Hi! I’m writing this today in the midst of confronting some health issues that I’ve been dealing with for about half my life. I am not good at reaching out for help, but I feel it is a necessary part of my healing.
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis in 2010, but I can trace symptoms back to at least my high school years. It's an autoimmune (AI) condition where my body attacks my thyroid, which is the gland that controls my metabolism and strongly affects my delicate balance of hormones. It is known to be connected to gut dysbiosis, epigenetic factors & environmental/lifestyle triggers. My symptoms include brain fuzziness, low energy, muscular tension/pain, depression and feeling like I am on a rollercoaster of emotions. I forget basic words, feel like all my joints are aching, become disorganized and unaware of my surrounding and don't have as much energy to work with before burning out. When I am having a flare I spend most of my time resting and it can affect my work as a massage therapist. The worst thing about it is that I don't feel like I am reaching my potential of who I can and want to be.
I have been to numerous doctors over the years, from standard western medicine to naturopaths and practitioners of Oriental Medicine, with varying success. Western Medicine doesn't acknowledge a cure for this condition and usually just prescribes thyroid medication, which doesn't really address what is going on in the body, or the symptoms associated with Hashimoto's - pretty much a band-aid fix. The immune system being out of control points to deeper problems than an underactive thyroid, and if it is not addressed, the likelihood that I'll start to develop more AI conditions over the years greatly increases. It also allows for the slow destruction of the thyroid tissue. Autoimmune conditions are a sign that the body has been out of balance for a long time. I have tried to take my health into my own hands by following strict healing diets, which have benefited me greatly but not so much so that I feel back to normal or like I can start reintroducing foods back into my diet without a return of symptoms.
I am currently seeing a functional medicine practitioner, Deborahlise Mota, who blends cutting edge modern medicine with ancestral medicine of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She specializes particularly in working with the microbiome, finding any latent infections in my body and looking for the root cause. The word-of-mouth about Deborahlise in the community of both patients and other practitioners is solid, and everything from her intake form to her demeanor & questions in our first session were detailed, intelligent and compassionate. We will be running different tests, including a comprehensive hormone panel and blood tests, and doing a protocol to wipe out any found viral/parasitic/fungal/bacterial infections. We will then rebuild my microbiome, creating a nutritional plan to support the process and supplementing with vitamins and minerals as needed. Every visit comes with an acupuncture session. I will also be seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist to address other longstanding issues with my pelvic health. Health insurance only covers a small fraction of all of this and I can't afford to cover the costs out of pocket.
I also take care of myself through cooking, a regular yoga practice, crafting my own body care & home cleaning supplies, massage, and as much time walking in the woods with my dog as I can.
I dream of living in a state of health where I have the energy to have a small farm providing herbs, flowers, and other goods for the community, teaching the local youth about gardening and continuing to work in women's health by blending together massage, postpartum doula care, nutrition and the other facets of healing that end up bringing about shining health in myself.
All said, chronic illness has been one of my greatest teachers - I have learned to listen to my body, and have been been introduced to the healing power of food, herbal medicine and spiritual healing. This journey has helped me to know myself on a deeper level and has fueled my passions in a way I never could have dreamed of.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for any help you can give - be it a few dollars or sharing it with your community.