How do You Cope with Your Autoimmune Disorder?
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As I look back over the course of my life I can see clearly how I have managed to excel despite living with many autoimmune disorders. In my twenties, I was debilitated with endometriosis, before it was very well known.
Many doctors tried to convince me I was being “over-exaggerating” about ovulation and menstruation pain. It took 7 years of fighting doctors to convince them more was going on. Finally, a hysterectomy changed my life! I knew then I must trust my instinct and not let doctors tell me what I was experiencing.
Through the help of a Naturopath Physician, I learned about supplements and food effects. I also learned that I had Hashimoto’s disease. I continued to educate myself about health. Raised my four children and went back to school to obtain my Health administration degree. I went to work setting myself up to work from home. Somehow, I knew that the day would come that it would be more difficult for me to maintain a 9-5 job.
I am now 50 years old.
I work full time from home. 4 years ago I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. The first 2 years were devastating. I was nearly bed bound. I almost lost my business. I began to become depressed, and my migraines started hitting me nearly every day. I began thinking my life was over. I just couldn’t accept that. I went to multiple doctors, got every kind of assistance I could.
Sleep therapy, counseling, physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic. I was having a terrible time with candidiasis from the steroids, so I turned back to diet. Removing dairy, most sugars, processed foods, and greatly reducing my gluten intake.
Making these changes helped my joints and my fibromyalgia, cleared my brain (brain fog is so real) and improved my energy too! I was finally able to start exercising again. I literally could only do 7 minutes of activity to start. But now I can do 20 every day and a couple times a week I go an hour. I have changed the way I cook, clean, and work. Making sure to take many breaks, not overdo it.
Taking time to think about my blessings and see what I have to be thankful for was a huge lesson learned. Somewhere along the way, I figured I had to learn to incorporate my limitations, but not let them stop me.
Now I have my 6th grandchild on the way and I work as much as my body allows. Not overdoing it is still one of my biggest hurdles. My family is always there to tell me to take a break and I have put in place a team of doctors that listen to me, that I feel comfortable with. They support the work I have done to improve my life and respect me for it.