Detox of body, mind, and spirit

This past year has been the greatest journey of my life by way of learning true freedom from me. February of 2013 about a month before turning forty I woke up one Wednesday morning feeling like there was a butcher knife sticking in my neck. Having had neck problems for a while a previous MRI had revealed four bulging discs and spinal stenosis. I figured I may have actually ruptured a disc and that ibuprofen and neck exercises would pull me through as in the past. The next week I was off work and had planned to paint both of my daughter’s bedrooms. Another lesson in life that I can make all the plans I want, but life is a continuous game of dodge ball and at times we are hit and have to sit out of the game for a while altering our plans. As Monday rolled around the neck had only grown worse I called my doctor and got an appointment that day. The next day I was getting MRIs of my neck and lower lumbar spine per my request due to lower back pain as well. It was what started happening that night that has truly changed my course in life in so many ways. That night I was sitting on the couch and both of my legs knee down went completely numb. As the week went on the numbness traveled all over like there was a slithering snake going up and down my arms and legs and the snake would rest on a foot or a hand for a while then move again. In the meantime there were muscle twitches and what felt like knives stabbing me randomly all over. By Friday it felt like someone had rubbed copious amounts of Ben-Gay from the top of my head to the tip of my toes on the entire left side of my body. The right side was in terrible pain and at times it felt like my arm and leg on that side had been crushed in a vise. For months I had subtle symptoms that I had ignored. Often there would be a tight cool sensation of being squeezed around my chest. The squeeze would take my breath away a bit. It was uncomfortable but I was certain it wasn’t a heart attack so I just went on. Not having heard back from my doctor about the MRI reports I called that Friday and tried to explain to the office what was happening with all the crazy numbness. He was not in the office and they told me I would have to go to the emergency room. Knowing I needed to return to work on Monday I was starting to feel helpless and decided if it was worse the next morning I would go to the ER. Saturday I could not stand on my left leg. That leg had turned into a spaghetti noodle. We drove to a St Louis ER because I knew the testing I would need would not be available in our small town. Lab work and a brain MRI were inconclusive as to what was happening. They gave me the much needed IV steroids and a prescription for oral steroids that I do believe were beneficial. My own doctor, now this physician, and the next two doctors I saw tried to give me prescriptions for narcotic pain medications that I flat out turned down. Being able to deal with the pain on my own that was just a road I did not even want to set one foot on. What I wanted was answers and each direction I turned there were none. The ER physician looked me in the eye as I left and said what is happening to you is not being caused by your neck, you have something else going on. The something else was something she could not explain. Next week my physician then referred me to a neurosurgeon due to the herniated disc, but still could give no help for this nervous system that was completely spiraling out of my control. Off the record I had asked physician friends and it was suggested that there was probably something auto immune happening. The top of the list matching my symptoms was MS and that is what the ER physician was trying to rule out. It was the day before my birthday that I got into the neurosurgeon he was the kindest of all the doctors. He said that as he looked at my MRIs, read my symptoms, and then with my neuro assessment that he was highly suspicious of Multiple Sclerosis. Every doctor that looked at the MRI said that the disc in my neck could not be causing all the numbness. He promptly referred me to a MS neurologist who got me in early that next week and I just so happened to have a low census day from work a God thing yet again. So far through this ordeal I had never had to call off work which made me extremely grateful. My walk was a limp and somehow helping to relieve the pain of others helped me to cope with my own pain. The MS specialist literally rolled her eyes at me when she entered the exam room. She asked “Why were you referred to me when you have no scars on your MRI?” This sent me into another whirl of helplessness as I had no control over whom and what kind of physician I was being tossed to next. I simply stated well I guess due to my symptoms and started to explain to her what all had been happening. She responded with more eye rolls, sighs, and statements like “Well that is not my specialty!” I asked her what about metal toxicities like mercury? She again rolled her eyes and said “That is over rated.” She stated you clearly are having trouble with that left leg so I will order some lab work and see you in three months. Needless to say I left there very frustrated. The medical field I had spent all of my adult life working in had completely let me down. There was something terribly wrong and for someone who exercised didn’t smoke or drink thinking I was taking care of myself I was left in a state of confusion. God and I had many conversations through this ordeal. The specific one I remember was that God if my body is to become my prison that is ok I still want to serve you. Remembering how the majority of the New Testament written by Paul was written while he was in prison. I knew that God had a bigger plan and for some reason He needed to change my course somehow. One of my prayers was also that if there is a way to have healing I really would love to continue to serve others. I asked God to please not keep me on this earth if I cannot give back in some way. He continued to provide peace and His presence was overwhelmingly evident during this time of pain and confusion. As the lab work rolled in normal test after normal test I finally decided I am done with doctors and expensive tests that were leading nowhere. Having heard of hair analysis studies there was a local office that focused on holistic care and I had heard that I could send off a hair study through them. As I started digging in doing my own research the answers I kept finding that the way to healing was through food. It took those three weeks of waiting for the study to come back for me to start to prepare myself mentally to change our family’s lifestyle regarding how we eat. When the results came back sure enough my body chemistry was completely off balance, I was malnourished, my cells were starving for the proper balance of nutrients needed. The analysis reflected that every organ in my body was suffering and that I was heading to many chronic diseases, MS, diabetes, hypo-thyroidism, osteoporosis, and cancer to name a few. One of the greatest culprits was toxicity in Copper. This one simple very inexpensive test explained all the health problems I had been having over the last decade from stomach, skin, to the current issues. As I was handed a diet plan of basically eating meat and vegetables there was a determination when walking out of that door that day that this was a new day and a new life. It made sense to me that all the preservatives I had been eating with quick meals had sent my body into a frenzy of fighting off all the foreign chemicals. God had placed plants and animals that eat plants on this earth as food for us. He created us and the proper food to sustain us and heal us. All the synthetic man made products our bodies actually view as poison. This is how I had to start looking at those foods. They are poison and were killing me with a long slow painful death. The first goal was to follow strictly for one month. My family could still make their own choices, but what foods were actually going to be in our home were going to only be preservative free. By the end of the month I felt better than I had in years. This determined that we now had a new way of life. Food had controlled me more than I ever realized. I loved candy, ice cream, cereals, and breads these things were addictive to me and never left me satisfied. My friend and I with birthdays near Easter always had bought each other sweet tarts ducks and chicks and other candies as gifts. Literally I would start to eat them and often would not stop till they were gone and I was left with a raw mouth. The sugar triggered a reaction in my brain and I just wanted more and more and more. With having rid my body of these foods and not having them at all I actually had no desire for them. Food was more of a distraction in life with continuous glucose peaks and valleys. It was distracting me from God, my family, and my purpose more than I ever knew until I felt so much better. This is an experience of pain that I am so grateful for in my life. Through this experience I have learned more and more of riding my mind, heart, thoughts, and body of what is toxic. As food can bring toxicity to our body, thoughts bring toxicity to our minds, and what we put in our bodies and minds can bring toxicity to our very soul. It is a daily journey and discipline and some days I am better than others. It is a discipline that requires me to continuously focus on God. His strength is the only way to be able to fight off the constant temptations of the world. I look at the bad foods as poisons and learning my weaknesses God is teaching me to think of my sin as poison to my soul. Everyone has different weaknesses and only God can show us what is truly controlling us and stealing our joy that He so very much wants to give us. Now the detox itself was painful at times as my body rid itself of toxins and bacteria. I had a sore throat and a cough for about two months as all the impurities pulled out from deep tissues. The same goes for detoxing spiritually. Sometimes it hurts to rid ourselves of old habits, friends or places that tempt us, and thought processes. The end result is amazing for both our body and our spirit! By the way I cancelled the three month appointment with the MS neurologist. She said she would be happy to see me if I ever develop scars shown by any brain MRIs in the future. It has been just over a year and there is just a hint of numbness when I am super tired. The small reminder of what God has brought me through is welcomed. This year as I turned forty one we buried my sweet father and said our earthly goodbyes to him on my birthday. Yet again I find that God’s presence and grace is literally sustaining me. Birthdays in my forties so far are very far from happy. The wisdom and deeper relationship with Jesus through the trials has been priceless. I have no idea what forty two will bring, but God knows and He will continue to provide His peace and presence. He will continue to cleanse me from all that distracts me from Him. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

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