Did I tell you about the time…

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid athritis?

Well, recently a friend asked me to share this story with her young relative who just heard the same diagnosis. So, I thought I would share it here in case it may help someone else.

I remember that it was around Christmas time because when I woke up one morning with sore elbows I thought it might be from carrying bags around the outlet mall the day before when I had been power Christmas shopping. Then, the following day I woke up unable to bend my knees or my elbows at all! My roommates helped me out of bed and to the George Washington University medical center.

I was a graduate student at GW, in my first year of the Art Therapy program. That meant full-time grad school in the evenings. During the days I went to a maximum security correctional facility for juveniles where I was an art therapy intern. On the weekends I was taking a course in a gym to become a certified fitness class instructor. I ate on the run, and in between things; but worse than that I was eating processed, packaged, “convenience” foods without even giving a thought to what they were made of. Until this.

The staff at GW looked my body over for a bullseye rash or bite mark, convinced that I had Lyme Disease. Next they tested me for STD’s. By the end of the week they gave me the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. They suggested that I stop teaching and taking fitness classes, gave me anti-inflammatories and a referral to a rheumatoid specialist.

By the way, I was 27.

I knew right away I wasn’t going to the specialist. I decided not to accept that this was just how my life was going to be from that point on. The diagnosis is really just a description of the symptoms. I had met the limits of the medical model.

So I called my sister-in-law, who knew more about natural healing. Her kids slept with garlic cloves in their socks if they were sick and she had herbs and tinctures always on hand. I said, “I’m coming over. Can I spend the weekend?”

She put me on a juice fast. Carrots, greens, a few apples – in the juicer. She said I could have a banana if I got hungry.  “Oh, thanks.”

The first night I was woken up by the pain. It seemed to bring the problem to an acute state. After 24 hours I started to feel better. I got to have brown rice and lightly cooked vegetables for dinner! After 3 days all of the swelling was gone and I had full mobility.

I got my own juicer, and read books on juicing, food for healing, cleaning up your diet of allergens, chemicals and inflammatory foods…

Ultimately, it was a huge lesson in self-care. 

Do I indulge in bread, fried stuff and desserts with dairy on top? Yes. But not as much as I did, and not when I want to feel really good – you know, light, flexible, energetic and inspired!

I also listen now to my body’s messages, when they are a whisper. I wouldn’t wait like I did until she’s screaming, red, inflamed, angrily pointing to a problem in my diet, sleep, or general care and concern for myself. I thank her often, for her amazing abilities, for carrying my baby, for walking me around this earth, allowing me to hug those I love, and for supporting my Consciousness in this lifetime.



Please share this story in case it’s what someone needs to hear today.

May Vibrant Health be yours.



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One Response to Did I tell you about the time…

  1. Lisa says:

    Wow, that was a great article, thank you. I’ve been thinking about juicing myself. Are there any books you’d recommend over others?

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