The Day After Today

Before I begin musing, I do want to start off by saying I have missed my WordPress community. One of the highlights of my morning, while sipping on coffee and preparing to spend the day immersed in editing, is to sojourn through your blogposts, enjoying your anecdotes, stories, encouraging messages, passions, and projects. I love that. My negligence can be explained simply by saying that I have existed in what I would call a living nightmare for the past five days: insomnia.

It started Sunday evening; I awoke in a panicked state, grappling with the sheets, sweating, disoriented, and in pain. A severe, dull throbbing pulsated at the back of my head, just above the slight indention. I shook violently. I couldn’t catch my breath and my heart raced like I had spent the last ten hours running for my life. I was terrified.

Nearly swooning when I stood up, I reached over, turned on the light and woke my husband. Groggy and confused, he asked me what was wrong. I could hardly speak, but managed “I don’t feel well.” I was unable to tell if my nausea was related to an actual symptom of what was happening to me, or if in my terror I had caused it.

Our bedroom felt like a cell; if you live in California, you might know we have been experiencing unusually high temperatures which hardly cool off in the evenings. It’s been miserably hot lately and nearly impossible to rest comfortably. Amid the shaking and the flush like a fire I couldn’t snuff, I knew I had to get outside. Michael and I walked out the front door and I took off down the sidewalk at a slow gallop. I think I was trying to outrun whatever was gnawing at my neck and stomach. The pain was unfamiliar, nothing I could remember experiencing.

My first thoughts in those moments: I have a tumor. I know, it’s crazy, but exhaustion depletes you of sanity. Also, about ten years ago a sudden double-vision struck me over night. I simply went to bed and the next morning woke seeing double. Just after insomnia, double vision is one of the worst, terrifying, stressful times in my life. And of course, one of the main predicators of a neurological issue is double vision. Though it was likely no more than a week or two until I had my MRI and we received the news that I did not have brain cancer, I would have pledged on a bible that at least a century had passed.

Moments grow into decades when you’re living in a bubble made out of fear molecules.

The sky had only just turned; a pale, streaky pink, with blue and white blotches. We had decided for whatever reason to take Bella (my pup) with us on our walk. I can remember watching her zig and zag across the sidewalk thinking, “I’m dying. I know it. I’m dying.” I should mention now that I have anxiety issues. They run in my family, and when anything potentially life-threatning occurs — usually the completely irrational fears — I start spinning backward in a tumult of hypochondria.

Michael eventually suggested I sit down, and so I did, thinking that any moment here, any moment . . . I would wake up.

That day, I continued to experience an awful head pain and a plethora of other weird pangs and sensations, both bothersome and uncomfortably eerie. I couldn’t sleep. The best I could so was sit on the couch, watch TV, and try to take my mind off the situation. My husband began researching my symptoms, to which we eventually arrived at either a “tension headache” or a sinus infection. I was experiencing lots of popping in my ears; however, none of my sinuses were activated to any painful degree. My mother-in-law, a nurse, shared that we have sinus cavities all around our head and it was possible they were inflamed, or my ears were filled with fluid. After an ear examination, normal bloodpressure, lack of fever, and Sudafed that helped none at all, I privately contended with the possibility that I was having an aneurism, bleeding in the brain, or my tumors (hypothetically) had grown to the point where I was now in serious peril.

I didn’t sleep that night. Or the next.

A tremor had developed, usually starting in the evenings just before bed, shaking me so hard my teeth rattled and causing my abdominal muscles to ache with constant pressure. I shook for fourteen hours straight. I thought I would die of it. The headache, too, would not lighten up. It circulated around my head, touching my temples and lower skull with hands like slow firing grenades. I fell into an exhausted delirium at some point, my legs dangling off the side of the bed in attempt to ease the tremor. Possibly I might have slept about ten to fifteen minutes at a time, amounting to something close to an hour, but the sleep was fragmented and not restorative.

After the third night, I had Michael take me to Urgent Care. Only, he had a very important meeting that day, from 8 to 10. He couldn’t miss it, as it was the very first meeting that would start his new career as a permanent School Psychologist. When he came in that morning — he was sleeping on the couch at this point — I told him I needed help now, right this minute, knowing it was impossible, but unable not to want it. It was 6 a.m. and I hadn’t slept. Tiny explosions continued to detonate all around my head, stomach, and heart. We discussed my coming to the meeting with him, which would get us to Urgent Care maybe thirty minutes sooner. I couldn’t stomach the idea of just sitting in his car, counting the minutes until he would come find me. I stayed home and waited, pacing the short corridor of our home.

Around 11:30 a.m. we saw a doctor I had never met, and I desperately pleaded my case: “Help me. Please.” I think he cared. I don’t know. I can only imagine the amount of patients he sees on a daily basis, all of them complaining about this and that and such and such. I informed him of my long-standing history with insomnia; that at eighteen it, just like the double vision, sprung up and persisted for over a month. (To date, this was the lowest time in my life.) I let him know what medication I had taken for over ten years, how I was able to wean myself off with acupuncture and extremely strict bedtime rituals. It was not easy. In fact, it is the most difficult thing I have ever done. But I did do it. And now, the thought of putting that drug back into my body was all at the same time devastating and liberating.

I just wanted my life back.

After that appointment, we went to see my friend Patrick, a chiropractor I see on a weekly basis. We were all fairly certain that it was tension headache ailing me, because I have constant issues with my trapezium muscles, to the point where they knot and swell so badly I can hardly see straight. I can work with the double, I’ve adjusted, but the blurry vision is just too much. Anyhow, the moment he felt my neck he knew something was very wrong. My atlas — the bone at the top of my spinal chord — was completely out of place. Within three adjustments he had put my bones back in alignment.

Guess what? The headache went away. This was the very first victory in three days. I celebrated with a Chai Latte.

That night the tremor came on at 9 p.m. I took the other medication the doctor prescribed me first: the anti-anxiety pills. The doctor had assured me they would absolve the tremors. I took two. Nothing happened, so I took another. Still, nothing. I couldn’t do this again. The idea of it was enough to send me into a writhing panic. I had shaken for hours and hours and hours the night prior. I wouldn’t survive another night of it. I took a sleeping-aid and had my husband hold me, him whispering prayers of peace and mercy into my ear. He didn’t just hold me, though; he grabbed me; as if I was his life-support and it was the only thing that would keep him alive. I cried, thinking that this could be one of the last times he ever held me like that.

The tremors began coming and going. They would be there for three minutes, then go away for five, only to arrive again with a maddening swiftness. Michael had me lie face down on the bed, then pressed his body on top of mine. The pressure helped a little; it prevented me from shaking hard, though I could still feel it there, like a fault line teasing my thighs. With a cocktail of drugs in me, I lay that way and eventually had Michael cover me with a blanket and told him to go to sleep. He left the room and I slept fitfully.

The next morning I thought I had died and been resurrected. Everything, I mean everything, hurt. If I opened my eyes, even for one second, nausea formed bile that launched into my throat. Somehow I found the remote and turned on the TV, trying to focus on that instead of the other stuff. After a while I started to function somewhat normally, had coffee, because if I didn’t, I would incur a reduced-caffeine headache. I didn’t taste it, I just drank it, the same way I was eating, the same way I was doing everything: with perfunctory obedience.

Mercifully, around 1 or 2 every afternoon I would start to feel better and even had desires of going out. We would go get coffee — decaf — walk around Target, take walks; just do normal people things.

The fourth night I only took the sleeping-aid. I took one. Then I took a half an hour later, then another half thirty minutes later. It’s hard to recall, but I think I slept about an hour that night. How this is possible, I don’t know, but I felt better that day than any other. Even more so than today, after nearly a full night of sleep.

I slept. Finally.

I think it was the acupuncture. I had went to see him (Dr. Hing, he’s a character.) yesterday, and as I mentioned before, this treatment was what helped me permanently cease using medication to fall asleep. We also went to The Lazy Dog Cafe and had a lovely dinner. We do this almost every Friday, but this time it was vastly different. This I’ll save for another post, but eventually I want to talk about what happens to a person when the customary and mundane suddenly becomes magical, making every moment with the ones you love something special beyond words. Another post . . .

So, today my double is still pronounced, but I am hoping that goes away with a few more nights of healthy sleep. I celebrated the slept night with cleaning out the fridge and dusting, wiping, and Febreezing our bedroom. It felt wonderful, let me tell you.

Now, I wait for the day after today. Will I sleep tonight? I don’t know. Perhaps I was so overly tired that the meds worked only because I was prepped for sleep. Or maybe I will sleep even better because it’s one more night my body is accustomed to the medication. Either way, I would appreciate your prayers. Jesus has been livened in me. At night, I pray without ceasing, clinging to His strength, asking for no more than enough strength to endure the next sixty seconds. It’s all I need: just sixty seconds of Him at a time. His promise to not forsake me is what has allowed me to hold tight, to not completely break and burst apart. I know He is with me, suffering as I am.

I continue to operate at half-mast. I am fuzzy and emotional and at certain times bleak. I am hopeful, though. I beat this once, I am pretty sure I can do it again. Once I am sleeping well enough to do things like exercise and think coherently, I plan to start weaning myself off the drug, which is always tricky. I have do it, though. I refuse to live enslaved to a pill.

I hope to make my way around to your blogposts. I really have missed them. Computer work, however, for any length of time is taxing on my eyes. As I type this, I really don’t even see the screen or the keyboard; my fingers do most the work, as they know letter placement better than even I do. But wow, does it feel good to write something. Even this, even just purging myself of the ordeal of the last week. Thank you for listening, thank you for reading. I hope each and every one of you is well and happy. I hope to be back soon.

Take care, my friends, and be well.

~ Cara

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59 thoughts on “The Day After Today

  1. Cara, I’m so sorry you’ve been going through such an ordeal. I will for sure say some prayers for your relief and peace of mind. I’m so glad you have a supportive husband there with you.

  2. Prayers up in the sky, love. Do you have epilepsy or some form of it? Three days like that would plunk me in the emergency room and I wouldn’t leave until someone told me what was wrong with me. You are so very, very brave. Big hugs and hopes you get well soon.

    • Thank you, Jenny. No, no epilepsy. And as the toll has reached over 7, I am happy to report I have managed to stay out of the emergency room, though not for my lack of trying. ;-) Luckily I am married to a glacier (cool and calm) and I live with a nurse who can diagnose me and also assure me I am not dying!

    • No need to worry, Jonel. I am still here, doing all I can to triumph over anxiety and stress. The healing is in His hands; the power is in my hands.

      Hope you are well, my friend.

  3. I loved your expression ‘living in a bubble made out of fear molecules’. This sounds scary, but you described it really well. I really, really hope things work out. It sounds scary, really scare.

  4. Good grief… what lot of scary things to be dealing with. I wish you courage, the intervention of someone who can diagnose and cure what ails you, and a speedy & full recovery.

  5. Oh Sweetie I’m so sorry!! I work in nutritional therapy and encourage you to keep up the accupuncture, try reflexology if you can, drink lots of distilled water and if you have a juicer I highly recommend juicing as a means of cleansing vital organs.
    The medications you’ve been on can over tax your vital organs and then allow toxins into your muscles which cause pain or tremors and just a general un well feeling. Eat lots of kale salads along with other super greens. And if you juice be sure to include carrots, beets, kale, a little ginger and a bit of apple. Try this two or three times per day. This combined with medication may alleviate your symptoms.
    Also, I work closely with Naturopaths and encourage you to see one that is willing to work with your medical doctor. This may also be a way to help your body heal. Naturopaths from Bastyr University are my absolute fave as they seem more willing to work with western medicine and sometimes it takes that combined effort to heal the body.
    I completely understand how you feel Cara. My oldest daughter had similar symptoms and unfortunately Doctors found a tumor on her pituitary gland. Thankfully its an active tumor and can be dealt with through medication, the unforunate is that the medication has nasty side effects. However, we continue to work with both our Naturopath and Endocrinologist.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you sweet gal!! Love and hugs!! Karista

    • Well, Karista, since you left this comment, the Hubs and I went out a purchased our first juicer. And I have to say, I am loving it! And I don’t have to say, but I will anyway because I am that kind of girl, I have had excellent results in the lavatory! ;-) I have suffered from gastrointestinal issues for a while, and within one day of drinking two smoothies, I had a nearly perfect bowel movement. Sorry if that was TMI. I am just a bit elated about the whole thing.

      So . . . I am just going to copy and paste a few things, as many have said the same as you, and I want to respond thoughtfully to legitimate concerns. Firstly, though, I wanted to say how saddened I was to hear of your oldest daughter’s tumor. No doubt you have been dealing with this for a while, but still I wanted to say so, and say how relieved I am that they are able to treat it with medicine.
      After speaking with my mother in law, a nurse, and having her perform a neurological exam on me, we believe that much of what I have been experiencing is the spawn of anxiety. All I do 24 hours a day is wonder what is wrong with me. I am constantly taking inventory of my body, so that every twitch, every discomfort, every weird sensation could possible mean something terminal. It’s been maddening. I still believe there are some neck/head/tension issues to be resolved; I am not making any of that up, as it is what woke me that first night and where my insomnia stems, but the numbing, the tingling, the odd feelings, all that is being perpetuated by my anxiety and worry. After I had my mother in law give me the neuro test and check my vitals (which were perfect, I should mention), I decided that going to the gym and working up some endorphins might be a good idea. And what do you know, I had an amazing workout. I was weak from no sleep and muscle fatigue, but I did half my normal routine, then managed to stay on the elliptical at for 30 minutes at level 12. A sick person, a truly, truly sick person would not have been able to do that. The tremors, the numbing and tingling, has stopped. As soon as I wrapped my head around the fact that I am not dying, because medically it’s impossible, my symptoms abated. I was in shock over that . . .

      Again, thank you for suggesting the juicer. Either way, this is a good thing for us!
      Love to you!
      ~ C

      • Cara I’m so glad the juicing helped! There are books about juicing, which you may already have, that talk about which fruits and veggies, and a combo of both, are good for particular health issues. Beets are definitely good for clearing out the system! I like the Juicing Bible by Pat Cocker. You can find it on Amazon.com I think.
        Anxiety and panic attacks are completely debilitating. I’ve had them and thought I was having a heart attack. My youngest was in and out of the hospital back then, my Mom diagnosed with cancer and my best friend dying of cancer. Not a happy time and I was holding it all in. Like you, I started exercising, started culinary school and started walking down the path of whole nutrition (and I prayed a lot!). So now when I feel that panic coming on, I drop everything and take my little Tank for a long walk. Go get a massage, go have my nails done, pour a little vino and read a book, or just something that allows the stress to alleviate. You are so young and taking really good care of yourself now is key to a long and healthy life. Good for you friend!! So glad to see you’re taking charge. That’s what I love and admire about you! Love right back at ya!!

      • Oh, what a terrible time for you . . . I don’t know how I would have coped. But how incredible that you were able to take what was happening all around you — the worry, the fear, the hopelessness — and turn it into something positive. You are a true inspiration, Karista.

        I am purchasing that book today! Having so much fun with my juicer! ;-)

    • Thank you, Beth. I’m doing okay. ;-) My head still hurts, but I went to the gym last night, can you believe it?! Had a great workout, too. I still need sleep, but overcoming the stress I have been putting on myself is what is going to release me as captive.

    • It certainly has been tough, Rachel; though no tougher than what you have been through. If anyone can understand the worry, the pain, the constant unsettled feeling, it’s you. Good thing we have a Big God who carries our burdens. Thank you for your prayers. I’ve been praying for you, too. Hope all is well with you.

  6. 5 days of insomnia? I’m so sorry. I know it’s different from intemittent sleepless nights, which I’ve had. Maybe writing at night is better for you? I’ve had accupuncture and it did help me in several areas. Now, I stay away from unnatural sugars, most of the time, and drink hibiscus tea after a warm shower and it’s extremely helpful. The tea is calming.

    • Ugh, yes, 5 days is quite long; though not my longest by any means, if you can believe that. I’ve went 17 days with less than eight cumulative hours. I haven’t been writing much, because the computer is taxing on my eyes, but actually I think I’ve just “told” myself it’s taxing on my eyes. I have told myself a lot of untrue things in the last week, and believed them, which has caused me more trouble than the actual health issue that began this whole nightmare. I agree with you about the shower and tea; that has been helping tremendously. The rest, literally, is up to me. Worry don’t add a single day to your life, so it’s not worth courting it.

  7. I couldn’t hit “like” on this post, because I didn’t like it at all. Cara, I am so sorry! Yeouch! Being an insomnia struggler myself, I am well familiar with the feeling of everything hurting, you skin feeling like it bruises just to look at it because you’re so dadgum tired. I’m glad to hear from you, as I was about an hour away from writing you to make sure you hadn’t died, but I was hoping you were off on some exotic vacation with M, not being wracked with pain and half-alive. I’ll be praying for you, especially tonight at bed time.

    • Oh, Christy! Such a way with words you have! LOL.

      No . . . I am not dead; though, some days it feels like I encroach his doorstep. yes, the insomnia is awful, but I have lived and endured through several years of it; it was the anxiety that was metaphorically killing me. Crazy the effects stress and worry can have on the human brain. We can actually talk ourselves into symptoms and experience them!

      Thank you for your prayers, friend. They are helping. ;-)

  8. Cara,

    My heart breaks at the struggle you’ve been faced with. On one hand I am thankful for the blessed rest that finally came, but on the other I am left worrying about the root cause. I will continue to lift you up and pray for a total and complete restoration in your health. All my love to you, my sister!

    Lori

    • Lori love,

      I won’t repeat myself, but you can read in Ninali’s comment what I believe the “root cause” of the issue is. There are certainly factors to be taken into consideration, my ongoing neck and back issues being the most valid, but the rest . . . ah, the rest is something else, something I am causing.

      Thank you so, so much for your prayers and love; they mean a great deal to me. I am blessed to know you.

  9. I am praying for you like crazy, my love! As always, I am so inspired my your openness and vulnerability, sharing your deeepest struggles and encouraging others in the process. You are a true light, my wonderful friend, and know that, even in the midst of these trials, He is using you to glorify Himself. I, and I know so many others, can see it!

    • Thank you, my love. It is so good to hear from you, both through email and on here. I miss our talks and time, but I am so thankful for the internet which allows us to connect across seas!

      I am praying for you as well. God is certainly moving through us both. You are my light, Amanda Young!

  10. Cara, I’ll be sending prayers your way.

    I wonder if your illness is related to the ongoing radiation and cesium leaks from Fukushima. The media isn’t covering the triple meltdown that occured on 3/11. It hasn’t been fixed. The US is downwind from Japan. The toxins go into the Pacific Ocean and the air currents, straight to the West Coast of the US.

    There’s a site called Jeff Rense that covers the ongoing nuclear disaster. It’s causing mutations in insects already and is in the food in the US and Japan. You might want to start looking at the site. .Even if your illness isn’t related to this, its still infromation that all of us need to know.

    http://enenews.com/mainichi-interview-the-reactors-still-continue-to-release-radioactive-materials-the-govt-needs-to-recognize-the-gravity-of-this-situation

    http://enenews.com/gundersen-rapid-insect-mutations-after-fukushima-frightening-video

    Take care.

    • Thank you, Susan, I appreciate that.

      I will look into this. As expected, I’m sure, I haven’t heard anything about it. Scary stuff. Hopefully soon they are able to detect whatever is causing this and put a stop to it. And if they have already located the source, then I hope they do the right thing and shut the plant/facility down.

  11. Oh my, poor sweet Cara! What an ordeal you are experiencing…I can’t imagine. There are times when I have horrid migraines that make me nauseous and very sensitive to light feeling as though my head will explode right then and there but your stuff makes mine seem like I am out for a nice day at the beach. I am so sorry you are going through such symptoms and I pray that things are getting better since posting this. Take care of yourself my friend, try and be as positive as you can. I always feel that a positive attitude really can help keep negative things away, because when you are being positive about life you tend to ignore the negative and it can’t impact you if you aren’t aware of it. That of course is not related to your pain (ignoring pain is impossible) but more your faith in getting back off those meds and reclaiming yourself again. Virtual hugs and real prayers for you! xxooxx

    • You are so right, Ninali. And after speaking with my mother in law, a nurse, and having her perform a neurological exam on me, we believe that much of what I have been experiencing is the spawn of anxiety. All I do 24 hours a day is wonder what is wrong with me. I am constantly taking inventory of my body, so that every twitch, every discomfort, every weird sensation could possible mean something terminal. It’s been maddening. I still believe there are some neck/head/tension issues to be resolved; I am not making any of that up, as it is what woke me that first night and where my insomnia stems, but the numbing, the tingling, the odd feelings, all that is being perpetuated by my anxiety and worry. After I had my mother in law give me the neuro test and check my vitals (which were perfect, I should mention), I decided that going to the gym and working up some endorphins might be a good idea. And what do you know, I had an amazing workout. I was weak from no sleep and muscle fatigue, but I did half my normal routine, then managed to stay on the elliptical at for 30 minutes at level 12. A sick person, a truly, truly sick person would not have been able to do that.

      So . . . please pray for me. For sound sleep; that whatever is going on with my head will subside with adjustments and TLC, but also that I might beat the anxiety, not allowing it to enslave me any longer. Either way, until I physically can’t, I need to live my life.

      Thank you for you prayers, love, and concern.

      Love to you, my sweet friend!

  12. Thanks for sharing your story, I know it’s painful and I hope ultimately you will get to good place. As a life Coach and someone who has worked with women going through all sorts of difficult challenges, I know how important it is for other women to be able to read blogs like this. You are an inspiration.

    • Thank you, Marie. A Life Coach you say? What a neat profession. I imagine it’s wonderfully gratifying. :-)

      As far as me, I am convinced that all that I go through is for my benefit. Stretching hurts; but I have growing to do and it’s necessary I go through this pain to come out the other side a stronger, healthier, and happier person.

      So glad you came by. Take care,
      Cara

  13. Cara, my heart went out to you when I read about all the ailments you’ve had to deal with in the last days. I am so glad you are feeling better and appreciate you sharing your ordeal with us all. Stories like these are the ones that make us remember how fortunate we are.

    Keep doing the things that will allow you to maintain a place away from the pain and discomfort you’ve suffered. I hope the rest of your week is much better :).

    • Yes, it’s been rough to say the very, very least. I have been stretched beyond my limits the past 7 days, as it goes with growing. I am unsure what the Lord is doing in me and have had to trust that it is His plan, not mine; He will do great things through me and has promised never to leave me suffering alone.

      If my story can be a reminder that life is so incredibly precious, I am glad. We should be living each day as if it were our last. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so we should take advantage of the moments that allotted to us. When I feel good I celebrate, when I feel poor I pray.

      Me, too. I hope I continue to get healthier and better, but if not, then it shall be what it will be.

      Take care, Jackie, and thanks for dropping by. ;-)

  14. I have suffered with insomnia….but never to this extreme. I am so sorry for all you have been dealing with. After a car accident….I was afraid to sleep…the few times I fell asleep, I would wake with night terrors. Sleep was the answer, but the sleep aide given me, if taken for more than a few nights, causes severe pain. (just a caution) Hang in there….keep writing (journaling), it helps! Thinking of you ♥♥♥ paula

  15. Dearest Cara,
    I’m so sorry that you’re suffering, but especially sorry about the component of fear and anxiety that worsens everything you’re enduring. I’m so glad you belong to the Lord, and have your Michael; that you have perspective gained from your Mother-in-law’s neuro evaluation of you, so you can distinguish things more rightly! May you sense that the Lord is near, with His arms around you, that He knows you. You’re right,
    Isaiah 63:9
    “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.”
    Love,
    Maria

    • Maria,

      Thank you so much for these thoughts . . . I apologize for my delay in responding. Though I am happy to report I am doing much, much better, I am still quite a bit out of whack, and just a little forgetful.

      Oh, me too! And it’s actually times such as these that I wonder how anyone suffering with fear and anxiety makes it through unscathed, without the Lord’s help? How fortunate we are to belong to the Lord. A lovely verse, thank you for sharing it with me. I have found scripture to be a stalwart barrier against pernicious thoughts.

      Hope you are well, my friend.

      • So happy to know you’re doing better, Cara!
        Yes, it is “a stalwart barrier against pernicious thoughts.” Beautiful way of stating the truth.
        Bless you!
        M.

  16. Wow; you have my sympathy and empathy. After a very stressful year, I began to see double without warning. Bam! A headache seconds before the double vision and then everything doubled. Like you, I thought I was having an aneurysm or tumor or something life threatening. The bouts of double vision came and went w/o no warning… i saw all of the doctors, and i told them all, ‘i’ve been under a lot of stress.’ they all said they did not think stress was the cause, perhaps the trigger but there was something larger at work. tests for all of the scary illnesses came back fine… when the first attack happened, i stopped taking birth control pills (linked to strokes) and stopped eating/drinking anything artificial, which included aspartame (nutra sweet) i was highly sensitive to msg, but basically nothing was ever linked to my illness and as mysteriously as the symptoms came, they left.
    i was fine for five years, and out of the blue i got a really bad pain behind my eyes. my vision slowly clouded, and i feared that a tumor or aneurysm was surely at work. i lived in a remote area of costa rica at that time, and i took a commuter flight to see doctors in the city. by the time i reached the city, my symptoms were almost gone aside from a halo effect. after that, the same as before. many tests. no answers. i realized that again i had been drinking a lot of crystal light and diet koolade lemonade mix. a lot, like a gallon a day. i had been drinking a lot of lipton powdered tea mix the first time, and that had aspartame in it as well.

    since then i have done lots of research, and i feel positive that aspartame was the cause of my visual problems.

    i’ve been over ten years with no hint of a visual problem. i hope that you find what causes yours, but if you haven’t seen an allergist about food sensitivities, that would be an option to consider.

    good luck, and i hope that you’re on your way back to wellness.

    lisa/z

    • The contradiction that lives within us always surprises me. Our bodies, they were built to last, to be strong, to endure things like pregnancy and horrible accidents; and then . . . something such as artificial sugar has the potential to blind us, to render our bodies frail, weak, and obsolete.

      I am so, so glad to hear that you have deduced what caused all your ailments. If it’s a matter of staying away from certain drinks, how wonderful! As much as I love me a delicious glass of Pepsi, I curse the day we discovered how to make a concoction out of sugar, carbonation, and battery acid. What are we thinking?!

      Your suggestion is sound, and I do plan to meet with a nutritionist very soon. I have seen great results thus far by implementing juicing into my diet. Hopefully as I continue to do this and avoid harmful foods, I will find my body restored to a healthy place.

      Blessings,
      ~ Cara

      • well stated, and i hope that you continue to do well. i am lucky that i can go outside every day and pick hibiscus blossoms, fresh mint and lemon grass and return inside to make a great pot of tea. when it cools, i remove the lemon grass but put the rest in the blender for an extra dose of hibiscus! adding lemon juice is an amazing finale, which transforms the burgundy color into a shocking candy-apple red!
        we’re also lucky to have just-picked papayas, so great for wellness in so many ways.
        z

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