Treating Causes vs Treating Symptoms

I am a firm believer in finding out the cause of one’s own health problem(s). Whether it turns out to be lifestyle-related, stress-related, unprocessed emotional or physical trauma or even something a lot simpler…

Why do I believe this? Because this is where one can learn empowering behaviours. This is how you can own your own choices, take back the control of your health and find your inner power.

N.ableD’s motto is “Empowered Living” and as its Founder I have a duty to honour this and of course, to honour myself.

What I am about to share with you is a real-life example that I hope will help to explain WHY it is so important to take control of your own health and well-being and WHY making your health somebody else’s responsibility may not be the wisest of decisions…

Last summer I started getting multiple inflamed, itchy lesions appearing on my arms, back and lower legs…Knowing how my body reacted to insect bites, I wondered whether it could it be mosquitoes? I also remember thinking it could be bed bugs! Perhaps it IS bed bugs!! Without any proof of seeing any bed bugs, I decided to change my mattress, throw out my entire bedding, including pillows and pillow cases and start again.

Yet there I was days later still getting more lesions appearing on my arms, back and lower legs…

So I decided to phone my GP surgery. I waited a standard 1 week for an appointment and at my appointment the GP says, “It looks like it could be a fungal infection? I’ll prescribe you some cream for the lesions.” And that was the end of that conversation. The cream certainly did help to lessen the itching but I was still none the wiser as to WHY I was getting these lesions in the first place.

I phoned my GP surgery again and requested a second appointment with a different doctor. I waited another 1 week for an appointment and went to the appointment. This time I got a referral to see a Dermatologist but the wait this time was going to be at least 4 months for a hospital appointment…

With persisting lesions I decided I wasn’t going to be able to wait 4 months for an answer to this, so for the first time in my life I decided to pay to see someone privately. A few days later there I was in front of a Private Consultant Dermatologist. She said “You might have Lupus. We’ll get your bloods re-done to check. I’ll treat you for Erythema multiforme as the presentation looks similar. Take these steroids in the meantime and continue to use the cream to help with the itching”.

I wasn’t happy with this outcome. Not only because I was now thinking I might have Lupus but because I knew that taking steroids would not lead me to the reason why I was getting the lesions, so why would I risk getting some potentially serious side-effects from taking steroids? All the while the potential underlying disease or illness would be progressing!”

Months later my hospital appointment with the NHS Dermatologist finally arrived. I attended my appointment and was told by this doctor, “You have Lichen Planus. I’ve seen this so many times. Take this cream for your lesions to help with the itching. There is no known cause for this unfortunately. We’ll re-take your bloods and see you again in 6 months”.

And that was the end of that. So I had been told by various different doctors that I might either have a fungal infection, Lupus, Erythema Multiforme, or Lichen Planus”

Overwhelmed I started doing my own research into auto-immune diseases. I bought The China Study. I read The China Study. I was blown away by The China Study. I began wondering whether a plant-based diet was the answer to resolving the lesions? I was subsequently drawn to watching countless documentaries on Netflix, including Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives, Food Matters and then What The Health!…I immediately stopped eating meat, fish and dairy to test the effectiveness of this new eating regime on my lesions. Bearing in mind I had been a meat-eater for the last 30-something years I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. But I made the decision to at least trial a plant-based diet for my health, for the animals and for the environment.

What happened next? The lesions started to reduce significantly in size in less than 1 week and they became a lot less itchy. However, new lesions were still appearing on my arms! What was going on?! I decided to plead with God. I asked God to tell me WHY I was still getting the lesions and then I waited for the answer.

It didn’t take long. I woke up at 3am “for no reason” to find the reason for my lesions. And there it was…something was crawling down my arm.

I screamed and jumped out of bed. I ran to the toilet and found that a small creature the size of a pea had dropped onto the floor of the bathroom. I quickly took a photo of this thing that had been crawling on my skin, possibly every night for the last 9 months!!! I frantically begin trawling through the internet to discover that this photo matches that of a bed bug. I am crying with fear and relief. Thank you God, THANK YOU!!!!!

In less than two weeks I had arranged for a pest control company to attend my home and deal with these bed bugs once and for all. Clearly, the thought I had had 9 months earlier about it being bed bugs was CORRECT but what I didn’t know was that changing my mattress and pillow cases certainly wasn’t going to be enough to get rid of them…

So what I had learnt from this 9 month journey other than the incredible persistence of bed bugs?

I had learnt the importance of trusting my own instincts

I had learnt how important it is to take ownership for one’s own health

I had learnt about the value and importance of a plant-based diet in treating health problems (not to mention saving the planet and its animals!)

I had learnt that doctors are not necessarily the best people to advise you on your health

**Total Time Taken to resolve all skin lesions: 9 months**

NHS time and money wasted:
    3 x GP appointments; 3 x telephone consultations; 1 x NHS referral to Dermatologist; 1 x Consultation with NHS Dermatologist; 3 x NHS Prescription; 3 x Routine Blood Tests
Additional Costs incurred:
    1 x Private Consultant Dermatologist consultation £250 1 x Private Prescription £162 2 x Pest Control appointments £800

Total Money spent = £1212