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DISCLAIMER: The intention of this blog post is to share my experience, not to give any advice. You are fully responsible for your own decisions.
Transformative Experience: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Life is a big adventure and everything we experience changes us in some way – sometimes just slightly and other times it can change the course of our life completely. Those experiences can be relationships, daily events, traveling, diseases, etc. The way we think, feel and perceive the reality in each moment determine the direction of our path.
The experience I’m writing about reshaped my life significantly, however everything has two sides of a coin and I can see the positive impact of those events on my life.
If you are curious what this whole thing is about and what are the positive outcomes of such a “negative thing”, be present and read carefully.
If you are struggling with any autoimmune disease, especially rheumatoid arthritis, you may personally connect with this story.
If you ever wondered why I don’t drink alcohol, you will find an answer here as well.
At the beginning I will explain what rheumatoid arthritis is and continue with my personal experience and positive outcomes. 😊
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, basically the body’s immune systems cells start to attack healthy tissue cells because for some reason they recognize them as foreign – dangerous for the body.
In case of rheumatoid arthritis the cells which are attacked are joint tissue cells, it usually creates chronic inflammation in the joints, what manifests as pain in and around them, they are usually swollen and can’t be bent the same ways as before. Some people are also suffering from stiffness. In some people, it affects one or two joints, others can suffer from multiple joint involvement.
I was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis twice in my life. They were both very different experiences as the first time I was a child and the second time, I was freshly 19 years old.
1st Time (2004-2006)
It started with a pain in my right knee and it was swollen. My mum took me to a GP and to an orthopedist. Nobody knew what was going on and as a child I remember they were just taking me blood all the time. Then they found out it could be rheumatoid arthritis and sent me to a specialist, since that time I was only going to this lady specialized in rheumatoid arthritis in children, she did some tests and officially diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis.
My treatment was performed by using painkillers 2 times a day for about 2 years, one cortisol shot and taking antimalarial medication for one year. To be honest, I was freaking out when my 19 years old me found out that I was taking pills against malaria for one whole year, because when you go to an exotic country you can only take them for a few weeks as they are destructive for the liver and kidneys. Well, the doctor was doing her best to help me. To support the treatment, I was twice in a spa for one month.
How was the treatment working? After one year of taking antimalarial medication together with painkillers, my knee was alright, so my doctor told me to stop the medication and after a few weeks the knee problems got back, which was very disappointing.
That was a point when my parents started to be more open to alternative medicine and on a recommendation of a friend, they took me to an herbalist. So instead of taking a symptom treating pills, I got an herbal tea and a strict diet for some time, and then another herbal tea and less strict diet. And it helped! I was free from rheumatoid arthritis for 10 years with no medication!
2nd Time (2014-2015)
This time was much harder than the first time. In the first case I was a child and I didn’t really understand what was happening, my parents were in charge, etc.
This time was hard because I was so aware of what was going on and I felt so powerless. My first hope was the herbalist who helped me the first time, unfortunately he passed away. I was going to the same doctor as before and when I asked why it’s happening, she only told me it’s because of a predisposition. However, it’s not a reason, it’s only an add-on to certain circumstances. At the beginning I was annoyed that she didn’t want to explain to me why it was happening, later I realized she didn’t know why it was happening because the reason is not even scientifically crystal clear.
As it’s usual in Western medicine I got pills to treat the symptoms again. Based on the first experience, I was sceptical. This time they were huge pills – I was supposed to take 500mg pills – two in the morning and two in the evening. And they were just against pain, but I wasn’t suffering from pain that much, in fact I didn’t care about the pain at all, I only wanted to heal myself. Well, I wasn’t really convinced to take them, especially after I read the side effects. I only took one pill twice a day for a month and then I decided to stop. The only thing I used was an ibuprofen gel to apply on my knee directly when needed.
Now you know what I didn’t do to heal myself – I didn’t take those prescribed pills.
What I did to heal my body?
I did take the power back to me and I decided to be responsible for this situation. I went to an aromatherapist whose approach was holistic, she told me to take blood tests – especially to take a look at microelements in my body. I was too low in iron and calcium, little bit low in magnesium. So, I started to take those in pills to make sure my body is moving towards the needed balance.
I went to lymphatic massages, I drank herbal, I went to a spa (it helped a lot to my physical and mental health), I drank green barley and ate chlorella tablets. I read many self-help books and I worked with my mindset.
In general, I made sure I nourished my body and at the same time I worked with my mind. I brought myself to a balanced state. And I healed again!
What am I doing now to stay healthy?
- I’m working on being physically, mentally and emotionally balanced. A part about this topic is in the last blog post here.
- I’m trying to avoid stress factors in the areas where possible – food and drink intake (I stopped drinking alcohol), chemicals in cosmetics (trying to use natural ones), environment (turning off wifi at night when I can, spending time in nature,..) etc.
- I’m aware of my digestion and when there is an imbalance, I’m working towards gaining balance again, which is not always easy. However, a healthy gut is so important for our complex health.
- I practice yoga, there is an anti-rheumatic group of practices and yoga nidra which are beneficial to this and other cases.
- Last but not least. I constantly work on being aligned with myself and things I focus my energy on as any inner conflict is affecting not only the mental health but the physical one as well.
If I’m aligned with myself from the inside out, why would my cells want to fight together?
WHAT ARE THE POSITIVE OUTCOMES?
There was an imbalance in my life which allowed the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis to show up. However, the symptoms were just on the top of a disharmony in life, meaning I wasn’t aligned physically, mentally and emotionally even before any symptoms appeared.
That means that I actually didn’t have the capacity to express my fullest potential and to experience life fully even before the disease. I just wasn’t aware of it. So eye-opening! This disease pointed this out for me and gave me the opportunity to change that.
I made adjustments in my lifestyle, I learnt a lot about myself and it opened this big chapter of a conscious self-development.
I believe that if I’m living in alignment with myself and the world around me, there is no reason for rheumatoid arthritis to come back to my life.
Bring a smile to your face and have a beautiful day!
Should you have any questions, comment below or contact me at michaela[at]michaelasimova[dot]com.
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