I never thought I would write a blog, because there was never anything I wanted to write about, until now.
If you follow me on social media, it's no secret I've battled chronic health issues for the past several years including Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), possible autoimmune issues, and most recently as of almost one year ago, COVID Long Haul.
I've seen countless doctors
I've had more blood tests than I can count
I've been given numerous antibiotics
I’ve had several incorrect diagnosis
And so far, I have zero answers and I'm still sick.
In December, a friend sent me a link to a Podcast where Dr. Matthew Cook, a Functional Medicine Specialist and founder of BioRest Medical was discussing alternative therapies to treat not only COVID Long Haul but also SIBO and a myriad of other health conditions.
What he said in his podcast hit me like a bucket of ice water to the face. He said,
“If your immune system is on the ropes, then the virus will run all over you.”
And he was right. That was exactly what happened to me. Having SIBO, leaky gut and possible autoimmune issues, meant my internal system was a complete mess and my poor immune system was already working overtime when Coronavirus came along. It was like leaving my front door wide open with a welcome mat that said, “easy target.”
And boy did Coronavirus do a number on me. My infection started with the faintest of sore throats and a mild runny nose, like the common cold. On day four, I remember waking up in the middle of the night, shaking, lightheaded, nauseous, and feverish. I woke up my husband and told him something was really wrong. From there the chest tightness, shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue, chills, and flu-like aches began and lasted on and off for two weeks straight.
I remember lying in bed one day. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t watch tv. I couldn’t sleep. I was having a hard time breathing. I just stayed curled up in a ball for 8 hours waiting for the agony to pass. Towards the end of the two weeks, I started to experience gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and stomach cramps. I thought maybe this was the end of it and I would start to get better.
I didn’t get better.
I called my doctor every week or so and questioned why I wasn’t getting better and she had no answers for me. At one point she told me I was probably stressed out or that I had contracted another virus. After three months she made it very clear to me that in her opinion I had gone a little crazy, there was nothing more she could do to help me and that I was wasting her time.
Time to get a new doctor.
Three months in and still no relief so I turned to social media for support. I found a group called COVID Long Haulers and membership was growing rapidly. It was a group made up of people all around the world who, like myself, were unable to recover from the effects of COVID-19. To date, it has 30K members.
Finally, I had some answers. Finally, I felt less alone. Finally, I felt less crazy.
As the months passed, my symptoms did improve but they never went away. I experienced days and then weeks where I felt 80% normal, and then a relapse would hit me. New symptoms would pop up from joint pain, neuropathy, swelling in my joints, my hands and my feet, and headaches. If I tried to exercise or if I did too much, the fatigue would swoop in and knock me on my ass for several days to a week.
Around the 10-month mark in my journey, I found BioRest Medical and Dr. Cook.
I'd never really been one for alternative therapies, but I was also at the point where I had no other viable options and I refused to give up. I refused to believe that being sick constantly was my new normal. I refused to believe that I had to give up doing the things I loved with the people I loved most because of this stupid virus.
I did my research and listened to every single podcast I could find on functional medicine to treat SIBO, autoimmune issues, and COVID Long Haul.
In January 2021, I had my first consult with Dr. Cook. After a two-hour-long conversation, a serious discussion with my husband, and a chat with my therapist, I decided to give functional medicine a shot.
I had no idea if this treatment plan was going to work, but I was hopeful.
The goal of this blog is to detail my six-month journey in hopes that it might help someone else who is suffering from a chronic illness or from COVID long haul. I plan to give as much detail as possible from the testing and cost of treatment to the daily injections, nebulizer treatments, herbal supplements, and to strict low carb, low sugar diet I’ll be on for the next six months.
What this blog is supposed to be:
- a place for me to share my story
- a detailed account of my journey with functional medicine
- brutal honesty
- hopefully, helpful to other people suffering from chronic illness and COVID Long Haul
- educational and informative
What you won't find in this blog:
- medical advice
- a sales pitch or me trying to sell anything
- perfection; I'll do my best but please excuse me if my grammar isn't always 100%
So, what’s next? Stay tuned for my next blog post where I go over exactly what tests I had run, what the treatment plan looks like, and how much it cost.