Tiffany Monson is one of my best friends. We’ve known each other since I was born. Our mom’s were best friends first before we came into this world. Growing up we weren’t as close as we are now. We didn’t have much of a relationship when we were young kids but we were able to reconnect a few years ago and I am so grateful for that. God knew we were supposed to be friends. Tiffany is a strong woman of God and has always had so much wisdom and encouragement for me through my difficult seasons. She’s genuine, kind and the thing I admire most about her is she is so strong and fearless. She’s an amazing mother to 3 young boys and someone I really look up to.
Tiffany has always been full of light and energy for as long as I’ve known her! From my point of view I knew something wasn’t right when all of a sudden a few years ago she had no energy, was sick all the time and seemed like she had lost her zest in life. This wasn’t the normal Tiffany I knew. Today Tiffany is sharing a season in her life that was very hard and life changing. We both hope in letting her be a guest on my blog and share her story it will encourage you in whatever season you are in and fill your heart with hope!
Part 1 | Hope in the Winter Season
About 5 years ago I got terribly sick. I couldn’t keep food in me and lost over 25 pounds. I went to doctors who literally told me it was a gastric bacteria and it would pass. After more than a month and still being sick I sought more answers and all I got was it was depression and offered medication. I saw about three different doctors including urgent care doctors that never offered other testing. Everyone who knows me knows that I didn’t just wake up one day with depression even though the depression and suicidal thoughts came.
It wasn’t that I didn’t love my kids or the life I had it was just that I didn’t want to go on living feeling this miserable and I felt so much guilt as a mom that I couldn’t be who my kids needed. All I could do was pray and hope. Hope was all I had. My body began to fall apart from there. I wasn’t sleeping well, some nights not at all, I didn’t go and do fun things, I was even too exhausted to do house work. I cried most of the time and all I could do was pray and cry out to God and hope that it would get better and that’s what I did. Some might ask, “How could a good God allow this?” I don’t have those answers but all I know is he’s good and without the hope of what he had for me I wouldn’t have made it through at all.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11
In the midst of that season I got pregnant with our third baby. He was an absolute and complete surprise. We were so not intending to be pregnant because I was already sick and unhealthy. I cried a lot more. The pregnancy was rough but oh what a gift this baby was. God knew I needed him. After he was born my body went a bit whacko. I felt sick on and off but struggled with depression and fatigue intensely. Luxton (my 3rd baby) was again a sign of hope to me. If God could bring me this precious, healthy, happy gift in the dead of winter he could do even more. I began to seek answers yet again.
I went to my OB and asked her to check my hormones and I was told I was too young to be having issues and I was offered medication yet again that I said no to and I continue to push through. Finally a light came on May 1st of 2018. I finally got into our old family doctor who was getting ready to retire. I sat down with him and he allowed me to tell him all 20 of my symptoms. He immediately asked, “Did anyone do an IgE test on you?” I was like, “Are you serious?! No they haven’t!” He ran the test immediately.
I got a phone call from the doctors two weeks later saying I needed to come in for the results. I sat down with Dr. Bailey and he handed me my results and said, “Well you can’t eat anything.” I thought he was kidding. He then began to tell me how my stomach was a mess and wasn’t digesting foods right and that if I wanted to get better I would have to completely change my life and how I ate. I couldn’t eat gluten, soy, peanuts, corn, beef and fish. All of those foods came up positive on my testing. I for real cried again.
The silver lining in it though was that he told me it would be for a 2 year season and that we would test again at the end of the two years to see if my gut had recovered. Hope poured in. It’s now been a year and a half since I began that journey. I can’t believe it! I made a decision that day that if this was the process for healing and getting my life back I would do it whole heartedly and that’s what I’ve done with no cheating.
Part 2 | Hope in the Winter Season
So to just finish out this journey there’s one more piece. After a year of eating this way I was getting better. I began keeping food in me and began gaining weight but the depression, fatigue anxiety, insomnia were at an all time high. Someone in my life knew what I was going through and told me about a hormone specialist I should see here in Eugene, Oregon who helps fix hormones (which can cause all of these symptoms). So I immediately made an appointment and when I saw her she did a full blood panel. Again I got a phone call to go over the results with her.
My husband came with me and as we sat there she began to tell me that my estrogen was sky high and my progesterone was almost none existent. She said this is pretty crazy for someone my age but she’s seeing this more and more. Now remember my OB said this wasn’t possible. Man I was angry at my previous female doctor but that’s another emotion I’ve had to deal with. Why does the medical world not advocate for you, fight for you or believe you?! Why do they choose most of the time to write you off with prescription medication and why are they not trained in hormones? Their are some great doctors out there but they’re rare.
Once again as she read me my results hope began to pour in. There was an answer. This could be fixed and naturally! It would take time she said but at this point what was another few months. She started me on natural hormone treatments at that moment. The months came and there were ups and downs as my body began balancing, strength was returning and sleep began to come back. Come to find out when your gut is out so is the rest of your body. It affects everything! I had to restart everything. It’s now been 1 1/2 years and I am 80% better! I have a little ways to go but I’ll get there.
Hope has carried me. I just began working out in the gym which I never thought would happen. I am way more active and am now able to run after my three boys. I want to say that if you’re in a winter season and you don’t see the sun, Hope! Never stop hoping! As soon as you feel hopeless you’ve been defeated.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”Proverbs 13:12
If I’ve learned anything in this season it’s that hope is necessary, faith is needed and God is undeniably good. Process only brings purpose. Allow the process and hope in all that God has promised. In the midst of the season I constantly and without fail claimed what God had for me, what he promised me and what I knew was my portion. I also read books on hope and health. Anything that would encourage me to believe the best.
Lastly please fight for your health! There are so many options out there now. If you’re suffering in your body and you know it’s not the normal you get tested, have blood work done. Eat right, exercise your body and sleep! Your health is so very important. Not just for you but to the people around you. You’re the greatest advocate for yourself! I am also still on the perfecting journey of these things and still have a lot to learn.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope it will help you on your health journey! You are not alone in your suffering! Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful winter season!
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