Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Answering a Comment from My Secret Pal

My pal from SP10 asked if I could recommend any books or websites to check out regarding natural healing. Instead of replying directly to her I decided to post it here. Maybe someone else can gain something from it as well. First let me start with a story so you understand what led me to my ways. I'll try not to ramble on for too long before I get to the point and i'll try my best not to offend anyone. :)

Let's start way back with the wee baby Celena. I was a very sick child. In fact, I was so sick at one point as an infant that I was in the hospital in a tub of ice and they basically told my parents that I was a gonner. There was even a priest involved. My immune system turned on itself and they couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. Well thankfully I turned around and got better. Sometime later in my childhood my doctor from back then, Dr. Goldstein (who incidentally ended up quitting his pediatric practice and got into research of infectious diseases) called my mom out of the blue and told her he figured out what I had all those years ago that had baffled he and his staff. It was a pseudamonis infection of some sort. Well I truly attribute that (and I could be wrong but it's what I think) to my terrible immune system through the years. If anything was going around, I got it. I had terrible allergies so bad that I had to go for allergy shots every week. I still remember plain as day the room and the stool I had to sit on and how they would give me two shots in one arm and one in the other and then they would let me pick which cartoon character bandaids I got to put on my newest needle holes. I had migraines throughout middle and high school. So bad that I had CAT scans done while in high school to check for a brain tumor. I had to start going to the chiropractor when I was eight years old and have continued that my whole life since. It's not an option for me, it's a requirement to manage my constant neck pain. I had sinus infections all the time. I went through so many different antibiotics throughout my childhood (here starts my dislike of those things) that by the time I was a junior in high school I was taking "experimental" antibiotics. Scary, huh? See the thing is that when I took something one of two things happened. 1.) I had an allergic reaction to it right away or 2.) I could take it once but the second time ALWAYS brought on an allergic reaction. I distincly remember sitting in the First Care clinic and the doctor telling my mom that there are no more drugs for me to take. That i'm just going to have to be sick for a while. See looking back I realize that my mom relied heavily on doctors and thought that I needed medicine for everything. I'm not blaming her, she didn't know any better. Still ... I truly believe those drugs really screwed up my body. You see, antibiotics don't know the difference between good and bad stuff. That's why you sometimes get yeast infections and diahrea and all that fun stuff from taking them. They kill off all the good intestinal bacteria as well as the bad stuff. (okay, so much for not rambling on ... this is going to be long but i promise it's about to get a little more positive)

So forward on to the 18-year-old Celena going off to college. The summer of 1994 I packed up and moved to Gainesville. Over the next two years I got sick everytime anyone near me sneezed. Anytime I was under stress like during exams ... yep, always sick. I was extremely sick during finals week for my first two years of college. Not the best way to do well on tests, mind you. After being drug to the emergency clinic by my rooomates halfway through finals week of spring 96, I had enough. My third year of school came along and I decided to make some changes. Major changes, ha ha ... pardon the pun. I changed my major from Aerospace Engineering to Psychology. I guess I wanted to know why I was all screwed up and so stressed out all the time. That year marks a major milestone in my life. That year is the year that I took control of my life. I got student loans so I didn't have as much stress dealing with money and family and I started doing a lot of research about vitamins, minerals and herbs. The first books I bought were Earl Mindel's Vitamin Bible and The Encylopedia of Natural Medicine. I learned a lot about supplements and even more about myself. There are so many great herbs out there that will heal your body. UTI? Take Uva Ursi. Works every time. Yeast? Take acidophilus (also great to take while on antibiotics to avoid some side effects). And so on. I'll try to make a very long story very short here. I was stressed out and my body was seriously lacking the nutrients it needed to be well. I worked up a supplement regimin for myself and stuck to it. And I started meditating and exercising to relieve stress. And guess what?!?!?! I hardly ever got sick again. And the migraines? They went away as well. Those were stress related. I grew up in the middle of a split up family and some really nasty custody battles and other dysfunctions. Not good for a kid ... hence all the stress headaches and screwed up neck and chiropractor visits. Unfortunately for me the damage to my neck is pretty much permanent so that's something I still have to deal with. Yoga and chiropractor visits take care of it for me though for the most part.

Okay, now fast forward again to the 28-year-old mom-to-be Celena. You see, Western medicine tells us that pregnant mothers should not take a bunch of supplements. So I stopped dosing up on all the good stuff besides my prenatal vitamins and folic acid. Here comes 9 lb. 10 oz. Houston. I'm nursing so still no supplements. Forward to 29-year-old once again preggo Celena. Still nursing and preggo so no extra supplements. Here comes 12 pound Brody. (yes i said 12 pounds, no it's not a typo, yes i had him at home with no drugs, no i'm not crazy .. okay, got that out of the way) So now i'm 30 and i've had two very large babies and no supplements for a few years. And things are not going good. I learned to be very in tune with my body over the last ten years. Ask my midwife, she was always impressed. I could tell her when my blood pressure was going to be a little high before she even measured it. So I knew something was wrong. I'll spare you all the details but let's just say my body was going a little haywire (think menopause). We talked about options (traditional vs. non, east vs. west, etc) and I decided to go to an accupuncturist/herbologist that I've heard great things about over the past few years. I didn't want drugs to mask my symptoms ... I wanted to get to the bottom of things and fix what was causing me to not be well. So I called Ashley (my accu/herb guy) and we had a great talk on the phone. I then went to see him and he after doing what he does he said "your adrenals are fried and it's like you don't have any kidneys". Lovely, huh? Explains why I've had such a hard time losing my bellyfat. (And speaking of which, I actually lost one pant size in the first month of going to see him once a week.) We talked about the difference in eastern and western medicine. How in the west pregnant and nursing women are told not to take extra supplements and in the east they are given more herbs and supplements than anyone else. Completely different ways of thinking. And I know western medicine has it's place but can you really argue with something that has been around for many more centuries than our entire country? Don't think so. That first visit with Ashley was back in November or December, can't remember which. And while I'm still catching the bugs that are going around it's not near as often. He's had me on some ancient herbal remedies and i'm feeling much, much better. We're still working on my adrenals but my kidneys are doing much better. We worked on my liver some and that is doing better as well. Here's what I think is very interesting and makes so much sense. This is our theory of how everything went down ...

My body really needed all those supplements over the last ten years. I really built myself up to being a very healthy person but when my body needed the extra help the most, when I was pregnant and nursing ... that's when I stopped helping it out. I had enough reserves stored up so that Houston was fine and I was fine after having him but when Brody came along I had no more reserves to give. He used up all my extras and then some. And him being 12 pounds didn't help much. Having him basically fried my body. You see ... you're body will take care of your baby first. If you don't have enough calcium, for example, your baby will get what's there first and then you are left with none. That's why often times a mother will have teeth and bone issues after having a baby if she doesn't have enough calcium in her diet. So now I have to build myself back up. It's going to take some time but i'm on my way. This all explains why Houston was almost never sick as a baby (besides a scary UTI that we still can't explain) and why Brody gets sick every time someone sneezes anywhere near him. Brody and I have been sick a lot since he's been born. We're working on it though and while i'm building myself back up his immune system is being built up by nursing and getting the benefits of the supplements i'm taking.

So now you all have more info than you probably ever cared to but at least now you know where i'm coming from. Well you know the short story anyway. There's much more to it than I typed here but if you want to know more or have any questions, shoot me an email or give me a call. I'll be happy to discuss things with you or answer any questions you have. I could go on for a while about the eastern and western medicine thing but i'm tired of typing and you, if you are still with me at this point, are probably tired of reading. Maybe i'll go into it more in a future post.

And by the way, after three semesters I changed my major back to Aerospace Engineering. Good thing because I met Brett after we both rushed the same professional engineering fraternity! And thanks to that degree, I had some great experiences working in the space program. Which reminds me ... I have some pictures I've wanted to scan in and post here. Me in the the drivers seat of one of the space shuttles and some other good stuff like that. :)


  1. That was really important and needed to be said. Doesn't matter the length, it's important to you and it's your blog, and that's what it is here for!

  2. Guess people like your "neato" stuff more than the serious stuff.

  3. Thanks for this; so many people underestimate the value of "alternative" medicine and the harm Western medicine can do.