Autoimmune Musings: Are We Ever Fully Healed?

Lately, I’ve been in a musing mood. I’ve been thinking a lot about my healing, how far I’ve come and what I’m looking for in the future. I’ve really began to wonder if we are ever fully healed. Although I’ve been in remission (lupus, SLE) for almost a full year now, I’ve still had to deal with hormonal fluctuations, arthritic damage to my joints, vitiligo, fibroids, psoriasis flares, PMS, adrenal fatigue and soft tissue damage left over from my last lupus flare. Now, I completely understand that autoimmune disease is tricky, and all of these symptoms and issues are the result of stress and damage from past health crises.  But, understanding that didn’t make me feel much better. Then, I started to muse.

Autoimmune Musings: Can We Ever Fully Heal? by Tara Perillo autoimmune Autoimmune Musings: Are We Ever Fully Healed? 109120907 1024x985
Autoimmune Musings: Can We Ever Fully Heal?

What are we expecting when we start a healing protocol? Are we expecting to never have to deal with another illness or symptom? To be honest with you, I kinda was expecting that. My diet is impeccable. I get 4 to 6 workouts in a week. I practice stress reducing strategies constantly. I love myself. I get plenty enough sleep. So, why then do I continually experience symptoms? Why is it when one thing clears, another one pops up? Because I am an imperfect, human being, as are you. Continue reading “Autoimmune Musings: Are We Ever Fully Healed?”

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Tara Perillo

Welcome all. I am Tara Perillo, herbalist, homeopath, yoga and fitness instructor, and healthy foodie . After successfully reaching remission of my lupus symptoms, through changes in my diet, exercise, and lifestyle, I wrote the ebook, Sickness To Fitness Quick Start Guide. I am also honored to have my paleo and AIP recipes featured in Paleo Magazine, Paleo Living Magazine, Shape Magazine Online, 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts, The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, and blogs by The Paleo Mom, Kris Kresser, Whole New Mom and many others. My focus is to help others become stronger in every facet of their lives. Join me to become stronger in health, mind, body, and spirit, together!

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Autoimmune Life: The Guilt of Recovery

When I first started my autoimmune healing journey, there was nothing I wanted more than to feel better. In October 2013, I was suffering from a lupus flare, stomach ulcer, inflamed hiatal hernia, pockets of inflammation throughout my intestines and colon, various psoriatic rashes and lesions, joint pain, hair loss, mouth ulcers and gum bleeding, weight gain from prednisone, and an uptick in my vitiligo symptoms, which caused it to spread to my face. I was completely miserable.

Autoimmune Life: The Guilt of Recovery by Tara Perillo autoimmune Autoimmune Life: The Guilt of Recovery IMG 6488
Autoimmune Life: The Guilt of Recovery

Almost two years later, I am happy to have reached remission in my lupus, vitiligo and psoriasis symptoms. My latest blood test have revealed exceptional improvement in my inflammation markers. I have no active rashes or lesions. All of my IBD and gastrointestinal issues have been resolved. I have discovered many of my triggers, and have learned how to cope with them in a more effective way. So then, why am I not screaming about my great news over every mountaintop?

I feel guilty.

If anyone would have told me, when I first began this journey, that I would feel guilt for getting better, I would have said they were nuts. But, here I am, all better, feeling bad that I’m healthy, while so many others are still suffering. It’s like I feel as though I don’t want to shove it in people’s faces. Even though I put in the work and sacrifice over the last two years, and I know I deserve to feel better because of it, I just feel bad for those who are still experiencing flares.

Honestly, I’m not sure if anyone else has ever felt this way. Most people are quick to shout out about their healing triumphs, especially in the autoimmune community. But, I’m sure I can’t be the only one that’s ever felt this way. The feeling is so great, it’s affecting my sleep. Every night, I have dreams, which feel like I’m awake, of my symptoms returning. I feel everything from severe joint pain to nausea, migraines, itching and sore throat. As I sleep, I feel like I’m suffering. Then, when I wake, I’m perfectly fine! I have no pain, no nausea, no anything! Weird, right?

Autoimmune Life- Before photo 10/2013   After photo 9/2015 autoimmune Autoimmune Life: The Guilt of Recovery Before After 915 1024x727
Autoimmune Life- Before photo 10/2013 After photo 9/2015

So, that’s why I’m coming clean today. This is my mountaintop to shout it from. I AM IN REMISSION!

Hopefully, I can get some sleep tonight……without painful dreams!

Over the weekend, I will be changing some of the pages on my blog to reflect my new status. I encourage any of you who have not been with me from the beginning to check out some of the older posts I’ve written. I’ve actually written about many of the struggles of living on the AIP. I still do maintain a mostly AIP with reintroductions diet because of my various food allergies. Many of those I’ve had for years. They’re not going anywhere. Here are a few of my favorite posts:

Traumatic Stress and Autoimmune- Is There A Link?

Living With Autoimmune- The Bad Days

The Loneliness of Autoimmune Disease

Staying Positive on The Autoimmune Protocol

Also, let’s not forget how I got here. I don’t believe I could have ever healed without The Paleo Approach. Had I not followed the diet and lifestyle changes outlined in this protocol by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, I would not have been able to put my autoimmunity into remission.
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I’m also thankful to all of The Paleo Approach Approved autoimmune bloggers and authors who have provided such wonderful resources and recipes to help me heal. You can find all of them here: Autoimmune Bloggers & Sites.

Here are a few of my favorite resources and cookbooks:

The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook

Nourish

He Won’t Know It’s Paleo Cookbook

28 Days of AIP

28 Days of One Pot AIP

Reintroducing Foods On the Autoimmune Protocol

85 Amazing AIP Breakfast Recipes

AIP Paleo Cajun Cookbook

Know that I’m praying for all of y’all who are still suffering. I sincerely hope you all, one day, feel as good as I do right now. I know the journey is long and hard. Even I had doubts throughout these two years. But, now I feel as though all things are possible. I’ll be right here, to help get you there too!

As always, I wish you all good health……..and, good food!

*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of these links, I may receive compensation. Thank you for helping to support my blogging efforts, here at Paleo Cajun Lady.- Tara Perillo

autoimmune Autoimmune Life: The Guilt of Recovery fullsizeoutput 281f

Tara Perillo

Welcome all. I am Tara Perillo, herbalist, homeopath, yoga and fitness instructor, and healthy foodie . After successfully reaching remission of my lupus symptoms, through changes in my diet, exercise, and lifestyle, I wrote the ebook, Sickness To Fitness Quick Start Guide. I am also honored to have my paleo and AIP recipes featured in Paleo Magazine, Paleo Living Magazine, Shape Magazine Online, 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts, The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, and blogs by The Paleo Mom, Kris Kresser, Whole New Mom and many others. My focus is to help others become stronger in every facet of their lives. Join me to become stronger in health, mind, body, and spirit, together!

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Follow Me:
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Reflections On My First Year Of The AIP

As some of you may know already, I celebrated my one year anniversary of being on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). I really kept my celebration low-key, until I saw a photo of myself from before I started my AIP journey. I quickly compared it to a photo I had of myself from a couple of months ago. The difference shocked me.

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Reflections On My First Year of The AIP|Paleo Cajun Lady

I mean, I knew I felt better; but, I had no idea how much better I looked. Now, this is not a vanity play. I simply noticed how much healthier I looked. My face had lost the puffiness from the steroid medication and liver inflammation. My lupus butterfly rash had disappeared. In my before photo, I could see the psoriasis rash that had covered my hands. That rash was now gone. My hair, which had been straggly and thinning, was now full and flowing. The dark circles under my eyes had vanished. And, I had a smile on my face in my after photo. I looked healthier and happier!

After seeing the differences in my photos, I started to reflect on my journey this year on the AIP. Although I hit a few bumps in the road with food reintroductions gone wrong, a severe respiratory infection, and a family member’s stressful medical emergency, I have refused to be defeated in my fight for better health. I have learned so many things this year, including the importance of batch cooking, food prepping, eating nutrient dense foods, managing my stress, getting enough sleep, relying on community, and practicing self love. I have learned how to fight for what’s truly important to me, my life.

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My first year on the AIP reflections.

Plus, I think of my family, and how they would feel if I had just given up after my diagnosis. How unloved and discarded would my husband have felt if I had chosen not to do everything in my power to live my life with him? And, my crazy, little dog, Gideon, how would she live without the Mama, who treats her like the most wonderful creature in the world? How would my Mom deal with watching her oldest (and favorite!) child suffer and wither away? Would my sisters and brother ever forgive me for leaving them without a fight? Would my nephews and niece ever know the aunt who loved them from afar? Don’t worry, my dear family, as y’all know, I’m not that kind of girl. This girl is a warrior!

So, when someone asks me how I could possibly have stayed on the AIP so long, I have a nice, long list of the reasons I did it, and continue to do it.

A year later, I have gotten my lupus and psoriasis under control. I have started to exercise again. My butterfly rash and psoriasis rashes have subsided, and in some cases, completely disappeared. I have lost 20 pounds of inflammation and steroid weight. I have stopped losing my hair. In fact, it’s growing like crazy again. I have discovered new foods that I enjoy so much more than the foods I gave up. I discovered a helpful, loving, accepting, encouraging community of autoimmune warriors, just like myself. I met my mentor, the amazing woman who wrote the book that saved my life, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne. And, the most important part, I got my life back.

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Photos from my first year on the AIP by Paleo Cajun Lady

If you’re struggling with autoimmune disease, I beg you to fight. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your family, friends, or anyone else who wants you to live. Give the AIP a shot. It’s really not that hard, once you get going. Don’t let your lack of willpower prevent you from enjoying a symptom free life. I’m going to give you a little tough love here, so hang on. There is no such thing as kind of doing the AIP. You must commit to the elimination phase, with NO CHEATING, for a minimum of 30 days. Then, you must do the reintroduction phase honestly and correctly. There is no way you will feel the full benefits of the AIP, if you do not follow it properly. You may hate me now; but, if you follow it to the letter, you WILL thank me afterwards. Believe me, if you would have told me a year ago, I would have followed the autoimmune protocol for this long, I would have told you how nuts I thought you were. But now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to become an autoimmune warrior. There are tons of resources to help get you through this. Here are a few:

How To Start The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)

The AIP Blogging Community

Grocery and Resource Shop

Recipes

The book that saved my life, The Paleo Approach.

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As always, I wish you good health……and, good food!

*This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase from one of these links, I may receive compensation.  Thank you for helping to support my blogging efforts, here at Paleo Cajun Lady.-Tara Perillo*

aip Reflections On My First Year Of The AIP fullsizeoutput 281f

Tara Perillo

Welcome all. I am Tara Perillo, herbalist, homeopath, yoga and fitness instructor, and healthy foodie . After successfully reaching remission of my lupus symptoms, through changes in my diet, exercise, and lifestyle, I wrote the ebook, Sickness To Fitness Quick Start Guide. I am also honored to have my paleo and AIP recipes featured in Paleo Magazine, Paleo Living Magazine, Shape Magazine Online, 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts, The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, and blogs by The Paleo Mom, Kris Kresser, Whole New Mom and many others. My focus is to help others become stronger in every facet of their lives. Join me to become stronger in health, mind, body, and spirit, together!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter aip Reflections On My First Year Of The AIP twitterFacebook aip Reflections On My First Year Of The AIP facebookPinterest aip Reflections On My First Year Of The AIP pinterestGoogle Plus aip Reflections On My First Year Of The AIP googleplusYouTube aip Reflections On My First Year Of The AIP youtube