by Renée Canada
Last week, I finally took the big step of firing my rheumatologist. I decided to stop the chemo that I’ve been on for four months with no significant improvement on my dystonia or the autoimmune diseases we thought were causing it. There had to be a better alternative.
After our recent appointment, I told my neurologist that I wanted to try treat my disease naturally. After beginning an online certification program in integrative nutrition, I grew even more convinced that diet is one major piece of the puzzle toward my healing. Following a gluten-free and dairy-free diet had been so helpful in the past at treating fatigue and chronic infections, I am determined to follow it again to see if it has an effect on an entirely different disease.
Another step in the process is to wean myself off all of my current medication with time. And I am on a lot of prescription medicine. When I look at all my medication, I am horrified by all the unnatural substances that I have regularly been putting into my body on a daily basis for so many years. I am only 33. Who knows all the long-term side effects of these drugs?
With guidance from my neurologist, I will be slowly decreasing all of my current medication. We all know the majority of medications only mask symptoms and do nothing to treat the root of illness and disease. I know that my health may get much worse before it gets better as I get off the medication. But I truly believe there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Other pieces of the puzzle include getting more exercise, including hiking, yoga and, for now, riding the recumbent bike. I may also include tai chi, and I am eager to participate in my friend’s laughter yoga classes. I am convinced laughter is the best medicine, and my father can often get me out of my involuntary muscle movement episodes by telling me a bad joke or something so outrageous, I have to laugh.
I also plan to incorporate more complementary medicine. I already receive massage, craniosacral therapy, myofascial release and reiki. I am also looking into trying acupuncture again, implementing herbal medicine, and trying reflexology.
This is an exciting journey, and I hope you will enjoy sharing it with me.