While I have struggled with my health since 3 months of age, for nearly 10 years now, life has been a real struggle for me. Challenging life stuff happened: broken relationships, various stresses, health challenges - alot of health challenges, loss of our home, neighborhood and community, dreams falling apart, and especially difficult this past year ~ my Dad's passing (October 30, 2015) and then my best friend, Coco's passing on February 22, 2016. My heartache is still so overwhelming. I have never known grief at this level and I am still struggling to embrace it and learn how to function with it. My Dad and I may have had a difficult relationship in this life, but we were connected on a much deeper level and his passing has left a gaping hole in my heart and my life. And, with all my health challenges, I have learned that my amazing Coco dog was a life-giving/supporting companion to me and her loss has left me with a missing piece of my daily foundation and my ability to function well each day. Blaine and I have adopted two different puppies this year, only to have to re-home both of them (one did not have the breed genetics we thought and completely stressed Blaine out with her behavior and our second dog did not want to be a companion dog, but a dog's dog and live with others dogs and do his own thing). It's been heartbreaking, all over again. When we have the financial means again in the next year, we so hope to find a new dog to not only be my companion, but also to be a great fit for Blaine and my life together. I have told myself, almost daily, that I don't need a dog to function in my life, but it has become obvious to both Blaine and I, that I really do. And, it's time to embrace who I am and what I need (what my body needs) to be successful in this life, so I can fully live. Our search for a new dog companion continues. Trusting God to provide just what I/we need, at just the right time. Though honestly, I wish it was today. Or yesterday.
With the revelation of all this and in trying to find a way forward, I brought a second naturopath onto my healthcare team, a few months ago, and discovered I have multiple autoimmune diseases. (I will share more about that in the coming weeks and months.) While it has been overwhelming to take it all in, Blaine and I are very thankful to have a specific path to walk ahead of us and these past 20+ years of not knowing what was happening with my health, finally some answers come to us. We are still searching for the "root cause" of my autoimmune issues, but we are so grateful we have some defined plus a NEW WAY of living ahead as we welcome 2017! Will begin searching for a Functional Medicine practitioner (preferably one that takes our insurance, but most are cash only - because they are not pharmaceutical focused as insurance companies desire they be ~ and they spend time with their patients to really figure out what is happening - drugs and short appointments are the insurance way). That said, at almost age 52, we're believing this will be a year of HEALING!!!
A HEART OF GRATITUDE: I am thankful for other autoimmune sufferers who have gone before me and have paved the way to help others, often causing setbacks in their own health, for a season, as they create resources to help others find a path to healing and live fully. Blaine and I are entering this new season together and give much praise for two amazing women at Autoimmune Paleo for their willingness to share their journey and provide resources and information to others. This is where our journey begins! It's a BIG learning curve, but we will take it step-by-step. We have 30-90 days of a very restrictive diet and hope to heal our guts, so our immune systems will be healthy ~ allowing healing in our bodies to occur.
If you are a fellow autoimmune sufferer (and autoimmune disease/illness numbers grow by leaps and bounds daily), please consider reading The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook below (click on photo for link).
Our prayer is that we all receive the gift of HOPE, embrace new beginnings and receive HEALING in 2017!
Abundant blessings of great joy and healthy living to you and yours ~ Joanie