A Journey to Health-Esteem

SVP noter: les personnes qui partagent leur histoire de mieux-être sur le site Web du Mouvement du mieux-être le font dans la langue de leur choix. Elles sont publiées dans le même format qu’elles ont été soumises; dans ce cas-ci, le texte a été soumis en anglais seulement. Si vous aimeriez vous aussi partager votre histoire de mieux-être et contribuer à inspirer les gens, il vous est possible de le faire via notre formulaire en ligne disponible à www.mieux-etrenb.ca/formulaire-creez-votre-histoire/

L’histoire de Sara

Qu’est-ce qu’il se passait dans votre vie et dans votre entourage avant que vous ne changiez votre mode de vie?

In 2012, at only 24 years old, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. My case was very severe. The muscles in my calves were affected; it was difficult to walk without overwhelming pain. I was experiencing extreme hyperthyroidism, a resting heart rate of 120 BPM, hot flashes, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, depression, anemia, weight loss, goiter, difficulty breathing, Graves Ophthalmolopathy and more. This illness effected my ability to work and essentially put my life on hold. I felt trapped and afraid. There is no cure for Graves Disease and at the time I was looking at a year or two on thyroid suppressants, eventual radiation and a lifetime on medication.

Quels sont le ou les changements que vous avez décidé de faire? Quel a été le « point tournant », soit le moment où vous avez décidé d’apporter un ou des changements?

In January of 2013 I began to experience extreme digestive upset and pain. I had been unable to work for about 6 months at this point and experiencing new symptoms terrified me. I believed that I was powerless to change my declining health. My doctor and I discovered that gluten was the cause of these new symptoms, so I cut it out of my diet completely. I felt so much better incredibly quickly and I decided to use this as an opportunity to revamp my entire diet. I gave up processed junk food and began to eat a simple diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables. I also started to live life very differently – welcomed meditation, yoga, journaling, positive self talk and more into my life. Today I only eat foods that will nourish my body and promote good help and I love to support local, New Brunswick farmers.

Quels sont les défis auxquels vous avez eu à faire face et de quelle manière les avez-vous surmontés (qui ou quelle a été votre source d’appui)?

I achieved remission in October of 2013 and felt like my complicated journey with Graves Disease was over. Unfortunately, after accepting a very demanding, stressful job and putting my health on the back burner I relapsed in 2014. It’s been difficult to accept that Graves Disease is a permanent part of me, something I will have to manage and live with everyday. I needed to accept that remission or not my body is extra sensitive and I need to take special care to ensure that I protect my health.

My amazing doctors (family and endocrinologists) have been the greatest support system. I’ve also created a great team of family and friends; I wouldn’t be where I am today without my husband, my parents and sisters and wonderful friends.

Healthy, local foods have been absolutely imperative to my healing and I am lucky to live in New Brunswick where we have amazing local shops and farmers markets. This has been an important support system as well!

Quels sont les résultats de votre démarche, pour vous et votre entourage, aujourd’hui et dans un proche avenir?

I write a blog at www.mshealthesteem.com. My articles are about self-love, acceptance, wellness and nutrition and discuss how I thrive with my chronic illness. I’ve also contributed to ICIDICI.com, a local, online community magazine, and I recently worked with Nova Scotia Organics. Through these mediums, I’ve been able to connect with people going through Graves Disease and other illnesses. It’s difficult to stay positive when facing a chronic illness which is why my website has had a great impact on their journeys. It’s amazing to connect with people experiencing similar things and create a positive experience for them. I also help people see that regardless of where they are in their health journey eating well and taking care of your incredible self is a positive step towards wellness.

Today I am in remission. My changes impacted my health so positively – I never needed radiation and I am currently not on medication. Though I will always have Graves Disease, I have accepted that it is a part of me and continue to receive the best possible medical care. I also continue to eat a health supporting diet high in local fruits and veggies and treat myself and my body with the utmost care.

I hope to continue to inspire others going through a chronic illness to eat well, love themselves through the difficult times and treat their bodies with the utmost kindness. I will continue to grow my website, collaborate with local companies and websites and connect with my audience!