Today’s story is from one of my dearest clients. After you read this, you guys are going to be amazed at what this woman went through…what’s truly amazing is that this is 1/4 of what she has lived through. I can’t wait for the day she writes a book!!! It will be a BEST SELLER for SURE! PLEASE take the time to read through Candace’s story below, it will blow your mind!
The Digest Version of how I got to today, which isn’t tomorrow, but it sure isn’t yesterday ANYMORE!!
In May of last year I was blessed to become “adopted” by one of my spiritual little sisters Carmen. She had been attending my church for a while; we had made a couple of connections in our busy lives that just didn’t mesh. Finally she started having me come over for lunch while I was working a couple of blocks from her house. She started telling me about a life style change. Not a diet change. On my visits to her house she would feed me Sunrider foods.
But wait, maybe I should give you that quick Readers Digest version I spoke about. It begins with my irresponsibility, lack of knowledge, and health history. I am 45 (yikes that looks horrible to type) years old. I began having health issues at around 14. Digestion issues, stomach pain, diarrhea, cramps, heartburn. At this time I began a 30 year love affair with Pepto Bismol, my constant companion. I would eat, and food would explode through my body, I couldn’t go anywhere, I couldn’t eat out, so around my 16th birthday I began making myself throw up after eating. It made all the sense in the world; no stomach pains, no one needed to know, and I didn’t get those embarrassing long trips to the restroom. It also shrunk my stomach so small I could go days without eating. A pack of cigarettes (or 2), a lot of soda, and I was good to go, throw in a couple of candy bars and I was golden. Then when I did eat, if it went through me I could hide at home later.
This craziness worked until I got pregnant at 21. Then everything started falling apart. I was hypoglycemic during my pregnancy, I had severe anemia, and I had morning sickness so bad, that I couldn’t eat at all (home iv during pregnancy YUK!). I threw up all the way through to day of delivery.
Then I had a new baby, and I was so sick I could barely get out of bed to take care of him. All I wanted to do was sleep. The doctor said it was post-partum depression, and that was my first time a doctor told me I needed antidepressants, unfortunately, it would not be the last. As my symptoms worsened I was told it was low serotonin, regular depression, and irritable bowel syndrome. After having my second son 2 years later, a baby and a toddler, breastfeeding…All I remember is never feeling good. Ever. The only answer I received from the doctors was anti-depressants. 2 years later I was divorced, and a single mom with two small children, no time to feel bad….so the crazy cycle of no sleep, caffeine and 3 packs of cigarettes a day…I dropped down to a 00 in pant size. I am 5’6 ½” tall…and yes you read that right, a 00, not a 1 or a zero, but a double zero. I never ate, thus, I didn’t have to throw up, or have severe diarrhea.
Life slowly became more normal after about 4 years. I gained back enough weight to be a size 3, and I was only working 1 good job instead of 3 crazy hour jobs. Praise God for my mom and all her help through this crazy period. I got remarried when I was 29 and right before we tied the knot, I was poisoned by toxins during a remodel. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks with no idea what happened, other than I messed myself up. I was released from the hospital with no specific diagnosis, no understanding by doctors why my heart rate took so long to regulate, no damage to heart, I just felt horrible. After that, I just couldn’t make it happen, couldn’t get back on my feet. About three months later I was remarried and pregnant again. I made three separate trips to the hospital for pneumonia during my pregnancy (doctors had no idea why…hello??? Poisoning???). Anyway…by the time my new son was 6 months old I had been diagnosed with Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Hashimotos Thyroidism, mytrovalve prolapse, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression. At 30 with all of that, wouldn’t you be depressed??? The answer…pain pills, sleeping pills, and antidepressants. Did anyone ever speak to me about diet, NO. Never!
Around this time, I was taking an antidepressant, migraine headache medicine, and very strong muscle relaxers…a side effect of Lupus is weird reactions to drugs. I went into anaphylactic shock as if I had overdosed. The ambulance showed up just in time to not have to cut open my throat and trach me. Scary stuff…another week in the hospital, more doctors thinking I tried to kill myself, until blood work came back negative to an overdose. Again, released from the hospital with doctors scratching their heads and no help. At this point I quit doctors. I was done. 33 and feeling like crap all the time, I was done. I was taken under the wing by a wonderful Christian woman who owned a health food store. I spent about $1000.00 on every supplement ever made (okay a slight exaggeration), but a lot. I was taking smoothies, and juicing, and pills, supplements, air filter….It took several months, but I was able to get out of bed. I didn’t feel good, but I could get out of bed. I kept on taking the sleeping pills, and the heavy duty muscles relaxers. Eventually, I got tired of spending all the money and not really having much to show for it, so I quit all the supplements. Did I feel like crap, yes. It was just the way it was. Then life took a drastic and major turn. I was a single mom again, and this time with 3 children, and to say my life at that point was stressful, well, that is a whole other story, just suffice to say that the stress was through the roof.
No time for rest, no money for supplements, most of the time no money for much food. So, I quit eating, and started smoking (again). And I went to work as a contractor. To say that I was in pain is an understatement. I took Tylenol and Motrin (800mg) like it was candy, on top of the muscle relaxers just to get through a day. Bad days were Vicodin, or anything that I could get my hands on. By 43 I was tired, exhausted, in pain, and running 16 hour days, 7 days a week trying to make ends meet. I was using three different inhalers a day, and still fighting 2-6 (yes that is NOT a typo) coughs with bronchitis that usually progressed to pneumonia. Then the ride came to an end…a typical California day in August 107 degrees, and working outside. Chugging water (which was not normal) and I started feeling dizzy, then everything went crazy sideways, and I passed out on the job site. I came to in the dirt, and my mind wouldn’t work right, nor my body. I couldn’t stand up, I couldn’t speak right, I couldn’t get it together, drool running down my face. An employee told me to not come out of hiding and surely don’t talk to any customers because I sounded and looked drunk. 30 minutes of lying in the dirt, I finally was able to walk to my car. I know I passed out again in the car, once there at the job site, and another time on my way home about 2 hours later. It took me over an hour to make it 6 miles.
So, at this point I probably should have taken the next day off of work. Probably should have, but I did not. I made it almost a whole day, splitting headache, slurred words, and weak as a kitten, and the following day I passed out again at the job site. I was able to sneak off the site, and drive myself to the urgent care. I felt I was losing consciousness on the way, pulled over, and came too with car in park on the shoulder of the road. I made it in the doors of the urgent care before I passed out cold again. I came to in an ambulance on the way to ER with them shouting that they could not get my vitals to stabilize, and I was out again. I came to in the ER as they were running all kinds of tests. I was kept all day and released with no diagnosis. I had to take a taxi to urgent care (my car was there), I made it in the doors and all the way to a room at urgent care before I passed out again. To say the doctor that at sent me to the ER 7 hours earlier was unhappy would be a gross understatement. And yes, you probably guessed it, off in an ambulance AGAIN to the ER. More tests, and the diagnosis; heat stroke, with high probability of regular stroke. I was passing out because your heart rate can be between a certain amount of beats a minute and be in the normal range, and mine was in the normal range, but jumping everywhere within that range. I was released after a meeting with the nurse that was exactly this: “ Please return immediately to the hospital if you are feeling dizzy, nauseas, or are going to pass out”. I asked the nurse, why am I being released when I feel all of those things, and was already released once and have come back….her look was priceless….and she again repeated…”Please return if any of those symptoms return”. I truly am not a talented enough writer to make this stuff up! So…there I was, dizzy and can barely walk across the room, I made it outside the doors before I threw up the first time, and there I sat, on the curb, not even feeling good enough to google or search for the taxi cab number from before, and completely out of cash. Alone, 11 pm at night. I had gotten to urgent care that morning at 9:30 am.
I went back to urgent care after calling an ex employee (still on speed dial on my phone) to come pick me up and carry me to the car. As we pulled into the urgent care, a nurse that had seen me there before sees me trying to get out of the car, calls the doctor, and the doctor comes out to the parking lot with the nurse following with a wheelchair. He was livid they released me. I was taken into urgent care, hooked up to IV’s, a heart monitor, and various other tests. I was released from there sometime around 3 am. The employee drove me home, and I was down for about 3 days. I could barely move, couldn’t speak right, and felt like a big rig ran me over. This whole time period is a blur to me. As days wore on, then weeks, I continued to get worse. My coordination, which was seriously affected, seemed to be failing. My cognitive powers were weakening. My memory was getting worse and worse with each day.
I had an MRI and between the noise and the vertigo, I fought throwing up through the whole test, I made it as far as out the door before I passed out again in the waiting room floor. What was sad was no one came to help for so long, I was drooling all over myself, as I came to, I felt partially paralyzed and unable to move. I was finally moved into a room, and a doctor came in and told me to put several blankets over my head until it was dark, and told the nurse to leave the room and make no noise for 15 minutes. It worked. I was able to “get a grip”. This saved me as my weeks and months dragged on and my condition worsened. Riding in a car, driving in a car, noise at the job site, a radio too loud, all put me on overload. A quiet place, under my hoodie, by myself for 15 minutes would do me wonders. If not saving me from throwing up, passing out, it would at least stop it from reoccurring, if I caught it quick enough.
I began getting more symptoms- bloody urine, bloody stools, complete lack of coordination, and driving became almost impossible. Some days I would be pretty good, but the majority of days I felt like my body had begun to revolt. Thoughts were no longer my own, they would begin properly, then float off to be grabbed later distorted and confusing. I would tell my legs to move, and they would not move, or move in the wrong direction. I began losing time. If I did drive, I would realize I was at my destination without remembering the whole trip. The worst was losing myself. I woke up several times, and I didn’t know who I was, at all. There was nothing there to grab, all memory, understanding, or deductive reasoning was gone. Getting lost if I did drive became the norm. I would drive around in circles until I could possibly remember.
I began to truly believe I was going to die, because I could literally feel my mind, and my body were quitting on me. To say I was walking in fear does not describe my emotions. And due to unfortunate circumstances, I have literally had to hide for my life, so you could say I have dealt with some fear before. Six months after the two strokes, after practically every test that my neurologist, internist, and my regular doctor could think of, it culminated in a heartfelt conversation with the neurologist. Tears in her eyes, and her hand on my arm, she told me “You are a freak of nature, and I have no clue what is wrong”. She said “go home, spend time with your kids”. She didn’t have to spell it out for me. They couldn’t figure it out. I had been helped into the office because I couldn’t walk on my own anymore. I had to take someone with me into the room to speak for me, because I had gotten to where I could not articulate full thoughts, and I wanted to make sure that someone spoke to her, and explained that I felt like I was dying, she did not disagree.
But, obviously the story does not end there. Three weeks later, through a miracle of my Lord Jesus, I had a reason for my symptoms. Long term, low dosage, carbon monoxide poisoning. The leak was found, the healing began. At first it was very fast. I could walk, I could have a thought and follow it through to a sentence. But after approximately 4 weeks the healing hit a plateau. An appointment with the neurologist said she had seen this before. You reach a certain place or plateau of healing, and that is where you stay. It was definitely better than were I had been, but it was nowhere in the same country as being healed. And to say that this was what I had to accept…this new broken version of myself. NO. NO NO NO NO NO! It wasn’t going to happen.
And that is where Carmen came into my life. Carmen changed my whole concept of health, body, diet, life style; she opened my eyes to the possibility of not only healing from what had recently happened, but healing completely. A couple of months later Carmen introduced me to Jessica Lopez, of Jessica Lopez, RN. Have you heard the expression this is where the rubber meets the road? Well this is it. This is where we started smelling the odor of some burning tires!!
Jessica first took me into her one-on-one program. Meeting once a week, and being available for my constant and never ending questions. When she told me to contact her at any time, she meant it, and I did it. Jessica, taught me about the incredible Sunrider Foods, what to eat, how to cook it, when to eat it, what to eat with what….Why we eat this, and don’t eat that. What system connects with this ailment, and why this ailment causes this other ailment, that causes this other…. I hope you are beginning to get my drift. Her website calls her a health coach. She became my life coach. She cheered me, and she scolded me, she made me cry tears of joy, she allowed me to cry tears of pain. Jessica upheld me faithfully in prayer, talked to me not just about my physical health, but also my emotions, and she never forgot that I am a spiritual being that needed to have spiritual healing. Then there’s the crazy things our mind comes up with! Oh Boy. So we definitely did mental healing. The whole package of “me” received attention, confirmation, and then healing.
My journey is not over. As I said in the beginning, I am not at yesterday anymore, and my tomorrows are brighter, and today is pretty darn good. The irritable bowel syndrome…gone. My friend, Pepto Bismal, in the trash and has not been seen in over 6 months. Heartburn…gone. Asthma…gone. Pain meds…gone. Sleeping pills…gone. Pneumonia…gone. Bronchitis…gone. Blurry eyesight…gone. Dizziness…gone. Fibromyalgia…gone. Hand eye coordination…a work in progress. Memory…a work in progress. I am a total work in progress…but where I was working at falling apart, now I am working at healing. With strong, every day successes… successes that the doctors told me would NEVER HAPPEN.
HOW you say? Well…call Jessica. She can help.