You just can’t write life’s script in advance. Like all new journeys, this one came without warning. You may know my goal is to help people create a healthy environment to thrive and to ensure their entire family does too. But it was something very personal that moved me to take action and make this my mission.
A few years ago I got shingles. And I am lucky I did. Knowing how painful and debilitating shingles can be, it does sound odd to say. You see, my illness was pretty clear cut. I could have been struck with any number of difficult to diagnose immune or inflammatory illnesses – Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s, the list goes on – which are so often undiagnosed for long periods of time.
I’m also lucky to have a sharp, proactive physician who knew exactly what my “little” rash was and immediately got me on the correct medical treatment plan to minimize my case.
My brush with shingles was brief. I was truly fortunate and was never off my feet. But I was struck by what my doctor told me. She said any chronic stress (work, life, environmental, etc.) coupled with not taking good care of yourself are the twin triggers for latent viruses like that which causes shingles (and lots of others) to take advantage of people’s weakened immune systems. And she said that’s what happened to me. Wow, I hadn’t even realized how vulnerable I was to get really sick until she said that. I thought I did take pretty good care of myself. It made me think of how many millions of us wind up in the same situation – but often much, much worse – with no idea how to prevent or why they got sick.
It’s really no joke. There are so many chronic and auto-immune diseases that stem from how we take care of ourselves and manage our life stressors. That health scare jumpstarted my quest to understand how I could take better care of myself, including managing and reducing stress and sources of inflammation in my lifestyle while simultaneously bolstering my immune system – and how I could help my family and others do the same. Once I started looking closer, gathering information, and learning from others, I knew I was on my new path.