Internship at Shanti Som Wellness Retreat Centre
Living in Monda
The Other Side...
I started to intensely react to all foods again, creating a permanent and non-stop headache, extreme digestive discomfort, aching teeth, and an overwhelming sense of fatigue, like whenever I had a moment to pause, it felt at times like my body was just shutting down. The last year hasn't been the best actually, but symptoms would come and go in waves of intensity, but this was all-consuming. My nutrition was the same in terms of protein and vegetables, mostly - I was trying a few new things, like this amazing organic pasture-raised chorizo!, and the sources were even better than what I was getting in CPH - I was buying fresh fish like sardines caught that morning at the local 'Pesceria' fish market, and going every week with neighbors to an organic farm to collect our vegetables. The last month, it came to a point where I just couldn't eat anymore I was so fed up, so I went on just water and grapefruit juice (wow, they had SUCH amazing grapefruits from the farm!!) for 3 days - the issue with that, of course, is that I reacted to the sugar (I am very sensitive to even a little bit of fruit), and the acid wasn't helping my teeth much haha ... felt a but stuck in a catch-22 health situation! ;)
I am very glad I finished my internship, even though there were times I really doubted if I could continue, and was also disappointed that I couldn't give it my 100%. I was biking to work through the Andalusian mountains each day, which I absolutely adore, but was very hard with the health circumstances I was in. It also frustrated me that I wasn't well enough to enjoy the mountains and hiking and activities and sport that I truly love to do, and that my intrinsic love and enthusiasm for life had stagnated a bit from being in physical pain, but there were plenty of other things to be grateful for and experience there - especially as my best friend from the States had come to live with me for the 2 months :=)
I came back to Copenhagen at the end of the 2 months, and my mind settled a bit, being in a familiar place. The headache stopped, but occasionally came up here and there. I was still conflicted about what to do, and considered putting my studies on hold to take care of it. Talking with my family and close friends, I realise how lucky I am with the incredible support I have. I put off telling anyone the full extent of my health issues for years as I hate to burden them, and think I can manage it. The irony of course, is that I can help everyone and the world infinitely more when in good health!
It's funny, as I did a Soul Reading at the retreat centre - my first one, as I've always thought it's too esoteric or that I'm not spiritual or some BS like that, which I am slowly overcoming ;) haha - and the first image that came up was me upside down, continuously trying to go forward on my path. But of course, walking upside down won't get me very far before I trip, so the first thing to do is get myself the right side up ;=) And that starts with getting my health in order!
I've decided to really focus on healing and getting healthy 100% - not putting it off, and then kind of managing it with nutrition and lifestyle factors which don't quite allow for proper healing to take place. I feel I need to take more radical, therapeutic action - maybe if I had addressed it years earlier, I wouldn't, but it seems like desperate times call for desperate measures!
And that is why 2 days ago, I flew back home to Geneva, where I'll be for the next 3 months. A trip to my endocrinologist and a blood test later, confirmed through tests that the autoimmune hyperthyroid condition (Grave's disease - such an ominous name ;P) I was in remission for since 2 years, has come back. This was a shock for me, as much as I knew intuitively that things weren't well. But in hindsight, it is also a very interesting insight - my first diagnosis was after a family trauma that effected the collective emotional state of my family very hard. I always though I was dealing well, and then I was diagnosed with autoimmune hyperthyroid - and in Eastern medicine, the thyroid gland symbolized expression, and compromised function can represent an internalized blockage of this. The first weekend I moved to Spain, my brother, who I hadn't seen in 2 years, came over to visit, and an incident dramatically brought up things of the past. I thought I was fine, and emotionally on a superficial level I didn't feel affected. But it was a little after that that I started reacting to food, and that my symptoms intensified.
I never used to relate to things like that, things like subconscious suppression and more the psychosomatic effects, but my life experience is bringing me to reflect more and more upon it, and also to it experience first hand that even though my conscious mind can tell me I am ok, my physiology reacts very strongly.
But at least now I know where I am starting, and can move forward :=)
Raw Milk Fasting
I will be starting a 1 month (and possibly go up to 3 months) raw milk fast, along with any other therapies I'll be doing. After all, I am in the land of milk here in Switzerland ;) and I have good access to raw, grass-fed milk. I will be starting tomorrow, Saturday 27th, and will be blogging and tracking the journey :=)
My (absolutely amazing, totally not discrediting her) doctor's opinion is that fixing my thyroid will fix my digestion, and so the medical plan is to put me on the medication neo-mercozole, which is an anti-thyroid drug that works directly on the thyroid to inhibit T3 and T4 production, for 3 weeks, and then re-test. She says a full treatment usually lasts 8 weeks, and then we re-evaluate.
I am not against taking medication when needed, but just like when I got first diagnosed (I managed to enter into remission without the use of medication), I do not want it to be the first thing I leap to. If it gets to a critical level, I would take it without question, but at this stage, I want to see what I can do holistically that could help balance my thyroid production - and for me, that is where I differ in opinions with my doctor. I intuitively and intellectually believe, based on my symptoms and well, being me and knowing my body ahah, that fixing or focusing on my digestion first, will help fix my thyroid, and not the other way around. I've had digestive issues longer than I've had thyroid issues, and I know increased intestinal permeability is a catalyst for autoimmune - so in my eyes, my thyroid condition is a by-product of an intestinal condition. There is also the possibility of parasites, as I can connect dots from when I went to India. I'm also going to see a gastroenterologist, to see if I can get a clearer picture of what is going on.
As eating anything seems to elicit an immune reaction (and it's not the food in and of itself, it's the system I'm putting it in that is in a state of alarm), drinking liquids only seems like the only option right now that could allow for better healing, and raw milk is one of the only liquids I find really nourishing and very soothing. I also know that nutrition only isn't enough at this stage, so I'll be combining a few other things that I'll be discussing, and when money allows, some therapy like hydrotherapy and ozone therapy.
Through my health experiences, I have learned to believe that acceptance and not giving up are NOT mutually exclusive - I have to fully accept my situation, in all it's pain and frustration!, not to then be complacent and let go and accept that this is how I am going to live for the rest of my life, but as a portal to then truly move forward, be pro-active and keep going. I see it as a teacher guiding me to the things I need to learn, to learn how to turn poison into medicine, to viscerally experience the life-hindering experience of loss of health, and consequently the miraculous intrinsic capacities and capabilities of the human body to heal and thrive.
Until tomorrow :=)