When I was a little kid I never gave one thought to my health. I was far too busy begging for candy and “jumping off the walls”, as my dad used to say, after getting my sugar fix. My energy meter was always at capacity and the world was uncharted territory; it demanded exploration and I had plenty of drive for adventure. Another thing I had was my health. But that didn’t even faze me, then.
It took many sunsets before it dawned on me that I was a healthy human being. And it took many cold winters before I could spring to an appreciation for it. Still, it wasn’t until my “inherent” good health became threatened that I realized its true importance and the necessity of protecting it.
At age 24, my health’s predator is Endometriosis. In short, Endometriosis, or “endo”, is a hormonal and immune disease that affects women during their reproductive years. It causes abnormal abdominal growths and lesions in such a cunning manner that it can sink its teeth in for many years without revealing any signs or symptoms. In my case, it has an appetite for causing me extreme, debilitating pelvic pain during certain times of the month, which often leaves me curled up in the fetal position groaning in agony. Suffice it to say, it’s not pleasant.
Even less pleasant was the news from my gynaecologist. According to her, this beast can’t ever be slayed. But, lucky for me, it can be tamed. With proper measures I could (likely) stop the endo’s bite from getting worse, and put an end to the pain of my hellish pelvic cramps forever! How? Simple: Just by signing up for a lifetime of birth control pills and heavy duty over-the-counter pain medication. “Easy peasy” was her attitude. Besides, I’d be but one in multiple billions of women who consume birth control and prescription meds daily.
I think I felt even sicker leaving her office that day than I did going in. Her solution to my condition was not one that would lead me to a path of healing, but one that would numb me into ignorant submission. It also indicated that I would be both supportive and reliant on the pharmaceutical industry until my bitter end. I was left in a dizzying state of doubt. I knew there had to be a door number two.
What I didn’t know was how simple it would be to discover, and how wide open that “alternative” door would be. Just as a seed descends upon the soil and finds moisture and sunlight for germination, a vulnerable me looked around myself and found the healing and support that was needed. Its sources were (and still are) my good friend, Alex, who connected me with a naturopath friend who is now healing me; a caring food shop owner who supplies me with organic everything as well as invaluable recipes and knowledge; my social community in Kensington Market who can always be counted on to share health and nutritional advice; online communities and individuals who take the time to make their experiences, expertise and research widely available; my family who have shown nothing but love and have been listening with open minds; and of course, my partner, Danny and his family, who support me in every way I can think of.
This natural path to recovery I am currently travelling has inspired me to become deeply aware of the connection between health, community, food and environment. Their maintenance is of immense importance to humans and all other life on earth, and I would not have reached such a profound understanding of this now if it weren’t for my recent experiences and the people mentioned above.
So, this blog is dedicated to all of you; for shaking up my wild roots, and in hopes that we all become creative cultivators in this great big globe of a garden.