Search This Blog

Friday, May 8, 2015

Stepping Back a Minute - Why Did I See a Need For Something New?

I'm embarking on this exploration of oils for a lot of reasons, and it occurred to me that it might help for you to know those reasons in order to understand some of the choices I make along the way, and some of the oils I'm putting at the top of my list.  And maybe my experience might help someone else. . . which is ultimately my goal in sharing my experience anyway!  So I wanted to write a post to share my background and my present situation with you.

I was a very healthy kid - no major ailments, no major injuries, and a relatively typical upbringing.  I know now that I have suffered from allergies for a large part of my life, but at the time, we just called it my "summer cold" that I always seemed to catch in the spring, and never connected the dots.

As an adult, I was still relatively healthy.  Of course, I had colds here and there, but I didn't have anything major that I struggled with until I hit my 30s.  At that point I was diagnosed and treated for "situational depression and anxiety" with counseling and anti-depressants.  This was a completely new realm for me, having a diagnosis and prescription, and one that made me very uncomfortable.  Needless to say, as soon as I felt like I had gotten ahead of things, I dropped the counseling and the drugs.

Several years passed and I found myself in another new realm - I was having regular panic attacks at work, so severe that I felt like I was becoming ineffective at my job.  I resumed counseling and it was determined that my anxiety was a result of several major life changes (I had just gotten married, we were getting ready to move cross-country and both start new jobs - which we hadn't actually found yet, my husband was having health issues, and my parents were having health issues).  I figured the counselor was probably right, and moved on with my life.

Two years later, my husband and I were ready to start a family.  I got pregnant with very little effort and was blindsided by a miscarriage at the end of my first trimester.  I thought it was just a fluke and we worked with my OB to "get back on the horse".  Three months later I was pregnant again.  I had some issues during the third trimester with pre-eclampsia, but other than that, the pregnancy and birth were uneventful.  We went on to have two years of exhausted, parental bliss.  When we got pregnant again, two years later (right on schedule!) I never entertained the thought that I would miscarry again, but at 6 weeks, that was exactly what happened.  This time, I sunk into a period of depression and on the advice of my OB, we waited a while to begin trying again.  I was convinced that there was something I did that was causing the miscarriages, so I asked a lot of questions about things I'd noticed, to see if I should get them checked out before we tried again.  The questions I asked led her to wonder if I had a thyroid issue, and she referred me for further tests and a consultation with an endocrinologist.

A couple appointments, an ultrasound and a radioactive iodine test later, I was handed a diagnosis.  I had Graves' Disease.  I knew nothing about it and immediately researched every source I could find, bought a dozen books, and consulted every friend I knew with a thyroid problem. The idea of having an auto-immune disorder rattled me, and once again I found myself struggling with depression. But the good news is that all of the health issues I had been noticing in my adult life - from the miscarriages to the depression and anxiety, could all be connected to the Graves' Disease, as could things I'd just assumed were normal, like my very thin hair, my nails that didn't grow, my tendency to be over-emotional and always tired, and my "excellent metabolism".  Suddenly everything about my physical and emotional self tied back to one condition.  So we medicated.

Fast forward a few years, I have had given birth to another healthy baby boy with no complications, and I am keeping my Graves' in control through regular bloodwork and medication.  In fact, I am deemed to be "in remission" and we are able to gradually decrease my dosage until I am eventually off of my medication all together.  During a routine biometrics check for our annual benefits review, I am given a new diagnosis - hyperlipidemia.  Yes, high cholesterol.  The statins that have been a part of my husband's life for so many years will now be a part of mine.   And shortly after, the anxiety issues appear again.  So now I am back in counseling, back on anti-depressants, still on statins, and wondering if I should be back on my thyroid meds, since something is just not right!!  Nobody knows me like me, and even though my tests show me still in remission, my body is showing signs of issues!  Meanwhile, I struggle with seasonal allergies, I have frequent muscle and back pain (from regular exercise and poor posture), I deal every month with PMS symptoms and cramps, I am tired and crabby most days, and I have trouble sleeping at night.  AND THAT'S JUST ME!!!!

I also have a husband and two sons who have allergy issues, dietary challenges, seem to constantly have colds or stomach bugs, and are always dealing with the everyday cuts, scrapes, aches and pains.  So even though I started into oils with no specific ailments in mind, every time I open a book, an email, or a webpage about the benefits and uses of oils, I see yet another way that I could use them in our lives.  In future posts I will share more about what specific oils I'm using, and how, but I wanted you to know some of my history to understand why I started looking for an alternative treatment in the first place.

If you're interested in becoming a Young Living member, click here!