In the previous article, I shared my own wellness declaration and those early growing up years with little or no childhood memories. One of the greatest lessons of life I continue to learn today from my declaration that my plans and the steps ordered to get there are not always the plans God has in that order. And for those who know me so well, I was “the planner, the organizer.” I tackled each idea and vision with gusto.
After moving from California to Texas in between birthing my daughters, I pursued advanced degrees in art and industrial arts education. With each day that followed various ailments became more prevalent. I found my health progressively deteriorating for inexplicable reasons. The pain was continuous, and life was becoming a seemingly unsolvable mystery. Sharon came to a stop! But not without finishing my master’s art project from bed, supervising a weaving student of mine with the finishing touches.
I actually graduated with my masters and continued seeking solutions to my medical mysteries, while planning what art to do next. By the time I was thirty-six years old, I was experiencing degenerative episodes with my neck, spine, and jaw. My digestive tract was continually in an upheaval with high level pain from one end to the other. I was also jaundice, bruising down my arms and legs, and my hair was thinning. Eventually in my thirties I became hypoglycemic to prediabetic, had osteoarthritis, and continued general nerve, tissue, and spinal degeneration. I was also developing macular degeneration in my eyes, at 36 years old no less!
I had other things going on as well, such as hair falling out, uncoordinated at times/bumps into things, nails brittle and peeling, and spontaneous bruising and capillary breakouts on extremities. And my own emotional state wasn’t too good either!
At 36 and not able to do much of anything no matter how I tried, I finally sat down and had a long talk with God. My first question was “Is this how it’s going to be?” Not necessarily expecting an answer, I was definitely surprised with what I heard. “Are you going to trust Me?” My response . . . “Wow, ok, what do I have to lose?” That was the day I made my Wellness Declaration and started my journey to being the whole person I am today.
As the journey began, I could have never imagined what would surface in my memories and come my way toward wellness, including a few more diagnoses. Doctors love giving diagnoses but often fall short of how to deal with it beside pain killers, tranquilizers, and “go on a vacation.” Yet, God had a different plan.
I was ever surprised along the way as to what was to be done when and in what way. I learned some things need to be done first before the big giants are to be faced and won. And that it is still a moment to moment process with each step. Other diagnoses came my way such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, severe Malabsorption Syndrome, Achlorhydria (very low or absent hydrochloric acid in stomach and other digestive organs), Fibromyalgia, and pre-Lupus. Autoimmune disorders can affect almost any part of the body, including the heart, brain, nerves, muscles, skin, eyes, joints, lungs, kidneys, glands, the digestive tract, and blood vessels. There were just too many things going wrong with my body; and with this world of specialists, few if any collaborated. It also seemed like when doctors didn’t know what to do with me, they always tagged me with a syndrome or pre-this and pre-that.
What was my first step? Actually, it was my husband’s idea. John simply came home one day when I was in high-level pain in my digestive tract, he handed me the Encyclopedia Britannica! He said, “If you can’t eat, you will starve to death. Let’s find out how a normal digestive tract functions first. Then go from there.” No doctor, no hospital ever did that. They simply said, “We know you are deteriorating but don’t know what to do.” So, I went home and “trusted” some more. That’s when my John stepped in.
The next step was when a doctor showed up at John’s work after attending a business luncheon and handed John his business card. Dr. Ayers said he never gives out his card when visiting guests but felt he should. John just simply responded, “You are an answer to prayer for my wife.” That next step was a thorough allergy/sensitivity testing for chemicals, foods, inhalants. Some help showed up.
The next key step happened with a phone call from my sister in California. Paula said she found a metabolic disorder center in Pasadena and recommended I try them. So, off to California I went. At the Currier Metabolic Center, Dr. Currier did tests that no other doctor or hospital did. He summarized that he wasn’t going to diagnose me any further but will help me find out what isn’t working and try to get it to work again. He only stated I had what is called “an inborn error of metabolism” spiraling into layers of degenerative autoimmune responses. The term “metabolic disorder syndrome” wasn’t in vogue at the time, nor were they tied to autoimmune problems yet by conventional or even some alternative practices. In the early 1970s and 80s the work of Dr. Currier and others were actually pioneering this field at the time.
Dr. Currier also connected the dots between the here and now and my childhood ailments more likely caused or at least were accelerated by my parents being chain smokers and heavy drinkers, even while pregnant. I not only inherited a degenerative predisposition but with severe malabsorption my stomach had little or no hydrochloric acid being produced nor was my pancreas, intestines, and related organs barely producing sufficient digestive enzymes to break down proteins and fats, in particular via the magnesium-activated metabolic steps. That was why I was basically starving to death and the body was trying to compensate by feeding off my muscles, tissues, and bones. I went from 170 lbs to 114 lbs within months when I showed up at Dr. Currier’s doorstep.
The center also did extensive allergy/sensitivity testing to augment what Dr. Ayers, my local allergist, did to insure the most effective and synergistic treatment plan going forward. I was so doctor-shy, hospital-shy by then I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to trust or try what Currier put before me. It would take life-altering discipline and commitment not just for months but possibly the rest of my life. Yet, I remembered my words “Wow…what do I have to lose?” when God asked me, “Are you going to trust me?”
Keeping on, keeping on, was only possible with learning those moments of trust that kept me on track and on pace toward regaining my life and wellbeing. I was learning what to give up to gain. So, I went home with a life-changing regimen of pills, potions, lotions, and avoidance/rotation eating pattern. Upon arriving home, I also had to go through every product on the shelf and in the refrigerator and start with the most benign regimen of daily routines.
The journey continues . . . next week, to regain my life and health one meal at a time, one life-changing day at a time.