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Part 2: When a Diet Doesn’t Heal Chronic Illness

Part 2 When a Diet Doesn't Heal Chronic IllnessWhen I first wrote When a Diet Doesn’t Heal Chronic Illness, it was an attempt to let loose some very raw emotions. I didn’t count on it turning into something so encouraging. The minute I clicked on the post publish button, the comments, emails, and Facebook messages started pouring in – in droves. I had no idea what response I would receive, if any, and yet the outpouring of your love and support was a balm to my weary soul. You encouraged me, prayed for me, loved me. I was (and still am) blown away by the response. I read many of your messages with tears in my eyes. My husband and I met with my rheumatologist yesterday, and the nurse gave me my first injection of Enbrel. You gave me the boost I needed to put the guilt aside and step out in faith. It was time. I needed it, and my family needed it.

I wanted to share with you, what one reader, Jacqui, wrote me. Her words were so beautiful and inspiring that I’m thinking of framing them and keeping them in my kitchen, or at my desk, somwhere where I will see and read them often (Jacqui, I can’t thank you enough for your encouragement and words of wisdom! Lots of love to you!): 

“And then there’s our fickle soul…up and down with emotion… And the battle wears on us until that brings a chemical deficit that results in yet another physiological symptom…depression. ?

So, what do we do? We cry…and we rest…and we refuse to let the enemy beat us up when we are reminded that our Father has plans for us, and that… They. Are. Good! They sure don’t feel good…but we must refuse to believe the lies that hover, and choose…choose to believe the One Who never lies. (Preaching to myself, here. Just dried some of my own tears.)”

Putting my feet forward without being able to see what lies in front of me is daunting. I won’t lie, part of me is really scared. My anxiety yesterday while at my doctor’s office and at the blood draw clinic was through the roof. Today I’m doing better, but I keep visualizing all of my fears in a bucket, and I keep laying that bucket down at the feet of Jesus. Some of you might understand that, others of you might not… and that’s okay. But mentally my faith is the one thing that always, always gives me the hope to keep stepping forward. I’m trying to believe Enbrel will work, and will work well, for whatever amount of time I need it to. Easier said than done, but I’m giving my best effort to remain hopeful. 

When I was chatting with my rheumatologist yesterday, he mentioned if the Enbrel did fail, it’s a possibility I can try Otezla next. I surprisingly had never heard of Otezla. It’s actually a pill that doesn’t suppress the immune system like biologics do. The bummer is one must try and fail Methotrexate, Humira, and Enbrel before being a candidate for it (so far I’ve tried and failed Methotrexate, and Humira), otherwise insurance won’t pick up the tab. From what I understand, Otezla is ridiculously expensive, even more expensive than some of the biologics, which can range from $15k-60k annually (source). I don’t know yet what my insurance is going to cover for Enbrel. When I was on Humira 3 years ago, insurance thankfully picked up most of the tab and made it surprisingly affordable. I’m hoping the same will ring true for Enbrel. 

I told my doctor yesterday that, “I am so tired (mentally, physically, emotionally).” Here’s to a new outlook, to better health, to medication working well, and to an amazing social media community. Thank you so much, friends. Your support means more than you will ever know. 
xoxo,
Megan

PS- If any of my autoimmune friends have been on Otezla, I’d love to hear your results with it if you’re willing to share. 

PPS- My Ultimate Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies really are perfect for anxiety… not that I would know anything at all about emotional eating. *eye roll* Let’s just say I won’t openly admit how many cookies I ate in a 36 hour period. 😉 

When a Diet Doesn't Heal Chronic Illness
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Diane

Sunday 18th of March 2018

Megan, Thanks for all the gluten free recipes. You have given me the push to bake and cook and I'm loving it. Thanks. I would also like to suggest you try Low Dose Naltrexone. It helps with many autoimmune problems. It is like magic in a bottle. You may need to have a nuropath prescribe it for you. It is a compounded a pharmacy for you.

Mary

Wednesday 3rd of May 2017

Megan, Thank you for your blog. It is uplifting and down to earth. Your wonderful energy is so helpful.

Mary Kay

Sunday 8th of January 2017

Hi Megan! I'm new to all the gluten free stuff. Thank you for your blog. I've learned a lot.

I've had gastrointestinal issues for years, but didn't know what all of the causes were. I finally went to a doctor about two years ago who didn't diagnose me and sent me away saying "you just need to figure out what you can and cannot eat." I tried, but couldn't. A few months ago, I went to a different doctor. He suggested I send a stool sample to a doctor in Dallas who can test for specific foods. I had an immunological reaction to all 15 foods that they tested! Gluten was my highest reaction. I also found out that COFFEE has a gluten protein in it. When I stopped drinking coffee, my stomach stopped cramping and sending me running to the toilet. I loved my coffee, but I love not hurting and wondering if I'm going to make it to the bathroom. I don't know if this will help your arthritis, but it may be worth a try.

Thanks for your recipes and your honest, open conversation with all of us!

Praying that God will bless and heal you! Mary Kay

Miriam

Monday 19th of October 2015

I feel ya. I've had issues all my life that no one fully understands and every doctor thinks they can cure. No one has and I've been trying all the diet and oils stuff you mentioned. Allergy shots (three twice a week), three rounds. I've had the people questioning my faith trial as well. Have you had the "Fine, God, my healing isn't part of your plan. I'm not one of your special ones. I get it. I'll move on" moment?

Don't give up. It could be that you need the medication to get to a manageable level so the diet can support or further your healing. You've tried all the diets, just like me. You'll find the combo that gives you the most relief. Mine is certain dairy (I'm figuring that out now. Cheese def has to go, and guess how much I love cheese!), and added sugars. That relieves joint pain, sinus swelling and makes it so I can live with my husband's (awesome) dog. I also have regular cycles if I stay on a meat and veg (with little grain or dairy) diet. But it's all a frustrating trial and error, isn't it?

Someone asked me my idea of Heaven. I said, not thinking about my health, EVER.

I hope the meds do their job without strpping you of anything you need to enjoy your life. Breathe. Relax. Pray about other stuff, because others are praying for you. I wish you health and peace.

Sandra

Sunday 18th of October 2015

How fitting that I see this article just around the same time I also caved and said I couldn't do it naturally anymore alone... I just got cimzia injected n already feel 10x better... kicking myself as to why I let myself suffer so long before doing it but I learnt alot during that time n will continue to eat clean etc... but with a Lil boost help from my drug... it feels so good to finally stop making myself feel bad about it now that I've done it