My very first blog post for my newfound health and life has to be a post on grace, gratitude & hope.
A life of gratitude is what fills my heart these days. Life looks much different now than it did 4 years ago.
Four years ago, being a breast cancer survivor for 17 years, was not for the faint of heart. I was in heart failure, ejection fraction critically low, needed a pacemaker, was coming up on 18 years of oxycontin, and Dilaudid 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Handfuls of medications for everything from anxiety, depression, high BP, and neuropathy just to name a few. I walked with a walker, and could barely take care of myself.
The damage from medications, chemo & radiation, 20 years ago, had taken its toll on my body. I was tired and had had enough, physically and emotionally. I had all but given up. I knew enough medically to know my body was tired of fighting, and frankly, my mind and heart were as well.
After many prayers, and one last ditch effort to find an answer, a cure, and or any hope of a plan to turn my health around, I headed to Google for anything I could find. I prayed for answers, for direction, for an ounce of hope. Two doctors seemed to keep coming up. They both spoke to my soul and gave me hope. Their teachings gave me peace and direction.
I watched and listened to them for months. Living with headphones on to just listen to them over and over. Soaking in as much as my tired brain could absorb.
Dr. Livingood to the rescue
One specialized in cleaning up all the toxins, proper spinal alignment, fitness, and rebuilding health at the cellular level. His name was Dr. Blake Livingood. A Primary Care Physician & Chiropractor located in North Carolina. His backstory and passion to save his father from the healthcare system drew me in. A doctor that was calling BS on "protocol", and helping people build true health, without more medications than were needed.
Dr. Livingood, (yes that is his real name). He was in North Carolina and was taking patients. His holistic approach to health resonated with me. He and his team helped me for months long distance, doing challenges and cleaning up my life as best we could from afar.
When I was able to travel to work with him personally, we traveled from Ohio to North Carolina to work with him for days. He and his team worked me over, literally! Everything from proper posture and alignment, freeing up the impinged nerves that were feeding my heart, to working on my heart rate variability, and learning to calm down my nervous system.
We worked on exercises to regain mobility, supplements to help heal my nerves, clean my liver, and support health regeneration. He helped me start to find a way to heal my neuropathy, which would in turn help me be able to get off of the narcotics and other pain meds.
Dr. Livingood gave me hope and we left there feeling so blessed to have found hope. In the months to follow, my ejection fraction began to come up, my anxiety was decreasing and I was eating high-density nutrition foods. I began to see a shift, a change in my body. I kept diving in deeper, learning more and more about the inflammation in my body. How to decrease and heal this chronic inflammation that had consumed me and caused me so much pain.
Answer to Many Prayers
The second Doctor was an Internal Medicine Physician, & Brain Specialist, Dr. Annette Bosworth (aka Dr. Boz) as we affectionately call her. She is a doctor with passion, in it for the right reasons, and determination to save her own momma from a life-altering cancer. This was a passion I could relate to as my own momma is fighting cancer as well. She spoke to my heart and soul.
The love and dedication she devoted to helping her momma was heart-wrenching. The two of them shared a love that only a mother and daughter would understand, and most of us could have only dreamed of.
A New Form Of NUTRITION
Her way of healing her mom, and others, went against everything I believed in and was taught in nutrition classes. This process she spoke of called Nutritional Ketosis consisted of Meat and fat. Two things I have avoided most of my adult life. I had to put blinders on and just listen and re-learn everything.
This way of eating clean and healthy was through nutritional ketosis, and her course Keto Continuum Course taught me just that. One step at a time. Eliminating carbs and sugar to allow the decrease of inflammation, is what this foreign lifestyle & class entailed.
Dr. Boz was a woman that spoke to my soul. She is strong and fierce. She had a determination to save her momma (Grandma Rose), that was palpable. This determination was the same drive I finally had to find to save my own life. Her course had a plan, it had a checklist, and it gave me the next level to push towards.
This program gathered all of the keto information, that I was struggling to comprehend with a very sick, very broken brain, and put it together, step by step for me. Although this "keto" process was definitely way outside of my realm of "healthy" fruits and veggies. I trusted her. I truly believed I had to go into this with an open mind, and that I did. At this point, I didn't have much to lose.
What I was doing, was not working. My old school thinking of all the fruits and veggies to help me heal, quickly turned into me realizing how high they triggered my glucose and increased my inflammation!
Walking in Faith
Learning how to read my personal glucose enough to realize all of the fruits and veggies I was eating raised my glucose to diabetic levels and kept my inflammation too high. If I wanted to heal my body, I had to jump in with both of my painful, neuropathy-filled feet. I could not half-ass do this. I had to walk in Faith and trust the process.
I was all in! My body was stubborn and did not kick in like my hubby's did. But I pushed through, mistakes and all. This is a slow learning process. Taking a step forward as my broken body could tolerate. Persistence, not perfection is what lead me.
Dr. Boz's version of Ketosis allowed me to withdraw from the narcotics better and easier. Breaking addictions and healing my brain was my goal.
As my inflammation began to decrease. So did my pain and symptoms. I was then slowly able to start removing a huge list of medications. The depression started to go, the pain began to lessen, and I could see light and life again. One step at a time, I could see a glimpse of my life starting to come back. This was such a huge incentive to keep going and push to the next level.
Living Life Is My Comeback
Four years later, I have my life back. I have survived and made a comeback. I am living life again. I get to be with the love of my life, be a part of my kids' lives, and make memories with my grandchildren. I cherish each and every day I am alive. I am still finding my way back to health. I just try to keep building health faster than my body can take it away. Continuously learning and adjusting and taking the next step to live another day. I am a survivor and I am not going down without a fight. Dr. Boz gave me the knowledge, the tools, and the power to fight. For this I will forever be grateful.
All of my gratitude goes to these two doctors. How do you say thank you to these two people that gave me another chance at Christmas with my kids, a date night with my husband, or another walk on a beach? Two doctors stepped out from behind the curtain of "standard of care". That took a chance to help this broken body of mine. The two that gave me hope and direction when I had none.
Dr. Boz, and Dr. Livingood, I hope you both know I will forever be grateful to you. My comeback in life is by God's Grace & Glory, and your direction and dedication to rebuilding true health. THANK YOU! I love you both.
Paying It Forward
My way of paying it forward is going back to school to become a Certified Health Coach and a Dr. Boz Keto Coach. I am so blessed and honored to be one of Dr. Boz's Coaches and to be able to now help other survivors find their way back to health and life. I will continue to pay it forward until God takes me home. You can join my next Coaching Group to begin your Journey to Healing.