WHAT HAPPENED - Written in 2016
If you'd like to read the shortened version of what happened, please click HERE.
Continue reading below for the longer and detailed version of what happened....
I'm going to do my best to share what happened as authentically as my heart knows how, and as well it's important for me to be mindful of my children at the same time. In the same spirit of authenticity, even though I feel nudged from above to start sharing my experience, I have to be patient with myself and what I share right now. I'm still putting the pieces of my health all back together again. Now, I am starting to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, which is good; but when I will reach that complete healing, I don't know yet.
I'm going to try to share enough details so that you can understand somewhat the depth and reality of what I went through, because many of you don't know that I was even sick or know what happened. When you saw me I looked just fine. For those of you that did know I was sick, I would get asked a lot about what happened. Such a seemingly easy question to get asked, yet so difficult for me to answer. The entire story can get quite complicated to try to explain, and its been a challenge to just give someone a brief explanation. So I figured that I'd do my best to write it out here and explain some of the details of what happened to me physically the best I know how. I've also linked a lot of articles and websites for additional resources. These doctors do a much better job at explaining these complex health issues than I do.
There's one last thing I want to mention, in doing what I feel most comfortable with right now, I'm going to hold off digging up and sharing some of the more personal and difficult details of what happened over the last three years. That is truly where an entire other story lies: it is both unspeakably painful and miraculous all in the same breath. I'm just not ready to share all the raw, unedited details of what happened. I'm sure pieces of that story will come in time in my writing where I might share a little more of my experiences.
THE PERFECT STORM: MERCURY, HEAVY METALS AND GENETICS
I'm going to get technical so bear with me for a minute before I get to sharing what happened. If you'd like to skip over the technical why's and how's of mercury toxicity, feel free to jump to the next section.
First, I've had dental amalgams (silver fillings) in my mouth since I was a child. I was unaware of the fact that they were releasing mercury vapor into my body. Amalgams are roughly about 50% mercury.
Mercury is a neurotoxin. No amount of mercury is safe for the body. Despite what many medical doctors and dentists will tell you, every body cannot properly detox mercury. Even when you can detox properly, it is difficult for the body to remove mercury. Mercury toxicity can cause people to exhibit a wide range of symptoms and can present as chronic or acute. People can have milder mercury toxicity symptoms such as fatigue, muscle tremors, dizziness, headaches, nervousness and anxiety, all the way to more severe symptoms like central nervous system disturbances, memory loss, intestinal disorders, neurological disorders, kidney damage, and some that are even much worse - like I had.
It's likely my MERCURY EXPOSURE came from a few sources: perhaps some childhood vaccines, a small portion from fish consumption, and the greatest exposure coming from my mercury amalgams. Dental amalgams provide the highest risk of exposure to mercury.
The TWO PRIMARY SOURCES OF MERCURY EXPOSURE are: dental fillings - mercury amalgams, better known as 'silver fillings' and seafood
Over a couple year span, I had my silver fillings removed a few years prior to becoming sick. I did not have these procedures done with all of the recommended safety precautions in place to prevent further mercury exposure and toxicity. In addition to the continual release of mercury in my body throughout all the years that I had my amalgams in my teeth, my body was exposed to even more mercury during the removal process. All of this exposure combined, created mercury build up in my body.
To avoid further exposure to mercury during the removal process, I recommend that anyone wanting to remove their 'silver' fillings have this done by a biological dentist or a dentist that is following all of the safety precautions - whether you have genetic problems detoxifying or not. Mercury toxicity gives people reactions in varying degrees anywhere from mild to severe. Many people have mercury toxicity and don't realize it, nor do they realize that their chronic fatigue, thyroid issues, hormone imbalance, and anxiety all might be due in part to some mercury toxicity.
There are many dentists who do not believe that these fillings create mercury toxicity in the body.
If you are interested to learn more about how mercury fillings in fact do release mercury vapors into the body, you can read the following articles: article 1, article 2, article 3, and article 4. Go HERE to read a quick synopsis by Dr. Christopher Shade, a renowned mercury detox expert and founder of Quicksilver Scientific, regarding the stability of mercury inside the amalgam.
According to Dr. Shade, mercury shuts off the ability of your liver and kidneys to move mercury into your gut for elimination. So, if you have amalgams in your mouth, you are bathing your digestive tract AND your brain in mercury every day, poisoning your brain while at the same time blocking its route out of the body... the perfect recipe for mercury poisoning.
The perfect storm was created: I didn't know it at the time, but I had genetic issues with my detoxification pathways. I had blocks in my methylation cycle (my bodies ability to detox) which prevented my body from detoxifying heavy metals fast enough. This genetic issue combined with the environmental mercury toxin, filled my body with heavy metals, including mercury. Some of you might be hearing about things such as MTHFR genetic issues, which are more common than you think. This is me. I've always known I had some kind of a genetic issue that impacted how I reacted to medicine. I always take half a dose of any medicine because it lasts so long on me and seems to have a more pronounced effect on me. A few years back, I had twilight anesthesia for an elective procedure. I was supposed to wake up in 5-10 minutes, but took a full 45 minutes to wake up. I had no idea why at the time, but I know now with exact precision why my body does what it does and which genes are causing the issue. In short, I do not methylate properly.
Dr. Mercola writes, "It's an interesting fact that some people with high mercury exposure don't become toxic, yet others with relatively low exposure do. Why is this? Why does one person get really sick from her amalgams while another is perfectly fine? The difference lies in your ability to detoxify naturally."
I didn't know it at the time, but my body was filling with mercury, and as well with other heavy metals and was at near capacity. I was near my toxic tipping point, and surgery tipped me over.
"Your genes load the gun, and your environment pulls the trigger." - Dr. Christopher Shade
Severe mercury toxicity creates a life threatening situation.
SURGERY - MY TOXICITY TIPPING POINT
I went in to have a simple surgical procedure done in December of 2013, to remove a kidney stone that wouldn't pass. The day following surgery, with taking half of an over the counter medicine for pain, my body and brain went toxic. Within 30 minutes of taking the pill I felt the toxicity sweep through my brain. Complete shut down. My life changed in an instant. What I felt in my brain, are feelings nobody should ever have to feel. I didn't know something that traumatizing could even be felt in one's mind.
The days following surgery were filled with absolute terror and included multiple visits to the emergency room, among many things. I quickly learned that the doctors in the emergency room were not going to know how to help me - with the physical issues that I was presenting with. It was as if my basic survival instinct had kicked in - knowing very first of all, who was not going to be able to help me understand what was happening to my body. They sent me home and told me that nothing was wrong with me, and that I had taken too much medicine - when I clearly hadn't. Despite how sick my body became, how scared I was, or how close to dying I thought I was over the following weeks and months, I would not be making another trip to the ER again for this health issue.
During this time, frantic phone calls were also made to several doctors, friends and family members. My immediate family did not leave my side. Ever. Someone was always there with me, even if that meant they missed school. Other family members came over and sometimes stayed with me late into the night - rubbing my body to calm it down, and speaking calm words to me. I think everyone was in shock and absolute panic at the state that I was in. Nobody knew what had happened or what to do to get help. Multiple phone conversations were had with Dr. Habib Sadeghi, my doctor in LA. Those conversations were what gave me the very first clues into what had gone wrong with my body. He talked to me about my liver. I remember him describing it to me like this: that my liver was like a garbage can, and normally the trash gets taken out on a regular basis, but following surgery mine was too full, the garbage could not be taken out fast enough and it started to spill out all over the top of the garbage can.
The underlying cause of it all, the toxicity, has also been explained to me in another way: think of a glass of water that is almost full. Initially the glass that is almost full of water is holding the water okay. More water is poured into the glass and the glass is unable to hold all the water and it starts spilling over the top and out onto the table everywhere. This was my liver and my bodies inability to hold any more toxins and why routine surgery and the subsequent OTC painkiller, sent my body over the top. My glass was nearly full (of heavy metal already) and it couldn't hold any more and went over the toxic cliff.
One of my primary doctors, Dr. Cindy Schneider, who is a nationally recognized methylation expert and runs the Center For Autism in Phoenix, also helped me understand the synergistic effect of multiple heavy metals. You can be relatively 'ok' with somewhat of a lower level of heavy metal in some instances, but when combined together with another heavy metal, it can result in a combustion of all kinds of massive issues and even death.
ADVANCED STAGE ADRENAL EXHAUSTION
Looking back, I realized that I was having some unusual physical issues prior to my surgery, unbeknownst to me at the time, because of my increasing toxic load. My world was just about to change forever the day following surgery. All hell broke loose and I could not function and could not even care for myself. When we realized after the first few months that this was not going away anytime soon, we had to hire someone to come in for the next five months to cook, clean, take the girls to school, do laundry and essentially run the house because I couldn't function much of the time to do any of it. For the first time in my life I learned what it meant to be on the receiving end of service instead of the giving end. I had always been able to take care of everyone and everything, and now I was in a position where I couldn't. I was in survival mode.
Mornings were extremely difficult starting at about 3:00 a.m until 2:00 in the afternoon. Usually by later in the afternoon my brain would come back online 'somewhat' and by evening I would be doing somewhat better than I was in the morning. Then there were the days when I was down all day long. Those days were brutal. Then there were the days when I couldn't sit still and all I did was run. Despite how tired I was - I had to keep moving. Going anywhere and doing anything when my body and brain would allow. The state of my brain and body became unlivable. It was as if every system in my body was screaming red alert, red alert - and it was. My body was shutting down. I felt like I was dying. What I didn't realize, was that my body actually was shutting down. It is a feeling I hope to never experience again. The days of coming in and out of brain toxicity and severe adrenal crashes were here to stay. It's difficult to explain the details of what followed, because the words are hard to write for now. But I can say, that with this new health crisis I found myself facing, I didn't know something like this even existed. I felt trapped in a literal nightmare I couldn't wake up from. My health and my mind as I knew it literally vanished and slipped right out through my fingers.
When the body becomes toxic, as mine did, the adrenals can be severely compromised. So not only am I dealing with mercury toxicity, but my adrenals now went into advanced stage 3C and many aspects of 3D adrenal exhaustion, as defined by Dr. Michael Lam. Prior to becoming sick, I had never even heard of my adrenals nor did I have a clue how important they are in your body.
Adrenalfatigue.org states, "These powerful little endocrine glands manufacture and secrete steroid hormones such as cortisol, estrogen and testosterone that are essential for life, health and vitality. They modulate the functioning of every tissue, organ and gland in your body to maintain homeostasis during stress and keep you alive. They also have important effects on the way you think and feel. The main purpose of your adrenals is to enable your body to deal with stress from every possible source...".
Even from this little description of what adrenal glands do in the body, there is no way to fully comprehend just how detrimental it is for your body when these tiny glands do not function properly. You do not want to advance into stage 3 and 4 adrenal exhaustion.
Many people do not recover fully from advanced stage adrenal exhaustion. I thank God that I have always had a strong body composition. I am recovering and believe I will make a full recovery. This is both a miracle and a gift. There have been countless miracles that have happened over the last three years to bring me to this point in my recovery.
One more thing to note, is that there are many doctors who say that "adrenal fatigue and exhaustion aren't even a real health issue." I've heard them say this myself. Knowing what I have lived through, this statement takes my breath away. I am here to tell you that it is without any doubt 100% real. When I had no clue what was happening to my body, this was my first clue to figuring out one of the pieces of the puzzle - something was happening with my cortisol levels. Adrenal dysfunction impacts cortisol levels. When I went through the extensive checklist of symptoms, I had nearly every single symptom of advanced stage adrenal exhaustion.
If you see or talk to a doctor that says adrenal fatigue/exhaustion is not a real condition - I would encourage you to absolutely find a new doctor. Furthermore, only see a doctor that is highly trained in this field, as doctors that are not highly trained and educated can do so much harm to you not knowing how sick your body really is. I highly recommend Dr. Lam's coaching if you feel you have adrenal fatigue or exhaustion. He wrote what I now call - the adrenal exhaustion bible - on this health condition and knows more that anyone I've ever talked to about adrenals. When I found Dr. Lam's website, it was a miracle. Finally someone was educated and trained enough to know what was happening inside nearly every cell and organ of my body. His knowledge is astounding.
Common symptoms of ADRENAL EXHAUSTION can be found here. Adrenal Exhaustion is much worse than Adrenal Fatigue. Dr. Lam describes stage 3C of adrenal exhaustion as 'the walking dead.' This could not be more correct. That is how I felt and I'm sure I looked to those who knew me best.
Description of what it meant when I was in an 'ADRENAL CRASH'. Stages 3C and 3D.
THE DOMINO EFFECT
In addition to the mercury and my adrenals being exhausted, now my body also quit producing enough progesterone. Read about the Ovary-Adrenal-Thyroid axis dysfunction here.
Pregnenolone is the mother hormone used to make progesterone and cortisol.
When the body is stressed, as mine was, it uses the pregnenolone to produce cortisol, instead of progesterone. This is a key point.
CORTISOL is needed for adrenals to function properly. Healing the adrenals always takes precedence over progesterone hormone production!
My adrenals were severely compromised due to the toxicity. So in addition to mercury in my brain, I now had dangerously low progesterone. In fact so low, the doctor said that 'those test results can't be right'. You have to have more progesterone in your body to live. One thing progesterone does is to help you feel good and happy. I had none.
The domino effect started. I also became HYPO-THYROID for the first time in my life. One thing mercury does is completely disrupts thyroid function. Compromised adrenals also severely drop thyroid levels.
My body was almost going into HYPOGLYCEMIC BLACKOUTS each morning - not having a clue what was even happening. I now know that the adrenals help regulate blood sugar.
I couldn't breathe very well and developed ASTHMA. The sicker I was, the worse my asthma and wheezing were.
My NERVOUS SYSTEM was severely compromised due to the mercury and the hormone imbalance. I got severe sensory hyper-arousal. I couldn't be touched at times. I had tremors. Noises were too much for my brain. People had to speak softly around me. I couldn't listen to the TV or the radio. Too much sensory stimulation was brutal. When I was able to go out more, I always carried earplugs in my purse so that I could put them in while out in public places. The noise was at times was so intolerable for my nervous system. Car rides and any type of vibrating massager helped to calm my nervous system. I would walk around my house with a neck massager sitting right on top of my head. If the massagers came out, I was in a bad place. One of the very first things we discovered was helpful were car rides. One dire evening early in my sickness when nobody knew what was happening or what to do to get help, Marc had the strong impression come to him to load me into the car and just drive. So he did. He would wrap me up in a blanket and take me out and drive me for hours and hours all night long on the days and nights that were particularly brutal. There were also the times when I was having a bad time and couldn't really be touched. The sensation of someone touching my body sent my nervous system screaming. Marc would get in bed next to me and sandwich me in between my fluffy bed pillows and just gently hold me. Just being wrapped up helped my nervous system calm down.
My LIVER was compromised due to the toxicity.
I had severe BRAIN FOG and short term memory loss. I'm not talking about simple forgetfulness that we all experience and kind of laugh about. It's memory loss that makes you sit up and take notice that something is really wrong. It was weird though, because it was very selective. I couldn't remember basic words when talking, or if I had told someone something. I couldn't remember if I'd washed my hair in the shower and so I re-washed. I couldn't remember names of people that I knew and was constantly asking my family for these names or I would pause sometimes up to a minute until I could remember their names. I couldn't remember events that had happened. I couldn't remember that I had turned the stove on sometimes, and almost caught my house on fire more times than I'd like to admit. I couldn't remember some people that I had been introduced to. On the other hand, my ability to remember what I needed to know medically was astounding. I'm sure this was one of my gifts and miracles throughout all this.
Massive HORMONE IMBALANCES - estrogen dominance, and low progesterone.
CHRONIC FATIGUE - it was as if my central motor had shut down from within. Like the power source got turned off. It could also strike within minutes. I could be doing ok, (and I say that relatively speaking) at one minute, and within minutes be down. I have to monitor my food round the clock and my diet was very regimented. If I didn't eat on time, my body crashed. I always have a bag of nuts and fruit with me. I did my best to keep my body stable.
EXTREME INSOMNIA - I went from being a gal who lovvvvved my sleep, for my whole life - to nighttime being something I feared. Before sickness, I could easily knock out 8-9 hours a night. When I became sick, one of the very first things that happened was this extreme insomnia. It's not just insomnia where you lie in bed peacefully and can't sleep. The body is in a state that is so wired with anxiety, severe depression, nervous system tremors, and a brain that is not functioning properly. All of this is happening, while you can't sleep. Nighttime became both terrifying and welcome relief all at the same time. On one hand the insomnia was brutal when I couldn't sleep, but the times that my eyes closed and I did sleep for a couple hours was a welcome respite, as I was unconscious for a short while and could escape - if even momentarily - the nightmare I was trapped in.
I remember when it was really bad at nighttime early in my illness, everyone would be asleep, and I couldn't sleep, and I couldn't hold still lying down in bed. I would walk the floors, I would climb in and out of bed with Marc, but I couldn't hold still. When I did lay down it was with the vibrating massager on the entire time. I kept it next to my bed every night. It was agony. So many nights I would get into the shower and just lie on the floor and let the water run over the top of me for as long as I could stay in there. Sometimes I'd be in there for an hour. For some reason the water calmed my body. I would get in and out of the shower multiple times a night.
A few months after becoming sick, I couldn't get back into my shower because it held so much trauma for me. It was a place that helped in the night, but it held such pain. I had a hard time even going near it. That might sound a little strange for someone who has never experienced trauma before, but it was very real. I remember showering upstairs in my daughter's shower for a long time. We had a brand new house at this time, but I finally decided to hire a contractor to rip out every inch of tile from the bottom to the top to try to remove any memory of those nights that I spent lying alone on the shower floor. I needed it to be gone as it triggered traumatic memories and made me physically ill. I re-did my entire shower with brand new beautiful light filled natural stone. It helped, but not completely. I've since been learning how to process trauma in a healthy way. Thank goodness Marc didn't say a word about the money I spent. In fact, he just told me to do whatever I needed to do to feel better.
I'm happy to say that I am now back to my 8 hours a night. I discovered magnesium which was a miracle in helping to control my high morning cortisol. It also helps you sleep better. This, along with other natural supplements I have learned about, and my adrenals healing and hormones being better balanced have all helped to restore my sleep.
I was WIRED AND TIRED. I was more tired than you can possibly imagine both because of sleep deprivation and because of my body being tired from my very core, but I could hardly sit still. I was agitated and was wired. My mind raced and looped and wouldn't stop. I ran from my mind and tried to keep it occupied at all times. I couldn't be still with my mind. I couldn't read novels or watch TV fully relaxed for a long time though. It was completely agitating. I could read articles, but not novels that required my attention. That started to improve during the summer of 2015. I remember deciding to take a bath while up at the cabin one evening and it was a major victory just to sit still, be alone with myself and have my mind be calm. I hadn't felt that in nearly two years. This might seem like such a simple task to do: take a bath and be still, but it was a big step forward to me. It was a big step forward to sit on the couch and just be still as well.
My body had a complete inability to handle any stress whatsoever. Stress sent me into major adrenal crashes. I couldn't even listen to people talk about anything stressful. I literally did my best to put myself in a stress free bubble. If people were not respectful of this and were irritated by this as some were, I had to stay away from them.
I had DEPRESSION, due to the mercury toxicity and my extremely low progesterone.
Unknown to me, minerals such as magnesium and selenium were being wiped out of my body.
I developed LEAKY GUT, which then presents a whole host of other issues. Gut dysbiosis, candida, etc.
I developed MYOCLONUS, which for me manifested as involuntary outward breaths. Myoclonus is a symptom associated with a neurological condition that can be caused by many things - one being chemical toxicity. It was quite alarming. This was yet another piece to my 'red alert' state. This started to settle down after about six months.
I developed severe RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME. At night, again I could hardly hold them still. When I could finally sit and try to watch a movie, my restless legs were a huge problem. I would have to sit with my large neck vibrator right on top of my legs so that I had a chance of holding them still. This lasted a solid two years.
I had a complete LOSS OF APPETITE. On most days when I was very ill, I had to force myself to eat most of the time and then try not to vomit it all up. I had to eat to keep my strength up and my blood sugar balanced. If I didn't eat my body would crash harder. If I was feeling a little better, my appetite normalized somewhat, and conversely, I knew right away when I was dropping because I immediately lost my appetite. I lost probably 20 pounds, which was great to be back at my pre-baby weight, but was a sore reminder of how sick I was. You can see my weight dropping in my pictures if you follow me on any social media.
Bugs love heavy metals - so all other unwanted microbes like viruses, fungi, and bad bacteria start to thrive. The Epstein Barr virus that I had previously flared up and became active again.
As a result of the mercury, it has INFLAMED and my joints, mostly my knees and hips, to the point of not being able to walk very well sometimes because of the pain this past year. My back has been unable to hold a chiropractic adjustment for two years due to the mercury doing something to the ligaments that hold my back together. If I can go three weeks with my back staying in alignment that is an accomplishment. I couldn't go a week for several years. I had to stop even taking walks for the better part of 2016 because of the pain. I've since gotten in the pool and discovered water therapy.
I couldn't regulate my body temperature. I would be roasting hot one minute and freezing wrapped up in a blanket the next.
I had severe muscle tissue breakdown in my right arm which is common of late stage adrenal exhaustion. I could hardly lift my right arm to do anything without extreme pain for months.
My left foot and left hand were numb and tingly for well over a year. This is also a sign of mercury toxicity. This improved as my body began to detoxify more.
TRAUMA. I now had trauma to process. About 18 months into my illness I started to notice different symptoms and severe trauma triggers that I was dealing with along with my severe illness. I won't really get into this right here, but I've got a highly skilled therapist that I've been working with for nearly two years now.
And the list goes on. You can see that the toxicity literally created a massive domino effect of all systems going haywire. All of it at the same time. Essentially I wasn't functioning and my body and brain were in a state that I call unlivable. When I first got sick, I remember lying on the couch with my head in my sister's lap while she stroked my hair with her fingers, speaking calm and reassuring words to me. I would tell her over and over that what I was feeling in my brain was unlivable. She would ask me what that meant and I couldn't explain it to her and I didn't want to explain what I felt to her.
There's no possible way to possibly explain all that I've done to heal right on this page. I could almost write a book with all that information. I will explain more in depth as I write my blog posts detailing what I've done to heal.
Briefly though - I went from doctor to doctor to get answers. I got no answers from traditional medical doctors that I saw including a neurologist, general practitioners, endocrinologists, to ob/gyns. (I will write more in my blog about my different experiences with Eastern/Western medical doctors and Integrative medical doctors vs. others doctors.) The traditional doctors that I saw when I first got sick told me either there was nothing wrong with me, or I just needed to be on a anti-depressant or hormones to fix whatever was going on. I knew fairly quickly that these traditional Western medical doctors, were not going to give me answers I was needing to figure out my massive health issues. Instinctively, I knew if I was going to live, I was going to have to find my own answers and research when my brain was functioning enough to to that. That's what I did.
I was without any doctors able to help me for the first few months.
For a long time, I had no clue what had happened to my body and why.
I knew my body went toxic, but we didn't understand the underlying reason why for 18 months after becoming sick. This is when we found out that my body was full of mercury and this was a large reason why my body went toxic after surgery.
I was unable to tolerate any medicine or supplements.
I became my own researcher and my own advocate.
I researched and learned more about supplements and vitamins than I ever thought possible. My mind was swimming with information about how to heal the body with supplements and vitamins. It's the only thing I had.
I had to seek out and was guided to find the specific doctors in the country who could help me.
I learned to 'let food be they medicine, and medicine be thy food.' Literally. It was the only medicine I had.
My diet was very strict. I eliminated dairy, wheat, and sugar. I had to detoxify my entire world - every tiny drop of toxicity mattered when a person becomes as toxic as I was - from food to health products and everything in between.
I am still healing my adrenals. I started with tiny portions of supplements. I started with the smallest amounts of vitamin C.
I had to rebalance my hormones using natural supplements, de-stressing and food - until my body could tolerate progesterone, which wasn't until January of 2016. I'm still working on this.
I had to calm my nervous system by learning how to activate my parasympathetic nervous system - naturally.
We bought a cabin for me to get out of town and get into nature and heal. You quickly learn that when you don't have your health, you have nothing. When your health is that bad, and you are that desperate to recover and most importantly you are trying to live and survive (I don't say that casually), you will spend whatever amount of money is necessary to regain your health and your life. Money sitting in the bank means nothing when you are trying to live. Nature is very healing and spending as much time as possible at the cabin has proved to be instrumental and a critical piece in my healing.
I learned how powerful the mind is in healing.
I learned unequivocally, despite the best intentions of any doctor, that God is the ultimate healer and the master physician knowing exactly what supplement my body needs and when it can tolerate it.
A common question that is asked is this - you could just take the medicine, the thyroid, the hormones, the supplements that you need to get better right? The problem was that my body couldn't tolerate what it needed to heal and get better. Nothing. My doctors knew exactly what my body needed to heal, for the most part, but I couldn't even take small amounts of vitamins at the time, let alone a hormone or medicine. My liver was so congested it couldn't process any of the supplements that I needed to heal. Taking the smallest amounts of vitamins backfired on me and made me feel horribly worse as paradoxical reactions and retoxification symptoms became common for me. Yes, liver congestion is real, and was caused in part by my genetic detox issues.
Ultimately, I was guided to cutting edge doctors that could tell me precisely what happened and why. They could also tell me exactly what my body needed to heal, it's just been painstakingly slow process of healing.
It has been a long road to recovery, but I'm certainly getting there. As I said, I have a team of doctors who all provide a piece to my healing and answers. That combined with my own intuition, learning and knowing about what is best for my own body is helping me to heal. Not just healing of the body, but in order to heal my body, I have had to work on healing my mind and spirit as well. I've learned throughout all this that all three go together.
Many people don't have a strong enough body composition to recover and remain bedridden or severely physically compromised from the health issues I've described above. There are also a large number of people who lose their lives because of the heavy metal toxicity. I am grateful to be alive.
ONE MORE ISSUE THAT WAS GOING ON AT THIS TIME
I want to mention one more factor that we had to deal with while I was sick because it's important. During this time, Marc was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Infusionsoft, a large software company in Arizona, that he had helped to build from the ground up. I will share a tiny glimpse - from my perspective - into a few things happening during this time. I know that being CTO was very rewarding for him, yet as is the nature of executive positions, was a highly demanding job. In fact, Marc thrives on that kind of work. He's extremely good at what he does.
The year prior to me becoming sick, he was asked to take over the role of Chief Product Officer (CPO) while also still performing his duties as CTO. At this point he was holding down two full time, executive level positions in a large software company when I became sick in December of 2013. Being so terribly sick after a few months, I would have preferred and hoped that his load be somewhat lightened at this point due to the situation. However, that was not to be. In 2014, in addition to holding down both of his other executive positions, he was then asked to also take the lead on the Series D venture capital deal with Bain Capital - which he led and closed brilliantly, as he always did. Yet another huge win for him professionally and for the company.
Only the problem for me was that I needed him now more than ever being so sick. Our family needed him.
The responsibilities he had at work were substantial without a sick wife. With me being so terribly sick, it was beyond extraordinary and hard to articulate and put into words. We had to keep the household running and the company needed him. It felt a lot like being drowned, and someone holding your head under water never being allowed to come up for air. I have never felt so desperate, helpless and sick in my life. One of the big factors in healing my adrenals that were near failure at this point, is a 'no stress' environment. That's a hard task without being sick. I have never experienced more stress in my entire life as I did being sick, not having a clue what was wrong with my body, fighting for my life and my brain, with no doctors yet to help me, a family that needed me and was terrified at what they saw happening to me - AND dealing with the issue of Marc being gone so much and unable to help me as much as I needed. The stress was hurting me and delaying my healing and making my illness worse. I was suffering.
About three months into my illness, we did what we had to do and hired someone to come in and cook, clean, shop, and run the children to school for 4 months because I couldn't do any of it on any regular basis. I was so completely compromised with the toxicity. Our oldest daughter Sydnee was soon to be graduating from high school and had dreamed of going to U of A to attend college in Tucson. In fact she had received a scholarship to attend. However, realizing that I was too sick for her to leave, the family needed her more now than ever, and seeing that Marc's responsibilities at work weren't going to let up anytime soon; Sydnee offered up one of the most selfless acts I have ever seen. She gave up her scholarship to U of A, accepted her scholarship to ASU and stepped in when she graduated from high school to take over the running of the house and care for me and the other children. I needed her. I have always been able to care for myself and my family in every way, and to be put in a situation where you can't do that, was humbling beyond words and difficult to accept. She was my right arm doing everything for me and the other kids and more to make my life easier and reduce my stress. She allowed me the space I needed to begin healing and slowly start to step back into my life and take back over the reigns of running my household as I eventually started to feel better. I love her more than I can express and will be forever grateful for her selfless act of service of loving me and caring for me. She is beautiful inside and out. She is not only my daughter, but one of my angels.
HOW AM I DOING NOW?
I started writing this portion and it soon took on a life of its own. I wrote an entire blog post that will detail exactly how I am doing now, as of January 2017.
For the short version, I am definitely doing better. I am not fully recovered and back to full health though. My adrenals are healing, but not completely there yet. My other hormones are coming into better balance, but far from complete balance. I am slowly detoxing the heavy metals out and hopefully soon will be able to start a stronger detox.
It all feels surreal. The whole experience. I think about what I have lived through and I can't believe what I went through myself. I understand from other survivors of mercury toxicity, that this is a common feeling. To those reading this who never knew I was sick, I'm sure this might seem unreal, an impossibility even. If I were to write down the entire story from beginning to end and include every last detail of exactly what happened, fully describe what I went through, and what I've done to heal, it would seem even more unbelievable than what you're reading here. I can assure you that were I not alive today to share all this right now, what happened would have been all too real, for too many people. You would all be having a much different discussion about mercury toxicity and dental amalgams.
The scenario of "that couldn't ever happen to me"... actually happened to me.
When people hear that I had mercury toxicity, I can see the hint of surprise and shock in their eyes. Not quite knowing exactly what to say or ask. Mercury is as bad as you might think it is. I knew that something was seriously wrong neurologically and that kept me relentlessly fighting for answers when my brain would allow. Also, the sicker I was, the quieter, less engaging, passive and more reserved I was in my interactions with others. For those that know me best, this is a bit of a departure from my 'normal' self. Passive is not typically a word that would be used to describe me. My spunk and fire are back and it feels good as I continue to work toward full health.
I can assure you that our God is a God of miracles. They happened over and over. And I thank God I am here, and that I get to share my experience.
EDUCATION AND AWARENESS
So here I am today creating a website to share about my health crisis and my journey to get well. I share because of a few main reasons.
1. What happened to me could have been avoided. There comes a point when something so life altering happens to you in your life, you must share it. I didn't live through what I did, to then be silent. I don't particularly like discussing health, science and supplements! Whether I feel comfortable sharing or not, I feel compelled to share my story - to raise awareness about what happened in hopes that someone else would never have to experience what I did. I had the perfect storm - which isn't all that rare.
I also share to give a voice to all the children with heavy metal (mercury) induced autism out there. They don't have a voice, but if they did, it would sound a lot like mine. I share for them. Not one child should - EVER - have to suffer because of mercury induced autism due to the preservative thimerosal that is still present in vaccines - even in trace amounts which are touted as being 'safe'. This is the same issue as the dental field insisting that mercury in dental amalgams doesn't cause any harm. So many doctors insist that the mercury based preservative thimerosal doesn't cause harm and doesn't contribute to autism. False. Many people like to state that no studies prove this link, so therefore it's inconclusive. Please hear me - I have lived the mercury nightmare. These children are living it. Ask me, the countless others that have been mercury toxic because of their mercury amalgams, or any mother out there who saw her perfectly healthy child's health crash immediately following a vaccination how many experts, doctors or studies we need to tell us it is the mercury that did or didn't cause such massive health issue. We don't. Mercury is a neurotoxin and causes massive undeniable and unmistakable physical and neurological problems and doesn't belong anywhere in the human body.
2. I share to encourage change. I hope one day more dentists, and doctors will see the dangers of amalgams and listen to the stories of people like me who have become terribly sick because of them. Sometimes people don't 'get it', until they have to 'get it' or until it hits home.
As well, along these same lines, some doctors will say that extra detox is unnecessary because you have a liver and it works just fine -- that vitamins don't do anything for the body and are unnecessary. Yes, I've heard them all. To these doctors I say again, unfortunately you will never 'get it' until you find yourself in such a serious medical situation either for yourself or your family member and are forced to 'get it'. With correct education and understanding about genetics based medicine, and understanding the absolute POWER of vitamins and supplements to HEAL the body, many more doctors could help prevent medical issues and help to heal so many.
3. My goal is simply to speak my truth about what happened to me and help EDUCATE and RAISE AWARENESS about these ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS and as well GENETIC METHYLATION ISSUES and how they can contribute to so many health issues. I was not educated about these issues 5 years ago. If I had been informed, I would have had the choice to make my own decisions regarding what went into my body, and what/how certain procedures were performed. That's the key word - choice. Had I ALSO known my genetic susceptibilities, I could have known what my potential issues were and been helping my own body detox with the exact supplements that my body needs to properly methylate.
By sharing my story, others will at least be able to make informed decisions about what medical procedures they have done and what substances they want to put into their own bodies.
If I can help one person avoid going through what I went through by sharing, then I will have succeeded.
4. I have a need to take the pain of what I went through and turn it into something useful - otherwise it just remains pain. I know that God will take what was meant for my harm, and somehow use it for good. I'm trying to take what I've learned and share to help others perhaps find answers and hope in their own healing journeys.
Jeremiah 29:11- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
In hope and healing,
Connie Fox has been one of my health care providers during this healing process. I found out that the root cause of my toxicity was mercury in July of 2015. I found Connie in September of 2015 and she helped get me on the road to mercury detox and stabilizing my body even more.
I'm linking her personal story to share with you. Connie Fox suffered severe mercury toxicity from her dental amalgams as well, and finally recovered after being sick for years. The doctor who helped her recover was a German doctor named Deitrich Klinghardt, who runs the Sophia Health Institute in Washington. He is a world renowned expert who specializes in the treatment of complex health issues such as mercury detox and Lyme disease. Dr. Klinghardt is the doctor who has helped Yolanda Hadid recover from her Lyme disease. If I didn't see an improvement and feel like I was getting the necessary treatments, I probably would have been making arrangements to visit him in Washington as well.
When Connie recovered, she went on to get education and training to become a holistic healthcare practitioner and specializes in helping people recover from mercury toxicity.
When I wrote about what happened above, I focus on the physical aspect of what happened. I mention that I am not quite ready to share all the other details of what happened - essentially the personal story. I'm sharing Connie Fox's story, because she does articulate what it feels like. Our stories are not exactly the same, but have a lot of similarities. A few notable differences are that I got the appropriate help and diagnosis much quicker than she did and I did not ever go through the chelation rounds like she did. I instinctively knew this was not right for me and would be severely detrimental to my mind and body if I ever chelated like that.
It seems unimaginable that I lived through what I did, and it seemed unimagineable while I was living through it, constantly grasping to reclaim my normal life, that had disappeared overnight. I read her story for the first time and sobbed for the following 30 minutes. Even now when I read it, it is difficult for me to go back to that place mentally. But finally,I had found someone that had articulated so many of the same feelings and experiences of what I had lived through. Theres's no denying when you have mercury toxicity. It's unlike anything you ever knew existed, and when you have lived it, and you read another person's personal account of it - you get it. Everything in you gets it.
One day I will write my full story - my feelings, the pain, the prayers, the researching, the coaches and doctors, the doubters, the toll it took on my family, the difficulty manging sickness with Marc's corporate job, all the money spent, AND the amazing love and support from others, and all the beautiful miracles that helped me get to where I am in my recovery today. But until I can share that part of my story, I will share Connie's story.
You can read her personal story here. It's long, but worth the read if you want to catch a glimpse into what mercury toxicity feels like.