Who knew that I might have found the cure to what has been affecting me for more than 20 years in a book that looks like this!
I know, I know… waaahh waahh waahh—but when you have been dealing with something for as long as I have and have felt the negative affects of so many symptoms like I have and the answer to your problems was in a book that looked like this; then you may feel the same way. I guess before I go much further in explaining what I am doing with this blog I better tell you a little about myself.
I am a late 30’s, married, young father attorney with a lot of great and interesting experiences under my belt. I’ve been married to a wonderful lady for going on 10 years and have 2 amazing sons who are the highlight of my life and a big reason for trying to take the steps I am taking now. While there are many experiences I plan to talk about on this blog I will start by saying that I have literally searched for almost 20 years to find something that helps with some or all of the symptoms I lived with for the last 20 years or more.
I probably don’t have to tell most of you that there is almost nothing worse than feeling like something is awry in your body only to have doctor after doctor tell you that everything checks out: “All tests come back normal…” but let me give you this drug or try this drug or go see this specialist. Early on in this journey I was very hopeful that the help would come—I remember in my early 20’s the doctors thought it might just be anxiety, so out come the prescription pads and in to my body went the pills (paxil, wellbutrin, Inderal among others) with little if any success.
During this time I have also experienced what feels like blocked sinuses and extreme pressure deep in my head—although I can breathe (or at least move air through my nasal passages and into my lungs) it does not feel like I can take the deep breaths that I should be able to take unless I breathe through my mouth. Along with this I have had ear pain and ringing in my ears (three tones actually… I’ve recently counted) for as long as I can remember.
For those who have seen the Hunger Games movie, there is a scene in there where the main character experiences ringing in her ears—when I saw this with my wife I actually didn’t know for a few seconds that the ringing I was hearing was not the ringing coming from my ears. I leaned over to my wife and said: “you can hear this ringing to right?” That tone they play in the movie is one of the exact tones I hear all the time. I have, for the most part, learned to live with it (as many do) for a long time, but in the recent years and especially within the last year the pain and discomfort and severity of the symptoms have only worsened—I WANT TO BE DONE!
Along with these symptoms I also experience lethargy, extreme fatigue and depression as well as other symptoms. After years of searching and searching I may have finally found the answer. My wife have—within the last few years—begun to slowly change our diet from what can only be described as McDonald’s lovin French fry cravin to vegetable lovin whole grains ravin. However; we have not been completely converted and have never given up everything a lot of whole foods plant based diet people do.
I took a simple test, which came back positive—so my wife and I decided to test a diet that is suppose to help cure this ‘little’ sickness up and help me feel better than I have felt in years. Today begins the first day of a 45 to 60 day “cleans” which includes a period of preparing the body, cleansing the body, and then maintaining the body. Here is to the next 60 days—if this does not work then I am nearly convinced that NOTHING will EVER WORK. So here’s to our little experiment working… please!?!?
I have been to a number of ENT’s as well as allergist and they all say the same thing; “your ears look normal, all the tests have come back normal, there is no fluid behind your ears, but lets get you a prescription for…” OK so again with the pen and paper out comes the prescriptions (a strong decongestant, a anti histamine, an antibiotic, some steroids like flo-nase as well as other nose drops and all other sorts of drugs I don’t even remember) again nothing worked… NOTHING. Now before I go further I need to say that, for the most part, I have nothing against doctors—sure I had one who performed some hernia surgeries which have left me infertile and unable to have children without a procedure like in-vitro fertilization (another story for another time).
Notwithstanding I do believe that most doctors, even the one who inadvertently snipped me, want to treat their patients well. Although there are people out there that believe in some grand conspiracy I’m not sure I’m completely convinced. However; I don’t believe—if there truly is a conspiracy—those we call our doctors don’t mean to do harm or mean to leave unanswered questions. In fact I have been to many wonderful doctors who I can tell truly are concerned with the way I am feeling and seem to get frustrated at their inability to fix or “treat” my problem.
Now to continue—Along with the pain in my ears lives a constant feeling of them needing to pop (as though you are going down a canyon in a car and your ears need to pop), but even more than that it is a feeling of my head about to explode, or at least on its way toward that bitter end. There is also the constant feeling of water being stuck in my inner ear. As mentioned above the doctors have said that everything looks normal—at times it is enough to make me want to cry (literally).
These physical symptoms are also accompanied by emotional symptoms like anxiety and depression. Until recently I was convinced it was mainly anxiety I have been living with, but current situation as it is has helped clarify that I have also been dealing with bouts of depression. I am generally a happy person, but I really started to have a rough time with everything. This has also put a strain on my family including my relationship with my wife and my children. The feeling of hopelessness and the feeling of not being able to do the things I want to do and also not being able to make decisions that must be made—it really began to start to interfere with where my family wants to be and how we go about getting there.
Now obviously I have been able to do things in life—I had a good job when I got married, got laid off and then decided to finish my undergrad work and then go on to law school. I did both within about 6 or 7 years. I was accomplished as a student—even serving as the editor-in-chief of the school’s law journal, but even then I had the physical symptoms as well as the anxiety and possible depression.
But even though school was difficult there really wasn’t much to going to class and studying for exams each of which required small moments of extreme stress and then relief. What brought it out later was my situation with practicing law, which was—to say the least—not the most favorite time of my life. Working long hours (which attorneys do) but not being able to work up the pay to much more than a couple hundred dollars of take home pay after paying my gas to get to work and day care for my youngest son.
Something had to give, which it finally did—I was laid off, which is what I think really needed to happen not just for my sake but also for the sake of the attorney I was working with. The attorney was a real good attorney I just didn’t have the skills necessary—as a new attorney—for a lot of the type of work I was doing. In a way it was an immediate relief getting laid off because I really was ready to quit and really needed to quit at that point, but had a very difficult time making the decision to do so. My wife really struggled during this time with me being gone so much and not seeing any financial benefits it was a very hard road and one that really started to put a wedge in what is and has always been a great relationship.
During law school my wife and I decided to do green smoothies—but the real reason we wanted to start them was so that we could eat ALL the ice-cream we wanted to eat at night and not feel so guilty about it. However; it was this little step that started us down a path of slow renewal, one that has been very difficult extremely long, but very rewarding (overall). It was during my final weeks at work that we began our first attempt at a juice cleanse.
However, it didn’t last that long and I quickly caved to the cheeseburger and sugar cookie (my favorite gas station dessert) cravings and indulged in coke and pepsi as well—my two favorite poisons since I’m not a drinker. This went on for a few months back and for back and forth gaining some healthy ground and then losing some healthy ground, but ultimately—even though I had lost a lot of weight—most of the issues still remained.
This made me extremely frustrated as I thought I had done everything I needed to do. Now I do need to point out that I am a religious person and have really looked toward God to give me the answers. I believe my wife and I were gently prodded into beginning the green smoothies; that we were gently prodded to go further with juicing and trying to eat more healthy. Toward the middle part of last year as I was doing one of the many cleanses we had tried I remember having a fleeting thought that sugar may be the issue or at least one of the issues.
Now at this point my wife and I were really grasping at straws trying anything—we tried to stick with just vegetables for a while, we tried to stay away from dairy, stay with only whole foods, stay away from gluten. Basically we tried anything we could think would solve the problem, but nothing worked, which what was extremely frustrating. Sure we felt a little better, sure we were physically fit, sure we were even training for a marathon (which I thought would bring on the runners high I’ve heard so much about and that people swear will come when you are fit and exercising but never really experienced), but NOTHING seemed to work on the issues I have been living with for so long. I may have been a little upset at myself, at my situation even at my decision to try, but I think I was also upset with God.
You must understand that I am coming from a very different place than I would have been coming from even 5 or 6 years ago. My favorite quote was given to me by a lady I worked with in Texas a number of years ago. We were eating at a steak house (my absolute favorite kind of restaurants) and she told me a quote by a gentleman in his 70’s. This older man was asked by the restaurant how he wanted his steak cooked to which he responded: “just slap it on one side then the other and bring I out to me on a plate” not knowing what to say next she asked what type of vegetable he would like with his steak.
Little could she know what his response would be—simple and also became my favorite quote: “Little lady… vegetables are what you feed food!” The only way you could have made it complete was if he also said something about dessert being the food of the gods or something like that. I LOVED my meat and pretty much had the same attitude as that old man—vegetables are what you feed food and desserts may just be what the Greeks use to feed the gods.
It has been a long road to get me where I am today even to the point that I would consider the path (food wise) I am on now. What brought it to a head was just after Christmas. We had a very fun Christmas with our kids, but there was definitely something lacking—I have not been bringing in any money. I don’t have a job but have decided to start my own company, so I am currently working with two projects that I think have great promise, but nothing is off the ground. Some of the hardship has been just the hardship that comes with starting a company, but much of the hardship has been dealing with the problems I have not had to directly deal with ever until now.
About a week before New Years my wife and I had a discussion about her frustration with our prospects and how things are going. During this time I needed help, but was so frustrated—I almost cried out! “Lord, I have done everything I have been asked and yet I still feel this way and I don’t understand why or what more I need to do!” What happened was interesting; I almost heard a voice (again… almost, not directly or physically heard, but about as close to it as I can explain without a person sitting there next to me) it was a whisper… “you haven’t cut out sugar.” Now I remembered having the fleeting thought a number of months before, but now paid attention. Up to this point every time we tried a cleanse we would still have herbal tea with raw honey, which—I’m told—reacts with the body the same as sugar does. Could this be the answer?
I promised the Lord at that time that if he helped me find the answer I will try the no sugar thing and so at the beginning of the year my wife and I began our Candida Cleanse Journey—originally thinking it would be 30 days, then finding out it may be 60 days and finding out it could be as long as one year or more. I don’t care though, I’ve made a promise and know very well that if I keep my promise than I will be blessed as well (of this I have no doubt!)
Hopefully my journey will help some other unfortunate soul avoid 20 years of no answers and 20 years of looking, hoping beyond hope without success. This lifestyle may not be fore everybody and I won’t try to convince anybody it will absolutely work for them, but I do know it’s been working for me and I do know I feel better. So try it if you want to or don’t if you don’t want to… but if you’ve been frustrated at having everybody tell you that what you’re feeling is all in your head or that all you need to do is exercise and you’ll get better but never do, then maybe this will work for you.