My Healing Journey
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
I recently came across this picture. It was February of 2014 and I was participating in a cycling fundraiser event. At first glance I thought, “wow, I looked pretty fit back then”. Then I remembered the details of that day. I almost did not go.
All I could think about was “what if I have another colitis flare up?”. “What if I cannot get to the bathroom on time?”
This scenario became a daily occurrence for me. For 6 months straight I would be in the bathroom 15 to 20 times per day. Nothing stayed in my body for more than 5 minutes. I could not go anywhere without scoping out a bathroom. Exercise, socializing with friends, even going to the office were totally dependent on my unpredictable flare ups. I was embarrassed about my illness and worked hard to hide it. My quality of life went down the toilet (literally).
My doctor’s answer was to manage it with prescription drugs and offered to remove my colon if that did not work. According to him there was nothing else I could do about it. My lowest point was when I called my husband crying from the pharmacy because my prescription rung up at a whopping $898. And that was just for a 10 day supply! I decided there had to be a better way and walked out of the pharmacy without my prescription that day.
From there I was on a one woman quest to get to the bottom of my illness. I went to a functional medicine practitioner, had a battery of tests, and learned that I had the extremely high inflammatory markers, leaky gut, a long list of food sensitivities, and showed signs of mercury toxicity.
First I had my amalgam fillings replaced and embarked on heavy metal detox protocol, I worked on healing my gut, removing foods that were aggravating my condition, worked on proper sleep and stress management, and switched to a whole food, nutritionally dense diet.
It took 2 years of a strict diet and experimentation, but I am happy to say that I am managing my colitis without drugs and my colon is still intact. I still do get the occasional flares, but I can usually pinpoint the cause and it is relatively short lived.
There are so many factors that go into wellness. We are all bio-individual; what works for one person, may not work for another. What worked in the past, may not work now.
The important thing is to never, ever give up! Be your own wellness warrior.
Amanda Chocko lives in Holland Michigan with her husband Dan. She has two sons, Nicholas 25, and Chris 30. She received her FNTP Certification from the Nutritional Therapy Association.