Sometimes, my mind starts to wander and I think back to the year that my skin was on fire night and day. I have tried very hard to block those memories out, so maybe you have no idea why this blog is called “The Burned Hand”. I remember getting the incurable disease and thinking that my life was completely over at just 23 years old. I feel like Ygritte whispering that I know nothing at that age. And I didn’t.
I think back to the years that I had my children, and knew that I was so extremely fatigued it wasn’t normal and that I was not “bouncing back” from childbirth. Then the second blood test and the news I had one more incurable disease, okay. Not shocking, I already knew. And more phlebotomies yearly would be needed.
I think back to the year my career as a teacher really started taking off and I was known as Mrs. Happy. I had finally done it! I changed my outlook on life and working with invisible diseases wasn’t going to stop me. And then I started getting violently ill after eating. I couldn’t look at food. I looked pregnant all the time and my stomach was distended. I started having severe allergy attacks, and I had vertigo for 3 weeks. I spiraled down into a place of pain. No one could touch my skin again, only this time was worse. The base of my neck to the sitting bone was on fire. I felt every single vertebrae as if it was on fire and begging to be put out like a living, breathing thing.
My shoulder went out. My hip went out. I couldn’t walk and I took a leave of absence from teaching, for presumably, a year. I told everyone that, but I knew I was never going back. I knew. I actually thought that I was going to stay in that place of pain for a very long time, if not forever.
I was diagnosed then with an autoimmune disease (just barely they said) and “fibromyalgia” due to the 18 points of pain that were in my body. Didn’t I want to take pain meds for the rest of my life? No. No, I didn’t because I already had one disease that could mess with my liver and I wasn’t going to chance this. It was at this point, that I realized I was screwed. I had two options. Get better or become something I didn’t recognize anymore…wait! I already was.
The post will continue, but you can open these in new tabs if you are interested for later:
- Hereditary Hemochromatosis
- The Vampire Disease (Porphyria)
- What’s Wrong With My Thyroid?
- Building Faith Muscles for Fibro
So life beats you down folks. It does. And it will over and over again if you let it. What you do after this is up to you. So here’s the point in my story that I don’t share much, but I was sitting on the couch in those early years, which yes, I wrote through the pain in 2013, but it barely scratched the surface, anyway, and I knew that I had a choice to make. Get up and live. Other people surely had as many diseases as I did, okay, I didn’t know anyone at the time, but surely they existed. So I would live and change my life for them and show them that it could really be done. I could do it.
One more test would come back in this puzzle that explained that on a purely cellular level I was not processing things correctly, but at that point, I didn’t care anymore. I already knew I was different, and I was going to move forward. So here comes the point where I tell you the steps I took.
The Steps I took To Change My Life:
- I decided I was going to change. <<< This is the biggest one that you have to learn. No one, and I do mean no one, can force you to change. Period. If you are waiting for your sign and this post is speaking to you, please write down on your calendar “Day I decided to change and live my life.” <<< Seriously. You’ve got this.
- Stop making excuses and lying to yourself. I will get out of the house tomorrow. I will join the gym in a few months. I will try yoga next month. I will eat better after the “holidays”. I will…yup. Said them all. Been there done that. I made a plan, and then I stuck to it. I called it 4 Weeks to Wellness and when each week was over, I would start back again. Slowly and surely repeating the things I needed to change. Fitness, I had to move. Nutrition, I learned what was causing all that pain, balance, what was that anyway? and finally, self-care which was really lacking.
- I learned to be thankful for what I already had. This one was hard. Not that I wasn’t thankful, but I was so angry. I was mad at the universe for giving me this life…never really thinking I had that much control over it all, but I was so very wrong. I was wrong. I woke up and started a gratitude practice even in my darkest hours. I couldn’t sleep, but I would roll over and pull myself off. I would not think of the pain, if it came in I shut it down with these words “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” I almost crawled to the bathroom with my eyes shut tight and said I will not insert the F word, think about this F word pain. When i opened them on my bathroom mirror was the mantra “I am healing”. Then I would say that to myself every single day. Also, side note, my girls started to use dry-erase marker like I taught them and left mama messages to read on the mirror. I was living for them and my husband and I was going to succeed.
- I started back to yoga. I am thankful that someone took the lead in this and initiated my Yoga Teacher Training. Can you imagine hardly being to move and going to yoga? I almost said no a thousand times. I almost quit a thousand times. I would soak in the tub and almost cry out from pain at doing it, but I would not give up. I would walk slowly and I would do the best I could, but I would finish that damn training. I would and I did in June of 2015. I went on to become certified as well in yoga for arthritis and pain.
- I started helping others. I already had my FB page, but it just wasn’t enough. How could I connect with others who could change their lives just by thinking about it, writing about it through my new journal therapy, starting a gratitude practice, and with sheer grit, take control of their heads, hearts and health? I took some money and invested in a platform to build an online community. I called it the Head|Heart|Health Club and I was going to make it work. In January of 2017, I opened my doors to everyone who might want help, and I haven’t really looked back.
So if you are new here to the blog, welcome. I really wanted you to know who I was before, who I am now, and what I am hoping to accomplish for the future of healing yourself. I know you can do it. Please stay in touch with me here <<< and get my monthly updates by newsletter if you’d like. ~Aimee