Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 13: The Bright Side of Thrush

I will choose to find a positive perspective under even the most negative circumstances.
I will choose acceptance over resistance.
I will choose to focus on the things I value about my children, not the things that drive me nuts.
I will choose to extend the same grace, love and forgiveness to myself that I try to lavish on my husband and children each day.

We look like a really healthy family. My kids have never been to doctor, have never had an infection, rarely even a cold. They're bright and happy - healthy, right?. But I have a different view of health. Health isn't the absence of illness, it's the body (physical, mental, and emotional) functioning in balance and at its full potential. By my standards we have not been fully healthy.

It all makes so much sense now. To borrow from Oprah (never thought I'd do that), I've had an Aha! moment. Every point of weakened health the boys and I have experienced leads us back to Candida. I believe this is our be-all, end-all.  

I always knew Jack's eczema was a result of not having enough beneficial bacterial flora to pass on to him during his pregnancy and birth, but I never thought about the obvious consequence of that: Candida. I knew that all three of us were sensitive to dairy because of insufficient flora lining the gut (aka leaky gut), but I never thought about the obvious implication: Candida. I knew my mood swings were not normal postpartum feelings (I'm a big-feelings Mom, but this was ridiculous!), but I blamed it on hormones anyway and never thought about the obvious alternative: Candida. I felt literally possessed by the ghost of cookie monster, unable to stop myself form eating any form of sugar in sight, but I never thought beyond my love of food to the obvious: Candida.  I knew the emotional distress I was seeing in Jackson from time to time was not normal for him or any kid - fear, bad dreams, insecurity about us leaving even though we never leave, fear of falling and downward motion - but I missed the glaringly obvious cause: Candida. I knew my boys' gassy bellies were not just "normal" for babies, but I never thought of the obvious: Candida. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.   

Side Note: For those interested in the science (like I am!) here's some explanation: It's always present in the body, and a healthy bacterial flora stays dominant, keeping candida under control. When that balance is thrown off, candida can take over and grow out of control systemically. It causes the gut to leak particles into the bloodstream leading to food sensitivities and disrupting normal digestion causing bloating and gas. It feeds on sugar, so it triggers intense cravings. As it continues to grow, it releases toxins that affect the brain causing a general fog, fatigue, and very specific emotional symptoms. 

I missed all of this and never put the big picture together until one bright red nipple showed up! I looked down the other night and thought, "Huh, that looks like thrush...(wait for it)...Holy Crap! We've all had Candida all along!" All of a sudden the neurons started firing (through the yeast toxins) and one thing after another fell into place. 

If I were to default, I might beat myself up over not recognizing this sooner. I might dwell on the fact that I made an irresponsible, uninformed choice to blindly follow my OB's advice and take an unnecessary, harmful round of antibiotics in my first trimester with Jackson. 

Instead I'm going to make a conscious choice to forgive myself. Jackson's pregnancy was a catalyst for the biggest life change I've ever undertaken. The mistakes I made drove me down a different path, and I am infinitely grateful for that. My values are different, my perspective is different, I'm informed and empowered. And none of that would have been possible without the mistakes along the way. 

We will kick Candida's ass and restore balance to our bodies, but those lessons we learned along the way will stay with us forever. I will choose to focus on that, not on the past or the difficult road we have ahead of us to tackle this.

No comments:

Post a Comment