have lived in Toronto for most of my life. I finished my degree in Health Psychology three years ago. The plan was to pursue a career in teaching but after my autoimmune condition took hold of my life God created a new path for me and that is advocating for autoimmune wellness and education through my Instagram account, Rheumatismatic, that I share with my RA warrior sister, Monica (Yes, we have the same names!)
I was diagnosed with Seronegative Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 19 in 2012. My symptoms started in one knee and would alternate between the two. Eventually, over time, the inflammation spread to all my joints despite having tried all conventional routes of western medicine.
After searching the internet for solutions I came across the antibiotic protocol from The RoadBack Foundation. I was happy to see that people had found relief and even remission through this protocol. Since then, I have been working with a doctor who is very familiar with this treatment protocol and I’ve been able to connect with so many others who are also using this therapy. I am also working towards restoring my health through diet. I have tried many diets before which in the long-run have not helped me. It’s been difficult trying to figure out why so I’ve decided to work with a fellow RA sister who ate her way to health!
I am in no way healed, cured or in remission…YET… but for the first time in a long time, I finally feel like there is hope and a light at the end of the tunnel!
For the first four years of my diagnosis, I was walking in the dark. I had no idea what was happening to me, all I’d hear is that the reason for my illness is unknown or just genetics. I relied a lot on my doctors and their advice. I was young, my knowledge of health was pretty limited since I never had any serious health issues before. My diagnosis turned my whole world upside down.
It was only after extreme disappointment and frustration that I decided to drop all conventional routes and take charge of my own health. No one was going to fight as hard for me except for me!
Since then I’ve never looked back, my focus is to always move forward towards my goal of becoming healthy and putting my RA into remission. Rheumatoid Arthritis has been the biggest teacher in my life and I see it as a blessing in disguise. At the moment, I’m not able to work a traditional job so I’ve taken on projects such as running my Instagram account and side business from home.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture have been a huge part of my health regimen, especially when dealing with pain. Other methods include antibiotic protocol, proper supplementation, saunas, eating enough protein and cell building foods, massages, napping, working through any layers of negative guck and mental blockages that I’ve carried for so many years.
I guess my struggle is still finding healing, trying to fix something that has been so present in my life for the last 8 years is a struggle in itself, every day. I’m also pretty home-bound due to my illness. I struggle with minor social anxiety now when I have to leave the house and go out into public spaces.
There’s so many quotes that inspire me that I don’t even know where to begin…
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Philippians 4:13
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you” – Gen. 26:24
-“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing” – unknown
-“Every day may not be good but there is good in every day” – unknown
There are countless references in the bible that tell us we cannot rely on our own strength, we need God. There have been too many instances in my life where I relied on my own strength instead of looking to God, partly because of ignorance. I believe my journey has only strengthened my relationship with Him and perhaps this was the only way to get my attention.
Find Monika | @Rheumatismatic
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