Consider this: I start my day with a probiotic, followed by Female Balance, hot lemon water and a healthy breakfast. I take fish oils, a prenatal multi-vitamin, a calcium-magnesium blend and Vitamin D. I don’t consume processed foods or sugar. I lead an active life and stay hydrated with purified and alkaline water. I feel like I’m doing everything right…until I get sick. How could I get sick with all of this healthy living?
A visit from one of my dearest friends shed a light on it all. Her first night in town after having not seen each other in a year and we are drinking a glass of wine and talking and laughing but I’m struggling to swallow and I have so much pain in the back of my throat, escalating to my ears, jaw and neck. I shared with her my discomfort and my disappointment and she said, “That’s how I felt when I had strep (throat) a couple weeks ago.” After more discussion we decided that the best adventure for us to have on our first night together was a visit to urgent care. (Fun times!) I was sure I couldn’t sleep with the pain anyway, so off we went at 8:30 on a Sunday night. My "rapid strep test" came back negative. I was torn between being upset and being relieved. The doctor continued to explain that the test isn’t 100% accurate and he was pretty sure I did have strep throat; if the antibiotic relived my pain in 24 hours then we would know that I did. I left with my first antibiotic in over 12 years. Just taking it made me feel like I had failed, like my natural remedies had failed me.
As the pain subsided, I could see more clearly that there are some things you just can’t explain or prevent, like Streptococcal bacteria. I’m sure there are things I could’ve done if I was adamantly opposed to taking the antibiotic. I could’ve pursued a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and sought very effective, though long-term treatment. I could’ve tried a round of essential oil remedies that have been touted to cure strep throat. I could’ve sought out the osha root to chew on (known to treat throat infections). But I have small children at home that I want to keep healthy and I want to be available, energetic and healthy for them. Untreated, strep can lead to problems with kidneys, brain, skin and joints, as well as rheumatic fever. So I took the antibiotic, experiencing pain relief within hours, which makes it clear I did have strep (and now I don’t).
My (incredible, amazing, wise and thoughtful) husband always says, “We may be holistic, but we’re not stupid. We are going to do what we need to do to be healthy.” And he’s right. All the vitamins, herbs, supplements and natural remedies I listed above are still amazing tools in our toolbox. Nothing is going to change that. The probiotics will help rebuild the bacteria in my gut that the antibiotics destroy. They will all contribute to improving my health. Sometimes I have to step out of my Holistic Nutritionist role and into the role of mother, wife and human and just take care of myself.
Do you every feel like you have to show the world that you are super healthy because of the lifestyle you live? Have you ever felt like your lifestyle failed you?
P.S. All of the items listed (and linked to) above are available to order through me at any time. Just Contact Me, anytime!
Goldberg, B. (Ed.). (2002). Alternative medicine: The definitive guide. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.