By: Jena with Hope Instilled, Inc.
This is my Story of Severe Chronic Pain and Depression, Unraveling the Truth Behind Chronic Pain, and Finding Nothing but Light at the End of the Tunnel!
This ISN’T just a story of pain, finding hope, and finding the right treatment for me.
This ISN’T a story of going on some special diet that only works for my specific symptoms.
This IS a story about finding the truth out about chronic illnesses – that most people don’t know. It’s about finding a successful alternative treatment that can help a lot of people who suffer from a chronic illness to get their life back. IF they can be open-minded.
Right Place, Right Time Plus an Open Mind
In December of 2015, I prayed like crazy for God to take away my chronic pain. I started going to church more just hoping for some sort of miracle. I didn’t actually believe I was going to be magically cured, but I was desperate. And this story isn’t about being magically cured, because that definitely didn’t happen. I thought going to church more might help with the depression, as well. It wasn’t helping too much, but listening to K-Love on the radio helped me to hold back the tears on several occasions. I wasn’t very involved in the church and was still new. So I felt compelled to join a night group that teaches you more about being a Christian. I didn’t really enjoy going most of the time, and that’s nothing to do with the class. I just didn’t enjoy much because I was too depressed. Not only did I have seasonal depression, but also depression from the chronic pain. So it was bad.
In the class, I met this lady who had been diagnosed with progressive breast cancer nearly a year ago. She told us about how she had been going to some holistic doctor for over a year for treatments, instead of chemotherapy. She also told the group that she was going to the medical doctor soon to be retested to see if the cancer was gone. A week or two later, she happily announced the cancer was gone completely. I was shocked! I had never met someone who had beat cancer without chemotherapy. All I could think is “if this doctor could help someone with a life threatening illness like cancer, why couldn’t this doctor fix me?” I asked her for the contact information that night. But, I didn’t have my hopes up. I was still very unsure of whether or not this doctor would be able to help me. Although she thought he would.
Trying Alternative Treatments: Holistic Doctor
In late January, I met with the holistic doctor, Marty Johnson at Total Health & Nutrition Center. Marty explained to me that the pain I was having wasn’t from just getting the flu. I had problems long before that which were just slowly progressing and getting worse with time. The flu was just the tipping point. He explained to me that the time it would take my body to heal depended upon how long I was having problems. Marty told me the first thing he finds wrong may not be the only thing. He explained to me how the process works like an onion and as we slowly peel back the layers, we may find more and more things wrong each time.
Finding the Problems
Marty explained the method of diagnosing he would be using to find problems in my body. I’ve never heard of it before in my life. This method of diagnosis and treatment is called Muscle Testing (follow the link to learn all about it). I laid down with my arm in the air and he would tap with just two fingers right below my wrist and see if my arm moved when he put these vials on my body. It was weird that it would move sometimes and other times not. It felt like he was applying more pressure at some points which made my arm move, but he assured me he was not. He stuck pills in my hand and my body would tell him if those pills would help through the movement of my arm. He could figure out the dosage too, just by asking my body. It was weird, but cool.
I learned how the supplements were an all-natural solution to actually treat the source of my chronic pain. Then, my body would have the ability to heal itself. They weren’t like medication that covers up the problem or only provides temporary relief. They had no side effects. I was a bit skeptical, but I had nothing else to try. I just kept thinking about the woman at my church who was ecstatic to be cancer free.
Finding The Reason for My Pain
My first diagnosis was having too much chlorine in my body. Marty gave me all-natural supplements to help with that. I also changed the water I was drinking and installed a new shower filter. It really made no sense to me why the chlorine levels were high. The water I drank growing up and my current water at home was never high in chlorine. I’m telling you this because you really never know what you have been exposed to throughout your life. I went back in a month and he told me I had a soy sensitivity. This didn’t surprise me. I had some of my worst painful attacks from what I thought might be soy. It seemed like half of our grocery items contained soy. But, we did manage to cut it out. I also avoided it at restaurants for a while too. It explained why half my food bothered my stomach.
The major diagnosis was my liver wasn’t functioning right. So I was given supplements for that too. He said that explained just about all my pain (head, neck, back, stomach, chest, fatigue, and constipation). Over a few months, he kept adding more supplements and changing some out. He told me I had a slight gluten sensitivity too. But, I didn’t have any direct pain from gluten so I didn’t cut it out completely. I was spending a lot of money without seeing any drastic results. I questioned whether it was the right decision. But, I decided I needed to give it more time.
My doctor also encouraged me to keep a journal of everything I ate for a few months. The nutritionist then gave me feedback on how healthy my diet was at every appointment. I was also told me about some chemicals to avoid in my food. However, I was already avoiding them.
Solution for My Fatigue
During this time, I was looking for some probiotics at the Vitamin Shoppe and I was introduced to this powder called “Green Superfood” by the manager working at the time. She told me with this and Vitamin D & Vitamin C my body would have all the vitamins it needs. I figured it was worth a try. I started adding it to my water every morning and my energy levels noticeably improved. My fatigue greatly improved. It worked amazingly well! I don’t suffer from fatigue anymore, but I see the benefits to it so I still drink it just about every day. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.
From Severe Pain to Manageable Pain
After about 3 to 4 months maybe, I started to slowly notice that I only had one day a week of severe pain. Then, all of a sudden I went a whole week with not one day of being stuck on the couch. Foods that once bothered me no longer caused me pain. After about six months of seeing Dr. Marty, I started going a few weeks to a month without any debilitating pain. It was truly working!
Conquering Seasonal Depression
In November of 2016, I was doing pretty well. I was happy and I felt good most of the time. Then, the darkness started to come earlier and earlier and I was incredibly tired once again and extremely depressed. I didn’t want to work, although I love my work. I had every reason in the world to be happy and I wasn’t. I woke up and felt like crying. I told myself how great my life was, but my mental thoughts didn’t line up with what I was feeling. The pain was worse. Just by looking at the snow I was depressed. It finally occurred to me to ask Marty for something to help. I didn’t know if he could, but it was worth a try.
He told me there were some supplements that can help. He tested my body for a supplement called MinChex. Which my body approved of. I took it two days and noticed I felt normal, happy even. I would look at the snow and it wouldn’t bother me. Then, I forgot to take it for a full day and went back to being depressed. It was literally crazy! A night and day difference in how I felt. I took it every day throughout the Winter and I felt like my Summer self for the first Winter in my life time. I literally didn’t believe it was possible to be so happy in Winter. I thought about moving some place warm thousands of times. My husband never understood the depression. Then, he saw the way this simple natural little pill changed me. It had nothing to do with my thoughts. I spent so much time feeling guilty for being depressed in the winter, and it wasn’t my fault. It had everything to do with a chemical imbalance in my body.
Muscle testing can help with clinical depression too, not just seasonal. Depression can be caused by chemical imbalances.
Solving My Hormonal Issues
Although my pain improved, during my monthly cycle the chronic pain got worse. Depression took over me too, and my supplement for seasonal depression did nothing to help with it. Marty then gave me an at-home hormone test to do. It was sent to a special lab. The results came back that I had high estrogen levels (and by the way, soy mimics estrogen in the body so this explained my sensitivity). He told me it wasn’t helping with my liver problems. And I could just wait to schedule an appointment with him again, once that problem was resolved. He gave me the information for a hormone specialist, and I scheduled an appointment in January of 2017. After some tests, I found out not only are my estrogen levels high, but I’m also allergic to two of my hormones. What?? It’s possible to be allergic to your own hormones? I know that’s what I thought too, but yes! I was given drops for the allergies and progesterone cream to balance my hormones. I knew I had hormone problems since college. However, my regular doctor just prescribed the pill. Which I think made things worse. My body was receiving artificial hormones for nearly four years.
After three months, I saw no real results. I went back to my hormone doctor and she gave me another test. She found all sorts of chemical imbalances that resulted in symptoms including: (anxiousness, sleep difficulties, excess energy, immune stress, focus issues, fatigue, and weight issues). Wow? Right! I wasn’t seeing all these symptoms, but I could see how a few made sense. In case you are curious these imbalances I had were called: GABA, Glycine, Glutamate, and Epinephrine. She put me on a supplement to help. After a few months, my problems improved and the hormonal depression disappeared. I was retested after 6 months and my hormones finally balanced themselves. But, I haven’t been retested yet, to see if these chemical imbalances have been resolved. I feel great though!
Could there possibly be anything more wrong with me? Yes!
Although I knew my hormone problems were getting resolved, I just kept thinking about how Marty had mentioned doing metals testing when I returned. I decided I wanted to be healed faster! So I no longer cared about the cost. I just knew at this point that I wouldn’t be surprised if I had high metals in my body too. So I went back to have a metals test done. It came back with positive results. I had lead toxicity. My lead levels were supposed to be under 2 and I was at a level 10. And guess what? Lead messes with your hormones, so it’s a good thing I went back for the test!
My doctor informed me that most of the lead was probably from birth. I wasn’t from the lead paint era, but my parents were. We tested our water at home and it didn’t show heavy traces of lead. I would have never thought I had heavy metals in my body. How many people do you think are walking around with toxic metals in their body without even knowing it? Marty told me that lead can severely affect hormones and it’s probably why I have always had an imbalance.
Chiropractor for Back and Neck Pain
I went to see a chiropractor on top of my other two doctors. I had some unresolved neck and back pain. Once again, I didn’t see results right away, but I trusted I would get there eventually. It was over a month before I really noticed definite improvement, although I was going twice a week. It has now been pretty much resolved, and I’m just going for general wellness checkups.
So, Let’s Recap. My hormones were impacting my liver problems. And the metals in my body were causing my hormone problems. And of course, my liver problems impacted my body’s ability to remove the metals and balance my hormones. Then, I also had soy messing with my hormones making my liver problems worse. That’s how messed up my body was or is! This was the viscous pain cycle I was in before finding treatments.
Going to this holistic doctor for muscle testing led me to finding all these problems and being treated for all of these problems! I was able to find all these puzzle pieces which together pretty much explain my chronic illness.
Problems Found with Solutions: Chlorine in my body, food sensitivities, liver not functioning right, seasonal depression, hormone allergies, hormone imbalances, chemical imbalances, toxic metals, and nervous system not functioning right.
Trying to Live Without the Supplements
I went cold turkey at one point. I stopped taking all my pills wondering if maybe I didn’t really need them. Then, all my pain came flooding back in and it was like I had gone back a year in time. My husband made me promise to never do that again. Once I started taking my supplements again, I did immediately go back to feeling normal. I found dosages will decrease over time as my body heals. My doctor does tell me when I can take less of something, or remove it altogether. I’ve learned to trust in my body and trust in him.
Just Normal Life Living with a Chronic Illness
I’m still being treated for my liver, my hormones, and metals in my body. However, I feel normal 95% of the time. I still have doctor visits, still pay quite a bit of money for all my health problems, and still take numerous supplements. But, I got my life back! So I don’t care. I work full time now on my business. I can do anything I want without worrying about being in pain. It’s a night and day difference from how I felt then to how I feel now.
I’m actually happier than I’ve ever been at any other point in my life! I fully appreciate everything I have, because I know what it’s like to live with pain and live without it. I appreciate life more! I know what it is like to wake up depressed in general and with pain on top of it. I almost never get stressed or worry about the future, and I used to all the time. I literally long for nothing more out of my life. I feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be in my personal life and career life. I just want to help other people who suffer from chronic pain, depression, and a myriad of other illnesses. I want people to know the truth about the world we live in.
Part 3: Unraveling the Truth Behind Chronic Pain on what I’ve learned (that most people don’t know) from being chronically sick and healed, and how it has changed my life.
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