First, having autoimmune disease dysfunction is not the most interesting thing about me or my life. But the narrative is very important to whom I've become and why I do what I do.
More importantly, I want you to understand that, just as my autoimmune disease does not define me,
your disease should not define you. However, that does not mean we should not acknowledge it, honor, it, and move forward with a proactive plan to optimize our health and live the best life we can.
I'm a former engineer with a masters in technology. But before that, I was a professional traveling musician and guitar teacher. No, I'm not that old, there is overlap between those two previous careers. At a certain point I realized I didn't like the feast/famine of being an artist and felt the need to be home with my family. Another factor, my autoimmune issues also started to influence the decision to make a career shift to engineering. However, I didn't realize I was heading for a health tailspin that would once again call for another career shift.
Today, I'm a certified functional health-coach and clinical nutritionist candidate focusing on autoimmune conditions, using functional lab testing and nutritional therapies to educate and guide clients toward reversal, remission, and optimal health.
How did I get here?
As a life-long sufferer of chronic fatigue, psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis, manifesting as an endless roster of chronic and relentless mystery pains, endless doctor visits, and questionable (toxic) drug therapies, I'm not shy to say I know a thing or two about living with autoimmunity and the living hell that it actually is. Not to mention the embarrassment, shame, and feelings of isolation that inevitably come with the package.
I spent my childhood complaining about "feeling so tired", all the time. Doctors - and there were many - had zero explanation for my chronic 'tiredness'. In my late teens and early adulthood, the diagnosis invariably transmuted into a question... "maybe you're depressed?" "Maybe you drink too much milk?" "Maybe you eat too much red meat?" "Maybe you need antidepressants?"
In my mid-20's, after developing some, more, unexplained skin rashes, a diagnosis!
"Oh you have psoriasis... but it's no big deal... here's some topical tar-gel and steroidal cream for your skin..."
For the next many years, feeling terrible most of the time, I just kept chugging along operating on copious amounts of caffeine, energy drinks, energy bars, and refined sugar. You know, like we do! But, I was still eating "healthy", or at least that's what I told myself.... So I figured it was fine. My health would sort itself out.
Little did I realize a) such dietary choices were chipping away at my already compromised health and b) one autoimmune diagnosis, left unaddressed, will invariably become another, and another, until you're suddenly faced with a laundry list of chronic conditions that no one can actually help you with, no one seems to have any solid answers, and you're told there is nothing you can do.
The conventional healthcare model
A diagnosis and a drug prescription to suppress symptoms. Not a method or protocol to address the root cause or resolve the issue.
Let's face it, it is not a business of prevention or cure. There's no money in that model.
But, that is definitely a discussion for another time.
So, not only did that singular diagnosis of an autoimmune condition directly tie into my undiagnosed chronic fatigue, but to add insult to injury...
After a 20+ year, high-profile, high-stress career in the corporate world as a Cisco networking engineer (which I actually did love by the way), my decades-old self-managed Multiple Autoimmune issues took a turn for the critical. I turned to conventional medicine for answers, for relief... to no avail.
I received a battery of standard-issue immunosuppressant/ DMARDs, biologics, phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors, and vague dietary and exercise-regimen suggestions. My health and quality of life continued to deteriorate to the point of being virtually bed-ridden for almost a year, barely making it to work, and sleeping through the weekends.
Through research, experimentation and the assistance of alternative health modalities, and hiring my own functional health coach, I was able to turn-the tide, to regain a marked improvement in health and my life!
By taking these steps and empowering myself to reclaim my health, I continue my health and healing journey and enjoy 75-95% remission of symptoms and an overall reversal of my autoimmune condition; all without the complications and deleterious effects of conventional (toxic) drugs.
I am a living example of the transformative power of proper nutrition, healthy lifestyle, holistic healing modalities, and functional medicine.
After decades of self-managing my autoimmune issues, I experienced a personal health crisis.
Reaching out for help and focusing all energy on recovering, healing, and getting educated on biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, genetics, immunology, and orthomolecular therapies, I slowly began to get my life back. Eventually a new career in functional medicine, holistic-healing therapies, and health coaching began to emerge...
Today I'm passionate about living the best, healthiest, most pain-free life possible. In short, making the choices necessary to achieve as much freedom from my autoimmune disease as possible. Now I get to help others, also suffering, do the same; discovering the healthiest, most pain-free and liberated version of themselves along the way!