The Holy Grail!!!
Hello friends and followers!
It’s been a crazy busy time since I last posted but between trying to get well and finally starting to get back to living and making up for lost time I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write.
Last October, a little over 4 months ago, I woke up one morning in what I call “the dark place” my term for crippling clinical depression that I’ve experienced too many times in my life beginning at the age of 34. Not the type of depression more commonly referred to as malaise — but true depression where I literally have zero control over my mind. Those of you who suffer know exactly what I’m talking about. Those of you who don’t can’t even begin to imagine the feeling. It’s truly paralyzing and not a pretty picture. For someone like me — a type A+++ personality it’s pure hell. I’ve never really had suicidal thoughts before but this last time? It crossed my mind. I couldn’t figure out why it happened as every other time it’s been situational — triggered by a stressful event — but this time everything in my life was good. Outside of the chronic fatigue I was trying to get a handle on, work was picking up, I had gotten back to formulating new skin care products for my Peace of Mind Naturals line, both my kids are doing great, and many of my symptoms were either gone or greatly reduced since my 3 weeks of treating at Stemaid last summer. So I was bewildered when I woke up with that horrible familiar feeling. I had weaned off my antidepressants last year before I went to Stemaid and really contemplated whether or not I wanted to go back on but after talking to my compounding pharmacist I decide to refill my prescription. But two months later I was still miserable and even found myself seriously contemplating driving my car off Beverly Glen — it’s a canyon for those of you who don’t know Los Angeles. Thank G-d I’m a recovering codependent so when I realized that my luck I’d land on a kid and kill him or her and I might end up still alive but paralyzed and in prison I opted out of offing myself. Seriously you have to find the humor in these ridiculous moments.
Since I’d paid for 4 weeks of treatment at Stemaid but only did 3 as I needed to get back to work, I took two weeks off to do my fourth week in December. I had seen Brigitte (Dr. Hanly) when I took my son to Cabo for a long weekend beginning of November. I was in the throes of depression and Brigitte saw it in me. She told me she felt like I stopped treatment too soon as recommended I treat for an extra week. I trust the woman with my life now so I agreed to it.
Other than the first four days in Cabo, the rest was magical. When I got there I was a depressed anxious hot mess. I called Kris one morning crying hysterically begging him to catch a flight out — I was so afraid I’d jump off the balcony. I was in our our beautiful condo with a spectacular view of the ocean yet I wanted to die — literally nothing brought me joy. Of course he couldn’t come as he couldn’t leave work being the only exectutive on call that week to oversee his department.
But on day 5 I woke up and it was like a miracle. Magically the veil of anxiety and depression lifted. The only thing to explain it was that the stem cells kicked in and balanced the chemicals in my brain. I was happy and had energy! I was able to enjoy my view, enjoy my days at the clinic and met some wonderful new patients and really connected on a deeper level with some members of the staff including Brigitte herself.
The day after New Year’s Day Brigitte called me into her office as my labs that she drew on my first day back had finally come back. She pushed the paper with my results in front of me and pointed and said “here’s your depression and anxiety.” I almost fell off my chair as my T3 level in my thyroid panel was incredibly low. In all my research I had never researched what the thyroid controls (other than weight lol because I’m so vain). I immediately started reading about it and wouldn’t you know — low thyroid is one of the top causes of depression and anxiety! I’m still sooo angry that three doctors in Los Angeles, one of them being my integrative medicine GP, never thought to test my thyroid when I was was totally open about my crippling depression and anxiety. This is why I trust Brigitte and her clinic — she was the only one who figured it out. She said the stem cells balanced my hormones and that’s why I was feeling better but she told me to check my thyroid again a month after I got home and if it was low again I’d need to supplement. Knock on wood the stems are still doing their thing and my thyroid is within normal range and I’m almost entirely off Lexapro again. Having my brain back was HUGE as it allowed me to get back to work and little by little my energy started picking up.
It’s now almost the end of February and I cooked dinner I think four times in a week which is a record for me. I’ve also been working closely with my business consultant who has been a supportive godsend and friend and my dear friend and graphic artist Diane. A week ago I registered for and paid for my first trade show that I’ll be attending as a vendor. My dream of wholesaling my own skincare line to other spas and wellness center is finally going to come true — talk about #manifesting! Clients and friends who haven’t seen me in a while have said the light is back in my eyes. I’ve also gained some weight so I don’t look sickly and frail anymore. I’m still dealing with hand and foot spasms from the neuropathy and my neck has been killing me. But little by little my energy is coming back and I’ve been able to eat a few things my body couldn’t tolerate for a long time. I still eat super clean but it’s been nice to not feel nauseous if I try a new food. And I’m even able to have a cocktail or a glass of wine here and there — what a joy!
So I’m going to write this for the very first time in a public way and pray that I don’t jinx it — are you ready? Wait for it!
I truly feel like I’ve accomplished the holy grail of — REMISSION!
Because it’s only remission I made the decision to go back to bee venom therapy so three weeks ago I started stinging again and my energy really started picking up again after that. I’m sure most of you are wondering why if I’m in remission I’m still treating. Well, according to a published study and others who have gone before me — the one true cure is bee venom. Trust me, I’m loving remission but I’m living with PTSD and am terrified that my days of remission are numbered and I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and I’ll go right back to being sick. So I’m going for the cure. I haven’t herxed since I returned to stinging so my plan is to sting for a full year and if I don’t have another herx (die off) then I’ll know the bacteria is truly 100% gone and I think I’ll finally be able to relax.
I have so much to tell you about how I found out, what it was like living with a disease my entire life not knowing I was sick. And I’m finally feeling well enough to share it with you. I want you to know how often Lyme patients aren’t believed. I want you to know that doctors are at risk for losing their licenses if they treat us. I want you to know how many Lymies take their own lives every year because they literally can’t handle it anymore. I want you to know about the people who live in their cars because all their money goes toward treatment.
But for now I’m going to thoroughly enjoy living and follow through on my commitment to help others navigate their journey through this evil disease.
Now that I’m feeling better and my brain isn’t being eaten by bacteria and the fog has lifted, I’m able to focus more on writing and educating. And I hope you’l come back and follow and learn and pay it forward.
Peace & gratitude,