Recovering from toxicity has led me down many paths that I could not have ever imagined. After a life-long battle with invisible illness, a brush with death opened up my eyes and altered my life permanently.
I began to seek answers to the debilitated condition my body was in after having a catastrophic side effect to the antibiotic, Levaquin, in my mid- thirties. The long journey to my awakening had begun long before, I had been on this collision course since birth.
I was born a child of biochemical warfare, the daughter, of an Army veteran exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. I had been born with a birth defect of the brain (Arnold Chiari), and a malformation of the urinary tract and genitalia that required emergency surgery at the age of five. Having a life treatening reaction to penicillin as a child, I began being adminsitered fluoroquinolone and sulfa-based antibiotics, for chronic urinary tract infections.
Up to that point I had many unexplained medical issues, and felt unwell a majority of the time. I had allergic and hyper sensitive reactions to many foods, and medications. I remember spending countless days and nights in doctors’ offices and hospitals. I was constantly being examined and tested for unusual symptoms, and injuries that perplexed the professionals.
My parents began to be treated with suspicion due to my odd nature and symptoms. I would be questioned often, by social workers and mental health practitioners. By early middle school I was being taken to psychologists and neurologists. I complained to my parents and the doctors that I was experiencing extreme pain.
The physical pain and confusion were compounded with the numerous doctor visits, and painful procedures. I suffered and was given many OTC and pharmaceutical medications as treatment, but nothing seemed to help. Though I drank antacids in great quantities, I continued to suffer from horrible digestive issues that continued for decades.
I was becoming more mentally unstable, there was no doubt that something was off, though no one was able to say just what and more importantly why. Most tests and labs were relatively normal and I began hearing the long time mantra, “You are just making this up for attention and need mental health intervention.” After meeting with a psychologist in the 6th grade, I tried to commit suicide for the first time. The rope did not hold, and I did not tell my parents why the ceiling fan was broken. I lived in a constant state of fear.
As my high school years began I was placed on an anti-depressant for what was diagnosed as serotonin deficiency. I began being switched to various medications, dosages constantly being adjusted.
After giving birth at the age of 21, I had a nervous breakdown, and was prescribed a benzodiazepine/anxiety medication called Klonopin. I took 2ml daily for years, and after reaching tolerance was switched to higher dosages of other benzodiazepines.
Over the following near two decades I was given countless anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, digestive, migraine, anti-fungal, and pain medications.
I had chronic bouts of psychosis, UTI, bladder, respiratory and yeast infections along with Bartonella, Epstein-Barr Virus and Babesia. I began taking opiate pain medication in my mid to late 20s due to high levels of unexplainable pain. I was given numerous CAT/MRI scans, and Xrays. I often had accidents where I would fall, being unable to use my legs.
In my mid thirties I was administered an antibiotic called Levaquin, along with steroids for a suspected infection. After the first dose my entire ride side became paralyzed and I developed severe neurological and digestive issues. I was screened for a stroke and then tested for MS and Huntington’s Disease. I looked as if I had Parkinson’s Disease and was then referred to NIH (National Institute of Health) for a movement disorder study.
At this point, I often required the assistance of a wheelchair or cane in walking for longer than a few minutes. I met with a team of neurologists, and again found no answers.
Unable to work and with no stable home, I went into a cold turkey withdrawal from a multitude of pharmaceuticals. The condition that I was in continued to decline into debilitating symptoms of agoraphobia, dystonia and akathisia. I became stuck in an aggressive wasting syndrome, leaving me looking emaciated and anorexic. Ultimately, I became primarily bedridden, unable to take care of my basic needs. I would spend days unable to leave my home, or even be able to get out of bed for food or to take a shower. The life long sensitivities I had experienced became heightened, and I became unable to tolerate many foods or chemicals, I reacted to everything!
After seeing a series of specialists the picture of these chronic health issues began to emerge. What had been written off and dismissed for decades as hypochondria and attention seeking was actually Mastocytosis, Asperger’s Syndrome, Ehler-Danlos and some seriously messed mitochondrial dysfunction.. It became clear that the decades of chronic illness were due fluoroquinolone toxicity, pharmaceutical withdrawal, cardiac, metabolic, and endocrine disorders, along with bacterial/parasitic/fungal infections, and SEVERE food allergies.
After altering many environmental, lifestyle, and eating habits I began to slowly improve. I spent the next three years primarily bedridden with limited function. Many people in my life viewed this as something I made up in an effort to get attention or just be lazy. Some people tried to help me, but just could not understand what was happening or how to help.
After a couple of years on natural treatments, I began to see hope in recovering as things slowly continued to improved. I regained use of my legs, the ability to see colors, smell, read, write, and FEEL! I began to be able to sleep and for the first time since childhood I felt happy, calm…I felt like myself! I began to break free from the chemical restraints that had been enslaving my mind and body for decades. I had found an escape from The Black Iron prison, and once out I decided I would not ever go back…I AM FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!
I stay dedicated and work hard to educate myself and others on what I am learning about regarding natural healing and toxicity related issues. A warning to those who enter the dark mines of toxicity, a Conscious Canary.
Today’s coal miners must rely on carbon monoxide detectors and monitors to recognize its presence underground. However, before the availability of modern detection devices, miners turned to Mother Nature for assistance. Canaries — and sometimes mice — were used to alert miners to the presence of the poisonous gas. Following a mine fire or explosion, mine rescuers would descend into the mine carrying a canary in a small wooden or metal cage. Any sign of distress from the canary was a clear signal that the conditions underground were unsafe, prompting a hasty return to the surface.