About me

Ever since I was born I suffered from multiple health issues. At age 2 I started suffering from asthma, and at 5 I was hospitalized because I couldn’t move my legs. The things is, the doctors could never find anything wrong with me. It was all psychosomatic, they said. For that reason I grew up believing in the mind-body connection, though I didn’t really start digging deeper into it until my health went really rough.

When I was a teenager I started suffering from insomnia and from cycles of mild depression. At 20 I had an episode of memory loss that for me today is still the scariest moment of my entire life. From what I’ve read on the internet I had something like transient global amnesia, but again the doctors couldn’t tell me what was wrong with me. They sent me home and my memory came back slowly the next day. I must say at this point that I come from a family with a history of mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, addiction, major depression and borderline personality disorder. So even with my high levels of anxiety, periods of mild depression and one weird episode here and there, I was still deemed very much functional and nothing to worry about really.

At around this point I started suffering from fatigue as well, and not the usual fatigue you get after a very busy day. But as I’d been suffering from insomnia for long, I attributed my abnormal fatigue to that and kept on pushing myself for almost another decade. And then, at 29, one day I woke up and my vision was extremely blurred, and to my right I saw everything double. It took me a week to go to the hospital but I was eventually diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. My MRI was full of old lesions, which means I had been sick long before that.

Hearing the diagnosis was the second scariest moment of my life, but I wasn’t going to be let off the hook, no. One year and a half after my ms diagnosis, a routine ultrasound detected a cyst in my left ovary which turned out to be an endometrioma, and I was subsequently diagnosed with endometriosis. Now, both multiple sclerosis and endometriosis are suspected to be autoimmune diseases, and to me autoimmunity equals self-destruction. So why is my body self-destructing? Why am I self-destructing? Doesn’t seem like a very smart thing to do, now does it?

So, facing what might become disabling and devastating conditions, I decided to finally stop ignoring the signs my body has been sending me almost since I was born and try to figure out how it all turned out this way. I started seeing a new therapist that told me that many of my symptoms and problems were consistent with a PTSD scenario, and we started working on that. I’m convinced that many of my childhood experiences and my family background paved the way, through chronic stress, to where my health is today. I’m also convinced that once I learn how to express and deal with my emotions, instead of stuffing them all up inside, it’ll be a great help. I’m not sure I believe in a cure, but I think learning how to control my anxiety levels will greatly reduce my symptoms. I know many people blame diet, genes, and other factors for these diseases, but to me it will always be about the mind-body connection, about processing your experiences, thoughts and emotions.

“Escharae” means scars in Latin, which is a reference to the scar tissue that replaces myelin when the immune system attacks it in people with multiple sclerosis. But it is also a reference to the emotional scars we collect along the way, that will never leave us the way we were before. This blog is my journey trying to figure it all out and to raise awareness to what it’s like to live with issues like these.

 

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13 thoughts on “About me

  1. I appreciated reading this whole post as it raises my awareness. The PTSD connection and this sentence stand out to me: “Iโ€™m also convinced that once I learn how to express and deal with my emotions, instead of stuffing them all up inside, itโ€™ll be a great help.” My belief in the mind-body connection has grown steadily over the years with experience. It is not the only factor, but how we think and manage our stress can make a difference, even that are said to have “no cure.” Especially with those things, I think. Best wishes to you on your continuing journey.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read it. I agree with you, other factors play a role, but at the same time their role is influenced by stress and emotions. This is a bumpy road, but I don’t think I’ll ever give up the journey.

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  2. I hear your frustration and wish to be understood in your Dissonance post. And I understand the whole autoimmune issue because my daughter is having many health problems that fall under the autoimmune umbrella such as asthma, celiac disease and eczema and she also has Down syndrome. So her physical body has been under a lot of stress since she was born (she had a congenital birth defect which was repaired surgically at 3 months of age). So, as her mother, I really am struggling right now to get her back on track. I’ve been doing a lot of reading around diet and wondering about the Autoimmune Paleo approach. I know you said you believe that health will come as a result of allowing yourself to really experience and process your emotions (which I completely agree is a huge component), I also think that diet plays a key role. Have you found that any particular way of eating is more beneficial for you? I send you so many blessings and please know that listening to that small inner voice will never lead you astray ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m not a mother, so I can’t imagine what a struggle it must be for you. I’m not sure I’m the best person to talk about diet because so far I haven’t tried anything too specific. I’m from Portugal, which is near the Mediterranean, so I always had a varied Mediterranean diet – lots of fruit and vegetables, nuts, fish and meat. Of course after being diagnosed I did a little research, but different research comes to different conclusions so I decided not to change my diet drastically. I found that reducing dairy and gluten and replacing them with more fruit and vegetables helped me a little with fatigue, but the difference is not too significant. Of course I stay away from refined sugars and oils and processed foods – the things everyone knows for sure that are bad. Apart from this I’m a little reluctant to talk about diet because each body is so unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Thank you so much again for stopping by. I will be following your blog too.

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