Lost My Health and Part of Myself

by Meg L.
(Philadelphia)

I was a gardener, I was a social worker, I was a runner. When we decided to start a family, I was estatic to become a mother. I couldn't wait to add a jog stroller to my runs and dreamed of guiding our child in cultivating his own flower patch. Then all hell broke loose. Months in the hospital culminated in a dangerous, emergency birth of our, miraculously healthy, daughter. I had so much blood loss and a whopping postpartum infection that I required two blood transfusions and intravenous antibiotics. And I never recovered. Two years later I am still sick, with what- the doctors cannot tell me. They offer "diagnoses of exclusion" like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, but offer basically no real treatment options. All I kinow is that after four specialists, physical rehab, a long list of drugs, and I still cannot pick up my daughter, change her diaper, take her to the park. I spend days stuck in bed, exhausted and with flu-like symptoms, and hear her call for me from downstairs while her father or grandparents watch her. I lost my career. I lost my health. I lost my faith. I feel like I lost the chance to mother my own child.

Well-meaning people like to point out that my daughter is healthy and that all that really matters to her is that she has a mommy who loves her. They say that being angry and sad about the things I cannot do simply makes my symptoms worse and draws my attention away from what I still can do. My mother went so far as to tell me that I'm my own worst enemy in this way. I know my emotional turmoil makes things harder on myself and everybody around me. But I can't help it. I feel absolutely unable to accept what my life has come. And I feel, perhaps irrationally, angry at those who kindly point out that my life is good as it is. I wonder, would it be good enough for you?

I know logically that acceptance of my life, as is, will bring greater peace and happiness. I don't need people reminding me of this with a kind smile. I try hard every day to accept things. I try to listen to people's encouragement. But all I feel is loss, grief, and anger. Sometimes rage and despair. And then guilt, for not being able to "buck up" and look on the bright side. Guilt for how my pain and causes pain for my family. How my grieving makes more work for them. What can I do when my best efforts just aren't enough? How can I possibly calm the storm inside of me and be a whole person again, even if I am still sick?

Comments for Lost My Health and Part of Myself

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Jun 13, 2012
Meg, I applaud you for not giving up
by: Anonymous

After having a permanent injury to my spinal cord, I suffered many of the same "diagnoses" as you, such as Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
Thankfully, after six long years of treatments; a wonderful doctor referred me to a "food allergy" specialist. This condition can sometimes be activated – just by a major jolt to the body. Many of my physical symptoms have now all but disappeared, such as the constant flu, the constant tiredness and the terrible weakness. As you may know food allergies can develop at any age and very often go misdiagnosed, leaving doctors very perplexed. Doctors are usually not well versed in food allergy treatments. I’m on the “caveman diet” plus a rotation plan for foods shown to cause major allergic reactions in me.
The anger, depression and pain from my accident are still with me, but they are more tolerable now. I believe the “Grief Relief” program may be what I need to complete my journey back to a healthy happy me, by eliminating my constant anger and depression, I’ve other help for the pain.
I'll pray for you and your daughter.

May 11, 2012
Profound Thanks
by: Meg

It has been months since I posted my story. I didn't really expect anybody to hear me- I just needed to do something to move my pain and frustration outside of myself.

My profound thanks to both of you who responded. Your advice resonates with me in a surprising way. After "bottoming out" pain-wise last fall, I gave up hoping for any answers from my doctors. The most they can do is document my physical ailments.

So I decided to try dietary changes. I drastically reduced gluten, sugar and fried foods. I amped up fruits and vegetables. I juice vegetables, make fruit smoothies, and eat giant salads daily. I gradually started swimming regularly, no matter how exhausted and in pain I was.

My life is still unpredictable. I still am unable to care for my daughter for days at a time. But I think maybe I am having more "good days" than I used to? Mostly, I feel like I am finally doing SOMETHING to take charge of my life.

Still struggle with the anger, though. Still grieve for my "healthy" self. Acceptance is hard work.

Does anybody have any advice for that?

Dec 04, 2011
redefine yourself
by: anonymous

i am so sorry. i experienced something similar. surfed the web to research stories, because as far as i am concerned, the world is constantly creating new illnesses and new cures- ironically, most cured with natural adjustments.
i have one perspective, please take it into consideration. Sounds "autoimmune-y" to me. I would try a diet trigger. Try a ph balanced diet, alkaline food to acidic food-leaning heavier into the alkaline side. Posts of foods that are either alkaline or acidic are all over the web.
The other thing i learned, is massage is great for healthy bloodflow. I also drink coffee with chicory in it. i switched and that move alone changed so many symptoms. Do a "very-mentally-aware" test of what foods make you feel energy. REMEMBER THEM---and when you ate them, and what you ate or did around them. A friend of mine was diagnosed with melanoma cancer and had 2 weeks to live. He lived 4 years with "diet shock." I feel he could have beat it if he had today's research, and maybe a little medical science techniques.
One more thing, PUSH when you don't want to. I KNOW it's hard, but when I did it, I beat it down to non-existent. God bless you and give you strength. You have a beautiful daughter, that IS enough-however, just keep swimming... :)

Aug 16, 2011
It is hard but there is hope
by: geoffrey pyne campbell

after being hit while bike riding, for years the pain made life hard, could not sit without pain, could not stand, and the only relief was when I went to sleep. But after much prayer, I read about people who found healing by eating healthy organic, raw and plant based diet, devoid of fried foods, and having tried doctor after doctor I tried this, and today I now not only have hardly any pain, but I now have more life and energy than I did forty years ago. This and prayer has healed me, and it might help you too. God bless!

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