For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know that I’ve been fighting with a candida infection for over a year now. I’ve also been fighting with chronic, debilitating fatigue. I have an extremely strong will and if I know I need to get something done, then I can fight through just about anything. It’s probably this will power that has gotten me into the fix that I’m in. Just like with sports, if you push too hard and don’t give yourself adequate rest, eventually you will crash.

I worked for several months with Mary Vance (Mary’s Website) to clean up my candida and repair my digestion. The last time I spoke with her she told me the same things that I already knew: get back to a place of health before attempting to make tweaks to my diet; focus on whole foods with minimal processing; make sure to get adequate nutrition and sleep. Even though I knew these things already, I still found it valuable to check in and be told them again. It renewed my commitment to my health and gave me peace of mind to know that I was on the right track.

Being healthy is difficult in our modern society. Often I feel like everything in society is designed to minimize our health and maximize our expenditures. As an economist, I think I’m right, too. Eating whole foods is difficult because it means you have to prepare them yourself. Eating organic foods (or “clean” as the new term goes) is difficult because you have to find them, and then prepare them yourself. Getting enough sleep is difficult because every one and every thing demands your attention, and it’s too bright outside at night, and the neighbors are too noise, and global warming means you can’t afford your electric bill in the summer so it’s too hot, too. Socializing is difficult because everybody is online somewhere, but physically, they are never here where you are, and even if they were, your schedules are so busy you would never be able to coordinate a time to hang out together, and even if you did, hanging out gets exhausting if it’s always something out of your way. On many days I feel like the only way for me to achieve all of my health goals is for me to walk out of civilization.

Luckily, Mary has been able to help me navigate all this overwhelming change that I’m trying to adapt to. You can mire yourself deep if you try to follow all the advice out there about health, so it’s helpful to have someone who can help you prioritize given your own circumstances.

The latest recommendation Mary gave me was evening primrose oil. I was sad when I read on wikipedia that evening primrose oil is not good for anything, especially for all the things you thought it was good for. But I know better than to believe in science! I ran out last week and didn’t get my refill order in on time, so I had about 5 days without the supplement. I continued all of my other supplements as usual though. Mysteriously, I crashed. I could not feel rested no matter how much I slept. For six days I averaged over 9 hours per night and I would wake up groggy and stay that way until about 4 pm in the afternoon when I would feel alive for about an hour before the creepy tendrils of fatigue would drag me back down to the depths of uselessness. I felt hopeless. I felt like I would never be happy because how could someone be happy when they only get three hours in the day where they’re not yearning for bed? Then, my new shipment arrived and I started taking the supplement again and in three days I was alive again, every bit as mysteriously as I had crashed. It’s been three days since my revival and I am still going strong. I am sleeping more regularly, and I don’t feel heavy during the day. Could it be that science is wrong?

Heh. I’m not a big fan of science. I think I know too well how it works. But that is another post.

What I wanted to chronicle today more than anything is the huge difference it makes in my life to feel awake and alive compared to zombie-like. It’s not just that I have more energy, but I feel more in control. I feel like I have the resources available to accomplish the things I need to do to survive. I feel like I have access to my full mental and physical abilities and even my heart is lighter. I’m plainly happier.

Part of me, the pessimistic grumbling part of me, is really upset that I have been struggling with these symptoms for so long, along with a plethora of other various chronic problems, and no doctor has ever been able to help me. That same part is angry that people would go out and deny that the recommendations that I am getting from my nutritionist which have changed my life are really all just hype and advertising. The greater part of me, however, is just happy to finally have a solution. I’m just happy to finally feel completely alive. The road ahead is still long. I could still trip up and lose my way, but the difference between knowing it’s possible and just blindly hoping is huge — infinitely huge.