I’m Tracy. I’m 32. married to my husband Jared, have 2 Havanese dogs, and live at one of the world’s most beautiful beaches – Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. I decided to title this blog ‘This is Real Life’ because my life is pretty crazy from time to time. Sometimes I have to step back and just think, ‘Does this crap happen to anyone else?’ The answer is mostly NO, it doesn’t! You see, my entire life, well, as far back as I can remember in middle school, I have always had strange things happen. No, I don’t see dead people or anything. It’s like this – if there is a rare virus out there that has a 1:4,359 percent rate of contraction, I will get it. If there is a rare side effect to a medication, I will have it. My whole life is like this! So, I have had to learn to just accept that I am unique and have to deal with all of life’s curveballs that are thrown my way, while trying to remain positive at the same time. I am religious and I understand that God knows everything and his plan is divine and perfect. But man, some days it’s really hard to pull myself together and put on my big girl panties. I guess this blog is really about my journey to health and well being – or TRYING to be healthy at least. I’m going to back up and start telling some things about my life that will all come together to make sense in the present. Most people probably won’t care about this blog at all – they don’t know me or it’s too long or whiney. But, I do have a message I want to get out there to everyone. I just need to take the long, scenic route to get to that message for it to be clear. Bare with me!
I want to go back in time to the year 2010. My life was amazing! I was 25, graduated college, looked great, felt great, and just knew that amazing things were going to happen in my life. I had a hard time finding a teaching position, so I settled for a job at a neighborhood daycare facility. I had babysat, but not for 8 hours at a time everyday. It was a lot of physical labor (and germs!) – picking kids up, changing diapers, getting up and down from the floor for circle time, etc. My knees began to really ache after about a month or two, and I attributed it to the getting up and down so much and not being used to that. My teaching partner said she did not have the same issue, so I started to wonder. One day my joints hurt so bad that when I got home from work I told my parents and they said I needed to go to the doctor the next day. That night sometime around 4 a.m., I woke up in excruciating pain all over my body. Just being alive hurt. It took everything I had to get out of my bed, bend my fingers to get some clean clothes out of my dresser, and shuffle down the stairs to my where my mom was sleeping in her bedroom. She was sound asleep, so I decided I would sit on the couch and watch TV until around 7 – then I woke her. I told her how much I was hurting and literally couldn’t get in any position that was comfortable, so she suggested I take a hot bath. She helped me in her giant soaking tub and there I sat for 30 minutes. I needed her assistance getting back out because it hurt so much. She helped me get dressed like a child, and we drove to UAB to visit my doctor. My dad met us there.
After much conversation and multiple blood tests, my doctor ruled out any disease, including rheumatic fever, which would have made the most sense considering I had been battling strep throat around 4-5 times a year for the last 5-6 years of my life. (I should have had my tonsils out years ago.) He sent me home with antibiotics and steroids for 3 weeks just in case there was an infection and to get the inflammation down. I noticed a drastic difference in a couple days, but after the course of treatment I still had pain in certain joints. So, I was sent to a rheumatologist. He found nothing either and was totally stumped. He put me on medication for rheumatoid arthritis anyways, so I got started with that right away. I did feel better when I took it, but I didn’t want to be on it forever because of the possible side effects, so I eventually weened myself off and start taking natural supplements like glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, etc. to control my pain and prevent further damage. After about 6 months, not much arthritis pain remained! This is the best way I know to describe this entire situation: The hand of God was placed onto my body for healing. God intervened. HE did. I feel that way because doctors had no explanation. All signs pointed to rheumatic fever which can be deadly and leave a person with debilitating pain and joint problems .. yet I was freed from that. This is really where my journey began with natural health supplementation and becoming aware of what foods are really healthy versus what isn’t. I am fortunate that my mom was a very open minded person and she was right there with me the whole time eating healthy and always talking to her holistic doctors and other patients looking for alternative ways to help her sweet daughter. By the way, I did have my tonsils taken out while I was still on the antibiotics my doctor gave me. I had those suckers yanked out and haven’t missed them since.
I’d like to back up even more to the year 2009. Just trust me – this story is an important puzzle piece in the larger story of my life.
My mom was always a very creative person. She could take the most boring room and turn it into your favorite place in the world. She could paint, (REALLY well), make bows, sew, and do so many more crafty things it’s ridiculous. She owned a business since before I was born and did various craft shows around town. We were both working one year at the Easter show she always had a booth at and she told me that one of her breasts was burning and itching. She finally had the chance to go to the bathroom and check it out and she came back telling me it was black and blue like something hit her extremely hard and her nipple was turned upward. She showed it to me and I was appalled! She told me she didn’t run into anything and that it was fine that morning. She didn’t say it then, but she feared the worst. Later that night at home she researched her symptoms online and the only thing that kept popping up was inflammatory breast cancer. It was a Saturday and there was nothing she could do about it until the next week, so she tried to relax and not worry. That night, my niece was born.
Monday my mom went to her doctor and he was puzzled, asking her if she was in a wreck, hit herself on something, etc. He said it would go away on its own. She got a second opinion from someone else who was equally as stumped, and they told her it might be a burst blood vessel. Coming home with what seemed like no answers, her breast did eventually stop looking like it was hit with a baseball moving at a speed of 50 mph. Just remember this story for later.
That’s all for now!
Thanks for taking the time to read. More to come later .. promise I’ll make a point eventually and not ramble every time!