My Health Story

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My Story…

February Stars began as a personal blog in 2013 when I started documenting my life with Fibromyalgia.

After two years of suffering from unexplained symptoms, I finally had an answer. I was determined that I was going to improve my health and overcome this diagnosis.

This, as it turned out, was very naive. For what followed was a significant decline in my health over the course of the following year.

At my worst, I was bed and housebound.

Numerous doctor visits followed but I found myself no further forward. I was told I likely had ME/CFS in addition to Fibromyalgia and I reached a point where I accepted that this would be my life from now on.

I was incredibly ill, suffered from unimaginable fatigue and was relying on the care of my husband and parents.

I lost my job and independence. And, I couldn’t see how it would be possible for me to get any better.

An Opportunity That Turned Things Around

Then an email popped into my inbox. Little did I know that this one email would be the start of my journey back to better health.

I was given the opportunity to review a book on my blog called “Suffered Long Enough” by an American doctor called Dr Bill Rawls.

I was hesitant but decided I had nothing to lose from reading his book and implementing what I learned.

I was given a reminder about some helpful information I already knew and was also equipped with new knowledge about herbal therapies and their role in recovery.

The book also challenged my view of illness and put a new perspective on my health issues.

But more than anything, the book ignited the fight back in me.

Recovering My Health

Since then I have learned what it means to become your own health advocate. Taking my health into my own hands has been empowering.

As it turned out, herbal therapies were a game-changer for me.

Herbal therapies won’t be the right choice for everyone and they are not miracle workers. But, I started to see glimmers of hope and steadily my health and level of functioning slowly began to improve.

However, in 2016 I felt like I had reached a plateau that I couldn’t overcome. I tried a few different treatments and additional supplements but I found myself no further forward.

I instinctively knew that there was more going on than Fibromyalgia and I wanted answers.

I pursued private healthcare and discovered that the underlying cause of my health problems was Lyme Disease.

Thankfully, the herbal therapies I was taking for my Fibromyalgia have properties that are helpful in treating late disseminated Lyme Disease. I actually dread to think how bad my health might have gotten if it hadn’t taken a leap of faith and followed Dr Rawls’ protocol.

Following this discovery, I had treatment under the guidance of my new doctor. Unfortunately for me,  I didn’t find myself much further forward. And, I reached a point where I felt like I was on a merry-go-round of test after test but making no progress.

Ultimately, this led to me seeking treatment at a clinic called Infusio in Frankfurt. You can read all about my treatment here.

I had stem cell therapy to address problems with my immune system and this has been life-changing. It’s been a long, difficult and testing road recovering after treatment but I have regained much of my health and now function at a level I never thought would be possible again.

I no longer have symptoms of Fibromyalgia and I also believe my Lyme Disease is no longer active.

It’s been so wonderful to regain parts of myself that were lost in the depths of chronic illness.

I can exercise again and I even learned to snowboard!

My creativity has returned and it’s been lovely to get out my paintbrushes and get back to my creative roots. I now work as an artist and have an online shop selling prints of my artwork and greeting card designs.

That all said, I still have my health challenges. I am not completely symptom-free and, in treating my Lyme Disease and Fibromyalgia, it became apparent that something else was going on.

That something is Endometriosis, a condition where cells similar to those that line the womb grow elsewhere in the body.

I think Endometriosis has likely been there all along. The issue being that the symptoms of Endometriosis overlap with Fibromyalgia and Lyme Disease. I think I put my Endometriosis symptoms down to these other conditions for a long time.

It’s definitely been a knockback discovering I have another chronic condition to deal with. However, I am hopeful that this knowledge will help me to find a way towards managing my remaining symptoms and achieving consistent better health.

What to expect from my blog

On my blog, I essentially write about the topics I am passionate about.

This includes posts about living well with chronic illness and creative posts about art, business and bullet journaling. All of which are intertwined with stories from my life with chronic illness.

I write from personal experience and pride myself on being honest; expect me to not only share what has helped me but also what hasn’t and the mistakes I have made along the way.

I appreciate we are all different and what has helped me might not be appropriate for you. But, I hope you find my posts helpful.

As I am a patient sharing my own experiences, it is not appropriate for me to give any medical advice and I don’t feel comfortable recommending any specific treatments. I simply share what has helped me in the hope it may provide helpful information for you.

I am more than happy to chat about life with chronic illness, my experiences of treatment and strategies that help me to cope. However, I cannot comment on your medical situation so if you are looking for medical advice, please seek help from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider.

Connect with Me On Social Media

You can find me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook:

Or, if you would prefer, please feel free to send me an email to donna@februarystars.co.uk.

Where to start?

There are a lot of posts on the blog and you can navigate through them via the categories in the top menu or by simply reading through one post at a time. To help you along, here are some of my favourite posts:

You can also find all my posts about my stem cell treatment at Infusio collated here.

Disclaimer

I am not a doctor, nor am I a trained health professional. I am simply a patient sharing my own story. I write about my own thoughts and opinions that are formed from personal experience. Nothing I write should be taken as medical advice nor should it replace the opinion of a healthcare professional. I hope that you will find what I write useful but I strongly advise seeking the opinion of your doctor before implementing anything you have read about on this blog.