As I look back on my seemingly healthy, young self, I see I wasn’t so healthy. I remember being in my twenties complaining to my doctor about always being tired and her telling me I was just stressed and to not worry so much. I continued to struggle with depression, anxiety, severe environmental allergies, chronic sinusitis, a hospitalization for meningitis, a dying father and fatigue that I can compare only to pregnancy fatigue but it was worse than my pregnancy fatigue.
By this time, at age 28, I was told I was just getting older and needed to quit stressing about things so much. Besides all this, I was healthy when it came to all my blood work and at a healthy weight and exercised regularly.
By the time the next baby was due in January of 2004, I started to feel even worse and that continued after she was born. By then, I was overweight and now had high cholesterol. My thyroid numbers were normal and I was told to take statins (“for life”) and I slipped even further into a deep depression and debilitating fatigue.
At a routine physical in 2007, a lump was identified on my thyroid gland that warranted further testing. This lump, of which 98% of them are benign, turned out to be cancer AND it had spread to several lymph nodes in my neck. I was looking at a total thyroidectomy and lymphectomy, radioiodine treatment, and medication therapy for the rest of my life. This is the “best cancer to have” and the medication management and therapies are “easy” said many of my doctors and nurses. I was told that once I had surgery and started my meds, I’d feel normal again.
That didn’t happen…I had a recurrence less than a year later and have struggled with medication doses and tumor markers showing up in blood work ever since. I looked to other ways to help me muddle through the day and found how nutrition – proper nutrition – did just that for me. I met with a nutritionist and found out there was a lot of room for improvement.
I also walked away from there thinking, “I want to be her. I want to do that job!” She put so many pieces together for me and when I started learning about nutrition and how it affected MY health it started to improve…slow but steady.
I learned how to feel better through choosing the right foods. I began focusing on keeping those culprits out of my diet – the ones that caused brain fog, anxiety, depression, irritability, headaches, swelling in face, hands, and feet – and consuming a mostly whole foods diet
In the midst of this nutrition discovery, I struggled to do the job I loved for so long – teaching Biology and Anatomy & Physiology. It just wasn’t conducive to my health for various reasons and it kept me stressed out and exhausted. So, as sick and tired as I was, I decided to go back to school and start a business that allows me to help people improve their health through proper nutrition.
In April 2014, I completed the program that entitles me to a Master’s of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Performance (MSN). So, now I sit with a B.S. in Biology, a M.Ed. in Education and a M.S. in Nutrition. I also went through the process to become a board certified nutritionist (CNS) which required extra training and internship hours in order to sit for the exam.
With this education and credentials, my goal is to continue using my teaching background while educating groups and/or individuals on nutrition and how it can help symptoms.