One year ago, I had several thoughts swirling around in my mind:
“I’ve had strep twice just this year, what if I get something worse?”
“I’m stressed out and want to eat everything in sight.”
“What if the Remicade fails? How long do I have with it?”
“What if there really is another way?”
Prior to this particular season in my life, I wasn’t ready to shake off any medications. I had made that mistake once and ended up hospitalized twice. Three years of infusions with zero side effects or symptoms, why would I want to give that up?
My two bouts of strep were awful and I saw for the first time what it meant to have a suppressed immune system. It just clicked: I have this disease no matter what, I’m only treating symptoms. I’m not actually healing. So, not only was I not getting better – I was adding risk that I would contract another serious illness.
My doctor warned me this could happen: people start feeling better, then stop taking their medications. “Don’t do that.”
Obviously, I did.
I wanted to at least try this “natural path” I’d been hearing of the last few years. Either a medication would control my immune system, or maybe I could. Presumptuous? Maybe. Probably.
After looking around online for a local practitioner who looks at the whole body, I settled on a DC (doctor of chiropractic) in Bountiful, UT. With years of experience working with gut related illnesses, I decided to give it a try. After my first round of blood work, he sat down with me for nearly an hour explaining in detail what every line meant and how it related to my body’s overall function.
We looked at thyroid, kidney, adrenals, gut, protein uptake, and other stuff I can’t remember. He also discussed functional ranges: these are the ideal ranges for your body’s optimal functioning. Typically, when you get blood work back and it’s high/low/normal, that’s in comparison to other people getting blood work done at that lab. Since sick people are the ones getting blood work done most often, your high/low/normal ranges are in comparison to that batch of people.
My GI doctor is so intelligent and great at his job. But, my current sentiment is that the hospital is wonderful for acute care. I got in, got in remission, got out. But, there must be another way to whole body, ongoing health – beyond band-aids that suppress symptoms.
When I thought I was “healthy”, my blood work showed that I was not. We had some work to do before I could start skipping infusions. The protocal laid out for me was 3 vitamin infusions for 3-4 weeks, 1-2 UBI’s for 3-4 weeks, NMT, and a whole list of supplements. The target here was to get my body in true recovery: lower inflammation, improve gut lining and nutrient uptake.
The vitamin infusions were amazing. I want to do another round again. This is something readily available. Certain “cocktails” need to be prescribed, but you can get doses to boost your body at local clinics. The infusions bypass your gut and get right into your body. My body wasn’t absorbing my nutrients appropriately, that’s why this was prescribed for me.
UBI’s are pretty neat. It stands for Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation. It was developed prior to vaccines, but when pencillin came around we just didn’t seem to need UBI’s. But, the process is effective. You take out some blood into an IV drip. It can be infused with oxygen. Then, it’s run through ultraviolet light that kills off any bad bacteria/viruses. The blood is returned into your body and shows your immune system what’s healthy and what’s not. It’s kind of like retraining the immune system on what to attack.
NMT – stands for NeuroModulation Technique. I’m not 100% sure on this yet, but I’m not totally critical of it either. It’s based on an understanding of the mind-body connection, that the mind and body are communicating in the background all the time. The is idea that energy is constant throughout time and space, so my energy can communicate with your energy and with that connection a practitioner can learn what is aligned or misaligned in the mind-body connection. Then, the practioner can essentially retrain the patient’s mind-body conection to behave appropriately. I think I’m hitting the main points here, but here’s the website if you’re curious.
We used NMT to help identify what my body felt like it needed to work on. My body indicated I needed help with my immune system, some allergies, the link between mind-gut, and a couple of other things. It’s a tool in the toolbox that goes alongside the infusions, UBI, and supplements.
Finally, I started a whole host of supplements like Omega-CO for important fish oils, vitamin b, vitamin d, a round of K, pre-biotics and pro-biotics, and some digestive support blends. All that in conjuction with cleaning up my diet.
Is it enough? How long can remission last? Then again, how long can a certain medication last?
I don’t know the answers to those questions. I do know that I went to dinner with 4 friends in April and they all got COVID except me.
So, for now, I’ll go celebrate my one year of natural remission! ONE YEAR! I’m cautiously optimistic and still check my stool everyday for signs of the disease.
This one year mark is significant, because it shows that it’s possible. But, it’s also an accountability marker to remind myself that I still have the disease and absolutely cannot relax on my diet or supplements. So, I better get off and go order some more.
If you’re thinking you want to try the natural path, do NOT stop taking your medication yet. Find a provider you like and trust first.
If you’re curious about my experience, go ahead and comment or email me. I’m always happy to talk about it.
And, happy new year!