“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”
This was my mantra from 2013 to 2017.
Living with a chronic illness poses a lot of challenges for the entire family.
And those were really difficult years for me and my family.
At the time, my family and I were going from doctor to doctor and exploring different treatments and tests to figure out a way to bring our daughter’s severe eczema under control. This pretty much summed up our life for almost a year and a half till things became worse.
The year was 2014. Our daughter’s eczema was kept under control with the help of strong medications like immunosuppressive drugs.
She used to ask me often
“Why is my skin like this? Why doesn’t it any better?
When will my skin look normal and I can play with my friends?”
It was a very difficult time for her. Her skin had always looked different due to the texture and discolouration. There were also a lot of restrictions in terms of diet, lifestyle and activities at that time.
The year before she had been hospitalised due to a life threatening infection. This was a side effect of an immunosuppressive medication that she had been given which shut down her immune system.
I have written more about this before and you can read it here.
And while she had survived this ordeal, our struggles were far from over. She was still on immunosuppressive medications to manage her eczema and there was no other solution in sight.
It was only later in 2014 that I found Functional Medicine and it changed our lives.
We started her on a Functional Medicine protocol in 2015 with the help of a practitioner. After being on Functional Medicine protocol for 2 years, in 2017, our daughter went off all her medications. And her skin remained clear and smooth for several years.
Accepting the challenges along the way
Then during the pandemic, she had a flare up in 2021 due to a combination of factors that are not always hard to determine (apart from emotional stress). In 2022, she was put on another system, biologic drug. This time the medication had superb results and proved to be the most effective!
The good part is that we are tapering it off and she should be able to go off her medications in 2023.
This is such a good reminder that good health is not some destination that you reach, it’s a journey that you take.
I always tell my clients that
Healing is a journey and we must prepare for it accordingly. There will always be ups and downs but we should never lose sight of WHY we embarked on this journey in the first place.
In my daughter’s case, we embarked on a healing journey to find a gentler and long term solution for her health issues.
“Peaceful mind, healthy body”- a healing journey
And this is exactly what I help my clients to do in my coaching programme.
I have a unique 3 pillar framework called “Peaceful mind, healthy body”. The 3 pillars of this framework are
One of the main themes, SELF CARE is designed to teach my clients to
- build emotional and physical resiliency
- prioritise what matters
- increase their self awareness
These tools help my clients to be motivated and stay on track during their healing journey.
Laying the foundation of long term health requires us to focus on the basics no matter how boring it sounds.
In my practice, I focus a lot on foundational strategies like eating hygiene, sleeping hygiene, bed time and morning routine, self care practices, mindfulness and stress management, and relaxation.
Without these strategies, most people find that their results are short lived.
3 lessons that I learned when dealing with my daughter’s health issues
There were many lessons that life taught me during this time.
I have shared below the 3 most important ones that stand out for me and hold true till today
- Continue to focus on the basics- I learned that non matter what was going on, I needed to always stick to the basics that are necessary for long term health creation. Things like wholesome, nourishing foods, sleep, rest and relaxation, regular moisturisation, toxin avoidance
2. Practice regular self care – as a primary caregiver my own mental and emotional health was extremely important. This is true for you even if you are the one facing health issues.
A consistent and regular self care practice is necessary to minimise and cope with any set backs and deal with the stress of living with the chronic illness
3. Prioritise what matters– I learned that in order to find an alternative solution to her health issues, I had to prioritise what was important at that point in our lives. I worked on becoming clear on what was important and letting go of other distractions.
For the whole of 2014, I focused on doing research on how the root causes of eczema. While it took 2 years, this eventually led me to Functional Medicine.
You can learn more about Functional Medicine here.
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”
Those were very difficult years of our lives, especially for our young daughter. It was also hard on my younger son as he had to deal with living in a high stress and challenging environment.
However, we found a way to cope with it together and eventually turn things around as a family.
It took a lot of strength, determination, and persistence to do that.
I hope that by sharing our story and the lessons learned from our experience, you too are able to see a way through your own challenges.
As I used to remind my daughter often “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”
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