Hi there! A little update from me. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been active on here recently. Odd, because I have been very active in other areas of my life. Or just active, period.
For the last 2.5 years, I have been ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E. for short, also called Chronic Fatique Syndrome, though many people think that name does not capture the seriousness and symptoms of the illness). I would say that there have been times that I have been severely ill. Only my boyfriend knows how sick I really was. My family witnessed it once when we were on holiday to Italy and I spent two out of ten days sleeping. I had to be pushed around in a wheelchair because I was too weak to walk, and even then I was exhausted and overstimulated. It was a great holiday in a great country, but it still stings so think back to how ill I felt.
My illness began when I was 23. I’m 26 now, and I think I’m finally healing. We just moved into our second place we rented together. Even before the move I had the flu and a throat infection I couldn’t shake. The flu eventually subsided, but the weeks after I grew more and more exhausted. Now, when I say “exhausted”, I mean really exhausted. I mean that walking felt like walking upstream through water with rocks in my shoes all the time. I mean it was hard to lift a fork or hold a glass of water. Or get a glass of water from the kitchen. Every movement hurt. Following conversations and understanding words became hard. Sounds hurt my ears and my head. My boyfriend had to whisper to me and even then I preferred he would stop talking.
I struggled to finish as much classes I could and thought I’d be better after the long summer break. I would slow down and really rest. That summer I spent sleeping or sitting in my garden on a little chair, trying to stay awake. My boyfriend forced me to keep walking, even just 100 metres, but some days I just simply couldn’t do it. We actually fought over it, because it was starting to scare him too and I just wanted to sleep all the time. I had started taking antidepressants too, because around the same time I was having major panick attacks over literally nothing, and I thought it was just the side effects wearing me down. I’d get better.
And I did. At least I thought I did.
The next schoolyear I went back to University. I studied Pyschology, which I loved. I worked incredibly hard because I’m not superintelligent like most people there, I was working on will-power, because that is what I do. I finished the courses and even passed an extra course (about how medicine used in psychology affect the brain, just so darn interesting). So I thought I was doing better. And then I crashed. Hard.
I slept days on end. Every little thing took so much energy I simply did not have. I tried to push through. God, I tried hard. But in January the next year (2016) I decided I could not do it anymore. I would take six months to heal and start again the next year. But it got worse and worse and eventually I had become actually handicapped, crippled by the disease. I walked like I was drunk, talked like that too, was overstimulated in no time, couldn’t do anything, barely (not) functioning. My boyfriend took care of me (thank the Universe for him), and the cat, and the household, and worked fulltime to finish his studies. His endless patience and love has gotten me through everything. He loved me through it. And it wasn’t easy at all. But he never complained. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve him.
I visited doctors, got bloodwork done, and nothing was found. My doctor initially thought I was having a burnout, but I had that before and this was definitely different. I was tested on lyme’s disease and any other disease he could think of. He really wanted to help me, but didn’t know how. Eventually I was referred to a rehabilitation center to help me deal with the illness, because no one knew how to cure it.
It helped a lot. I learned how to spread my energy throughout the day so I could do more. But it was still not much of a life. I was home all the time. Mostly alone, because my boyfriend had to go to classes. It was lonely. After a while, I couldn’t even read anymore. Nothing interested me when I was that exhausted. Only the next breath counts when you are this tired. I actually felt I was dying at times, scared I wouldn’t have enough energy in my body to keep breathing. When I think about it, it still shocks me how severly ill I have been.
I tried all kinds of diets. Bloodtest showed no allergies, but I tried glutenfree anyway. Bought a shitload of glutenfree products only to find out it made no difference. Cut all refined sugar out of my diet helped quite a bit, I felt more energized (though still very much exhausted) and more clear in my thinking.
But the thing that helped me most… The thing I never thought I would even consider…
I went vegan.
Full plant-based. No meat (no problem, my boyfriend is vegetarian so I already never ate meat at home), no dairy (loved cheese, but do not love what is actually in there) and no eggs.
I know what you’re thinking. But I am not here to bully you into becoming vegan. I’m here to tell you about my own experience and the things I’ve read. I’m here to tell you how corrupted the food industry really is. And I’m here to tell you to, for God’s sake, up your fruit and vegetable intake.
So what happened was, I started praying. I’m not religious. Wasn’t raised to believe in God, actually I was raised (at least by my dad) to believe in science. But I was getting seriously desperate, and I started asking for guidance. I asked for healing. I asked for help with every fiber in my body. But I will tell you more about that in another post. Yes, that’s right, I’m back!
First, I found Medical Medium on Instagram. Now, I’m not that spiritual. I like my research done by humans, not angels. I have nothing against it at all, and I might be starting to believe in angels or energies like that more, but when it comes to actual facts and research, for me it has to be done by humans who know their shit.
But the thing was, as much as I didn’t believe in angels having that much factual knowledge, people were healing. And fast too. I never read the book, but I did follow his Instagram account and also of people healing on his diet. And his diet is fully plantbased. I have always been very interested in food and nutrition, but was getting lost in all the contradicting opinions by people who are considered experts. I went looking for the perfect book, a book who would tell me all about the power of food, what is in food and how to use it to heal, based on research. And I found it. And I recommend it strongly to you and everyone else. On this website I will tell you all about it, I will summarize it, list sources for you to go to if you need extra reassurance that the research was done right (like every meat-and dairy consumer suddenly asks me about). I will provide everything and let you decide what to do with it.
I will tell you about it in the next post (soon, I promise!), so stay tuned! In the meantime, follow me on instagram.com/thehappyspoonieproject or facebook.com/thehappyspoonieproject to keep track of my amazing, fast and miraculous recovery. I’m not there yet, but I have a very strong feeling I won’t be ill much longer. In less than two weeks I felt my energy levels gradually rising, inflammation lessen, and I can’t even tell you how amazing I feel now.