Wrapping It Up

Well, 2017 is about to come to a close. It is so hard to believe that 2018 is just 2 days away. Its rather scary to be honest!

2017, was probably a combination of some of the best and worst moments of my life. It was a constant roller coaster of good mixed with bad mixed with great mixed with horrible, but I am so thankful for every moment of it.

Beginning in 2017, I finally got word that I had been hired by a local volunteer fire department which was a rather lengthy process. Finally getting this position was so exiting but it meant I had to change a lot of things in my life. I had to change my priorities, my time spent at home, my job, everything. One of my biggest apprehensions of joining the fire service was not being home so much and away from the ones I love. But, in order to have the job I wanted, I was just going to have to bite the bullet and do it. For the first two months of academy I was both working on the ambulance over the hill, working in Santa Cruz, and going to the academy. I was wiped out, rarely home, and majorly sleep deprived. I quit my job on the ambulance, coincidentally it worked out that this was right around the time the company was downsizing anyways. So I moved all of my work to Santa Cruz. I went back to working as a lifeguard and going through the academy. In May, academy was done and I managed to get an award at the end of it which made me super stoked (total highlight of the year). As one of only two girls in my academy of 19 other males, I was so shocked I was selected for the award and I may have cried a little when I found out I got it.

So, I start working at the fire department while still lifeguarding and then started working for another ambulance company. I quickly realized the ambulance situation I was involved in was not a friendly work environment so I left and decided to go 100% full time at the fire department. Best choice ever. In doing this I was able to go on strike teams, get tons of experience, and a huge certification that usually takes people over a year to get! I got it in 6 months which is huge!

Also in the process of this, I got so sick I thought my life as I knew it, was never going to be the same. I went to Idaho and was diagnosed with lyme and candida as most of you are well aware of at this point. I went through countless treatments that made me feel horrible, restricted my diet more than ever, traveled back and forth to Idaho while still attempting to work full time and felt like I was a zombie 100% of the time. This was rock bottom for my health, I mean, as low as I felt it could be. Turns out it wasn’t. About 2 months into treatment I was feeling worse and worse and worse and I had no clue why. I was constantly calling the doctors office to tell them something wasn’t right, but they said this was the normal course because of all of the die off that was happening and my body just probably wasn’t detoxing out the die off quickly enough.

On my last and most recent trip to Idaho, I was in the worst place mentally that I had been in, in years. I was depressed, angry that the treatments weren’t working, hopeless, feeling like this was how I would feel forever. That whole week was extremely emotional for me, I was crying daily, feeling like nothing would ever get better. On my last day there, it was like the 5000 pound jacket I had been wearing for months, was lifted and the skies parted. I felt lighter than air, I felt happy, I felt well. It was amazing. Not sure what it was but on that last day I feel like all of my treatments just completely clicked!

I have been home since, and feeling amazing. I feel like I did pre fire academy, where I had energy to train, exercise, go to work, play with the dog, go for hikes, go out after 5 pm (huge miracle that I wasn’t in bed feeling like death at this time of day), and study!

It is now 2 days before 2018 starts and I have high hopes for 2018! If all of these amazing things can happen through the midst of all the insanity of 2017, I cannot wait to see what 2018 holds for me!

 

I hope you all have a fantastic New Years and lets ring in 2018 with some happiness 🙂

xoxo

Morganna

Big Announcement!!!

Alright people, I gave you a teaser a few weeks ago, but now I can actually release the big news! My buddy Kayla and I started a podcast! It is called Fire. Fitness. Food! Our first episode was recorded and released last night on Soundcloud temporarily and will be on iTunes hopefully by next week!

Here is the link if you want to listen on sound cloud! Please let us know what you think and keep in mind that this was just the first episode! There are many more to come!

We would love listener questions to be sent to us. Our email is firefitnessfood@gmail.com

xoxo

Morganna

Treatment Updates…

Once upon a time, 4 months ago, I was so sick, I could barely get out of bed, I could never remember where my car was parked, and I couldn’t think straight. Fast forward, and wow, what a change! I am not in remission yet but I am on my way there.

I was asking myself last night, what I thought, were the biggest things that I have done treatment wise, that have helped me get to this point, and to be honest, I couldn’t think of one specific thing, but rather, I would say, everything has worked synergistically to get me here.

First I am going to talk about diet.

Pre-West Clinic, I was surviving on white rice, kombucha, dark chocolate, almond flour, coconut oil, chicken, spinach, and a few other random things. My immune system and my digestive system were so incredibly wrecked, most things that were healthy, would completely set my system off, like you wouldn’t believe. When I would try to eat a salad or a bowl of steamed veggies, I would feel like most people do when they eat an entire pizza by themselves. It seemed insane to me that eating fruits and veggies would make me so sick. Fortunately, a lot of that has changed! I can’t eat all the fruits and veggies I want quite yet but I am getting there!

My diet now is 100% paleo and I intend to keep it that way. I am eating chicken, fish, and turkey, I don’t eat red meat because it doesn’t agree with me, and that is fine. I eat lots of kale, spinach, green leafy veggies, lots of avocado, plantains, turnips, some root veggies, almond butter, coconut butter, stevia on occasion if I need something sweet, lots of coconut oil and olive oil, and a few more paleo things, but I keep out sugar and most fruits. In case you didn’t know, sugar and fruit feed candida and lyme, so keeping those two things low is crucial to the healing process.

Next up is supplements.

I take a lot of supplements, about 25 per day. Yes, I am one of those people that carries around a pill container and have them organized by time of day they need to be taken. It is quite glamorous.

Here are a list of supplements I take:

Mycocyde (tincture), Clarkia-100 (tincture), Samento (tincture), Banderol (tincture), serrapeptase, glutathione, glutamine, liposomal vitamin C, digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, a-drenal, lauricidin, gut gold, vitamin D, organically bound minerals, and blood sugar all in one (multivitamin with tons of B vitamins).

As far as treatments go:

I am doing acupuncture typically 1-2 times a week, I do 2, 30 minute sessions a week in a machine called the HOCATT, which is this crazy hyperthermic ozone pod that I absolutely love, and occasional IVs when I need a boost or I am feeling like my symptoms are creeping back. My IVs usually consist of high dose C, b-vitamins, zinc, minerals, glutathione, and some other random things.

Workouts:

So, I am starting to workout again. Not a lot, and not like I used to, but when I can and when I feel like it, which is becoming more often, these days. I usually do some low intensity strength sets with things like back squats, deadlifts, strict press, strict pull-ups, and large muscle group movements. I then do some medium intensity intervals on the air dyne or rower or with some body weight movements. My workouts usually don’t last longer than 30-40 minutes and for right now, I am totally happy with that. I would rather have energy to play with the puppy or go for a walk with her or not be so fatigued at work that I have trouble doing my job. I am right where I am supposed to be and I am confident that I am getting better, every single day. I don’t compete in Crossfit anymore and I never will again, that is fine. I don’t need to. I need to be healthy and capable of living life and doing my job 🙂

 

That is all I have for now!

Have a great day everyone!

 

xoxo Morganna

A Turning Point…

A Turning Point

 

Wow, what a difference a week can make. I am not sure what it was, but all of the sudden, after my 15th treatment last week in Idaho, I feel better than I have in months! I feel like I did, pre fire academy! I was feeling really down and out the entire week I was in Idaho because I wasn’t seeing much improvement, but man oh man, something clicked and woosh, better! Fully 100% better? No, but, any major improvement right now is welcomed. My treatments last week were different than all previous treatments. I did more of some things and less of others. On my first day, I did a check in where the doctor still saw a ton of candida, parasites, and bugs in my blood which was a major emotional downslide for me. He asked me what my 2 main wishes for that week of treatment were and I told him, I want more energy and I want my digestion to continue to improve. He didn’t say much but said, go get hooked up to your IV, we are gonna hit it hard. So, I did major autohemotherapy with ozone and then a Meyers cocktail IV, plus an endonasal adjustment and a chiropractic adjustment. On Tuesday I did a 3% hydrogen peroxide IV plus a Meyers cocktail IV and neural therapy for my adrenals (owwwwww). Wednesday I did another session of major autohemotherapy plus a meyers cocktail and glutathione (I think glutathione is my major game changer here). Wednesday night I decided to go to the hot springs in Lava and man it was great. I think the hotsprings help me ton with detoxing and killing off the lyme because those little suckers hate the heat! Thursday, it was time to go home, so I doubled up on treatments. In the morning I did another 3% hydrogen peroxide IV plus a Meyers cocktail with glutathione. The hydrogen peroxide definitely made me feel like crap because it is so powerful and strong with cleaning out your blood that my body was having to work ultra hard to detox it all out. I went to lunch and went shopping at hobby lobby, which was a big mistake, because I bought stuff I didn’t need, but when in Idaho and its 20 degrees out and you have nothing else to do… You go to Hobby Lobby! I went to lunch and was feeling pretty icky and just overall bummed because I wanted this trip to be the trip where I left feeling like I was close to remission. I was hooked up to the UVLxr machine for my last treatment in Idaho and it was quick, it only takes an hour. I did that then I finished up with an ionic foot detox, and I walked out, got into my rental car, and it was like the 50 pound lead jacket I had been carrying around for the last year, had been lifted! I don’t know what happened or how, but I felt better! My stomach and digestion were calm, I felt like I could see better, I had energy, I had focus, I wasn’t exhausted for no reason, and I felt somewhat normal!

I took myself to the airport and wrote and studied for 2 hours which would normal wipe my brain completely out, but I was fine. I traveled to Salt Lake carrying tons of bags, because I refuse to check in bags, ever, even when traveling internationally. I believe in functional fitness for a reason, so I don’t have to pay for checking a bag! So I carried my bags through many different terminals, up flights of stairs, through crowds of people, and ws fine! I got to my gate and ate, get this, an apple, and didn’t get sick! It was a miracle! So, I caught my flight home to San Jose, drove myself back to Santa Cruz, at 1 am and once I was home, I wasn’t even tired but forced myself to go to sleep. I woke up Friday morning thinking it was all a dream and that I was still sick as a dog, but I wasn’t. I woke up, clear headed, not achy, not cranky, with energy. I went to pick up my puppy and took a 2 hour walk with a friend through the Santa Cruz Harbor and had energy to even do a 30 minute workout when I got home!

It has been a week, and still, I am feeling fine! I still need to improve many things and I am nowhere near where I was about 4 years ago, but heck, it took me 4 years to get here, I cant expect to be back in perfect health in 3 months!

I am feeling better than I can remember, actual energy, actual stamina, actual clear headed days with no brain fog, and I can eat more fruits and veggies without getting sick!

For those of you out there with lyme or chronic illness, I am here to say, with consistent and hard hitting treatments that may make you worse before you get better, you will get better. It is so hard to mentally stick with it for a long time because you just want to give up. I know, I was there about 2 weeks ago, but man am I glad I didn’t.
I am not stopping treatments because I am committed to getting better, still. I am doing more IV therapy here, acupuncture, and a machine called the HOCATT machine which is a hyperthermic ozone machine that you sit in for 30 minutes 3 times a week. I usually fall asleep while doing it but it feels so great and the affects stick around! I am on treatment 4 and apparently 10 is the magic number. I intend to do closer to 20-30 just to get the maximum benefit.

I will continue to update you all on my progress of course, and in a few weeks, a friend Kayla and I will be announcing something very special on social media that will allow you to receive our message of health and wellness without having to read! That is all I can say for now!

 

Have a great Friday.

 

Xoxo

Morganna

Adios Idaho.

Well, today was the day, my last day in Idaho. For now. If you read my previous posts, you know how I feel about coming back. I would love it if this clinic transplanted itself over to Santa Cruz because I would find a way financially to keep going. I am feeling better than I have in a long time and I owe full credit to them! My digestion is about 10% better, I am able to eat a few more foods like small amounts of onion, garlic, apple, and carrot! Oh boy!! I know for most people they would be wishing at this point to feel fine eating cheeseburgers and pizza, but not me, I just want to be able to eat fruits and veggies without being sick for 2 days after, and thankfully, I am about 10% there! Only up from here if I continue to do what my body needs.

I have done 15 treatments at the West Clinic ranging from high dose vitamin C, major autohemotherapy, HTC injection, neural injections, acupuncture, chiropractic, detox baths, ozone therapy, hydrogen peroxide IVs, glutathione IVs, and thats just to name a few! This place has truly helped me get over the hump of healing, but more importantly, they found out what is wrong! I owe this place so much. I am so thankful they exist and that I was able to go and I will never ever regret a minute of being there.

Healing from 13+ years of lyme, candida, autoimmune issues, and more, will not be healed in 3 months. It is a long road ahead, no doubt. I am on about 30 supplements per day plus some tinctures to combat the candida and lyme directly. My diet is a very low sugar paleo diet and I have to still keep out all of the things that bother me until we can heal my leaky gut more, and my physical and mental stamina still need work. Glutathione has helped tremendously with that though!

I am afraid to leave the clinic because I am worried I will relapse, but it is time to go. Money is tight, I miss home, I miss the BF, I miss the dog, and I miss work. I want to go home and feel better, continue treatments, and live as normal of a life as possible.

Sitting on the floor of the smallest airport I have ever seen, I am reminded where I started this journey just over 3 months ago. I had just returned from a strike team, I was running on fumes, my body was so inflamed, I was reacting to everything I ate, my sleep was terrible but sleeping was all I could do, I was achy, my joints constantly hurt, my cognitive function was severely reduced, and my brain fog was unreal. 3 months later, I can honestly say I feel about 10-15% better and that is HUGE! Nothing has made me feel 10-15% better since I became ill when I was 13 years old.

This clinic truly is a godsend and I will forever keep it near and dear to my heart. I hope to return once a year or so for 4 days of treatment just so I can stay in remission… just to clarify, I am not in remission yet…

Thank you all for keeping up with me this week during one of the hardest weeks I have had in a very long time.

Now, it is time to get home and see my pup! 🙂

 

Morganna

Lets Be Real…

Like the title says, I’m going to be very real here. Very.

If you read my previous post, you know that I am currently in Idaho for my last week of treatment at the West Clinic. Does this mean I am better? Heck no. Does this mean I should be done getting treatments here? Absolutely not.

Why is it my last week here? Because 1) I can no longer afford to be here and 2) Being away from home this much absolutely sucks. I know what you are thinking. “Come on Morganna! Suck it up! Its better long term!” Yes, I know, and you would be very very right! But! I do not have endless supplies of money to be spending on 1500 dollars worth of treatment every week plus money for food, my air bnb, car rental, and not to mention, I am not in a place in life yet where I get that amazing thing, called paid time off, or sick pay! Haha! One day, maybe, but not there yet.

Lets start with the first part. The money. When I first came to the West Clinic, it was after over 2 years of my boyfriend trying to convince me that coming here would be the best thing for me, and me refusing because of how much it would cost. When it finally came down to the fact that I was so sick I could barely get out of bed, the idea seemed better. We showed up and I will not give you an exact amount, but the package I purchased was well over 5,000 dollars, well over, and that did not include travel expenses, food, air bnb costs, car rental, nothing. That was JUST for the treatments itself. Mind you, I am giving you all a very low ball number with the 5,000. Think closer to twice that. That amount after years and years and years of spending thousands of dollars to be wrongly diagnosed by 20+ doctors! I have spent every penny I have on medical expenses and now the boyfriend has spent a ton on mine too! I am beyond thankful he did this and would not be getting better if he didn’t! I even had to start a fundraiser and raised almost 4,000 dollars and still, I cannot continue treatment here. Why you ask? Well, treatment doesn’t just happen at the West Clinic. There are ongoing things that need to happen like supplements, medications, treatments while I am home so I don’t relapse, etc… So very quickly, the expenses were adding up!

So sadly, I cannot keep coming back and forth to Idaho for treatment, and it scares me because I have improved a lot by coming here, but I am nowhere close to remission yet! I am going to have to do what I can back at home and hope it works!

Now for the second topic. Being away from home. If you know me, you know I am a total homebody. If I don’t have to leave my house, I won’t. I love being cozy and just being me, at home. Nobody asks me about lyme or how I am feeling, I don’t have to explain myself, I don’t have to pretend I feel good, I can just BE. Also, who else is at my home? My dog!!! I love my dog more than words can even describe. She means so much to me and she is a rescue, so I hate leaving her, even though when I leave I know she is in the best hands with our friends. But, truly, leaving her for a week at a time, while I am going through treatments, makes me really sad! I miss her and I miss how much she can cheer me up with just a little tail wag and butt wiggle!

As far as food goes, in Santa Cruz, we are beyond spoiled to have like, 18 different health food stores in the span of 5 miles. In Idaho, not so much! There is no Whole Foods here! The grocery store is basically a Walmart Super Center and if you want a health food store, you gotta be prepared to drive for 2+ hours. So, keeping my diet on track here is 10x harder than while at home, and even when at home its tough!

I think this trip has been significantly harder for me to because I am here completely solo. The BF is in Kenya on a trip and has no cell phone service whatsoever the entire time, so I have not only been here by myself, but can’t even talk to him. The treatments are exhausting and make you feel pretty crappy and without having him to talk to, it has been torture, and not many other people want to hear about it. So not only do I feel like my “emotional support” dog is missing but also my emotional support human!

Going through these treatments alone is beyond brutal and hard and it has made this week absolutely horrendous and has made me feel very isolated and mentally not well. I feel like my head is in a very dark place and I hate it. My mood, self confidence, and emotions are at an all time low.   See, I told you this post would be very real. I am trying to be strong and stay positive, but its been hard. I want to go home, I want to be with my dog, I want to see my boyfriend or at least just be able to talk to him, and I want to feel better.

All in all, the decision to end my time here at the West Clinic was tough, but I think with the amount of stress the financial aspect is causing and also the whole, being away from home thing, it was the best choice. I have a doctor in Santa Cruz who can do some similar treatments and I will hope that my 3 weeks here was enough to kickstart my progress into remission.

Thank you all for reading and being with me on this journey.

Airport Feels…

It is 5:06 am and I am sitting at gate 5 at the San Jose Airport. I have been awake since 2:35 am and went to bed at 6:30 pm. Yep. You heard me. 6:30 pm. I was determined to get my 8 hours. It did not happen. Have you ever tried to go to bed at 6:30 pm when you are used to going to bed at 10? Yeah, you don’t fall asleep until 10 and then wake up every 30 minutes because you are afraid of missing your flight. Ughhhhh!

Anywhooooooo. I am headed back to lovely Pocatello, Idaho for another week of lyme treatment. This, will, fortunately and unfortunately, be my last trip to Pocatello. This constant traveling for treatment is wearing on me. The first time we drove, that was fun because I got to go with the BF and the dog, but man was that drive taxing. The second time we flew. Easy flight but expensive! I am flying yet again today, trying to maximize the time I need to be in Idaho while reducing costs by not flying the night before, hence, the 2:35 am wake up call. I land in Idaho around 1 pm and head straight to the doctors for an entire day of treatment. I will be a zombie by tonight! I have made the decision that traveling is just not worth it anymore. I have found some doctors in Santa Cruz that have similar  (not quite as good) treatments as what I am receiving in Idaho. But, when I travel, I don’t have the BF, the dog, my bed, and my food or a Whole Foods (yes, priorities). Also, not to mention, travel expenses are more than the treatment! I don’t know about you, but I would rather spend money on treatments than travel! So, today is my last day flying and the rest of my treatment will continue in Santa Cruz.

I have been having a really hard time lately with this whole treatment mindset, I can’t lie. I am so worried that these treatments will not give me the results I want and I am becoming so impatient with the results. I do not have perfect digestion yet, my joints still hurt and feel like they are made of glass, I still get constant migraines, and I have little to no energy, and I would be lying if I said, I was not terrified that none of this is going to work, and I will never live a “normal” life again.

I know this is the wrong mindset to have, but, after being chronically ill for over 13 years, my patience and will are wearing thin. I am worried I will never be able to go out and eat dinner with friends and not be completely paranoid of how sick it will make me. I am worried I will never be able to travel with the BF and not be worried about food or lack of energy or migraines or pain. I am worried I will never be able to fully make it through a full time paid fire department academy ever because of my symptoms. It is pas the point of “mind over matter”. It is “body over mind” right now. Trust me, I wish it wasn’t! I have pushed my body way past its limits while it was screaming at me that something was wrong, and it is not letting me do that now. I feel like, at the ripe age of 26, I am paying the price, of working my a$$ off to get where I am, to be as physically strong as I am thanks to competing in Crossfit, and for pushing myself to be a firefighter. I should not be “paying the price”.

I am too young for all of this. I am too young to be worrying about all of this stuff. I have come too far in life to be needing to worry about this stuff now, but it has taken over my life.

I need to have faith that I will be fine. I need to know that I will, one day, have constant energy, be able to train hard again, make it through a full time paid fire academy, go on vacations without stressing over food, and live as normal of a life as I can. I really hope this is possible and I am sitting in this airport terminal right now, hoping that this trip, yields some of these results, I am just stressing that it won’t.

This is my place to be vulnerable and really tell people what I am thinking and feeling, because most of the time, I have to put on a face that shows none of that is happening and that everything is fine, but I wouldn’t be me, if I lied and hid all of my fears and worries.

I write this, not in hopes to bring anyone down, but to bring attention and light to the fact that living with a chronic illness can be tough. Even though we may look fine and great from the outside, our bodies, on the inside are struggling and we are constantly worried. We are constantly afraid, stressed over stuff most people give no regard to, and anxious about life.

I hope you all have a great day. Off to my flight I go!

xoxo

Morganna