So here we are.
You’ve stumbled across my website, probably in the midst of searching for answers to your own problems, and you’ve found yourself interested in mine!
Grab yourself a snack, herbal tea/coffee/vino, and get comfortable… because this is going to be a long story. Don’t give me that look, you asked for it! 🙂
It all started when I was a tiny human.
I suffered from serious allergies and asthma. I was allergic to everything. Dust, pollen, dander, perfume, the sun, dairy & gluten (unbeknownst to me at the time). I had insomnia, anxiety, and was plagued with influenza/colds/stomach bugs/ear infections/throat infections every few months.
The allergies made my breathing so bad, I couldn’t sleep unless I was sitting up (I’m not kidding). I had a bean bag chair pushed up against my wall to act as a “sit up” pillow, in order for me to breathe. Visits at night to the hospital for medicated breathing masks were frequent. I missed more school than I attended. Fun times!
Being an 80’s kid in Canada (oh dear did I just give away my age?) I was raised on the typical Canadian Diet: Dempster Bread, Kraft Singles, Chapman’s Ice Cream, Margarine, Dunkaroos, Fruit-By-The-Foot, Poutines, Toaster Strudels and the oh-so-dear to my heart Pizza Hut stuffed-crust pizza.
Now, this is not to say that my parents didn’t actually cook meals like responsible adults. They did! However, most meals contained some form of Dairy and Gluten. I even have vivid memories of sneaking into the pantry to eat PLAIN slices of dry bread. I craved it so much it was like crack to me!
Fast-forward to the age of 11, when I subluxated and broke my ring finger by breaking my fall onto the landing of the stairs beside me. So… falling over essentially. This somehow caused my ring finger to pop out of joint.
By the age of 13, I was tipping the scales. Not only did I have the same problems as when I was younger, they were exacerbated by my disordered relationship with food.
On top of this, I had a physical pain in my body, from head to toe that would come and go. I was able to piece together the correlation between eating a meal and the pain coming on within hours. The pain was likened to being hit by a truck (not that I know what that feels like). My entire body felt like one giant bruise. I couldn’t touch my back, chest, my stomach or my throat/neck without excruciating pain. My lymph nodes became swollen and sore to the touch. My body filled with fluid (edema) every time.
But why? My family doctor at the time had no answers.
I went on like that for years, accepting that food could sometimes make me wish I hadn’t eaten. (This is still an undiagnosed and ongoing problem – more on that later).
Speed up to the age of 18. I was no longer tipping the scales, but I was sicker than ever.
My hair was falling out, my nails were peeling, I was frozen all the time, had zero energy, I would get dizzy when going from a seated to standing position, blood pressure was always on the low-end, blood sugar was all over the place, periods were screwed up… It was the best, you guys. The BEST. (sarcasm)
Are you actually still reading this giant novel of a story? What do you know! You’re just as crazy as I am, I approve 🙂
Moving onto my early 20’s.
I contracted infectious mononucleosis that went undiagnosed for weeks. If anyone reading this has ever had it, you know it’s akin to slowly dying.
The doctors told me they couldn’t do anything but hand me some Percocet for the pain and watch it closely. This was, obviously, unsatisfactory advice. So we sought out the help of a Naturopath (this is when I fell inlove). She took one look at me and handed me a bottle of Defense Plus by Nutribiotics. No more than 3 days later, I was on the road to recovery.
It was that very same Naturopath that discovered I was allergic to several foods. I had adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, sensitivities to dairy/eggs and celiac among other allergies. She started me on a course of Rhodiola, B12 injections, Iron supplementation and dietary guidelines.
Finally, I had some answers!!
You can see in the photo on this post, the face on the left is the next morning after being cross-contaminated by allergens such as gluten, yeast, MSG, carageenan, or whatever else I’m allergic to. The face on the right is 2 days later.
The allergies affect my lymphatic system. So when even a small crumb of gluten goes into my body (gluten triggers this response the most, with carrageenan and carbonation – oddly enough – coming in second), it leaks out into my bloodstream by means of tiny holes in my digestive tract… and causes my immune system to go absolutely f*cking bonkers. This leads to systemic inflammation and edema.. among other fun things. Thus, the cycle continues.
I do not wish this on any human.
Daaaaayum, look at you! Dedicated to readin’ up on my problems and stuff. You’re awesome 🙂
And here we are.
The year 2017.
I am currently following a Whole-Foods based lifestyle with a great focus on lysine levels (immune boosting), clean protein sources and high-digestibility.
I still deal with reactive hypoglycemia (curse you carbohydrates!), poor circulation, newly diagnosed ovarian cysts and apparently varicose veins in my feet. (seriously, how old am I?!)
I have my slip ups, but I’m only human. I still have a lot to figure out, however, life is a Journey and this one is 100% mine.
I hope that my story helps to shed some light on your own personal situation. If I can help even just one person by spilling my inflamed guts, it’s so worth it. You are 100% not alone.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and my story.
Love, peace and coconut grease…
– Casandra Willis 🙂