My Unexpected Journey
I am a simple kind of girl. I like things easy-going, minimal, calm, and peaceful. This all changed when I began a very unexpected journey with allergies and my health. Keep reading to find out more about my personal story, and how I got back to simple.
How it All Began
My unexpected journey began in 2003. At 7 months pregnant, I suddenly developed a mysterious rash up and down the front and back of my torso, and all over my hands. I toughed it out for a few months, but as a result, could barely tolerate clothes. My skin continued to get worse, and I didn’t want anyone to see me. It got very bad. I contacted a dermatologist. Being pregnant I could not do many of the treatments such as intense steroid creams or steroid shots. I saw several dermatologists and they all said the rash would go away once I delivered my daughter. So I endured it for a few months until my daughter was born in February 2004.
Finally, in May 2004 I was diagnosed with severe eczema and skin allergies to formaldehyde, nickel, and fragrance. As a result, I quickly made a lot of changes in my daily life. I was frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed, and saddened. I felt lost, and things were anything but simple.
After several years, my skin healed, but other symptoms appeared. I had extreme fatigue, headaches, reoccurring sinus infections, and gastrointestinal pain and discomfort. I sought out treatment from a holistic doctor first, since a friend referred me. Eventually, though, this led me down a path of ridiculous obsession on finding a cure and trying to rid myself of all these allergies/conditions on my own. I became extremely hyper-focused on fixing my health but neglected my family in the process. I was on a dangerous path, and my health continued to fail. I told myself, one more test, one more thing to try, one more type of treatment, then I will feel better and heal. I tried many different diets on my own, grain-free, paleo, vegan, raw food, and I just decided to stop going to that doctor. I was still frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed, and sad. I felt lost and extremely lonely. I never knew what to eat, and that put me over the edge. I wasn’t enjoying anything anymore. I became obsessed with food. I began to lose a lot of weight and became severely malnourished.
After several years of me being obsessed with healing myself, I knew something had to change. I was referred to an Allergist and a Gastrointestinal Specialist. Once I started listening to them, I started healing. I was officially diagnosed with adult-onset food allergies to soy, wheat, dairy, nuts, and peanuts in 2012.
Since I continued to have other symptoms, the Gastrointestinal Specialist did other tests and I received Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) diagnosis and a Fructose Malabsorption diagnosis in 2013.
Read more about my journey with these conditions below.
As I continued on this unexpected journey, listening to my body and my health professional made all the difference. I started going to a therapist to deal with all the stress and frustration of a new lifestyle and new way of living with allergies. I take many medications for all of my allergies and conditions, but that is what I need in order to maintain my health. As I listen to my doctors and follow their treatment plans, I continue to heal every day.
This is my personal journey and personal story. Not everyone is the same, so if you struggle with allergies or someone you love struggles, this may not be what you need. Some people can heal just by diet or through holistic treatments. I just couldn’t. I had to accept that in order to truly heal. Listen to your body.
Healing and Peace
Throughout this unexpected journey, I realize how internal healing is just as important as external. I needed to heal my soul. I experienced a new loss with each diagnosis. I needed to grieve, and so did my family. I never let myself do that. We never did that as a family.
I found my way back to simple and back to enjoying life again. I healed internally, by going to therapy, but also with prayer. At the beginning of this unexpected journey, I somehow lost my connection with God. Everything was about me, and my plans, and my agenda. Once I got back into prayer and connecting with God daily I started healing even more.
Currently, I no longer work and have devoted my time to cooking allergy-friendly meals that my whole family can enjoy. Now I want to share them with you. I am finally back to simple and it is so beautiful. Thank you for joining me on this new, unexpected journey. Let’s heal together.
Blessings, Laura xo