Life has an interesting way of flipping upside down when you very least expect it. If you follow me on social media, you probably already know that I landed myself in the hospital last week. It was the LAST thing I ever expected to happen. But as always, I make sure that I come back from any challenge stronger than before.
I’m a determined optimist. I see the good and the lessons in everything. I wasn’t always this way, which is how I know that no matter where you’re at in life, you too can learn to see the good in even the most difficult situations. I fully believe that there is always a lesson to be learned, it’s just up to each of us to find it.
Mike and I were in LA for Expo West, a huge natural products trade show, which I was super excited to attend. On Thursday night, we were on our way to dinner when I suddenly started to have pain in my gut. I never experience gut pain anymore, so it caught me off guard. This is a pain that I know all too well from past experience, because it’s the pain caused by a blockage in my small intestine.
I used to deal with blockages at least 1-2 times every month before I changed my diet, and now, this is thankfully only the 2nd blockage I’ve dealt with in the past four years combined. The pain from a blockage is the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, as it literally feels like someone is twisting your insides as hard as they can. Sounds super pleasant, right? Haha. 😉
A CT scan showed a clear, full obstruction (blockage) in my small intestine, although the cause was unknown. To me, it doesn’t really matter what caused it, but I have narrowed it down to a few things simply because I know my own body so well. Instead, I choose to focus on finding the good that came from this and the lessons that I can learn.
This experience challenged me more than anything else has in a LONG time. It tried to break me down, and it truly tested my mental strength. I was awake for more than 48 hours straight, in severe pain, which the doctors had difficulty controlling. It was extremely trying, both mentally and physically.
I learned so much from this experience, and while it wasn’t fun by any stretch of the imagination, it was so worth it.
I learned just how strong my mind has become, as it’s what helped to get me through this only to come out stronger than before. I learned what I’m truly capable of. I learned to slow down and just enjoy what may seem like the little things. I learned to be mindful and aware. I learned to stand my ground, even when others try to break me down with their limiting beliefs.
While I was in the hospital, I was also a part of change that I’ll never, ever forget. During a round of tests, I met a doctor who left a lasting impression, to say the least. This doctor had never even met me, yet he fully believed that the blockage I had was caused by my Crohn’s Disease. He rolled his eyes when I told him that I control my disease through my diet and lifestyle. He tried to make me feel irresponsible for not taking medications, thinking that I needed them. It seemed to me that I wasn’t being treated as his patient or even a human, as it felt like I was simply just another textbook case.
Hours after I first met this doctor, I came back for another test, and he happened to be the one in charge once again. I woke up from the procedure the moment the doctor was leaving the room. He opened the door, turned to me and said, “you were right, your gut looks amazing and you have no inflammation or signs of Crohn’s. Whatever you’re eating is clearly working. Keep it up.”
And with that, he left the room and I never saw him again. Many could see this as a coincidence, but I don’t believe the Universe works like that. It was no accident that I met him that day, and that he happened to be the doctor who ran my tests. Because I didn’t cave into what this doctor wanted, I believe that I taught him something. This is a man in charge of countless patients who may be suffering right now, and I have high hopes that what he saw with me, he will carry into his medical practice.
If this were the only good to come out of the entire experience, it would have still been more than worth it.
While I have mad respect for most doctors, I look forward to change within the world of conventional medicine. I’m grateful to be even a small part in it, and this is why I stand my ground and share my story.
For years now, I’ve practiced keeping a positive mindset, despite challenging times. Challenges will always come up, that’s called life. This is why mindset is literally everything, as it can help you get through the difficult times and come out stronger than before.
This is why I’m incredibly passionate about teaching others to practice having a positive mindset. It’s easy to be positive when things are going well, but the real test is keeping it up when everything seems to be going wrong.
Training my brain to find the good isn’t something that happened overnight, it’s what I have practiced over and over for years. I can promise you that the effort pays off, and it makes all the difference when life seems to working completely against you.
I used to literally think that I was dying when a blockage came on (as they definitely can be deadly), but now I’ve trained my brain to believe in the best possible outcome. I now recognize that physical pain is only temporary, and it will pass. When the pain became so crushing that I wasn’t able to move or speak, this is what I repeated over and over in my head, and next to my incredibly supportive husband, this is what got me through. –
“LIFE IS HAPPENING FOR ME, NOT TO ME. YOU’VE GOT THIS.”
Even now that I’m feeling back to my strong self again, it would be REALLY easy for me to live in a place of fear. Fear of another blockage, fear of hospitals, fear of doctors not listening to me, fear of my Crohn’s coming back…the list goes on and on.
Fear may feel extremely real, but in reality, it only exists in our minds.
Fear serves a purpose. It can help to guide us away from something that is truly dangerous. It can help to keep us aware of what is going on around us. It can also stop you dead in your tracks, missing opportunities because you’re too afraid to take a chance. When you learn to push past your fears, that’s when everything changes.
I fully believe that life gives us challenges so that we can learn lessons from them. From my own experience, when I ignore the lesson, I continue to get the same challenges repeated within my life, in different ways. This is why I search for the lesson in every situation.
I’ve come to realize that the challenges in my life can either destroy me, or they can make me stronger than before. It’s a choice that I get to make. So I’ve decided that when it rains, I’ll look for the rainbows.
Stay tuned for my post on Wednesday, as I’ll be sharing everything that I’ve done to help supercharge my gut health. Whether you’re recovering from a recent illness, the flu, or are just looking to up your gut health game, this post is for you!
You are amazing and such an inspiration!! I am glad that you are feeling better. 🙂
Thank you! <3
Tom Waller says
Thank you so much for sharing that heroic experience Kristen. So glad you’re doing better now.
Thanks so much, Tom!
Wow what an inspiring story. I am sure that doctor learned a lesson from you. Great to hear that you are feeling better
Thank you, Marion!
Slightly Lost Girl / La Chica Paleo says
Love this and you! This is exactly why I am going back to school!!!!! I think that the more of us out there that vocally promote our own power over our health conditions the more people will find their own ways to a healthy and vibrant life. You, my dear friend are such a shining star and a beautiful example of exactly this 🙂
Love you girl!! You’re going to make such a HUGE difference in the world of medicine!! xoxo
I don’t know you but I’m so in awe of your accomplishments! You are a wholesome,REAL,athletic and awesome woman! Thanks for your inspiration and support!!!!
Thank you so much, Terri! <3