I began my healthcare career as a registered nurse working in the operating theatres. I was working with multidisciplinary teams to help patients achieve their health outcomes, whether that was acute illness or trauma. However, after about 15 years of working in the operating theatres, most often with heavy equipment wearing a heavy lead gown, I found that my physical strength couldn't take any more. I had debilitating chronic back pain which I initially thought was just one of those things that comes with being a nurse, you know, we do lots of patient moving and that can be quite taxing on the body.
After about six months of not getting any results to remedy or support the chronic pain, I needed to go and seek further investigations. Eventually, I was diagnosed with extensive degenerative joint disease throughout my spine. I was experiencing chronic pain and any movement was excruciating. I then spent the next four years trying to work out why the discs in my spine had degenerated to the point that they had.
My health became a complete mystery to me. I was suffering from chronic digestive issues, debilitating back pain, and constant nerve pain down my legs. The pain became so bad, I had to walk away from a job that I loved, my career as a registered nurse which I had spent the last 20 years building. This really pulled on my soul because my whole entire life, this is what I focused on, this is who I was. I was the nurse, I was the person who worked in care. But I was finding myself unable to do that anymore.
At this point, I had young children, and I was really struggling to just take part in those taken for granted everyday activities that a young mum should be able to do. I had a healthcare team on my side, so I thought I was lucky. I saw specialist surgeons, I was doing physiotherapy, I was taking the drug regimes that they prescribed, and yet I wasn't getting better. In fact, I felt like I was getting worse and degenerating more than what I thought was acceptable for somebody who wasn't even at the age of 40.
Then came the neurosurgeon consultation. I was having a conversation with a neurosurgeon about major surgery, because of my nursing background, I actually knew what was involved in the surgery that he was suggesting. It actually involved fusing some of the bones in my spine. It wasn't an area that I really wanted to investigate. So, I thanked him and walked away from the clinic. I decided it was time to take my health in my hands.
I started researching what else I could do to support myself. I looked at lifestyle. I looked at nutrition. I looked at what happened in my past and what areas of my life may have caused trauma or toxicity to accumulate in my body. I learned that there are many physical toxicities that we’re exposed to, so I pulled a program together to start cleansing toxicity from my body and life. It was when I started realising that there are emotions that can cause toxicity in the body it took my healing journey even deeper. I realised that I had the ability to take control of my future and I could turn around where I thought my health was going. I managed to get my health to a point where I could actually enjoy everyday living.
Around the same time, my three-year-old son began experiencing intense emotional imbalances and digestive issues. Once again we turned to traditional medicine but it left us with no answers. As a mother, it was utterly devastating watching his health deteriorate and the feeling of powerlessness and hopelessness ate away at me and the rest of our family.
Frustrated and deeply disappointed in the medical system, I decided to look outside the box to find the answers we were so desperately searching for. I decided that I was going to bring in the services of a naturopath.
As I sat down to research a local naturopath, I decided I didn't actually need to give up my career of care. I could care for people in situations similar to mine and do the work from a more natural perspective. This is when I decided to go back to school and study naturopathy.
Moving into the naturopathic world and studying, I was able to support my youngest boy. Using naturopathic principles, I was able to go deep into his nutrition, figuring out which foods were working and supporting his health and which ones were holding him back.
From everything I learned, we began to take our health into our own hands. We became more active in our healing journeys. We cooked at home every night, checked labels, and implemented daily practices to build resilience to stress. We were so conscious about building healthy foundations for our children.
With every conscious change I made, my health improved more and more. However, there was still a lingering pain that I just could not shift. Further investigation showed a positive autoimmune marker in my blood and imaging that reflected rheumatoid arthritis. I visited a rheumatologist who confirmed that my symptoms were consistent with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. He acted quickly to start the treatment protocol of methotrexate, a cytotoxic drug to control my symptoms. I had done so much work already to improve my health and I knew that this was not the solution for my long-term health goals. Once again, I needed to take my health into my own hands.
As we continued to adapt our nutrition and lifestyle choices my youngest son improved. His change was drastic from an emotionally unbalanced boy to a strong and confident young man. It was finally the result I dreamed of. I also found that being aware of my food choices, emotional connections, and lifestyle practices relieved my chronic pain. So I continued to implement manual therapy, daily breathing exercises, meditation, and therapeutic grade essential oils.
And now… I am pain-free, drug-free and the autoimmune disease is no longer detectable!
Having made these lifestyle and nutrition changes in our family, I began to see the extent of our family’s health issues. I used to think we were healthy and well. I thought certain aches and pains were just part of being human. However, after changing our lifestyles I realised many of the things we thought were normal aren’t. Constipation, bloating, PMS, and other bodily pains aren’t normal.
From my health journey and everything I learned, I designed a healing framework that covers the foundations of health to allow realistic nutrition and lifestyle change. This framework is what saved my health, not only managing my symptoms but reversing years of pain and suffering. Now, as a practitioner, my patients tend to see a 75% improvement in their health within 12 weeks.
I believe that lifestyle is the single most important factor that would determine health and disease. Every time we eat, we are either fuelling our health or feeding the disease. The choices that we make today will dictate our health in the future. So, your health is in your hands. Are you ready to make the change?