Let it

Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it.”
Harvey MacKay

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Let me 'esplain... no, there is too much. Lemme sum up.

I'm just going to start by saying that I'm grateful. As predicted, 2017 so far has been a kick in the teeth- full of stress, trauma, sadness, and conflict.... and joy, beauty, connection, discovery, and so much love.
In January I started Mountain Soul Creations. Now officially Mountain Soul Company.  The healing that has occurred in my brain has brought new and surprising talents. I'm a professional artist. All of the sudden, there it is. It is overwhelming to have something that is quite literally my therapy- carving wood, making jewelry, painting, be so lovingly and widely embraced and in even in demand. I love how personal it is. Mountains are one of my great loves, and every time I get a custom request, it feels like being asked to paint a portrait of someones dearest lover.  I spend time and energy and emotion getting it right. It has to feel right. I get to celebrate mountains every day, and I love it.

How is my health? Well. That's complicated. From the time I started diet and supplementation in September/October, to June, by body has changed immensely.  I lost 25 lbs and went from a size 12 to a size 6/8. In February, after a particularly painful and expensive kidney infection and ER trip, I decided that I really wanted to see what real dedication to yoga would do for me. So I bought a 6 month unlimited membership- which cost less than half what the ER visit did, and committed to going as often as possible. I was convinced I had MS. I had read first hand accounts of people basically putting their MS in remission through diet and yoga. I wanted to try.
I picked my class schedule and started making the time to go, 5 days a week. I thought of it like medicine. I needed it. I had to make it happen. This isn't your fitness center, here to get my bendy on, lets sweat it out kind of yoga. It's balance. Studio yoga- designed by teachers who are forever students. Who have studied for decades world wide. Who know the importance of stability, alignment, and partnering body, mind, and spirit.  And I'm happy to report that it's been so worth it. Immediately the numbness in my face eased up. My anxiety chilled out, and my brain started functioning even better. My spinal health and adrenal health improved. Of course, having chiropractic care has been absolutely invaluable. The care that I receive from my dad and my brothers has quite literally saved my life. And Functional Medicine direction from my uncle, Dr. Chris Frogley has been the backbone of my self care.

So I'm better, right?
Better? Yes. Well? No.
I still have numb spots, and nerve and joint pains that are spreading. I still have constant fatigue and periodic episodes that send me to bed. I'm prone to infection. I still have mental health issues, and weeks when it's all I can do to send the suicidal thoughts packing.  I finally found a medical doc who would listen to me.
From visit #1, Dr. Kennedy was on my side. "I just want to make it clear that you are in charge. You hired me. We are on a team. I have expertise, but you are the resident expert on your own body, and I respect that."  Hallelujah. I handed him a two page long list of medical history and ongoing symptoms. He gawked and we laughed, and then he ordered tests. Blood tests and MRIs.

On June 17th, I was on a trail run with Jenna, Merete, and Katie when Aaron called me. Aaron almost never calls me. He couldn't get the words out. The world stopped. Our friend Zac had fallen off a mountain ridge just hours before. He didn't make it. I dropped in the dirt as my heart cracked to pieces, and sobbed. I told Jenna and the others. We sat trail side and cried together, held each other, dry heaved together. Zac was wonderful. Zac was a careful badass. Zac was every single one of us. He was a Wasatch Mountain Wrangler. It just couldn't be. I needed to be with Aaron. We started back down. Jenna took off. She needed to run. I couldn't even see the trail through my tears.

The fallout has been huge. We speak of the ripple effect. Zac left tidal waves. He was just that good. In the gatherings of friends, and the support of Zac's incredible family, the funeral, the dinners, the meetings and the memorial runs, we've found solace, and camaraderie, and introspection, and so much love. It hurts. So much. And it always will.
We've designed apparel in memory of our friend Zac, with the proceeds going directly to his family. 
We can't do much, but they are ours to care for now. And we'll do all we can.

 My regular blood tests came back normal. Lyme came back negative. The brain MRI came back clean. No MS lesions. My abdominal MRI showed that my 7 liver hemangioma have been growing, and the vessels are dilated, but this wasn't a big concern. So what? Why do I feel this way? As wonderful as you'd think it would be to get news that things look normal, it's not. It makes you question your own sanity. It makes you want to give up.
The day after the MRIs, I had a gall bladder attack. It felt a lot like a kidney stone, but worse. I went from cramping uncomfortably, to curled up in a ball, panting, to vomiting uncontrollably, to writhing and hyperventilating. I knew instacare would send me straight to the ER. I knew the ER would do scans and tell me everything looked fine, and give me pain meds and antibiotics and send me on my way. Besides, I wasn't about to make it to the car. My skin was greyish yellow, and whatever part of me wasn't in excruciating pain, was numb. I called the docs office- which was closing. I told them I'd had an MRI the day before and asked them to check for kidney stones and gall stones. They said everything looked clear. I called my dad. He and my mom rushed up the hill- I've never been so thankful to live so close to them. He examined me, worked my reflexes, diagnosed it as a gall bladder attack, and gave me an adjustment. The pain subsided. I called my doctor the next morning. He set up a surgery consult for later that week. Maybe my gall bladder was just bad.
A few days later, a nurse friend dropped by to say hi. She didn't know what had been going on, but immediately called out the contrast dye from the MRI as the culprit for my gall bladder attack. I cancelled my surgery consult.

The last test came back on June 30th. A blood serum copper test. We didn't expect much from it. I had always suspected copper toxicity, but knew that it often doesn't show up in the blood because the body is so quick to shuffle it off to organs. Besides, it's been over 2 years since the IUD was removed from the side of my bowel.
Normal max is around 110. Copper toxicity. "This is concerning," my doctor said. "If I were you, I'd be thinking about litigation."
Turns out I've been poisoned. For 9 years, I've had strange symptoms that have gotten worse with time. This explains everything. My shattered bones, my kidney stones, my mental health, my nerve issues, my apocalypse style periods, everything.
Symptoms of High (Excess) Copper
  • Feelings of doom
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Hypothyroid (slow thyroid)
  • Mind is in a fog
  • Headaches, migraines
  • Mood swings
  • Supersensitive, weepy
  • Cold hands, and/or feet
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Chocolate cravings
  • Feeling of loss of control
  • Paranoia
  • Despair, suicidal feelings, hopelessness
  • Arthritis, calcium spurs
  • Constipation
  • Racing heart, pounding heart
  • Adverse reaction to vitamins and minerals
  • Problems with concentration and memory
  • Short attention span, ‘spaciness’
  • Eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, overeating
  • Panic attacks, high anxiety, free floating anxiety
  • Yeast infections (candida)
  • Aching muscles or muscle cramps
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Mind races -- insomnia, interrupted sleep
  • PMS
  • Mononucleosis
  • Low blood pressure
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Osteoporosis
  • Jaundice and liver problems
  • Kidney stones and infections
(I'm so glad to finally have an explanation for my chocolate cravings. )
I had a weird, sobbing, excited dance party when the doctor told me. I have answers. I'm not crazy- well.... not without a cause.
Next step- heavy metal chelation. My doc was the first to admit that he'd never seen this and didn't know any specialists in the area. They are out there though. I'm still deciding which route to take. None of them are pleasant. It has to be done right, and can be dangerous regardless. And my insurance may not cover any of it. We'll see.
I have no choice but to address it. There's no waiting it out without facing Alzheimers, schizophrenia, kidney and liver failure, and worse. But the good news is that I can get better. There is no way to convey in words what that means to me. I can get better. 


  1. You are amazing. And already the best... so it's hard to fathom how you can get 'better' :) But I don't doubt you can do it. I love you!

    1. Thanks for holding me together. I love you, Babe!