I was not willing to accept our fate. I was not willing to accept what society deemed was “normal,” or even acceptable.
Have you ever wondered:
Why Autism was hardly ever a thing, but now it is at least 1 in 42 boys?
Why our grandparents ate the “same” foods that we eat, but don’t have the same diseases that we have?
Why our kids are sicker yet more resistant to antibiotics?
Why it is not only that more diseases are being identified, but that they even exist in the first place since we have “progressed” as a society?
Why *46%* of Americans are on prescription medications?
Why a double cheeseburger is $1 but a salad is $7 at the same restaurant?
These were some of the questions I starting asking myself as I started researching our problems and making small changes. The more I researched, the angrier I became. It’s not ok, guys. All of this is just not ok.
I am thrilled, ecstatic, humbled, and overall just grateful to share with you that today, we are prescription and therapy free. We live an abundant, healthy life. There are answers. I hope throughout a series of posts and sharing our journey with you, I can encourage you, give you hope, and perhaps a little guidance on where to find some solutions for your family, too. There is a better way, guys. I promise!