2019 has been the year of highest of highs, and the lowest of lows for me.
I never would have imagined that within 48-hrs of returning from a trip with the hubs, that I would be fighting for my life in a hospital emergency room.
This is my story of how I went from a hospital bed to delivering a TEDx Talk that has gone viral.
My back story:
For the last 5 years I have been working hard at learning more about functional medicine. Holistic health really began to tug at my consciousness while I was working full time as a nurse practitioner. I saw patients that I thought could be offered more. That lead me to a desire of really addressing disease and malaise of all types. I wanted to learn their root causes, especially within women. I’m a nerd at heart. I love learning, and I love pushing myself. About that same time I first started noticing changes in myself that needed to be addressed. I had gained weight, felt absolutely depleted and exhausted. So I made a big switch. I sought continued education as a Functional Nutritionist and started my own business.
Fast forward to 2019 and I had reached a place in my personal business that I felt really good about the trajectory of this year. My first TEDx talk had come out and I had booked a second. I felt confident in my ability to build my business, my team and find a personal balance with the work-from-home lifestyle.
In early February 2019 I decided to go on a trip with my husband to Hawaii. He had a work obligation and I love travel so we decided a quick trip without the kids was a great little getaway. We enjoyed ourselves, had fun and flew back into the Washington, DC area where we live.
48hrs after coming home from Hawaii I became violently ill. I was experiencing the worst abdominal pain (worse than labor) I had ever experienced, along with severe nausea and vomiting. I couldn’t keep anything down. I knew this was more than a “flu” and I needed to be seen.
I’m so glad I went to the hospital.
Initially they knew it was my appendix but there were other concerns. I seemed to have acute colitis as well. I begged them to do everything in their power to avoid surgery. They worked hard to stabilize my condition, assess areas that were safe enough to be treated and compile a non-surgical protocol.
In the ER, it was discovered that I had a ruptured appendix and pancolitis (entire length of my colon was inflamed). My surgeon then informed me that if they took me to surgery, I would lose the entire length of my colon. Obviously this wasn’t a viable option. It was too dangerous to remove my appendix, so I had to keep the ugly guy in there while they addressed infections and inserted drainage tubes. Unable to eat food, at one point I was on TPN (total parental nutrition), my cognitive function was very sluggish and my world was very, very small.
I had a series of complications, including a small bowel obstruction, then later peritoneal abscesses (infections in my abdomen) which required a special train to be inserted and then, last but not least, I developed a fistula between my cecum (part of large intestine) and my appendix. All of this granted me a 13 day hospital stay.
My two things that pulled me through this were my boys and the visualization of seeing myself on the TEDx stage, delivering my Intermittent Fasting talk. I used this technique to keep me motivated on recovery. Nothing prepares you for being a patient when you are used to being the health care provider.
I’m happy to report that I graced the TEDx stage 27 days after returning home from my hospitalization and the rest is history.
Never in all my years of being a nurse and later an NP, could I have imagined what it would be like to be a patient. I truly understand and appreciate how it feels to SURRENDER yourself to your circumstances.
Gratitude is my new approach to this ordeal.
I’m grateful for the excellent care I received. I am grateful that after 13 days I was able to return home.
I am grateful that I was able to be supported by my family and close friends to make a full recovery. It was humbling, it was so profoundly eye-opening. I’m grateful that TEDx Greenville was willing to take a chance and let me grace their stage only 27 days later. I was able to deliver a message that I knew needed to be shared by me. I truly did have video calls with the leaders of the Greenville location to make sure I was healthy enough to deliver the talk.
This talk has now gone viral. It is literally blowing my mind. Yet, the work I’ve been doing hasn’t changed. I’m just as passionate about women’s hormonal health and treating the root cause and not just masking symptoms. I’m just as passionate about sharing the techniques I used to keep myself alive during my health crisis and the strategies I implement on a daily basis, as ever before.
These messages need to be heard. My team and I have created a FREE group on Facebook called, “Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle” you may join by clicking the button below.
Please stay with us.
We have multiple ways to work and continue learning together. Won’t you join me?