Happy New Year

2019: A Year in Review

This year has been interesting, to say the least. 

The year started off with my body recovering from my breast explant surgery after learning that I might have been suffering from Breast Implant Illness. I say “might” because I will never truly know, but what I do know is that most of my 30+ medical symptoms I was experiencing last year disappeared once my implants left my body.

So, I feel very confident that my breast implants were definitely compromising my body’s natural ability to fight off infections, invaders, and other “yuckies” as I call them. 

Unfortunately, my health had to take a big hit before I recognized what might be behind it all.  Years of unexplained symptoms and changes in my body finally “came to light” when I learned about Breast Implant Illness (BII). 

The initial recovery had its challenges, but all in all, I am proud that I got through it!

I am really glad my implants are out and I have spent much of 2019 trying to reclaim my health.  If you know of someone who is experiencing unanswered symptoms and she has implants, PLEASE send her to this blog to learn more about BII. Learning about BII could be life-changing for her.

Finding My Way Back

I said that much of this year was spent trying to reclaim my health, which is true.  Once I got clearance from my explanting doctor that I was healed enough to start exercising, I felt anxious and excited to see how my life would feel without heavy saline sacs on my chest. 

Sure enough, my first week back to running, I felt like a new person. I was running three miles at a time out of the gate effortlessly.  Optimistic and hopeful, I ran, sweat, and played like I had been dreaming of doing. Until…

At the end of my first week back to running, my excitement came to a screeching halt.  My chest and lungs tightened up as if I was having an allergic reaction to something. Then, my throat took on a weird sensation.  It felt like something was caught in my lower esophagus that simply wouldn’t dislodge. Every day, I was faced with this discomfort from there on out.

No End In Sight

I waited a few weeks to see if the symptoms would disappear on their own, but nothing changed. Then I was hit with severe vertigo, even more pain in my throat, and recurring chest discomfort.  What the heck was going on? 

I felt depressed and frustrated because just as I had started getting my old self back, I was stopped in my tracks.  Why couldn’t my health just get back to normal?

I went through the summer searching high and low for answers. I saw my primary care doctor more times than I think I have ever visited a doctor in one year’s time.  She had no answers and really didn’t know how to advise me.  I saw an endocrinologist, ENTs (multiple times), a head/neck specialist, chiropractor, and gastroenterologist, and still – no answers. 

Mystery illness
More testing…

My Summer Days

Through all of this, I was thrust back into how I felt in 2018.  Alone and helpless with no definitive answers.  With the exception of an MRI, which showed a thyroglossal duct cyst (say what?!) and an ultrasound which showed inflammation around my thyroid, everything else showed nothing of great concern according to the medical professionals.  

Doctors still did not think these results could be causing the symptoms I was experiencing.  I was frustrated to say the least and desperate to find relief.

Summer was supposed to be fun, right?

Over the summer months, everything was painful.  By the afternoon each day, I no longer wanted to talk because my throat was so painfully sore.  I would rub my throat over and over throughout the day trying to find any sense of relief.  Exercising brought shooting, scary pains to the front of my throat.  Even gently swimming and allowing the water to touch my neck made it feel like someone was pushing right against my windpipe and choking me.  Yeah, NOT FUN.

The hard part was, no one knew how to help me.  I desperately wanted someone to know what my symptoms felt like, but that was impossible.  

Pay Attention to Your Intuition

Something in me kept going back to Anthony William, the Medical Medium, and his books that I read in 2018.  If you’ll recall, I drank celery juice immediately after my explant surgery for about two weeks as part of my healing protocol, but then stopped (I’m not sure why).  

Using celery juice to heal

In the early Fall I had a miserable trial of prednisone to target the thyroid inflammation leaving my body feeling much worse. I prayed every night for answers.  After about 7 months of increasing throat pain, I thought, “Maybe I should try doing celery juice again and see what happens. It certainly couldn’t hurt, it’s just celery.”

Following My Gut

For the first time, I was feeling slight relief.  Two days into drinking celery juice and I had my first glimpse of a pain-free day.  Could this stuff really be working?

I noticed that on days I was drinking celery juice versus days I was not, my throat definitely felt better.  The swelling and intense pressure I felt started to subside.  I was starting to feel hopeful.

Shortly after starting back on celery juice, I also tried incorporating the Medical Medium heavy metal detox smoothie into my days.  Again, something in me wondered if maybe viruses and heavy metals were to blame?

Celery Juice to heal

I knew from my functional medicine testing back in early February that I still had some viruses and parasites that needed attention.

Ironically, the WHOLE time I questioned whether I had strep throat although none of the doctors tested for it because I didn’t show classic symptoms.  (I mentioned it to every single one of them)

Then, in November, things took a scary turn.  I experienced such a deep depression and what felt like anxiety and panic.  I couldn’t stop crying.  My racing thoughts, which woke me up in the night, wouldn’t cease.  My heart was having crazy palpitations. What was happening in my body?  I kept telling people, “This doesn’t feel like normal anxiety. I had panic attacks and anxiety for many years as a teen and it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like something is going haywire in my body.”  

Going through each day feeling like I couldn’t breathe freely and easily from the chest tightness made my mind race with worry.  Why was my chest so irritated? That’s truly what it felt like – like something was irritating my lungs and making them swell like when you have bronchitis.  Every time I took a deep breath or tried to carry on a conversation, the air would catch and I coughed. It was so tight!

I was so scared for myself and for my son.  I dreaded the thought of being alone with him because I legitimately thought something was going to happen to me and he’d be left alone to deal with it. My husband was away a lot for work, so it was me and my four year old.  How was I going to make it through this?  

Hitting My Lowest Point

That week was most certainly the lowest week of the year.  It frightened me beyond belief.  I don’t think anyone will every truly know how terrifying it was. 

Doctors all thought it was anxiety and I can’t blame them.  From the outside looking at me, it certainly sounded that way.  I had textbook symptoms of depression and anxiety, so of course they’d say that.  The bigger question I wish they took the time to ask was, “Why? Why are these symptoms happening for her?”

But inside, I just wasn’t convinced that it was a neurotransmitter problem causing my body to be in this perpetual state of distress.  Despite my own feelings on the matter, I was desperate to feel better and safer.  I opted to try an anti-depressant.  I had to be open to the possibility that maybe this was depression and anxiety rearing their ugly heads.  If it was and if medication helped, then I’d humbly accept the truth and live my life happily ever after.  

Well, a month into taking the medication and coping with a number of medication side effects which outweighed the positives, I decided this wasn’t the answer. While I was feeling a bit better overall (although still having chest tightness),  I wanted to get back to celery juice and detox smoothies and see what would happen.  

My throat continued to feel improvement, so did my tight chest!  I woke up one morning in December, for the first time since March, without any chest discomfort. Hallelujah! I woke up and expressed gratitude to the Universe for helping me feel better.  In fact, I found myself thanking God and the Universe several times that day!

Soon, I was off to start exercising at the local gym (something I haven’t been able to do since this all started).  Things were looking up!

Could My Body Be Healing?

I then read that it’s not uncommon that when you start killing pathogens, viruses, and detoxing heavy metals for your body to be overwhelmed with the die-off that enters your organs and bloodstream. 

This is especially true if the process is happening quickly and/or you have a harder time detoxifying, which I know is true for me.  This can result in feelings of depression, mood swings, and anxiety.  Severe anxiety.  

Well, that would explain a lot if it really was true.

While I know nothing for certain, the hypothesis rings true for me.  The severe anxiety and depression came right as I started the Medical Medium protocol. 

Trying to Put the Pieces Together

Perhaps this entire year was still part of my healing and detoxing process from the years of collecting viruses and pathogens leading up to my explant surgery.  While I thought my body would just go straight back to its best health ever, that simply wasn’t the reality.  My body still had a lot to get rid of.  Heck, it still has a lot of healing to do.  

Who knows if any of this is what’s happening in my body.  The whole year has been a journey and I am gently reminding myself to let the Universe enlighten me when the time is right.  It has been a year of trying to put together the puzzle pieces.  

All Good Is Not Lost

Now, don’t get me wrong, while I was preoccupied with this bothersome health condition I did have many happy memories this year!  I had some great travels, read terrific books, started preparing my counseling business, got back to yoga, and continued writing this blog (I sure do love writing this blog!).  

This year, I played wayyyyy more than I did last year! I felt so grateful that I was able to actively engage with my son and my family this year. We went for bike rides, walks, swims, etc. All of these things were beyond challenging for me last year. So the progress I have made was not lost on me despite not being in the perfect condition I wanted to be in.

Feeling Hopeful

Going into the new year, 2020, I feel hopeful!  Believe it or not, I really do!  With every challenge, I feel like I am learning more and more about myself.  I also feel like I am shedding unneeded weight (emotional and physical) that I have been carrying around for years.  

Create the Year You Want

I chose to create a vision board for 2020 to help me focus on my intentions and call upon the Universe for its brilliant magic in helping my dreams come true.  Have you created yours yet?  If not, check out my post on How to Make a Vision Board for some pointers.

2020 Intentions

In 2020, I am calling in the following:

Vision Board 2020
  • A new family dog (we have been so eager to get a dog and I think this is the year!)
  • Acceptance.  I want others to accept who I am and I would like to be more accepting of others.
  • Success.  I want my counseling practice to be a huge success!
  • I am calling in Nantucket in any way, shape, or form.  Nantucket is my spirit’s home, and I am calling in a way to spend time there this year.
  • Less cell phone time, particularly at night.  Instead, I will meditate.
  • More yoga.  Yoga at least 3-4x/week when possible.
  • I am calling in opportunities.  I believe opportunities that will lead me to answers, success, and growth will find me.
  • Shedding emotional and physical weight.  I no longer need self-inflicted punishment, guilt, shame, or regret.  I want to romance my future, not my past.
  • Family time.  I look forward to more connection and quality time with my family this year. 
  • Happiness.  I ask that happiness be my primary emotion this year.
  • Improved health. 
  • ASK, BELIEVE, & RECEIVE will be my daily practice.
Happy New Year 2020

So as I reflect on 2019 the word that sums it up would be: journey. A runner up would be: unknown. A lot is still unknown. But one thing is for sure, I am determined to figure it all out and to fully heal my body. I think 2020 is going to be a great year for all sorts of growth. Are you feeling that way too?

As my story continues to unfold, I will be sure to share it with all of you. Thank you for your support this year and thank you for continuing to read The Sensitive Soul Blog. I thoroughly enjoy writing and sharing my experiences and resources with you.

As always, BE WELL. xoxo Wendy

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