When I first entered my twenties, I had big plans, adventures to go on, things to do, careers to build. The world had a very different plan. It all started very slowly, a weird symptom here and there, dizzy spells, exhaustion, belly aches. I'd had these a few years earlier but they had all cleared up with a low FODMAP diet so I guessed a trip to the dietician was my easy next step, problem solved right? Unfortunately not.
Things weren't getting better, they were getting progressively worse. The doctor's appointments were becoming more frequent but the test results were always coming back normal. What the hell was this all about? Over a course of 6 months, my body started to deteriorate so quickly I was majorly concerned it was a degenerative condition such as MS or MND. To say I was freaking out that I could actually potentially be severely sick, hell I wondered if I might actually be dying. There was still so much I wanted to do with my life.
At my worst my symptoms included;
- muscle paralysis
- muscle spasms
- body freezes
- extreme fatigue
- muscle weakness
- speech difficulties
- severe fragrance and chemical sensitivity
- severe digestive issues
- blackouts/fainting spells
The list went on and on really. I couldn't work for 12 months, I couldn't eat, I'd lost 15 kilos in the space of 3 months, My muscles were spasming 24/7, mainly in the abdomen and in the legs. On my bad days, I couldn't even stand, my legs wouldn't hold me up. This was insanely confusing and difficult.
What did the doctors have to say? I was too stressed, I just needed to reduce the stress in my life, do not come back to the hospital because there was nothing they could do for me. That I just wasn't trying hard enough to get better. This was a very lonely journey, in many ways it was heartbreaking.
I tried absolutely anything I could get my hands on. Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, chiropractor, osteopathy, psychology, psychiatry, naturopathy. I went down the alternative path, I tried meditation, yoga, reiki, EFT tapping. I was always in my local library finding any books I could on emotional-based illness, healing the body, chemical sensitivity, food intolerances and allergies mysterious illness. I finally found a psychologist on youtube who spoke of psychosomatic illness.
Every time I went to the doctor I was met with a misdiagnosis of severe anxiety and depression. Yeah I was sad and I was stressed but I was these things because I was so severely unwell with very little path to go on.
I made my own path, I was so determined not to let this get the better of me, I was so determined not to show to doctors I was not doing this on purpose and I wanted to be better.
The journey was long, it was up and down, it was confusing, it was lonely and it was damn hard.
I realized in these moments that there was a serious gap in this area, that the support system for people with chronic health needed more then they were getting. I decided I was going to make all of this pain worth it and learn how to help people in the exact position I was in.
So here we are! This was all 2014/2015, I have grown such a fascination with the mind-body connection, taking care of our health on our individual paths, the amazing healing powers of having people in your life who will be there with you and allow you to sit in your pain and patiently wait until you are ready to lift yourself out.
This is where Ardour comes in and this is where our work together comes in. I know what you are going through and I am so passionate about making it easier for you, making your healing journey quicker than mine was.
The original diagnosis I was given 13 months after all of the symptoms started up was Functional Movement Disorder (FMD). Also known as Functional Neurological Disorder or Conversion Disorder. After 3 years of struggling on my own, it was also discovered that I had a genetic mutation that affected my heart and muscle. Commonly the symptoms do not present until you are in your 20's, this condition actually accounted for the majority of the problems I had experienced. By the time this diagnosis came through I was already well on my way to recovery and had done my own work to heal what was going on for me but there were just those few things, I couldn't seem to make a permanent difference to. The medication they gave me for this condition literally changed everything because I was actually finally completely back to normal, A truly amazing feeling. The heart diagnosis is Andersens Tawil Syndrome (ATS).
My path happened so I can learn and grow to help those who are dealing with similar situations. If I can make any difference for someone having a hard time with chronic health, it makes it all worth it.