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In Pursuit of Remission: My Unusual Goal for 2018

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After 50 years of abundant health, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. My joints were swollen with inflammation and pain. I hardly recognized this new body of mine – sad, stiff and sore. In response to the unknown, I cried, I thrashed, I asked “why me?” a million times. And when I ran out of questions, I listened.

A little voice inside my head said, “You’ll beat this, Lori. You will.”

Since then, I’ve been obsessed with achieving remission. To reach this ubiquitous goal, I have tried numerous treatments from standard Western medicine to Eastern medicine and everything in between.

I’ve met with many different types of providers, including a psychic intuitive who bluntly stated that my problem was in my gut, therapists who taught me about the link between my emotional and physical health, reiki healers who unblocked my chakras, naturopaths who have provided a thorough overview of my health, a nutritionist who helped me with a food elimination diet and rheumatologists who, without their medical advice and prescriptions, I wouldn’t be able to type these words.

Other treatments I’ve tried include cannabis, homeopathy, chaga tea, apple cider vinegar, various types of bodywork and an armload of supplements.

panoramic image of woman standing on a mountain after hiking

The advice and treatments I’ve received over the last four years have been enriching and mildly successful; however, jumping from provider to provider, treatment to treatment, has a downside – it has left me emotionally exhausted. Every time I tried something new, I felt a
familiar rush of excitement. Thoughts raced across my mind: Maybe this treatment will work? Could this be the right approach? Perhaps this is the treatment that will reverse RA?

Along with the high of abundant optimism comes the crushing low when you realize you aren’t significantly better after trying the latest treatment. I began to ask myself, why am I riding on this emotional roller coaster?

As I reviewed my actions in 2017, I wondered why I was looking to a variety of providers for advice. Could it be that I was looking for advice from others because I didn’t want to do what I know to be helpful for me? Was it too hard to stop eating gluten/meat/dairy? Was I looking for the easy way out? Looking for someone to tell me what I wanted to hear?

I remember the moment when I realized that two of my health providers gave me advice which conflicted with one another; I decided it was time to make a change. The old way was not working anymore. It was time to revise my scattershot approach to achieving remission and adjust my expectations.

My goal for 2018 is simple. Actually, it isn’t really a goal at all. Here it is: I plan to use my inner wisdom to guide my health choices. In 2018, I will quit researching dubious cures for RA. I will stop hanging my hopes on treatments that lack scientific research.

In January, I plan to review everything I’ve learned in the last four years. If there is something that seems right to work on in order to improve my health, then I’ll work on that area until I feel that I’ve been successful. Then I’ll work on another area. I will be open to new treatments, but will limit my appointments and treatments to only what I know that I need.

In 2018, I resolve to listen to my inner guidance and to stop trying many things at once, because I’ve realized that I cannot do everything at once. And perhaps, just maybe, it’s possible that remission will arrive when I’m not trying so hard.

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Originally published: January 5, 2018
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