That is really hard to admit. I figured it out a couple years ago and am just now able to say it publicly. I was a strong and active child so I didn’t really put 2 and 2 together until an introductory course on Ayurveda during my yoga teacher training program. Why do I say that I have never been healthy? I was born with what my mother called “cradle cap” which I would later learn was the skin condition psoriasis. An early warning sign of things to come that no one understood at the time.
My earliest memories include guarding an orange thermos on our move to Germany that contained the allergy shots my mother had to learn how to administer to me and undergoing a number of urinary tracts tests that I was too young to understand. My mother used to tell the story that I had every childhood disease possible including Scarlet fever by the age of 2. I have no clue how true that statement was but it was a “family tale” that was recounted again and again, right along with the tale of how I was the ugliest child ever. Apparently everyone thought so, and the first pictures taken of me were at 3 months when my Dad was leaving for the war in Vietnam. I was cute then but I also had a full head of hair so the evidence was likely hidden. I’m not sure why it took me so long to put that story together with the scalp psoriasis, but a little over year ago after an intense personal ritual experience, I came to realize that the ugliness was likely just psoriasis and no one was comfortable talking about imperfections.
Why am I talking about this now? Well as you will come to find out my health has had to become a greater priority in my life. It is a long story, I am 48 years old after all and we are only a few years in! There is much to tell to lay the foundation to be able to make sense out of what is going on now.
I have to slow down and feel the need to share my story. I am learning that healing myself also gives me an opportunity to put my money where my mouth is. An opportunity to stand proud and be myself, to put myself first so I can be there for others. I have coached and advised others for many years to help them understand their journey, heal themselves, uncover their gifts and live more enriching lives. And to be honest ending up in the hospital a couple of weeks ago certainly was a wakeup call! For many years now I’ve received guidance during meditations and rituals that I would be called upon to tell my story one day. I believe that day is here.
Let’s start with a health overview of diagnoses & health issues over the years: (in order to the best of my memory)
-Cradle Cap (scalp psoriasis)
-Tubes in my ears, tonsils out & all childhood diseases possible including Scarlet Fever by the age of 2
-Allergies to many foods, household substances and some elements of nature treated with allergy shots starting some time before the age of 5
-Urinary tract issues
-I was active and clumsy so a number of sports injuries
-Pneumonia in the 4th or 5th grade
– Allergies continue to plague me but no more shots just prescription speed basically until I was a young adult and no longer had health insurance
-Diagnosed with Grave disease in 1993 early in pregnancy
-Psoriasis begins to show on skin outside of the scalp or head region
-Graves’ disease treated with radioactive iodine in 2001 which resulted in the need to take daily thyroid hormone replacement
-Diagnosed with high blood pressure
-Diagnosed with Psoriatic arthritis in 2004
-Bell’s Palsy in 2006 which resulted in total paralysis of the left side of my face for about 6 months
-Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2009
-Cataract surgery, both eyes, 2010 & 2011
-Diagnosed with LPRD (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease) in 2016
-And a partridge in a pear tree!
(OK not really on that last one but several doctors have diagnosed my as “WEIRD” because my body so often does not react to their tests and medications in a way they consider normal)
*Phew* that was a lot. Maybe it is time for a break. That is one element of self-care that I am practicing; to know when to stop before I overdo it, to remember that there will always be more to do and be thankful for that instead of dreading it while allowing myself to stop when needed.
Stay tuned for more of my story to come, including:
- How exactly to answer the question, “How are you?” when you’ve been sick all your life in invisible ways
- Current testing and specialists visits with allopathic medicine (mainstream medical practices)
- “Alternative” visits & treatments
- Dietary & Lifestyles changes
- Daily meditation, yogic and self-care practices
- More health history
- My work history and challenges while I investigate filing for SSI
- My studies, practices & ritual work both Eastern & Western