Rock bottom picMy Rock Bottom came when I realized that everything I was doing by myself to get better was not working. When I woke up alive I was crying, no, I was sobbing on my knees to the Lord. I needed help from HIM to get better. Not until then did I truly get relief.  I was living in pain every single day trying to hide my problem from the world. I put on that brave face a mom has to wear and carried on pretending that I felt okay when I really did not.

I had been suffering from migraines since I was 12 years old. My first one came when I was babysitting. I had to call my mom to come over and help because I was seeing stars and my head was pounding. I felt so nauseated I could not stand. When I was in college the migraines got a lot worse and my Aunt-In- Law, who is a nurse, called a hospital in Boston and had me admitted. They diagnosed me with chronic migraines and prescribed pain medication and a preventative. There were times I remember that the medicine would bring temporary relief, but since the doctors knew what they were doing and I did not, I did as I was told and put up with the pain. For years the cycle continued and the migraines would persist. One year at Thanksgiving I was at my aunt and uncle’s house in Pennsylvania, and I had to go to the emergency room because I could not stop getting sick. As a matter of fact, I got sick often from the headaches; even at my sister’s wedding. But it was how it was… my head liked to hurt! It was my way of life.

In college I had a ski accident which resulted in a torn ligament and I wore a knee brace from my thigh down to my ankle. For years I thought that my torn ligament never properly healed and caused me intense pain. Years later when my girls were born and I spent time getting healthier (more for them than for me) I realized that my knee pain was back only now it felt worse and it mysteriously migrated. It hurt all the time. Lucky for me, because I was always on some kind of pain killer, my knee pain was not as bad as it could have been. Although the pain woke me up most nights it hurt less when I moved it.  Many nights I remember sitting on the couch with my knee up rubbing on it, wishing that I could get the pain to lessen. It was not ever swollen. I worked out and when I had doctors look at it they said it was absolutely fine! Fine, huh! Well, I guess I’m crazy, thanks.

After my second daughter arrived weighing a whopping 10 lbs I felt I’d earned a badge of honor pushing her out for my petite 5’1 frame. I was honestly surprised that I made it through the night a few evenings prior/ before I went back to see her    because I had to take so much medicine to get the pain to go away!! I realized she messed me up something awful on the inside. I could no longer hold the urge to go to the bathroom. I figured it was normal for me after having such a big baby! Little did I know it did not matter what her size was. My body really did recover fine it was another issue all together.

So as you can imagine, with all of these unrelated health issues my capacity to be a great mom diminished significantly with every pill popped, and limping sprint to the john. The worst part was, that I noticed my own irritability increasing. I yelled a lot and had terrible brain fog. My husband called home every evening to find out the state of affairs and to see if he was coming home to the two headed dragon lady! The sad truth is- he was. And I hated it. I hated who I was as a wife and a mother. I cried myself to sleep a lot.

With every headache that left me parenting from the couch, my dreams of teaching again or anything else for that matter, left me realizing I needed help. I was so sick all of the time and it was making me miserable! But, I did what I knew to do… pretend I was ok and swig down my over- the- counter and prescription concoction of pain pills. If someone asked how I was, when you could tell I had a screaming migraine from the look on my face, I would answer “I’m here”. I could not stop my life all the time just because my head was pounding like a jackhammer.  What a way to live! I never really told anyone how much medicine I had to take just to make it through. I began praying to God that my issues were related and I could get REAL help. I felt like a drug addict and worried people knew.

I finally decided that I needed professional help. I must have been depressed. Especially by the way my husband responded to me- like I was another person, a dragon lady. So I went to a counselor. I laid out all of my ‘problems’ and she diligently took notes. My life was honestly great, my marriage was good, finances were good, and kids were good. I worked part time at a health club so I was regularly exercising, I just always felt awful. She said to me she thought I had food issues. Well how could that be? I ate pretty darn healthy. Especially lately! I knew junk could make you feel bad but I did not eat a lot of junk. So I left her that day denying help even though she persisted. She thought I had food allergies.

One week later it all changed. I ate a sandwich from a local shop that changed my life forever. Within minutes of eating I got so sick it was coming from everywhere. It was ridiculously embarrassing! That night I was honestly surprised that I made it through the night because I had to take so much medicine to get the pain to go away!  A few days later I went back to my counselor and said I was ready to do whatever she said. I did not care what it cost, I HAD to feel better. My marriage depended on it and my life with my kids meant too much to lose. I was at rock bottom and needed help I was desperate. Thank GOD she was the right person I needed to see. Thank God she also happened to be a registered dietitian. Thank YOU God!

After some counseling from her office, my dietitian and I worked together to create a healthier lifestyle for me and eventually my family. I had to go corn, spinach, gluten and coffee free. If you have ever read the package of any box of cereal, pasta, or bag of chips you realize that is no easy feat! And the bigger problem was that I had to learn to scratch cook and I had not really done a ton of that! Wow I had a lot to learn!

During this time I relied a lot upon my faith to get me through. I had to learn to do things differently, but I also knew since I was terrified, I was supposed to do them! God had saved me and He would sustain me. He also introduced me to the truth that in order to really be healthy I needed that last element to carry me through; and only then could I live a PheMOMenal life.

From this experience I learned that I really needed to go to my heavenly father sooner. Only He can heal me!! For years I believed the doctors would fix me. I believed I ate the right things. I thought that medicine would work, and I was going to have to live with migraines forever. I thank the Lord often that HE showed me a way to natural health. He educated me on a healthier way to live! Wow I am one lucky mama! Because I hit Rock Bottom I turned to Him for healing and today I live Migraine, IBS and Joint Pain free with no medicine! And THAT is a Beautiful Place to be!

I believe I most certainly can answer that allergies can cause someone to hit a Rock Bottom. I am just so very thankful it happened to me because boy have I learned a lot!