It has taken me some years to write about my own personal health journey. As a health practitioner, you don’t want to admit you are or have been sick - no one wants to be treated by a sick nutritionist. However I think it’s important to share my story because it is this experience that has helped make me a better practitioner.
Too often I get told: “oh you wouldn’t understand because you’re so healthy.” While I am healthy now, I know how hard any journey can be. Now I'm choosing to share, even if my story only helps one person feel a little less alone and misunderstood - it's worth it.
In 2010 I was hit by a bus. That’s not a figure of speech, I was literally run over by a bus. It sounds comical, but in reality it was anything but. Initially it seemed as if I had escaped relatively unscathed. I had a few decent cuts and scrapes, plus a concussion, but that all healed; I felt like superwoman!
It was a feeling that was short lived. The pain began not long before I turned 16 - a bone deep aching in my legs and joints. “It’s just growing pains”; “It’s bruised nerves”; “It’s from the concussion.” Years of seeing doctors and specialists resulted in little in the way of answers, and the only solution seemed to be drugs, and lots of them. From painkillers to anti-inflammatories, to anti-depressants, I was prescribed everything under the sun to manage my pain. I was angry there was no solution, I was in pain, and as a result I was depressed.
At university I learned about the science of the body, the chemistry of food, and the reactions that take place. It wasn’t until several years later, once I begun working, that I learned about the immense healing power of food. There is a vast array of options outside of the traditional medical matrix that can help heal the body. It took a lot of trial and error to find exactly the right balance that worked for me; how best to reduce the inflammation that was triggering the pain, which nutrients I needed to boost to help support my mood, and what steps to put in place when my pain did flare up again.
Depression is a funny one for me. I am still not sure if the pain triggers the depression or the other way around. It is more likely that poor diet, crappy self-care and too much stress trigger both. I still manage both my pain and depression and am likely to need to for the rest of my life. But the management isn’t as much of a hassle as it used to be. Now that these self-care, diet, and lifestyle practices have become a habit for me. These practices help to ensure that I stay healthy even when I don't follow them perfectly 100% of the time.
I understand what it’s like to be in pain for years and have no one believe you, or worse treat you like you’re crazy. I know what it’s like to be depressed and to always have it in the back of your mind that things could get dark and twisty again. These things make me a better practitioner.
No matter what symptoms you are having you need someone who understands and is on your side. I am here to listen and support you through the troubling health issues you have. You deserve to have someone fight for you.