In my coaching practice, I specialize in educating on the foundations of your wellness using natural modalities such as nutrition, aromatherapy, frequency therapy and lymphatic support. I believe that we all need to be a blessing to others as we continue together on life’s journey.
One look at me and you can tell, I am not like any other naturopathic practitioner. I am not tall, skinny and gorgeous; I am short, fluffy and gorgeous! But there is an amazing story behind my "fluff" that I would like to share with you.
I am super proud of the woman I am today because I went through hell and back to become her. I hope my story will help you appreciate the goodness and mercy of God.
Like many of you, I never gave my health one thought until I got sick. And I mean really sick.
I was never a "sickly" kind of person; amazingly enough I rarely had a cold, never had the flu, but I did have challenges…symptoms of unrest in my body that I didn’t pay attention to because, you know, "everybody has something going on", right?
I had migraines almost every month during my cycle, which went hand-in-hand with the endometriosis
I had a very angry irritable bowel – flipflopping from chronic constipation to chronic diarrhea for as long as I can remember
I also had what I now know to be a very sluggish lymphatic system my entire life
I had consistent sciatica pain
I ate crap…I mean, seriously I lived on complex carbs (I never met a loaf of soft bread that I didn’t like) and meat with a rare veggie and fruit only in the summer and chocolate was a food group for me and if I drank one glass of water a day, that was a lot (I was chronically dehydrated)
And of course, I struggled with ADD (doesn’t everyone?)
I lived with chronic stress, unresolved trauma and just kept shoving everything to "I just can’t deal with this right now" so I buried it even more…until one day everything exploded like a volcano…
In March 2010 my wild merry go round life that I created for myself (thanks trauma) that I could not get off of, or at least get under control, came to a screeching halt…and it kicked me off.
Thinking that last night’s meatloaf really did me in, I ran into the ladies’ room at work, only to pass out in a very compromising position, I might add, and had to be to be taken out in an ambulance. Note to self, do not ever do this again on a military base…there were 10 EMT’s in there trying to help me as if it was an act of national emergency.
At this point, God got my attention.
I mean, He always had my attention, but now He REALLY had it. I had a bowel obstruction; the first of three. Ya’ll – the pain is real!
I thought I was going to die (which is amazing because I have a very high tolerance to pain…see my red hair?) Luckily, I didn’t die. They spent the next two weeks pumping out my insides. And not to get too TMI, but since I get real here, they do not stick the tube where you think they should in order to suck out your gut. Just so happens they run it through your nose and down your throat into your gut (and I scream when they are doing it) and you get to watch that garbage get pumped out 24/7 for almost 2 weeks.
I would love to tell you that this was my "wake up call".
I am Irish/Italian, so stubborn is my middle name.
I didn’t heed the first warning so within just a few days of being home I still wasn’t feeling well, went to my GP and he said (and yes I am using quotes because this is what he told me! I couldn’t believe it!) He said "It looks like you are just backed up; take a few laxatives and it should help you out." I mean, I could barely even walk into his office and this was his diagnosis after having my intestines cleaned out for 2 weeks prior!
I was QUICKLY losing faith in the medical community at this point.
The next day, I woke up with "the look" again, as my son put it. Poor kid was just a young teen and I was scaring him to death worrying about me. Smarter than me, he insisted that we go to the hospital. Since he was too young to drive, he called 911 and back in the ER I was with my second bowel obstruction.
At this point, I would swear to anyone willing to listen that I would give birth to 15 more babies without any anesthesia and the pain would not compare to the torture that a bowel obstruction was for me. And this time I insisted that they do whatever testing necessary to find out why this is happening, because it’s not just a fluke, like they told me the first time.
So back on the tube I went; definitely not a fun procedure. Figured I would be there another two weeks like last time even though I can’t imagine there could have been anything left after sucking out 2 large cannulas of garbage just the week prior. I insisted my husband go back to work, no sense both of us sitting there for days on end watching my garbage come out through my nose, right?
So finally, he agreed. It was THAT day that my cardiologist came into my room and introduced himself. I told him he was in the wrong room and pointed to the tubing down my nose, and went on to explain how there were 2 tumors in my abdomen causing the bowel obstructions (everyone in there was fighting for space) but he was there for a more serious concern…
There was a rare walnut-sized tumor inside of my heart.
NOW, God got my attention.
So I agreed to surgery to remove the tumor inside of my heart. They did open heart surgery and put me on life support, took my heart out of my chest and took out the tumor so that the diseased cells would not fall away and repopulate in other parts of my body. However, when they got in there, my body was so wonderful; it encapsulated the walnut-sized tumor in a sac to help contain it. Pretty freaking awesome, huh?
Amazingly enough, I recovered in record time so in 4 months I was able to get the 2 grapefruit-sized fibroid tumors out of my abdomen. When they went in, they realized I also needed a hysterectomy. So then I was thrown into menopause on top of everything else.
Nine months later, the familiar feelings and "look" came back…
By now I am on a first name basis with our local EMT’s, so off to the ER again. The third bowel obstruction. This time caused by scar tissue left by the other surgeries. The gastroenterologist wanted to do surgery – to remove scar tissue and ultimately create more scar tissue. This made no sense to me whatsoever and I didn’t want it. He then told me that these bowel obstructions would continue to happen if I didn’t get the surgery. I promptly rebuked him to not speak that kind of thing over me and that I had no intention of coming in there every 6 months to get my guts sucked out as a preventative measure.
This series of events left me fat, sick and nearly dead.
My body was completely destroyed. I already had a compromised lymphatic system so it progressed to stage 2. Most people who get tumors have an 80% chance of getting it in one or two limbs but because the tumor was inside of my heart, it affected my entire body! Then my hormones were so jacked, I ended up with lipedema, as well (very prevalent on my upper arms and upper legs).
There is no cure for either of these diseases – and no, dieting or exercise does not make it go away. It can be "managed" by the medical community, but not well.
Using natural solutions, I am in better health than 95% of my counterparts (and they don’t have as severe a diagnosis as mine).
I thank God every day for my DO who suggested I try some natural solutions to give some quality to my time left. After doing so, I slowly got out of the motorized scooter/wheelchair, then the walker and I haven’t used any of those in 7 years (except in airports which are a challenge with navigating being wrapped up like a mummy head to toe.)
I FINALLY woke up to realize that the medical community has a lot to learn about lymphedema, lipedema and true health - not just disease management. I was not about to do what he wanted but I knew I needed help and they were just not providing it and I couldn’t find it. It was that day that God told me that He gave me the ability to figure it out and I should stop feeling sorry for myself and start figuring it out.
Tough love coming from my Heavenly Father. Awesome.
But He was right, of course. I was a biochemical researcher for the DOD before I got sick, so I had a great foundation in the science of the body. However, my mind was still on the medical paradigm and only just learning to explore the natural health world that I really never realized existed! But my back was up against the wall and I wanted to go out fighting to live so I ran full speed toward a healing journey! Lipo-lymphedema does not have a cure but I wanted to find some level of quality of life for whatever time God had left for me here. The doctors said I had one year.
I have proved them wrong.
Many times in the past 10 years.
And despite the diagnosis of lipo-lymphedema all over my body, my DO and NP tells me that I am the healthiest patient that they have – especially because of my size and physical disability!
I have turned things around and no longer face all the challenges that I mentioned in the beginning. But the lipo-lymphedema (according to science) does not have a cure. So I have created ways to support myself naturally.
So then God spoke to me again.
Now I want you to help others. They need hope. They need what you have.
I seriously thought I was hearing things because God could not possibly be talking to ME! But after a short reenactment of Jonah, I warmed up to the idea. I mean, I love helping people so here was my new mission!
So…I went back to school to become the doctor that I could not find to help me. Once I gave in to what He asked of me, I couldn’t wait to be a naturopathic doctor so I could help others and offer them hope, sharing the gift that I was given! If God did it for me, He can certainly do it for you too!
And now I can help you so you are not alone!
Join me here on my healing journey. It’s always evolving and I get better and better all the time and share what I know to help others, especially those with a similar diagnosis. Believe it or not, this is the cliff note version of my story…but I really think it’s important for you to know so it can help you with your own healing journey.
I haven’t been sick with anything since I found natural health (however, I did have 4 structural hernias). I haven’t had any pharmaceuticals either (except anesthesia for the hernia surgery). Not even pain meds after surgery (I have powerful natural solutions that I used.) This has been a crazy ride for me so far and I have avoided showing my body to the world because of the disability. God has been working on that with me too….how can I truly help others if I don’t put myself out there too, right?
So here I am and I am excited to see where God takes me and what He teaches all of us along the way! Come along with me – I am so blessed you are here and hope you will be blessed too!