What Keeps me Going

I’ve just sort of accepted the fact that my physical body is temporary.

My body is broken and I struggle with chronic health issues stemming from autoimmunity triggered by prescription medications and birth control usage.

God has redeemed many of the issues I faced in my initial confrontation with sickness 5 years ago, one of which was regaining fertility.

Baby E #3

I’ll share with you some of the back story.

It was revealed in my initial blood work with my integrative health specialist that I had the estrogen levels of a post-menopausal woman. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Because of using birth control pills laden with artificial hormones coupled with NSAIDS for inflammation caused by underlying issues, my body had completely stopped producing estrogen.

My hair was falling out, my teeth were starting to decay, my joints were stiff and painful, and I dropped from a healthy 135 lbs of lean muscle to a scant 115 lbs in a matter of weeks, making me underweight for my 5′ 9″ frame. I was chronically fatigued, chronically constipated, and chronically depressed.

But God, in His mercy, led me to Christian women who had also struggled with these issues. Step one was getting my heart right with God. The Lord has been sanctifying me these past 6 years and I would not trade my relationship with Christ for anything. The next step was eliminating the detrimental and destructive drugs from my system, because birth control is evil. (And I’ll explain that conviction in another post for those of you offended by that statement.)

Step three was addressing my diet. The switch from a conventional carb and sugar dominant diet to one of organic whole foods was quite the shock to my system, and actually led to my desire to homestead. Because organically grown food is expensive, and if I wanted to eat the way my body needed to eat without going broke on groceries, the answer was to grow my own food, and to do that requires land and a lifestyle in which I can be home full time.

Anyway, in addressing diet, I discovered the SCD diet.

It’s essentially a means to simultaneously heal, restore, and nourish your body and reintroduce foods that may have triggered autoimmune response.

Fast forward to present day, the most recent baby delivery led to heavy, broad spectrum antibiotics, steroids for the premature labor scare, and antifungal medication for systemic candida overgrowth. Needless to say, my body is now like a train wreck. So what’s keeping me going? Well primarily spiritually, I’m kept going by my faith and relationship with Christ. I’m constantly reminded by my ill-functioning body that this world is temporary and one day, Christ will renew and restore all things. For now, His grace is sufficient, for His power is made perfect in my weakness. Maranatha.

But also keeping me physically going is…

Nope, not coffee. In fact, this morning I had one final cup and then I decided to quit coffee indefinitely. I cannot keep asking my body to function on synthetic energy from caffeine. No, this is bone broth. It’s working to rehydrate, rebuild, and restore me to health. The collagen in the bone broth rebuilds the gut lining destroyed by candida hyphae, and promotes an environment conducive to probiotic growth.

I’m also preparing to go through the 5 phases of the SCD diet.

Phase one is bone broth chicken soup, broiled lean meats, broiled ground beef patties, pureed carrots, boiled eggs, grape gelatin, pear sauce, and SCD legal yogurt. These food items are rotated in a menu for about 3-5 days and then gradually more fruit and veggies are added first in a peeled, seeded, cooked pureed form to make it easy for the gut to digest and absorb nutrients. Over a period of 5-10 weeks, incrementally more foods will be added and my diet should be fairly “normal” once again. By normal, I mean predominantly Paleolithic.

How do I do this and still feed my family? Well, usually I encourage them to eat with me, though typically less restrictive than I do. They enjoy the chicken soup, and the burger patties they have with other sides and cheese while I eat them with the carrot puree. There are modifications and additions I make for them while I’m going through the SCD phases and I feel at the end, we all feel a little better for having reigned in the junk food consumption a bit.

It’s also more easily accomplished when the garden is in full production so that fresh herbs and vegetables are readily available.

I typically look at this time of refreshment and renewal as being as much spiritual as it is physical and as such I devote much more of my time to prayer and Bible study, as well as rest. Your body replenishes your cells as you sleep and as you can imagine, as the mom of a newborn, there isn’t much sleep to be had, so of course I’m feeling a bit more run down than usual.

That said, I’m going to be taking it easy for the next few weeks and hope to be full-strength, back up and at ’em in a few weeks.

Please feel free to ask me questions regarding my experience, as I feel that sharing is often helpful to people experiencing similar circumstances.

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