I Once Was Blind, But Now I See

posted in: Health

MeWHY2

The other day, while I was working out at my gym, I looked up to see a commercial on the TV, which was clearly for a medication. There was no sound, but it was so obvious. Come on, everyone knows those commercials. Families playing outside in perfect weather, at the perfect park, everyone’s so happy, and super healthy. Maybe it does work out that way sometimes, it just didn’t for me. I met the ugly side of prescription medications. I’d already guessed it, but the commercial I happened to see was for a medication that I was on for many years, one that truly altered my immune system.

Today marks exactly 3 years since my surgery, and a lot of healing has taken place in that time. Not only physically, but emotionally as well. I was emotionally damaged in many ways after my surgery. I regretted it for a long time, especially because the health my doctors had promised me never came. In order for me to truly move on, and for me to be the person I am today, I had a lot I needed to let go of. In the past, it would make my blood boil to watch these pharmaceutical commercials, which I saw as lies, being displayed for everyone to see. For my own well being, I had to let go of that. Now I can watch the commercials and smile to myself, knowing just how far I’ve come. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those meds. They’re a huge part of my story.

The recovery from my last surgery was really tough, and it took my body a lot longer to heal due to my very weak immune system. After surgery, even taking a single step was a huge challenge, but I worked really hard to regain my strength! I knew that if I wanted to get better, I had to work for it. It’s funny the way challenges can make you see things differently. During my hospital stay, I wasn’t able to see the sky for eight days (due to my view being that of a brick wall), until I finally had the strength to walk down the hall to a window. Now I smile when I get to be outside, it’s such a gift! Life is truly a privilege; it’s what we make of it! It’s amazing what happened when I changed the way I looked at my life.

What got me through my darkest days was the belief that one day I would understand why I had to go through all of this. I had to believe that one day I would have my answer. Now I’m here today having all the answers I’ve ever needed. I know why I had to get sick. I know why I was sick for so many years. I know why I had to have such a major surgery. I know why I had to experience the darkness, and the days that felt like they would never end. I know why the medications and the doctors failed me. I know why I had to be the one to fight so hard for my own health. It all happened so that I could be here today, to hopefully help someone else who is struggling. If I could help just one person and save them some pain, it would all be so worth it.

It took my last surgery to give me the courage to finally peruse my ultimate dream. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be my own boss. Growing up, my dad owned his own business, and I knew that’s what I wanted for myself! My surgery taught me just how short life is, and that more than anything, I needed to do exactly what made me happy, and nothing less. I had to push through some major fears to put myself out there, but I’m so thankful I did! Not in a million years did I ever think that I would one day run a blog, create my own recipes, and also own my own jewelry line. And now it’s all my reality.

2013 was the year that I learned just how much my diet was affecting my health. Today also marks exactly 1 year since I dove into the paleo lifestyle with everything that I had left. It wasn’t the first time I’d changed my diet in hopes of better health, it was just the first time that it actually worked. I actually didn’t even realize at the time that I changed my diet on the anniversary of my surgery!

Last year, on this very day, I was supposed to be at the beach, celebrating 2 years since my surgery. My husband and I always make it a point to do something that I wasn’t able to do on the day of my surgery. Instead, that day I was lying in bed, super sick, and with no energy. That was the day that I knew that I needed to make a drastic change. I couldn’t do it anymore. Not for another day, not for another moment. I knew that I had to do the work, and that no one else could do it for me. In order for change to happen, I had to change the way I looked at my entire world.

Insanity

Starting paleo, I was skeptical, and I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I would try it super strict for 30 days, and then slowly add back in foods to find out exactly what worked for me. That never happened. As soon as I began to feel better than I had felt in years, I had absolutely no desire to go back.

Everyone deserves to be able to live their passion, and do what they love to do! No matter where you are in life, know that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. Follow your heart, and it will never steer you wrong. Change isn’t always easy, but in my opinion, it is ALWAYS worth it!

The picture on the left is me checking out the sky for the first time in eight days, during my hospital stay in 2011. The picture on right is me now, loving that I get to see the sky everyday!
The picture on the left is me checking out the sky for the first time in eight days, during my hospital stay in 2011. The picture on right is me now, loving that I get to see the sky everyday!

Disclaimer – I am not a healthcare professional, nor do I have any medical training. Everything you will read on this blog is based solely on my personal opinion, or research that I have done. I technically don’t recommend anything, make sure to do your own research and talk to your healthcare provider.  

24 Responses

  1. Jen
    | Reply

    Sis I am so proud of you! You inspire me everyday and you are touching so many lives! I love you so much!

  2. Just Love Your Guts
    | Reply

    I’ve said it to you a million times but I mean it just as much, if not more, every time I say it. You are amazing and I love you. I’m thankful for this day because it caused our paths to cross and allowed us to become friends. I cherish you, Kristen! Just continue being your awesome lovely self and you are going to change the world (even more than you already have). ❤️ Happy happy surgi-paleo-versary, my sweet sweet friend!!

    • livinglovingpaleo
      | Reply

      Hot TEARS, Heather! Love you so, so much!! I’m so thankful to have you in my life, you are the bestest friend I could ever ask for!

  3. lauramacky
    | Reply

    Inspiring!

  4. Andrew Seal
    | Reply

    Your post is really an inspiration. Your voice gives hope to so many. Thank you.

  5. jcrohnie715
    | Reply

    I loved reading this post! Wishing you much health and happiness!

  6. Elizabeth Ross
    | Reply

    Kristen I am so proud of you and that you have persevered. I remember being so sad that you didn’t get your health back after such a severe surgery. I am glad that you decided to never ever give up. Your journey will not be wasted and you will help others, just like you are helping your sis right now. Dad and I love you so much sweetie.

  7. adashofmeg
    | Reply

    oh honey, i love you so much.
    i love how you started this post. i love how you write. and i just love you! i love what you have to offer to the world, so keep it coming! love love love you and so proud of you for totally turning your life around. you’re one amazing person! i really want to share this on my twitter but not sure if you have a twitter account i can tag you with?

    • livinglovingpaleo
      | Reply

      Meg, you are just too amazing!! Thank you so much for your continuous support, I’ll get on that twitter deal soon, haha 😉

  8. healthyleanfit
    | Reply

    You have such an amazing outlook, my dear Kristen! I feel the same as you….I know I am going through all of these challenges so that I can help others navigate this extremely difficult journey to better health! You are using your story in incredible ways and I’m so proud of you for opening up and sharing! I’m sure it continues to be healing for you as well!! I’m so happy you’ve experienced a full year of abundant health and I wish you a lifetime more!! Sending my love!! xoxo

    • livinglovingpaleo
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Deanna! I’m wishing, hoping, and praying for abundant health for YOU!! You will have an incredibly journey to share <3

  9. Jon Antelline
    | Reply

    Great post, Kristin. You’re inspiring so many people, including myself. That’s what it’s all about. Keep leading by example, you’re awesome!

    • livinglovingpaleo
      | Reply

      Thank you, Jon! It’s comments like yours that make me want to keep sharing 🙂

  10. Stacey
    | Reply

    You are amazing. I love you.

  11. mika
    | Reply

    this is awesome…..it is amazing to see the difference! it is really encouraging for me to see someone who has been there and done that with this disease and come out victorious on the other side….it helps me keep motivated and not give up! thank you

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