Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Journey to Wellness

As a little girl, my friends and classmates would dream of growing up and being a doctor, an actress, or a rocket scientist. Not I.... all I've ever wanted to be is a mom. Two and a half years ago, I found out I was pregnant with my son and it changed my life forever. As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I said to my husband, "I'm going to go have my last cigarette". And I did. Becoming a new mom made me think about things a whole lot differently. I was now concerned about what I put into my body, and what I used on my body. In fact I never really knew how much I was harming my body aside from smoking and an occasional glass of wine or beer. My perspective of the entire world changed as well. I now knew that my soul purpose was to be the best mom I could possibly be.

During my pregnancy I never smoked or drank and I ate everything I was supposed to aside from the occasional infamous prego cravings. When my son was born in January of 2011, being healthy became a predominant priority in my life. Little did I know that the journey of wellness I was about to embark would lead me to the state of mind I now live in today.

After my son was born I went on living my life with a healthy perspective. I made all of his baby food from scratch and I continued to lead a healthier lifestyle, or so I thought. When my maternity leave ended in May, I decided to become a stay at home mom. I knew I was taking a risk since I would be losing my medical insurance.

In July of that year my hands and feet started becoming very dry and itchy to the point of cracking. I used every cream and lotion imaginable and nothing worked. I couldn't figure out what was causing it. Then by October I started feeling very sluggish and fatigued. I would get nauseated if I stood for too long, such as cooking or doing the dishes. In November, a friend of ours took some family Christmas portraits for us and e-mailed them to me. When I got the photos I noticed that my eyes looked as though they were protruding forward and you could see the white of my eyes all the way around the iris. I thought to myself, “Oh my goodness! I look like I’m on drugs!” Then later in December I attended a funeral for a lost loved one with my mom. We were sitting next to one another with our arms locked. With a very concerned look on her face, she turned to me and said, “Oh my gosh, Jess, why is your heart beating so hard and fast?!” I asked, “You can feel my heartbeat in my arm?” She replied, “Yes, it’s as if I have my hand on your chest.” I had previously been concerned about my heart but would brush it off by thinking that I was just panicking and overreacting in regards to my other symptoms. At this point I was sure it was a problem and I knew I needed to see a Dr. and fast.

By the end of December I found a Dr. that offered discounted services to the uninsured and scheduled an appointment. When I went to see her, my resting heart rate was 127. They asked me if I was having a panic attack, an anxiety attack or if I was nervous. I replied “No” to all. She then performed a physical on me and ordered labs. When the labs came back she informed me that my TCH levels were very high. She wrote me a prescription and referred me to see an Endocrinologist. Now I was scared. I was in need of specialized treatment with no insurance. In case you don’t know, there isn’t a single specialist that I know of that will treat you without insurance.

In January of 2012, just short of a week after seeing the Dr., my throat was in so much pain that I could not swallow water without choking. I knew I was in trouble and that I needed treatment ASAP. That same day I found an insurance company that insured pre-existing medical conditions, enrolled and went straight to the ER all within a few hours. My thyroid was so enlarged that it was interfering with my ability to swallow. They advised me to stay on my meds and referred me to see an Endocrinologist right away. Within a few days I did just that. After a full thyroid physical and viewing the results from my blood work, my Endocrinologist diagnosed me with “Grave’s Disease”. She explained that Grave’s Disease is Hyperthyroidism that is genetic and does not have any apparent cause. She further explained that my options would be to undergo surgery and have my thyroid removed, have a series of radioactive iodine treatments or battle the disease with meds for the rest of my life. None of the options she presented to me sounded reasonable or logical. I knew I was going to have to start researching my options a little further. Due to misinformation regarding my insurance plan, I was only able to see my specialist through the end of February and had to cancel my insurance. The upside was that my Endocrinologist had prescribed me enough refills on my meds to last me through the year. But I was now in charge of my own treatment.

Due to the lack of income as a stay at home mom, I decided to look for a way to earn an income from home. During the summer of 2011 I signed up with an online coaching program that supposedly teaches you how to make money online. To make a long story short… it was a rip-off! Continuing through the fall and into winter my focus had been on my health so I hadn’t really continued pursuing an income from home. In February of 2012 I signed up with AVON. I didn’t make very much money; I wasn’t thrilled about their products and was appalled by their customer service. I continued on anyway as it was bringing in some money. At the end of March, an acquaintance of mine posted on Facebook about an opportunity to make money from home. Intrigued as I was, I responded. She sent her sister and colleague to my house and they presented an opportunity to work from home as a Marketing Executive for a wellness company. I jumped right in head first and said goodbye to AVON.

The company offers big packs that you can order during your first few months of being a customer, so I ordered the smaller one that contains 36 products. One of the products was their supplements. They had talked about a specific technology that makes their supplements stand out from the rest. And, since I hadn’t taken vitamins for over 5 years due to the belief that they were a waste of money, I was anxious to try them.

After becoming a customer of this wellness company and really loving the majority of their products, it also taught me about some of the effects of the harmful ingredients we have in our homes and that we use on a regular basis. So, aside from taking care of my wonderful son, I have since spent the vast majority of my time researching ingredients and their effects in addition to learning about living a life of Total Wellness.

Here we are in October 2012. I’ve been on the supplements for six months now. I am still uninsured and haven’t seen a Dr. since February until just a few days ago. I wanted to know what my thyroid levels are, so I went to the ER. I’m happy to report that my thyroid levels are normal right now. There is a chance that I could be going from hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism, but only time will tell. I have also since researched that gluten, soy, white grains and refined sugar can have an adverse effect on your thyroid so I am also living a new way of life in regards to my eating habits.

I have retained a great deal of information that most people don’t know about and wanted a way to share it with the world, which is why I created this blog. I hope you will enjoy my posts and please feel free to comment or email me. Our life is ever changing as we continue our journey to a life of total wellness.

Well wishes from my family to yours.

Jessica, Landon & Scott



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