My own kind of bliss, calm after the storm

imagesDid you know if you have one autoimmune disease, you are very likely to get a second?! There are 90 known autoimmune diseases, including more commonly known ailments, like diabetes.

But this post is about the  calm after the storm, so i will tell you the good news:  my SIBO is gone! I know, I can feel it in my body. It happened last time I was on an anti-SIBO regime — that time 7 months of a strong antimicrobial herbal cocktail.  This time it was 2 weeks  of xifaxan, an antibiotic.

I woke up this morning with the same peaceful bliss that I experienced a few months ago when I was SIBO free for about 3 weeks. It is like stepping into a sunlight clearing after traversing a deep forest. Or sitting with my dog on theIMG_0393 beach on a clear warm day. It is like watching Bambi and Thumper. It is like the feeling one gets after a week of meditation and yoga at a retreat center.  Or like being a child, laying on the grass watching the clouds go by.  I remember this, I told myself as I lay in bed.

Last time, the feeling stayed with me day in and day out. It made me realize that all the hard work I’ve done on myself (yoga, meditation, personal healing) was actually changing me, except I didn’t perceive it. Celiac, SIBO, Hashimotos — I lump them together because they are all connected for me — had robbed me of peace for so long, I forgot what it felt like to not be anxious, depressed, or generally on edge, or the other extreme, lethargic. I forgot what it felt like to feel really good, except in the moment when I was trying to feel good, like at yoga or meditation.

A4cHeBsXShNabZqZ8gSTAxCSPP5Sgi5OCNi6N0vBThat peace never lasted.

The SIBO-free peace does.

I remember once, when at the Kripalu Center for a weekend retreat,  I felt so good and such a sense of well-beingness, that when I went to bed that night, I asked for a dream to show me how to make the feeling last.  Instead of a sweet dream, I woke a few hours later from a horrible nightmare. In the dream I was trapped in a house with a man who had methodically cut my family into pieces and put them in a bag.  I remember thinking, No, not me, too, and then I awoke.

My mother and father died at young ages, my mother from Pancreatic cancer, my father from 2 other forms of cancer. My mother clearly had undiagnosed celiac and Hashimoto symptoms before she was diagnosed with cancer. Once diagnosed, she gave up quickly because she had been struggling for so long.

Looking back, I think this dream WAS  showing me the road to lasting peace. I had to prevent myself from being cut into pieces by my autoimmune diseases. These diseases not only create war within us (our body attacks itself), they keep us from ourselves. I know when I’m feeling poorly, I turn inward toward myself, focusing on the bits of me that feel bad, forgetting the parts of me that don’t.  the_bodiless_princess_by_yomeromeI feel less connected and compassionate toward others. When I was younger, I did the opposite, I pushed the illness way,  bifurcating my body from the rest of myself. Eventually, that strategy caught up with me. And pulled me to my knees.

We live in a world of juxtaposition, and I remind myself that if I don’t know the storm, I can’t recognize the peace.

This thought helped me these past few months when my SIBO came back. When I started feeling off, tired, cranky, depressed and generally anxious, I was able to remind myself that these feelings weren’t me. They were my disease.

And that soon, peace would return.




3 Responses to My own kind of bliss, calm after the storm

  1.' Jordana Shaw says:

    Who is your doctor? I need a new one and after reading your posts, I am thinking I probably have SIBO too in addition to my known thyroid and gluten problems.

    • leesteffy says:

      I go to the Merino Center in Cambridge. My doctor is Dr Gordan. He is an MD, but has had a natural practice for so long that he doesn’t prescribe drugs. So after my SIBO came back more severely, he sent me to Dr. Ayala at Mt Auburn Hospital. He is a gastro expert and yet open to natural healing. But he said i had to suck it up and take antibiotics because my SIBO was so sever. Dr Gordan said the same. They waited to put me on antibiotics bc i am autoimmune to cellulose, which is in all antibiotics. They hoped for the best, but i was sicker on both the herbs and antibiotics than when i started, bc of the cellulose. But 3-4 days after finishing the dosage and i feel great. Same happened with the herbs. When you have leaky gut Herbs is the only way to go. Once my leaky gut was healed, they could contemplate giving me antibiotics. Hope this helps.

  2. Leesteffy, I’m doing the happy dance with you having rid your body of SIBO!! I hope this is long lasting and enables you to live with all the joy and energy you bring to your work and play! And thanks for writing these posts. Your sharing helps me on my own journey of healing leaky gut and all else that ails me.


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