The first healing was when I followed an Ayurvedic regimen for a few months in February-May 2016 . I felt extremely strong and powerful in both my mind and body.
Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old Indian tradition that is meant to realign us with nature. It means falling to sleep by 10pm each night and waking at 6am (or earlier) each morning. It means meditating twice per day and eating nothing but cooked, vegetarian foods (organic, non processed). It means eating a lot of Indian spices with your food and eating them at certain times during the day (lunch should be the largest meal of the day, and it should be eaten around 12pm since this is when digestion is strongest). It means never feeling guilty if you veer off course since guilt and negative emotions only serve to make our bodies and minds feel bad as well.
Ayurveda is very complex process, but it's fascinating to experience. I felt like the arthritis was just slowly dissolving day by day. I became a more confident person. I had a glow about me. Seriously! I a glow! The whites in my eyes glowed. My skin was bright. My spirit glowed. I felt alive again!
Sadly, the results didn't last. Old patterns began to emerge. I started to feel guilty if I went to bed later than 10pm if I had trouble sleeping. I skipped meditations if I couldn't concentrate. I didn't do yoga as diligently as I should have. Basically, I put too much pressure on myself to follow the guidelines perfectly, and when I didn't do everything perfectly, I felt that I had failed. Needless to say, my body flared up again and it went downhill from there.
The second––and possibly more significant––healing was in October 2016. A series of events led me to a German doctor in a little town called Würzburg. He is this really scruffy doctor with grey scraggly hair and lots of intense smiles. He tested my blood, urine and stool for all kinds of things like food allergies, zinc deficiencies and other things that he suspected are causing me so much pain. His words were, "You definitely have rheumatoid arthritis, but the arthritis is not causing you this much pain. The pain is caused by something else."
After getting my lab results, he ordered me to take a whole bunch of supplements that help resolve the deficiencies in my blood. The German doctor told me that MOST diseases begin in the gut. If your gut isn't healthy, neither is your body. Well, I've known my gut hasn't been healthy in years!
Anyway, after cutting out gluten, dairy, eggs, and other foods that he said my blood responded negatively to in his tests, and taking the supplements he prescribed, I felt almost 95% better within A COUPLE OF DAYS! I kid you not. I felt like a brand new person in a matter of two days, and the amazing feeling lasted for two (almost three) whole months.
I asked my rheumatologist if I could stop taking my 5mg of steroids since I was feelings so great, and she assured me that I could (keep in mind, I had only felt good for two months!). So I weaned off my steroids completely by January 2017, and then BAM! The pain started to return. It has been gradually getting worse everyday. I started taking the 5mg of steroids again after the German doctor told me to, but it didn't help. It was like trying to stop a moving train after it already started.
And now here I am. I am in bed. In pain. Miserable.
The German doctor just had me get more blood tests last week since he wants to put me on a burst of steroids that will essentially reset the healing process that we started last year. I am just waiting for him to give me the word so I can take the steroids (short term) and be on my way. I want my life back again.
I am in a sad state today. It is difficult to see light at the end of the tunnel when I'm in bed, staring at walls. Three weeks of lying still is beginning to get to me. I cry nearly everyday. I wonder why this is happening to me and then I chastise myself because I'm no one special, and it's not like there aren't people out there who aren't dealing with tough things in their lives too.
Anyway, my normally positive attitude will return. I just have to give it time.
NOTE: Even though I love blogging on here, I have decided to move most of my blog to Instagram. If any of you would like to follow me there, my screen name is pandmherbst. I update my condition there much more often than on here.