This photograph was taken in August 2019. This is the first hike that I managed to do without any pain whatsoever since I got sick.
In June 2015, I woke up one morning with intense pain in my lower back and SI joint. As the days went on, the pain got worse, and eventually, I couldn't walk anymore.
This is the beginning of my health journey and my battle with chronic inflammation and autoimmunity that changed my life.
During the first 6 months, doctors were not able to diagnose me, they could not understand what was wrong with me! Some didn't even believe me when I told them how much pain I was in. I was bedridden, had horrible joint pain, I was taking all types of anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medications, cortisone, morphine... nothing helped. I even went a few times to the hospital where we did extensive testing and everything always came back "normal".
Finally, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis thanks to the HLA B27 genetic test and a bone scintigraphy scan to look for inflammation. The doctor prescribed immunosuppressants that are TNF-blockers (injections you do every month that kill a certain fighter cell of your immune system). Unfortunately, this drug only masks the issue, it does not treat the root cause : my immune system was still flaring up, it was just missing the munitions to fire. Aside from the risks of infection and lymph cancer, what was bothering me the most was that I was not allowed to get pregnant while on these drugs.
My goal was to heal myself to not have to depend on drugs my whole life.
My TNF-blocker injections helped me regain a little autonomy, but I still could only walk 5 minutes at a time, and I was dependent on pain medications all throughout the day...
When I moved to the US with my husband, I discovered functional medicine and nutrition. I consulted with Dr. Osborne, a Functional Doctor in Texas, who is specialized in autoimmune diseases. He does not prescribe drugs, he looks for the root cause and allows for your body to heal itself. We did A LOT of different tests: gut test, nutritional deficiencies, cardiometabolic test, Adrenal stress test, urine halides, toxic metals, food sensitivity test, hormone balance... after which he developed an 18-month supplement and nutrition protocol. It consisted of following the Autoimmune Protocol, eliminating the foods I was hypersensitive to, healing my gut, and taking supplements for the vitamins I was deficient in, and supporting my immune system.
I discovered what true health was, how it felt to have energy, to not have digestive issues anymore and most importantly, to not feel pain on a daily basis.
I finally managed to get off my injections in July 2019 and got pregnant one month later!
Today I am completely symptom-free, pain-free, and drug-free. I manage my disease through nutrition and lifestyle. With everything I went through, I feel the need today to help others who are going through what I went through or that simply want to live symptom-free, pain-free, and be truly healthy.
Everyone deserves to live its life to it's fullest!