Summer 2014 I got hives on my face again. I told my doc it must be poison ivy from my dog walking through it. She said okay well let's give you steroid shot and lots of steroids. It wasn't poison ivy after all. It was hives. I went on my summer vacation to Austin Texas with my husband and family. I drank beer while taking those steroids which i probably should not have done. I didn't like how the steroids made me feel. I felt angry and raged and i could see I was taking it out on people so I stopped the steroids abruptly. Then my stomach started throbbing and I started having anxiety and I started to have food sensitivities it seemed. I went to an endocrinologist a few weeks later and he tested my thyroid levels and they were fine. He said it was probably due abruptly stopping my steroids.
Later I found out that its very important you don't just stop steroids.. You need to taper them. What ended up happening was my body freaked out when I stopped the steroids and It made me temporarily have a low THS which is hyperthyroid. Also further hurting my stomach in my opinion. Causing the early signs of leaky gut.
I went to an allergist in town. The woman who did my skin prick test put the plastic device with all the different solutions on my arm and pushed down with so much weight into it that my arm was bleeding in some spots where it pierced my skin. Of course all them came up positive. At the time I did not know how hard you are suppose to push on those tests. So for months I thought I was severely allergic to eggs, nuts, meat, dairy, cherries, ect. The list went on forever. Maybe that was a good thing at the time because that did help my stomach heal a bit. I went to a new allergist just a few months ago and they redid the skin prick test and said it would hurt. I said wow you didn't hurt me like the other lady did and they said you aren't suppose to see blood and press that hard and guess what? No Allergies came up.. The new allergist told me that the other test had F$%# with my head and it literally did.
I became obsessed with not eating all the things that came up on that original allergy test. I was scared of anaphylactic shock. I didn't feel right. I was depressed and anxious and I didn't know why. I was however having food sensitivities that were driving me crazy. I could tell that avocados, tomatoes, gluten and much more was bothering me.
Thanksgiving came in 2014. I wasn't feeling my best that day. My stomach felt weird. My food sensitivities were driving me crazy. I tried to eat thanksgiving dinner and I started having bad anxiety. I went in the other room and had to take xanax. I went to my doctor and she said I need to start taking my PPIs again and go to the gastroenterologist. she also gave me antidepressants and more xanax to take. I went to the gastroenterologist and he told me to take the PPIs and gave me an upper endoscopy. I went in for the endoscopy and I couldn't hardly make it in there without my xanax. My heart was pounding and i started to get hives on my chest. All the doctor found was slight gastritis and wanted me to still continue PPIs and gave me a different antidepressant. My stomach was pulsating and my chest hurt. A few days later I had to go to the ER. My chest was hurting, stomach was pulsating, my eyes dilated, I was shaking, intense fear, I felt like I was dying. They could not find one thing wrong with me. I went to the ER about 7 times total. Sometimes I could not get out of my bed. I couldn't walk down the stairs. It made my heart beat even faster and I was frozen in fear. Every night I had to sleep sitting up. If I laid down my heart would beat fast. I have had all the tests done including: EKG, Ultrasound on my abdomen, Ultrasound on my thyroid, x-rays of my stomach, tested for blood clots with cat scan, urinalysis, lots and lots of blood test.
I started to look else where.. I went and had a stress test at the heart center. My heart was so healthy and strong. Everything came out perfect. Yet I was having all of these symptoms. I went to the ear nose throat doctor and it was fine. I was relieved to know there was no blood clot, cancer, or disease. But I was also sad and scared. What was causing this?
I was becoming very depressed. I was scared every night to go to sleep. The worst part usually was at night time. My stomach would act up and my heart would race and pound. My husband was such a saint. He would sit up with me through the night for hours to help calm me down. Talk me out of going back to the ER. He would say "We have had every test done hunny you are okay." I had to tell myself that to get through it but I didn't feel okay. I was so scared. Every morning I cried and talked to God "Please God make it stop" Please." Our house got very dark I was starting to take 1 mg of xanax 3 times a day to stop my panic attacks. I would lie on the couch drugged and tired and depressed just waiting for it to stop. Clutching onto my cross necklace. Soon I had to have my mother and father in law come to stay with me through the day because I was terrified of what would happen if I was alone. They would talk me through my panic attacks and chest pains. I finally became so tired of it all that I started to lose control. I wanted to be in a hospital and have people watch over me so I could have immediate medical attention. I told my husband I wanted to be locked up in a mental institution if I had to. I was losing my mind being drugged and not knowing what was happening to me.
I checked into an outpatient clinic. We did group therapy, meditation, and colored mandelas. They also had a psychiatrist there. They were trying to tell me it was all in my head and that I needed to take my medicine. I had to be upped to 1.5 mg of xanax 3 times a day. They gave me another antidepressant and I refused to take it. I was tired of being a lab rat and trying this and that on me. I needed help and I was looking into going to the mayo clinic to find out what the heck was wrong with me. I was obsessed with the internet and thought I had every disease I read and all the tests kept coming back negative. Finally I found out about delayed gastric emptying. I saw food in my stools. I connected the dots. I went back to the gastroenterologist and told them I need a food emptying study done. He agreed and we set it up. Sure enough that was it. December 2014 I was found with delayed gastric emptying also known as gastroparesis. They told me to follow the diet for delayed gastric emptying and to keep taking my PPI.
I did not take the PPIs. I knew my stomach had no acid in it to digest the food and the PPI would have made it worse. I ate soft foods, protein drinks, instant carnation breakfasts and it was not being tolerated well in my body. My body didn't want all those sugary drinks. I also had some food sensitivities. I didn't know how to heal my body. I couldn't find a doctor that knew how to get over this delayed gastric emptying or find the root cause. I kept researching and praying. Talking to my dad on the phone till the anxiety subsided or till my mother in law or father in law came to my rescue while my husband was at work. My mom came up to Indiana to help me. I needed help. I needed my mom there. My husband needed help with me too. Mom came and we started praying allot. I had a sudden urgency to seek God. I needed God in my life. I needed church. I started praying to God and listening to music to worship him. I started to see hope. Jesus gave me hope. I prayed and prayed and he led me to my integrative doctor Kay Corpus. I emailed her my story and she called me that night. She told me that she knew exactly what was happening to me. I couldn't believe it. Literally I couldn't at first. Seriously is my answer right here 15 minutes from my house? I don't have to go to the Mayo Clinic? I had my doubts at first. Then in my dream that told me I could trust her.
I finally can see the light! Kay told me that my "gastroparesis" was caused by my high cortisol levels and intense stress to the body. Kay knew that my cortisol levels were off even before we got the test results back. Sure enough my cortisol levels were high. My body was stuck in the fight or flight response and it was stressing out my body and stomach. My stress was held in for years. Things that were so deep down that I didn't even know I held onto like past stress and pain I had not forgiven myself and others about. I was not honoring myself with my work I did. I am an artist deep down and I wasn't creating anymore. It had been so long since i sat at my craft table to create something and I was getting sick from not expressing myself. I was not living my purpose. I was disconnected from God. Sure I believed and prayed. But i was begging and pleading before. Now I am thankful. God has given me strength. He has calmed my soul through the storms. He put me in the palm of his hands. I am thankful I am closer to God and my family. I have so many things to be thankful for.
How I have healed:
I found an integrative doctor Kay Corpus MD. She is a life coach, yoga teacher, integrative doctor, therapist, healer, and great friend. She taught me importance of getting in touch with my inner self. The importance of meditation for healing. Importance of yoga. It was a way to exercise without being too extreme on my body and relaxed me and helped me heal. She helped me with natural cortisol reducing supplements. She taught me the importance of how to eat and that my body needed digestive enzymes and HCL because my stomach had no digestive juices to digest on its own. She also found I had leaky gut symptoms caused by my stress. So she showed me how to heal that through supplements. I cut out sugar, gluten, dairy, processed food and the foods that gave me sensitivities for a while. I ate organic meats and vegetables. She has helped me see my goals and what really makes me happy in life. Kay had suggested for me to read a really good book called Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin M.D. This book has helped change my way of thinking about how our bodies heal. It has brought on a more positive aspect of how I look at my body and how it can heal itself. Another good book that I love she introduced me to was Emotional Freedom by Judith Orloff. Judith's book has so many techniques for relaxing, stress, depression and so much more. How to deal with difficult people. It was a very good book especially for an empaths.
There at Kay's office I found a card for Charlene Fabiano. Charlene is a strong woman with a kind gentle touch in her healing process. Charlene is the only certified acupuncturist in my town of Evansville Indiana. I went to a chiropractor before that was trained but not certified. He did not help me at all. Charlene has studied for years to be an acupuncturist and she knows the exact mapping of how the chi flows through the body. Let me tell you I could tell a huge difference! She has helped me relieve my anxiety and digestion so much. She has also mentored me on how to change my way of thinking about "gastroparesis". Don't even claim it as something that is a part of you or the anxiety for that matter. "gastroparesis was only a word placed upon you by someone who doesn't even know you... and Not who you are or how you act in the world.. You are much bigger and much more than those limiting words.. And you are proving that to yourself and others everyday.. I can see that every day."-Charlene Fabiano.
Reiki has also helped me. I have going to 2 special ladies in my town that do reiki. Karen Yoe and Deb Velders. Karen helped me to realize my body can heal its self too especially with the help of healing energy. I could feel my anxiety, fears, and sorrow lift from my body. It is such a relaxing experience. I have allot less anxiety from reiki and it has definitely helped my healing process and digestion too. Deb has helped me lift my anxiety and depression too. These ladies are very gifted healers. It's so nice to have someone truly cares for your health and well being and have such positive outlooks on life and health.
It meant the world to me that all of these people believed in me and cheered me on as I got stronger every week. They became my friends and held that space for me to see me at highest self that I couldn't see at first. I believe I am going to be my 100 percent self very soon. It's now April and I am not having to take as many digestive enzymes and I can feel my stomach start to move again. I don't have to take anymore of my anxiety medicine or antidepressants. To all you out there who have had this happen to them. There is hope. Find Jesus and pray to him. Don't give up hope. Be open minded to the fact that your body has the ability to heal its self. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
Now I want to hear your story. What has helped you in your healing process?