by Tab Moura
This goes out to the newest members of the chronic illness community.
I am a cannabis educator and wellness coach. Over the last year I’ve done a lot of listening. Do you know what people fear more than dying from Covid? They fear getting sick with Covid and never *fully* recovering. They fear something that many people are genuinely dealing with. While we know that conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME) have been around for a long time, often treated as a pseudo diagnosis, it’s suddenly become widely accepted as the crowd of those suffering from it is growing. People are getting sick, and some of them are still sick.
Maybe it’s mild, maybe it’s debilitating… but you are not where you were beforehand. I know what that’s like. While I don’t give health advice online, because I believe we all require a unique approach, what I came here to say today is that we’re stronger together.
One of the most interesting concepts that I’ve witnessed over the last year, is the ability for a crowd to work together to change something they’re passionate about. In some cases a single hashtag trending can spark change, on a massive level. The truth is, lingering autoimmune related conditions affect roughly 50% of the country. We call them by many names, so we don’t usually think of ourselves as a unit, but honestly, we’re one of the biggest majorities, outside of gender. What would happen if we all asked for the same thing? What would happen if we asked our medical community to focus on us. I’m uniquely qualified to be so direct, because I’m successfully recovering from being bed bound.
I’ve sat with countless specialists at this point and none of them had information for me to pursue wellness, it felt like I was given my options of palliative care— with 50 years to go. “Physical therapy, diet, medicines, surgeries… these will be wastes of money, the best thing we can do is make you more comfortable.” I wish I could say I’ve only heard this once. Maybe you have had a doctor prescribe a thing or two, or 10, but you know that the answer is never that simple. Patients always end up holding the most responsibility if they want a better quality of life.
Science is confident enough to believe we can inject protection and prevent a specific illness, but if you are already sick… we’re so sorry to hear that? And that’s when it hit me… we’re asking for the wrong things. How safe are we if there’s no plan for those who fall through the cracks? What if the number of those with chronic illness continues to increase?
There I was, spending thousands of dollars trying to work within a health system that only knows how to keep us alive. First of all, what a valuable skill that is, right? If I am in an accident and need help, I’m thankful they exist. But what does this mainstream narrative teach us about thriving? Where can we go to learn about recovering? What the heck are micronutrients, how do I get proper sleep, how do I choose good brain foods, and yes, how do I support my immune system? We find one another. We look for the people who’ve already done it.
I was nervous about writing this article, because when you’re someone who cannot use pharmaceuticals, people assume you are anti-Pharma. They think you are biased. The truth is, I have my biases. I’m happy to be transparent about mine, because acknowledging my biases helped me find healing. I wish we were all more honest about such things. I’ve never had a client who is Pharma and chemical free to the extent that I am. I haven’t even considered turning someone away due to their choice to use Pharma. Pharma keeps people alive. Pharma has helped me stay alive once as well. But Pharma didn’t help me thrive. Perhaps it’s time we start asking for more. People are out here healing themselves, and the methods we use deserve recognition… not because natural medicine needs validation, but because people deserve to hear about it.