May 4, 2017

The Long Story

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Halfway through my freshman year of college, I became very ill. I was extremely nauseated every day, and couldn’t grasp what was making me feel so awful. If I ate, I was sick. If I didn’t eat, I was sick. After about a week I saw a doctor who believed I had a stomach ulcer and sent me home with some medication. After about a month of medication, nothing was working. I had just about every test done in the book. My upper endoscopy test was fine. My ultrasound on my gallbladder didn’t show signs of stones. Besides being slightly anemic, I didn’t have any abnormalities in my blood. I can’t even tell you how many times I was asked if I could be pregnant. Although I didn’t appear to have gallstones, I had a HIDA scan to see if my gallbladder was diseased. A “normal” gallbladder functions around 40% or better. Mine tested at 39%. “That’s it!” the doctor claimed as he immediately sent me to speak with a surgeon. I was in so much discomfort, I never thought to get a second opinion. “A lot of people have their gallbladders out, it’s no big deal”, is what I heard from almost everyone. Wrong. It was a big deal.

I was sent home hours after the operation and told everything went well. Weeks after surgery, I felt even worse than I did before. I was drugged with nausea prescription after prescription. My life seemed like a haze. I didn’t leave my house, except to see the surgeon about my constant nausea. He dismissed me and said there was nothing else he could do for me, that his job was done. I wanted to drop out of school after missing over a month, however, my family encouraged me to return. I slowly started being able to eat again, but I still knew something was deeply wrong.

That summer I saw a GI specialist. It was the first time I heard the term Gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a disease that affects the vagus nerve, immobilizing the digestive system. Gastroparesis symptoms include severe nausea, bloating, heartburn, indigestion, and vomiting. I had a gastric emptying scan done to see if this could be my problem. I got a call back about a week later from a nurse who simply told me that I have Gastroparesis and to do some research. Gastroparesis is a chronic disease without a cure. My whole life had changed, and over the phone, I was told to do some research? Basically, a medical doctor’s perspective is to slightly change your diet while they prescribe anti-nausea medication. It’s recommended to eat a low-fiber, low-fat diet. I changed my diet as much as I could, thinking that I was taking all of the correct precautions, only to end up still miserable daily.

Six months into being diagnosed, my immune system seemed shot. I picked up stomach bugs like crazy. On top of that, they lasted longer than on a normal body. I dropped about 40 pounds since having my gallbladder out. Everyone told me I looked great, but little did they know the pain I was in. When I was at my lowest point, my parents did everything they could to help me find relief. They came across a girl on YouTube one day who claimed to have cured her Gastroparesis and GERD through natural and Chinese medicine. I was always skeptical about it, but willing to try anything at this point. I immediately made appointments with a holistic doctor, acupuncturist, and chiropractor.

The holistic doctor ran a plethora of simple tests for candida, pH imbalance, allergies, and a few more. And this part sounds crazy, but I had to put my hand on a machine that was able to read how well my different systems were performing. My nervous system was the worst, followed by my digestive system. Everything she said made sense. Everything is connected. She recommended taking some digestive enzymes, probiotic, and a blend of herbs for my nervous system to start, and then we would go from there. The thing is, natural medicine takes time. But get this, it started working.

Fast forward two years later, and here we are! By no means am I cured, nor do I intend that anything I write will cure you. It is my greatest intention to inform and provide hope for those suffering from similar GI disorders, or even those looking to gain a better understanding of gut health. Through this site, I will provide nourishing, gut-healthy recipes that taste amazing, as well as Ayurvedic topics including yoga and meditation.

After spending the past 4 years going to school for fashion merchandising, I have found that lifestyle is not for me! Instead of looking at this disease as a burden, I now see it as a gift. I’ve found such a passion for nutrition, cooking, herbal remedies, yoga, Chinese medicine, and Ayurveda. I want to treat this place as an all-natural wellness space, acting as an energy food guru and functional medicine pioneer. It is my highest hope to inspire, create, and learn together. Let’s do this!

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