"Do you feel like you're on a boat right now?" It's the question I repeatedly asked to my best friend as we traveled and taught in Southeast Asia. I remember the first time it happened. We were standing in the hallway talking and all of a sudden I felt like I had just gotten off a boat.
I taught English to elementary-aged Thai kids for 4 months and felt like shit. Seriously, I was not sleeping, my legs felt like tree trunks and I had this constant feeling my body was swaying back and forth. I tried to keep it together the best I could, but my energy dipped and I became grumpy. After teaching, we (best bud, 3 new girlfriends + me) traveled to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and Bali. In a nutshell, the experience is something I'd never take back. From drinking Vietnamese coffee in Hoi Ann, to floating down the Mekhong River in Laos and finally to surfing + unfortunately getting **Bali belly in Indonesia. Bali was my favorite. I saw a live DJ and tried Absinthe, the drink that's supposed to make you hallucinate. We thought it worked when we saw all these fish glowing in the water. The next day we found out that the fish glowed. Mission fail.
After 8 months of traveling and teaching it was time to come home. Except when I got home I was sicker than a dog. I would eat something, start slurring my words and finally end up laying down because I thought I'd pass out. In the shower I had to hold onto the wall because my balance was frightening and thought I'd fall to one side.
Doctor after doctor, specialist, natural healer, holistic health coach, detox specialist, nutritional therapist, regular therapist, naturopath, sacral cranial therapist, massage therapist, chiropractor, neurologist, ENT, hormone specialist, you name it, I went there. No one could figure out why a woman at my age, in good health couldn't shake the chronic vertigo.
That is until I heard about Mr. Gerry Snelling of Snelling Total Wellness. Yesterday, I flew to San Francisco to see this miracle worker. Read his bio HERE. Not only has this guy been a doctor for 40 years, he taught Bikram yoga for 10 years to celebrities like Michael Jackson, (there were more, but I was shocked my the King of Pop).
I met Dr. Snelling at the Yoga Journal conference in San Francisco exactly one year ago. They were one of the vendors and had a booth set-up. As I browsed the vendors, something about them drew me in and within minutes I was on his table being examined. He sent me on my way with a bag full of holistic supplements and within 2 months of taking them, I had no vertigo. I felt like dancing, jumping and singing at the top of my lungs! I could twist, turn and spin without getting dizzy! HALLELUJAH! It was 2 months of bliss! But the taste of freedom was short-lived and as soon as I ran out of the supplements, the vertigo was back with a vengeance. It took all my happiness with it as the room spun towards me, even on walks I'd feel like I was battling with the sidewalk that leapt at me and the ping pong table in my mind disabling my concentration and ability to complete sentences.
A week ago, I cried as my fiance got ready for a party bus birthday party. I sprawled out on the bed, unable to lift my head because of the intense spinning. I told him this was no way to live and if it continued, I was seriously thinking about ...(this is where your imagination runs wild).
I made a desperate call to the only doctor who's made a positive impact with this nasty twirl disorder and they were able to schedule me in for the next week.
The appointment was yesterday. Dr. Snelling uses muscle testing, which some people think is whack, but when you are in so much pain, you could care less about other people.
I came into the office form 10am-12pm, I told him about the dizziness and left side pain that increased with bending, twisting and sometimes breathing and he got to work. He placed these funny little clogging shoes on me and said nothing. So I said nothing. Then came the electrodes. He said nothing except, "relax and let me do what I do." So I relaxed and took a journey in my mind for the next 90 minutes. After a few times of him moving my arms and pressing on my feet, he said, "Well, I've got an answer." My eyes flew open and I waited.
"You have more 5 years of food poisoning in your side which has turned into a chronically bad infection and an inflamed pancreas which explains why it hurts so much to move. The vertigo is a side effect of the infection. The infection has weakened your immune system which explains the fatigue and muscle stiffness. Good news is that it's not cancer or a disease, it's just poison."
I think my face said it all as I repeated the last thing he said in my head over and over. I laughed and said, "Well as long as it's just poison."
I talked to his wife (the office manager) and she set me up with about $500 worth of supplements, a meal plan + an appointment for 3 months down the road. I felt pretty good. The majority of the supplements were familiar words like, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, stuff like that and than some other stuff, where "what the F" circled in my head.
I will start on Monday to knock out this infection and inflamed pancreas, step up my nutrition game, go a little lighter on the workouts and see if this doctor will continue his legend of being the one and only doctor to heal this poor, wounded twisting girl.
**Bali belly: 3 days of water hose butt.