THE BEGINNING: A Patient Journey

This is a blog series by Amber, a patient who is sharing her personal journey while receiving care from The Livewell Clinic. All thoughts are her own.

When I was a little girl and I thought about my future, not once did I think that at 33 years old, I would wake up in pain every morning with stiff joints. 

I didn’t think that I would have been diagnosed with multiple autoimmune disorders, anemia, chronic fatigue, and chronic pain. It didn’t cross my mind that I would have been on immunosuppressant medications and round after round of steroids to try and get a handle on my rheumatoid arthritis. Yet here I am.

I have been stuck in this constant whirlwind of trying to fight off symptoms without anyone showing me that they could get to the root of what was going on with my body. Reactive medicine is the standard for most people and I accepted that life was going to just be rough until I could find the right regiment to combat all of my ailments. 

I accepted that, until I discovered that there could be a different way … functional medicine.

I was fortunate enough to learn about the Livewell Clinic through my work. I got to learn about what they did and the types of diseases they were seeing success with. So, I figured, what the hell? Let’s give this a shot. 

If I could figure out the root cause for my health problems and start fixing the problem from the root instead of masking symptoms with various medications while everything else was still out of control, why wouldn’t I do that?  If I could possibly get off of the medications with the horrible side effects that kill my immune system and leave me vulnerable to catch every bug my kids come home with from school, why wouldn’t I do that?

I had a great talk with my family about the changes that I would be making in our household because this would need to be a team effort.  I have a 12-year old daughter and 17-year old stepson and a husband who all love to eat. Letting them know that the menu in the house would have to change wasn’t the easiest conversation to have, but when I told them that it could make me feel better, they were supportive.

I will be documenting my journey with the Livewell Clinic over the next 12-18 months to update you all of my progress along the way. There are definitely some nerves and I’m not going to sugar coat anything because I want you to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

I know there are going to be hurdles. Anytime you make a lifestyle change, it’s difficult and you have to be patient with yourself. Am I a little nervous that I won’t be able to do things well enough? Yes. 

Am I nervous that somehow this won’t work for me?  Yes. 

But I’m the kind of girl that has to try.  My family is worth it and dammit, I’m worth it. I’m worth having a life that I can live as my best self, so here we go!