Twenty-eight years ago my daughter was born with congenital heart block requiring her to have a pacemaker implanted when she was 3 days old. Hours after she was born I was visited by a team of doctors. They asked a lot of questions – “do you ever get an unexplained rash”, “do your joints hurt”, “do you get tired easily” . . . The answers to most of those questions at that time was “no” and I had no idea why they were asking them. They finally got to the point and told me I had lupus which is what caused my daughter’s heart problem. “What in the world is lupus” I thought to myself. Of course this was prior to the time when you could just google something and have immediate answers. My daughter was in the hospital for 10 days while her body adjusted to having a pacemaker.
After we were home from the hospital I went to the library to see if I could find any information on my new diagnosis. The local library had 1 book on autoimmune disease with 1 chapter on lupus. From what I read it didn’t seem that I had this dreaded disease. Perhaps the doctors misdiagnosed me. I had a son 3 years later and he didn’t appear to have any problems. That is until he had to have an EKG to play football. The doctor informed me that he also had congenital heart block but it was not as severe as my daughter’s and therefore he didn’t need any intervention.
Fast forward 20 years. I went to the dentist and he told me “you have inflammation in your gums”. I went to the optometrist and he told me “you have inflammation in your eyes”. I went to the gastroenterologist and he said “you have inflammation in your stomach”. I started to see a pattern here! That combined with the sheer exhaustion I had every single day led me to go to a functional medicine doctor. The purpose of functional medicine is to address the underlying causes of a problem and not just “put a band-aid” on the problem by prescribing more medicine. My doctor asked many questions and did a great deal of blood work. The results showed that in addition to lupus I had Sjogren’s disease, Raynaud’s and rheumatoid arthritis. It also showed that I had food sensitivities to wheat, dairy, eggs and oranges as well as a thyroid issue and a problem with candida overgrowth. Needless to say, my life has not been the same since!
I decided to start this blog to share what I have learned about my health issues, recipes that work with my special diet as well as my hobbies of baking, crafting and gardening.
I am extremely thankful for my husband. He has been very understanding and supportive as I’ve learned to live this “autoimmune life”.