Back in 2009 I graduated from college and moved to Los Angeles. I was a makeup and effects artist at the time and was taking full advantage of being 23, on my own and in a city that always had something to do. Most of what I was doing was going to eat out, doing my makeup, having my hairstylist roommate do my hair and dancing all night at clubs.
Now this is not the worst thing I could be doing in my 20’s in LA, I almost never drank and I ended every night in my own room, alone. I was having a great time but physically LA was hard on me.I developed a severe rash for the first month I lived in LA. The doctor I saw told me it was from the pollution in the air! He told me to suck it up and wait, that my body would get used to it. The redness did go away as I “acclimated” to the environment but then I developed arthritis. At 24.
I had regular flair-ups of what my doctors were calling inflammatory arthritis. They told me it was autoimmune, although my test results were non-specific for a particular disorder. Eventually, they said, I’d get worse and they’d be able to tell me which lovely autoimmune disorder I had. Fabulous. I was going to wait it out again.
This went on for 3 years with various new fun issues arising – randomly not being able to walk for days, a third of my hair falling out, severe fatigue, stiffness and swelling of my hands and fingers and various GI issues. By this time I was back in Nashville where I grew up and I was pretty much sick of no one being able to tell me why I hurt all the time. I was reading obsessively about inflammation and autoimmune issues and saw ginger mentioned multiple times. I hated my anti-inflammatory medication and had had an allergic reaction to steroids so I figured drinking ginger couldn’t possibly be as bad that all that was and it didn’t have any scary side effects.
Ginger was my gateway drug. It worked so well and so fast I started the other things I found recommended in the “alternative therapy” genre. Within a few months I was only stiff or hurting when the weather was severe or I had really over tired myself.
This happened to be at the same time I was starting school to become an RN. Pharmacology solidified herbal-only approach. As my fellow students were using their newfound knowledge to better treat their tension headaches and reflux with the most appropriate NSAID and proton-pump inhibitor I was reading the mechanism of action and the side effects in horror! Nursing school gave me a whole new perspective on how we treat illness. Our medical model is focused on disease not health.
I have been completely medication free and PAIN FREE for almost 4 years. Not one flair-up and all my blood work is now negative for systemic inflammation or autoimmune activity. I have spent years learning about natural and alternative medicine, whole and organic foods, traditional food preparation, non-toxic living and sustainability. Now I want to tell you about it.
I have crunchified my husband, had an all natural pregnancy and birth and am raising our little crunchy munchkin.