Updated: Sep 19, 2019
Hello - I am a 27 year old who's been struggling with her health & searching for answers for over a decade and, in December 2017, I got answers I did not expect. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's, Lupus, EBV, and we now know that I also have Fibromyalgia and Joint Hyper-Mobility Syndrome.
Since I was young, I've hated how most medicines (and doctors) made me feel, so upon receiving my multiple diagnosis, I knew right away that I wanted to keep my treatment of these illnesses as natural as possible. My Naturopath immediately prescribed me a medication called LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone) *which I only tried because it only has 1 side affect*, recommended a slew of herbal supplements and tonics, and told me to cut gluten, sugar, soy, and dairy from my diet. Over the next year and a half I tried multiple different diets, herbs, tonics, everything - anything that could possibly help. I was able to manage my chronic joint pains with CBD, but then I'd hit a flare-up and be in stuck in pain for weeks. For every inch of progress I made, it felt like my illnesses dragged me back feet at a time.
In January this year, I reached my lowest point. I contracted both the stomach & respiratory flus at once causing the Mother-of-all-Flare-ups and shortly after healing from those, my right hip dislocated for the first time. I had no idea yet that it was JHS behind the dislocation, but I was already fed up with my illnesses taking my life away from me and causing me so much pain.
My health seemed uncontrollable, no matter what I did or tried. I spiraled into a depression and, desperate for relief I started researching different "Western Medicine" treatments like chemotherapy, injections, and immunotherapy. Around the same time, a friend of mine told me about Cryotherapy. At that time, I was experiencing the Mother-of-all-Flare-ups *the worst one I'd had yet* This particular flare-up had me in a bad way. I was wearing a hip brace, a knee brace, in chronic pain, covered in hives, fatigued as f*ck and had leg & arm muscles hard as rocks, searing joint pain, constant IBS-like symptoms, and brain fog so bad it felt like Alzheimers. I was desperate for relief, so when my friend said Cryotherapy could maybe help me, I said yes immediately. After that very first Cryo session my pain was no longer chronic and my flare-up was diminishing. I knew right away that, not only could this could be part of my answer, but that relief and healing could happen. So I propped myself up on my horizontal throne of pillows and researched everything I could about Cryotherapy as a treatment for Autoimmune Diseases.
I did weeks of research on the subject and found a documented case or two in Europe where a woman with multiple Autoimmune Diseases went to Cryotherapy daily for 3 months and achieved remission statuses. To keep her conditions in remission, all she had to do was go daily again for a few months every 9 to 12 months.
In simple terms, here's the treatment plan: Go daily for 2-3 months, once every year.
Being my own advocate like you so often have to be when living with Chronic Illness, I chose not waste another second and dive right into a treatment plan I drew up myself *and had run by my Naturopath for good measure*. I felt ready to start healing, but I knew that in order to make any progress, I needed to bite the bullet and REALLY change my diet to fix my leaky gut - not just live on rice, beans, and potatoes. I ended up reading about the Plant Paradox and ordered a leaky gut shield supplement. Up to this point, I had already made a significant amount of progress in regards to reducing the amounts of stress in my life, fixing long-lingering emotional pot holes, cutting back my energy expensed at work and at home, improving my diet, even equipping myself with every consideration a Chargie needs - but without reducing my body-wide inflammation and healing my leaky gut, I knew there there was no chance for notable progress.
It was a month and a half of going to Cryotherapy daily while on my Leaky Gut Healing diet before I started feeling results. At this point, my chronic pain was no more, my hives were fading away, I slept a bit better, my joint pain was at an all time low, I could move my muscles even when they got stiff, I had a steadier level of low-level energy throughout the day, my IBS-like pains were few and far between, my hair stopped falling out, and I'd have occasional peeks outside the dense curtain of brain fog wrapped around me. After two and a half months of Cryotherapy, along with my Leaky Gut Healing diet, my blood tests reported Thyroid levels close to a normal range and a negative ANA (Lupus indicator)! This was wonderful news and great progress, but I wasn't done yet. Still experiencing symptoms and 100% committed to healing, I had to keep going along with the treatment plan.
Over the next month and a half of daily Cryotherapy treatments, I started to feel like I was a lab rat in some weird, twisted, cold-ass experiment. It was starting to wear on me physically and even psychologically.
Because the body burns 400 - 600 calories per Cryotherapy session, I was losing weight - fast *and I wasn't starting out with much to lose*. Additionally, I was newly Lectin Free which means I wasn't eating that many calories a day to begin with. After dipping to my lowest weight ever at 107 pounds, I realized I needed to make an adjustment to the treatment plan. I would still go to Cryotherapy daily, but I would reduce my time in the chamber to 3 minutes instead of 4, I would go back in the sauna for a few minutes afterward *so my body didn't have waste calories heating me back up*, and I would make myself drink 2 allergen-free protein shakes per day. This adjustment to the plan stopped the weight loss from getting any more severe and got me through the rest of my treatment plan. At the very end of it, my severe Brain Fog finally lifted and my autoimmune diseases have been in remission since.
(Note: I go back daily for another few months starting in November to keep remission status)
These were great results, however, my healing journey was just beginning.
Not days after being relieved of my Autoimmunities, I found out that my body also played host to an illness Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is not an Autoimmune Disease, so we were only able to tell all the symptoms apart once the Autoimmune finally cleared. Then, barely two months into treating my Fibromyalgia, it became clear that my joints dislocating were not a symptom of a flare, but its own separate thing entirely. Joint Hyper-Mobility Syndrome is a diagnosis that made sense from instances I'd experienced tracing back to my pre-teens. I thought I was just clumsy and always just thought I was hurting myself & "healing" fast, but could always continue on after awhile so I never thought anything else of it.
I damn well thought something of it when I dislocated both hips within a fortnight of each other!
Is that it, life?
I shouted to the sky one night as the pain was overwhelming - the diagnosis of JHS had just been confirmed.
Is this fuckin' it? Because I handled everything else you threw at me, but if THIS COULD BE FUCKING IT, THAT WOULD BE FANTASTIC.
And it was there, lying flat in a bundled body of pain like barbed wires, that I rose like a proverbial icy Phoenix from a frost cloud *instead of ash and smoke* - Cryo Kween was born. Instead of torn down, defeated, and weakened by the blow after blow I received relentlessly for the past few years, I felt stronger knowing I could handle whatever else came at me, because now I had the knowledge and experience to do so. The knowledge of treatments, what works & doesn't work, the power of positive thinking, holistic nutrition, how my emotional pain manifests itself in my body, and more - all sewn together, one over the other - the hinged layers of my armor. The Warrior emerged.
Self-coronated, I gave an oath to reign over my mind and body as one, always promoting peace, kindness, & positive self-talk; striving constantly to achieve balance with the long term goal of being a body in harmony, living life inspired.