Health: Beating the Odds

Health Mona;s struggle to beat the odds

Health on my terms

I have never been one to let another decide my fate or outcome.  I listen carefully, ask questions, and ask for proof.  Once I get home I start doing my own research and decide on my course of action. I take my health very seriously because with out health a person does not often have quality of life.

I am not a doctor, nor am I licensed to give medical advice.  I am merely sharing what worked for me on my health and wellness journey, along with resources I found particularly helpful. I am hoping that I can inspire you to get in the drivers seat regarding your health.

Health issues I have dealt with: Deafness, thyroid, U.C., PTSD, TBI, breast tumours/lumps, fibroids, polycystic ovaries, arthritis, bunions, respiratory problems, plantar fasciitis…… 

Thyroid:  I am starting here because the health problems I faced from low thyroid function (hypothyroid) were numerous and far reaching.  Undiagnosed thyroid and later mistreated thyroid resulted in, a hysterectomy, bunionectomy, a knee replacement, respiratory distress, aches and pains that made me wish I was dead. 

Achilles heel, deafness/ loss of hearing, osteoporosis, endometriosis, elevated LDL and total cholesterol levels, loss of outer eyebrows, hoarseness, puffiness, cold intolerance, drooping mouth, coarse brittle hair, yellow finger nails, listlessness, fatigue, low blood pressure, iron deficiency, B-12 deficiency, heart arrhythmia, shortness of breath, bruises all over, and muscular pain  were just a few of the other health symptoms I have had to endure from the lack of diagnosis and later, the lack of proper/adequate thyroid hormone replacement.

My favourite go to resource is Pamela W Smith. Her knowledge base is hands down the best I have found. Her presentations/books are well worth your time and money.

Symptoms of low thyroid:   Below is another  link to keep you learning……Scroll to the checklist. This link also lists the test results you should have if you are indeed “normal”. Again, I hope this gets you thinking and not settling for the crap the doctors will try to feed you. Feeling shitty is not age related and not something you need to learn to live with. And remember “normal ranges on tests” are based on the average population and considering huge numbers of them are overweight, on tons of meds, drink, and smoke in excess…. You do not want to be “Normal”!!

Another site for you to check out:

Remember: It is important to look at many resources in order to get the big picture. Knowledge will help you to ask the right questions, and to fight for your right to feel well and to have health.

Unknown to me at the time, early in life I was exhibiting symptoms of hypothyroidism.   I had joint problems, respiratory problems, excess bruising, yellow finger nails.  As an adolescent I had hormonal issues, emotional issues, and built muscle much above the norm. I was very fit and felt healthy, but I still struggled with the onset of exercise and keeping air. Sometimes the shortness of air was embarrassing. If I continued on I eventually would reach a place where the shortness of breath dissipated.

When I was 13 I was put on contraceptives so I would have a “period”.

After graduation I started work in the mill and in no time I had 16” biceps.

Mid 20s– I had surgeries to remove bunions.  My pain tolerance was so high I never used any pain meds and went right back to work.  Hypothyroidism results in high pain tolerance.

Late 20s– I was having arthroscopic knee surgeries (three) after each surgery I increased in shoe width, from a B to an E.  The anesthetic affected my thyroid function enough that huge inflammation flare ups caused growth in the bones of my feet.  Believe me, it was not from ill-fitting shoes. I was anemic and having B-12 injections 2X a week.  As well, I was worrisome for the doctors and nurses after anesthetic because my body temperature would fall to the point that they would be bringing me warm towels every 15 minutes for hours.  My blood pressure would plummet. 

Again signs of hypothyroidism.  And I was still not diagnosed! No pain meds again.

Mid 30s—MTBI (Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury)- My health took a big downhill slide, all my hair fell out, lost my eyebrows, eyelashes, and got puffy all over especially my face.  I was confused, having trouble with concentrating, irritable and on and on…..My blood pressure dropped from 120/80 to 85/65.  I was still not diagnosed.  The part that angers me here is that in my research I discovered that it is a well-known fact that most if not all people who have a TBI also have thyroid problems and the drop in blood pressure is a clear indicator of a TBI, and is also reflective of thyroid dysfunction. 

And still I was not diagnosed and my health continued to deteriorate.

From the day of the TBI (July 13, 1998) I started having periods: very painful and copious amounts of blood.  I asked every doctor I saw “Why is this happening?”  Ever since I quit taking contraceptives in my 20s, I had to take Provera every 3-4 months so I would have a period. I was told to look at it like it is a good cleaning.

On one of my appointments I brought in an ice cream bucket, and when the doctor asked me what it was for, I pulled down my pants and removed the 3 tampons I had wedged up there so I could go to the doctor’s office.  Well SPLOOSH in seconds the bucket was full, some liquid blood but mostly congealed pieces, so it really looked like an ice cream bucket of liver.  So now I had his attention.  But not about WHY this was happening, but instead I am sent off to have a hysterectomy. 

Once again, I have the hysterectomy with no pain meds, NONE, nada, none.  Up later that day making myself tea and making the bed.

Turns out I had a full hysterectomy because of all the fibroids and polycystic ovaries, endometriosis etc.  More symptoms of hypothyroidism and the related health issues.

The TBI- left me with dealing with huge fatigue issues, both mentally and physically.  Fatigue, mental confusion, mental slowness.  As it turns out these are “also symptoms of low thyroid function”.  It becomes easy to see why getting the treatment for low thyroid would have mitigated and possibly eliminated some of the severity of the symptoms of the TBI I faced.

A while after the hysterectomy a naturopath put me on desiccated thyroid and shortly after that it became impossible to get, so I was switched to Synthroid.

Even on Synthroid, my health was still impacted as I still had symptoms of low thyroid.  At this point I began treating myself like a lab rat trying to figure it out.  I became an expert at eating exactly the same food for 3 days prior to blood work.  I judiciously wrote on each lab results, how I was feeling and the symptoms I was still having.  I became very well versed in free T4, T3, TSH.  Regardless of all the symptoms I was having it was impossible to get a doctor on board to help.  They all thought I was “in the normal range” so I was not Hypothyroid.  Normal is quite a large range.

Soon it became apparent I needed a knee replacement.  The doctors said it was arthritis.  Guess what—another symptom of low thyroid! (arthritis)

The knee was replaced, and at midnight after the surgery a nurse came in and took away my natural pain relief (essential oils, arnica) because the doctor on duty had told her to.  I said that all of this was cleared during pre-op.  She said she was sorry but she was doing what she was told to do.  I asked WHY she said because your blood pressure is way too low, your heart rate is too low, and your body temperature still has not returned. 

I said this is because the anesthetic has depressed my thyroid function, and until my body cleans the anesthetic and possibly for the next few days it would be like that.  I was given the rolling eyeball treatment. 

She hooked me up to an IV with hydromorphone.  By morning it was clear my health and I were in serious trouble.  My speech had become garbled, and I could not think. Unknown to me then, but known now: no one with a TBI or thyroid problem is ever supposed to be given hydromorphone.  It is sickening to realize your health care is trusted to health care providers who know so little about thyroid function nor take the time to read your chart. 

If they had read my chart and had known about thyroid issues and read the precautions on the drug hydromorphone, they would have realized A) I should NEVER have been given the hydromorphone B) my symptoms were a result of the anesthetic, depressing  my thyroid.

In the next 24 hours because of the inflammation in my knee and the extremely low thyroid, my body produced enough scar tissue calcification that the knee would not bend past 36 degrees, regardless of the effort.

It took 6 months for my thyroid function to correct itself and some of my health symptoms to subside. I was then scheduled for the surgery to fix the knee that would not bend because of a doctor who knew nothing about hypothyroidism and gave me hydromorphone.

During the 6 months of compromised health due to hypothyroidism my bunions re-grew as well as the bones on the sides of my little toe, so now I was wearing EEE shoes, and these shoes all had to be stretched in the shoe repair shop so I could wear them.

As well through this 6 month period, I realized I needed to figure out the dosage required so I could eliminate the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Of course, no doctor was about to help me…….So I began to go to walk-in clinics out of town and say I had low thyroid and that I forgot my thyroid meds and would they please give me a month’s prescription. I would give them my dosage for T4.  I played around like this until I knew what dosages I required to feel good and to not have hypothyroid symptoms.

This journey of finding health and wellness has taught me that in order for me to not have aches in my joints my T4 levels must be 19 or 20.  I do not convert T4 to T3.

Once I was able to get the Synthroid at the dosage to keep my joint pain at bay I was busy trying to get a doctor to prescribe T3 for me.  That was an arduous journey as most believe all that is important is T4 levels because your body converts it to T3.  Enter more walk-in clinics… I hated being dishonest, and it really pisses me off I had to resort to this so could achieve wellness for my thyroid and me.

I now have a compounding pharmacy that is trusted to compound my thyroid medication which is so important to my health..

I have learnt that my T3 levels must be 4.5  for me to feel well.  I have to point out that the reference ranges keep changing. This becomes a big deal because in order for me to have a T4 level of 20 I am out of the reference range and this makes it impossible to get a doctor to help. What my body requires to feel well does not automatically adapt to the new reference range.

During this time I also got myself a medic alert bracelet saying I am allergic to all pain relief meds / narcotics, as I definitely never want to have anyone administer them to me again.

So now, back to getting my knee replacement fixed.

I discussed the anesthesiologist the type of anesthetic for the least impact on my thyroid.  At the end of the day I will have a very light anesthetic and my leg will be treated via my femoral artery with freezing.

I have taped my natural preparations to my body, I refuse to take anything that any nurse brings me unless they bring me the full printout for me to read.  I am sure many people were so pissed with me.  However, at the end of the day my surgery went well, and in under 12 hours my body temp was back up, as well as my blood pressure and heart rate.  AND my knee bent to 75 degrees right off the bat!!

More Health concerns: osteoporosis, breast lumps, lactose intolerance, ulcerative colitis, and deafness.

Next hurdle was dealing with the diagnosis of having osteoporosis, and having lumps show up on my breast exam and x-ray.  Needed new hearing aids too, as my hearing over the past 6 months had rapidly deteriorated.

Sometimes instead of raining, it pours, and is relentless.  Life with a MTBI and hypothyroid was just like rain.

I discovered I could use essential oils to get rid of the breast lumps, and was able to avoid the biopsy which made me very happy and grateful on my holistic health journey.  By now I knew that once I managed to balance my thyroid I would have no more lumps to contend with.  I continued on figuring it all out for myself by myself.

Because I was post hysterectomy the doctor sent me for a bone scan.  Well it was definitely “pouring rain” because my test results indicated I had osteoporosis.  Now I was forced to learn about that and figure out how I was going to address it because I was not about to take a prescription drug. I was only about 30 days past the knee surgery to fix my knee replacement and on top of having to already deal with the breast lumps.  I found myself getting sicker by the day.

By the time I figured out I was now lactose intolerant, I was bleeding heavily from my rectum.  I was scoped (with no anesthetic) and I was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis.  Turns out in order to have the knee surgeries I was given a bag each time of high dose antibiotic “just in case”.  And this killed all my residential bacteria.  Of course, I didn’t put 2 and 2 together right away.  I was sent to the specialist for the UC and she gave me a prescription and reassured me that it would fix the problem. 

I took it.  I was sick, losing weight, shitting myself, and bleeding constantly.  Well as you can probably guess, I did not improve, I got steadily worse.  Then, I read the precautions on the prescription bottle.  Basically it said that in some instances, it can increase the bleeding, diarrhea, etc. and to stop taking it if this happened.  I was so effing mad.  My hatred for doctors deepened.

It seemed like every time I turned around one of them was trying to kill me.  So now I had to learn all about UC so I could fix it.  It took 2 years but I was successful and my scopes are now clean.  So of course now they say I never had UC as their way of explaining its absence.  What a joke doctors are.

Next a trip to the audiologist to get hearing aids for both ears.

Meanwhile I am still recovering and finding strategies so I can have a meaningful life after MTBI.  Some days I feel like I had used up a gazillion umbrellas.

Fast forward to December 1, 2014 and an MVA and lucky me, my second TBI and to top it off I sustained severe soft tissue injuries, nerve damage, and more thyroid dysfunction.

I am currently working on getting my physical body back.  It has been a very long process.  Too long, but it is what it is.

I discovered HBOT and the differences it made for both the mental and physical symptoms of my health were amazing.  So much so I bought a home chamber.

-HBOT – Click here to read about my HBOT Journey

-UC— When a person has prolonged diarrhea they become deficient in copper.  Deficiency in copper causes diarrhea.  Using hair sample analysis I found I needed to take 3mg of chelated copper daily to bring my diarrhea under control.  I eliminated all GMO products and gluten from my diet.  I introduced Vita Biosa+ to my body.  I take VB+ twice a day at 30ml AM and 30ml PM

I am no longer lactose intolerant; I have amazing skin, and no longer have IBS or UC.  I do not have sedation for my scopes. I watch on the screen and get to see exactly what the doctor see. It was kind of funny when my scope was clear how the doctor went immediately to “you must not have had ulcerative colitis” 

Once I showed him the biopsy results taken when I was first diagnosed. He had no idea what to say… he kept muttering on about how you can’t not have UC once you have had UC. I provided him with a free bottle of VB10+ and a description of what I did to heal my UC. I am sure however, that he has never shared this info with his patients. This to me is very sad.

Supplements I take and regimes I follow: These products may be found in your local health food store or you may purchase some of them from my online store or have a personalized consultation with Melanye or Donna.

-Osteo -200mg of K2 (menoquinone 7), ionic magnesium, D Spray, strontium, VB10+(Vita Biosa)-to make sure I get the bet absorption possible, liquid plant based calcium from kelp,   Walk 8km every day.  No longer have osteo, scans are in normal range.  Had an improvement of 17%. I also take Biest.

Fibrous Breast Tumours—frankincense, lavender and clove essential oils.  Apply neat in order as provided to breasts and top of toes where they join the foot, twice a day. I order my oils from Young Living. I joined so I could buy wholesale, if this is something that interests you I may be willing to provide you with my member number for your registration. I do not do a young living business, nor do I want to.

**Make sure you have adequate thyroid hormonal function, otherwise you will constantly have to use the oils

Thyroid   100 mcg selenium, L Tyrosine, B6, Pantothenic acid, Niacinamide , B12, Vitamin D spray, zinc, nascent iodine, Ionic Kelp, methyl folate, ,and of course VB10+.

For more info and to kick start your own health journey:

I have been a subscriber to Health and Healing by Julian Whitaker MD since its inception. The research and articles are top notch. Julian is ahead of his time… his medical clinic is truly focused on wellness and treats the cause and not just symptoms.  Here is  Julian Whitaker archived articles. The button below takes you to a few of his articles that resonated with my journey.

How I regained my health with PTSD.

In typical Mona fashion the doctor told me I had PTSD, and I asked how do I get rid of it? I was told.. you will have it for the rest of your life. Really!!! I am supposed to accept that this will be my life moving forward…..Not likely!!

It took quite a bit of experimenting and learning but at the end of the day, I have found ways to keep my PTSD from impacting my health and life. I have also written a bit about it in Unbridled fear.

This is my holistic approach to health:

I take Neo40 to ensure I get the best amount of nitric oxide and have a healthy circulatory system.

I have regular Bowen sessions to reset my vagus nerve. These sessions started out being monthly and have now reached a point where I only need them once or twice a year.

I use my home HBOT Chamber which is capable of 1.5 ATA almost every day.

I ensure I am grounded by using visual mindfulness activities or walking barefoot on soil/vegetation and spending lots of time with my horses who are well grounded and have congruent energy.