Friday, February 26, 2010

Hanging On to My Vision

In 2004 when I agreed to go on medications for rheumatoid arthritis it felt wrong to me, but also felt like where I needed to be at that time. In the back of my mind I told myself this would not be a lifelong pattern for me. I knew someday I would be off medications and working towards healing in a way that fits who I am. In February of 2008 I took the leap and went off medications. As I battled the temper tantrum my body gave to not having the meds, I held a vision of healing in my mind day after day knowing that when the time was right, my body would have what it needs to be strong and healthy again.

My vision of natural healing has been challenged many times over the two years that I have been medication free, but I have never once seriously considered going back on meds. I just knew my body needed more than what I was giving it and with time it would come. This last flare though really challenged my vision. It didn't take it away, but it strongly challenged it. During this flare my mind continued to remember my body will heal (thanks to everyone that kept reminding me), but the strength to fight just wasn't there.

I decided that I needed help. My plan was this: First I would call my rheumatologist and ask for a round of prednsione to get me through this flare. (This was a really hard decision for me to make.) Second, I would visit my naturopath and get a new plan of action going to speed up the healing process. Well, both plans failed. I have not used our insurance in a long time and had complications with that which prevented me from seeing the rheumatologist and then I wasn't able to get in to see my naturopath. Do you ever feel like the universe is working to lead you in the direction that your heart knows is best?

As this month long temper tantrum my body has been throwing is starting to calm down, I am glad there were complications with insurance and I wasn't able to get the prednsione and I am glad my naturopath couldn't see me and I was forced to look for alternatives. My husband keeps reminding me that we haven't exhausted all of our options and we will keep looking until we find what works. The complications in my plans helped push me to look at other options.

What I decided to do was visit the National University of Health Sciences clinic near my house. There I have access to naturopaths, chiropractors, massage therapy, acupuncture, lab work, Chinese Medicine, and much more at a reduced rate! My first two visits were a little frustrating, but in the end I was glad I stayed and shared my frustrations and needs with them rather than just leaving because today I sat down with my new naturopath and discussed my new plan of action. I like the plan and feel very optimistic about it. In fact, after my appointment I feel optimistic about everything!!!

Rheumatoid arthritis has really asked a lot of me in the last six years. It has asked me to dig deep to figure out who I really am as an individual , it has challenged me on how much physical pain I can handle, and it has repeatedly tested to see if I will stay true to my vision of natural healing. I feel almost giddy with excitement today knowing that I am successfully making it through each of the requests RA has placed on me. I am looking forward to following a plan that is working towards my goals of natural healing. I am glad to see that the direction I originally felt I needed to go when I started the Body Ecology Diet is the direction that my health professionals also find important. I am glad that I am following a plan that just feels right to me and honors who I am. I am glad that I have a vision of my body healing because that is exactly what it is going to do!


  1. Yeah! Hang in there and continue fighting the monsters -- you have, and can, do it. I will always be here to support you. I love you so much and admire your courage and strength to get through this. Mom

  2. I know it must be hard but you are my hero my inspiration and I know you can fight through this. I try not to take meds for anything now and try to find natural ways of dealing with pains I have. I even was able to help a lady at the gym whose doctors couldn't tell her what was wrong I told her to go glutten free and guess what it solved her problem I would never have known this had it not been for all your sharing. You are wonderful and I know for a fact that you are good at fighting so come on fight and feel better.

  3. I'm so glad to know that your pain is easing, Cathy, and that you're doing what you know is best for you, yourself. This is deeply important, I think. While I wish you could take advantage of a "magic bullet" like prednisone, I certainly understand your reluctance about it. I've never taken it (it has never been offered for my pain, either), but everything I've learned about it from other RA bloggers makes me glad I haven't.

    You're such a brave and very strong person! I admire your courage in facing down the rheuma dragon -- and you inspire me to continue my own journey into a healthier diet and lifestyle. Thank you for sharing your adventure.

  4. I admire your courage, you a really an inspiration. I was completely med-free for about two years, and during those two years I had some of my best times in the past half decade and some of my worst times in the past half decade. After a horrible MTX experience of 12+ months, I decided that I would return to meds but with caution. I too have told myself to get through the past few flares without goal is not be be a stoic, but it's just what I felt was right for me. You know what is right for you, and in the end that is what is best for you. Hand in there!

  5. I'm so glad to hear that you are finally starting to get a break. You have no idea how much I appreciate the time you took to share with me your feelings on my post..thank you!

    I hope your new naturopath and all the office has to offer helps to get you in tip top shape, quickly!!

    Good've raised my optimism, too! :)

  6. Wow Cathy. What a wonderful blog and list of sharing. You are an inspiration and provide hope for many others...not just your family. Hang in there. We are always there to support you in whatever way we. We love you more than you may ever know!
    Mike and Therese

  7. Everything is as it should be Cathy. You are brave and strong. Day to day or hour to hour if you have to. All the best to you.

  8. Cathy,
    It's so good to hear that you have a new plan of action that doesn't compromise who you are. When you talked about being on the mtx I felt like you were talking about me. Good luck on this new course. You really have been an inspiration to me.

  9. Yeah I know what it is like to have the universe working against you sometimes, but things always seem to work out in the end. I'm glad that you found a method of healing that works best for you and fits within your ethics. It must have been very challenging to make that decision to go off the meds, you are very courageous.

  10. I'm glad that the natural way is working for you. I have tried not to use medicine as well but sometimes that doesn't work. This is the longest flareup I've had since Christmas and I may have to do six days of Prednisone to get me through this. I'll think about it until Monday though, won't rush into it. Feel better...ciao

  11. Cathy, I'm glad you're going the route that will leave you with no regrets. You have to do what you feel is right for you, and your commitment to that is inspiring.

    I am still thinking of you often and hoping your pain is less and less each day.

  12. You are such an inspiration to me (and so many others), Cathy. Truly, truly, truly!!