“No one is going to hit you harder than life will.” – Rocky Balboa

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We all experience that blow behind the knees at one time or another. Some get hit harder than others, but we all find ourselves in that moment on our knees gasping for air. How you react is what will define you. Do you rise knowing there will be another blow someday down the road or do you stay on your knees because it’s safe. You must know at that moment who you are and what you need. The question is would you actually know.

Since I started this blog back in 2010, there have been many moments that I could describe as being hit with a 2×4 to the back of the knees. What that pain has taught me is a lot about my character and my strength. I am strong and I always stand up, aware that there will be more. What I wasn’t prepared for was a form of torture that I was slowly giving my body. The physical pain when life hits you hard is of course sadness, anger, frustration to name a few. I didn’t realize that when you pull up yourself and start to move forward there are still so many emotions you forget to acknowledge the most important one- fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of being alone, fear of losing someone you love, fear of failing we all hold some of these fears inside of us. However, we are strong and we continue to go about our lives, because there are good days. Unfortunately, repressed emotions can be very harmful to your body, so I wanted to share my story with you.

Face your fears; we have all heard this saying. Face your fears because if you don’t, that avoidance will become a silent killer. I was constantly living in fear; and because of that, I could feel so many things about my body changing in the last year or so. My stamina was weak, I was tired everday. I was barely able to get out of bed in the morning. If something made me sad I would start to cry and I couldn’t stop. I was slowly gaining weight with no change in my eating habits. I couldn’t concentrate; the simple act of grocery shopping or sitting down to pay bills was a huge feat. I could feel my body getting stiff and there were moments when I was freezing and minutes later I would be sweating. I would sit in the car or at my kids’ sporting events, and when it was time to get up I could barely straighten out my body. I don’t know what it feels like to be elderly, but at 43-years-old I could imagine by watching them move about it was certainly similar. Finally ,after months of this (yes I waiting too long as most of us moms/women do) I went to the doctor. She told me it was situational depression based on things that had happened in my life (divorce, death, heartbreak) and were happening, like being a single mom of four. As I look back, this is when I was proudest of myself and this is where it is so important to really know who you are. I said no. That is not it. We talked about other things like lyme, my thyroid and maybe early stages of Rhuematoid Arthritis or MS. She ran some blood work. When we met to go over the results it was negative for Lyme, my thyroid looked normal, so she decided to send me to a neurologist. I also declined the depression medication for the second time. (Although, I understand and applaud anyone’s personal decision to take or not take anti-depressants.

I returned home so frustrated. Everything inside of me was saying, “Well, if I don’t have depression, Rhuematoid or MS, what the hell is it?” How could a doctor spend 15-20 minutes with a patient and make a guess as to what is wrong with them. It was frustrating.

I am a huge believer that things work out how they are meant to if you are open to the signs and know who you are and what you need. How strong have you made your inner voice so you can be your own advocate? I was at my Aunt’s for New Years Day and she told me I didn’t look like myself. When I explained my symptoms and what the doctor said she suggested I go to see a Naturopath Doctor. My cousin Nick has Batten’s Disease and my aunt had found this amazing doctor who has helped him so much. This doctor was in Kennebunkport, Maine. Now I could have just appeased her and told her I would look into it. Maine is a haul for a doctor’s appointment when you have four young kids. But something inside me said GO! Long story short, after an hour and a half consultation and lots of non-standard blood work. The results were a non-functioning thyroid, myoplasma pneumonia, and mono!

He told me my immune system was depleted. I had basically shut down my own body. What I like about this type of doctor is that he explained to me that every human body is different and should be looked at individually. His treatment plan is natural, focusing on rebuilding my immune system with vitamins and natural foods. He did increase my thyroid mediation. Come to find out my primary care only tested my T3 and not the other parts of the thyroid like T4 or TSH. It’s important to note: An estimated 20 million Americans have some for of Thyroid Disease and 60 percent of those with Thyroid Disease are unaware of their condition, as the symptoms can easily be passed off as stress, depression, or lack of rest. He said the dosage of thyroid medication I had been on for 9 years was the lowest dosage available and it was like putting a drop of gasoline into a car and expecting it to drive; not gonna happen! My advice to you is to advocate for yourselves!

Since January, I have been on his treatment plan. My thyroid is functioning normally now, the pneumonia is gone, and we are still eradicating the mono. All symptoms are gone except for my stamina, which still seems low. The doctor said these things take time, as we are rebuilding the cells in my body. I believe him.

Today, I could say I’m good to go, but I realize there are things I need to work on in order to stay strong. I need to face my fears and the way I handled being sick. I refuse to be weak inside and out.  Our greatest journey and our greatest love is to ourselves. Who am I? Can I answer that and be proud of my answers? I am getting there and that is my hope for all of you. Don’t stay down on your knees and settle for pain because you have lived it for so long and it is familiar. Care for yourself as well as the others in your life. I tell this to my kids all the time, “Be a strong spirit in your human body, so that when that 2×4 comes at you, you are the one to break it in half. “

Find and strengthen your spirit.

Xo Kimberly


Feature Image by Yem Yoshioka