Kerry Jeffrey is a counselor, clinical hypnotherapist, and Life coach, committed to living her best version of a happy, healthy life with 3 chronic autoimmune diseases; Celiac, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Antiphospholipid Syndrome. She specializes in helping people overcome trauma, toxic parent relationships, and works with many clients worldwide with chronic illness to eliminate trauma and make peace with their bodies. This includes following the AIP diet protocol (Autoimmune Paleo) and taking full control of her health, wellness, and lifestyle.
Recovery After Stroke Podcast. Helping you go from where you are to where you’d rather be.
G’day everyone, welcome to another episode of Recovery After Stroke podcast. This episode of the podcast is brought to you by my personal website, recoveryafterstroke.com. If you’re curious to know a little bit more about me go along and have a look and get in touch, contact me via the contact page. Let me know who you are and whether or not there’s anything I can do to help or just give me some positive feedback. I’d love to hear from you.
Autoimmune disease is a disease in which impaired function and the destruction of tissue are caused by an immune reaction in which abnormal antibodies are produced and attack the body’s own cells and tissues. Autoimmune diseases include a wide variety of disorders, including many disorders of the connective tissue, such as systemic lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, but also conditions of the thyroid, like under and overactivity, known as hypothyroid and hyperthyroid, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
As you may have guessed, autoimmune disease is what the episode is about today. And now it’s on with the show. My guest today is Kerry Jeffrey, and Kerry is a counselor, a clinical hypnotherapist and a life coach. And she’s committed to living her best version of a happy, healthy life with three chronic autoimmune diseases, celiac Hashimoto’s thyroiditis Antiphospholipid syndrome. And I don’t know if I pronounced that correctly.
But anyhow, she specializes in helping people overcome trauma, toxic parent relationships and works with many clients worldwide, with chronic illness to eliminate trauma and make peace with their bodies. Wow I love the sound of that this includes following the AIP diet protocol, autoimmune paleo and taking full control of her health, wellness and lifestyle. Welcome Kerry.
Thank you so much. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Before we get really into it, tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’ m getting my health back so I’m two years in from my worst case scenario when my health left me and so it’s a process of getting back now into pretty much you know, part time work I don’t think I’ll I don’t really know if I’ll be able to go hard at working full time again, because I have to balance my life.
But it’s about you know, building that life where you can still do what you want to do at the same time, looking after yourself. So I see clients in my home, either in person or in Skype, make sure I get plenty of time to rest and manage the stress and all of those different sorts of things. And it’s all about finding that balance, but it’s a little bit new because it’s really I’m in a position probably much like yourself Bill of needing to create a very different life than the one you thought you were going to be living.
I’m really interested to understand you said your two years in how long into the opposite of regaining your health. Were you doing that? For example? How long were you unwell for?
Well, mine came on very gradually. And I sort of always talk about a little bit in that, you know, sort of how do you its a story about how do you you know, boil a frog and that’s that you put the frog in the water and you increase the temperature so gradually that the frog doesn’t realize what’s happening and I think looking it’s only through, you know, looking back from where you are you can actually see what was, you know, starting to happen.
And I think looking back I probably had issues on and off for years. But that was normal for me. I felt healthy. I never was at the doctor’s I’ve only been in the hospital for tonsils when I was a kid in childbirth twice. So you know, I really got sick, I noticed that my energy levels used to drop. My focus and concentration would wane like that. I thought it was me. I thought, you know, maybe I just wasn’t disciplined enough or motivated enough or you know, all of those different sorts of things. So there was always something to explain it.
And when I started on the downhill slope, it felt like I had a really bad flu. So all of my joints were aching, I felt really foggy headed. I had no energy, and I just sat on the couch for a few weeks waiting to get back better like I normally did and I wasn’t getting better. I just seem to be getting worse and worse and worse to the point where I could barely talk. I could barely think I could, I couldn’t stand. I couldn’t walk. I wanted to sleep all the time.
Sometimes if I was sitting on the couch, I couldn’t hold my body upright, I would just fall over onto the side. And I spoke like what. So I sounded like I was brain damaged, which I’m sure that you can relate to that when you your voice doesn’t sound the same. You don’t think the same. Your mind doesn’t work the same.
And my body wasn’t working. So by the time I actually went to the doctors, my hair had been falling out, I’d gained all this weight, lots of things were happening. And the test came back I was pretty much evident that my thyroid had ceased functioning. And I was probably about 24 hours away from going into a coma.
Yes, I was having heart issues chest pain. different sorts of things. So I basically was non became non functional. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. So yeah, it was it was just a gradual decline, but it’s hard. And I’m sure you can relate to this when, when something like that happens, it’s hard for you to actually take in you. It’s like, like a bad dream you keep waiting for hang on, when is the last going to get back to normal? When am I going to find out what this is? And when am I going to find out how to deal with it? And and it just seemed to be just going further down the rabbit hole for me.
We’re gonna unpack what caused that in a moment. But what you’re describing is the exact same thing that I experienced from three brain images. I didn’t know my name or my wife’s name. At one point, I didn’t know who she was.
I couldn’t type an email took five hours to type three lines in an email. I couldn’t I was totally fatigued, had to sleep all the time. I couldn’t drive I couldn’t work. I couldn’t do all these things. And that was caused from a physical bleeding into the brain at the time. And the brain because we didn’t operate for three years.
The brain had this blood in it for a very long period of time as it started to get absorbed things came back on board, but what you’re describing is neurological damage. When you didn’t have a blade in the brain and you didn’t have a strike, thankfully, you had a firewall issue.
Hmm. And that’s, that’s the problem, because when you’ve got any sort of it, it’s like anything a doctor tells you with itis on the end is inflammation. It’s an inflammation of whatever it is. And so, you know, mine’s classified is thyroid, itis, but what it does it inflames all of the body, including the brain.
So my brain was swollen and inflamed and I wasn’t able to think I was able to concentrate properly and you know the name that everybody in the community calls it is brain fog. Yeah. And with that also goes psychological issues, so is experiencing rolling anger. anxiety attacks like not normal anxiety, which I’ve experienced this was like anxiety on steroids. And you know, depression. And, you know, I couldn’t drive my car because I had a panic attack.
So it took away my mobility. And I made stupid mistakes like in driving my son to school, which is just local, and he’d be still getting out of the car. And I’d already be taking off in the car because I was just my brain wasn’t functioning properly. So all those judgments and things are just gone.
Well, you also said, you just said that. It was caused by inflammation. And there’s many things that cause inflammation and part of my journey to heal my brain. I was curious about because they told me my brain was inflamed. I was just curious about how do I decrease the inflammation and that started me on this four year journey.
And then at this stage now at a podcast, interviewing people about different things. So I really get it and we’ll Explain that to the listeners in a moment. But I want to go back to understanding if you can please explain to the listeners What is your condition regarding the thyroid hashimotos sounds like a very weird name for a thyroid condition and what’s happening in your body that’s causing the thyroid not to work properly.
Yeah, so hashimotos thyroiditis is a very common issue and it’s an autoimmune issue. Unfortunately, doctors don’t really focus on the autoimmune side of it because the treatment is the same whether you’ve got just low hypothyroid which is non autoimmune thyroid or hashimotos. They will put you on cytoxan which is the T for so they don’t take any notice.
And in fact, a lot of people don’t even know that they’ve got hashimotos their doctors don’t tell them and this is a really big disservice because it is caused by inflammation in the body so the current research, as I understand it, is that this comes from a leaky gut, in many autoimmune conditions, so the little junctures of the gap, which should be nice and solid, you know, begin to gap and things, which should be, you know, in that nice tube, just going in and out of the body start to leak into the body start to cause the order or the, you know, the immune system to attack it.
And depending on where it goes, will determine the sort of autoimmune condition you get. So I can go to the joints, which is rheumatoid arthritis, all of those different things. And there’s a theory that gluten, like the protein that makes up gluten is very similar to the structure of the thyroid cells. A
nd because the immune system is like just going wild, it’s just, it’s just switched on and just going nuts, it starts to attack parts of the body, so it’s the body attacking itself. So in the case of you know, the hashimotos the body over time keeps attacking the thyroid. And so what people will notice is they’ll get spurts of energy and then a slump.
And then spurts of energy and then slump. And that can go on for years. And it’s at Prague in the, in the source benefit, just gradually, gradually gradually going down. And they’ll notice things like this skin getting really dry, or they’re getting a lot of anxiety or a lot of depression or their hair starts falling out, or they gain all of this weight, and they feel really depressed.
And, you know, on average for most autoimmune conditions, it takes three to five years and five to seven doctors to get a diagnosis. And people are normally told, you know, you just need to diet and exercise or you need to go on an antidepressant or you need anxiety medication, so their experiences just trivialized and the condition goes on and on and on.
Yeah. What’s great about my experience, although I have Half a thyroid gland because the right side was about the size of a cricket ball and had to be removed. And then that made me hypo thyroid was that I went to the doctors with this information, and I told them, do the antibody tests, I want to know if it’s auto immune or if it’s something else causing my thyroid challenge.
And that really decreased the amount of time that I went, you know, to doctor after doctor after doctor so I never had that. One amazing thing that I learned during that process was that a low thyroid function makes you very angry. And at least it did for me in that my bouts of anger came from not having the energy to express to people that for example with the kids, I need you to tidy your room up that once that I said it exhausted my energy and saying it a second time was really a problem. So it really explains to me why I was always so mad.
And so angry. And while I was lashing out at people, and that’s allowed me to go back to those people and say, Hey, I apologize for my behavior. Let me give you an insight into what contributed to part of my behavior because I love you guys. I it’s not my intention to be nasty. So that was a real massive learning that was a really big insight. So what we’ve understood from what you said is that gluten, the theory is gluten.
Similar is similar to thyroid cell, immune system, mistakenly the thyroid cell as a gluten cell, well attacks the gluten cell because gluten is inflammatory and as a result also attacks the thyroid cell and that decreases the way the thyroid works. Now what’s the immune system does that because the gut which is in our body, everything inside the guy is technically outside of our body because it’s in that tube that goes from our mouth to our barn.
Oh, and none of that stuff is supposed to come into the body, other than if it’s nutrients from food, for example, but gluten causes these little holes to go into the gut and allows toxins like, you know, very microscopic levels of toxins to enter the blood, the bloodstream. And as a result, the body says, this is a foreign thing, and I’m going to attack it and when it goes to the joints, it attacks the joints, as well thinking that it’s the joints causing the inflammation. Once that started, can we stop it?
It can be reversed and you can go into remission. I don’t think you can ever truly get rid of it. But you certainly can decrease the effects that you have. So I would class myself at the moment in remission. Because you know, remission for me is that I don’t have the symptoms that I had. You can protect yourself from everything, as you’d know, you know, there’s a lot of external stressors, things happen, you know, other types of illness, things happen and with autoimmune disease, it can be set off by stress or trauma or other triggers or another virus or something like that.
So you can be doing everything right, and still get a flare. That’s, that’s the way that it is. But it’s, it’s learning to manage that. And, you know, know yourself well enough that you think, Okay, you’ve really got to get those boundaries. And I’m sure that’s something you had to do before, like, you really had to look at what your priorities are and just go, now, I’m not prepared to do that anymore. The self care is gonna come first. If I need to rest, then that’s the way it is.
Yeah, that’s exactly what I did. I found myself telling people that I can’t do the things that I used to do sometimes had to tell them more than once so that they could understand And I did a lot of I did a lot of at that time, letting go of things that I couldn’t control. And I did a lot of meditation and I did a lot of all these other things, which we’ll talk about. I want to know, how did you get your Hashimoto thyroiditis into remission? What did you do to get into remission?
Okay, so the other diseases that you mentioned are also autoimmune. So celiac is an autoimmune disease and so is anti phospho lupus syndrome. So antiphospholipid syndrome means that my blood is thicker than normal people’s blood and how that was diagnosed. The mi was a couple of miscarriages that I had before I conceived my youngest son.
And at the time, like they told me what it was that there was still, you know, in the research, they weren’t sure whether it was a real condition or not. So that’s like a an inflammation in the blood cells that makes them thicker and they build clots, they form clots, and what was happening in that case for me was at the placenta was had creating clots in there, which means that the fetus died because it wasn’t receiving anything from the placenta.
So the main thing that I thought like when the doctor said this is what you’ve got, my first question was, how did I get it? Like there’s got to be a cause. And he just saw it’s just something that people get it. It just happens, you know, it’s bizarre. It’s just worn out and I’m like, No, it doesn’t make sense. Why would a part of your body that was working just fine suddenly stopped working? causation?
I’m gonna interrupt you because I paid $200 for a What are they a specialist I endocrine specialists tell me that nothing causes my thyroid gland to enlarge. I was I even paid out of shock. I paid for that service that I got nothing from. So I totally relate to that. And sorry for interrupting you.
And it just didn’t make sense to me. And I thought, well, if this began somewhere, then certainly there must be a way to, you know, either fix it or reverse it. And I think one of the things that anybody who has a sudden catastrophic illness or you know, had been has a chronic condition goes to, you immediately want to go and say, Well, I want my life back the white wall, so I’m going to fix this, I’m going to do whatever it takes, and I’m going to be the way that I was. So that sort of started me off. So my original plan was I was going to cure myself.
And I was prepared to do whatever it took. And you know, at the time, I was disabled, like I was went from being an independent woman who earned her own living and single mother and all of that to somebody who could barely speak. I was very aware of the energy that it took to think like I was very aware of the way my body used energy so I actually had just stopped talking to people on the phone because talking exhausted me and thinking or studying exhausted me and I just put my energy into like researching what I couldn’t Search while I sat on the couch with my iPad.
So the first thing that I did was I looked for stories of hope, like, you know, people who had achieved remission then I wanted to see Was there any, you know, factor that they all had in common. And then I found the autoimmune paleo community. So what that is, it’s a collection of a whole lot of people like me who are living with different order immune conditions, who have found that by changing their diet to the autoimmune paleo diet, it reduced the inflammation in their body which reduce the symptoms, which means they had a better quality of life and often achieved remission. So I thought, well, if changing what I eat, can do that for me, then I’m prepared to do that.
So that was the first part. Then the second part of thyroid issues is what most doctors will give you is thyroxin, which is the T for thyroid hormone. Now the issue with that is it’s a storage hormone. It actually needs to be printed. verted into the body into the active t three, which every cell in our bodies has a receptor for like, that’s how important it is every single cell in your body has a receptor for that T three hormone.
And doctors aren’t giving you that. They’re giving you something that your body that’s already inflamed and not working properly, like my liver and kidneys were at 50% function or by how God was inflamed. So asking my liver and my gut, which is where most of the conversion takes place. To do that efficiently.
There was no way that was going to happen because the function is so low and then I researched internet natural in detail it’s called so it’s desiccated thyroid powder, it’s actually made from the thyroid of the pig and it’s all dried and ground up into a powder and encapsulated. And I just set out on a mission to find a doctor who would prescribe that for me. It’s very poorly understood by most doctors. They don’t know how to dose it, they really don’t know what to do with this.
But I found some support forums where they had all of that information from patient experience. So the two things combined are changing my diet, which is, you know, that’s taking down the inflammation in my body. So I’m removing the things that were inflaming it, because that’s what the AIP diet does, it reduces all the known and suspected inflammatory foods, so it’s not forever diet and gives your body a chance to come down and to stop the attacks and lose the inflammation.
And then over time, you gradually start reintroducing certain foods to see how you end up so you end up with your own personalized diet. So you pretty much know I’m safe to eat that but that’s not a good idea for me to eat. So that in combination with the natural desiccated thyroid, that started to make a difference and then just gradually over time, you know, started to build up I found out thinking more clearly, the pain in my body had gone and my hair started growing back. My skin was better, my eyesight was better, because everything in my body was affected. So they’re the two things that helped get me to where I am now.
Let’s address the elephant in the room is in paleo, something that a silly shift talks about. And a fad diet. That really is wrong because we’re supposed to have dairy. We’re supposed to have a bit of sugar and bread and all these things. Isn’t it? Like a terrible, terrible thing?
No, no, it’s just natural food. Really I mean, why do we need dairy? Why are we going to be drinking the breast milk of another animal because that’s what it is. If you think about it, logically, milk was created for baby cows, not for us. And you know, we’re supposed to drink the breast milk of our mothers for a certain amount of time, you know.
Where else do we get calcium from?
You can get calcium from vegetables and calcium from a whole lot of other different sources out there. So, yeah, I don’t know, everybody says that this is all what’s that weird thing that you’re doing? Basically, I just think of it is, if I look back at how my grandparents used to eat, right, you’d show up there, they’d have a nice roast, you’d have your roasted veggies and you’d have your greens and things like that and you would sit down and I would you know, you’d have your lard you’d have your oils you’d have your fats and been enjoyable meal.
And so that’s basically how I ate so I ate nice nice and I lovely vegetables and I fruit and my bread from a gluten is that I’m a celiac and even if I wasn’t I probably wouldn’t go back on it anyway because there’s there’s too much evidence to show that it makes any sort of autoimmune disease worse. Yeah. And I don’t want to be disabled.
Wow, that’s interesting. And why would anyone choose to be disabled and, and I know that people that feed their families certain foods, and I know that they when they eat certain foods, they’re doing it thinking that it’s the right thing, because that’s what we’ve been told. And I’m not saying it’s wrong, even. But I had this conversation with my mom, just yesterday, I even now take filtered water to her home because she doesn’t have a filter on it on a tap.
And she said to me, you’ve got to this point where you’re even bringing your own water because What’s all that about? And I said to her mom, you know, what you don’t understand is that I, my body’s not like yours or anyone elses in that I’m experiencing these brain challenges, they affect the gut. The gut, therefore affects the brain.
The thyroid challenge that I have, is also causing me these problems and I’ve got to take all the toxins I could possibly take out of my body. I’ve got to take them out because it doesn’t process them like yours. Is this this whole re education process and I’m not educating her about what she should or should No, I’m just educating her about what I should. And surely. And this has been a really difficult thing to overcome, and people don’t get it. And it’s not that. And it’s not that I’m questioning their choices. I’m just questioning my own. Oh, and yeah. about that.
Yeah, I think the thing with you and I feel like we suddenly found ourselves at a no, we’re in a severe health crisis. And when you’re that low, suddenly, you’ll do anything to get your health back, won’t you because you want to get back to, you know, near the way you were and living your life. And so in that situation, it was easy for me to make those choices because I was literally fighting for my life.
And, you know, there’s a lot of other things that I would have been prepared to do, you know, it wouldn’t have mattered at that time you’d sell your soul to the devil to get your health back. So for me that it wasn’t really a big sacrifice, but unfortunately, where most people with any sort of chronic illness are coming from?
They’re sort of they’re okay. You know, they’re not really sick, but they’re not really well. So they can’t see the benefits. It seems to be good as a sacrifice because, you know, food is an emotional thing. Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s your social life. It’s your friends, it’s your family. It’s that bonding it, you know, there’s a lot of emotional connection to food. And that can seem a massive sacrifice to a lot of people to give up unless they’re highly motivated.
So I’m very much aware that, I was in a very different position from a lot of people because I was coming from disabled rock bottom, you know, like at one stage, the worst case scenario just to let everybody know exactly where I was because I couldn’t work. I couldn’t think I didn’t know what was going to happen to me. I was living on my savings, to pay the rent and everything and the worst case scenario would have been, I would have had to give up our rental property.
My youngest son would have had to go and live with his father, my eldest son would have moved out of the home and I would have gone to live with my 76 year old father. That’s what I was facing. And I didn’t know nobody could tell me or my doctor could tell me where she’d never seen anybody as bad as me. And like she said to me, honestly, she said, You, you are disabled.
She said, do not do not. If you walk, walk slowly, don’t run, don’t push yourself. You could go into heart failure. Well, you can die. You know, that’s, you have nothing to power your body. And that was a you know, a huge thing to come from for that position from somebody who’d been healthy and active all her life.
So I was highly motivated. So I think a lot of people listening to you and saying, oh, will you just stop eating gluten and they’re just thinking, but that seems like such a huge sacrifice. But the way I see it, I think you’re giving bumping up to get something back. And when you see like, you know, you’ve got less pain and you’ve got more energy and you start losing some ways and your hair starts growing back and you feel brighter and I like netball and I’ve probably been this way for years and years and years just slowly slowly slowly deteriorating thinking it was normal for me.
And the way it is enable it feels like they’re part if my if my brain was a set of lights, right, there are lights coming on in my brain now that I didn’t even know that I had. Like, I feel more motivated. I feel more alert, I feel more focus. You know, like the joys come back into my life. Yeah. And in many ways, I feel so much better than I did when I thought I was healthy and fit and strong.
And you’re not disabled anymore.
I got to the point where my nurse wanted to stand in the room with me while I went and did my first poo because I couldn’t walk. And they were afraid that if I try to move, I would fall down and damage my my head or kill myself in the toilet. And their policy is that you need to leave the door open. Or we need to be inside the room with you when you poo. Oh, and I had to negotiate and big for the for the best part of 10 minutes to make sure that she stepped outside of the room because that is the last thing that I can imagine that I wanted somebody to do. And I hadn’t gone for two or three days because I had been out of surgery.
And I was at that point where you know, they want you to do one and they need you to do one because if your bowels aren’t working, there’s some serious issues after surgery. So we went through this whole process I managed to convince the nurse to stay outside so it quickly occurred To me that if I stayed in this state, that’s the kind of things that I would have to endure. And I know people that are enduring that.
And they hopefully gonna overcome that. And I just didn’t want to be somebody that could enjoy that if I could do something about it, that is I was going to do everything I could to not enjoy that. So that was what motivated me. And I speak to some people that have had some health challenges. And I said that and I said this thing to a lady recently, who experienced a stroke and still drinking alcohol. She recently lost a partner.
So she’s a bit down and she sort of said, Look, if it takes me I don’t care. I’ll go with my partner, I don’t mind. And I said, Well, what if it doesn’t take you leave you and it leaves you in a wheelchair with nothing working and somebody else has to wipe your own bone. And the coin dropped. That was the first time that she paid attention to the possibility that it doesn’t this thing that we’re going through whatever it is may not kill you. It just might leave you in a space where you have to rely on somebody else for everything. And if you’re 70, and you’ve been independent your whole life, that’s gonna be a tough pill for a lot of people to swallow.
For sure. I think that was the biggest thing for me. It was like my whole life as I knew it had been completely wiped off the table like, there was nothing was certain nothing was sure there was no guarantees. I didn’t know what was going to happen. And that’s probably the scariest situation I’ve ever been in my life. Because I think no matter what situation you’re in, if you’ve still got your mind, and you’re still got your health, then you can deal with it. But when you can’t think and you haven’t got your health, you’re lost.
Yeah. I remember being in a room in front of some people in a course. And we had to introduce ourselves and I started crying because one of the things that I wasn’t certain of was whether I’ll get my brain back the way that it was before, because at that time, I was really only about About nine months into the recovery. So it was a really traumatic experience to have to go through that. And I’m glad to say that I got my brain back and better than before.
So we’ve come a long way, I want to understand a little bit about identity and how identity changes and shifts. So you were a mom of two, you had all these things that you were doing, and then all of a sudden, now you’re in a space where you’re labeled as disabled, for lack of a better word, you actually are disabled. And you are now looking at what am I going to do? How am I going to go forward, your identity changes because you can no longer go back to doing what you’re doing? Tell me about that shift then did it come easy or was it difficult for you?
It was really difficult. Physically, what I found was like, medically, there was a lot of knowledge and information I could research but what nobody could help me do was to come to terms with an emotionally and that was what I wanted to know, you know, because that’s my life’s work is helping people deal with emotions and overcome trauma.
So I’m traumatized finding myself in this position. And that was what I wanted to like, how do people adapt? That was what I wanted to know, how do you come to terms with that experience? How do you get your your identity back? And you know, how do you you start to accept that without, you know, giving up. So, I cried on everyone.
Basically, I contacted anybody I knew who had a chronic illness and said, Can I please talk to you about how what was your mindset? Like? How did you you know, had it affect your relationships? How do you see yourself now and I cried all over a lot of people, I made myself very vulnerable, which was the scariest thing for me because being a very independent person, but you know, I’ll give you an example. I needed to do my text and I was in no state to do it.
Like I could barely think I didn’t have any energy. And my best friend is a bookkeeper and the thought of asking her for help Just I didn’t want to do it, you know, I was really worried about it. So I rang up and said, Listen, I’ve got to do my tax and I can’t get my brain to work. I haven’t got the energy. I was wondering, would you mind coming down and helping me, you know, get all this stuff together, and I’ll buy you dinner or something.
She said, Of course, I’m coming down and I’m buying you dinner, you’ve done all of this for me. I’m really grateful to have an opportunity to help you. So I’m sitting in my chair, just trying to look at big bank statements and see if I could remember what I’d spent that money on, you know, crying with the the gratitude that she’s sitting there organizing it all for me.
And that really helped to change a lot of things for me because needing to ask people for help relying on other people when it’s not what you’re used to. It was a very experience that made me feel very humble and very grateful but also terrified. Yeah. And yeah, it changed a lot of reasons. It will show you who your true friends are.
And there’s a lot of sorting out that needs to go on. And it’s about finding that balance I think Bill and you’ll probably find the same is I just say that I’ve got it, I’ve got to respect my illnesses, you know, they’re there, they’re with me, I have to make my peace with them. I have to look after my body in a way that’s going to enable it to find that balance, but at the same time, you don’t want to be you know, totally identified with that you don’t want it to become your identity, the illness or the stroke or whatever it is, you still want to be the person it’s that constant shifting balance. Yeah. Because you know, I’m not who I was before, I’m a different person. But I don’t want to identify myself as someone who’s chronically ill even though that is my experience. So I’m carry with these illnesses, but I’m still carry.
Yeah, The stroke community talks about people being stroke survivors. And that’s okay for a lot of people. But I’d rather be somebody who’s experienced three strikes rather than survived a stroke. Because even though my wife was at risk, I didn’t take it as a threat directly to me. I just took it as something that I have to overcome.
Therefore, I dealt with it a lot better. There was less anxiety and emotion and angst around what what it meant to experience a stroke. Because as an experience, then it’s also a learning thing, then it’s something that I can share. Hey, guys, this is what happened to me. This is what you might need to know etc. But if I survived the stroke, it felt to me like I was gonna be somebody who this thing nearly killed me.
It’s a passive word, isn’t it? Something attacked you and you survived, but it doesn’t say anything about you other than you survived.
Yeah. But I learned so much. And I’ve helped so many people and so many people have helped me And I’ve, you know, we’ve grown we’ve, we’ve evolved, we’ve emerged, we’ve, you know, become smarter and wiser. And we’ve found that we’re able to do new things. So I totally, I totally get where you’re coming from, like, I totally relate. I was just curious whether it was similar for you.
So thanks for that. Now. The, the people that are listening to this, perhaps experiencing some of the symptoms that you’ve already said, and that I’ve spoken about. And some of those people may be your clients, you may have clients that come to you like this, what’s the first step for you? When your clients come to you? How do you begin the whole process?
Okay, so if I’m dealing with a client who’s coming to me because they want to come to terms with their chronic illness, then the first thing we’ve got to work on is their attitude towards the illness in the body. And what I find most people hate their disease. Like they’re resented. Body, they feel like their body has done this thing to them. It’s lit them down, it’s betrayed them. It’s not cooperating. It’s doing all these things to it.
So that’s where we start that work because what you’ve got to get is you’ve got to get that partnership going. And you’ve got to understand that, you know, your body is the most fantastic asset you’ve got going for you like your body has nothing better to do than 24 seven, no matter what you put into it, no matter how much you drink, or smoke or you use drugs or you’re over eight, it will still magnificently keep, you know, sacrificing itself to keep you as healthy as it can.
So you need to help your body you need to start taking responsibility for what you’re helping to create in your body and listen to your body because what most people don’t understand is our bodies have very limited ways of talking to us. And all of those ways are unpleasant. So their pain or their discomfort, but that’s the only voice our body has an a body by sending that pain or discomfort or symptoms, saying Hello, I’m trying to tell you something you’re doing is having an effect.
But what do we do? We take some Panadol, we take some antacids, we go and fill a script and we silence it, we shut it down, but it’s still bubbling underneath. Every time he tries to tell us, hey, hey, I need help. We just shut it up. And so you know, we see the body is this inconvenience. Instead of really actually sitting down with it and listening and going, hang on. I just ate that and now my stomach’s doing this thing. Maybe there’s a causative factor here. Maybe if I stopped eating that and tried something else.
And then it becomes this two way partnership where you can start to work with your body. And that’s the big aha moment. Like I see people actually get them to talk to their bodies in hypnosis and they start out like, you know, I hate you betrayed me, let me down. You’ve ruined my life like you. You know, you’ve ruined their bodies just saying you, but I love you. And I’m trying to help you. And I didn’t do this to you.
Yeah, you know, I’m still trying to help you look after you, you need to help me. And then that aha moment just goes and they realize that, you know, that’s what needs to happen. And then start working on that. And then from that position, you can start to make those changes because it’s no longer a sacrifice. It’s no longer that sacrifice. It’s that two way thing that’s going on.
Yeah. That’s amazing. So when when you start working with people, how quickly Have you seen people change from being unwell? I’m not sure if you’ve ever had anyone as extreme as your case who was considered disabled. How quickly do you say then she shift from that to something more normal or whatever normal is.
Hmm, that depends on what they’re prepared to do. You know, because I work with people where they’re at. So if they’re not ready to change their diet, yeah, or do anything like that, then we’ll work on what they can be, which is their relationship with their body, and maybe start listening more, or we’d look at you know, there’s a strong link between trauma in childhood and people going on to develop chronic autoimmune conditions. And that’s pretty much been shown. So we’ll do the work to start removing the trauma.
We look at their boundaries. So if they’re not a person who speaks up or they’re a person who’s constantly giving and giving and not saying no, and saying yes to everybody else, and they’re feeling resentful. Then we work on those boundaries. So it’s all those different things that gives that person that feeling of being more confident, more assertive, being able to have those boundaries, being able to look after them.
So they respect themselves. And then that starts to change their attitude. So it’s about, you know, that shift from feeling like the helpless victim of circumstance to Hey, I can actually take steps to start making myself feel better. So I always meet them where they are. Because you know, all I can do is like, I’m not going to say, everybody should stop eating gluten and everybody sheet like me, you know, that’s, I’m just speaking because I know the effect that’s had on me. And I know how much that’s helped me. And that’s all I can say. I can say, hey, if you want to try that, then that’s fantastic. But it’s one of those things you need to experience yourself.
Yeah, I had a really interesting conversation. I’ll be honest, it took about two years to get to the point that I’m about to explain with a fellow who’s a friend of mine who came to offer counsel when I was going in for surgery, and he had been through that about 10 years before me, and we came across him through some mutual family friends.
And this this person came and visit me, Andrew came and visited me and we spoken, he got me feeling more comfortable about the process of surgery. Because he was well, he was looking where he was looking great. Since his surgery, he’d gone back to work and done all the things that he was doing before everything was great.
He was a bit heavier than he was before he became unwell 10 years before that. And he started noticing some changes in me when I was doing the things that I would do that I was doing to heal my brain, etc. And he started to notice and just started to ask questions. And we used to have this amazing conversation that was just about curiosity. And one day I said to him, Look, I stopped eating wheat and sugar.
And we went through the process and explained to him what the benefits were that I saw, plus what everyone else that was reporting was saying. And after about two years, one day I said to him, I reckon, I reckon you’re probably ready to just give it a go and just say What happens to you? And then we’ll talk about it in a week. And if you don’t want to do it anymore, I don’t care. He’s the kind of guy that I can ask that type of thing. And he’s happy to either say, Yes, I’m up for it or no, no, that’s not for me. So I sent that to him.
And in a week, he contact me and said, my pencil loose and my belt now needs extra holes. So he’d lost about four kilos in a week. And everyone sees that as dramatic or extreme or you’re using losing weight too quickly, and all that type of stuff. And I said to him, fine, you know, whatever. But that’s interesting. You know, I noticed something similar, but we’ll leave it at that. And then, unbeknownst to me, he continued, and it’s been around three or four months now. And he’s lost about 15 kilos. And he hasn’t done anything different other than stop eating sugar and bread and parlor.
And he’s just amazed at the response that his body’s had. And the difference that he’s feeling in his energy And he’s not missing the past or anything like that he’s replaced, you know, he’s a food with healthy fats and amazing, you know, organic eggs and all this title. And it just started from a place of curiosity. And that’s how I started. And he used himself as the guinea pig, No one forced him. And he’s reaping the rewards for being curious and suspending his disbelief about what is or is impossible.
And he’s come such a long way now. I thought that was a beautiful way for him to come to that point. And and begin to embody the possibility that he could be the type of person that could do such a thing, like stop eating bread. And all of a sudden, he’s benefiting for his family. He’s benefiting for it. And it’s really amazing. So yeah, the people who are listening, maybe it’s just time to suspend the disbelief just for a week and nothing more and we were gonna love you whether you do it or not.
I love that attitude of yours about just being curious because it’s not. It’s not just your body that changes with that you notice profound effect on your mind and the clarity, and your thought and your focus and your emotions. Like it really is amazing. The difference that it makes, and I know now, I get accidentally glutens because I’m trying to venture out into the world now and you know, risk eating out sometimes.
And that’s always risky. Because, you know, I can say, you know, don’t give me this, Don’t give me that. But if they’ve made my salad on the same board that they’ve just kind of sandwich on that all it takes us a few crumbs for me with celiac disease. So when I noticed that and the effect it has on my mind and my brain, I’m like, I’m depressed, I’m anxious I’m foggy I’m negative I’m irritable, and it does feel like a cloud coming down. And it’s just people really underestimate The effect that what you eat, not just has on you know, your weight and your body, but your mind and your emotions. It’s powerful. Yeah,
it sure is. And we’re getting to that point my people are starting to become more aware of this is because people like you do an awesome job of sharing your experience. We have the internet, we have podcasts, we have all these tools. And you know, the, the communities that we create by sharing this type of thing is what’s making the real difference. And before you know it, the medical world will be on board, and that the progressive doctors are on board.
And there’s some that are still sort of struggling to shift and that’s okay. I wouldn’t be without the medical system. It’s why I’m alive. But it’s not their responsibility to keep me healthy on a daily basis and keep me active and keep me working and keep me doing all the things that’s my responsibility. So exactly right. I love this merging of, you know the two completely different approaches to health and well being and using them both together so that you can benefit from both of them not just from the medical system because it has its flaws just like any system. And paleo isn’t for everybody but everyone that I know that’s done it has reported some positive effects.
And I think people have got to stop that old view bill like our grandparents had the doctors and God and doctors know everything. You know it medical industry is an industry and like any thing that you’re buying or any you know, whether you’re taking the car to the mechanic or whatever you want to find the person that you feel is going to give you the best possible result.
So you know, if your mechanic wasn’t listening to you, you would quickly find another one but a lot of people will put up with the doctor who doesn’t listen and tells them they symptoms are in their head or doesn’t help them the Because they think that the doctor knows more than they do. Whereas you know, you’re the person experiencing your symptoms or that your person living in your body with the consequences, whatever treatment that you take.
So it’s really up to us to find someone who’s willing to have a relationship with you and say, let’s, let’s be on my team, you know, and let’s have this two way communication. And they’re the people that you stick with. And I think as you said, the more doctors are seeing that, and they’re understanding that if they’re really willing to listen to their patients and work with them, then they’re both going to get great results.
Before we start to wrap up. I just remembered that I didn’t specifically ask you about the desiccated thyroid powder. I wonder if you can shed a little bit more light. I know you said it’s pig thyroid and it’s dried up etc. Is it providing us with T3 or T4?
It has all of the thyroid hormones so it’s got the T one T two, t three t four and something else that I can’t remember at the moment. So it would give you basically what your normal thyroid would give you if it was functioning all of those in in just a capsule form. So you need to have it made up at a compounding chemist, it’s not on the national health register or anything like that, first you need to find a doctor to prescribe it.
And then you need to find a compelling chemist, you need to be prepared to pay more force. And, and then you need to be in a really good support group who knows how to, to use it properly, to get that best results. So, you know, I can remember feeling a little bit anxious when I first sort of made the shift over because it was it seemed to be this weird sort of hippie, you know, seeing how could this possibly work for me, but again, the experience that I had that was that was how I knew like I knew by how I felt, and I knew the difference that was making for me.
Yeah, and you know, it’s so it’s it’s really about Being prepared to try something differently. But you’ve got to have that support. And I’m not sure about what the forums and communities you’re like in the brain injury or stroke community. In the thyroid communities and forums, I found you’ve got to be very careful. Because you can get sucked into the black hole of despair.
Like there are a lot of forums where people are so stuck in their, the tragedy of what’s happened to them and the frustration of not getting well and that there’s nobody who can help them that you can get sucked into that. And it’s really important to choose communities where you just you get the information, the help that you need, and keep that balance and keep moving forward. Instead of getting sucked into the, you know, the black hole.
That’s very interesting because it’s so many things are so similar. We come from completely different backgrounds. The strike community on a hall is very supportive. The forums are the worst places Been. And when you ask for help or information or questions, I’m putting together a program a 10 step program to support people heal their brain after stroke.
And when you go on those forums, ask a question about what do you think of this headline or etc. Instead of asking, What is this and how could it help, they tell you don’t preach your stuff in here, and Don’t tell me what to do. So, again, perhaps they’ve been burned by somebody who’s, you know, sold them snake oil and it hasn’t worked. I’m not sure.
But I think that for anyone listening if they found themselves being in that state of mind, approach each person who offers us something with caution, by all means, but give them the opportunity to explain what it is they do before you make a decision as to whether or not they are a snake oil. salesmen are not. And that is the biggest learning for me, I quickly got over the fact that everyone’s trying to sell me something and I just wanted to buy whatever was going to be the most appropriate for me to use.
And I discovered that not by buying it and then trying it out and getting feeling like I got ripped off by being really curious, asking question, question and question and question after question. And then asking other people about their experience and then testing it on a small scale to see if it’ll work for me. So, very interesting that you say that about the community that you’ve you’ve sort of come across i i’m not sure why people do that.
But getting stuck in the despair seems to be I’m not sure where most people like to live. And let’s, let’s hope that we can encourage people to do the opposite. That being said, That being said, people that listen to this might want to get in touch with you they might want To connect with you, how would be the best way for them to connect with you?
Yeah, so the best way to connect with me is through my websites, I have two. So my main business one is www dot love transforms llc.com. And I’ve also got a Facebook page with that name. And then my other one that I started just to sort of give back to, you know, the community when I became chronically ill is emotional autoimmunity.com.
And there I interview people, you know, with chronic autoimmune conditions or other chronic illnesses, just talk about, you know, what happened to them, how did they come to terms with uh, how did it affect their relationships, what’s worked for them, and everybody’s different? And that’s the great thing and I think we need to hear more stories of hope.
You know, we need to know that there are people out there who are still leaving fantastic, you know, productive, satisfying lives. regardless of what’s going on with them health-wise that you know, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your life or a really restricted life that you can still go on and have a fantastic life, regardless of what you’ve got.
Yeah. Beautiful. Kerry, thank you so much for being on the program. I really appreciate your sharing of your experience and your knowledge. I think it’s gonna help a lot of people.
Thanks so much, Bill. I really appreciate talking to you. It’s great to find such common ground.
Hey, guys, if you enjoyed this episode, and you think that what you heard on this episode is useful, share it, send the link to somebody that is going to appreciate hearing this and then perhaps, be taken down a new path in their recovery.
Give them the opportunity to just understand that there are different ways of doing things and sometimes the solution is closer than they think Christmas is coming up and because Christmas is coming up and I want to receive amazing things at Christmas, and sometimes I can’t Get them because Ferraris cost too much.
I was wondering, maybe you guys could do me the favor of a Christmas present that involves an amazing five-star review on iTunes. So at the end of this episode after you hear me speaking, if it is at all possible for you to just go along to iTunes, check out my podcast thetransitloungepodcast.com and leave it a five-star review, you’ll be making my Christmas wish come true. Thank you so much for listening.
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