Twenty-one months ago, I had the idea for a blog that would provide people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME/CFS) actionable information for recovery.
The only problem was, I wasn’t fully recovered. Being so ill for 2 years, I had forgotten what healthy actually felt like.
I was so grateful to have the cellular capacity to go on short walks and see friends, because there were hundreds of days where I could not.
I ate the “perfect diet,” created healthier boundaries, kumbaya’d, and removed sources of stress which got my body out of hell.
But I was living in a bubble… that would eventually pop!
That summer, after a “crash” that burst my bubble, I knew I needed more answers.
Finding the (full) way out
I finally found an ME/CFS specialist. She found an environmental threat at a level over a hundred times the danger zone in my body. I was told by two initial doctors it could not have been this because I did not present “typical” symptoms, and they never ran the tests.
If you’re told you’re “fine” by a doctor (or a dozen) but you’re not, it’s likely because they haven’t run the correct tests (or it doesn’t yet exist). Also, it’s almost never *one* thing.
Identifying the environmental factors that were blocking my body from healing was a total game-changer.
While removing my environmental healing blockers helped my body improve to new levels, it didn’t cure me. I still majorly “crashed” due to a combination of mild exposure to environmental toxins, physical exertion, and mental stress. I did not want to spend the rest of my life in a bubble to avoid “the crash” or on the couch recovering from one. There was more work I had to do on my brain.
I explored multiple options, until I stumbled upon an amazing self-directed program to heal my brain’s over-protective response to environmental stimuli. It was a big commitment, and it helped give me my full life back.
To continue to enjoy good health, I had to live everything I learned.
The focus of Heal with Liz
Heal with Liz will share my personal journey to recovery from ME/CFS — from struggling to stand to dancing all night (and feeling good the next day!)– with the hope it will inspire you on your journey.
This is not a blog to discuss all the horrors of ME/CFS. You and I both know them. This is a recovery blog on how I and other people got OUT and reclaimed our lives.
I’ll break down my pillars of recovery from ME/CFS that I learned on my 3 year journey and insights from others who have recovered. We’ll also share healthy living tips for anyone who wants to live a more joyful, healthy life.
I’ve been there
I know what it’s like to feel the internalized shame of having a life-upending “mystery illness” for years, until I was lucky enough to get a diagnosis.
I know what it’s like to have been a frugal saver your entire adult life, and then watch your entire life savings disappear because you will try anything to get your life back.
I know what it’s like to go from an independent person to someone who must depend on the generosity of others because you can no longer work full-time (despite trying to cling on for far too long) and no longer have the energy to wash the dishes (but trying anyway and “crashing”). In my case, I am grateful to have had my partner by my side.
I know it can feel like the Wild West out there looking for answers:
- I’ve trudged through daunting informational sites about details of disease that terrified me.
- I’ve been to many doctors who looked at individual organ systems but had no answers.
- I was told to be wary of supplements. I went through garbage bags full of supplements.
- I tried reiki. It was interesting. I bought an inversion machine. It was useless. Heck, I tried almost everything.
- I’ve waded through soul-wrenching forums with other desperate people trying to find if anyone with my same viral titers ever improved.
- And I’ve visited countless sites and Instagram accounts that told me if I just this one thing or drank this one broth or juice I’d be better.
My goal is to help make things easier for you.
If I can save one person time, money, or provide them with an ounce of hope by breaking down how I ultimately healed and others who have healed, then my efforts to make this site will have been worth it.
Heal with Liz supports research teams who are discovering amazing breakthroughs (in neurology, immunology, metabolomics, and more) and change agents working to drastically improve the standard of care for ME/CFS with the ultimate goal for people to return to vibrant lives and achieve their dreams.
This blog is to help people live their best life
Many posts contain “light” healthy-living tips for a general audience, as my health journey gave me a heightened awareness to unhealthy habits blocking me from living at my full potential.
Some posts will be for loved ones. My hope is to provide helpful information and inspiring ideas for friends and family of people with ME/CFS.
Most posts will be to empower you on your health journey with actionable recovery information. Some posts might not apply to your situation or severity level. No single post is meant to be a cure-all for ME/CFS or other conditions. There are dozens of posts in queue about my recovery and the big and little things I learned along the way and from others, too.