Catching Up With Kelli

by Kelli

Ok, so you may have noticed I’ve been a bit absent for a while. I’m easily overwhelmed these days, so the idea of writing this post to catch you up feels daunting. But I decided I’d like to let you in on what’s been going on with me and keeping me so occupied that I just haven’t had much time for my baby (Fooduciary). It’s also difficult to share because it’s fairly personal and could easily be misunderstood. I’m hopeful it will be interesting and valuable to you, and fitting to put it here since it is all about health and well-being.

For those who don’t already know, I’ve had Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was six years old. A few years ago I made some huge changes in my diet, which are the root of what we share here at Fooduciary (and prompted its creation), and the arthritic symptoms disappeared. What also happened at that time is that about 90% of my prescription medications made their way to the garbage bin within two months of making those changes.

Since then I’ve continued with the diet and health changes I made, and I’ve continued the quest to be completely well and to ditch those last two prescriptions. It has been a most unexpected adventure, and one that I’m still on.

A year and a half ago I took myself off my anti-depressant medication.

Nine months ago I met with another functional medical doctor (had to find a new one since I moved to Austin) and took the steps to rid my body of a yeast overgrowth (now that’s a diet!) and remove all the mercury from my teeth, which necessitated some oral surgery.

Doing those additional things were very beneficial to my health and had a significant impact on how I felt physically, and the mercury removal really, really dissipated the last of the stubborn depression. However, I was so surprised to find that not only did they not eliminate my anxiety, doing these things actually didn’t even reduce it at all. The search to find a solution for the anxiety didn’t last long.

When I scheduled the oral surgery, I’d already been struggling with insomnia for about a year. When I was trying to decide if I should pay the extra money for sedation, Brad encouraged me to get it, joking that it might be the only time I actually got some sleep. We laughed. But I didn’t get money’s worth. And I felt like crying. My oral surgeon was surprised that I could remember every second of the procedure, despite the fact that he had given me several times the amount of medication he normally gives an adult, and I am not a big girl. I didn’t sleep at all the whole day of the procedure, and I barely got to sleep that night.

Besides making it obvious that many receptors in my brain were no longer as sensitive as they should be, it seems that the surgery triggered additional anxiety in me – from some trauma in my past.

My physical tolerance to the anxiety medication increased rapidly right after the oral surgery, and I went to see my functional medical doctor as soon as I could get in. This appointment was the first time I was ever told that I should never have been on it for very long nor at the dose I had been prescribed. Information is better late than never, right? 🙂 It was time to get off, and now.

That earned me a referral to a psychiatrist to taper from the medication. I had never been to a psychiatrist before, and it’s a profession I have had many reservations about (through my personal experience of seeing others get “help” from psychiatrists). But my MD said the work in front of us needed that specialty, and that working with this particular psychiatrist, one who had taken advanced training in nutritional approaches, would be the best route. My first appointment with the psychiatrist was the beginning of January. It’s been a long, tough road in just about every way, but as far as the medication goes, I’m now at less than 1/20th of what I started out at in January, and I’ll be off the medication entirely in less than a month. I’ve shocked this psychiatrist, who clearly did not think I could make it anywhere close to where I currently am. I’m really looking forward to being completely done with it all.

But the medication was the band-aid over some pretty hefty underlying anxiety, so before beginning the taper, I pondered about the source of the anxiety and how to eliminate it. I had a pretty traumatic childhood, but I had spent several years on and off in traditional therapy in my early 20s, and I didn’t know what else I could do to address those traumas that were still fairly disruptive in my life.

So back to this past January: as I was contemplating the idea of letting the anxiety run amuck and even adding to it by tapering from the medication, I was blessed to get a suggestion from my psychologist brother-in-law to try EMDR (eye movement desensitization). I hadn’t known there were therapies specific to helping heal trauma. The more I read about the EMDR method, the more it resonated with me. So I also tracked down a good trauma therapist, and I’ve been meeting with her regularly since February.

This path has already opened my eyes and taught me so many, many things that I am excited to share with you. For one, it’s really been hit home for me how critically important it is to ask a lot of questions of your doctor, especially any time there’s a suggestion to take a medication or supplement. And without a doubt, my healing during this time would have been much more difficult had I not been eating as healthy as I do (as we talk about at Fooduciary). I’m quite sure that’s the only reason my arthritis is still in remission right now, for starters.

As I mentioned, I’m still on the journey, and there are aspects I’m still very much struggling with. The anxiety is lessening, but I’m still having a really tough time with insomnia right now – it’s actually gotten much worse in the past few weeks, so I’m working to figure that out.

The bottom line is that this year I’ve been experiencing the most difficult time in my life so far, but I’m making it through – humbly and with tons of gratitude for great support and guidance each time I’ve been ready for the next step.

And if you are thinking to yourself, “I didn’t even notice you were less involved with Fooduciary lately,” that’s thanks to Brad. While I’m grateful for those efforts, I’m really excited about being back here at Fooduciary with all of you, and fully engage in sharing what we’ve learned and interacting with our fantastic readers. 🙂

About the author...

, diagnosed with an auto-immune disease as a child, has always paid close attention to her health. But when that disease went beyond the care of traditional care medicine, she found answers, and healing, through lifestyle improvements and working with a functional medicine doctor.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mindy May 18, 2012

Wow, Kelli. I am glad things are looking up. You are awesome– an inspiration. Thanks for all your efforts and helping others.

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Kelli May 18, 2012

Thanks so much, Mindy! And you’re very welcome – I want more than anything to be helpful to other people, and hope they can learn from my mistakes and successes. 🙂

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Angie May 18, 2012

Thanks for sharing, and good luck with the path ahead of you. I’ve recently learned about and tried EFT, so I’m interested to see what EMDR is all about.

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Kelli May 18, 2012

Thanks, Angie. Wow, I just went to your web site. I don’t know how I’ve missed it before – I LOVE it! It’s a fantastic site. How has the tapping worked for you? I’ve known about it for a couple years now, but I only recently started really trying it. It has actually been the most helpful thing I’ve found for sleep so far – I’m tapping right before I go to bed. I’ve been suprised by how well it works.

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Deborah Shepherd May 18, 2012

I am glad things are getting better! What a journey! I am interested, when(if) you have time in ridding my body of excess yeast. Any information or websites would be appreciated. Love and hugs. Deb

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Kelli May 20, 2012

Thanks for the support, Deb! And thanks for the request. I love learning what our readers want to know about, so I will put together and share some yeast-busting info. 🙂

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linda becker May 19, 2012

Sounds like you are one strong lady! Good luck we are all on a journey for good health and wellness it certainly has its ups and downs . Your in my thoughts and prayers. Have a nice day and enjoy the beautiful spring!

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Kelli May 20, 2012

Hi Linda, thanks so much for cheering me on and cheering me up with your kind words! It certainly is a beautiful spring. Thank you so much for commenting, and please continue to share your thoughts, ideas, and your journey. I love hearing from you.

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