Going Raw Vegan: My POTS Recovery ProcessJazmine Janay
After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I found my passion: helping others heal and regain their quality of life. Today, my life revolves around healthy food and healthy habits, such as meditation, yoga, and laughing as much as possible. My main goal is to spread the knowledge that I’ve gained out there to as many people as possible!
I was diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) in November of 2016. My symptoms included heavy brain fog, disassociation, fatigue, IBS, migraines, insomnia, depersonalization, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg pain, numb/cold hands and feet, ear pain, difficulty swallowing, swollen feet after hot showers or baths, dizziness, depression and anxiety.
In early November, I remember telling my mom I didn’t feel like myself and complaining about feeling “out of it”. It was hard to explain how I was feeling, so I just brushed it off. Towards the end of the month, I was feeling even more faint and even ended up on my bathroom floor calling for my mom because I had this feeling of impending doom. The week after that, I had to go to the ER four times because of excruciating chest pain and shortness of breath. I actually thought I was having a heart attack at 23. After a few visits to the ER, none of the doctors could find anything wrong with me. I was relieved, but also confused – because if nothing was wrong, why was I feeling this way?
Diagnosis and Processing
On my fourth visit to the ER, I was lucky enough to have a doctor that knew a little something about autoimmune disease. He made a call to my cardiologist and I was scheduled to go in and see him the next day. I remember being so excited that morning, feeling like I’d finally get an answer! I did get an answer, but not the one I wanted. My cardiologist did a sit-to-stand test, to check if my heart rate increased over 40 BPM when I went from sitting to standing – and it did. After asking me a few questions, he handed me a pamphlet which said, in big, bold words: LIVING WITH POTS. I thought to myself, “I have to live with this forever?!” Well, according to my cardiologist I’d either suffer with this disease for my entire life or be what he called “lucky” and only deal with it for 5 to 10 more years. He gave me various suggestions, like taking beta blockers, increasing my table salt intake, and drinking Gatorade. I told him I’d consider all those things and return to see him again if I wanted to move forward with the medication.
I remember calling a good friend of mine when I got home that day, and when he answered the phone I could barely get a word out. I was sad, scared, and couldn’t believe this was happening to me. He listened to all of my mumbled, tearful words and offered all the support I needed in that moment. When we got off the phone, I was still in shock, and I don’t think I spoke for the rest of the day. That turned into a week of silence, which then turned into 3 months. I didn’t talk, I didn’t laugh. I just cried. Every day I would ask, “Why me?” In October I was healthy, just a regular 23-year-old girl enjoying her twenties and all of a sudden, I wasn’t even able to stand up by myself.
My Road to Recovery
After those few months passed, I started doing research and found a few people who had healed their chronic illnesses and regained their life and health. I was determined to take my life back and stop treating myself like a victim. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but it’s necessary. I was introduced to the raw vegan lifestyle when I followed a couple of people in that community on Twitter. I asked them a few questions and I was intrigued, so I started doing even more research. About a week later, I decided to go fully raw, just to see if anything would improve. It did. It cured my IBS, and no more did I suffer from cold/numb hands and feet, fatigue, and insomnia. I also got rid of the excruciating ear pain I had been dealing with for 3 months. I was amazed!
I was still battling heavy brain fog and anxiety, but within only two months on a raw vegan diet, I was able to heal my digestive system, and that was incredible to me. It gave me the glimmer of hope that I desperately needed.
Fast forward to now, and I am living happily and fully. I launched my website and released my first eBook to share my story and spread all of the positivity and knowledge that I’ve gained on this journey. I look forward to connecting with anyone who my experience resonates with. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them in the comment section below.
Raw Vegan Inspiration
The Raw Cure: Healing Beyond Medicine, a Health Book by Jesse J. Jacoby (SoulSpire)$15.95
Book by Jesse J. Jacoby
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: SoulSpire; 10.7.2012 edition (November 6, 2012)
The Fully Raw Diet: 21 Days to Better Health, with Meal and Exercise Plans, Tips, and 75 Recipes, Diet Book by Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, Paperback (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Book by Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (January 5, 2016)