My Story Part II: What Went Right

In Part 1 of my story, we covered how I got sick, why I got sick, and the first few years of illness. I know it was a pick-me-up. Let's get to the good stuff now. It will look less than good for a second, but stay with me. 

2013. By summer 2013, I'd realized that all the prescriptions I had tried were harming more than helping. I had no outside encouragement to lead me to this conclusion, only the side effects they caused and the lack of improvement I gained from them. I (safely) got off of whatever I was still on and declined my doctor's future suggestions. I was still miserable, but I had the comfort of knowing whatever I dealt with was coming from my body and not whatever drug I was currently on. At this point, a newlywed, I was in bed a lot, unable to do the usual housewife tasks, unable to go to church much at all, and very sensitive to sounds and lights. I only left home to go to the doctor, and my husband drove me there. Restaurants were overwhelming, between the music, the talking, and the lights; I would quickly, visibly go into sensory overload and shut down in situations like that and we would have to leave.

Fall 2013. Living back and forth from bed to desk, I was given a DVD presentation through a friend by a semi-local doctor who claimed that "unhealable" illnesses like Fibromyalgia, MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and much more were healable. He himself had healed from MS. This was such a novel statement to me that my first inclination was that he must be a crook. Literally no onein person or onlinehad ever led me to believe that healing could be a thing. But I was, obviously, so miserable and desperate, my husband and I decided to make the 45-minute drive and see him. I fully expected to find him to be crazy. 

Instead, I came back home and walked around outside taking pictures. I was no better. Nothing had changed. But I was riding the high of a brand new hope I hadn't even dreamed existed that was enough to buoy me to do something purely enjoyable for a bit. My life took a new (roller-coaster) direction from then on out.

I began treatment with him soon after and we went there twice a week for months. He started me on a gut-healing diet, supplements, oxygen therapy, and acupuncture/pressure. I had never done anything at all like this, and it was fairly mystifying to me, but I was totally on board. Why not?

In less than a year my treatment had to come to a close with him because we moved states, but by this point I had also realized that I would not be healing through his care. It just hit me one night, for no particular reason, and it was devastating. But at the time I didn't realize that was not because I would never heal but because it wasn't time yet. And while I did have some small improvements over that time, my biggest takeaway was the knowledge that healing might actually be a thing, for me and also for others who had been handed a blanket diagnosis and sent out the door, drugs in hand.

Spring 2015-Spring 2017. In a new state, I began seeing a new doctor, incidentally the one who had helped my previous doctor heal from MS. He started us out with seemingly a million in-depth testsfar more in-depth than anything they touch in mainstream careand what do you know: I was very sick. Actually, the results were so overwhelmingly complicated, I wondered how I was functioning at all. Over the course of my time with him, we found I had Lyme Disease, mercury poisoning, the MTHFR gene mutation, likely Celiac Disease, the chicken pox virus lodged in my gut, leaky gut syndome, many deficiencies, food sensitivities, and much, much more that gradually showed itself as we made progress and pealed back more layers. We didn't treat in terms of diagnosis; we didn't mask in terms of symptoms; we healed in terms of root causes. At this point, I knew that healing was finally on its way, so I decided to make a list of all of the symptoms I had, since I knew I would eventually forget them. (And I was right.) There were 75.

By the time of my next lab work, I had improved. Improved. I had never experienced that before, and it was unreal. I steadily improved with every round of lab work from then on out. Between a gut-healing diet, Field Control Therapy, and supplements tailored to my body's changing needs, we made actual, obvious progress. (More details on that in this post.) I started to be able to actually cook or clean sometimes. I would make it to church once every three months or so. But by the end of 2016, it was getting frustrating. I knew healing takes time, and I was as patient as I could be, assuring impatient skeptics onlookers around me that healing was indeed happening. And it was. But how I was feeling and living day to day was not matching my lab results. I should have been doing fantastic and I just was not. What could very well have been the grand finale of healing for some people was not for me. And we figured out why.

Spring 2017. The beginning of 2017, I saw someone's post on Instagram about their issues with chronic illness. I don't remember if they asked for suggestions, but I saw that one person commented telling them to do DNRS. As active as I was in the #spoonie community on Instagram, I had never heard of that. I looked it up and it made my brain hurt: The Dynamic Neural Retraining System, a program to retrain your brain. The testimonials were unreal, yet it also seemed too simple to be so life-changing. I showed it to my husband and we put it aside for a while. But by February, we decided to order the program and do it, going alternately back and forth on if we thought it might actually be my missing puzzle piece. It didn't take long for us to realize it was.

March 20, 2017. On this day, I started DNRS. (I am currently steadily amassing a large number of posts on DNRS specifically and so won't go into the program itself here.) The first or second night, I woke up and started crying and told my husband, "I just feel different." Our poor brains tend to read anything "different" as scary or bad simply out of unfamiliarity. And let's just say I didn't cry sad or scared tears over this experience again. 

One of my most obvious symptoms at that time was sensitivity to sounds. Our fridge had a habit of making a sudden, loud popping noise and it always physically startled me to my core. By a few days into the program, I noticed that when the fridge would do that, it was still loud to me, but it was like there was a protective bubble around me making the sound not so earth-quakingly jarring; that was the best way I could describe it. In reality, my limbic system was calming down and not taking in senses in such an exaggerated way.

Three weeks in, I went to Sunday morning church. And I went consistently after that. Happy tears became a common occurrence, and I often found myself saying, "I just feel so good!" and "How am I doing this?" while doing things like vacuuming. By May, my husband and I had planned a beach vacation, which we hadn't done since 2013 in the thick of illness. Right before our trip, I cleaned the apartment, since I grew up with the mindset that you clean before you leave so you come back to a clean home. Let's just say my husband was not happy. He had lived with someone who could hardly clean and when they did, they were useless for days; we had this huge trip planned, and he had every reason to think I'd just wrecked our vacation. I calmly assured him I would be fine. And I was. We both had to retrain our brainsmine out of illness and his out of his wife being ill and unable.

That beach vacation will be talked about in our marriage for as long as we live. When we had gone in 2013, I basically laid on the beach (someI am as pale as they come), got in the water some, and hung out at the condo, with minimal shopping. We didn't really do much of anything because I couldn't. This time, we played on the beach, we went walking on the beach at night, I ran on the beach just because I could, we went shopping at lots of little shops, we cooked, we went out to eat and I ate foods I previously could not, and we rode the claustrophobia-inducing, gigantic sky wheel. I lived. And it was unreal. 

While healing is not linear, so healing with DNRS isn't either, I improved and improved. I couldn't even call myself chronically ill by summer. And just when I thought I was so hugely improved, I'd look back at that time three months later and realize I was even further improved. I firmly believe that just as our brains spiral and give way to deeper and deeper illness, when we retrain our brains to health, they spiral and give way to greater and greater health. 

And now, four years later, I am still a brand new person. Note that I did not say a whole different person, because I am not. I am still me, just shined up and renewed. My gifts and deepest passions are still there. But all that I am now was there before, just waiting and hidden under layers and layers of ignorance and toxins and pain and brain fog. I didn't know that I could heal, much less how. And now I cannot help but proclaim from the rooftops that the hope is very real. God made it that way.

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More to see:

Learn more about how I healed here.

Learn more about DNRS in my FAQs page here and on their website here.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional, and nothing I say is to be taken as medical advice. I speak only of my personal experience.

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