A little bit (or a lot) about me!

Hi everyone! I'm so excited, and a little bit nervous, to introduce my new website so I can share my journey with you and the tips and tricks I've picked up along the way. To start, let's go back to the beginning.

My entire life I have suffered from digestive issues that I thought were totally normal--constipation, lactose intolerance, general inflammation and bloat. But it wasn't until three years ago, in September 2015, that I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. In fact, I had just started chiropractic college the year before and was taking gastroenterology courses at the time. Based on what I was learning, I was able to determine what condition I had. And I was SO scared about what my body was doing, and what if it was something else, something worse. How sick was I? Was I going to die from this? I was afraid to go see the doctor and find out because WHAT IF? What I was too blinded by fear to see at the time was knowledge is power, and by learning (with a definitive diagnosis from a specialist) what I had, I was then able to take steps to make a change.

So what is ulcerative colitis? It is an autoimmune condition that attacks the lower part of your digestive system, and is one of two Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). These vary from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which does not have any cellular change or damage, but result in bouts of constipation and diarrhea, though these symptoms are a part of IBD as well. IBD results in ulcerations of the distal (furthermost) portion of the colon, which cause mucus formation and bleeding. Fun and exciting right?

Needless to say, I have been forever changed by this disease. For a while, and sometimes still, it became my identity. This is very common with any chronic illness, but especially one that dictates your every action as much as IBD can. The constant need to know where the washroom is wherever you go, never going anywhere that doesn't have a washroom (goodbye favourite beach days and hiking adventures..), never taking public transportation, being afraid to eat just about anything away from home because you never know everything that's in it or how it will affect you. Even with all that, one of my biggest struggles was taking care of patients in my last year and a half of school. I was worried about not being able to show up, about being late, or what if I had to go mid-office visit? What would I say? How would they feel about my abrupt departure?

My daily routine (turmeric, frankincense oil, DigestZen capsules, and Aloe), and Ginger, Lavender, and DigestZen (ZenGuest in CA) oils for the rough days.

Once I got under upper cervical chiropractic care I started to see a big improvement. BUT of course, being a graduate student, I wasn't consistent with my OWN care, I was inconsistent with diet, I was stressed to the max, and sleep? What's that? It wasn't until just this April (2018), a whole 2 1/2 years later, that I was able to get consistent upper cervical chiropractic care. I paired that with a paleo diet, dōTERRA essential oils, and an amazing aloe drink and finally found the magic formula for my body. I say my body intentionally because every person is different. We all have different triggers, different stresses, and different levels and speeds of healing. And healing takes time, and that's okay! We just have to remember to be patient with ourselves and learn to love the body we have--it's the only one we get!

This is the first scarf I made for myself! (Yarn: Downton Abbey by Premier Yarns)

So how does knitting and crochet fit into all this? It seems random right? When I was graduating from chiropractic school I was at probably my worst point health wise. I found myself staying home whenever possible and I knew I needed a hobby. I love reading, but one can only read for so many hours per day. I love yoga, but that was out of the question for the state that I was in. Bending into contorted positions with my butt in the air.. with IBD? Yeah right! Suddenly, I found myself obsessing over chunky blankets and scarves on Instagram and Pinterest, and quickly found myself in Joann's buying pilesss of yarn. It gave me something useful to do, and I love giving handmade gifts, but what I hadn't expected was having an outlet for creativity I didn't even know I needed, and how meditative it is. As you know, stress is a major aggravating factor for autoimmunity, so this stress reliever has been wonderful for me, and I love the community I have discovered in the fiber world. Since then, it has blossomed into The Yarn Doctor and led me to create this eclectic website to share with you all.

Thanks for reading!

#autoimmunewarrior #yarnaddict

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