Crossroad in Life – A Journey Back To Health!
We all have a story that brought us to where we are today. Some may be a bit more dramatic than others, but nonetheless each are dynamically significant to the creation of who we believe we are today.
We all begin our lives the same. Full of dreams, passions, and an enduring optimistic hope that we can accomplish anything. Then for most, something happens as we continue advancing in our lives and we get off course form the fundamental core of who we truly are. That authenticity of our true selves becomes tainted.
Over time that “taintedness” begins to spread to other aspects of our lives affecting not only our emotions, but also our physical body. How we move it and what we put into it. Until eventually, our body lets us know via pain, illness or disease.
Can this be prevented? And if disease is already present, can it be reversed?
I wholeheartedly believe the answer is YES on both counts!
A Journey Back To Health!
Many of us have experienced moments that dramatically change the direction of our lives. And often times, this shift in paradigm is caused by an event that rattles us to the core. Perhaps an accident, an illness, or even a disaster caused by Mother Nature.
When this happens, we call it a crossroad in life.
I call it a life-saving change.
I have spent most of my life in a constant struggle between what I truly desired out of life and what others desired for me. This ultimately swelled into an internal emotional battle between my heart and mind.
Always wanting validation, always seeking approval, always in competition with others, always afraid of what others thought of me, always afraid of letting people down, always afraid of hurting others feelings if I didn’t do what they wanted, and on and on.
Maybe you know this story as well.
How we arrive at those pivotal moments in our lives presents differently to each of us. It is unfortunate that more often than not it takes an event of great magnitude to force us into making a shift in consciousness. And without a shift in consciousness, we blindly go through life with the belief that “all is well”. We simply continue to move along with our daily routines consumed with the mass consciousness of society. After all, what the majority believes to be the correct way of thinking must be the correct. Right?
Well, I found out the hard way that the answer to that question is a booming NO!
Expectations, Judgments and Disease
Deciding upon chiropractic as a career seemed to have stumbled upon me rather than the other way around as you are about to read.
I had always led an extremely “high stress” life, not because my job was particularly stressful or that the lack of money was some kind of issue, or any other reason that could justify living in a constant state of stress. Nope, I led a “high stress” life because I put unrealistic expectations on myself.
What do I mean by unrealistic? Simply that I allowed the judgments of other people to impact my self-esteem and self-confidence.
Or should I really say; my perception of what I believed were the judgments of other people.
Looking back now, it sounds silly to me how I could have actually lived solely for the validation of other people. As though somehow they, not I, knew me better.
That only “they” knew the inner secrets of “me”!
As I became older, I started to become aware of a feeling of “forever chasing myself”; meaning, I believed that I needed to be the best at everything. Of course if it didn’t come easy for me, I surely must be severely dim-witted because after all, the best at everything always knows EVERYTHING… ALL THE TIME!
Overtime, the feeling I had regarding these “judgments of others” eventually manifested into deep-rooted anger. This low vibrational energy level at which I was living could only last for so long before it would finally manifest into my physical body—as a disease!
Oh, I had the warning signs of “disease” long before the inevitable “illness” occurred. Some subtle, while others so alarming it seemed as though my own body created a fictitious sledge hammer to whack me upside my hard head as if to say, “wake-up stupid and make changes in your life before it is too late!”
The First “Signs”
The first of those “signs” occurred about eighteen years ago while I was on vacation. Now being on vacation, what’s so stressful about that? I was simply working-out in a hotel gym when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I became “lightheaded” with a feeling of disconnection so strong it introduced me to the wonderful world of panic attacks and anxiety!
All the fearful thoughts that went through my head only increased the anxiety: Am I having a stroke? Heart attack? Am I being invaded by aliens? (Well, when you’re feeling like this, EVERY and ALL thoughts go through your head!)
This “sign” lasted for about a million hours, well okay about 20 minutes, but it felt like it would never end. The feeling of loss of all self-control consumed me and all I could hear was the sound of my own heart beat beating faster and faster. My perceived sensation of disconnection grew stronger and stronger. For those 20 minutes, it felt like the most awful feeling I could have ever imagined!
The interval of which I felt these “signs” became closer and closer together. Initially they started just as they usually did, with a feeling of disconnection and lightheadedness. But as time went on, the physical sensations only become stronger.
On one occasion, I was driving my jeep on an entry ramp onto a major highway in Colorado. Out of nowhere I felt my right leg instantly go numb—the whole leg! I used my left leg to control the jeep as I drove off the road in a panicky frenzy, frantically rubbing my numb leg trying to bring it back to life.
Then, as fast as I lost feeling, I began to feel something in my leg again…and finally regained feeling all together. Of course, this set off a chain reaction of the most intense panic attacks and anxiety yet!
(What could have caused this to happen?)
Naturally I went to the ER and they began a series of tests, of which they promptly stopped upon hearing I had no insurance. I mean they were literally wheeling me in a bed with electrodes on my chest monitoring my heart while heading for the x-ray room, and as soon as they heard my insurance status, they turned me around to be discharged. All within 15 minutes!
I was then out the door with instructions to rest and if it happened again, come back to the ER.
(I have always been quite amazed how they could act so concerned one moment and so nonchalant the next.)
To this day I really don’t know what happened except for the possibility that the numbing of my leg was an extreme psychological reaction to my life at that time. My body was indeed that symbolic sledge hammer whacking me upside my thick head again in the desperate attempt to get me to make needed changes in my life—and fast!
As time went by, at least that particular “sign” never happened again (thank goodness!), but an even scarier scenario was soon to manifest itself.
That day came one morning in January 2002—and was unrelenting.
The Absurdity of Modern Medicine
I was in a chemistry class and (as exciting as that sounds), nothing would compare to the total life transformation I was about to walk into (or fall into)—whether ready or not!
I began to feel that now familiar disconnectedness with lightheadedness, but this time, there was to be no relief. I literally felt this way for the next seven months—and then on and off for the next few years that followed!
Again I went to the ER due to the fear that something was very seriously wrong! After a brief, and I mean brief exam (no tests done of any kind), they determined that the treatment of choice during that particular visit would be an injection of Benadryl. (Yeah, I thought that was an interesting treatment choice as well!) I was not having an allergic reaction to anything. No rash on my skin, no insect bite, and I did not eat anything that I was reacting to. So why Benadryl?
Did I mention I now had what felt like “electrical zingers” going down my right forearm? This apparently didn’t mean anything to anybody. (Was anyone listening to me?) My blood pressure was sky high, around 150/95 (my normal Bp has always been about 112/62.) I even started having occasional double vision.
But, once again I was released with a diagnosis of anxiety and panic attacks. So I left with a free box of Prozac in a brown bag and went home. It seems they, medical professionals, felt I might be depressed as well, ignoring that I told them I wasn’t. But they’re the “healthcare” professionals. Right?
Have you ever read the potential side effects of Prozac? Yikes! The side effects described were worse than what I was already feeling! Oh, by the way, on subsequent visits to the ER, I also collected Zoloft and Paxil to add to my brown bags of free drugs…just to, well as they put it, “…sample them and see if it helps”
Well, being more afraid of the side effects than my actual condition, I opted not to take the drug(s). However, the “signs” were nonetheless, relentless…
…what do I do now?
As the days went by, my weight steadily decreased with an appetite to match. So from a healthy weight of 130 lbs, I dwindled to an emaciated 100 lbs. within a 3-4 week period (I’m 5’4’’ in case you’re wondering.) Even my favorite foods had no appeal. To make matters worse, my right lower leg would “give-out”, which made walking more and more difficult. I now started to have periods of tremors in my legs as well. And my occasional “double vision” became more frequent. The devastating diagnosis of multiple sclerosis was starting to hit home.
I searched for other causes for my “signs”, which I’ll now call symptoms, and literally hundreds presented. Including something I found extremely interesting,
Per The American Academy of Family Physicians:
“Because no single test is totally reliable in identifying MS (including an MRI), and a variety of conditions can mimic the disease, diagnosis depends on clinical features supplemented by the findings of certain studies.”
Well, at that moment, I wondered if my multiple sclerosis diagnosis, and other autoimmune conditions for that matter, could possibly be the manifestation of one of many other possible of causes that medical profession simply doesn’t bother to explore. After all Multiple Sclerosis is an idiopathic disease, meaning ‘of no known cause’.
If many things can cause the same symptoms, then no one treatment can be given under the umbrella term of MS – or any other health care conditions. No wonder the medical profession doesn’t like the word “cure”.
This made me start to see things differently than I use to. Human beings are not copies of each other. We are uniquely different and thus, we require different means of healing no matter what the health condition. There must be more to these diseases than us simply being a victim of them. And with that realization – I found a cure.
When I took Control of My Life and Health
So there I was becoming a shadow of the woman I had recently been. My cries for help still not being answered by medical doctors and a growing arsenal of free drugs growing exponentially in my cabinet! Having been raised in a “health nut” atmosphere, I had to turn within and question the lifestyle I was living.
Could I be the reason for this show of anger my body was displaying?
So I asked myself:
- Did I eat well and take supplements? (Sure! Well, sometimes.)
- Did I exercise? (Yes! Well, not smartly.)
- Did I have anger issues? (No! Well, that’s a lie!)
- Was I judgmental of others? (No! Well, I just knew I was better than most people; nothing judgmental about that!)
- Did I have excessive stress in my life? (Yes! Well of course, doesn’t everyone! I just need to suck it up and shut up!)
I’ll say this for sure, it’s amazing how humble you can become when you feel your life is being siphoned away. It’s amazing the things you thought were so important and stressful are really quite humorous when you’re forced to take a step back and really take a look at your life. So, humbly I took inventory of my life and more importantly, how I perceived it!
So apparently I had MS, what I call “umbrella-termed disease”, that is given when “they” (the “modern” medical establishment) simply do not know what it is, what causes it, or most importantly, what to do about it except give you drugs?
I requested multiple times for doctors to check to see if I had parasites or perhaps something caused by some sort of bite—Lyme disease perhaps? “Well”, they said, “since I had not been out of the country, parasites didn’t seem to be a concern and since I hadn’t shown a visible appearance of the “bull’s-eye” sign (common indicator of Lyme disease)” So, testing me for Lyme didn’t seem to be feasible. Nonetheless, per the medical doctors, the chance that I had a pesky critter infestation was deemed as “highly unlikely”.
I wonder if they realized that only 30% of Lyme disease victims actually present with that “bull’s-eye-sign”? And more importantly the fact that lesions and damage due to Lyme disease and MS appear identical on an MRI! I couldn’t help but think, “Wasn’t it at least worth checking before concluding a diagnosis of MS, which is so awful?” …Just a question.
Consequently, I finally asked myself, “Now that I am presenting with an actual health condition, what will I do? Would I go the drug route, or the holistic route?” After all MS is an,“incurable disease”. However in some cases it can go into remission never to return again, though medical doctors have no explanation as to why this occurs.
Let’s pause for a moment and take note of the definition of remission.
It reads as follows:
“…the state of absence of disease activity in patients with a chronic illness, with the possibility of return of disease activity”.
It’s funny to me how the word absence, barely allows for hope due to the fear that it might come back.
However, it also seemed to me that if you heed the body’s cries for change, the circumstance is then also changed; thus, changing the playing field which then prevents the return of disease.
So before I give my life to the care of the pessimistic medical world, which wasn’t going anywhere, I’d first change everything in my life that could possibly be causing my symptoms (my “signs”) in the first place, and then and only then, would I consider the medical drug route.
But first let me be very clear, it is not that I am against modern medications.
What I am against is the lack of investigation as to what causes the problems in the first place! We are organic beings, isn’t it possible that the question and answer is organic and not pharmaceutical?
Nonetheless, am I anti-drug? No! In fact, because my symptoms were so severe and resting was so difficult, I researched old time-tested drugs and settled on diazepam (Valium) to help calm me down. Though its side-effects were unsettling, at least this drug had been around for decades so the chance of recall was less likely (since the recalling of new drugs has become a common occurrence on TV these days.)
Although the recommended dose prescribed to me was 20 mg (2 pills), I consciously decided to start with only ¼ of 1 pill figuring I could always add more. What I couldn’t do is subtract once the pill was swallowed. Diazepam did help calm me down and also made those electrical sensations bearable. The bottle that was prescribed to me had a total of 13 pills in it with, ironically, no re-fills (Mind you I could have all I wanted of those other free drugs I got in brown bags!)
I proudly can say, when everything was said and done, I had ¾ of a pill left in the bottle and that was the last prescribed drug I have taken since. It has now been 16 years since my symptoms were full blown.
So again, please understand I am not against prescription drugs when they are truly needed. The key here is, “truly needed”, not the blind writing of prescriptions simply just because they “might work”.
Whatever happened to good ol’ medical detective work?
Because I was getting so little help from the medical profession and because I did not want to build extra medicine cabinets to hold prescribed drugs, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
A very scary decision to say the least! But I was not just going to give up to some disease and allow my body to become a pharmaceutical drug dependent billboard.
So now, having only myself to rely upon, I began my journey into the world of holistic healing and whatever would happen, would happen— had to try to regain my health and my life!
I decided to begin at my foundation. This meant eliminating all chemicals from my life which included any and all chemicals in: food, liquids, soaps, deodorant, cleaning products for my home, my clothes (cotton only), etc. All were chemical free and organic when possible. I even used organic toilet paper!
Before I started all this, however, I had developed another major symptom, the lack of ability to sweat. This was extremely problematic. Not just because this can be dangerous from a toxicity point of view, but for me, this was an extreme change from my norm. I used to SWEAT! I thought of it as embarrassing, but now I know it to be a sign of health. Sweating, after all, is one way the body eliminates toxins from its system. So, apparently I desperately needed to start with a major detoxification of my body.
My Road to Recovery
I took hot baths for short periods of time, adding mustard seed among other herbs. Though this was difficult at first because with symptoms of MS, heat can be a problem. Nonetheless, this helped to facilitate the detox process. I also started taking megadoses of probiotics. When the body is so toxic, which is the case in all “disease states”, you are most likely not absorbing any nutrients whether from food or by supplementation. By changing the pH of your system (from acidic to more alkaline), you can purge yourself from years of “caked-on” waste. Any detox program must start in the gut.
This is how I started on the road to regain my health—or perhaps—obtained it for the first time!
As I began to detox, I went through what is known as the “Herxheimer Reaction” or healing crisis. This means that before feeling better, you actually go through a period where you feel worse. For nearly three weeks I felt very ill. I had a fever, headaches, and gastrointestinal issues along with all my original symptoms! BUT, I remember feeling that I felt different somehow. It was hard to explain to those who were concerned about me, but I felt different on a deeper physical level. Despite how I awful I was feeling, I felt the sparks of life deep within my foundation!
It was then that I absolutely knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was doing the right thing!
As time went by I was able to detox more intensely by adding saunas to my program as well as more nutrients to my regenerating body. It really was happening quite fast, but when it is happening to you, it can feel like forever. You know how it is, I wanted to be better yesterday. This impatience leads me to deep breathing and meditation to calm my racing mind, and eventually I included yoga. But all in baby steps, and I mean that literally! I use to go on slow (very slow) walks around a lake in St. Paul, Minnesota and remember wishing, “If only I could walk at normal speed like all these other people.” I made a goal for myself that by the end of the summer in 2002, I would walk at full speed and maybe, just maybe, a little jogging.
(I did indeed reach that goal!)
It’s amazing when you are forced to slow down just how beautiful everything looks—how green —how colorful. I was able to just sit and watch the ducks and geese for hours and hours when I realized something quite life altering—I was smiling and didn’t realize it!
This one moment is what led me to the understanding that physical and nutritional health are DIRECTLY related to emotional health and vice versa.
As time moved on, I became quite the “organic fanatic” (Hey that could be a bumper sticker, uh?) The supplements I added were based on my research and in actuality; I became my own “guinea pig” since my health was in my own hands – I finally owned my life!
In order to beat any disease (more commonly known as dis-ease), one MUST be totally committed and take full responsibility for one’s own life. Not just a change in diet and lifestyle, but also a change in thinking.
I knew that if I didn’t change how I felt emotionally, then despite everything that I was doing physically and nutritionally, the symptoms would come back.
This is where, I believe, the biggest mistake is made in most healthcare arenas (or rather disease-care arenas): The belief that health comes from the outside rather than from the inside!
My health steadily improved and I made huge advances especially when I also added chiropractic to the mix. Sure, I had gone to chiropractors on and off since I was eight years old as my parents were avid believers in alternative healthcare, but for whatever reasons, I didn’t fully understand what such a practice can truly offer to the body. However now I can say this:
Chiropractic was a major component in my healthcare treatment as it helped restore a healthy nervous system, and especially vital when your body is attacking that nervous system such as the case with autoimmune conditions.
I also knew I made the right choice in becoming a chiropractor myself. I lived through one of the most scary and life-changing experiences of my life, and now I get to share that experience as well as help others regain what is truly theirs—their life!
Today I occasionally still get what I call “reminders” from my body when I start to stray and enter the world of absurd stressors (aka: fast-paced-society and allowing others to make decisions for me.) But now I know and understand the art of listening to my body; as only I can respond to myself. I feel I am in the best health I have ever been and continue to improve with each passing day.
I love living in my new world!
The world of life!
Throughout this website/blog, Online Holistic Health, and my book, Healthcare Freedom Revolution, I share with you what I found on my journey back to true health. I have pieced together the extreme corruption of what the medical profession has become— a drug-oriented monopoly, and the research to prove it!
Allow me to share with you how I came out of the darkness of illness into the light of health and found…
…the joy and purpose of living!
My story has been published has been been featured in major health publications such as:
Read more about Dr. Michelle Kmiec: