Yesterday, I didn’t experience any soreness in my legs all. I ascended a flight of stairs at work, as usual. I enjoyed a two mile evening walk, as usual. But one thing was notably different. I didn’t stop once to rest my legs. For the first time in over 20 months, I walked further than across the house without feeling like I’d run a just marathon. By the time we reached the front door, I was crying because the sense of accomplish I felt was equivalent to that of having just crossed the finish line.
And then, today, I woke up feeling tired and nauseous, symptoms that have lingered. Two steps forward and one step back is still progress, right? I’m still catch small glimpses of healing in my reflection.
Over the last seven weeks, I’ve hit some milestone that feel huge for me. Working with a dietician and following my personalized plan has been the life-changing factor. I provided a hair sample, which was analyzed to show what my body was processing. Based on my results, the dietitian hypothesized that everything–hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome, the soft tissue tumors, and generally feeling crappy–is the result of toxin overload and mineral imbalances. The initial valley fever infection threw my body out of equilibrium and, ever since, my body hasn’t had the resources to function well, let alone optimally.
To say that the last five years have been challenging would be a gross understatement. And now, for the first time in a long time, the good days are beginning to outweigh the bad. One step forward. Rest. Repeat.
It’s a slow process. I’m learning what foods within my current plan are well-tolerated and which are not. I’m adjusting my behavior, testing physical capabilities without overstepping them. I’m coming to accept that my body may still require 12 hours of sleep, during which to recover. I am taking time, each day, to celebrate the micro-wins. There have been lots of wows, thank yous, and happy tears lately.
The dietary and supplement changes should register on my next round of testing. All the systems that have been stressed, strained, and shut off for years should (hopefully!) begin firing up again. My body has begun taking those first few effortful steps towards healing itself. And I am now giving it the tools and the resources to do so. It is working to establish a new level of well-being. Eventually, likely within the next 6 to 48 months, I will begin to resemble my old self again–fit, energized, vibrantly alive.
However, those countless steps backwards will have changed me. My health journey has taught (or, if I’m being honest, forced) me to rearrange my priorities, remove stressors, and simply chill out. I’ve learned patience; big healing happens when we’re ready for it, and no sooner. While there is still a lengthy journey ahead, for the first time in a long time, I not only have hope but also the deep belief that the future is pregnant with possibility. I believe that this health crisis is laying the foundation for something meaningful.