From the age of three, I remember sitting on a hospital bed crying from the pain in my over inflamed knees.
“Growing pains” turned into a diagnosis of Rhumatoid arthritis.
I watched my father get up and walk despite being told he’d be wheelchair bound so I thought you just took the drugs and got on with things.
When the drugs weren’t enough then steroid injections followed by manipulation of the joints under general anesthetic was given.
I had a very physical job and weight trained 3 x a week to have strong muscle to support my joints.
Side effects of the drugs and no improvement forced me to look at food intolerance’s and as a dairy farmer I was devastated to find out that milk was the worst culprit for me.
I left farming briefly only to return 2 years later wearing gloves and protective clothing. Eventually I moved to a different country to buy a beef and sheep farm.
This had brought on a new set of challenges.
The lack of a gym, overwhelming work loads and less than perfect life at home brought on twice monthly migraines and a ready supply of painkillers.
With 70 cattle and 300 sheep among others meant that stopping work until it passed was not an option but neither was having up to 6 days a month being incapacitated.
The doctor’s solution was to put me onto Beta Blockers. This resulted in one night at about 3 am in the middle of lambing was that my heart stopped for a beat causing me to violently crash to the floor. I was tested for epilepsy and heart problems and it was this moment that I realised that I wasn’t going to survive this if I didn’t get out of the incredibly stressful situation I had found myself in.
I eliminated the stress from my home life but it took another 6 years to be able to sell the farm and animals, sort out a very nasty divorce in a foreign country etc.
Within 7 months of the farm being sold I was diagnosed with breast cancer, but looking back at mammograms it had been present the month following the farm sale, just not spotted for another 6 months when my gynecologist asked for my latest results.
I was rushed into a programme of surgery, radiation therapy and drug therapy. Rounds of tests, if I tried to question anything it was just brushed aside. I was told this was the protocol. The treatments were harsh, no wavering from the one size fits all. Things started to spiral out of control. I have the scans to show that cysts were growing at an alarming rate, my uterus wall was thickening and told that the following month I’d need an hysterectomy and chemo.
My neighbour had started in the same way as me exactly a month later than me. She had accepted the conveyor belt system and treatment we had both been put on, she went on to have the hysterectomy and then let the chemo kill her.
I returned to the doctors to say I needed time and had stopped all drugs. They went mad. I was being shouted at in their surgeries so resorted in taking my incredibly supportive partner with me to calm them down. My gynecologist shouted “who gave you permission to stop?”
I still turned up for routine scans to monitor the situation while I started looking into many self healing methods. Each test result showed an improvement until finally there was no sign of any problem anywhere.
I had spent a lifetime looking after the health and welfare of 100’s of animals, from their nutrition, housing, drug regimes, breeding and genetics but I had let my own health take second place. As long as I had enough caffeine to keep me going, a constant supply of nicotine and a glass of wine at night with a high carb meal then I thought I was fine.
This has now turned into a journey to repair the damage they did to me. Yes I would’ve done things differently and I wouldn’t be rushed into something so quickly again. I now awaken every morning surprised that I have no pain. This is truly the 1st time ever I can say that in my lifetime.