Episode 4 – Humble Pie with a Slice of Courage

Now that I was “fixed”, now what? Despite all the pain and struggles I faced to heal, I was a survivor. I took it all in and tried to always find the brighter side of things. It wasn’t easy, I was scared. But God is good because never will He leave me nor forsake me.

MY STORY

After nearly three weeks in the hospital, physical therapists were called in, along with a nutritionist, and an occupational therapist. In order to go home I had to be mobile. I hadn’t been out of bed in all this time. When I first got up to “walk” I was devastated to learn that all my muscles in my legs had atrophied. Inactivity had rendered me unable to walk on my own.

I was very low on potassium, which is often the case with people that have digestive issues, especially of the large intestines. I’ve included a copy of this drawing the nutritionist shared with me. I think you might find it interesting.

My body was healing, I had to gain back all the weight I lost and I needed to have energy to get around, even if it was only to go to the restroom. I needed extra calories. Not something I would normally say…nor would any woman I know.

I couldn’t have gotten this far if it weren’t for my amazing and loving husband. He was there every day, through the good, the bad and the ugly. He learned to care for me and my stomas, which is no easy job. I was dependent upon him and others to take care of me. I was so fiercely independent, it was God serving me a slice of humble pie. It was five months of daily caring for me, despite the struggles my husband kept loving me. Not only did he care for my ostomies, but he helped me shower, cooked for me, did my laundry and kept my spirits up. He was my biggest cheerleader and his love never greater. We’ve been together for 37 years and we are one. My pain became his pain and he suffered, but he stood strong.

The struggles were real. They were hard. The day my husband went back to work I was alone. I was scared. I didn’t think I could get through this. I cried. I prayed. And then I saw something I couldn’t believe. I thought I was hallucinating. I saw a bald eagle fly right by my window where I sat. He or she looked right at me and I saw the eagle’s eye staring at me. I was transfixed.

The first thought that went through my mind was, nobody’s going to believe me. I’m not sure I’m not dreaming. I grabbed my camera with shaking hands, afraid I would miss the shot of a lifetime. I went to the door and opened it so I could get a clear shot of the eagle if it was still around. I thought it was roosting in one of the trees out front. The door creaked and the dog made a noise. The eagle jumped from his perch and spread its wings to take flight. I got a picture and another as I watched it fly down my drive.

I told my husband but he didn’t believe me until I showed him the picture. I never lie, but this one was a whopper and even my husband was doubtful. I saw the eagle as a message from God. He sent me the eagle to give me courage, to keep the faith, to keep on…keeping on. He was watching over me. I could feel his presence. How could I not?

MY RESEARCH

The nutritional information I learned was invaluable. I learned where the nutrients are absorbed in the GI tract. I learned that although proteins and carbs helped e gain weight, it left my body acidic. My first visit to my biochemist showed my urine was extremely acidic. Animal meats are acidic and without having my usual salads which are alkaline my urine was showing tell tale signs and the perfect breeding ground for cancer and other disease.

Hair loss was not something I had anticipated, but nonetheless it was yet another obstacle in my path. My hair is normally twice as thick as most people, but it fell out like crazy about two months after my first surgeries Not only did I lose my hair, I also lost a lot of weight. I learned the rapid weight loss led to the hair loss.

My weight had changed dramatically and that is why my hair fell out, according to the nutritionist when I asked her. My normal weight is around 140 pounds. Before my surgery I had gained about 10 more pounds and typically weighed in at 150. I also suffered terribly from the bloating, caused by the SIBO. Due to the blockage my food was fermenting instead of digesting. Toxic gases from the necrotic tissue and the fermenting food had me miserable with a distended stomach, so much so that I looked about 9 months pregnant. I measured my waist and was shocked to see 45″ on the measuring tape. Three months now since the last surgery and my weight is again at 140 and my waist is 34″ and not 45″.

SPIRITUAL – COURAGE

God sent the bald eagle to me that day when I was afraid, when I was weak and doubtful. My prayers were answered without delay. I knew that God was with me. I was ready to face whatever the future had in store for me. The Lord gave me strength, he gave me courage and he gave me conviction.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. — Isaiah 40:29-31

 

CLEAN LIVING – LIFESTYLE NOT DIET

The nutritionist had encouraged me to eat meals high in protein and carbohydrates in order to gain weight and muscle. The hospital really promoted only one brand made from soy…genetically modified soy. I wasn’t about to touch that with a ten foot pole. My body doesn’t do well on soy. It’s an estrogen mimicker, and with Candida issues I can guarantee I am estrogen dominant. My progesterone is low, not my estrogen. I opted for no soy anything and no GMO anything. If you aren’t familiar with GMOs, visit GMOFREEUSA.org for more information.

My weight went up slowly but surely and everyone, especially me was happy. My dear, sweet husband found me attractive even when I was skin and bones and had two ostomy bags attached. Now THAT is true love.

My lifestyle included healthy eating, as I was following the SCD diet (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) which restricts the amount of carbs. Everyone is biochemically different. Everyone is different in what they can and can’t digest. I looked at the SCD diet as guidelines but not the be all, end all. I wasn’t going to starve just to be “SCD legal”.

I now follow a low carb lifestyle, notice I didn’t say diet. Lab tests from the hospital confirmed I had a Candida overgrowth. I was given a fungal medication for about a week in the hospital. Candida feeds off of sugar and carbs that turn into sugar. So limiting the sugar and carbs in the diet keeps Candida from taking over. Everyone has some Candida in their body, but it should be in the proper balance in the microbiome. All the antibiotics over the years and a diet full of sugar leads to an overgrowth of Candida which can cause devastating health issues. I eat mostly a plant based diet but I include animal proteins, which are essential for B12 and other B vitamins my body needs. Here’s a link to SCD recipes to help you get started.

I’ve learned that what’s good for me might not be good for you and vice versa. I’ve learned to listen to my body, it knows what’s best. I learn something new every day…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.