Joan's Story: Unexplained Illness

Joan wants to reach for her granddaughter and pick her up. She wants to, but she just can’t. Even lifting the weight of her own arm is difficult. She wants to hug and hold all 6 of her grandchildren. She feels guilty and can’t explain to her family how bad she feels though they can see it on her face and in her eyes. That pain of unexplained illness was just a year ago. The pain of not knowing her future or her family’s future.

“You get to that place where you think, ‘you know what, its OK if I die young because it just isn’t worth it. I will so desperately miss my husband, my children, and my grandchildren, but I can’t live like this’,” says Joan as she remembers that time. A time filled with unexplained illness.

Illness Has Always Been There

“From my youngest memories I was not a well child,” says Joan. She says she was always very skinny, had a hard time finding things to eat, lots of allergies and eczema. As she grew up her allergies continued to get worse. She contracted the Epstein Barr-Virus at age 16 which caused mononucleosis, which led to a ruptured spleen. “So, they removed it, which it is part of immune system, and my already challenged immune system really started to tank by the time I was 19 or 20.”

“For the most part, my adult years had some interesting challenges both with allergies and illness where I was so very heavily medicated with steroid shots, inhalers, medicines,” says Joan. “It was my way of life. I started looking for things that could be different. That could help. I can deal with some symptoms, but I was never well.”

So, Joan tried many different avenues and worked with specialists. “When I had eczema all over my face, my face was so swollen – I was ashamed to go out in public,” says Joan. “I had so much eczema on my body that a dermatologist told me I was to go see a counselor because, “this is as good as its going to get and you need to learn to live with this.’”

By the time she came to The Wellness Way a year ago, she had many symptoms. Cloudy eyes; reduced visual acuity; loss of range of motion in arms and legs; terrible, debilitating headaches; zero energy; and ringing in her ears were just a few. “Feeling like I was in a day dream I couldn’t wake up from- I wondered if it was even safe for me to drive,” says Joan. “I’d forget what I was talking about in middle of a sentence.”

“I couldn’t describe it though. All I could say was that I feel like I’m dying,” says Joan. When she came to The Wellness Way they knew that meant they had to help Joan’s body get back to homeostasis, normal function.

The Wellness Way Brings a New Approach

The Wellness Way did a battery of tests. Joan learned she was very toxic with legal lead poisoning, mold illness, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome), leaky gut, and through genetic testing learned she had the MTHFR gene which was inhibiting the methylation cycle and her body’s ability to detoxify.

The Wellness Way helped Joan identify and eliminate foods that were causing inflammation. As a result, she helped her body detoxify and reduce the inflammation. She also did several months of IV therapy to kill off bad bugs.

Joan started to feel better, but there was more to her journey. “I shared with Dr. Jesse- I can’t ever go back to where I was but I still have a ways to go. I do understand if you are not able to help me accomplish what my body was meant to do on its own, I will die young. So, no pressure,” says Joan.

Joan remembers what he said, “I got you Joan. It’s ok but I want you to know it’s not just me. We have about 50 doctors that are aware of your case and are working on this with me. We got you. It’s going to be ok.” Dr. Jesse was talking about doctors who are a part of The Wellness Way network across the country.

She improved her nutrition and added supplements that supported her body’s methylation process. She learned what was right for her body.

“Genes don’t code for disease. You have these genetic factors. That’s your identity. That makes you different from someone else,” says Dr. Jesse of The Wellness Way. “So now because of the genetic differences people need to support their bodies differently but if you don’t know how to do that then that’s a problem.”

Through testing you can find out how to best support the body. “As long as you’re supporting your body the way you should then you can, and should, live a happy life regardless of what your genes tell you,” says Dr. Jesse.

Supporting YOUR Body

“The Wellness Way is really good about helping you to educate yourself and helping you to be responsible for your life, your journey. They help you along the way but I’m the one responsible.”

Joan says she is now feeling much better and is very optimistic about the future.  She looks forward to spending time with her husband and her family. She’s planning trips and is going to make maple syrup this spring. “I’m going to be able to walk, carry buckets with these arms and this body.”

“When you begin to see the effects of wellness that leads to hope. And hope leads to saying, ‘wow this is worth it,’”

says Joan.

At first, Joan was discouraged when her children tested as having the MTHFR gene but as she learns more she is happy to know all their stories will be different. “So as my grandchildren are now here (at The Wellness Way) their future relies on this as well. Once we understand where we are having trouble in this cycle we can supplement our body from the outside. We can make choices to help our body function on its own,” she says.

“The Wellness Way doesn’t have a stamper that everybody’s the same,” says Joan. “The Wellness Way says what’s going on with you and what’s healthy for you might not be healthy for somebody else.”

Health and the Future

So, Joan thinks its important that her grandkids are coming to The Wellness Way now. “If a person learns to look at their health from a wellness perspective first,” says Joan. “then they can be well from the beginning and look at their whole health journey from a completely different perspective. The end of their story is going to be very different. Their teenage years, adult years, older years- completely different.”

Joan pictured holding her granddaughter and feeling optimistic for the future with her family.

“So, I’m excited. I’m excited for myself. I’m excited for my kids and I’m excited for my grandkids,” says Joan.

“I can pick up my grandchildren,” says Joan smiling.  “I can pick up my 4-year-old granddaughter. And hold her and hug her- comfort her.  When she fell and was hurt. I could pick her up and hold her and I couldn’t do that before. That’s a good thing.”

A year later, Joan can hold all her grandchildren tight and there is so much potential for the future. “Looking back at my children and the health issues that they have had and now looking at my grandchildren, I’m just so grateful that our outcomes are changing.”




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