When I was 15, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. It was so random, my ankle just swelled up one night. I was in danceline and that night I was supposed to dance at a basketball game. I ended up running the music instead. Never did danceline again...
My orthopedic surgeon was great, but at one point the lab made a mistake. They thought I had a staph infection in my ankle. So I had to wear a boot on my foot for a month. The only time I took it off was in the shower. When my Dr found out it was a contamination in the lab, I think he felt worse than I did, especially when we discovered I didn't have much cartilage left in my ankle and had to wear a brace for the rest of my life.
For the next few years my ankle controlled my life. It hurt so bad all the time, I had difficulty sleeping and getting around in college. The worst night was when my roommate had to carry me back to our dorm on her back because I couldn't walk. That night I felt so awful, I knew something needed to change. My boyfriend (now my husband) told me that God doesn't want me to feel like this. At the time it seemed like a revelation I guess. I didn't really blame God for my problems, I know that is a fruitless anger. But I was thinking that I need to actually do something for myself instead of just waiting for something else to happen. But I was still lost and hopeless and in excruciating pain. I was considering getting my ankle fused actually, but that would have caused other problems. Anyway, that night my boyfriend and my two amazing roommates actually sat with me and prayed for me. The next day, I used crutches to get to my classes. I was in a much better mood and in far less pain. Actually, as I moved around more and more I realized I was not in much pain at all! Since that day, I have not worn that brace.
After that, I got a physical therapist and she helped me stretch and build muscle that had virtually disappeared in my left leg after 2.5 years of wearing an immobilizing brace. I didn't really have many other symptoms at that point. However, that was soon to change. I began having problems with my hands. They would ache so terribly it was hard to write. Not good for a Biblical Studies major, I write all the time. I didn't have a laptop either, so I was stuck taking my own notes by hand. Not long after that, my feet and toes started giving me trouble. When my feet hurt, because of the way I have to walk, my ankles, knees, hips back, you name it, it probably hurt.
So I'm getting pretty sick of pumping my body full of drugs in order to function like a normal person. I've been on so many drugs that made me so sick I lost 25 lbs. I went into anaphylactic shock twice after trying the same drug twice. I'm done. My Grandma told me about her chiropractor and a blood test that could tell me what my body is reacting to. All the info about it sounded too good to be true. But I did some research and it seemed pretty legit, just no "real" Drs ever heard of it. I found a chiropractor in my area covered by my insurance who does the test along with other remedies like acupuncture. He's been fantastic. I got my test and found out I'm sensitive to dairy and corn sugar. So practically every food that has been touched by humans. Ha ok an exaggeration, but still it's a large amount of food. With the help of a couple of fantastic blogs (I have them listed here) I am able to not feel like I'm in a food prison all the time, but can still enjoy some food! It's been a long process but I am finally feeling better. My body seems to be returning to normal. This blog will be some random thoughts along these lines and whatever information I can add to help others in situations similar to mine. It's not hopeless! With the right help and the right food, I truly believe we can heal what ails us!!